August 14, 2001
Holland America, one of the last holdouts in levying service surcharges for dining in alternative restaurants, has launched a test program: passengers who dine at Zaandam’s Marco Polo, will, through August, pay $10 apiece. The cruise line will evaluate the program at month’s end and decide whether to spread it to other ships in the fleet with alternative eateries (such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam)...or not. So far, a spokesman says that Zaandam passengers have not robustly objected to paying the new service charge.
Beyond Holland America, Renaissance is the only big-ship (or, rather, medium-to-big-ship) line that doesn’t charge a fee for eating in its boutique restaurants. Otherwise, a’la carte service fees range from Crystal’s low of $6 to Celebrity’s $25 high.