I have read on threads on this board that the main reason RCCL is charging for JR is that they want to reduce lines in that venue. Hogwash - that is an excuse given to pacify people - have a friend who has firsthand knowledge of this. It may have this as a secondary result but the main reason is revenue, which by the way, they need..None of the cruiselines is doing all that well yet although they are now starting to show better results - Carnival for example.. Low fares generally with fewer passengers and then enticing people with exceptionaly lower fares to fill cabins reduced revenue over the last couple of yrs and expenses were climbing. Just watch the cruise fares start to rise in the future partly because there are less new ships coming online and more people cruising....and this isn't limited to RCCL - they all will so changing cruiselines won't make any difference. Something to 'chew' on while we complain about paying for 'extras' on board right? This should be considered the Golden Age of cruising 'cause it is relatively cheap now so lets enjoy while we still can afford it!!!
I tend to believe the charge might have been instituted to reduce the number of teens hanging out at J.R's all day and night. It was a problem on our Explorer cruise two years ago. You couldn't get in the place at all.
The cruise lines must be doing well. Have you looked at RCL and CCL stock lately? Man, I wish I was smart enough to buy a bunch last year.
Don't forget that cruise prices have been artificially low the last couple of years due to the recession, terrorist fears and new ships. Expect to see pre-2001 prices soon and remember what the price of oil is these days.
I agree that I'd rather pay a higher price for the cruise and get rid of the silly charges as well as bring back the quality of food and service RCCL has been known for in the past.
These charges are slowly creeping back in. When the Voyager class ships first sailed, they were charging for JR's, rock-climbing, etc. until they realized people were very angry about it. Now that it's been several years, they are slipping the charge for JRs back in. This was probably always part of their "master" plan. In any event, the reason they can charge for extras is because there are always people willing to pay. If everyone could be convinced not to do so, they'd have to stop (again). This is impossible. I liken it to the fact that when you go to a ballgame, they can charge $5 for a hotdog. If no one bought them, they'd have to lower the price. Same thing here. But, there's always the morons that line right up and are happy to pay whatever they ask.