Remember the days when all food was included in the price of your cruise … and it was gourmet dining all the way around.
Some of you probably don’t. That’s because it was so long ago.
By the time I got around to my second cruise in 1999 – 13 years ago on a brand new Voyager of the Seas – pay-extra specialty restaurants and hamburger joints were already part of the landscape.
Many people never partake of these extra-costs venues, preferring instead to eat all they care to at establishments already included in the price – even though the food quality isn’t the same as it was 15 years ago.
Back then many said they would never pay for a meal on a cruise ship. Well guess what? They do.
After awhile you become immune to all the additional pay establishments and just go with the flow.
Heck, it’s just money … and if a cruise lines wants it we’ll just fork it over in the name of having a great time.
And then the cruise line does us a favor. They take what once was free and sell it at a reduced rate by combining three dining establishments into a package deal.
Its called smart marketing. On Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, they’ve created dining packages that combine some of their signature eateries to give customers a special experience.
For instance, The Central Park Dining Package sells for $65 per person for nights at Italian eatery Giovanni’s Table, upscale 150 Central Park and the Chops Grille steakhouse in the Central Park neighborhood with its 11,000 trees, scrubs and plants.
It really is a bargain by today’s standards. Those restaurants booked individually would coast $90 total.
But here is why this is smart marketing.
Yes, Royal Caribbean is selling their product for less. But normally a cruise passenger likely would book only one of these establishments. Now, they can sell three of them at once.
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