Cruise ship tours: Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Horizon
Cruise giant Carnival's plan to cut back on free room service is on hold.
The Miami-based line last week announced it would begin charging for nearly all of the items on its room service menu in mid-January. But on Tuesday it said it would push back implementation of the new charges while it makes adjustments.
The delay comes in the wake of heavy criticism of the plan by Carnival fans who are accustomed to seeing at least a few free items on Carnival's room service menus. A post on the topic at leading cruise fan site CruiseCritic.com has drawn thousands of comments, many of them negative.
"We are in the process of making some adjustments to (the) plan to balance the interests of our guests with our efforts to reduce food waste costs," Carnival said Tuesday in a statement sent to USA TODAY. "For the time being, there will be no changes until we finalize a plan that will be communicated to guests and travel agency partners alike."
Carnival already charges for a number of items on its room service menu during the day and all items during late-night hours. But until now, a variety of salads, sandwiches and desserts have been available for free from room service during the day. Under the plan announced last week, those items, too, would have come with a charge ranging from $2 to $5.
The new plan would have left just one item on the menu available for free: The Continental breakfast.
Carnival's two main rivals, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, stopped offering free room service in 2017 and 2015, respectively. Both lines now charge a flat fee of $7.95 for room service orders with the exception of Continental breakfast.
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