(3:47 p.m. EDT) -- Royal Caribbean spent the month of April introducing two new dining packages, which are now available to booked cruisers for purchase. The new Unlimited Dining Package and Chops Plus 1 Package are essentially updated versions of the line's previous dining packages, with a wider variety of inclusions and more flexibility, but also higher price tags.
Below is a breakdown of each new package:
Unlimited Dining Package
Through the new Unlimited Dining Package, which replaced the Ultimate Dining Package on April 12, passengers can continue to dine at as many specialty restaurants as they'd like (depending on availability). What's new is the addition of Playmakers Sports Bar and the Bamboo Room to the list of included restaurants, as well as the fact that passengers can now dine in the same restaurant more than once; the previous package allowed for only one reservation in each restaurant.
Package holders who wish to dine in an a la carte restaurant (versus one with a fixed surcharge), will receive a $35 per-person credit. For example, if a passenger dines at Playmakers for lunch and Izumi for dinner, they will be able to use the $35 credit toward each.
Other perks of the new package, carried over from the previous one, include a 40 percent discount on bottles of wine less than $100, and 20 percent off bottles more than $100, that are bought while dining in a specialty restaurant. Lunch on sea days also is still covered under the new package.
Unlimited Dining Package prices will range from $79 to $139 per person, per cruise, depending on the ship and itinerary. Passengers who booked the Ultimate Dining Package before the changes went into effect will now receive the benefits of the Unlimited Dining Package. Exclusions from the package are the Chef's Table, Vintages wine bar and activities such as cupcake decorating. (however, package holders will receive a 20 percent discount on these dining experiences).
Chops Plus 1
Royal Caribbean also rolled out another new package -- Chops Plus 1 -- on April 23; it replaces the line's previous BOGO 2 Night Dining Package.
The Chops Plus 1 package includes dinner at the line's signature steakhouse, Chops Grille, as well as one other specialty restaurant. One dinner must be used within the first two nights of the sailing, while the other can be redeemed any other day. The previous package required passengers to use both dinners on the first two nights. Another change, as noted by Cruise Critic members on the Royal Caribbean forums, is that passengers are now able to choose their second restaurant; under the previous package, these were assigned.
Additionally, package holders will receive a $35 credit that can be used toward an a la carte restaurant. (Izumi Hibachi and the Chef's Table are excluded.)
Chops Plus 1 prices range from $59 to $75 per person and vary by ship and itinerary. Those who previously purchased the BOGO package will use it under those rules and restrictions.