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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Royal Caribbean Adds Surcharge for Late-Night Room Service

Ever order room service on a cruise ship after midnight when a late-night case of the munchies strikes? Would you think twice about ordering cookies and milk at 2 a.m. if you'd be charged a delivery fee?

Royal Caribbean cruisers will have to ponder that question on their next vacations. According to various reports, Royal Caribbean will charge $3.95 per room service order delivered between midnight and 5 a.m. The new policy will be rolled out, fleetwide, on all cruises departing on or after January 1, 2009.

Royal Caribbean could not be reached for comment or confirmation, but its Web site does reflect the change. Its FAQ on room service states, "Room service is available onboard any time of the day or night -- simply order from the room service menu located in your stateroom/suite (late night service charge applies)."

Cruising -- long considered a mostly inclusive vacation, with many services included in the base price -- has been seeing more and more instances of extra fees in recent months. Passengers had to pay additional fuel surcharges on most 2008 cruises, and in September, Royal Caribbean riled many with a $14.95 surcharge on a steak served in the main dining room.

This may becoming more of what the future holds for mass-market cruising -- almost going to an a la carte type of experience. You pay one price for your accommodations and then extra for everything else onboard. Stay tuned.

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