Royal Caribbean Comments on Late-Night Room Service Fee

January 5, 2009

Royal Caribbean has shed some light on its new late-night room service fee that was the talk of the Cruise Critic Message Boards last week. The $3.95 surcharge will be for food items ordered --not delivered -- between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m., and will be rolled out on a ship-by-ship basis between January 13 and 23. According to spokesperson Harrison Liu, the charge is intended to minimize food waste onboard; Royal Caribbean definitely wants to keep its in-room dining service as yet another meal option for passengers.

The surcharge will be levied per order to any order from the "Light Snacks" in-room dining menu, made between the stated late-night hours (with a five-minute grace period to account for differences in clocks and watches). Beverage-only orders will be exempt from the surcharge. Room service will be complimentary between 5 a.m. and midnight, including all in-room breakfasts served between 7 - 10 a.m. regardless of when you place the order. So feel free to hang the room-service tag outside your door at 1 a.m. -- your morning eggs and toast will not cost you a penny.

Of the fee, $1.50 will go to the staff as a gratuity, with the remaining $2.45 going into Royal Caribbean's coffers. If you typically tip your room service delivery-person more than that, you are encouraged to add an additional gratuity when you sign the receipt for your food order -- no need for cash.

If you get the munchies past midnight, but don't want to pay the $3.95 fee, Royal Caribbean is making sure all of its ships will have food available 24 hours a day. On Freedom- and Voyager-class ships, the Café Promenade is open 24/7, and serves cookies and finger sandwiches for free. On ships without a Royal Promenade, the opening hours of either the Solarium Café or Sorrento's Pizza will be extended, so food will be served between midnight and 5 a.m.

Would you pay $3.95 for room service, or are you willing to search for food elsewhere on the ship? Tell us your opinion.

--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor

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