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View Poll Results: What's your take on the $14.95 steak?
I'm OK with it ... as long as they keep a free steak on the menu, too. 460 20.67%
It's a nice alternative for beef eaters, and I'd like to try it. 64 2.88%
I like that they're offering choice, even though I would pass. 93 4.18%
Dining room menus should not include for-fee items, period. 1,464 65.80%
It's nickel and diming, but hey -- we all have to make money somehow. 50 2.25%
It may be organic, but it's still a strip steak. I'm not sure it's worth $14.95! 62 2.79%
Something else, which I'll post. 32 1.44%
Voters: 2225. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 02:13 PM
melissa@cruisecritic melissa@cruisecritic is offline
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Default What's your take on the $14.95 steak?

Judging by the 40+ page thread on this forum, Royal Caribbean's introduction of a for-fee steak in the main dining room on two of its ships hasn't gone unnoticed!

Turns out the line is currently testing a 10-ounce corn-fed Black Angus New York strip steak onboard Freedom of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas -- for an extra cost of $14.95 per person. (For more details, check out our news coverage.)

So what do you think? Do you appreciate having more meat entrees to choose from in the main dining room? Should expensive, specialty cuts be kept in the alternative eateries only? Is this just a way to drum up dollars during tough economic times? Vote in our poll -- and be sure to post your opinion!
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Last edited by melissa@cruisecritic; September 23rd, 2008 at 02:15 PM.
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  #2  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 02:24 PM
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I voted there shouldn´t be any pay for items on the DR menu.

I could live with it if it would just be an additional choice and no other choices like the free steak are eliminated for it.

However in general I say live the extra charges to specialty restaurants and keep the DR free of pay itmes.
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  #3  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 02:27 PM
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I am personnaly against the $14.95 steak and any other food charges on-board including the speciality restaurants. I expect to get good quality food in with the price I pay for the cruise.
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  #4  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 02:34 PM
mecruiselongtime mecruiselongtime is offline
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As a vegetarian, I don't appreciate the extra meat entrees.

However the price is fine with me, as it will maybe encourage people to select another item from the menu!
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  #5  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 02:46 PM
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ENOUGH WITH SURCHARGES !!!!

Cruising is expensive enough not to add extra costs to dinner
Please do not create "haves"and Have-nots "at dinner .
Those who want to pay extra need to go to Alternative dining
STOP NICKEL AND DIMING !!!
Leave steak dinner alone ...my carnivorous son loves the regular sirloin

I wish cruise lines would stop "selling "extras ...just give them to us
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  #6  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 02:47 PM
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I wouldnt pay for the Steak...I want the free Sirloin Steak to stay, we dont like the NY Strip Steak. We dont eat fish or vegs so please RCCL leave the free Sirloin on the menu.
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  #7  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 02:48 PM
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I think it is pretty tacky.

Nice to offer the organic beef, but there must be a better way to do it. Any way you look at it, unless it is Kobe beef I don't think it is going to cost $14.95 or (according to one poster )- $13.00 + tip more for the cruise line to serve a 10 oz piece of beef.
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  #8  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 02:52 PM
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I don't have an issue with it as long as they leave the alternative selections alone.
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  #9  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 02:55 PM
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I personally don't mind the FREE steak that's currently on the menu. I am with another poster in that I don't eat fish. PLEASE LEAVE THE FREE SIRLOIN ON THE MENUS!!! If I wanted to have a "better" cut of meat, I'd go to the specialty restaraunt.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 02:58 PM
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My fear is where is this leading? What's next that will incur a fee in the regular dining room? I think the surcharges should be left for the specialty restaurants. If someone wants to pay extra and eat there, then they can. Personally, I'd rather pay $25 and experience the entire specialty restaurant menu and ambiance than $15 for just a steak. The difference of $10 is more than worth it for me to skip the dining room and go to the specialty restaurant if I wanted a great steak.
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  #11  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 02:59 PM
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Are we going to be able to give our opinion without being called names on this thread

I'm fine with the additional choice and would not have a problem paying for a quality steak.

###
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  #12  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:00 PM
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Although I understand RCL needs to find ways to cut costs and increase sales, I do not like the route of charging for select dishes in the main dining room. It cheapens the experience of dining there and leaves the impression that if you don't pay up you are merely receiving average food. I am fine with the concept of specialty restaurants, but not with specialty fee items in the main dining room. If this becomes widespread on Royal Caribbean it would cause me to hesitate to sail with them. One of the pleasures of cruising is ordering whatever you want off the menu and not worrying about the cost.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:01 PM
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We were on the Freedom of the Seas last week (9/14-21) and the "free" sirloin was not on the menu any night. On multiple nights, the only steak on the menu was the $14.95 steak. As a platinum Crown and Anchor member, it was very disappointing and not what I expect from Royal Caribbean. The information provided in the news story by Lysolqn was absolutely correct.
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  #14  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygirl3 View Post
My fear is where is this leading? What's next that will incur a fee in the regular dining room? I think the surcharges should be left for the specialty restaurants. If someone wants to pay extra and eat there, then they can. Personally, I'd rather pay $25 and experience the entire specialty restaurant menu and ambiance than $15 for just a steak. The difference of $10 is more than worth it for me to skip the dining room and go to the specialty restaurant if I wanted a great steak.

I agree with you. Where is this leading? Next thing you know they'll be charging extra for French Fries . If they want to serve a special steak (or whatever) then they should do it in one of the specialty restaurants and leave the dinning room menu alone.

I also agree with the people that don't eat SeaFood, both of my boys (age 13) only order steak. Does this mean that I'll have to pay an extra $30 per meal or have both boys mad because they can't get their steaks. Or, worse, have to leave them home????

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  #15  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:13 PM
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With the stock market in the toilet, oil on the rise again, jobs in decline RCI should be worried about filling their ships especially the new one then creating new ways to nickle & dime us.

Last edited by dutchess43; September 23rd, 2008 at 03:15 PM.
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  #16  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:13 PM
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Having read the news story about the steak charge... I now see that RC spokespeople are claiming this steak is organic... this, to me, is the crux of the argument that has been missing...

Offering an organic alternative for an extra charge is reasonable to me and those who are into organic meat are used to paying extra for it anyway... those who aren't used to eating organic meat though, will find that the taste profile is different...

What I see is RC leaning towards a marketing strategy that promotes health... as in, the alternative menu is now called the Vitality Menu... but you'll pay for it... just like you do on land...
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  #17  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:24 PM
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I agree, Amybear, but why didn't they advertise it as an "organic alternative" rather than putting it on the menu as a "Chops steak"? According to the article, Chops doesn't even serve organic meat. It's all very odd.
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  #18  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:31 PM
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I voted with the majority - that for-fee items do not belong in the dining room at all.

I actually struggled over this decision, because in reality I don't have a problem with charging extra for this steak, IF in fact it really is the same high-quality cut of meat that they serve in Chops. Given the proliferation in recent years of high-end steakhouse restaurants, serving "designer" cuts of beef (Kobe, etc.), it's a dining trend, and a valid one, to offer varying cuts of steak at ever higher prices.

The problem I have is that it's setting a precedent. If they are able to get away with charging for one thing in the main dining room, what's to stop them from adding a whole list of for-fee items on the menu beyond just this steak? I agree with all the other posters in this (and other) threads who see this as a slippery slope that I just don't want to see them heading down. I just don't trust them to do the right thing - which would be, limit it to just this steak; don't eliminate any other steak offerings; don't reduce the quality of the free items, etc.

So, despite the fact that I think it's okay to offer JUST this for-fee steak on the menu, here's why I voted against it:

1. It's a slippery slope - if they do it with this one item, I believe they will start doing it with other items.

2. They might eliminate NON-fee steak items (and it sounds like this has already happened, at least in some cases).

3. Even if they keep free steak on the menu, I'm concerned the quality would drop, in an effort to motivate more people to pay for the upsell.

4. If they start adding OTHER for-fee items, the quality of EVERYTHING might go down, as they try to motiave more and more people to pay for the upsell items.
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Last edited by Leejnd4; September 23rd, 2008 at 03:34 PM.
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  #19  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutchess43 View Post
With the stock market in the toilet, oil on the rise again, jobs in decline RCI should be worried about filling their ships especially the new one then creating new ways to nickle & dime us.
The rising cost of oil and torubles with the economy are the very reason that Royal Caribbean needs to find new ways to nickle and dime us. I just don't think that charging extras for certain foods in the main dining room is the way to go. Royal Caribbean is not having difficulty filling their ships, they are however experiencing decreased profits due to much higher expenses (mainly because of oil) as well as people spending less money once on board. They have actively been implementing cost cutting strategies (i.e. adjusting itinineraries to allow the ships to sail at a slower pace and therefore burn less fuel) as well as revenue increasing measures. In general I think that they have been doing a fairly good job doing this extremely unpleasant task, but I am keeping my fingers crossed they decide to not charge extra money for food in the main dining room.
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  #20  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:33 PM
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I would prefer to see a no-surcharge steak on the dining room menu, and leave the specialty steak to the specialty restaurants.
I can see that having other steaks on the no-surcharge menu in the dining room could create issues.... how would you be sure you were getting the steak that you paid for? I personally don't know the difference between a strip steak and a sirloin....
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