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by Alan Walker

Premature News Release

A major US-based cruise line is expected to announce shortly the introduction of an innovative price-slashing program based on the "user-pay" principle - a principle which is beginning to catch fire in the minds of senior cruise line executives. Our investigative reporters from SeaLetter have been able to obtain copies of confidential plans of the specific user-pays programs. Here are some highlights (all prices are in US dollars):

USER-PAYS DINING ROOM MENUS

  • Water: free (glass rental $10)

  • Beef consomme: $3
    If using your own bouillon cubes, deduct $2
    If using your own hot water, deduct further $1

  • Shrimp cocktail: $5
    Add $1 if you won't accept tofu-shaped shrimp
    Deduct 50 cents if your own ketchup and horseradish

  • Peas: First 25, $2
    Add one cent per extra pea.

  • Broccoli: we pay you $1 per branch if you eat it

  • Sorbet: Free, except between courses

  • Grand Marnier Souffle: $3
    Add $120 if Grand Marnier added
    Deduct $1 if fallen flat.

  • Baked Alaska: $5
    If on fire, add $1
    With ice-cream, add $15
    If accompanied by marching and/or music, deduct $3
    If music is the Macarena, deduct further $5

  • Wine: Free if your own;
    Corkage Fee: $20
    Screw cap fee: $25

  • Cappuccinno: $5
    If you can spell it correctly, deduct $1

USER PAYS DINING ROOM SERVICES

  • For waiters and busboys: $4.50 each per day
    Deduct $2 per day if you serve your own table
    Deduct $1 for each additional table served
    Add $1 for each knife, fork or spoon used
    Special discount: No serving charge if prepared to act as maitre d' on table re-assignments on second day

USER-PAYS CABIN SERVICES

  • Fresh fruit: $4 per day;
    Deduct $2 per day if you bring your own fruit and share with your cabin steward.

  • Sheets: Deduct $1 if no change requested during cruise
    Deduct $20 if no change requested at start of cruise

  • Daily newspaper: $1.50 per day.
    Add 50 cents if you don't want the boutique daily flyer.

USER-PAYS DECK SERVICES

  • Daily Tropical Drink Special: $1
    If made fresh this cruise, add $10

  • Swimming Pool: $10 per day
    Add $5 if with water

USER-PAYS ENTERTAINMENT

  • Passenger Talent Show every night: Free!
    Add $1 per night if you're in it;
    Deduct $5 if you attend every one.

  • Disco: No cover charge before 6.00 p.m.
    Deduct $5 per cruise if you bring your own Bee Gees records/tapes
    Deduct further $5 if you have 8-track tapes.

  • Captain's Cocktail Party: if going, add $1
    If the Captain speaks in English, add an extra dollar
    If expecting free drinks, add another $25

  • Bingo Deduct $1 per day if you bring your own cards.

USER-PAYS EQUIPMENT

  • Deductions for bringing your own equipment:
    TV: 10 cents
    Bed: $1
    Nautilus: $2
    Slot Machine: $5 ($2 if empty)
    Lifeboat: $10

USER-PAYS DISEMBARKATION

  • Carry your own bags, deduct 50 cents;
    Carry other people's bags (to a maximum of 50 cabins), deduct 50 cents per cabin;
    Same-day disembarkation: add $25

Stay tuned for other scoops on economy cruising.

Line

Alan WalkerOriginally from Australia, Alan has for some time been permanently settled in Vancouver where he is a practicing Attorney. He has been a SeaLetter columnist, reviewer and our resident humorist for some time now.

To find all of Alan's SeaLetter columns, featured and humorous articles, and cruise and port reviews, use the SeaLetter Search Engine entering "Alan Walker" as your search phrase.

Alan is also a member of the Cruise Staff of the CompuServe UK Travel Forum. Alan loves email, and can be reached at: Alan@sealetter.com.


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