Two 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.
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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.”