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jas1178

Sister Line testing charges for 2nd entree in MDR

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Posted (edited)

After our next 7 Day cruise to Alaska, I will be 8 days away from turning Platinum. That said, if they implement this, I might be done with Carnival. My typical go-to order in the MDR is 4 shrimp cocktails 2 flat iron steaks(sometime 3 if I really hungry) . The exception to this elegant night went lobster/prime rib is served.  Lobster is obviously my favorite and I'll order 3 or 4 in a setting. When they dropped Lobster from 5-day cruises, I decided to only go on 7-day or longer. 

 

Before anyone said "that's too much food", keep in mind on  my last cruise(14 day re-positioning on the Carnival Breeze), I actually lost 10 pounds. I don't usually eat junk like  pizza, burgers, ice cream and most stuff on the buffet. Its not that I'm trying to lose weight its just want I like and it just happens to be similar to a low crab diet.

 

In my opinion the excuse about "reducing waste" is a sham in itself. If you have ever done the Behind The Fun excursion(I highly recommend it), you lean that any uneaten food is processed on-board and released into the ocean that has been proven benefit marine wildlife. Carnival has even touted in the past that because of this "no food is ever wasted".  While, I know we are talking about their sister line I'm sure they have the same practices.

 

While I know I am in the minority, this would probably make me change cruise lines. After all they already took away the live bands at shows, chocolate mints, twice a say cabin servicing ,table cloths, free room service, and tv channels. I would say this would be the last straw but they even tried taking those away, thankfully you can still request one.   

Edited by wo5m

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Next rumor to circulate on cruise critic -

 

The cruiseline will weigh your plates of food at the buffet and charge you by the ounce... This under the guise of controlling food waste in the Lido and trying to be ecologically responsible.

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While I can’t eat 2 entree’s myself (many times I order 2 appetizers though) my hubby (a relatively small man) almost always orders, and eats 2.  Not having this option ( or having to pay extra) would definitely ruin cruising for him.... 😕

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15 hours ago, midwestman said:

Yes, I'd think that this could be a change that comes to all cruise lines, especially the Carnival family, if it is considered a "success."  I think we all know that this change is not only for the purpose of "decreasing food wastage," which is a marketing camouflage for its actual purpose.   Clearly, the unstated but primary concern is cutting costs.

 

15 hours ago, Roz said:

How about increasing revenue?

 

Roz

Isn't that the same thing? You can increase revenue by either cutting costs or raising prices and this move is a combination of the two. By charging a surcharge they are influencing folks to not order a second plate (cutting costs) and if they do then they pay the surcharge (increasing revenue). I doubt that they would sell enough second plates to make that much money so it would appear that cutting costs is the primary target.

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12 hours ago, wo5m said:

After our next 7 Day cruise to Alaska, I will be 8 days away from turning Platinum. That said, if they implement this, I might be done with Carnival. My typical go-to order in the MDR is 4 shrimp cocktails 2 flat iron steaks(sometime 3 if I really hungry) . The exception to this elegant night went lobster/prime rib is served.  Lobster is obviously my favorite and I'll order 3 or 4 in a setting. When they dropped Lobster from 5-day cruises, I decided to only go on 7-day or longer. 

 

Before anyone said "that's too much food", keep in mind on  my last cruise(14 day re-positioning on the Carnival Breeze), I actually lost 10 pounds. I don't usually eat junk like  pizza, burgers, ice cream and most stuff on the buffet. Its not that I'm trying to lose weight its just want I like and it just happens to be similar to a low crab diet.

 

In my opinion the excuse about "reducing waste" is a sham in itself. If you have ever done the Behind The Fun excursion(I highly recommend it), you lean that any uneaten food is processed on-board and released into the ocean that has been proven benefit marine wildlife. Carnival has even touted in the past that because of this "no food is ever wasted".  While, I know we are talking about their sister line I'm sure they have the same practices.

 

While I know I am in the minority, this would probably make me change cruise lines. After all they already took away the live bands at shows, chocolate mints, twice a say cabin servicing ,table cloths, free room service, and tv channels. I would say this would be the last straw but they even tried taking those away, thankfully you can still request one.   

There are two forms of waste and grinding the food up and discharging it to sea takes care of one form. The other form of waste is the money spent to purchase that food. This move addresses the latter. I have no idea how much food is wasted (in either form) by people ordering more than one main dish, but the cruise lines do. How much did that airline save each year by putting one less cherry tomato in their salad?:classic_wink:

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Carnival is a massive global company, this has nothing to do with food waste, it's all about profit margins while driving new cruisers to keep the growth up.

 

That means keeping base fare down for the marketing side, and finding other ways to reduce costs and increase profits as they are a publically traded company.

 

Just my opinion of course.  For me the key is once I have paid the cruise I don't have to worry about additional budget onboard. It's not at the point where I switch yet, but it's getting really close. Charge for room service, charge for MDR, and I'll simply pick a different cruise line that isn't doing it. 

 

They will keep making changes as long as they keep growing the business. And reverse those that can hurt the bottom line.

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14 hours ago, wo5m said:

After our next 7 Day cruise to Alaska, I will be 8 days away from turning Platinum. That said, if they implement this, I might be done with Carnival. My typical go-to order in the MDR is 4 shrimp cocktails 2 flat iron steaks(sometime 3 if I really hungry) . The exception to this elegant night went lobster/prime rib is served.  Lobster is obviously my favorite and I'll order 3 or 4 in a setting. When they dropped Lobster from 5-day cruises, I decided to only go on 7-day or longer. 

 

Before anyone said "that's too much food", keep in mind on  my last cruise(14 day re-positioning on the Carnival Breeze), I actually lost 10 pounds. I don't usually eat junk like  pizza, burgers, ice cream and most stuff on the buffet. Its not that I'm trying to lose weight its just want I like and it just happens to be similar to a low crab diet.

 

In my opinion the excuse about "reducing waste" is a sham in itself. If you have ever done the Behind The Fun excursion(I highly recommend it), you lean that any uneaten food is processed on-board and released into the ocean that has been proven benefit marine wildlife. Carnival has even touted in the past that because of this "no food is ever wasted".  While, I know we are talking about their sister line I'm sure they have the same practices.

 

While I know I am in the minority, this would probably make me change cruise lines. After all they already took away the live bands at shows, chocolate mints, twice a say cabin servicing ,table cloths, free room service, and tv channels. I would say this would be the last straw but they even tried taking those away, thankfully you can still request one.   

Chill out, Carnival DOES NOT HAVE PLANS to do this.

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, jimbo5544 said:

Chill out, Carnival DOES NOT HAVE PLANS to do this.

You do not know this as fact and it's not likely that the management you have spoken to know any more than you.  Offering opinion is welcome here but you don't know what is or what will be in the mind of a Carnival executive tomorrow that will markedly alter their current business model. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by sanmarcosman

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Posted (edited)
On 3/3/2019 at 10:37 AM, rolloman said:

The trend continues to eventually eliminate the main dining room and force everyone to the buffet, hamburger, pizza lines or specialty upcharge dining. 

 

Exactly right!  And if anyone thinks Carnival isn’t trending the same way, they need to remove their red and blue glasses. They’ve already severely cheapened the menu, removed table cloths, and starting charging for some items. What’s next - and there most certainly will be a next. 

Edited by Cruzaholic41

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I do like the smaller portion as it allows me to enjoy a full 5 course meal.  I have ordered a second entree as I found the first one totally unappealing, I wonder if that is charged?  

 

I assume this change is announced prior to purchasing the cruise. Otherwise I have trouble seeing the cost savings as the prediction model must be gruesome.  I assume most cruise lines throw out food on a predictable schedule so if a lot of unused food remains it is getting trashed anyway 

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On 3/3/2019 at 11:01 AM, sanmarcosman said:

If Carnival is serious about reducing food waste and cost then they should stop serving pre-plated banquet style meals and allow us the option of ordering the presentation our way, e.g. I'd like extra greens beans and carrots and no potatoes. If you watch JH's videos he orders his dinner in the MDR as one would in a restaurant ashore just as I am suggesting. 

 

It's likely I wouldn't resort to a second entree if I could customize my first. 

 

Meals are served banquet style because that is the only way that works, true line preparation.  In the MDR you are feeding 1000 people at once, in a land based restaurant the service is staggered instead of all at one seating.

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Many people including ourselves ordered an extra main entree-especially after the first night when my husband and I saw how small the servings were-and no one wasted an ounce.  I feel that since food options are limited on some ships(no specialty dining, no snacks at the bars/movies w popcorn,limited buffet times)they shouldn't limit how much you can have in the MDR.  It's bad enough that the quality isn't as top notch as might be expected.  The MDR meal is generally the last food you will put in your mouth for the rest of the night unless you stay up til 11pm to go get the few choices at the buffet or grab a pizza(or deli sandwich before 10).  If you want to catch shows and stuff there's no time for all that.  If you don't get back on the ship before the buffet closes at 3pm, for example, then you're prob pretty hungry by the time you hit the MDR too.

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On 3/3/2019 at 11:13 AM, jas1178 said:

Thanks for this, I was denied the request early on with American Table (ironically on Vista & Horizon) so perhaps it was because the history wasn't there?  I'll try again.

 

I ordered the pasta dish as a side last June on Horizon, waiter didn’t question at all. Go for it! Sometimes it is better than the apps they are offering.

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On 3/3/2019 at 6:35 AM, jimbo5544 said:

I do wonder how many cruisers actually order 2 entries on HAL?

Got me. I cruise HAL a lot as well, and honestly have never seen anyone do this - though on Carnival, I often order a second entree myself. 

I am a little scared of this, as it continues the slippery slope towards unbundling meals from the cruise rate. Already, there's a plethora of specialty/additional fee restaurants on most lines' ships, and as well, you can pay the upcharge and get a premium entree (lobster) in the MDR that used to be one of the rotational/formal night items. Seems as though the next logical step would be to charge for MDR, with the 'complimentary option' limited to the buffet on the Lido deck.....

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23 hours ago, Cruzaholic41 said:

 

Exactly right!  And if anyone thinks Carnival isn’t trending the same way, they need to remove their red and blue glasses. They’ve already severely cheapened the menu, removed table cloths, and starting charging for some items. What’s next - and there most certainly will be a next. 

Yes, it started long ago with the removal of the Sommelier and now we are all the way down to a single pad of butter.  There have been a few comments by others saying there is no trend...ok, you either just started cruising or you are oblivious to your surroundings. Just as Cruzaholic mentioned, the MDR experience is being systematically cheapened.  It seems we are experiencing the " lets see how far it can bend before it breaks" phase of testing. At some point,  participation will wane and the cruise lines will say they no longer need the MDR because the vast majority of folks have clearly shown to enjoy the alternative options....therefore they will remove the MDR and add what the people want...more alternative options. Voila! Ala Carte cruising!  Sheep herding at its finest. 

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56 minutes ago, MauiWowie57 said:

Got me. I cruise HAL a lot as well, and honestly have never seen anyone do this - though on Carnival, I often order a second entree myself. 

I am a little scared of this, as it continues the slippery slope towards unbundling meals from the cruise rate. Already, there's a plethora of specialty/additional fee restaurants on most lines' ships, and as well, you can pay the upcharge and get a premium entree (lobster) in the MDR that used to be one of the rotational/formal night items. Seems as though the next logical step would be to charge for MDR, with the 'complimentary option' limited to the buffet on the Lido deck.....

As I understand it the upcharge lobster you can order from the menu is a full lobster, not just the tail. They still had lobster on the menu on a formal night on our last cruise (and it was just a tail).

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30 minutes ago, rolloman said:

Yes, it started long ago with the removal of the Sommelier and now we are all the way down to a single pad of butter.  There have been a few comments by others saying there is no trend...ok, you either just started cruising or you are oblivious to your surroundings. Just as Cruzaholic mentioned, the MDR experience is being systematically cheapened.  It seems we are experiencing the " lets see how far it can bend before it breaks" phase of testing. At some point,  participation will wane and the cruise lines will say they no longer need the MDR because the vast majority of folks have clearly shown to enjoy the alternative options....therefore they will remove the MDR and add what the people want...more alternative options. Voila! Ala Carte cruising!  Sheep herding at its finest. 

A la carte cruising was the topic of many articles in travel magazines when we started cruising and I wouldn't be surprised to find it happening at some point. I've only been cruising for 10 years but I've not seen the MDR experience being cheapened although I have seen changes. Seeing what the market will bear is an age old business tactic that many businesses have used. I have tried specialty dining one and a half times and was underwhelmed with both experiences so I'll stick to the MDR.

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1 hour ago, sparks1093 said:

As I understand it the upcharge lobster you can order from the menu is a full lobster, not just the tail. They still had lobster on the menu on a formal night on our last cruise (and it was just a tail).

Oh!? You're right. I wasn't thinking - that's correct. The "tail" (really a crayfish or something) as opposed to "whole Maine lobster," which is what the steakhouse would serve.

Still. *sigh*

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1 hour ago, sparks1093 said:

A la carte cruising was the topic of many articles in travel magazines when we started cruising and I wouldn't be surprised to find it happening at some point. I've only been cruising for 10 years but I've not seen the MDR experience being cheapened although I have seen changes. Seeing what the market will bear is an age old business tactic that many businesses have used. I have tried specialty dining one and a half times and was underwhelmed with both experiences so I'll stick to the MDR.

Carnival used to have white tablecloths, etc., just like HAL in the MDR.  Now they've done away with those on most nights (and yes, it's less laundry, etc. etc) and made the experience less formal.  Carnival's assertion was that people didn't care about the more formal experience (this might be true?) so they're just giving the people what they want. 

HAL hasn't quite done the same thing - yet - though they are gradually relaxing the dress code in the MDR. 

Regarding a la carte cruising - yes Sparks, that's a thing. Doesn't NCL claim to have invented the concept of "freestyle," which goes from getting out fixed dinner/tables to now (with Carnival in particular) many smaller, specialty venues for 'nominal' fees (which really are pretty nominal actually) to....HAL's Rudi's Sel de Mer, which is an actual a la carte experience - not fixed price (nominal fee).  Granted, we loved Rudi's, but it's completely unbundled - you pay individually for whatever you wish off the menu. 

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13 minutes ago, MauiWowie57 said:

Oh!? You're right. I wasn't thinking - that's correct. The "tail" (really a crayfish or something) as opposed to "whole Maine lobster," which is what the steakhouse would serve.

Still. *sigh*

And many (including myself) would consider a full Maine lobster for $20 to be quite the bargain (it's a good thing that it's lunch time because I just got really hungry😂.

 

8 minutes ago, MauiWowie57 said:

Carnival used to have white tablecloths, etc., just like HAL in the MDR.  Now they've done away with those on most nights (and yes, it's less laundry, etc. etc) and made the experience less formal.  Carnival's assertion was that people didn't care about the more formal experience (this might be true?) so they're just giving the people what they want. 

HAL hasn't quite done the same thing - yet - though they are gradually relaxing the dress code in the MDR. 

Regarding a la carte cruising - yes Sparks, that's a thing. Doesn't NCL claim to have invented the concept of "freestyle," which goes from getting out fixed dinner/tables to now (with Carnival in particular) many smaller, specialty venues for 'nominal' fees (which really are pretty nominal actually) to....HAL's Rudi's Sel de Mer, which is an actual a la carte experience - not fixed price (nominal fee).  Granted, we loved Rudi's, but it's completely unbundled - you pay individually for whatever you wish off the menu. 

I haven't missed the table clothes at all and only having them on formal night does tend to emphasis that night. People have become much less formal and I can't even remember the last time I ate at a restaurant that had table clothes. NCL still has an MDR and one needn't eat at the specialty restaurants unless one wants to (it's been a while since we've sailed NCL but I never had an issue with the MDRs food quality). I believe that instead of a fixed price NCL's specialty restaurants have gone to an a la carte menu where you have to pay for every item selected instead of paying one price for your meal. 

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7 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

 

 

8 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

I believe that instead of a fixed price NCL's specialty restaurants have gone to an a la carte menu where you have to pay for every item selected instead of paying one price for your meal. 

That's the Rudi's Sel de Mer approach on HAL.  

It's just a thing; we'll get used to it. Cruising is still an amazing vacation value.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, sparks1093 said:

As I understand it the upcharge lobster you can order from the menu is a full lobster, not just the tail. They still had lobster on the menu on a formal night on our last cruise (and it was just a tail).

 

No, it is just a larger tail.

 

My DW ordered it twice in the MDR and once in the Steakhouse on our Sunshine Cruise in February.  The one in the Steakhouse was larger and better prepared than the ones in the MDR.

Edited by K&RCurt

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7 minutes ago, K&RCurt said:

 

No, it is just a larger tail.

 

My DW ordered it twice in the MDR and once in the Steakhouse on our Sunshine Cruise in February.  The one in the Steakhouse was larger and better prepared than the ones in the MDR.

Can I ask what the prices were to eat at the Steakhouse?  We've only cruised on Fascination where there are no specialty restaurants.  Also, did you feel it was worth it-to pay for food when there's so many options included in the cruise price?

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2 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

As I understand it the upcharge lobster you can order from the menu is a full lobster, not just the tail. They still had lobster on the menu on a formal night on our last cruise (and it was just a tail).

I was told that the lobster is only available on a 7-day with Carnival.  Even just a tail, I enjoyed it and was shocked to learn that NCL doesn't offer it at all anymore.  I figure Carnival is prob heading that way.  My father used to boast that he only sails on NCL because he could eat lobster and prime rib, all he wanted, anytime throughout the cruise.  No he's only eating his words LOL!!

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1 minute ago, Crazy4Camping said:

Can I ask what the prices were to eat at the Steakhouse?  We've only cruised on Fascination where there are no specialty restaurants.  Also, did you feel it was worth it-to pay for food when there's so many options included in the cruise price?

 

It was $35 pp and in our opinion well worth it.  However we always try the various specialty restaurants.  We also ate at Jiji's Asian and did the Chef's Table.

 

We usually cruise with a group of friends and we all like trying all of the options!  But then we also hang out together throughout the summer and usually dine together somewhere almost every Saturday. 

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