May 6, 2015
<img id="cruise-line-photos-main-photo" src="//images.r.cruisecritic.com/cruise-lines/norwegiancruiseline.jpg" height-"200" width="300" align="right" alt="Norwegian Cruise Line" title="Norwegian Cruise Line">
(4:20 p.m. EDT) -- Norwegian Cruise Line has banned "takeaway" food from its ship restaurants, main dining room and buffet areas.
In other words, if you want to bring food to someone in your cabin or bring your dessert back to your room to enjoy later, you won't be able to do so.
The new policy was confirmed in a statement by Vanessa Picariello, senior director of public relations for Norwegian. The line also posted it on the Cruise Critic message boards.
"For our guests' well-being and to maintain a beautiful clean environment for all of our guests to enjoy, we ask that they enjoy their meals while dining at one of our many restaurants."
It's an unusual policy within the cruise industry, which has generally allowed passengers to not only carry drinks from bar to room, but also to bring plates of food to their cabins. Passengers will still be able to eat in the outdoor dining areas.
Passengers are not allowed to carry full plates of food around the ship, which too frequently had led to food spills, dirty plates and food waste in corridors, negatively affecting the passenger experience, Picariello said.The "takeaway" rule has prompted a rush of comments on the Cruise Critic Norwegian board, from both supporters and opponents.
"No one in their right mind would take a 'doggy bag' back to the cabin after a meal in a specialty restaurant," says user zqvol. "Hopefully this is true and enforcement is easy -- don't have anything to put the leftovers in. You want to haul a dirty plate around the ship like a clown -- have at it."
Other members are not as convinced. "If it is a 'heath & safety' issue then you would of heard it from national TV, etc. And this would affect all cruise lines and not just NCL," says SAILPRO.
Member Wendy&Grumpy questions the timing. "Because if it was truly about 'a beautiful clean environment for all of our guests to enjoy' it would have been done long ago, rather than coinciding with a $7.95 charge for room service."
Trevor Fountain sums up the debate by saying, "I try to stick to the rules and if I don't like them I take my future business elsewhere."
Also key to the discussion: How the line will enforce the policy. "Guests will be asked to enjoy their meal in the restaurant," Picariello said.
Norwegian recently rolled out a $7.95 fleetwide service charge for room service orders, expanded its room service menus, amended its pizza delivery program and reduced many specialty dining prices by a nickel. It also waived the cover charge for 12 of the line's Asian restaurants. Coffee and continental breakfast items can still be ordered from room service without incurring a charge.
--Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor