Following a trend of small price hikes and more onboard fees, Norwegian Cruise Line appears to be eliminating the free continental breakfast option from their room service menu, adding a $4.95 (USD) service fee for that menu offering. Guests onboard have confirmed the new fee, though it does not yet appear to be fleet-wide.
New Charge for Room Service Breakfast
Guests onboard Norwegian Cruise Line ships have begun to confirm a new $4.95 service fee for continental breakfast room service. While many cruise lines have rolled out room service fees in recent years, classic continental breakfast offerings have typically remained free of charge.
The continental breakfast menu onboard Norwegian Cruise Line ships includes a selection of fruit, pastries, yogurt, cold cereal, and various beverages, including coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milk, and juice. Several specialty selections are also available, including omelets and French toast.
Guests can pre-order breakfast via a door hanger menu, including selecting the preferred time in 30-minute intervals for breakfast to be delivered. Now, that paper menu also notes that “A $4.95 room service fee will apply.” Previously, there was no charge for the breakfast menu.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s online frequently asked questions (FAQ) does state that “Morning coffee, continental breakfast and orders placed by guests sailing in The Haven will not attract a charge,” but that “Prices are subject to change.”
The fee cited in the FAQ is up to $9.95, plus a 20% gratuity and beverage service charge for non-complimentary drinks and special occasion items.
This discrepancy seems to indicate that the new service fee for a room service continental breakfast may not yet be applied fleet-wide, or it is possible the charge is only being tested on select ships for the time being to gauge guest reaction and what affect the fee may have on room service overall.
Food-Related Changes in the Cruise Industry
This new fee is not too surprising, considering many recent changes to room service and other menu offerings across most major cruise brands.
In early September, Carnival Cruise Line updated its room service menu and removed some complimentary items, citing the need to address food waste issues. The continental breakfast menu, however, remains complimentary.
Both Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Cruise Line have adapted their main dining room policies with some surcharges based on the number of entrees ordered.
In recent years, many cruise lines have instituted some type of fee for room service, either a “service fee” that is typically a flat fee for each order, or else a-la-carte pricing for different menu items.
When there are charges for room service, an additional gratuity charge may also be automatically added to each order.
Enjoying Breakfast Onboard
Many cruise travelers enjoy taking advantage of breakfast room service to have a slower, more relaxed start to the day, perhaps enjoying a cup of coffee on their balcony or just gently waking up after a late night of production shows, karaoke, game shows, and other onboard fun.
Scheduling a room service breakfast is also a great way to avoid crowds in the main dining room or at the breakfast buffet, and many parents with young children find it easier to get the day started with breakfast in their cabins.
Yet this new charge is one more fee guests may need to budget for. While it does not appear that each individual menu item will have a separate charge for Norwegian Cruise Line, even one-per-order fees do add up.
Guests can still enjoy a completely free breakfast in each ship’s complimentary dining areas, however, including the all-you-can-eat buffet as well as main dining restaurants.