Royal Caribbean to Charge Room Service Fee

Royal CaribbeanTwo popular cruise blogs, the Royal Caribbean Blog and Cruise Fever, are reporting that Royal Caribbean will soon begin to charge its guests a fee of $7.95 for room service from the All Day Menu and the American Section of the breakfast menu.

Cruise guests reportedly will still be able to order complimentary continental breakfast without incurring additional fees. Guests in suites will not be charged service fees.

The service fee will begin on sailings after March 27, 2017.

Royal Caribbean announced the change on its Twitter feed, much to the disappointment of its followers.

Royal Caribbean follows other cruise lines, like NCL (Read: NCL Gouges Guests with New Charges), which also charges a $7.95 room service charge. Carnival also announced a similar fee several years ago.

Most of the major cruise lines have been accused of nickel-and-diming passengers. Many cruise passengers have complained that room service should be included in the traditional inclusive-cruise fares. 

Don't think for a second that the new room service charges are for the hard working crew members.

Marginal increases in services like room service puts big bucks into the cruise executives' pockets.

NCL's CEO Frank Del Rio said in May 2015: "... we have looked across the fleet to identify areas where marginal changes that are commensurate with market conditions can be implemented to improve performance. A few examples include a 6.7% average increase in beverage prices, the introduction of a nominal room service fee and lower costs from renegotiated shore excursion agreements. To put into perspective how these small changes can add up quickly, every dollar increase in yield translates to approximately $15 million to the bottom line."

Del Rio collected nearly $32 million in compensation that year (2015). 

In June of 2015, Royal Caribbean hiked the automatic daily gratuity on its cruise ships by nearly 8% to $12.95 per person. USA Today wrote at the time that with this increase, a family of four will pay more than $350 in service charges on a typical seven-night cruise -- one of the highest levies in the cruise business.

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Jim Walker

Update: We are receiving a number of humorous comments to the article on our Facebook discussion, including this one: "Next thing you know they'll put coin operated toilets in all the cabins." 

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Comments (6) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Ken F - March 16, 2017 12:55 PM

Thanks to the info I get from Jim on this site we have pretty much decided that cruising was no longer a good deal or safe. Any thoughts of going back to cruising on vacation is out the window now. May not seem like much to most people but my wife uses room service a lot because of a handicap It puts cruising more out of reach than ever. Maybe a condo on the beach would be nice.

Jan - March 16, 2017 1:05 PM

For the most part, we cruise exclusively on Holland America Line where room service is free and comes with a smile. I utilize it quite often and wouldn't cruise with a line that I had to pay for it.

Mike Smith - March 16, 2017 8:30 PM

still free on Princess but I'm sure it won't be long before they hop on this wagon.

Polly - March 17, 2017 9:29 AM

SO.....Jr. Suites and above are not getting charged for room service?

jim walker - March 17, 2017 1:05 PM

Polly - not sure, the RCL Blog says that "Guests in a Grand Suite stateroom or above will retain complimentary room service."

David Banks - March 17, 2017 5:43 PM

I Have no objection to Royal Caribbean raising the rates for the cabin attendant or waiters on their ships wereas RC doesn't pay any of them a salary. They work strictly for tips .

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