Going for seconds on Holland America Line will add to your bill as the line trials an extra charge for every second entrée ordered in the main dining room.
For the month of March, ordering a second entrée (the main course in American menus) on Nieuw Amsterdam, Eurodam, Zuiderdam and Oosterdam will attract at fee of US$10 (AU$14).
One test involves charging US$10 for a second entrée only on Gala Nights, while a second involves charging US$10 every night.
Passengers will still be able to order multiple servings of appetisers and desserts without surcharge.
The line maintains it is not about the money, but about preventing food waste. But that didn’t stop a number of complaints from passengers.
“Over the years we have upgraded the menu, and we have experienced that guests occasionally order additional main courses they simply can’t finish,” Holland America said in a statement.
“Holland America Line has made great efforts to reduce food waste and with this we can better determine if guests who order a second entree will truly enjoy it.”
The line will be evaluating the trial responses and results at the end of the month, and will make a decision on whether to continue to impose the charge based on its findings.
Holland America’s trial appears to be the first time a surcharge is applied on a second entrée off the standard menu – a move that could be dubbed a “gluttony tax”.
Cruise lines do have items on their menus for an additional charge – usually lobster or surf-and-turf options.
It is still early days in the trial but it begs the questions: could this become a trend? And how will passengers take it?
A poll on the Cruise Passenger forum reveals that cruisers are divided, with half thinking that the move is unfair, and the other either agreeing with it or claiming that it doesn’t affect them.
The initial feedback on Holland America Facebook page mirrors the poll.
Don Pettinger posted on their Facebook page saying: “Very disappointed that you are now charging for a 2nd entree in the main dinning room … If you want to up-charge guests and make it look you are trying to stop food waste, charge people who leave food on their plate. Just another way to up-charge your guest. Very sad.”
To this, Janet Reynolds responded, “Amazing that people are talking about not booking a cruise or cancelling over a $10 charge for extra food. Would they expect to go to a restaurant and order two entrees and only expect to pay for one? Sorry but I call that greedy.”
Another post from Megan Elizabeth writes, “While I don’t ever order more than one entree, I have to say the perception of this fee cheapens and lessens this cruise line.”
What do you think? Should guests be charged for a second main course? Tell us what you think and help shape the debate.