Norwegian Cruise Line Cuts Back on Passenger Service

Guests booked in any of the cabin categories below suite level will see a decrease in services starting in January onboard Norwegian Cruise Line ships.

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Norwegian Cruise Line is making changes to its housekeeping services onboard its ships to prioritize environmental sustainability and adapt to the evolving preferences of its guests, the cruise line said in a statement sent out to crew members. 

Starting in January 2023, the company will adjust the current daily stateroom (turn-down) service provided to guests in all cabin categories below a Suite level.

Guests staying in Studio, Inside, Oceanview, Balcony, and Club Balcony Suite will receive once-daily stateroom service. The policy is expected to be rolled out across the fleet by March 2023.

More Cuts to Norwegian Cruise Line Onboard Services

Norwegian Cruise Line is already not the cheapest cruise line to sail with. The cruise line recently increased the gratuity amounts for guests, making cruising onboard even more expensive. However, that doesn’t stop Norwegian Cruise Line from further cutting back on the service it offers. 

Starting in January 2023, Norwegian Cruise Line will no longer offer guests a twice-daily turn-down service if they stay in any cabin category besides suite level or The Haven. The cruise line said in a statement that it had made the change based on environmental choices and guest preferences.

Norwegian Spirit Balcony Stateroom
Image Courtesy: Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line said: “Over the last two-plus years, the collective hospitality industry has evolved tremendously. From airlines, hotels, and cruise lines, a new travel environment has emerged with renewed preferences in all aspects of the guest’s travel experience.”

“Environmental sustainability is on stage more than ever and will continue to play a crucial role in all business practices now and into the future.”

Norwegian Epic will be the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship to implement the new housekeeping policy on January 8, followed by Norwegian Sky on January 13, Norwegian Jewel on January 14, and Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Breakaway on January 15. The final ship to adopt the new policy, Norwegian Pearl, will do so on March 31, 2023.

The company believes that reducing the frequency of housekeeping services will not only help to reduce its environmental impact but also give guests more control over their personal space and allow them to customize their onboard experience. However, it soon becomes clear that this is another cost-cutting exercise from Norwegian. 

Crew Positions Axed and Salaries Reduced

In addition to these changes, Norwegian Cruise Line is also adjusting its onboard positions. The position titles “Stateroom Steward” and “Junior Stateroom Steward” will no longer exist and will be adjusted to a singular position titled “Stateroom Attendant.”

Although this change will result in an increase in salary for the current Jr. Stateroom Stewards, it will mean scaling down the wages for the current Stateroom Stewards.

Norwegian Cruise Line Ship
Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz

According to the company, “The elimination of these positions will phase out over time, allowing Stateroom Stewards to complete their current contract. The Jr. Stateroom Stewards onboard will be promoted to Stateroom Attendants on dates according to the implementation dates of the new structure.”

Adjusting onboard positions and salary restructuring is meant to create a more streamlined and efficient system, where crew members will likely have fewer cabins to service.

However, it is debatable whether this is a fair way of dealing with crew members who often have worked for many years to reach the position and salary they currently have. 

Norwegian Cruise Line has made several changes to its company structure recently. A few weeks ago, the cruise line’s parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, announced a 9% reduction of its shoreside staff. A few days after that announcement, the cruise line itself announced a significant increase in gratuity charges.

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