In a confusing and poorly worded press release earlier this month, Carnival indicated they’d be changing the room service menus in the future. It created quite the stir online as it seemed to be just another one of Carnival’s numerous cutbacks. Today, Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald shared the new room service menu, which will go into effect on October 1st.
Complimentary room service options for breakfast
The breakfast menu will look pretty similar to previous Carnival guests. It has options that used to be on the hang tags guests could put out the night before.
Breakfast will be offered from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM and will have some complimentary options. Basically, a continental breakfast is offered at no additional charge. So you can get fruit, cereal, pastries, yogurt, and some juices without having to pay anything.
Guests can also choose from a variety of hot breakfast sandwiches for an additional fee. The cost is $5 – $6 per sandwhich, plus 18% gratuity. That’s an average of 58% higher than the $3- $4 per sandwich pricing Carnival was offering earlier this year.
All lunch and dinner room service options have a charge
As expected, all other items on the room service menu have a charge. Previously, the menu had both free and additional fee options. Carnival calls this “Leisure Dining,” and it’s available from 10 AM to 6 PM.
It was reported that there would be “higher quality” options because of this price. In reality, the menu released today closely resembles the one from earlier this year except for the additional costs. On average, the food that previously had a charge increased by $1 – $2 (a roughly 30% increase). Drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, can be ordered at the current bar prices (see all the bar prices here).
Still, the pricing is moderate and cheaper than room service prices found in hotels or restaurants on land. If you hadn’t cruised Carnival before, you’d most likely find these prices perfectly reasonable. They also have the options you’d expect, like salads, sandwiches, and chicken tenders. There’s not much missing, but there’s also nothing here that screams “wow!”
Carnival is trying to fight food waste
Heald indicated that this move was less of a cutback and more to stop excessive food waste. In a Facebook post, Heald said, “many cruisers would order multiple sandwiches and food items and end up leaving 50% or more uneaten. We have all seen those plates outside of the cabin doors. So while it is not the only reason and it would be silly of me to say it was, trying to cut down on food waste is one of the reasons these nominal fees now apply after breakfast time. “
This could make complete sense, especially considering Carnival’s rock-bottom prices for many of its sailings over the past year. Guests booking these heavily discounted prices, sometimes as low as $25 per person, might be more likely to order tons of free food and not eat it.
Perhaps Carnival’s strategy of packing the ships full of people at low fare is coming back to haunt them. From onboard brawls to reports of hour-long waits for late-night pizza (the only food venue now open late at night), it seems that the recent Carnival experience is different than the pre-shutdown one, and not for the better.
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