People do not like change, especially when the change does not benefit them in any way. If a cruise line changed its brand of coffee, for example, it would annoy some people and please others. If it decided that coffee – even the basic black kind – now comes with a surcharge, well, then everyone would be mad.
One way to minimize this anger is for more than one cruise line to make the same change at the same time. If Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) – Get a free report and Royal Caribbean (RCL) – Get a free report while making a similar change, it does not give either company an advantage.
A particularly severe change could push people towards shore holidays, but if both major family-friendly cruise lines make similar policy changes, they seem more valid and may make passengers less angry.
Recently, both cruise lines made major dining changes that affect a favorite among many cruise fans – lobster night in the main dining room.
Royal Caribbean, Carnival Balance old, new traditions
Cruise companies work to balance tradition and change tastes all the time. Spend time on any Carnival or Royal Caribbean ship and you’ll hear people lament that things aren’t what they used to be. Some people hate that many people no longer dress up for dinner, while others lament the loss of menu items that few people remember.
Cruising has a bit of a ritual to it. Many things are the way they were simply because they have always been that way. Royal Caribbean and Carnival have refined the formula and tried to serve their classic audience and cruisers who want something different.
Therefore, “formal night” is now “dress best” on Royal Caribbean cruises. It leaves more room for interpretation. Some still treat the night as a formal evening, while others put on fancier outfits than usual, and some simply opt for comfort.
The fact that I’m wearing jeans, or even a nice pair of shorts, while you’re wearing a tuxedo or a cocktail dress doesn’t actually affect your experience, but some people don’t see it that way. They simply do not like change and want their experience to be like their memory rather than something new.
Royal Caribbean, Carnival Make a big change
Dining in the Main Dining Room (MDR) is a core part of cruising for many passengers. The MDR is usually actually several large rooms, perhaps with different names, but all serving the same menu, which changes every night. It’s a 90-minute to two-hour affair that involves several courses and a little supervision.
On longer cruises (6 nights or longer), both cruise lines traditionally offer a lobster night. On these cruises, Royal Caribbean and Carnival offer lobster (usually lobster tails) as an included option. It’s a big deal because lobster is usually a premium item offered only at restaurants that cost extra or in the MDR with a surcharge.
The other part of this tradition is that none of the cruise lines limited passengers to a single lobster. You can order more, really as many as you want, as long as you ate them. Royal Caribbean has tested a change to this policy, while Carnival has changed the rules.
“A fee of $16.99 plus an 18% gratuity will be added to a guest’s account for ordering a second lobster tail. Although not explicitly stated, it will likely also apply to a third, fourth or second additional lobster tail. single guest can order. The first lobster tail remains complimentary,” CruiseHive wrote about lobster changes Royal Caribbean has been testing on Symphony of the Seas.
The cruise line has also tested a more limited MDR menu on that ship.
Carnival has actually adopted a new policy for main courses in the MDR that will affect lobster night.
“We want you to enjoy your favorites and sample offerings you haven’t tried before while dining with us in the main dining room, but we encourage you to follow the golden rule of dining: take what you want, but eat it you take. And remember, you can always ask for a half portion if something seems too tempting to pass up. Guests can continue to order an additional free entree if they choose, but effective immediately, a third entree will incur a cost of US$5 (AU$7) ),” the company shared.
It’s still cheap for an extra lobster, especially since the second one is included.