Princess Cruises Doesn't Charge Extra For Room Service (yet)

Pigging backing off of an earlier post in the forum, some cruise lines are now charging for room service. Attention all Princess passengers - order room service and let the ship staff know officially how much you enjoy the gratis graciousness. Cite their competitors' (RCCL, Carnival, NCL) greediness. It's a little thing - but that's where oak trees come from...

Tags: room service Princess Cruises

9 Answers

"Yet" is the key word. We cruise on Princess a lot. Normally on sea days I work out then get a pot of coffee for the cabin which I pick up myself. But on excursion days, when we have a very early muster we do order room service and find the food good and on time. Sometimes the buffet isn't even fully open.

I recall on HAL, when many lines were starting to prohibit wine being brought on board, HAL had an open door policy for wine. Of course, that changed, in fact HAL came up with a surcharge for additional bottles that was three bucks greater per than Princess. I agree with the suggestion that guests have to speak up more and complain about this ever progressing extra charge plague. Unfortunately, I am skeptical if they will do that.

As I mentioned before, the industry confronted a situation years ago wherein it faced the dilemma of how to increase volume, if not, set back and watch the other mass-market enterprises grow.

The big problem was that many folk could not afford to cruise, simple as that. So the answer to getting them on board was to charge them only one low basic fee which gave them passage, a simple cabin, food in a common dining room or buffet and freedom to roam about the ship taking in a show or two, but not much else unless they wanted to pay extra. In addition, were shore days, shore sightseeing adventures were expensive so during the port days they could get by with taking a free shuttle into the nearby town or walking there. That was pretty much it and they lined up at the gangway. To the point the industry has introduced gigantic ships to compensate for the demand brought on by those who desire a simple affordable cruise on the sea.

It is sort of ironic now to hear new cruisers complain. We not only use Princess and HAL but also Regent which is a so called "all inclusive". Even with them, I see a constant pressure from Regent guests to adapt the mass market line's extra charge trend. For instance---Free booze?--Except many who don't drink constantly complain they are subsidizing those who do. Lobster and Steak?---You constantly hear complaints from those on restricted diets, etc. that they don't like these extravagances included in the overall price of the cruise. Shore excursions are included--Except many don't want to take those or contend they over crowd the coaches since they are "free" so suggest extra charges for shore excursions would be appropriate. Evening entertainment---Many don't like the theatre shows so prefer to not pay for such up front. Anyway, you get the drift---Keep on bellyaching folks and enjoy your nickel and dime cruise.

I think that it is hard to accept a fee for something that used to be free. I never use room service so it won't affect me. My next two cruises are on HAL.

Kennicott,

So... you are blaming the passenger who gets duped into expecting a reasonably priced fare - and complains about being nickel and dimed to death once onboard - for forcing cruise lines to engage in more deceitful practices?

No! "Deceitful practices", is your term not mine, I don't subscribe to that analysis.

Neither do I suggest blame has to be imposed upon anyone or anything. The illustration I used was not of guests coming on board complaining about being nickel and dimed, rather about guests coming on board an all inclusive and wanting to be extra charged.

It is my opinion the entire industry has got itself caught up in a marketing enigma. On the mass market lines it is my observation that the preponderance of guests prefer the low initial price for a cruise and are not all that concerned over extra charges since they rarely use those services. Now, as the nickel and diming intensifies, perhaps they will alter their views. As for now anyway, those who want to get on board for a song and dance and then expect to receive all services like they did in the days of yore, for that low fee, are living in dream land.

Every cruise line has, on their website, fair notice of all charges that are not part of the posted fare including port fees, taxes, many beverages, gambling and for-fee restaurants.

They are not duping anyone other than those unwilling to read a bit, and are certainly not engaging in deceitful practices.

You are being too kind. Oh - I suspect that a modicum of research would reveal the "mandatory" daily assessment for "gratuities." But that wouldn't prepare a customer new to cruising for the succession of additional "gratuities" required or implied. Or the hassles from "Spa contractors" or buffets so inadequate in capacity that paying customers are driven to "specialty restaurants," or additional fee "room service." I enjoy cruising - but resent being played for a sap.

On the 3 lines and 5 ships I have been on, I have never been hassled by a spa contractor, always found a seat at the buffet, never eaten in a specialty restaurant (much less forced to), never used room service, never went hungry (usually gained weight) and never felt like anyone (outside of some ports) was making a grab for my wallet.

OTOH, before spending a large sum of money for a cruise, I do read the details as to what I will receive for my money. To do otherwise would be foolish.

Agreed. Also, when new to cruising types ask my advice I often try to steer them towards one of the comprehensive guides to cruising like, Berlitz.

With respect to the subject at hand here, Berlitz does a pretty fair job of acquainting the newbies with the realities of cruising I.e. on page 28-29 of their current edition they address this in: "Tell me more about extra costs." in which they give guidelines, go into detail regarding the industries' concept of a contemporary cruise experience, a break down on the average cruise lines approximate initial prices and what they entail and latest price ranges on over 27 extra-cost items and services.

They also explain what all inclusive means in: "How inclusive is all-inclusive?"

Another source of info value is forums like this one. On the ships I've had more than one tell me they frequent these forums but never comment, just pick up ideas. I'm constantly picking up tid-bits of advice, over the years many of which have really been helpful. For instance, just yesterday, I learned that many on B 2 Bs are ordering liquors and wines from the Ship's Duty Free shop which gets delivered the night before the first segments disembarkation, which you can enjoy in your cabin during the second segment. Since it seems we are always on B 2 Bs anymore I might just give this a try.

Not getting into the pros and cons of charging for room service (booth sides have points and, honestly, with the vast amount of waste we’ve seen, charging makes sense) Princess has, by far, the best room service we’ve ever experienced! Princess knocks on our door at exactly the time we request! Other cruise lines have delivered as much as an hour late (we’re already ashore!) or an hour early (I’m only in bed for four hours – don’t wake me early!). Plus, Princess has a yummy breakfast sandwich we’ve seen on no other menu!

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