Norwegian Cruise Line has informed guests and travel agents that it will increase gratuities starting from April 2022. It will be the first hike for the service charge since before the global pandemic and the industry-wide suspension, which began in Spring 2020.
Norwegian Cruise Line Gratuity Increase
The cruise line has sent out a letter informing guests and travel agents that gratuities will be increased from April 1, 2022. The amount will go up by at least 50 cents, depending on which category cabin guests are booked in.
In the letter that was sent out, NCL said, “At Norwegian Cruise Line, we are committed to delivering exceptional guest experiences at every step of the cruise journey, and with the dedication of our shipboard team, we are able to turn your vacation dreams into reality. As such, we make it easy for guests to show their appreciation for these vacation heroes with discretionary daily services charges, which provide gratuities to key onboard team members, including room stewards, restaurant servers and behind-the-scenes support staff.”
For guests booked in a balcony stateroom or below, the daily service charge will be increased to $16.00 per person. Currently, the charge is $15.50 per person per day. For guests in a Club Balcony suite, the amount will remain the same at $18.00 per person per day.
Guests booked in The Haven & Suite will have their daily gratuities increased to $20.00. Currently, the rate for that category is $18.50 per person per day. This will be a $1.50 increase that will go into effect from April 1, 2022.
Norwegian Cruise Line offers guests to take advantage of the current lower rate. Guests who make a reservation on or before March 31, 2022, can pre-pay their gratuities at the current rate. This will need to be done before the sailing date. If guests have already paid the service charge before their cruise, nothing will be changed.
Why Hike Gratuities?
The daily service charge is not just a fee that goes directly to Norwegian Cruise Line’s pockets. The payment is divided among the crew members that provide services to guests on a daily basis, including room stewards, dining room staff, and crew who work behind the scenes. These crew members often work the hardest onboard at the lowest salary, and gratuities are an essential part of the money they make.
With the industry-wide pause on operations having a significant impact on the crew, they will welcome the increase. During the shutdown of cruises through most of 2020 and the majority of 2021, many crew members were forced to remain home. Even though some crew members ended up finding alternative or temporary work in their home countries, many waited with no income to be sent back to the ship.
Read Also: How Much Should You Tip Crew Members
Guests do have the option to adjust their gratuity charge at the guest services desk while onboard during the cruise. However, it’s always best to pre-pay the amount before the voyage and forget about it. Gratuities only apply to guests over the age of 3, and if a cruise is canceled, the amount will be fully refunded.