Hot on the Forums: Would You Pay for Breakfast Onboard?

June 6, 2014 | By | 49 Comments

English breakfast
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.
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    49 Responses to “Hot on the Forums: Would You Pay for Breakfast Onboard?”

    1. Richard Bates
      June 6th, 2014 @ 9:19 am

      You’re kidding, right? What next? A would you pay more for an upgraded dessert proposal?

    2. Joe
      June 6th, 2014 @ 9:23 am

      There are plenty of hotels who still offer free hot breakfast also. Glad that I sail Carnival exclusively.

    3. Diane
      June 6th, 2014 @ 9:43 am

      I hope this doesn’t happen. I enjoy the buffet style breakfast, there’s plenty of fresh fruit, oatmeal, rolls, etc. as well the hot items. The made to order omelets are good too.
      I don’t want to have to pay extra for food, the cruise lines have enough other ways to get our money with the shops, casino, shore excursions, art auctions, etc.

    4. Diane
      June 6th, 2014 @ 9:44 am

      No, I would not pay for breakfast onboard.

    5. Kit Cosper
      June 6th, 2014 @ 9:46 am

      Cruises are about value and convenience. When the value for price begins to outweigh the convenience gained then it will be time to look at other vacation options.

    6. Lillian Fiedel
      June 6th, 2014 @ 10:01 am

      Whats wrong with the breakfasts on board? I think they have plenty to eat and with the exception of the scrambled eggs{the worst} there is plenty to choose from

    7. D'Lane Crute
      June 6th, 2014 @ 10:52 am

      Nope. We usually eat breakfast (or brunch) in the MDR and it’s good. I would either skip breakfast or stick to what’s free and save my money for things that mean more to me than breakfast.

    8. Beverly C
      June 6th, 2014 @ 11:13 am

      There is so many choice for free breakfast.
      I won’t pay extra for breakfast onboard. I’ve rather save money for other spending.

    9. Donna Cheney
      June 6th, 2014 @ 11:17 am

      No I would not pay. But do miss Celebrity’s one time brunch.

    10. Scott Downen
      June 6th, 2014 @ 1:33 pm

      I will never Pay Extra for Breakfast…even the Breakfast that I get from Room Service to eat on the Balcony is always nice. And I DO NOT eat dinner in the Main Dinning Room or eat at any of the Specialty Restaurants….I’m on Vacation…and not going to wear pants…I don’t wear pants even when NOT on vacation.

    11. 1hrdcore
      June 6th, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

      nope If breakfast or other meals decline anymore it will be cheaper to go the hotel route and eat what I want. It is almost there now

    12. Marty
      June 6th, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

      I’d consider a payment on a special order item like, grits. I’d love a bowl that isn’t soup nor spackling to sound proof the karaoke lounge.

    13. Jodi
      June 6th, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

      No I don’t think I’d pay extra for breakfast, I love breakfast, both in the main dining room and in the buffet. Have never felt the need for a “superior” breakfast!

    14. Sandi
      June 6th, 2014 @ 6:04 pm

      NO, NO< NO< NO!!!!!!

    15. Glen Latour
      June 6th, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

      I’ve always cruised with Carnival and have yet to be disappointed by their food offerings. \If people want gourmet food, go to an upscale cruise company. Personally I could never justify it, maybe I’m just easy to please. We never eat in the dining room, I’d have to change out of my shorts and sandals.

    16. Sandy
      June 6th, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

      NO! I don’t even pay for night meal! I like the dining room and enjoy the buffet. I went to a special dining room on a ship for a cover fee once. I will never do that again!! I was very disappointed and wished I had gone to the dining room. There is so much in both places to eat, I don’t think that they need to do that! They could make a few improvements on the buffet, but paying extra for breakfast, not for me!!

    17. Bob
      June 6th, 2014 @ 8:02 pm

      I’m confused…we do pay for breakfast on every cruise, and lunch and dinner. It’s built into our price for our cabin. Everything that is ‘free’ is built into this price. As well, the breakfast menu is pretty extensive, so many alternatives to ‘eggs, baco, toast, and coffee’, which is the only breakfast at one time.

    18. Bryan
      June 7th, 2014 @ 6:56 am

      NO! I have been on 3 cruises in the last 3 years and have paid for 2 “special” dinners total. Both worth the charge but there are so many other options why would you.

    19. Margie Stinson
      June 7th, 2014 @ 9:41 am

      I realize cruise lines are out to make money just like any other business. I would rather them just include everything (except alcohol) in the price of the cruise and don’t try to nickel and dime me while onboard. I have never felt I needed a specialty dining meal because I live in a city with excellent, even superb, dining options. Others disagree, so leave that as an option and we will all be happy. Better breakfast at an additional charge — NO.

    20. Anne
      June 7th, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

      Absolutely not! Lots of choices at the buffet as well as breakfast in the dining rom.

    21. Pat
      June 7th, 2014 @ 10:06 pm

      You have got to be kidding. Pay for breakfast? I always enjoy the room service breakfast served on my balcony; my order, at my time requested. Huge pot of coffee, sitting in my shorts, watching the shore glide by. Beats anything.
      No, I will not pay for “fancy” breafasts

    22. CHERYL
      June 11th, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

      No!! We are a captive audience at sea and would have no alternative. If you want to deviate from what is served on the buffet please do. So many hotels serve a free hot breakfast. If cruise lines are seriously considering this, I might need to re-evaluate my next vacation!

    23. Marilyn
      June 11th, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

      I would never pay for breakfast. I’m using the word “NEVER” – and I rarely use that word because it is so rarely true. I think the people who want to drink can order a drink almost anywhere on the ship, at any time of day or night. Dom Perignon, Courvoisier, whatever your poison – why pay extra for a breakfast which “includes” that, when you can order that drink with your free breakfast if you desire? Personally, I love the opportunity to sit in a specialty restaurant for breakfast when I am on the VIP list – but I wouldn’t pay for that.

    24. Kelly Watts
      June 11th, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

      This would be a deal breaker. The cruise lines are already hitting us with all kinds of “extra” charges if we want anything other than standard fare. Most recent Holland started to charge for the Caneletto Dining that had been free. No, if breakfast was an expense item then my crusing days would be OVER!

    25. Jane Barbeau
      June 11th, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

      Hell no! We have already paid for ALL of our meals when we book a cruise. I truly resent all the extra fees for what should be included in an all inclusive holiday. When it becomes pay as you go, I will not be going!

    26. Marie
      June 11th, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

      Absolutely not. It’s been a continuing pattern with cruise lines to keep after the customers to pay for anything they can to get the money for.

    27. Kenneth Bodzioch
      June 11th, 2014 @ 2:36 pm

      An integral part of the allure of cruising, at least in my case, is the inclusive nature of the fare. Unpack your bags once for the entire vacation, and only pay extra for the minimum number of add-ons are both important advantages of taking a cruise. That’s why 123go is such a big success for Celebrity – it permits even beverages to be included in the cruise fare (and possibly even gratuities, on selected sailings).

      If the trend in pricing becomes a la carte, cruising becomes less attractive to me as a vacation option. If that were my objective, I could make it happen any number of ways without ever boarding a cruise ship.

      I would not pay extra for breakfast.

    28. Linda
      June 11th, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

      Absolutely not. However, I think cruise lines waste a lot of food by serving so many alternatives. If they want to save money, quit wasting money. Some people just gorge themselves. Silly anyway because it is “free”. So cut down on how much you make available and don’t charge for everything. That is the mindset. Not what people are looking for. You did it to yourselves. So don’t charge guests for already setting the wrong precedence.

    29. PeggyMcConnell
      June 11th, 2014 @ 3:18 pm

      Defiantly wouldn’t pay for breakfast or any other meal on a cruise, we enjoy the buffet rather than the MDR more relaxed and better selections, would certainly look at other vacation options should these charges become reality I think all charges should be in the price of your cabin, I don’t want to have to budget for extras along the way this includes tipping.

    30. Bart
      June 11th, 2014 @ 3:56 pm

      I don’t believe that the cruise lines are that stupid. The food is the same anywhere on the ship. As for the coffee that is nothing more than the coffee at Starbucks versus Dennys.

    31. J. Cotter
      June 11th, 2014 @ 4:18 pm

      NEVER!!! What’s next……charging us for fresh towels every day?

    32. Errol McConnel
      June 11th, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

      Defiantly would not pay for breakfast or any other meals on a cruise and if this became reality then we would be looking at alternatives for our vacation, we always eat at the buffet more relaxed and better variety than the MDR! I think all charges should be up front (including tips) I don’t want to have to budget while relaxing on my vacation

    33. Renee
      June 11th, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

      I miss the fresh juice that Carnival used to have all the time. I am a diabetic and their drink choices are horrible
      I can get fresh grapefruit juice in the morning with room service. Their lack of fresh juice upstairs by the buffet is pitiful and pennypinching.

    34. Vicki
      June 11th, 2014 @ 4:30 pm

      Absolutely not. When. 3 meals a day aren’t included I stop cruising. I have never paid for a meal in a speciality restaurant on-board.

      Though the egg-free scrambled eggs are abhorrent at least there are many other options available on Carnival. If that were not the case and if the cruise fare excluded decent breakfasts I would do road trips.

    35. Katherine
      June 11th, 2014 @ 4:30 pm

      No…I would definitely not pay extra for an upgraded breakfast! There are plenty of items on the breakfast buffet…or if you go to the dining room, you can order eggs fixed to your liking. I don’t pay extra for any of the speciality restaurants on any ship. Why pay again for a meal that you already paid for?
      That is the best part of cruising – everything is included. I don’t want to see that change!

    36. Harriet
      June 11th, 2014 @ 4:39 pm

      No, I would not pay for breakfast on cruise!!

    37. Howard
      June 11th, 2014 @ 4:39 pm

      NO, not a chance. I would stop going on cruises if they start charging for breakfast, lunch, dinner and anything else they see fit.

    38. Deb
      June 11th, 2014 @ 4:39 pm

      No i would not pay for breakfast on board. Buffet is fine with me–I find plenty of health conscious items and I can control my own portion size. If you don’t like the scrambles eggs, get the made to order omelet or other egg choices.(eggs benedict)

    39. Bernhard Johannsen
      June 11th, 2014 @ 5:28 pm

      No I would not pay, and yes I do enjoy my breakfast, if cruise lines start charging for general breakfast then I would go as far as giving up cruising. I like the all inclusive price of cruising so hands of charging there is already enough we have to pay for now.

    40. Donna
      June 11th, 2014 @ 5:36 pm

      NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. The cruise lines have cut back enough on service and food choices. I refuse to pay for breakfast.

    41. Carol
      June 11th, 2014 @ 7:45 pm

      I would have to be VERY hungry before I would buy any breakfast for $32. I’d rather bring bagels and eat them cold…and wait for brunch!

    42. Roselle
      June 11th, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

      Not unless I chose to go to the creperie, or some other special location.

    43. debby
      June 11th, 2014 @ 9:25 pm

      Love cruising for the convenience and all the choice of dining but it seems to me that charging for meals would be the death of cruising

    44. Abdul Gani Phoplonker
      June 12th, 2014 @ 10:32 am

      Cruise every year with at least 10 friends. Already the speciality dinners are a put off; it makes one think and feel the free options are of a much lower grade. If this feeling is multiplied, cruise liners may price themselves out of the market. Charging for meals are a rip off as the price charged for the cruise includes this. NO NO NO WILL NOT CRUISE IF THIS CONTINUES..

    45. J. May
      June 12th, 2014 @ 11:40 am

      I agree. Paying for breakfast=no more cruising.

    46. Jcool
      June 12th, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

      I would not pay for breakfast. If I had to pay for breakfast I would not cruise anymore I would do a all-inclusive hotel then.

    47. Su
      June 13th, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

      absolutely NOT!!

    48. george
      June 17th, 2014 @ 5:57 pm

      Cruise lines continue to find new and “inventive” ways to relieve you of your cash. Should this ludicrous idea come to pass, you can bet my discretionary vacation dollars will be spent at all inclusive resorts and not on cruise ships where the decline in service and amenities will continue to chase customers away.

    49. Pam
      October 5th, 2014 @ 4:07 pm

      Seems like I am in the minority. I usually cruise Carnival, but was given a gift for a Mediterranean cruise on HAL. We had a hot breakfast of choice served daily on our balcony. I would pay extra to have this service on Carnival. I loved having breakfast before heading to port out on our balcony.

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