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Cunard Introduces A La Carte Pricing For Diners

July 30, 2010
(9 a.m. EDT) -- Cunard executives have revealed today that the Verandah Grill on the new Queen Elizabeth will offer a la carte pricing -- a first for the line.

The Verandah Grill is a revival of what was once the most fashionable restaurant at sea on Queen Elizabeth's early predecessors, R.M.S. Queen Elizabeth and R.M.S. Queen Mary, where royalty, business magnates and movie stars would dine for a supplement of one British pound on transatlantic crossings in the 1940's and 1950's.

The new version of the restaurant, which will offer classic and contemporary French cuisine, will instead charge by the plate. Starters will cost $6 or $7, main courses $16 to $18 and desserts $6 to $7 -- so, hardly breaking the bank, given that the equivalent space on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, the Todd English restaurant, costs $20 per person for lunch or $30 for dinner. This Verandah Grill pricing also includes service; diners are not expected to tip.

More and more cruise lines nowadays are introducing a la carte pricing. MSC Cruises has it in the smarter restaurants onboard, while NCL has individual pricing in the noodle bar on Norwegian Epic. Even budget line Island Cruises, which was absorbed by Thomson Cruises, used to feature a la carte pricing in its waiter-service restaurant.

Stay tuned as more details about Queen Elizabeth are unveiled!

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--by Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor

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