Celebrity Cruises has come under fire for charging $2 for chocolate chip cookies on its Celebrity Equinox ship, with an added 20% gratuity. While the cost may seem minimal, guests are outraged by the principle of the charge and the fact that crew members are being tipped for handing over the treat. Reports also suggest that free cookies are no longer available at Cafe Al Bacio, the ship’s cafe. It is unclear if free cookies are still offered elsewhere on the ship. The charge could be a test run to gauge guest reactions or a new gourmet offering. It remains to be seen if the charge will be implemented fleetwide.
This move follows the recent controversy surrounding Royal Caribbean International’s potential charge for pizza. Both cruise lines are owned by Royal Caribbean Group, and these fees could indicate a trend of charging for previously complimentary items on cruises. The question now is what fees guests will accept and which ones they will reject. In recent years, cruise lines have introduced fees for room service and extra entrees in the main dining rooms. The introduction of a charge for cookies raises speculation about what other fees may be introduced in the future, such as charges for bread baskets, poolside towels, self-serve ice cream, stateroom ice buckets, and admission to featured evening shows.
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