By now, food delivery has made its way into college campuses, baseball stadiums, and traffic jams. It’s been only ever a matter of time before cruise ships followed, and this week, Royal Caribbean announced it is testing a food delivery service onboard its Symphony of the Seas ship.
According to a post on the Royal Caribbean blog, guests can now order food from specialty restaurants onboard via the main Royal Caribbean app.
Once signed into the app, guests will see an option to get food delivered from select restaurants on the ship. Right now that includes Johnny Rockets, Sorrentos pizza, and Izumi sushi. Like any other food-ordering app, guests select the items they want and designate where they would like the food delivered, be it their stateroom or some other place on the ship. If the latter, a user can select which deck of the ship they are on then drag a pinpoint to their exact location. There are a few “no delivery zones” onboard, which include pools, theaters, and other restaurants.
Since the closest I’ve ever gotten to being onboard a cruise is reading a David Foster Wallace essay, I can’t personally speak to how exciting this news is. But groundbreaking or no, it’s to be expected. With food delivery being a “must have” for restaurants nowadays, it’s moved on to larger entertainment venues. And cruise ships are basically just massive entertainment space that float.
Nor is Royal Caribbean the first to try food delivery. This past summer, Carnival Cruise started testing delivery functionality in its own app for pizza and beverages, using a similar pin-drop functionality for users to designate their location.
A natural question is whether we’ll see third-party aggregators like DoorDash and Uber Eats try to hop onboard and scoop up some of the competition. On the one hand, cruise tend to be closed ecosystems, so to speak, of carefully curated experiences, so ceding some of that power to third parties doesn’t necessarily make sense. However, Postmates has already struck deals with baseball stadiums (see above) and essentially become part of the in-house branding, so it’s a stretch but not out of the question to think we might see them or another service on the sea at some point in future.