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Holland America testing additional charge for two entrees

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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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11 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.

Not sure you will find lobster tails or prime rib at the lido, but a good thought.

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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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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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I tend to agree with RC that a source of the food waste is the buffet, not the MDR.  And I think giving smaller plates is a wonderful way to reduce waste.  This is a common practice in Vegas buffets with the smaller plates.  If you took one of your dinner plates at home, and placed it next to a Vegas dinner plate, its a few inches smaller.  Not enough to notice when its in a big stack of plates, and since there's nothing to really compare it to, you dont mind.  Its not like they're using saucer size plates where you'd notice.  But its just an inch or two smaller, designed in vegas to maximize profit by reducing waste.  But those are also buffets you pay for.  The rationale may be different, but the result is the same, less food on the plate, less waste.  

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On 4/22/2019 at 11:51 AM, joshvc said:

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. 

Omg... Can you imagine how much that would slow down the service in the dining room even more than now?  I'm not sure how much more you can shrink the serving sizes... One small pork chop for example is a chop... Can't shrink it!  

The mdr already has the upcharge items and people are fine with them but with all the specialty dining push, people will go bat crazy if you start charging for 2nd entrees in one of the two main complementary dining areas.  They will find ways to increase revenue without this really in your face one, which is the point of charging for entree 2 and not the silly food waste excuse.  Jane

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