Carnival Increases Room Service Charges; Many Guests Upset

Update: Following the announced change and negative response, Carnival has backtracked on the price increases. In a Facebook post from John Heald of Carnival, he said “I had previously told you about changes to our room service offerings that would go into effect in January.

“I wanted to let you know that we are in the process of making some adjustments to that plan to balance the interests of our guests with our efforts to reduce food waste costs.

“For the time being then, there will be no changes until we finalise a plan that will I will communicate to you all.”

Original article:

So much for a happy start to 2019. On New Year’s Eve, Carnival announced that it will increase charges for its room service offerings.

For years room service on most cruises was completely free. Over the past few years, however, we’ve seen a steady rise in the charges for this perk. At first some cruise lines started to charge a fee for room service delivered at odd hours, like between midnight and 6 a.m.

Then, there began to be a charge for some items on the menu, such as hot foods that required more prep. You could still get a number of items for free.

Now Carnival has announced the next logical step — charges for everything on the menu. The announcement was made on John Heald’s Facebook page. John Heald is a brand ambassador for Carnival and often offers an “inside” look at the changes coming to the cruise line.

According to him, “Starting mid-January 2019, [Carnival] will be starting an a la carte stateroom service menu fleetwide. A wide variety of menu items will be available with a nominal cost ranging from $2 to $5 per item. Charges apply to lunch, dinner and late-night menu items.”

One thing that will still be free is continental breakfast delivered to your room. Any other items will be a charge. For example, ordering a garden salad ($3) with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich ($4), and a slice of chocolate cake ($3) will now run you $10 in food charges.

Frankly, it’s no surprise that Carnival has taken this step. The trend across many cruise lines has been to start charging for perks that used to be free. For instance, specialty restaurants — which are an extra charge on the ship — have soared in popularity with the cruise lines.

However, we wonder if Carnival might be getting more blowback than they expected. The response on the Facebook post seems overwhelmingly negative about the new charges.

Take a look at the top comments:

Facebook comments about room service charges

Here’s a sample of what some have said:

  • John, as a travel agent, selling 95% Carnival, I have to tell you that with these constant price increases and the decreases in the level of service we receive now on board your ships, Carnival is driving my clients away. They come back from Carnival cruises complaining about poor food quality in the Main Dining rooms and Lido buffet, as well as some other food areas, lack of waiters, rudeness of room stewards and guest services desk staff, and poor entertainment. Please get back to the old Carnival cruise lines.


  • 5.5 BILLION in profit up from 5.1 billion last year and charging more is the choice you make… I finally made platinum and NOW after gratuity up, cruise cost up, soda cost up, cheers cost up, and now zero items for free on room service…. If I gotta pay the high prices why not just pay them in Vegas or somewhere else like another cruise line. CARNIVAL is letting me down. At some point it just becomes GREED. I get it’s a business… But, the successful business model we all fell in love with appears to be doing a 180.


  • I will cut to the bottom line, no I won’t be ordering room service if I have to pay, and if I did I would not be sitting in a Carnival Robe because they are no longer in the room without begging the cabin stewards for it. And a big no, I won’t tip if I have to pay for the service. If I have to pay for the service per item ordered use part of that money to pay the crew, I’m sure the $4.00 for the sandwich will also have the 18% gratuity on it. So again, no I will not! #boycottroomservice


  • So if I am reading this right everything on the menu is now a charge???? That makes me really sad. I have a child. When she is down for a nap I can’t leave her to go grab something. Room service was what I used. Bummer


  • It won’t be long and we’ll have to pay to use the toilets.


  • Sorry John. I wont pay for it. The nickel and dimeing has lead me to another cruise line. Carnival cruises will be few and far between until things change.

What do you think about the change? Will you be ordering less room service now that there is a charge?

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  1. That really sucks! So much for all inclusive when the room service is going to cost you more. The better or special restaurants cost more…everything is going to cost more…there is just a point when it all becomes too much and you say forget it! Or you will notice the Carnival workers who are busting their asses working are going to get shortchanged because some people are so cheap and will take it on them by not tipping thinking that is ok to save a dollar or two. Carnival still gets its money but the workers get stiffed.

  2. I booked our cruise last year! They can’t change prices when I entered into a contract which involves things like free room service! They are committing fraud by misrepresenting their inclusions on the cruise contract I entered into…….right? We were pretty happy with Carnival cruises, we’ve been on several, but this may be a game changer for us !! Shame on Carnivsl, changing & blindsiding guests 2 dats prior to sail date!

    • For right now the change has been put on hold. If you are sailing soon then the room service charges will continue to be what they have been.

  3. I have only cruised Carnival Cruise Lines once a few years ago. My friends will not cruise Carnival because of past experiences so all my other cruises have been through a different cruise line. This year we are not cruising with friends so we decided to go with Carnival again. I wish I had known about the changes before booking this years cruise. I enjoyed Carnival in the past and I hope I do again this time. If not there are many cruise lines to choose from. I hope you do not continue to make more poor decisions to drive your customers away.


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