Cruises may not be entirely about eating, but meals, snacks, and ill-advised late-night food choices play a key role in many passengers' trips.
Your choices vary by ship, of course, but your basic cruise fare entitles you to eat three meals a day in the main dining room or the buffet, as well as free venues that can include Guy Fieri's Burger Bar, a Mexican restaurant open for breakfast and lunch, a deli, soft-serve ice cream, various snack spots, and 24-7 pizza.
In short, you won't go hungry on a cruise and can eat with a lot of variety without ever paying for an added-fee option.
Most Carnival dining choices do involve leaving your room. But you can order room service -- and that's an area in which the cruise line has just made a big change.
Carnival Expands Room Service
During the early days of the cruise industry's post-covid comeback, room-service fees were dropped, and in some cases options were expanded.
Now, things have mostly returned to normal with Carnival (and rival Royal Caribbean (RCL) - Get Free Report offering some complimentary breakfast options from 6 to 10 a.m. while charging for an expanded breakfast menu and during the rest of the day (and night).
Now, Carnival has made some big changes to its room-service menu, which it outlined for people booked on upcoming sailings via email
We have been carefully watching guest patterns since our restart in July 2021, including food and dining preferences. As a result, we are updating our room service menu to add more options on an à la carte basis, while maintaining a complimentary breakfast offering each morning. These changes are consistent with trends across the industry, and also provide us opportunities to continue to work toward meeting our various sustainability goals, including food, water, and energy reduction, while still giving our guests the option of 24/7 room service if they so choose.
Basically, the room-service menu will be expanded, but customers will pay for the privilege. Carnival charges per item; prices vary but they're generally $2 to $6 per item. The cruise line has not shared a menu or any pricing info about its expanded menu.
Effective with all cruises departing on or after October 1, 2022, we will be rolling out the expanded room service menu across our fleet. In addition to the complimentary breakfast selections, we will be adding choices that reflect what we believe will meet more guest preferences.
Everything ordered outside the 6 a.m.-10 a.m. window will come with an added cost.
In addition to the room-service change, Carnival has also brought back another guest-favorite meal option.
"Additionally, we are happy to share that beginning Oct. 1, we are resuming our popular Dr. Seuss Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast, a family favorite event where you can enjoy a fantastical feast with The Cat in the Hat and Friends," the cruise line said in its email to upcoming passengers.
Here's What Other Major Cruise Lines Offer for Room Service
Room-service policies vary by cruise line and by your cabin. In some cases, suite passengers have different rules and even get to order delivery from restaurants beyond the room-service menu.
But for passengers without any special privileges, here's broadly what you can expect:
- Celebrity: This Royal Caribbean-owned cruise line offers free 24/7 room service.
- Disney Cruise Line: The Walt Disney (DIS) - Get Free Report cruise line offers included 24./7 room service with some items coming with an extra fee.
- MSC: This cruise line, which has been growing its U.S. presence, charges a $4.99 delivery to passengers in its basic Bella service tier, while higher tiers get a mix of free and paid options.
- Norwegian: Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH) - Get Free Report charges a $9.99 delivery fee for its room-service menu.
- Royal Caribbean: Royal Caribbean has a $7.95 delivery fee per room-service order and offers a free continental breakfast option from 6 to 10 a.m.