Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) confirmed that Margaritaville at Sea aboard Norwegian Escape, a previously complimentary dining venue via partnership with musician Jimmy Buffett, will operate as a speciality a la carte restaurant.
Margaritaville at Sea proved a huge hit from the moment the ship debuted in Southampton on October 27.
By the time the ship officially launched in Miami on November 9, waiting times of more than an hour were reported.
In a press conference onboard Norwegian Escape on November 10, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Frank del Rio said:
"for business and crowd-control reasons [introducing a la carte pricing is] always a possibility".
Vanessa Picariello, Sr. Director, Public Relations at Norwegian Cruise Line confirmed:
"The first Margaritaville at Sea aboard Norwegian Escape has proven to be extremely popular. We have listened to our guests' feedback regarding the overwhelming demand and, in an effort to deliver the highest quality experience, we will be implementing a la carte pricing at the restaurant as of the ship's November 28 sailing".
The decision to charge has angered many cruisers. Sample prices from the menu include burger and fries at $9.98 and fish tacos at $6.99, excluding an 18% gratuity.