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    Carnival hikes fee to eat at cruise ship steakhouses

    It'll cost you nearly 17% more this summer to dine at the steakhouses on Carnival cruise ships.

    The world's largest cruise line this month is hiking the fee it charges customers at on-board steakhouses by $5 to $35 per person -- a 16.7% increase.

    In a statement sent to USA TODAY, Carnival blames rising commodity costs for the rise. "The increase was necessitated as a result of higher food costs and is consistent with other alterative restaurant charges within the cruise industry," Carnival says. "This is the first fee increase for the steakhouses in several years."

    Thirteen of Carnival's 24 ships currently feature extra-charge steakhouses: Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory, Carnival Valor, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Splendor, Carnival Dream, Carnival Magic and Carnival Breeze.

    A fourteenth Carnival ship, the Carnival Destiny, will receive a steakhouse later this year as part of an extensive makeover in dry dock.

    By Gene Sloan, USA Today

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    If people want a good steak in a steakhouse, they will pay the added $5. Like any cruise, some people don't believe in paying for anything above and beyond what's included, while others will pay for the extra features because ... "what the heck, I'm on vacation."

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    We’ll try a specialty restaurant on occasion – a lot of ships offer first-night discounts – but we agree that often the main dining room is just as good. But we have friends who believe it must be better if you pay extra for it and they’ll go to a specialty restaurant every night!

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    The Steakhouse is a treat for us when we are on vacation. I think it is well worth it. If you go to Morton's or Ruth Chris you will spend quite a bit more. We don't buy pics on cruises and we don't buy jewlery in ports.

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    They can raise it to 100, no matter to us. We never pay extra to eat in a specialty restaurant. We pay enough for the cruise and the dining room and buffets are fine with us. Don't like to be nickle and dimed.

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