I'm afraid the nickel & diming currently in vogue will evolve to diming & quartering (of even half dollar and dollar coining). I can see a cover charge for some of the shows. I can see them putting less food out for the buffet and just not replenishing it towards the end of peak periods. I can also see smaller portions and a new policy of "no second helpings".
This is, of course, all completely speculative but they need to cut some things just to stay on an even keel in relation to fuel charges. Almost all lines now charge a fuel surcharge and that may increase again
The cruise lines (not just Royal Caribbean) need to remain profitable but must walk a fine tightrope between cost cutting and customer cutting. Certain things are expected on a cruise. Many cruise in large part because it is nearly "all Inclusive". If cruise line cut out too many traditionally included features, suddenly land based vacations start to look a whole lot better.
Personally, I’d rather pay a higher per cabin fee and not worry about the nickels, dimes and portion control. At least we know our budget in advance. At the rate we cruise, a $200 difference over a week is not difficult to overcome if you only do it every 3 or 4 years. Our next cruise is not until next spring. I hope the experience does not disappoint in comparison to the cruise we just took in 2006. I’m still optimistic that we will have a wonderful time and still be thinking about it in 2011 when we plan to take a cruise with our daughter for her graduation.
April 1, 2006 - Serenade of the Seas - 7 days to the Southern Caribbean
October 8, 1984 - NCL Sunward II - 3 day cruise to the Bahamas