Royal Caribbean wants you to pay a $15 surcharge for red meat

Black Angus Motel
Black Angus Motel

In great news for cows but another blow for vacationers, the cruise vacation giant Royal Caribbean has elected to charge $14.95 to anyone who orders New York strip steak in the main dining room. Eat all you want, the line says. Just not that.

Much of the fun of taking a cruise has been that everything's included in your fare. You can swim, pig out on the buffet, dance, splurge on lobster, and get somewhere interesting all for the same price, which on the major lines pans out to be between $100 and $200 a day. Here we have a cruise line deciding that your $150 doesn't include steak. So much for feeling like you can indulge.

If serving steak is such trouble, you have to wonder why Royal Caribbean doesn't just raise the price up the cruise by $10 or so. (Or better yet, ease up on the mountains of uneaten food at the afternoon buffets.) Then everyone can have their steak and eat it, too. The cruise line collects money from people who would never order a cruise line steak, and customers will come away with the illusion of value rather than with the bitter taste of nickeling-and-diming in their mouths.