Unfortunately, somewhat mutually exclusive terms.
If you’ve been on any ocean cruises, you probably have had the luxurious experience of ordering room service any hour of the day. For room service on river cruises, you’ll need to rethink the experience.
Almost every river cruise line, whether Europe, USA or elsewhere, does not offer room service. There are exceptions of course, and the price you pay for your cruise may have something to do with it.
Why don’t more river cruise lines provide room service? Basically, for a couple of reasons. For one thing, there are not enough waitstaff on board to leave the dining room or galley and deliver room service meals. When the waitstaff isn’t doing meal service, chances are they’re off with other duties, like housekeeping or loading provisions in port.
Second, while breakfast on your balcony is a wonderful experience, on a river cruise you’re never more than a one minute walk to the dining room or the continental breakfast in either the lounge or at a coffee station. Pick it up yourself and sashay back to your room.
But if you’re addicted to breakfast in your cabin, here’s the most up-to-date list of the major river cruise lines and their room service policy, presented alphabetically and includes Europe and USA river cruises.
American Cruise Lines – If you’re aboard their Queen of the Mississippi, America or American Pride river cruise ships, complimentary breakfast room service is available to everyone, no matter what category of cabin you’ve booked.
American Queen Steamboat Company – Room service is complimentary and available to guests in all categories of staterooms for Continental breakfast, lunch and dinner.
AmaWaterways – As of October 2106, room service is not offered to any category stateroom.
A-Rosa – Aboard the new A-Rosa Flora and A-Rosa Silva, full menu room service is available between 7am and 10pm for those in Cat. E Junior Suites and Cat. F Full Suites.
Avalon – Any stateroom can order room service for a Continental Breakfast. The cost is 2€ per person and needs to be ordered at reception the night before delivery.
CroisiEurope – None.
Crystal River Cruises – As you would expect from Crystal, 24-hr complimentary room service is available to all guests.
Scenic – 24-hour room service for Junior Suite and Royal Suite guests.
Tauck – Only Category 7 suites and they are limited to breakfast and light afternoon snacks.
Un-Cruise – If you’re in the top Suite you can request a meal to be delivered to your cabin.
Uniworld – Beginning in 2017, 24-hour room service is available.
Viking – None available.
For room service on river cruises, it looks like USA river cruise lines are the hands-down winners for providing room service on their Mississippi and Columbia river cruises. We’ll add to this list as updates are released.