Norwegian Cruise Line Cutting Back on Entertainment

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Norwegian Cruise Line is making further adjustments to its offerings onboard, and this time, it’s all about entertainment. The cruise line has communicated to impacted crew members that as it’s moving into a steadier state of operations, some of its shipboard options are changing. This includes staff cutbacks and reduced production shows.

This news comes after NCL has made several changes across the fleet recently, including increasing gratuities, reduced housekeeping, shoreside staff reductions, room service fees, and even removing crew member privileges in guest areas.

NCL Adjusts Entertainment

Norwegian Cruise Line is continuing with its cutbacks, as some crew members are reporting the line is cutting cast members and other entertainment staff. In some cases, contracts were ended early, and recently hired workers were told not to report to their ship.

NCL informed crew members that it was moving into a steadier state of operations, and this included making some adjustments across its entertainment departments onboard ships.

Norwegian Cruise Line Deck
Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz

An email from the cruise line on Crew Center says, “After bringing our entire fleet back into service we have reached the time where we transition from operating in a ‘relaunch’ mode to a steadier state of operations. As part of this transition, Norwegian Cruise Line is adjusting its shipboard entertainment operations.”

Norwegian continues to say, “We regret to inform you that the decision has been made to reduce our Entertainment department manning across all vessels and as a result, your scheduled assignment has been cancelled and your services are no longer required.”

The show “Kinky Boots” is being discontinued on Norwegian Encore effective January 15, and staff were being sent home before their contracts were up. Others who were on vacation at the time of the announcement received notices to not return to their assigned ships. Norwegian’s press office did not respond to a request for confirmation about entertainment staff changes.

Earlier Cutbacks and Reductions

In mid-December 2022, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, announced it would reduce shoreside staff by 9%, saying the decision was one of the company’s “prudent actions across our business to align with our strategic priorities.”

The company said, “After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to restructure and rightsize our shoreside workforce, reducing our current and planned shoreside roles by approximately 9%.”

“This action is part of a broader and ongoing effort to improve operating efficiencies, including cost minimization initiatives, to strengthen the foundation for sustained, profitable growth.”

Norwegian Bliss in Seattle
Photo Credit: / Shutterstock

Entertainment staff reductions appear limited to Norwegian Cruise Line, since no mention was made of similar changes within Oceania Cruises or Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Earlier in December, Norwegian Cruise Line took steps to increase some onboard charges, including certain fees and gratuities. These included a new $4.95 service fee for continental breakfast room service. While many cruise lines have rolled out room service fees in recent years, classic continental breakfast offerings have typically remained free of charge.

On the gratuity front, the Haven and Suite guests, who book the highest level of accommodations on Norwegian ships, are now charged $25 per day per person. Previously, the charge was $20 per day.

Club Balcony suite guests and all other guests now pay $20 per day per person. It represents a $2 increase from the previous gratuity charge of $18 per day for Club Balcony suite guests and a $4 increase for guests staying in all other cabin categories.

The cruise line also announced a cutback on housekeeping, with a decrease in cabin service and some adjustments to crew staffing.

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