(5:45 p.m. EDT) -- The at-sea price-per-swallow index has increased again. Effective September 1, Celebrity Cruises is raising the fees for several specialty restaurants by roughly 15 to 33 percent, depending on venue.
Member boogs first reported on the impending surcharge hikes, Celebrity's second such increase in the past 20 months, on the Cruise Critic message boards.
Here's the new deal for dining:
Passengers making dining reservations before September 1 will pay the current rates. Surcharges will remain the same for the line's other specialty venues, including Tuscan Grille (Italian steakhouse), Silk Harvest (Asian) and Bistro on 5 (creperia). The fees for Tuscan Grille, Murano and Silk Harvest were all raised in 2010.
So why the hikes? Spokeswoman Elizabeth Jakeway told us world food prices, which have been rising for some time, certainly played a role. And Celebrity isn't the only line increasing dining fees. Sister cruise line Royal Caribbean recently rolled out its own price hikes, upping the charges at its signature steakhouse by $5 and adopting a new "surcharge plus a la carte" price model for a pair of casual venues. NCL recently adopted a late-night room service charge of $3.95 for orders placed between midnight and 5 a.m.
--by Dan Askin, News Editor