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Cruise ship room service: What you should know

Family eating room service breakfast in bed

Room service is a staple to many vacationers. It is your time off, why shouldn't you enjoy breakfast in bed (or better yet, on your private balcony!) before a busy day spent ashore or running around the ship? 

Before you place that phone call, though, you will want to understand how cruise ship room service works and the associated costs. Unless you are sailing on a luxury line, 24/7 room service is not complimentary. After a certain hour, there is usually a service fee billed to your onboard account. Moreover, some cruise lines charge a flat rate, while others bill by the item. 

Here is everything you need to know about room service onboard cruise ships. 

How much does room service cost?

Room service on Celebrity

If you are considering ordering room service on your upcoming cruise, you are probably wondering how much it costs. The answer, unfortunately, is not that simple, as it varies by cruise line and time of day. Most cruise lines offer complimentary breakfast during certain hours. If you opt to order a hot breakfast item or outside of said hours, you may be subject to an additional service fee. 

Carnival Cruise Line

For those sailing on Carnival, complimentary room service may be ordered between the hours of 6:00am and 10:00am. You can choose from items like cold cereal, fresh fruit, toast, bagels, muffins, and yogurt. There's no shortage of free beverages, either. Guests can order a variety of different juices, as well as coffee, milk, tea, and hot chocolate. 

Plus, there are some hot breakfast sandwiches that can be ordered for an additional fee. These cost $5 or $6 each and are subject to an 18% service fee. 

From 10:00am to 6:00am, all items cost extra. Items range from $3 for a side of french fries to $9 for a Greek salad with pan seared salmon. Like the hot breakfast items, your total cost will be charged an 18% service fee. 

Celebrity Cruises

Room service onboard a Celebrity cruise is complimentary from 5:00am to 11:00pm. For breakfast, guests may order from the continental menu, which includes items similar to Carnival. You may select yogurt, fruit, assorted pastries and toast, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and cereal. And, of course, select beverages are complimentary, too. These include some juices, teas, and coffee. 

After breakfast hours, guests may choose from the all-day dining menu. Between the hours of 11:00pm and 5:00am, all room service orders will incur a $9.95 service fee. 

If you are a guest of The Retreat, note that you have complimentary room service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Disney Cruise Line

Whether you want breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a snack to hold you over until your next meal, you may order room service at any hour, and it is included in the price of your Disney cruise

Room service breakfast on Carnival Pride

Holland America Line 

Holland America, like Disney, includes room service in the cost of your cruise fare. Some items may have an additional charge, and they will be clearly noted on the room service menu. 

Note that premium options are subject to an 18% service fee. 

MSC Cruises

Your room service cost is based upon what "experience" you book with MSC Cruises. The lowest tier, Bella, does not have complimentary room service at any hour of the day. You will pay $3 for one item and $5 for two, as well as a $3.50 delivery fee per order. If you are ordering a pizza, it costs $6 with a delivery fee of $3.50. 

The two higher tiers, Fantastica and Aurea, include free delivery; however, you still must pay $3 for one item or $5 for two, and like with the Bella experience, a Neapolitan pizza will cost $6. 

Room service is always free for Yacht Club guests. 

Norwegian Cruise Line

In December 2022, Norwegian Cruise Line guests noticed that began charging a $4.95 service fee for all continental breakfast orders. Per their website, however, continental breakfast and morning coffee is free. All other items on the menu are subject to a convenience charge of $9.95 per order, expect for guests staying in The Haven; they receive free room service for all orders. 

Additionally, a 20% gratuity and beverage service charge is added for all non-complimentary beverages. 


Princess Cruises 

Princess Cruises offers a complimentary 24-hour room service menu that includes continental breakfast; however, they also offer premium selects that you can opt to pay extra for, such as filet mignon, hummus, pizza, and key lime pie. These prices can range anywhere from $3 to $25.50. 

If you are staying in a balcony cabin, you can opt for Princess' "Ultimate Balcony Dining" experience. For around $100 for two people, you can have Princess deliver an elevated four course meal straight to your stateroom-- think beautifully crafted cocktails, lobster tails, and juicy steaks! 

You can even do this for breakfast and receive higher quality options, such as specialty pastries, quiche, smoked salmon, and sparkling wine. This costs $45 for two people. 

Royal Caribbean International

Aside from continental breakfast offerings, Royal Caribbean charges $7.95 per room service order. An 18% service charge is applied to the $7.95, making the total per order around $9.40. 

Limited complimentary breakfast options are only available from the hours of 6:00am to 11:00am, including assorted bakery items, cereal, fruit, yogurt, chilled juice, and coffee. 

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages has really reinvented the traditional cruise dining experience. All restaurants onboard are included in the cost of your cruise fare, meaning that there are no specialty restaurants that you will have to pay extra for. That being said, any room service does incur a $5 service charge; however, you are able to order as much as you'd like! 

Additionally, some beverages cost extra, like fresh squeezed orange juice, select teas, coffee and alcohol. The price ranges from $3 for a single espresso to over $100 for a bottle of champagne! 

Do you have to tip?


In most cases, it is customary to bring small bills to tip the crew members who bring your order to your stateroom. The crew work hard to get your room service order to you in a timely manner! 

Of course, this is not required since you already pay a daily gratuity and, in most cases, your room service order will be subject to an additional service fee. 

Read more: Tipping on a cruise ship: Guide and what to do

What can you order to your stateroom?


Continental breakfast offerings are pretty standard across all of the mainstream cruise lines. You won't be able to order anything like steak and eggs, but you can wake up to assorted pastries, fruit, cereal, juice, and coffee. If you'd like, you can always order a hot item for an additional charge-- these options vary by cruise line. You will always find the best breakfast selection elsewhere, though. 

Outside of breakfast, many cruise lines have similar offerings, usually anything from quesadillas to pizza, chicken tenders, french fries, various sandwiches and salads, and, of course, dessert! 

You can even order alcoholic beverages on most cruise lines; however, note that if you have a drink package, these beverages are usually not included-- this includes select non-alcoholic drinks like soda and zero proof cocktails. You will have to pay extra for them! 

So, if you have a drink package, you are much better off just walking to a bar somewhere onboard and bringing the beverage(s) back to your stateroom. It does not make much sense to pay for something that you can get for "free." 

How do you place an order?


For breakfast, you will have to place your pre-printed and filled out menu outside of your stateroom by a designated time. Royal Caribbean, for example, requests that this is outside no later than 3:00am. On this menu, you will indicate what you would like to eat, as well as what time you want it delivered to your cabin. 

For afternoon, evening, and late-night room service, you can call the dedicated room service hotline on your stateroom's phone. Depending on which cruise line you are sailing with, you may even be able to order directly through the app or television. 

Some cruise lines, like Princess Cruises, even allow you to order food and drinks anywhere on the ship! Rather than risk losing your perfect lounge chair by the pool, you can order lunch straight to you. 

Room service is usually unavailable on disembarkation morning, so you will have to wake up and head to the buffet or main dining room before getting off of the ship. Additionally, there are cut off times as to how late you can order food on the last night. On Disney, for instance, the latest that you can order is 1:30am. 

And just as a general rule, you should check the hours of operation on all venues on the last night. They may not be open as late as they were throughout the rest of the cruise. 

Why should you order room service?

Room service breakfast on Rotterdam

The primary reason most people resort to ordering room service is the convenience. 

Even though there are numerous different food options available throughout the ship, there is nothing quite like having your food show up right to your door, especially if you are in a rush to get ready and get off the ship. You can even order some late-night snacks to be delivered while you are getting ready for bed after a long night at the bar or dance club. 

And while nothing will beat going to the main dining room or a specialty restaurant for dinner, if you have young kids who are exhausted and fussy, room service is a great option. You can feed them and get them changed into comfortable clothes at the same time!

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