Carnival Cruise Line delays plan to charge for more room service after backlash

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Cruise ship tours: Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Horizon

Carnival Cruise Line delays plan to charge for more room service after backlash
The new Carnival Horizon made its debut in the Mediterranean before sailing for its new home ports in New York and Miami.
At 133,500 gross tons, Carnival Horizon stands 15 decks tall and holds 3,960 guests.
Upon embarking Carnival Horizon, guests immediately walk into ...
... the striking three-story atrium.
At the heart of the atrium is Dreamscape, a digital sculpture that is comprised of over 2,000 flexible LED tiles that showcase more than 100 images designed by young patients from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis
Plenty of seating is available in the atrium, which is a hub of activity by day and night.
Moving around Carnival Horizon is made easier ...
... by the introduction of a “destination-based” elevator system manufactured by Schindler. Guests select their desired deck on a touch-screen outside the elevator ...
... and they are then directed to take the appropriate, lettered elevator car. It’s fast, and it’s a first at sea.
Of course, you can always take the stairs, too. Carnival’s stairwells are decorated with photos of European and Caribbean destinations, and images of Carnival’s fleet at sea.
Deck 4 is home to the bright Horizon Casino ...
... and a walk further aft brings guests to a tucked-away corridor that’s home to the SkyBox Sports Bar and the Limelight Lounge.
The SkyBox Sports Bar showcases sporting events ...
... and complements them with a full menu of adult beverages.
Further aft is the Limelight Lounge.
This is where Carnival’s famous Punchliner Comedy Club events are held on an almost-nightly basis.
There’s plenty of seating but you’ll want to get here early for the comedy shows, as the room frequently fills to standing-room only.
All the way aft on Deck 5 is the Havana Bar.
First introduced aboard Carnival Vista, the Havana Bar is Carnival’s Cuban-inspired watering hole.
It also surrounds the private Havana Club Suites and Staterooms, along with the exclusive Havana Pool, with its resort-style sundeck mounted right at the stern.
While all guests can use the Havana Bar ...
... the outdoor Havana Club Pool is reserved exclusively for guests in Havana Club suites and staterooms until 7 p.m. each evening.
From that point on, all guests are invited to use this relaxing outdoor venue.
An outdoor extension of the bar means you never have to leave the cool Mediterranean (or Caribbean) breeze unless you absolutely want to.
Another popular carry-over from Carnival Vista is the Ocean Plaza.
This is the place to be for early-morning light breakfast, afternoon trivia sessions, and nightly music and dancing.
Immediately adjacent is a small, tropically influenced venue that brings the sunshine into the Carnival Horizon on those inclement days outdoors.
Located adjacent to the main Deck 5 corridor ...
... the JavaBlue Café is the place to be for specialty coffees, spiked beverages and smooth milkshakes.
The attractive Deck 5 passageway is gateway to some of Carnival Horizon’s newest features ...
... like Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse.
A total of four brewed-onboard craft beers are featured here ...
... along with a full menu of smokehouse favorites crafted in partnership with Guy Fieri. Seaday lunch is free, while dinners are offered at reasonable a la carte pricing.
While Carnival Vista had an onboard brewery ...
... Carnival has substantially upped its hoppy offerings aboard Carnival Horizon.
Also noteworthy here is the menu of barbecue-inspired cocktails (try the Smoked Boulevardier)… ...
... coupled with the room’s cool design and nightly live music.
This new space replaces the RedFrog Pub found on previous Carnival ships ...
... and its reconfigured layout, in addition to its brand-new food and beverage menus, is a real winner.
Adjacent to Guy’s Pig & Anchor is the Pixels Photo Gallery.
Gone are the days when you had to hunt around for that formal night portrait. Just plug in your stateroom number on any of the kiosks and your photos will be available for purchase.
Forward on Deck 5, another longtime favorite: the Alchemy Bar.
Sure, there’s a menu filled with clever libations here ...
... but the real pleasure is telling the bartenders what kind of drink you like, and having them happily whip up a mystery concoction for you.
Across the hall (literally) is Bonsai Sushi.
Carnival’s signature sushi bar and restaurant has a new zip to it aboard Carnival Horizon ...
... thanks to the addition of Bonsai Teppanyaki.
This intimate (and interactive) specialty restaurant was booked solid every night of our cruise. No wonder: it’s Carnival’s first-ever Teppanyaki experience onboard.
Carnival has always been known for its piano bars, and Piano Bar 88 aboard Carnival Horizon gets an all-new look and location ...
... not to mention an all-new sliding wall partition that connects to the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse next door.
It’s a space that has plenty of personality ...
... and one that fills to capacity each evening.
Fahrenheit 555, as seen from Piano Bar 88. The open wall partition allows diners to listen to live music until 10 p.m., when the wall is closed and the Piano Bar takes on its more raucous form.
Fahrenheit 555 is Carnival’s signature steakhouse experience ...
... which can be paired with excellent wines. Aboard Carnival Horizon, Carnival debuted an all-new menu with plenty of steak and seafood options.
Across the “street” is the newly reimagined Library Bar.
This completely redone concept now features stylish new décor, a new layout, and a new physical location on the ship.
Nonfiction and fiction books are available to enjoy here, along with a decent selection of board games.
With its new décor and bar-style seating, the Library Bar was well-populated on our Mediterranean sailing.
The self-serve wine dispenser doesn’t hurt either.
Not sure which wine to try? Carnival places little cheat-sheet cards on the racks above the dispenser to help you make your selection.
While the Library Bar isn’t a new concept, Carnival’s reimagining of this formerly underused space seems like aboard Carnival Horizon, it will finally become the standout space it deserves to be.
Also new aboard Carnival Horizon: the first Victoria’s Secret retail location at sea.
A new feature of a different kind is the Dr. Seuss WaterWorks.
The latest in Carnival’s hugely successful “Seuss At Sea” concept created in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises ...
... the WaterWorks offers up whimsical fun-in-the-sun for kids and families.
Just watch out for the dump bucket!
Encircling the upper reaches of the ship is another hugely fun diversion, the SkyRide course.
The SkyCourt sports court is open almost 24 hours a day on Deck 12 aft ...
... while the SportSquare offers more fun diversions like mini-golf, pool, and bean-bag toss.
All the way aft on Deck 12 is the scenic Tides Pool and Bar ...
... while the midships Carnival Seaside Theatre pool and movie screen offer endless ways to relax on a sunny day at sea.
Adults, meanwhile, can seek refuge from the little ones at the adult-only Serenity Lounge area located at the front of the ship on Deck 15.
Serenity offers plenty of comfy seating with great views ...
... in addition to two whirlpool hot tubs and a full-service bar.
Adults can also relax in a different kind of pool in the Cloud 9 Spa’s Thermal Suite.
One of the best Thermal Suites offered aboard a Carnival ship, this additional-cost area features a soothing hydrotherapy pool ...
... along with heated ceramic tiled loungers.
In addition, the entire complex includes a variety of steam and sauna rooms, from aromatic scented rooms ...
... to infrared saunas ...
... and a laconium dry room.
Of course, all that relaxation works up an appetite, which is why the BlueIguana Cantina and Guy’s Burger Joint can be found on Deck 10 by the midships pool, at the entrance to ...
... the Lido Marketplace buffet.
The Lido Marketplace has been entirely reconfigured with new serving stations ...
... and a better seating layout.
Beverage stations offer up water, coffee and tea, and juices in the morning, or iced tea in the afternoons.
Other dining options include Ji Ji Asian Kitchen specialty restaurant ...
... and Cucina del Capitano, both of which are tucked away on Deck 11 aft, above the Lido Marketplace.
Like most Carnival ships, Carnival Horizon sports two main dining rooms: the Reflection Restaurant amidships on Deck 3, and the Meridian Restaurant that spans decks 3 and 4 aft.
Carnival offers flexible and traditional dining times, with the two-story Meridian Restaurant serving fixed early and late diners.
Don’t forget about Cherry on Top down on Deck 5: It serves up sundaes, plus all the candy a kid could ever want. Parents: you’ve been warned!
Other fun diversions include the Thrill Theatre and an authentic IMAX cinema at sea - only the second seagoing IMAX in the world after its debut aboard Carnival Vista in 2016.
Of course, more traditional evening performances are offered in the two-story Liquid Lounge that spans Decks 4 and 5 forward.
Aboard Carnival Horizon, staterooms and suites are still comfortable and spacious, and reflect the basic interior décor and styling found aboard Carnival Vista.
While Carnival Horizon offers inside and oceanview staterooms, the largest category by far onboard are balcony staterooms.
Carnival Horizon’s balcony staterooms are generously sized, and many either have connecting doors between cabins, or can sleep up to four people.
Balconies include two chairs and a small table ...
... and stateroom bathrooms continue the now-standard Carnival formula, with vanilla walls and powder-blue flooring and sinks.
A bonus here is a total of six shelves, three on each side of the vanity, that can accommodate toiletries for most couples.
Carnival Cruise Line's new Carnival Horizon ship.
Carnival has begun charging for some room service items on its ships.

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 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.

The hottest new cruise ships of 2019

Norwegian Cruise Line in 2019 will unveil another giant new megaship, Norwegian Encore.
Featuring colorful hull art designed by Spanish artist Eduardo Arranz-Bravo, Norwegian Encore will be the fourth and final ship in Norwegian Cruise Line's Breakaway Plus class.
Like the last two ships unveiled by Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Encore will feature a deck-top race course with electric go-karts. But the course on Encore will be bigger than those on its two predecessors.
The go-kart race course on Norwegian Encore will extend over the sides of the ship in four places.
The main pool of Norwegian Encore will be flanked by two giant water slides.
Dubbed the Aqua Park, the water slide area of Norwegian Encore rises several decks above the main pool.
Norwegian Encore also will have a laser tag area themed around the lost city of Atlantis with faux ruins and sea creature tentacles.
The main showroom on Norwegian Encore will be home to the Tony Award-winning "Kinky Boots."
A scene from "Kinky Boots," the Tony Award-winning show that will be aboard Norwegian Encore.
An artist's drawing of a balcony cabin on Norwegian Encore.
Princess Cruises in 2019 will unveil a new ship called Sky Princess. Carrying 3,660 passengers at double occupancy, it'll be the fourth vessel in the line's recent Royal Class series.
An artist's drawing of the top deck of Sky Princess.
The main pool deck of Sky Princess has two deep-tank pools linked by sunken, communal seating. The pool deck also has more hot tubs than earlier vessels in the same Royal Class series.
At the back of Sky Princess, passengers will find the infinity-style Wakeview pool, lounge seating and a bar -- all with spectacular views of the horizon.
Like other Princess ships, Sky Princess will feature a soaring, European-style Piazza that serves as a central gathering point for passengers.
New on Sky Princess will be La Mer, which will offer casual French bistro-style dining with a modern twist. It's the creation of Emmanuel Renaut, whose Flocons de Sel restaurant has received three Michelin stars.
Sky Princess will feature two two-bedroom Sky Suites that will be bigger than any other suite ever built on a Princess ship.
Each of the two Sky Suites on Sky Princess will have a dining room as well as a living room and two bedrooms.
An artist's drawing of the master bedroom of a Sky Suite on Sky Princess.
Sky Suites on Sky Princess will feature the largest balconies found on any Princess ship.
Passengers staying in Sky Suites on Sky Princess will be able to see the ship's deck-top Movies Under the Stars screen from the suite's balcony.
A digital rendering of Carnival Panorama, a Carnival Cruise Line ship scheduled to debut in late 2019.
Carnival Panorama will feature a Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse similar to the one on the line's recently unveiled Carnival Horizon.
An artist's drawing of an outdoor seating area planned for the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse on Carnival Panorama.
Like the recently unveiled Carnival Horizon, Carnival Panorama will be home to a Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse.
The interior seating area of the Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse planned for Carnival Panorama.
An artist's drawing of the Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse planned for Carnival Panorama.
Among other eateries, Carnival Panorama also will have a teppanyaki restaurant.
The Alchemy Bar, a staple of ships in the Carnival fleet, will be back on Carnival Panorama.
An artist's drawing of one of the "Havana Cabin" category rooms planned for Carnival Panorama.
Another feature of Carnival Panorama will be a Chef's Table for special dinners.
An artist's drawing of the Chef's Table area planned for Carnival Panorama.
The Family Lounge on Carnival Panorama.
Costa Cruises in 2019 will unveil its biggest ship ever, Costa Smeralda.
Costa Smeralda will feature a sloping deck area with lounge chairs at its back called the Piazza di Spagna.
An artist's drawing of a balcony cabin on Costa Smeralda.
An artist's drawing of a balcony cabin on Costa Smeralda.
Among the more unusual features of Costa Smeralda will be a standalone design museum called CoDe.
MSC Cruises in 2019 will unveil two new ships. Among them will be MSC Grandiosa, the largest MSC Cruises ship ever at 182,700 tons. Grandiosa is a stretched version of MSC Cruises' 1-year-old MSC Meraviglia.
The second MSC Cruises ship debuting in 2019 will be the 171,598-ton MSC Bellissima. It's a sister to the 1-year-old MSC Meraviglia but not an exact copy.
The main pool area on MSC Bellissima will be called the Atmosphere Pool.
The Atmosphere Pool area on MSC Bellissima will have a giant movie screen.
The Horizon Pool and Amphitheater is another outdoor venue planned for MSC Bellissima.
Other deck-top amusements on MSC Bellissima will include the Western-themed Arizona Aquapark.
Like MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima will have Formula 1 race car simulators.
MSC Bellissima will feature the Jean-Philippe Chocolat & Café, a venue that revolves around chocolate.

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