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Cruise Line Hikes Gratuities Again

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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?

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