Royal Caribbean Confirms Huge Main Dining Room Menu Change

After months of testing, the cruise line is about to make a major change to its menus. And passengers might not like it.

Cruise-line passengers, at least the ones who have been sailing for years, generally don’t like change. 

You always hear people grumbling about how people don’t dress up for dinner or men wearing hats in the main dining room. On any cruise ship a sizeable group of people won’t be happy when a cruise line makes a major change.

That’s why Royal Caribbean (RCL) – Get Free Report has been very carefully testing major changes to the menu in its main dining room. The cruise line quietly began testing the new menu on sailings on Symphony of the Seas. Instead of the current menu, the new offering themed each night to a different type of cuisine.

The big change is not that there’d be an “Italian” or “American” night with the chef’s featured choices listed at the top of the menu, but rather that the “classics” section of the menu would no longer be offered. 

That section offered a few basic items — New York strip steak, spaghetti bolognese, a basic chicken, and a few others. Dropping it takes away a key option for people who aren’t that daring.

While the cruise line wants to minimize waste and speed up service times by slimming down the menu, dropping the “classics” lineup will upset some passengers. It’s a blow to families, especially because the “classics” menu appealed to teenagers who are too old for the kids’ menu but have not fully developed adult tastes.

Image source: Nora Tam/South China Morning Post via Getty

Royal Caribbean Confirms the Big Change

Royal Caribbean has not made a major change to its main dining room menu in more than five years. It doesn’t make major changes without careful thought, and it continues to test menus before it fully decides what the new menu will look like.

The cruise line has confirmed, however, that it will roll out a new menu across the fleet in January, Matt Hochberg reported on Royal Caribbean Blog

“Royal Caribbean cautioned that the exact menu selections may change, so test menus that have been used so far may not be the final product,” wrote Hochberg, whose blog is not affiliated with the cruise line.

The cruise line’s chief executive, Michael Bayley, confirmed that a change was coming while speaking on the Wonder of the Seas

.”We got all the written feedback. I think the food and beverage team has done an amazing job in making sure we’re responsive to that. Our plan is to is to roll out the new menus starting in January,” Bayley said when a travel agent asked for further information on the test.

Royal Caribbean Has Multiple Priorities

The cruise line has to balance not upsetting regular passengers who want the menu exactly as it is with the desires of newer customers who don’t want dinner to take two hours. That’s a tough line to walk.

On top of that, the cruise line has to balance food waste at a time when ingredients cost more. Bayley acknowledged that making any change was difficult.

“We’re very thoughtful and conscious about any changes that we make. But we do think that where we’re heading with the new menus is going to be better and more enjoyable,” he said.

The new menus are still a work in progress and the changes will take time to roll out. Royal Caribbean will finalize the new menus, based at least partly on customer feedback, by the end of the year. The revised menus will begin being rolled out in January but may not hit the full fleet until the end of the year. 

Related Posts