July 7, 2011
In coming months, the line will begin charging $3.95 per room service order delivered between midnight and 5 a.m. The new policy will be rolled out fleetwide in July for the line's eight ships sailing from U.S. ports and in August for its two Europe-based vessels, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Jade.
NCL spokeswoman AnneMarie Mathews tells Cruise Critic that the charge is being instituted in order to cut down on food waste, which she said was more of an issue during the early a.m. hours. Passengers with late-night cravings will still be able to get their fix without any added fees, provided they're alert enough to leave the cabin. The line's signature 24-hour diner-style restaurant (O'Sheehan's on Norwegian Epic, Blue Lagoon on NCL's other ships) will remain surcharge-free.
Cruise Critic readers first noticed the coming fee on Norwegian's Web site. A "Freestyle Dining Guide" dated May 19 mentioned the surcharge -- but not the amount.
If NCL's new late-night surcharge seems familiar, that's because Royal Caribbean instituted a nearly identical fee 2.5 years ago. At the time, RCI's fee sparked vigorous debate on the Cruise Critic message boards about the extra costs of cruising.
In other food-related news, NCL also announced that it would be rolling out 24-hour pizza delivery fleetwide. The for-fee dining option -- $5 for a 16-inch pie (cheese, pepperoni, veggie) delivered anywhere on the ship -- debuted on NCL's Norwegian Epic. One note: Passengers who order pizza (or beverages) between midnight and 5 a.m. will not be charged the late-night service fee in addition to the $5.
--by Dan Askin, News Editor