Cruising isn’t what it used to be. Just ask Steve Roberts, who recently sailed from Costa Maya, Mexico, to Nassau, Bahamas on the Carnival Glory.
Although his floating vacation was billed as an “all inclusive” experience, Roberts found it was anything but that. Dining in a premium restaurant cost $30. Drinks were extra, too. And at the end of the cruise, Roberts says he was asked to pay a mandatory gratuity.
“But the worst part was being assaulted by about a thousand ship’s photographers, taking our photos every day, so we could pay an outrageous fee for as many prints of the digital photos as we wanted,” he says.
So Roberts did what more cruise passengers are doing these days: he said “no.”
That’s just what the cruise industry doesn’t want to hear. Amid a sinking economy, the major cruise lines have been cutting everything from their staffs to itineraries to, of course, ticket prices.
At the same time, cruise lines have quietly imposed new fees in an apparent effort to raise onboard revenues. Perhaps the most aggressive to date has been Royal Caribbean, which recently added a $14.95 surcharge for passengers ordering a filet mignon in its main dining room and a $3.95 “late night service charge” for onboard room service orders placed between midnight and 5 a.m.
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