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Holland America testing additional charge for two entrees


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Have to agree, I am not a big fan of wasting food, but there are times that I order something and I just really do not like it, and I order a second entree, that is definitely a time that I should not be charged! In honesty most of us do not waste the food, and that is honestly one of the draws of being on the cruise.  I know that there are several things that I have tried while onboard that I would not have tried in a normal restaurant just simply because I am unsure if I would like them or not.  Lets just say that there are DEFINITELY better ways for them to lower food waste than this. 

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I'm not buying the food waste explanation. Either the food is on the ship and available or it's not...if it is on the ship it has a shelf life and it will go to waste at some point. If someone orders a second entree it has to be available...not taken out of a freezer and prepared. This is either a cost saver (reducing consumption and thus cost of food per sailing) or a revenue generator. Imagine being told you have to pay for more than one plate of food in the Mounthjammer...errrr...Windjammer?

When it comes to Holland America I sail on the Idontgiveadam.

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I'm not buying into the food waste either! Though I tend to go for two appetisers and then two desserts Haha.

 I have yet to cruise on Royal (first cruise on Explorer next weekend-can't wait!!), but I was on the Transatlantic for the NCL Bliss last year. What they do ( and I'm sure most other cruise lines do), is any food waste is totally ground down into a very fine paste which can then be discharged from the ship and is safe for the sea life to eat- so not really going to waste at all!

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I dont buy any cruise line's claim of food waste being the reason for a fee increase.  Increase the fee for the cabin if you need to raise prices.  With two entrees, what if you didnt like what was brought to you first?  What if you want to try something new and then you dont like it?  They're going to charge someone for going outside of their comfort zone?  They'd better be prepared to make a lot more safe dishes and thus disappoint those with more adventurous palates.   And in a way to make things even safer, say goodbye to any spices or unique ingredients.  

I get it, food waste stinks.  But until buffets go away due to food waste, I dont buy their food waste excuse for extra fees for entrees, for ala carte room service, or any other food waste excuse.  

 

I mean by Holland's logic, 2 entrees bad and cause food waste, but 20 appetizers totally fine and dont cause food waste at all.

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I am with Gears, NZCruiser and ThyriC. This to me is a flag on the play against Holland for all the reasons that they stated, but I will add one more.

Many of the staff work for that tip at the end of the cruise.  How do you think they will feel saying, I would love to bring you another entrée, but that will cost you 10 bucks.  It places a sour taste in the cruisers mouth and the waitstaff now will be the front line explaining to the passenger that this is Holland America's position and they have no choice.

Do you think that when their contract is up they won't try to jump ship to RCCL, NCL or Carnival?  In essence, they may not only lose loyal customers, but also experienced waitstaff because put a couple of drinks in a passenger and tell them that after 3 bites they now have to pay $10 bucks for a new meal equates to me ANGRY passenger berating the waitstaff.

 

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This is really just an excuse , after all if the food waste was the issue they would do something about the buffet  were the real waste happens. 

It will be a shame if other cruise will adopt it , until now I saw people ordering another portion mainly if they got something they did not liked or wanted extra from something (for example two lobster tails).  

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5 hours ago, Traveler said:

This is really just an excuse , after all if the food waste was the issue they would do something about the buffet  were the real waste happens. 

It will be a shame if other cruise will adopt it , until now I saw people ordering another portion mainly if they got something they did not liked or wanted extra from something (for example two lobster tails).  

Only two?

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The Maitre'd is going to be like a one-armed paperhanger. This entree is overcooked, I want another one. Sorry, $10. Please get the Maitre'd. This steak is tough, I want another or a different entree. Maitre'd. This zucchini is mushy,. Maitre'd. I don't want rice, I want french fries. Maitre'd. This fish is full of bones, I thought it was boneless. Maitre'd. You call this tiny single lambchop an entree? Maitre'd. Really, one 3 oz lobster tail is an entree. Maitre'd. This food is cold. Maitre'd. I ordered medium rare, this roast beef is medium. Maitre'd.

Once you start charging for entrees, passengers will become sticklers for perfection. I want asparagus with my steak. Maitre'd. 

The ill will cost more than the $10. What if you were on an excursion and missed lunch and want a second entree? $10 for the second entree! Bring me 10 shrimp cocktails. The mind reels at the disruption. I spent $5000 each on this cruise each and you're going to charge $10 for a second entree!!

Carnival might have a problem with extra entrees, but Holland America??

You'd think they'd learn after the Carnival room service charge fiasco.

People HATE being nickeled and dimed. I'm a 5 star Mariner and you're going to start charging me $10 for a second entree!!!. They'll have to offer surcharge-free entrees as a Mariner benefit. 

With an average passenger age of 80+ they can't afford to turn off their younger cruisers.

People will want to know the portion size. Is the Wienerschnitzel the size of a dinner plate or a thumb drive?

May you live in interesting times!

Really, food waste!!! Get rid of the buffets.

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7 hours ago, Hey Big Spender said:

Once you start charging for entrees, passengers will become sticklers for perfection. I want asparagus with my steak. Maitre'd. 

I agree. If you are going to charge me 10 bucks I will be the 1st to send back again and again unless it is perfection.  Note from my other posts I am easy going, but now they laid down the gauntlet in my opinion.  Let's say I order a med. rare prime rib, it comes to the table as a med.  I send it back.  By food and safety regs, they can't send that to another passenger that ordered med.  it has to be pitched.  How is that saving food waste?  

Holland America is part of Carnival, just like Celebrity is part of Royal.  I wonder if Carnival HQ is doing this as a test for Carnival.

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1 hour ago, monctonguy said:

Of course others will jump on this...the service/tourist industry is based on up charges and fees.

 

 

Sure,  but from an Econ 101 there is an equilibrium from a supply/demand aspect.  There is also the name/image perspective.  

Cruise lines compete with land inclusive resorts.   The land and cruise battle each other.  There is only so many that are willing to spend this amount of money for a weeks vacation.  Add in Air B & Bs at places like Cozumel, Bermuda, Key West, etc. that offer beach front property, swimming pool, and walking distance to the town, cooking breakfast in the kitchen instead of the WJ buffet is appealing if it is 1/3rd of the cost.

No way on this green earth I would go on Carnival.  I see it as cheap, and a party boat ( note I did not say ship).  Call me a snob, that is okay.  I am just saying from everything I have read and talking to TAs,  Carnival, even in a suite would not be a fit.  My Aunt cruised with Holland out of Hawaii,  she has traveled the world.  RCCL out of Sydney. Rooftops in Africa.  Princess in the Fjords.  Went to China., etc. etc. etc.  She said Holland left her disappointed in service.

I think Carnival is trying to find their target market and since Holland is a small portion of their corporation, they will use that line for market research.

 

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As someone who regularly orders multiple entrees, this is an awful idea. I get the not wanting to waste, but let's not pretend the galley isn't preparing a ton of food to begin with.  Secondly, the portion sizes are much smaller than usual. 

It reeks of cost-cutting more than anything, and I sincerely hope this idea dies on the vine.

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I was on the Liberty of the Seas on Jan 13 with two friends of mine and we had the three night dining package. We were eating at Chops Grill and my friend who eats a lot asks about having two entrees. The waiter politely stated that the policy is one entree and that he would have to charge for a second and that he didn’t have a choice. My friend gave him some money (don’t remember how much) and the next thing I saw was another entree for him. And then he did the same thing at Sabor the next time we are at a specialty restaurant. I assume he tips the waiter less then cost of the second entree. But my point is that obviously the waiter wouldn’t have done it if he would have gotten in trouble. There are always ways around the system. I wouldn’t have tipped for a second entree, but it was important for him. 

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21 minutes ago, Pima1988 said:

Sure,  but from an Econ 101 there is an equilibrium from a supply/demand aspect.  There is also the name/image perspective.  

Cruise lines compete with land inclusive resorts.   The land and cruise battle each other.  There is only so many that are willing to spend this amount of money for a weeks vacation.  Add in Air B & Bs at places like Cozumel, Bermuda, Key West, etc. that offer beach front property, swimming pool, and walking distance to the town, cooking breakfast in the kitchen instead of the WJ buffet is appealing if it is 1/3rd of the cost.

I think Carnival is trying to find their target market and since Holland is a small portion of their corporation, they will use that line for market research.

I disagree....I have seen so many increases and fees since I started cruising just a short few years ago.

 

If anything, demand has increased.....bigger ships holding more people is the trend.

 

If Carnival implements this, just a matter of time till Royal does...along with NCL and whoever else.....mark my words.

 

That being said, I have never ordered 2 entrees on any cruise, so it doesn't affect me at all...maybe they could charge for that and make some other thing they charge for free...hmmm.

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3 hours ago, Pima1988 said:

I agree. If you are going to charge me 10 bucks I will be the 1st to send back again and again unless it is perfection.  Note from my other posts I am easy going, but now they laid down the gauntlet in my opinion.  Let's say I order a med. rare prime rib, it comes to the table as a med.  I send it back.  By food and safety regs, they can't send that to another passenger that ordered med.  it has to be pitched.  How is that saving food waste?  

Holland America is part of Carnival, just like Celebrity is part of Royal.  I wonder if Carnival HQ is doing this as a test for Carnival.

In the Main Dining Room you are ordering buffet food cooked hours in advance and sitting under heat lamps when its dinner service.  I highly doubt these "extra" entrees will be cooked fresh to order, if so maybe its worth the 10.00 (And skip the first course) ahahahhahahha

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16 minutes ago, monctonguy said:

If Carnival implements this, just a matter of time till Royal does...along with NCL and whoever else.....mark my words.

If they do, than I have no problem finding an Air B & B in Turks that has a pool and hot tub where I can walk downtown to enjoy the local cuisine, and book my own excursions, like swimming with the pigs.  

I love cruising, but like I said before cost is an issue, in turn if many of us walk, the demand decreases and the supply increases, the cruise lines will come the way of brick and mortar stores and find alternative options.  

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6 minutes ago, marti314 said:

In the Main Dining Room you are ordering buffet food cooked hours in advance and sitting under heat lamps when its dinner service.  I highly doubt these "extra" entrees will be cooked fresh to order, if so maybe its worth the 10.00 (And skip the first course) ahahahhahahha

I never had that experience.  

You do bring up a point that has been stated earlier. I could easily order shrimp cocktail/crab cakes, wedge salad and a soup as my apps.  Order prime rib for dinner, complain (send back) and I don't pay a dime, but 10 will get you 20, I never finished eating all of the apps, nor the prime rib.  Same result...food waste.

Let's also remember I am someone that goes to the WJ prior to dinner, because I am not a Sorrento's pizza fan.  Instead, I fill up a plate of meats and cheeses to nosh on late at night.  Are they going to charge me to walk away with a plate from the buffet, be it to the pool or your room?

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This is the kind of annoyance fee that people hate far beyond the actual cost.

One response might be to drop out of the recommended daily gratuities and use the difference to tip the waiter $10 for the second entree. I bet you will never be charged and your total cost will not change. 

There's always a cost to these nuisance fees. Charges for checked luggage have resulted in maximum carryon luggage. This has lengthened boarding times. More time at the gate with engines burning fuel. Free gate checked baggage adds to boarding time. Passengers getting to back rows, no bin space, have to lug their carryons back to the front and get them gate checked.

At some point, this wasted time adds up to a lost flight slot. 200 seats at $250 = $50,000 in revenue. (Aircraft can only make 5 flights instead of 6).

Southwest has become the most profitable airline by eschewing all nuisance fees.

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48 minutes ago, Hey Big Spender said:

More time at the gate with engines burning fuel. 

Planes definitely do not run their engines at the gates, that is SUPER dangerous.  They are always plugged into the AUX power that is typically part of the jetbridge.

 

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1 hour ago, Hey Big Spender said:

Southwest has become the most profitable airline by eschewing all nuisance fees. 

Actually, when I did my Master thesis, it revolved around airline success/failure.  SWA's success has little to do with nuisance fees, but more to do with their airframe is all the same.  Unlike Delta or United where they have 5 different airframes, they have 1 and 1 only airframe.   Every mechanic, every pilot can be moved about because they only have 1 air frame.  You can't take a puddle jumper pilot or mechanic DC8 and move them to a 737 or 767 without more specific training.  Same can be said for Jet Blue.

SWA also plays many different cost games.  They purchase fuel far out.  Want to fly into Dallas, you are going to Love Field, not DFW (Gate costs) 

It would be like saying that the Captain of Empress can now jump over to be the Harmony's Captain without any additional training.

JMPO, but this analogy is false.  It is not the nuisance fees, it is they only offer 1 type of airframe.  It would be like Royal only offering Oasis class ships.  Or like airlines, they have control of a hub.  Delta basically owns Atlanta.    Look at Cape Liberty or Baltimore...do you see NCL or Princess there?  NO.  Why?  Because NCL and Princess do not have a port there (aka hub).

Just saying, impo these nuisance fees have very little to do with nuisance costs tied to their profits, but more tied to the fact that Carnival, as a parent company can't figure out their niche in the more competitive cruise industry.  

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3 hours ago, Matt said:

As someone who regularly orders multiple entrees, this is an awful idea. I get the not wanting to waste, but let's not pretend the galley isn't preparing a ton of food to begin with.  Secondly, the portion sizes are much smaller than usual. 

It reeks of cost-cutting more than anything, and I sincerely hope this idea dies on the vine.

I'm reading this and remembering last year on both Liberty and Freedom the amount of food waste I saw specifically in Giovanni's, my wife and I would order an entree and the waiter would tell us not to worry about the pasta, he would take care of it, he would bring out 3 or 4 different pasta's just for 2 of us, I kept asking my wife if she ordered it and I just didn't know it.

There was no way we could eat all of the food.

Chops was the same way with the side dishes also.

Sabor there was never an issue with leaving hungry, incredible amount of food, and I like to think I can eat a lot also.

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4 hours ago, Oliver said:

We were eating at Chops Grill and my friend who eats a lot asks about having two entrees. The waiter politely stated that the policy is one entree and that he would have to charge for a second and that he didn’t have a choice.

It seems they're really inconsistent on this point in the specialty restaurants.  They wouldn't let me order two entrees at once (citing waste and wanting to make sure I would enjoy both), but once the first was out, I've always been allowed to order a second.  There's never been so much as a whisper about an additional charge.

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1 hour ago, Pima1988 said:

but more tied to the fact that Carnival, as a parent company can't figure out their niche in the more competitive cruise industry.  

I think Carnival can't figure out what to do with Holland America.  It's garnered a reputation as the cruise line for old people, as much as they want to dispel that.  If they position it as premium, well, then what's Princess for?

Is it now "luxury" for people who enjoy being nickel-and-dimed if they want to try a second entree?  Are there any actual humans that might appeal to?

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This is the kind of annoyance fee that people hate far beyond the actual cost.

One response might be to drop out of the recommended daily gratuities and use the difference to tip the waiter $10 for the second entree. I bet you will never be charged and your total cost will not change. 

There's always a cost to these nuisance fees. Charges for checked luggage have resulted in maximum carryon luggage. This has lengthened boarding times. More time at the gate with engines burning fuel. Free gate checked baggage adds to boarding time. Passengers getting to back rows, no bin space, have to lug their carryons back to the front and get them gate checked.

At some point, this wasted time adds up to a lost flight slot. 200 seats at $250 = $50,000 in revenue. (Aircraft can only make 5 flights instead of 6).

Southwest has become the most profitable airline by eschewing all nuisance fees.

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I wouldn't get the 2nd if there was a charge.  I have already paid enough and if I want to have the steak and the duck, I'm going to.  Unless there was the charge of course.  I don't think many customers would be alright with the charge.  I remember on my 1st cruise my wife told me I was allowed to ask and have anything on the menu.  If I didn't like it I can get something else, or just ask for them all and pick and choose what I wanted.  I 100% didn't believe her.  Finally on our last night of a 4 day cruise I tested her theory and it was a moment of pure enlightenment and gastronomical bliss.  I would hate for this charge to be an industry standard.  

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  • 4 weeks later...
17 hours ago, Jeff from PA said:

Sure, charge for the seconds. I'll skip it in the dining room and go to the Lido deck where chances are the dish is at the buffet.

Trust them , soon they will start to handout the plates and after they will start to weight them and if your palate will be more than 3 pound they will charge you extra 

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I know that I do not need a second entrée. Even if it was free.  If we want to have a variety of foods, we choose the WJ that night. If you don't like what you ordered, just like in a regular restaurant, you have the right to send it back for something else.

People are right in stating that it is just a way to increase revenue. The MDR is just like a big banquet facility. A certain amount of each entrees, appetizers and such are prepared for the evening and then just plated up when ordered, as I'm sure others have mentioned in the past.

I've even seen some entrees from the MDR menu one night being served the next night in the WJ. I'm not saying that is was leftover or reheated, but if they don't plan on using the uncooked portions of meat and such in the next day or two, that's a way to use it up.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For those concerned that RC may go down this path, a recent agreement with partner company Green Century seems to indicate that limiting entrees is not part of a general plan to reduce food waste.

Quote

Food expenditures account for 5.6% of Royal Caribbean’s total operating expenses, and food costs increased nearly $19 million in 2017 – thanks, in large part, to numerous sustainable sourcing culinary initiatives, which Green Century applauds.

The proposal points to some initiatives RC will take in the coming year, including:

Quote

Discussion of initiatives that the Company has introduced over the years to mitigate excessive food waste, including but not limited to: addressing the physical size of plates, utilizing employees for the plating of food in buffets, and eliminating the use of trays.

After reading the proposal, it sounds like the focus is on food waste in the buffets, rather than MDR.

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Interesting- it does seem like the Buffet would be a bigger source of waste. That said, I could see them reducing serving sizes in the MDR, and being more eager to bring second portions once you know you like something. Not necessarily full blown tapas style dining (although I'd love that for a couple of the meals), but somewhere in between. 

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On 3/4/2019 at 8:16 AM, Pima1988 said:

Sure,  but from an Econ 101 there is an equilibrium from a supply/demand aspect.  There is also the name/image perspective.  

Cruise lines compete with land inclusive resorts.   The land and cruise battle each other.  There is only so many that are willing to spend this amount of money for a weeks vacation.  Add in Air B & Bs at places like Cozumel, Bermuda, Key West, etc. that offer beach front property, swimming pool, and walking distance to the town, cooking breakfast in the kitchen instead of the WJ buffet is appealing if it is 1/3rd of the cost.

No way on this green earth I would go on Carnival.  I see it as cheap, and a party boat ( note I did not say ship).  Call me a snob, that is okay.  I am just saying from everything I have read and talking to TAs,  Carnival, even in a suite would not be a fit.  My Aunt cruised with Holland out of Hawaii,  she has traveled the world.  RCCL out of Sydney. Rooftops in Africa.  Princess in the Fjords.  Went to China., etc. etc. etc.  She said Holland left her disappointed in service.

I think Carnival is trying to find their target market and since Holland is a small portion of their corporation, they will use that line for market research.

 

Like your aunt, I sailed with Holland to Alaska. It was only my second cruise, and it was nothing like my experience on the Freedom. My husband and I have told many people that we will now only cruise with Royal, and always give very negative reviews about out time on Holland. It left a very bad taste in my mouth, and now charging for a second entree? This is just horrible service to add the existing services offered.

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