Royal Caribbean CEO Addresses Pizza Fee Controversy

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In the wake of tremendous outrage over the prospect of a charge for Sorrento’s pizza, Royal Caribbean International president and CEO Michael Bayley has confirmed that the cruise line will not be charging for pizza.

The announcement follows a piping hot and spicy-as-pepperoni debate after recent post-cruise guest surveys mentioned the possibility of a pizza fee.

No Charge for Pizza on Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean International has spoken out about the pay-for-pizza debate raging in the cruise community. Cruise line president and CEO Michael Bayley confirmed on social media that there will be no charge forthcoming for Sorrento’s pizza.

“A couple of weeks ago we conducted one of frequent small group guest surveys. As usual we asked questions on this and that, including customer thoughts on charges for pizza,” Bayley explained. “To calm all our pizza lovers, don’t worry, we are not charging for pizza.”

Bayley also shared the general survey results for the pizza questions. Overall, 80% of guests responding to the survey were opposed complete to the idea of charging for pizza at all, while 20% of guests noted that they would still enjoy pizza with a nominal fee.

Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley
Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley

A surprising 25% of guests indicated that they would consider other cruise lines if Royal Caribbean were to start charging for pizza.

The survey did not give any indication of what sorts of fees could be considered (per cruise, per slice, per whole pie), nor what rate those fees might be if they were ever to be implemented. At this point and with such an overwhelming negative response to the idea of a fee, the details are largely irrelevant.

No cruise line charges for pizza at this time, though some cruise lines do have fees for pizza that may be ordered through room service or otherwise delivered to guests. When picked up at casual dining venues, pizza is always free.

Pizza Debate Rages On

The post-cruise survey was revealed earlier this month and sparked a great deal of debate about the quality of onboard pizza, extra charges for dining, and nickel-and-diming cruise passengers.

Opinions are as hot as a wood-fired oven about the quality of Sorrento’s pizza, which is offered as crispy thin crust in several flavors, including cheese, pepperoni, Margherita, and daily specialties such as “Caribbean Dream” or “Carnivore” slices.

Some guests enjoy the casual free fare, and it is especially popular with younger cruisers as well as offering a great option to satisfy late-night munchies.

Other travelers are not as enthusiastic about the pizza itself, but rather vehement on rejecting the idea of a charge for what has traditionally been available for free.

Other options discussed by cruise and pizza fans alike are the idea of using fees to help mitigate food waste, or else charging a fee for more personalized pizzas or a greater range of topping choices.

Royal Caribbean Pizza Venue
Royal Caribbean Pizza Venue (Photo Copyright: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

Many cruise guests are distressed by the idea of traditionally free items getting added fees, whether it is for a slice of pizza, a burger on the lido deck, a round of miniature golf, or attending a show in the main theater.

Read Also: Top 8 Cruise Trends Travelers Should Be Worried About

While small fees may not seem significant in and of themselves, such charges could add up dramatically over the course of a vacation and detract from the value of a cruise.

This debate follows the addition of main dining room fees for multiple entrees, increasing the prices at specialty restaurants, and the overall dramatic increases in cruise prices, which are slicing into travelers’ budgets with far more drama than a slice of pizza.

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