Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
IDL

Cruise line rationale for Specialty Restaurant upcharge

Recommended Posts

What is the Cruise line's rationale for Specialty Restaurant upcharges of $50 or higher per guest, per meal?  As the "base" price of a meal is already included in the cruise price the upcharge should theoretically be the difference between the meal already paid for and the value of the upgraded meal.  Also there there should be no additional tip as that too has been accounted for.  At one time the Cruise line of "defense" was the upcharge was for an additional tip (though that did not stop the practice of asking for an additional gratuity at the end of the meal anyway) though that rationale makes no sense at the $50 price level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're thinking too much. The rationale is that people are willing to (and regularly do) pay this upcharge. It's as simple as that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not fully understand.

 

Rationality is simple business: people will pay the supplement, so why charge less? This is a general rule, not only on Celebrity Cruise. Cars, food, beers, ..

 

Tip: not really: on MDR a waiter will serve much more people (in parallel, and more shifts). On specialty restaurant a waiter has less guesses, so if you do not pay more on tip, it will be worse (for a waiter) to serve in specialty restaurant, so you will have the worse waiters, but than this will be again having more people paying more on specialty restaurant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No logic other than they charge what they can get. Today on CNBC Richard Fain said that they need to offset increases in fuel costs. Cutting fuel consumption and raising costs to passengers are two ways of doing that. He said that prices are up, but so are advanced bookings. They are simply listening to the market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess to understand the cruise line rationale for the prices at the specialty restaurants  you would need to ask the person at the company that establishes the prices.

I would think that they take the costs for the staffing, food, overhead add a profit and set a price. They believe the guests are willing to pay for a upgraded meal, better service and atmosphere.  If the price too high then people won't book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Celebrity's environment is a bit different since many guests come on board with a substantial amount of OBC. Compared to a line like NCL or even RCL where you may get ~$50 in OBC directly and the TA provided amounts are much lower, if any, compared to what TA's offer on Celebrity. But ultimately they are just charging what people will pay. And considering specialty reservations aren't always easy to secure - they must be getting it right. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading the posts of someone who had purchased a dining plan on Reflection but was unable to secure reservations of anything other than 5:30 or 9 once onboard...it sounds like they must be selling specialty reservations at their high prices quite well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another "logistical" consideration is traffic control. On a Solstice Class ship, with 3300 guests, they cannot in any way, shape or form, accommodate every guest even once in a specialty restaurant on a 7 night (or even a longer) cruise. There are many, many people who refuse to spend extra on a cruise and so will not pay extra to go to a specialty restaurant. Take away the charge and .........:classic_blink: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Orator said:

No logic other than they charge what they can get. Today on CNBC Richard Fain said that they need to offset increases in fuel costs. Cutting fuel consumption and raising costs to passengers are two ways of doing that. He said that prices are up, but so are advanced bookings. They are simply listening to the market.

 Ok, if he says so....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two points, years ago when Specialties started the surcharge was for crowd control. 2nd point if anyone is paying the full price they need to do a little better homework.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Baron Barracuda said:

With beverages they make the cost of an individual drink so expensive the bev pkg looks like a bargain.  Same with dining.

BINGO!  And you get the prize :).  Once upon a time Celebrity had amazing food in the MDR.  Now, to get anything close you need to go to alternative restaurants where you pay a supplement.  Consider Murano which now costs $50 per person.  One can buy a dine package that will drop that cost to around $25 per person...and they think they are getting a bargain.  But they are still paying $50 a couple (plus tips) on top of their cruise fare.  But the customer is programmed to think that they are saving $50 per person (because they bought the package).  The psychology of marketing is fascinating and taught in every business school.

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the most obvious reason is 'because they can' and has been mentioned, I would say they did a deeper research for marketing to personality demographics. 

 

Neither my wife nor I have any desire to sit at a table for 6-10 and share conversation. We're not rude, it's just not our style. I know there are some 2 tops there, but we simply prefer smaller, less structured. Our first cruise we ate nothing but the buffet because we didn't want to deal with stranger conversation.Our last cruise was X Aqua class and we loved Blu. We also ate in some specialty restaurants. The extra cost was well worth the non anxiety filled meal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, txflood33 said:

While the most obvious reason is 'because they can' and has been mentioned, I would say they did a deeper research for marketing to personality demographics. 

 

Neither my wife nor I have any desire to sit at a table for 6-10 and share conversation. We're not rude, it's just not our style. I know there are some 2 tops there, but we simply prefer smaller, less structured. Our first cruise we ate nothing but the buffet because we didn't want to deal with stranger conversation.Our last cruise was X Aqua class and we loved Blu. We also ate in some specialty restaurants. The extra cost was well worth the non anxiety filled meal.

We always eat in the MDR and have never shared a table.  It has always been just the two of us unless we met people and we decided to get a larger table.  Why do you need a specialty restaurant to eat alone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Roland4 said:

Another "logistical" consideration is traffic control. On a Solstice Class ship, with 3300 guests, they cannot in any way, shape or form, accommodate every guest even once in a specialty restaurant on a 7 night (or even a longer) cruise. There are many, many people who refuse to spend extra on a cruise and so will not pay extra to go to a specialty restaurant. Take away the charge and .........:classic_blink: 

 

That is an interesting reason for charging.  Never having seen a speciality  close to full, it would seem they could charge a little less.  😀.

 

S class ships have 4/5 speciality restaurants plus BLU and Luminae depending on how to count the Lawn and Sushi.  With multiple seating each evening assuming free, it might be close to having everyone try at least one meal in one of the restaurants.  Not counting the restrictions of BLU or Luminae in calculation.  I think your point though is interesting to think about as to why they charge.  I think though ultimately it is for them to make more money and they will raise the prices till they reach that point of profit maximization which my guess is about where they are now (till the next round of price increases) with discounting.  I remember $20 on M class in mid 2000's.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the first X specialty restaurant we tried was Ocean Liners on one of the M-class ships.  That was many moons ago and the rationale for the upcharge ($15pp) was that it covered gratuities because the staff did not participate in the main dining room pool.  Of course, there were endless posts on CC about whether or not there even was a main dining room pool, whether the cover charge was, in fact, the gratuity and why one should or shouldn't leave an additional "tip".  Flash forward and the upcharge is now +/- $60pp and there is no rationale offered other than the fact that specialty dining is just another profit center which passengers (ourselves included) are quite willing to support.  I imagine that until such time passengers object to paying $120/couple + drinks + gratuity for a dining experience they used to enjoy in the main dining, the upcharge will continue to rise.  Just MHO.

Edited by lysolqn
no edit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Baron Barracuda said:

With beverages they make the cost of an individual drink so expensive the bev pkg looks like a bargain.  Same with dining.

 

The drinks are the same price as at any bar/restaurant in a big city.  You want to see expensive, book and NCL cruise. Thier prices are on par with airports and sporting arenas.

 

I bet a fairly high percentage don't pay the full price. I've never paid full price and we usually do at least 2 specialties per criuse. The dining package also nets the price down for those purchasing it. Still expensive considering you've already paid for a meal in the MDR.  But as long as we keep paying they will keep charging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously this is a profit center for the cruise lines that has no direct correlation to their incremental cost of providing the meal. To the extent the profit from this and other ancillary revenue sources keeps the general cruise price reasonable it is what it is. 

 

I also crack up when cruise line use the expression that all their varies and sundry upcharges are "nominal;"- obviously that term is very subjective. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the specialties because I don’t care to eat every meal in a banquet hall.  Not really sure why anyone cares what others are paying...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, PTC DAWG said:

I like the specialties because I don’t care to eat every meal in a banquet hall.  Not really sure why anyone cares what others are paying...

 

No concern on what anyone chooses to spend, just what I spend.  I normally travel Aqua Class so already paying a premium via Blu and have therefor I don't have a compelling reason to utilize the Specialty restaurants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, IDL said:

 

No concern on what anyone chooses to spend, just what I spend.  I normally travel Aqua Class so already paying a premium via Blu and have therefor I don't have a compelling reason to utilize the Specialty restaurants.

Knowing that, I would think you totally understand someone wanting to pay a little extra for a different experience.  

 

Anyways, choices are good.  Sail on.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...