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Johnny Rockets is not free anymore!

Discussion in 'Royal Caribbean International' started by izodlacoste, Oct 17, 2004.

  1. sailboat

    sailboat Guest

    Ok everybody. Your cruise fare includes your meals. They are not "free"---"included" does not mean free. You still get food, entertainment, and lodging at a very competitive cost per person per day price, so cruising over all is a good value but apparently that fact vanishes in the face of a $3.95 charge for a hamburger or many hamburgers as long as you stay parked in your seat to the dismay of those who might want to get in there and sit down too. We seem to be the victims of "branding" where the name Johnnie Rockets on a burger elevates it to some high level of desirability that somehow makes it better than the "included' hamburger you can get elsewhere. We are also the victims of cruise advertising which has planted the idea of "free" in our minds.

    If RCCL made a mistake it was in having the JR franchise as an "included" item in the first place because it set customer expectations beyond what they could meet. But I guess they cannot be faulted for being unable to see into the future and the problems with kids and wasted food.
  2. bicker

    bicker Guest

    There is no reason to believe that it is a problem. As others have pointed out, all the traditional dining options are still free -- uh -- "included" in the price of the cruise. Passengers who want the special experience that is offered by Johnny Rockets, have that option available to them, with the service charge. The surcharge resolves the issue.
  3. ljeanbrown

    ljeanbrown Guest

    ...I was responding to the post above mine that said they thought it was a good idea to seperate the cruise fare and the meals and not have the meals included in the price any more! I don't have a problem with JR's either. I was saying that I did not agree with the poster that liked the idea of changing the way cruising is set up now. I know that the food is not free and that it is included in the price and I like it like that :thumb I really don't mind the charge for JR's, as I said before if people don't want to pay it, they can still get a burger and fries at the buffet.
  4. bicker

    bicker Guest


    I wonder how I'd really feel about lower fares and nothing included. The firm basis for not surcharging the main dining room is that you're in a captive-market situation. Even at Walt Disney World, you can drive somewhere else to get lunch. (You'll end up wasting an hour, but you still could do it.) You clearly cannot do that during a day at sea. So I can see the lack of a surcharge as a bit of protection for both sides: Protection for the customer against predatory surcharging for food when it is the only food available, and protection for the cruise line against accusations of predatory surcharging! Besides three-squares and a place to sit and watch the ocean go by, though, they could surcharge for the rest AFAIC. It may or may not be to my personal benefit.
  5. bicker

    bicker Guest

    Something else to ponder: We're about to sail on Majesty of the Seas. No Johnny Rockets, no Portofino, no Chops, etc., none of the things that they surcharge for on the newer ships. Yet, we'll have a full cruise experience without those things -- indeed, perhaps a more "traditional" experience because this is a more traditional ship, without these non-traditional offerings -- a better reflection of what was offered 10 years ago.
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I would not mind the for pay restaurants IF the food in the dinning room had not gone down hill!!!!!!!! It seems to me that they are giving fewer choices. The quality of the food has gone from great to good to fair.
  7. ljeanbrown

    ljeanbrown Guest

    :thumb I actually prefer the older more traditional ships. Besides I don't feel like they are that old, some people think if a ship is over 2 or 3 years old it needs a remodel =shrug I also like the smaller ships, Majesty of the Seas size or smaller.
  8. bicker

    bicker Guest

    From my limited perspective, the chronological age of the ship isn't as important as the age of its amenities, both in terms of how state-of-the-art they are, and in terms of how close they are to brand-new perfection they are. If we had more time to choose and more choices, we wouldn't have chosen Majesty of the Seas for this next cruise, for a number of reasons. For example, we'll choose a larger gym on-board with more modern equipment over a smaller gym with older equipment. We'll choose a ship that has more open-space and views of the outside over one that has less open-space and views of the outside. We'll choose a balcony when we can afford it, and many older ships (like the Zenith) have none. On our first cruise, the pool was 6' x 12' -- that isn't satisfactory even for as few folks who were on-board, IMHO.

    "Brand newness" can be remedied by routine maintenance and refurbishment. So older ships chronically suffer from only one irrevocable syndrome, from my perspective: The fact that they were designed and built before a lot of the great, new ideas about what to provide for cruise passengers were thought-up, made feasible, and implemented.
  9. JeffFwa

    JeffFwa Guest

    I think Sailboat hit the nail on the head. :hammer If RCCL hadn't included the cost of JR's in the past, then I wouldn't feel bad about paying the surcharge. =shrug But since it was included on my previous RCCL cruises, I would feel like I'm being ripped off having to pay for something that was included in the past. I'm also not convinced that there's something special about a JR burger that it should have a surcharge anyway.

    Instead of comparing a cruise to a sprawling complex like Disney World, I think it would be more appropriate to compare a cruise to a resort hotel. They have a captive audience as well, but they have many options as to where you want to eat. The same could be done on a cruise. The buffet or JRs could be the low priced option, the main dining room the mid priced, and Chops or Portofino would be the fancy meals for this resort. Then just charge me as in a regular restaurant - only for what I eat. It would also give me the opportunity to sample the cuisine at the ports without feeling like I'm spending twice for a meal (the included meal on board, and the one at the port). Also, the cruise line could still offer an "all-inclusive" option where the restaurants are included.
  10. bicker

    bicker Guest

    A resort hotel isn't isolated enough for such a comparsion. Walt Disney World is a much better comparison, since it, practically-speaking, has its guests "captive" just like a cruise ship. Indeed, a cruise ship is even MORE of a captive-market situation, even more so warranting things like surcharges.
  11. kraspa

    kraspa Guest

    Gone are the good old days where you did not have to worry about the cruise lines nickle and diming you. Crown and Anchor members use to get a discount at the store too....remember that?
  12. Bestman

    Bestman Guest

    It's a blatant stab at making more profit off the backs of there customers. Plain and simple.
  13. bicker

    bicker Guest

    If that was the intent, then why not charge a fee for the main dining room as well? After all, folks still could eat for free at the buffet.
  14. JeffFwa

    JeffFwa Guest

    Be careful what you wish for. There could be a time where there is a fee is charged for every meal with no change to the fare structures.
  15. bicker

    bicker Guest

    Prices will always reflect perceived value of customers in this market. People have choices about what they spend their vacation dollar on. Prices increasing (as they have been) is a clear reflection that customers have more to spend due to an improving economy, and therefore attribute a higher value on available alternatives. If anything, for many (though surely not all -- it'll be a zero-sum, of course), separating out more items as a la carte will result in a significant reduction in the cost of a cruise vacation.
  16. JeffFwa

    JeffFwa Guest

    For once, I agree with you. Having everything a la carte will give people the option of choosing where to spend their money as opposed to having some dining choices included in the cost of the cruise while other options are additional. It would put the cruiser in complete control of their spending.

    Rising prices are inevitable in any industry, and cruises are no exception. The cruise lines can save money, however by charging for each meal that someone eats on board. They wouldn't have to carry and prepare so much food on each cruise, in addition to the income from the surcharges. Hopefully, they would pass some of that savings on to the public through flat fares, or at least fares that don't increase as quickly as they do in other industries (you should see my cable bill!).
  17. bicker

    bicker Guest

    Rising prices are not inevitable. Prices have dropped -- plummetted actually -- over the past ten years. Prices are a reflection of customers' perceived value.
  18. AJ coast

    AJ coast Guest

    Will Freedom of the Seas have the Johnny rockets onboard, or has Royal Caribbean realized that the chain is really a cash-guzzler?
  19. BP

    BP Guest

    We were pretty happy with the Seaview cafe on the Jewel which had a lot of the same type of food as Johnny Rockets and there was no charge for the food. Everything was cooked to order and the onion rings were great.
  20. bicker

    bicker Guest

    Given how RCI has had to impose a surcharge to control the crowds at Johnny Rockets, I think we can rest assured that they recognize just how popular the place is and how attractive it is to passengers. That has translated into plans to add Johnny Rockets to each ship, as it goes in for refurbishment, and it should mean that there'll be at least one aboard Freedom of the Seas.

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