Would you pay for breakfast on a cruise?
There’s no cause for panic just yet, but Cruise Critic member LMaxwell has posted an intriguing idea on the forums: the possibility of cruise lines charging for a decent breakfast.
The theory, this member claims, is that breakfasts on ships are ‘weak’ – “More of the frozen and fried up variety, with lots of oil/grease and salt” and I’m sure we’ve all bemoaned the powdered scrambled egg and flaccid fruit on mass-market cruise ship buffets at some point.
So are cruise lines craftily lowering the standards to pave the way to a revenue-generating ‘enhanced’ breakfast?
Seems impossible to imagine, but the reality is, it’s already creeping in. Not for breakfast in the main dining room, but for ‘special’ breakfasts and brunches.
Princess Cruises offers ‘Ultimate Balcony Dining’ breakfast with champagne for $32. On Norwegian Cruise Line’s ships, you can indulge in steak and Eggs Benedict at the Jazz Brunch for a fee; or on MSC Cruises (MSC Divina and MSC Preziosa), feast on foie gras and oysters at extra charge. Disney offers a full, six-course brunch with Champagne in its Remy restaurant for a whopping $50.
As for the free brunches… According to the Cruise Critic forums, Celebrity Cruises has quietly stopped its famous sea day brunch (Carnival does still offer brunch to all passengers in the main dining room on each cruise).
Although we haven’t reached a point yet where you pay for a fried egg in the main dining room, there are still opportunities to part with your cash. I always pay extra for a decent coffee, for example. Maybe LMaxwell has seen the future, and this is the thin end of the wedge.
In any case, perhaps the idea of paying for an enhanced breakfast is not such a bad thing in itself. Personally, I’d rather skip breakfast (coffee aside) and allocate my budget to speciality dining at night, but there are plenty of people who like a large steak and a slug of Dom Perignon on rising. If the demand is there, cruise lines should meet it.
The problem will come when there’s no longer a choice. Imagine the day when it’s normal for a cruise line to serve ‘continental’ breakfast as part of the package (wizened croissants, day-glo ‘juice’ reconstituted from a powder mix and cold toast) and charge for anything superior. Plenty of hotels do this, after all.
Do you think it will ever happen? And if it did, would you pay? Let us know in the comments below.