I used to be one of those who said "never!" to the surcharges for this and that. Over time they have beaten me down and I have succumbed. For us, to not pay for some of these things deprives us of things we like. We like going to Johnny Rockets. In the past we got one free trip in our C&A coupon booklets but I've read where this has been eliminated for Platinum members. We are Diamond now so I hope we still have this perk. But we sometimes go twice, which means we pay. We get our son the soda stamp. A visit to Chops - my major "beef" in the past as to the surcharge - is well worth the price.
RCI is still "testing" the extra-fee steak on two ships, by the way. If I want a sandwich at 2am I guess I better get used to the idea of paying the fee. As I said earlier, I always tip so the price isn't the issue. But now I imagine the person who might have handed a $5 bill to the room service porter will just sign the tab for $3.95 and leave it at that. I have to admit that I probably will.
We haven't been on RCI in about 8 years & I'm sure the extra's are very similar to Princess's. We've been successful in avoiding the extra charges until our recent cruise last month when I discovered on our return to port that we had an extra $100 CC & used it for the specialty restaurant & a couple of drinks. Yea, it was nice, the food was very good (better than the reg DR) but would I go back? Possibly some day if the mood strikes me...but on just an average cruise the extras really don't interest us. I guess we're just hardened from cruising to much & don't see the big attraction. I see most of the extra charges being aimed at the new cruisers who want to experience everything they can. I'm still be grateful that they can keep up the profits by selling all of those extra's to someone willing to pay & keep the base price down for people like me.
I think it is true that experienced cruisers tend to spend less than newbies, at least with the cruise line. We tend to use private tours more often, we get perks that cover some things, we don't buy as many photos, and with diamond and diamond plus members (on some ships) we get free drinks in the evening so the bar tab maybe isn't as high. I still recall my shipboard tab from our first cruise. This was in 1992 on HAL when things like soda were included in the cruise fare and there were no extra fees for dining, ice cream, etc. For just me and Vanessa it was $1182. Photos, tours, wine at dinner, we had to do it all. On our recent RCI cruise to Alaska with three of us the tab was a little over $800.
My bill is a alot less than it used to be too. I don't know how with them raising alcohol prices. Thinking about it I don't buy as much as when I was a new cruiser either. Usually the embarkation photo (which sometimes I get a $15 credit for), a carton of cigarettes, and several buckets of beer.
I've been doing my own excursions with places I am familiar with. If they say the charge includes the gratuity, I would take them at their word. Why not?
I would say since tip is included most will not tip. Many will sign the tag and make it an even $5.
Some will give cash, because that is what we do. However we only use RS in the AM. I have to have my Coffee in the morning!!. Even so most days I just buzz up to the lido for it.
Even so most days I just buzz up to the lido for it.
I use Room Service mostly for the morning coffee, and de-caff tea as well. The last few cruises I have been picking my cabin for the convenience of being close to the lido restaurant. I would rather go get it than wait.
Originally posted by Dave Beers:
I think it is true that experienced cruisers tend to spend less than newbies, at least with the cruise line.
This may be partly due to the fact that newbies (such as myself) aren't sure what's included and what's not. Of course I now know that if they ask for my card then I'll be paying for whatever it is.
I have mixed feelings about the surcharges. I guess if it lowers the overall fare and it's for something I wouldn't use anyway then it's a good thing. I just want to know up front what's included and what's not so I can budget accordingly.