Cruise ship room service is just the kind of luxury that we crave when we cruise, even when it comes with a fee. It even makes early morning excursions possible some days and may be the only way to manage your hangry cruise mates. And who doesn't need an afternoon pick-me-up of nachos or cookies?
In case you’re wondering if cruise room service fees mean you don’t need to tip, the answer is no. Some lines do include a standard gratuity on room service orders, which would let you off the tip-on-arrival hook.
We've scoured the policies and menus for the details on room service fees and the extra charges of the major cruise lines to help you avoid surprises.
Carnival does not charge a room service fee. The 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. breakfast menu includes complimentary continental choices and a la carte items, with prices in the $5 and $6 per item range. The 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. menu is all a la carte pricing. An 18% gratuity is added to all orders (other than strictly continental breakfast).
Pizza can be ordered in the Carnival Hub app to be delivered anywhere on the ship for a $5 delivery fee. Gotta love technology when it brings food to your poolside lounger, right?
Celebrity charges most guests a $9.95 room service fee on everything other continental breakfast. Menu cards are available to place your orders the night before. Other than the free breakfast items, an 18% gratuity is added to the charge.
Captains Club members at the Zenith level, and suite guests in The Retreat are not charged the $9.95 fee.
Cunard includes room service within the cost of the cruise fare. For breakfast, orders need to be placed the night before. For all other orders, such as pizza and burgers, orders can be made as and when desired. Grills guests can also order from the full Princess Grill or Queens Grill menu.
There isn't a room service fee on Disney cruises, but some snacks, like M&Ms, popcorn and peanuts have upcharges, as do wine, beer and soft drinks. There are specially priced beverage packages among the room service offerings -- think six-packs of soda or beer. The free room service menu includes pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches and even grilled salmon.
Holland America doesn't charge a room service delivery fee and has a wide-ranging room service menu, featuring a combination of complimentary basic choices and charged items. Specialty breakfast items like steak and eggs or smoked salmon benedict incur a fee; later in the day, specialty restaurant options are available for an extra charge.
Items include bento boxes from A Taste of Tamarind or lobster from the Pinnacle Grill for $20, both delivered between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
The late-night complimentary menu is available from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. and pares down the list of choices to eight options for snacks and sweets, but burgers from Dive In are available around the clock for $4.95. Holland America's room service is offered during breakfast hours on disembarkation day -- a unique standout among the mainstream cruise lines.
MSC packages "experiences" that encompass the type and location of cabin you will occupy and the range of services that will be included in your cruise fare. A room service delivery fee of $3.50 per order is added for the lowest-priced Bella Experience and items ordered from the room service menu are priced at $3 for one item or $5 for two.
Sailing under the Fantastica or Aurea Experience eliminates the $3.50 fee, but the item charges remain the same as for Bella. Cruisers staying in MSC Yacht Club suites incur no fee for room service and have in-suite mini-bars, eliminating the need for room service for their favorite beverages.
Norwegian adds a $9.95 room service fee to all orders other than continental breakfast and morning coffee. The breakfast menu includes omelets and French toast under the heading of "Specialty Selections" for which the $9.95 fee applies. A gratuity of 20% applies to all room service orders other than those that are strictly continental breakfast.
The all-day menu is available from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and has an extensive selection, ranging from salads to grilled salmon. There are four choices of pizza along with burgers, hot dogs and desserts. Passengers staying in The Haven do not incur the service charge.
There is no room service fee on Princess Cruises. The menu is divided between complimentary choices and those with upcharges, primarily snacks and beverages. Suite passengers have the added benefit of ordering room service from the Main Dining Room menu during its operating hours.
Princess also offers a paid option called Ultimate Balcony Dining, involving a surf and turf dinner menu or a Champagne breakfast menu, both with flowers for the table and course-by-course service on your balcony.
Continental breakfast and breakfast beverages ordered for room service are complimentary on Royal Caribbean from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. All other room service orders incur a $7.95 fee plus 18% gratuity (which eliminates fumbling at the door for tip money).
There are hot menu items like fried eggs or pancakes on the breakfast menu that incur the fee, as does the complete all-day menu, which is from 11 a.m. to 6 a.m.
The general menu lets you refuel with everything from burgers and pizza to chicken fettuccini alfredo. Finish up with warm chocolate chip cookies or a slice of cheesecake. Cruisers sailing in Grand Suites and above will have the fee waived.
Virgin Voyages does room service like it does everything else -- with pizazz. The fee for delivery of the line’s trendy food is $5.00, for which you can order all you and your cabin mates care to eat. There are a few menu items that come with an additional charge, such as specialty coffees and alcohol. The fee is waived if your charged items are more than $5.00 and is also waived for guests in Rock Star Suites.
The menu includes amazing items like Nutella-stuffed French toast, as well as basics like pastries and Rice Krispies. The snack menu will make you want to hang out in your room longer than you usually would just to try the chocolate covered pretzels or the red velvet cookie cake.
It has probably become apparent by now that, in general, the more you pay for your stateroom, the less likely you are to incur a room service fee. That holds true among the luxury cruise lines, such as Crystal, Regent, Seabourn and Silversea, and upscale lines like Viking, Azamara, Oceania and Windstar, none of which charges a separate fee for room service.
Luxury lines typically make almost anything a passenger desires appear magically in the hands of a butler. Want buttered popcorn with your afternoon movie? Not a problem. Cheese plate every afternoon at 3 p.m.? Sure.
All luxury lines offer extensive room service menus, as well as the option to order from the main dining room menu during its hours of operation. You may even request course-by-course service.