NCL - New Takeaway Food Policy

I think by now all of you know that NCL very recently instituted a new Room Service Charge of $7.95 per delivery to your cabin. But did you know, that at the same time they have now banned takeaway food from all dining venues. In other words, you can no longer remove any food items from the eating areas and bring them back to your cabin to enjoy later. What! I feel sorry for diabetics who need food on a regular basis. I feel sorry for parents with kids who want a snack at bedtime. Will this impact you?

Tags: NCL NCL new takeaway food policy $7.95 room service fee

26 Answers

"Going back to his luxurious office he divided the number of trays he observed with the average amount of cabin food service orders at the time. Unfortunately, the number of trays greatly exceeded the number of orders. Meaning, FDR's good NCL guests were cheating him. Bad on them." Bad guess. The only way there are trays is if room service brings them -- there are no trays available from the buffet or any dining room. The actual statement was dishes and trays in the halls, and food being spilled as guests carried it. ?The motivation was entirely due to the piggish behavior. The leadership team (Andy Stuart's actual quote, not just FDR) noted this as something that had to change. As others have pointed out, FDR is CEO of NCL HOLDINGS, not day to day operations of NCL -- that's Andy Stuart. It was Andy Stuart who admitted they chose the wrong policy to correct the piggishness, and most likely Andy Stuart who put the policy in place to begin with. Remember that Andy Stuart was never President of NCL until recently -- the changes started when he was made President. "...he noticed the corridors littered with plates, trays and the putrid remains of food. Hardly something the great FDR, high end cruise manager magnate he is or thinks he is, could stomach." But, you think the average guest on NCL is slob enough to not care, is that it?

While reading from this site last evening, my wife and I discussed the situation. While we have never been " Room Service" types, we can understand that those travelling with kids want to show them the experience. As for folks walking around the hallways with food trays and such, we saw a few when we were on our cruises. What I find more concerning, and I'm sure that some of you will agree with me, Is the traveller who loads up at the buffet " cruise line, hotel, resort, or restaurants" as if they will never get another meal in their lifetime. The wastage from those who do this is remarkable, I've witness those who only nibble at the massive amount of food, then put it aside and go back for something else in equal proportion.

I don't usually take much more than coffee to our cabin in the morning on cruises, If snacks are required, a few pieces of fruit will do. I understand that the cruise line cannot just have someone going around for trays, the cost of a single duty employee on a cruise line is quite high. Everyone has to be able to do double or triple duty for the corporation to turn the profits that they do.

I see the comments about the decline in overall service, and the fees for what was traditional levels increase. It creates concern for me regarding my cruising budgets.

I'm not concerned. I'm still looking forward to my November sailing on Pearl, and plan to book many other NCL cruises in the future.

I see all of the recent increases as necessary, or at least desirable. The increase for a soda brings NCL in line with other cruise lines. The addition of a gratuity for the specialty restaurants was at least in part because many folks did not leave gratuities (although many do). T"he addition of the room service fee was intended as a "throttle" to cut down on the number of kids who called room service all day and then didn't eat the food -- the result should be better service for those who really want room service. The policy about carrying food was an attempt to solve the problem if piggish behavior, dropping food off overloaded plates. Again, probably mostly kids -- but do you want food dropped all over the ship? The have admitted they tried the wrong solution, but the problem remains. They can't just hire more crew to police the hallways all day; there isn't enough space in the crew quarters. Did you know that boutique workers, casino workers, art sale folks, entertainers and others are all issued cabins that could otherwise produce revenue? That's bad enough without housing janitors in passenger cabins...

I'm not worried about NCL. Bookings are up, the "promos" are great (we're getting free gratuities in November, the best "nang for the buck" for us), the ships are in great shape, rumors of cost cutting are just that -- rumors -- all the cost savings are coming from combining services of the three sister cruise lines (called "synergy").

I just received an e-mail from NCL with a special promo offer.

I can sail on a combined itinerary from Vancouver to Mexico back to LA.

I can add my grandkids to my room for no charge. This, I think I can sell to the family for another NCL family outing. Pricing is good and the group is very aware of the charges that can be incurred on board. It will work out less than a Panama cruise on Princess or HAL for an inside cabin for just my wife and I and I can bring along the whole fam damily. NOW, that's a good bang for the buck.

Hornerdon apparently asks me: "But, you think the average guest on NCL is slob enough to not care, is that it?" I have no idea, do you?

We have never been on NCL. We frequent only three, Princess, HAL and Regent. I'm sure there is the occasional slob of a passenger boarding all three, but it would be a great mistake to stereotype the typical guest on those three so negatively. Matter of fact it is a no-no to put anything out in the corridor on all three of those lines. I rarely see obnoxious plates or anything cluttering the isles.

What my heartburn here is about, is that all the majors have gone the nickel and dime route, in other words their business model is based upon add-on charges. Since Regent is what they call an all inclusive one isn't burdened with this annoyance on them, yet that is. The drift toward room service charges and the apparent related attempt to restrain passengers from taking food down to their cabin is just another example of the problems guests run into and the lines run into when pursuing the add-on business concept.

As far as plates vs. trays, no big deal, what FDR obviously figured out here was that the volume of plates, etc, in the corridors greatly exceeded the number of room service requests for that period of time. He didn't like that.

Your assertion that the President was as or equally responsible for the decision, I don't agree with. Spin it all you want, It was FDR's call. FDR had just appointed him, furthermore he bows to the drum beat of the CEO. All one has to do is read the President's publicly released rationale in this regard:

Once again: "Stuart said the ban came about after new Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio toured one of the ships and observed piles of dishes and trays lining corridors and passenger spilling food on their way back to their cabins. It roughly coincided with the adoption of a new room service menu and a $7.95 delivery fee."

I should note that Andy Stuart told Gene Sloan of USA Today's Cruise Log that Del Rio only identified the problem, and that he (Stuart) came up with the now-rejected solution:

Del Rio "came back on that Monday and described the experience, and I said, 'let's just ask people not to take (food) back to the room. It's just that simple," Stuart says, noting that the decision was made without a lot of discussion. "This wasn't about money."

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