July 26, 2001
Passengers opting to dine in Carnival Spirit’s Nouveau Supper Club – a steak-house style eatery featuring nine different starters and salads, prime aged beef and Joe’s stone crab claws – will now have to pay $20 per person, a $5 increase from the original reservation fee. Why the increase? Since the ship’s debut in late April, response to the supper club has been outstanding and, according to the cruise line, an increase in price is necessary to keep pace with demand. The new fee is sure to cause some waves among cruisers – especially in the wake of Celebrity Infinity’s reversal of the thalassotherapy pool charge – but Carnival maintains that the price, which includes gratuity, is a great value. The supper club does feature such delectable items as Grilled Lamb Chops, Broiled South African Lobster Tail and New England Crab Cakes, plus an extensive wine list hand-selected by chefs to match the cuisine. Carnival Spirit joins other $20-plusers, such as Celebrity’s Millennium and Infinity and CostaAtlantica. Ironically, Carnival sibling Holland America is one of the few whose swanky alternative restaurants, on board ships like Rotterdam and Amsterdam, levy no extra service charge at all. Others, like Crystal’s Harmony and Symphony, keep service fees at their Italian, Japanese and Asian boutique restaurants on the low, under-$10 side of the scale. The service fees simply pay for, well, service -- and there typically is no extra charge for food items -- but patrons still pay extra for other pricey items such as wine and liquor.