Cruise Line Hikes Gratuities Again

Effective April 1, Norwegian Cruise Lines will once again be raising the daily gratuity rate… and sadly, this isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke.

How Much It’s Going Up?

“Norwegian’s discretionary daily service charges make it easy for guests to provide gratuities to key onboard staff,” the line says, “who provide superior guest service during the cruise, including their room steward, restaurant servers and behind-the-scenes support staff.” Of course, the key word in that sentence is “discretionary,” meaning that guests have the option of having the gratuities removed. (And anyone who has ever seen the long lines at guest services knows that this frequently happens!)

It’s worth noting, however, that the increase is not a particularly huge one, with the per person/per day charge going from $13.50 to $13.99 for any category of stateroom up to a mini-suite. For those in suites or the Haven, the charge will go from $15.50 to $16.99. (By the same token, passengers have seen the daily gratuities rate go up by these small increments numerous times over the past few years, and the cumulative effect is a not-so-small increase!)

The Ship Where You’ll Pay Even More

The increase will be put into effect on all of the fleet’s ships, although one will go up more than the rest. “To better address the demands of the enormously successful all-inclusive product aboard Norwegian Sky,” the line explains, “the new rates [on that ship will be] $18.99 per person per day for any category up to a mini-suite, and $21.99 per person per day for any suite category.”

Pay Now And Save

If there’s a bit of good news here, it’s that “any guest that has made a booking by March 31, 2017 will have the option of preparing their service charges at the current rate if done prior to the sail date. Guests with existing cruise reservations who have already pre-paid their charges at the current rate are not affected.”

Do you take issues with the cruise line raising gratuities?

5 Responses

  1. I think NCL makes you wait till after you get home and write a good enough reason before they return the gratitude that they automatically take. No standing in line.

  2. My complaint is if they raise the gratuities why the service is going lower. They charge you for things that they were free before, less crew members to continue serving the passengers. Seems that they are missing or skipping cleaning until somebody complaint.

  3. What I don’t understand they raise the gratuity a few times. but they also charge a service fee as well when booking a cruise, then I see there is a fee for everything on the ship. Its becoming too expensive cruse on NCL. Not saying that the other lines are way cheaper but I don’t fell like I am being nickled and dimed to death. That is my point of view.

  4. I don’t see why they just don’t incorporate it into the cruise fee and pay their employees a better rate. If the customer feels like tipping more to an individula then they should be able to.

  5. If the service increased as often as the rates i wouldnt mind….but it has not…in fact there are less workers onboard so its harder to get waited on

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