Gene Sloan at USA Today says that a pilot program – originally on the Carnival Imagination, Carnival Conquest and Carnival Pride in 2015 – has now been expanded fleet-wide, making premium items available for up to $6. Such room service offerings include shrimp, quesadillas, chicken wings, cheesesteaks and pizza. He points out that Carnival joins Norwegian Cruise Line which also charges a flat $7.95 per order fleet-wide and Royal Caribbean International which charges for some items on its newest Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.
However, Vance Gulliksen, senior public relations manager for Carnival, tells TravelPulse that the premium items, including sushi on ships with a Bonsai restaurant, are offered in addition to ones that remain complimentary. He adds, “a wide range of items are still available at no charge, including seven different hot and cold sandwiches, three salad choices, three desserts and eight beverages, along with a Continental breakfast menu.
“The expanded room service menu is designed to significantly broaden and upgrade the line’s culinary choices available for in-room delivery. There continues to be a wide range of complimentary choices and these new fee-based options are simply intended to create even greater choice and variety for our guests.”
Also, Doug Parker at Cruise Radio reveals that another pilot program for housekeeping services, called “Comfort Matters,” is expanding to the Carnival Victory. A form asks guests if they prefer to have their staterooms made up in the morning, evening or both, as well as makes available bathrobes, extra hangers, extra pillows and extra blankets as desired with a checkmark. Finally, there’s a “We love green!” option to save energy with no bed linen changes during the sailing or to request a “mid-voyage refresher.”
After proving successful, the new choices are now beginning to expand across the fleet beyond the first test ships of the Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Dream, Carnival Pride and Carnival Spirit. The options certainly make sense for those who might like to sleep in and are comfortable with just a turndown at night or those who would rather have extra space in their closets besides bathrobes, preferences I often convey to my room steward anyway. Now the program makes it even easier.