So Norwegian decided to roll out the $7.95 fee for room service delivery fleet wide. Now what?
Well, to be quite honest with you this does not affect me in particular at the very least. I rarely use room service, mainly because of my lack of patience and the notion that I might not hear the knock on the door while I am in the balcony (which is where I spend most of my time). I guess this is my particular case, and I am sure that this will affect many who frequently order room service. To me room service is more about the knowledge that it is there just in case I want to use it. It is part of the freedom that cruising offers as a whole.
One thing to consider is that the continental breakfast menu and coffee in the morning will not be subjected to the charge. That is good news for many, as this is the time that I tend to see the most deliveries and empty trays next to the doors.
Browsing around on Facebook the other day I noticed one case in particular that was greatly affected by this change. She was an NCL loyalist, and she ordered room service 2-3 times a day. For her it was crucial, as she used it to calm down her kids between activities. This is the way the family learned to travel, and it was a pretty simple schedule that they had down to a tee. With some simple math we get that the cruise for her will cost around $150 extra just to get this benefit. While the amount of money might be not be a radical sum, we simply can’t use our finances describe everyone aboard the ship. She now claimed that after years of sailing with NCL she was forced to look elsewhere, my guess is Carnival?
One aspect that is ambiguous is the fact that we don’t truly know the destination of the $7.95. Many are assuming that the fee is going to the crew, which would be phenomenal. However, this has not been stated anywhere. Furthermore, I seriously doubt that will be the purpose of it. Especially considering Del Rio’s recent statement that he would need an extra $4 a day from each guest to increase the profit margin of the company.
Whether this is the right move for Norwegian is unclear. All we can assume at the moment is that Del Rio is applying some new changes to Norwegian, that I fear might one day expand into the industry affection other of my favorite cruise lines. As we can already see in the charges that Carnival is doing with a few of the room service items.
On a side note, the cruise line also lowered a few of the specialty restaurant prices by 5 cents. This is just a basic marketing strategy that has been proven to work.
Cagney’s – $29.95 (from $30)
Moderno – $19.95 (from $20)
Le Bistro – $19.95 (from $20)
La Cucina – $14.95 (from $15)
Ocean Blue remains the same at $39, as does Teppanyaki at $25.
As seasoned cruisers that we are, we will continue to monitor these changes, and hopefully everything will drive the industry further.