Nobody, even the pickiest eater, has ever gone hungry on a Royal Caribbean or Carnival cruise.
Both cruise lines include breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the main dining room, round-the-clock pizza, access to a buffet for three meals a day, and usually at least one or two other free dining options.
In the past year, however, both cruise lines have made some major dining changes. Some are positive, like Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) – Get Free Report expanding its late-night menu to offer free choices beyond pizza. In other cases, passengers have not been as happy.
Both Royal Caribbean and Carnival overhauled their main-dining-room menus and took away some items that had been offered every day. In addition, the rival cruise lines also began limiting customers to one free lobster tail on sailings that have lobster nights, and Carnival added a $5 fee for any entree after the second one.
Some of these changes were forced by the supply chain. Lobster prices have skyrocketed nationwide, and that likely forced the two companies to change their policies. In other cases, changes have been made to speed up service and cut down on food waste.
In a broad sense, passengers generally want both those things, but they don’t like it when a well-intentioned cutback removes a dining choice or menu item they like.
Carnival is now facing negative feedback from passengers over a change it made to its breakfast and brunch menus.
Carnival has made some changes to a number of dining areas.
Image source: Carnival
Carnival takes away some breakfast choice
Carnival serves breakfast in its main dining room, its Lido buffet, and its Blueiguana Cantina. It also serves a brunch menu on sea days in the main dining room.
The Lido buffet generally has premade food for passengers to serve themselves. This includes eggs, waffles, pancakes, bacon, sausage, cereals, pastries, fruit, and some international offerings. Until recently, Lido also offered a traditional made-to-order omelette station where passengers can pick from a wide array of fillings to customize their omelettes.
Carnival has changed that and now will serve a limited selection of omelettes in Lido and in the main dining room. Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald addressed the matter on his Facebook page in response to passenger complaints.
“Well, hopefully, you will still be able to enjoy the ham and cheese omelette, which is still available along with a vegetarian. and a plain omelette, a cheese omelette and an egg white omelette as well. Of course, there are so many other great choices for you to enjoy. Thank you so much, breakfast is a wonderful meal and I hope you’re enjoying it on board very soon,” he posted.
The omelettes are still being made to order; they are now available only in these varieties. Heald said that change was made to speed up service.
Carnival and Royal Caribbean made-to-order lines can be slow
While many Carnival passengers clearly see this as a cutback, it’s also a problem-solver. Omelette stations on cruise ships generally have about four pans. If every person fully customizes their omelette, the process bogs down.
Anyone who has ever been on a cruise ship has likely seen long lines at any buffet stations that allow for customization. That’s true of pasta stations and stir-fry stations as well. Making custom meals takes longer and only so many can be made at a time.
In this case, Carnival hasn’t stopped making fresh omelettes; it has simply limited passenger’s choices. That will certainly disappoint people who want peppers, mushrooms, onions, bacon, sausage, or other options no longer being offered, but it will speed service and make the line move faster.
That’s a trade some passengers may like (those who enjoy the new choices) while others will feel like something has been taken away from them.