Cruise NewsHolland America LineCruise Line Testing Fee for Second Entrée in Main Dining Room on...

Cruise Line Testing Fee for Second Entrée in Main Dining Room on Cruises

Do you enjoy having a second entrée some nights in the main dining room on your cruises?  One cruise line is testing a new fee on select cruise ships if a passenger orders more than one entrée.

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Cruise Critic is reporting that Holland America Line is testing a $10 fee on select cruise ships when passengers order a second entrée in the main dining room.

The four cruise ships that the cruise line is testing this new fee on are Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Eurodam, and Zuiderdam. The testing period will last through the month of March.  Currently, the cruise line is testing two different options.

The first will have the $10 charge on every night of the cruise.  The second test will have the new charge only on the cruise line’s more formal Gala Nights.  A passenger’s starter, main course, and dessert will continue to be included in cruise fares.

Holland America Line told Cruise Critic that the reason for the new fee was to help prevent food waste.  What do you think of this new fee Holland America is testing?  Would you pay $10 for a second entrée on your cruise?  Let us know in the comment section below.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise NewsHolland America LineCruise Line Testing Fee for Second Entrée in Main Dining Room on...


  1. If it’s for food waste, then there shouldn’t be a fee for the person who finishes their food, and also – they probably should just charge everyone who doesn’t finish their food regardless of how much they ordered. Or better yet, if someone sends back their food perhaps they should charge the chef for not preparing the food to the customer’s liking. Just a few suggestions.

  2. I get the food waste issue (if that’s truly the driving force behind this) but I suspect it’s just another effort to reach into my wallet. HAL seems bent on finding creative ways for my wife and I to cruise with other lines, which is disappointing because we love HAL. Already planning 2020 and 2021 and my wife wants me to book elsewhere over this.

  3. As a 3-Star Mariner, I am holding two (2) Future Cruise Deposit Certificates, purchased onboard during our most recent HAL cruise. Was firmly planning on booking a cruise to Alaska in 2019, or Europe in 2020.

    Until I read about the upcharge for a second entree. And to think someone gets paid to stay up late at night and think of ways to ‘nickel and dime’ their passengers.

    If this “trial” is extended beyond its initial period, and implemented in any form or fashion fleetwide, I will simply ask for a refund of the monies paid for my FCD certificates. There are other cruise lines that I am just as happy to sail on, and since they don’t have an upcharge, I will be even more happy to sail them than HAL.

  4. I am looking into booking a cruise later this year and I will not be booking with Holland America, getting tired of the nickle and diming and I like getting two entrees because often times I don’t like one of them so at least I have a decent chance of getting a meal I like. SO NO Holland for me.

  5. Really disappointed as we do (or did) love a lot of things about HAL, and had definite plans to book our next (Alaska) cruise with them. They need to scrap this plan right away AND find a way to “apologize” to the MANY former cruisers they’ve lost with this stupid policy. Maybe reinstating the midnight buffet or better yet, eliminating and/or reducing some other nickel/dime charge. Take it out of the multi-million dollar bonus of the executive who came up with the idea.

  6. Just two months ago was the new fee to have room service now a fee to order a second entree. 500 sailing days and nothing added for the guest, but 10 years of removing “CLASS”
    We received Mariner GOLD Status this trip but that says nothing about how completely upset we are that HAL has raised daily tipping again after just a single year. And along with tipping you now charge hundreds of dollars for Internet and exorbitant prices just for a day. You really are living on another planet if you think you can charge such high prices and not think that people will not find other options, you really need to look around carefully.

    When we read the HAL Press Release about your new Internet prices we just switched to a GOOGLE PHONE that works perfect in Two Hundred countries with phone calls, local WiFi and Data (purchased from Google for just $l0 A GB or cell Roaming Data) all for just $20 a month, with no contract.

    I can tell you that our new phone worked just perfect in every single port, city and tour (if tour operator had service, we had service) so far and when we are within Twenty+ miles of a land Cell Tower on the Mexico, Central America & South American coast we got complete services (and again it’s only $20 for an entire month and you want over $20 a day.)

    It is most likely the absolute best world wide phone on the market and HAL got us so upset with your horrifying new Internet prices that we now save over $1,000 a year on cell phone service. Thanks!

    If Holland American Line provided twice the service as you did twenty years ago we could almost understand the thinking behind the Tipping constant increase, but you do not. In fact the HAL “class” in many areas has really gone downhill.

    We have watched over the last Twenty years several Holland America Line customs/services totally disappear and do not think “providing YOUR Tipping for far less service” is correct? Only in the Liberal wasteland of Seattle would anyone think you should pay more, for less.

    We provide this very short list:

    We remember “DAM Dollars’ and how guests that just entered a simple game would get a ‘dollar’ and after a cruise could actually purchase a key ring or fridge magnet. Was it really that bad that a guest could get a free key ring?

    We remember when HAL did not have Tipping, we remember the start of mandatory Tipping; and now the Tipping has doubled from when it started. When you have a two-fold increase, we just had to say something and do something.

    We remember when the Ice Cream section had a menu on the bulkhead so when a flavor ran out the item was removed.

    We remember little items sent to the Staterooms like strawberries or candy on the second half of any extended cruise. Even on four back to back seven day Alaska cruises, last year, we received this for each segment.

    We remember the Ice Sculpture on Formal Night.

    We remember when there were In Room Dining menu cards that could be filled out and hung on the door. Now it is wait for an open line on the phone to IRD.

    We remember Dining Room menus once had the name of the bread that was in the bread basket, on the table. You still list the food available that can be ordered; but I’m sure that soon that will vanish to be replaced with the Smart Phone Navigator.

    We remember when the ship was full of beautiful flowers. Now many times we get dead branches/sticks and some live plants and flowers wired to them in some very selective spots.

    We remember when the HAL Cats would play at the Lido Pool.

    We remember when the Cruise Director had more than a single person helping Him/Her and now when one person gets sick, almost every daily program is canceled do to no one to pick up the program item.

    We remember when the Stewards would thank everybody in the Main Dining Room the night before we entered the final port and even put together a small band and sing.

    We remember when guests had to wear Formal Clothes in the Main Dining Room on “Formal Night – Gala Night”; and now the room on many cruises is full of worn Levi’s, flip flops & T-shirts on any Alaska or now seven or even fourteen day cruises.

    We remember when guests in the Main Dining room actually had to wear “evening” clothes every night. And guests had to wear “evening” clothes around the ship at night and not dirty, back from a river tour or beach clothes that was so very evident on the Alaska Cruise last year.

    We remember when guests had to wear actual clothes or cover-up in the Lido all-the-time and not pool items. Once you placed ‘suggested’ in the clothing regulations this downgrade started.

    We remember when the ship would depart with a Cruise Director, Housekeeper and even a Dining Room Manager and not have personnel quit just the day before deployment to take work at another cruise company.

    We remember when we could go to the front desk and get the name of the Life Boat Members so we could send out a thank-you note to them and not be told: “Why didn’t you get the names yourself?” (Last Alaska cruise, it was documented all the way to Seattle.)

    We remember live music being played in the Main Dining Room at the start of the 1800 & 2000 meals.

    We remember covers on food in the Lido so the food did not get cold as it was carried around the Lido looking for a table or sitting on the table while the guest gets a drink.

    We remember Hot Plates and food in the Main Dining Room. In the last 10 years we have had to send meals back to the kitchen on nearly every cruise just to get Hot Food.

    We remember when Room Service was always part of the cruise when the cruise was purchased. We totally dislike the Carnival Corp idea of paying for room service.

    We remember when there was a Mariner Award event that guests actually showed up in something other than slob attire and when invitations started listing “Smart Casual” and nothing changed, we knew that few people understood those words.

    We remember when their was a Mariner Award event and group pictures were taken of everyone within a medal group, and the picture was sent to the Mariners stateroom. We are just waiting for the single award picture to be eliminated by Mr. Orlando Ashford, President of Holland America Line.

    We remember when 4 & 5 stars would actually get head-of-the-line in port after tours. We can not understand why you have an “award status” if it can be just canceled. Sounds easy to me, you do the 5 Star, the 4 Star and everyone else.

    We remember how hard the staff, that deals with guests, would try to learn their names.

    We remember when you could get a great price on a tour off the ship at every port with WESTOURS; now with this new and improved “EXC” tour company the exact same tour prices have been “upgraded.”

    We remember being able to purchase 15, 30, or 60 minutes of Internet and have it last for as long as we were on the ship on back to back bookings or the minutes were used. The requirement now to purchase Internet for the entire cruise when only a few minutes is needed, is nothing more than sucking every red cent out of guests that Mr. Stein Kruse, CEO and Mr. Orlando Ashford, President of Holland America Line can possibly get.

    We remember when we could get a Pepper Grinder in the Lido for all meals.

    We remember when Officer’s in all dining rooms wore uniforms at every meal and you could tell who the senior Officer was.

    We remember Afternoon Tea where you were always asked which flavor you wanted first and not have your tea cup filled with some “standard” tea.

    We remember Indonesian Tea where we were allowed to sample tea and food very popular within that country and stewards wore traditional clothing of their country.

    We remember High Tea when a cornucopia of food was served, stewards were all dressed in their finest, Chef’s served the food to the guests and the Main Dining Room was all dressed up.

    We remember Luggage Tags, HAL clothing, HAL Picture frames, HAL umbrellas, Hal Shopping bags, Bar drinks and bottles of Champagne were given to guests and groups that won events run by the Cruise Director or his staff.

    We remember games for guests where an actual prize was won was worth more than the three-cent plastic pins that Holland American Line now provides.

    I remember Veteran Meetings where the Cruise Director allowed members to access the Bar for the drink of their choice.

    We remember Chocolate Covered Strawberry’s and fresh chocolate in the Explorers Lounge, each night before and after 2000 Main Dining Room meal.

    We remember a Bar/Wine Steward actually assigned to the Explorers Lounge when there was entertainment.

    We remember when the Canaletto was a free restaurant to eat at.

    We remember remember when you could eat in the Main Dining Room of the Volendam / Amsterdam / Rotterdam / Zaandam and actually get in your chair at every table and not have the guest behind the chair inconvenienced. When you added more Staterooms and another 400 guests to the ship and tables were added to the Main Dining Room it really pushed everyone very close together where Waiters can not even serve properly.

    We remember Dutch Night in the Main Dining Room where the starting history of Holland America Line was celebrated.

    We remember Asian inlaid furniture, cloisonne keepsakes and delicately painted screens recalling the Dutch days as traders in the Far East.

    We remember actual real “history” on display throughout every ship going back one thousand years or more. Now the ‘real’ original artifacts are being phased out by Jerrol Golden, deputy director of international public relations. His actual words are: “We need to change and update the ships.”

    We remember the replica ship Half Moon, which was the Dutch ship of exploration commanded by Henry Hudson in 1609 and was part of the HAL Logo for decades and decades, But now Holland America Line has approved Dutch coffee house Beukenhorst Koffie to introduce Rotterdam 1873, a small-batch roasted coffee blend that pays homage to Holland America Line’s legendary luxury. So let me get this correct; HAL removes Dutch History with removal of the Dutch ship Half Moon but brings coffee onboard to “pays homage to Holland America Line.” Does anyone in Seattle see ‘stupid’ in this?

    We remember stage shows, musical reviews and condensed Broadway plays that have been replaced with solo acts including comedians, musicians and magicians.

    We remember when the Main Dining Room that was “Dressed Up” for formal night. Now we do not even get chair covers.

    We remember the sign in front of the Main Dining Room that stated “Coat and Tie required to enter.”

    We remember “dinner chimes” fleet-wide by the Upper Dining Room Doorman telling guests that the Dining Room is now open. This lost service was started on the ms Volendam when I requested it and during the fourth week it stopped again. Another “class” item dropped by Seattle.

    On this cruise I now have to toast my own bread in the morning on a machine that works so well that I have to place my English Muffin in the machine SIX times just to get a light brown on it. And that is the best part. I have to do this while mutuality sharing this machine with all other guests at the same time. This was a totally stupid move and I bet that when Mr. Stein Kruse, CEO Holland America Line and Mr. Orlando Ashford, President of Holland America Line are onboard, that they do not have to experience this brand new improvement in service.

    We remember the wonderful Philippine Crew Shows.
    We remember the wonderful Indonesian Crew Shows.
    We remember the wonderful totally fresh orange juice machine behind the counter operated by a Steward that would provide orange juice with lots of pulp or very little pulp. Now we get a multi-juice machine that is very close to bug juice.
    We remember Cherries Jubilee fixed right at the dining table.
    We remember when the customer was sent boarding documents and luggage tags
    We remember when the ship would print a plane boarding pass for a guest at the end of a cruise.
    We remember when you could purchase 10 minutes of computer time to check on flights or connections at the end of a cruise.
    We remember when the table on Formal Night was set with a formal setting. Something for the Grandparents to instruct Grandchildren about during Formal Nights but that’s gone just like the ‘class’ that once was part of Holland America Line.
    Sixty+ items, and this was just a quick 30 minute list

  7. No way I would not choose any cruiseline that up charged at dinner. Part of your cruise is to enjoy and try different things. It’s alreadt in the fare…added more. Costs is nickel and dimeing us to death.i will not use the cruiseline that keeps charging us more ! All inclusive cruise I guess is no more!

  8. I’ve sailed on HAL at least 35 times and have never had the need to order a 2nd entree – perfectly satisfied with one entree and the other courses. I have no problem with HAL charging $10 for a 2nd entree. I definitely won’t stop sailing on HAL!

  9. No, this is a bad move for any cruise line. I do hope no cruise line will truly implement this practice. Because if they do, people will eventually quit cruising.

  10. would never cruise on a line with that option. like the airlines when the chips start coming it is a slippery slope. you get what you settle for.

  11. When I cruise I love to try different foods, and ALWAYS try to eat it not waste it. However, if not consumable I would order something different. If this happens, I wouldn’t be open to trying the new and staying with tried and proven dishes. Too bad they feel they need to resort to this, they have already cut out the midnight buffet’s even if it’s just once during the cruise. SMH….

  12. No. I would definately not cruise with Holland America if they implement the $10 charge. If they do this then what else are they going to start charging a fee for. Squeezing, squeezing people out of their hard earned money is no way to go. Please rethink this one.

  13. We have taken several Holland cruises and have ordered a second entry (lobster) maybe 2 times. They are our cruise line of choice, but ….. maybe not in the future. Bad move!

  14. That’s to much. All the charges you get now are ridiculous. Cruising is just to expensive for me. And not that I would order another entry but the gentleman at next table to me this pass Jan ordered 2 of everything and eat it all.

  15. The wasting of food that I have witnessed i the dining room is not from those passengers eating the 2nd entree. I had sailed o multiple cruises and I only wate if the food is not well prepared. I will eat my main meal and get a snack elsewhere. This is a excuse for practicing greed.

  16. Will not cruise with anyone who does this. Very rarely order 2nd one but if don’t like the first one will not order 2nd one already way to many extra fees. Been on 20 cruises with 5 different lines but will change if things keep getting more expensive. On fixed income. Need to pay employees. more instead of asking your customers to do so . Not all about mega profits!!!

  17. I understand about the waste of food , you also see at the buffets. But I agree it is nickel and diming the guest. We have the choice to eat in or not to eat in the specialty venues where you only get one main entree with the surcharge. Maybe they just need to limit all main entrees in the dinning room to one per guest. If you are still hungry head off to the buffet. Over many cruises we have never ordered a second entree, this must explain how we go on a cruise and never gain weight, we usually come home lighter.

  18. No way! You are encouraged to “try something new” and if you don’t like it you are charged. You have paid for food, leave it alone. That’s not my favorite line, ut others will want to do it also.

  19. The cruise lines are ALL Nickel – Diming passengers on everything they can come up with. They are ALL becoming exactly the airlines charging fees on things that never had EXTRA fees on the items before. I eventually feel that if Passenger costs keep increasing in cruise costs with what used to be FREE incidentals they will begin to loose customers to fill ALL their new HUGE ships being built. I’m beginning to lose interest in cruise sailing with all of them and I sail on several different cruise lines and am a person in their higher loyalty programs. Fellow cruisers need to complain instead of accepting all the new ideas they come up with to skim more revenue.

  20. OMG – any more fees the cruise lines can come up with!! NO, I won’t cruise with Holland America or any cruise line that follows, if they are even thinking of doing this. Have 35+ cruises and now thinking twice before booking to see who has the least amount of fees and more bang for the buck! Cruise lines are even pushing more to go back to the “classes” on their ships with “The Haven” for NCL, and other special decks for those who are willing to pay. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth and others because places we were able to enjoy are now being SAVED ONLY FOR THE SPECIAL CLASS. Makes the rest of the people feel less respected and treated differently. An awful lot of people are thinking about not cruising anymore since it isn’t an all inclusive vacation anymore. TOO MANY FEES FOR WHAT WAS PART OF THE ADVENTURE ! Just raise the base price A LITTLE for everyone and go back to NO FEES! Paid restaurants, coffee bars, ice cream stands, clubs – OMG! Even my favorite after dinner COFFEE now has a fee unless it is just a plain cup – no latte etc! It is coffee with milk!! COME ON NOW… REALLY — MORE FEES?

  21. We were planning on booking with Holland America this summer for a trip to Alaska.. By even testing this they just lost a pair of cruisers.. Not going with them.. We have been on nine cruises.. # Ten will be with anyone besides Holland America.

  22. I enjoyed HAL for our last cruise in January. However, I can say without hesitation and without question that if they keep the $10 upcharge my shadow will never be cast on one of their ships again. And as a veteran of sailing on 6 different Cruise lines, if it becomes industry standard I will never cruise again.

  23. They’ve shot themselves in the foot with this one. Absolutely stupid PR move. For the principle, and not the $10, I shall never make another reservation for our family of six on this line.

  24. Absolutely NOT…. We are already being charged a ridiculous amount of extra fees just to use the services on board. I hope they see the error in their greediness

  25. “To decrease food waste”. That makes no sense. Look at the lido buffet. You can order additional apps or desserts but no entree? Nobody wants to be nickeled and dimed on a cruise. This is a bomb.

  26. I agree people are way too wasteful, they think they “paid” to be wasteful, but I think the added fee will cause some people to go elsewhere for their cruise. I personally do not waste and being able to enjoy the food included in the original cruise price is one thing that draws me to cruising.

  27. Looks like just another way to nickle and dime passengers. Been cruising for over 35 years. Every year things get less appealing.

  28. No.. we wont eat there. When someone wants extra of something just bring what they want not the sides with it. Save alot of waste. Why pay extra you can eat at one of other restaurants on ship or buffet.

  29. No. That is the whole point, trying out new exciting food. If I don’t like it, I can order something else. The Cruise Lines have already raised their prices. They have added a Room Service charge. They make you tip. They charge extra for Speciality Dining. Cruising is quickly becoming not so All Inclusive

  30. Next will be extra charge for getting seconds at the midnight buffet, or maybe charge you for the extra burger in the afternoon poolside?

  31. No, no, no. What’s next? Fees for a towel on poolside or to sit in a lounge chair? How about an elevator fee? Fee to use the library? Or a fee to go on deck?

  32. This is a bad move. One of the perks of cruising is ordering what you want without worrying about cost. I agree, waste is a problem, but this move smacks more of nickel and dining customers than preventing waste. There has to be a better way.

  33. I think that charging for an additional meal, if eaten at the table, is awful. Guests already are nickel’d and dime’d to death on ships wherein their bill at the end of the cruise is sometimes in the thousands of dollars.

    I agree that food waste is a definite problem. I think food waste control can easily be left up to the servers. If they see that their guests are eating the second meal, so be it. Anyone who orders a second meal should be advised at the time it is requested, that a $10 waste fee will be charged to their shipboard account.

    Food waste is a problem, but it is not only done by the guests: the crew is guilty of the same thing,

    If the issue is honestly food waste and not about loss of profits and greed, then by all means it needs to be addressed.

  34. I would find another cruise line to use we have never gone with them and with this news I probably never will the whole point for us to cruse is that my food is included most lines have stoped doing free room service now this they are nichol and dimeing us even worse.

  35. I hardly ever order a second entree, but I may have to quit cruising that line if that’s the policy. Over 25 cruises.
    Have on lobster night.

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