Travel Weekly and Cruise Critic are reporting that Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is raising gratuities on April 1st from $13.50 per person, per day, to $13.99, on all ships except the Norwegian Sky. Daily gratuities for standard cabins on the Norwegian Sky will increase to $18.99 (an increase over 40%). 

Travel Weekly says that NCL will increase daily gratuities for suites from $15.50 to $16.99 on all of its ships except for the Sky where it will charge $21.99. 

It seems that there is no limit to the greed of cruise executives. NCL CEO Frank Del Rio just spoke at Seatrade Global about how the stock market was at all time high and fewer regulations and President Trump’s pro-business tax cuts were good for his business. Del Rio collected nearly $32 million in Miami Cruise Ship Capital of the World2015

Del Rio’s NCL has gouged its customers before, with extra charges, including increased room services charges, automatic gratuities and restaurant cover charges. He made this statement at an earning conference in 2015: "… we have looked across the fleet to identify areas where marginal changes … can be implemented to improve performance. A few examples include a 6.7% average increase in beverage prices, the introduction of a nominal room service fee and lower costs from renegotiated shore excursion agreements. To put into perspective how these small changes can add up quickly, every dollar increase in yield translates to approximately $15 million to the bottom line."

Of course, all the major cruise lines nickel-and-dime their customers. Royal Caribbean just began charging for room service and, in the past, increased its gratuities while attempting to create the appearance that the increases were for its hard-working crew members (Read: Loyal to Royal? Expect to Pay Higher Gratuities! And the Money’s Not for the Crew). Carnival Corp. did exactly the same thing while it also pocketed the increased gratuities (Read: Carnival Hikes Pre-Paid Gratuities But Will Passengers Secretly Remove Tips?)

Today, I read an article by David Grace Author titled When Greed Is Thought To Be A Virtue – When More Is Never Enough. He discusses what he calls the "more-more-more-until-it-all-blows-up" business phenomenon. The cruise executives, Del Rio in particular, put on quite a demonstration of unbridled greed at the Seatrade Cruise conference last week. The CEO’s have an unhealthy, unchecked pursuit of profits in an industry which has always overreached into the American public’s pockets.  The cruise industry pays virtually no taxes, exploits their workers from around the world, and still nickle-and-dimes their tax-paying customers whenever they have a chance. 

When is enough, enough? 

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Marc Averette – CC BY-SA 1.0, commons / wikimedia.

  • Owen

    Just another of the many reasons, I will never sail with NCL…….which Incidentally is owned by the Chinese

    • USAFR

      An even better reason not to use them.

  • Sherry

    I’m not a fan of having to pay for room service I pay enough for my cruise. If I want to spend more money I would choose a specialty restaurant. If I knew 100% of the money was for the crew I wouldn’t complain, but when it’s for greed then I have a problem. Its almost to the point that i will be looking for something different for my vacations.

  • Harold Kurte

    It is an absolute disgrace how the cruise lines are getting away with their gouging practices. Of course, passengers can only protest by not cruising. My question to you is what happens to the daily gratuity how much does the crew actually receive and who decides this? Does the cruise line share in the daily gratuity and is the daily gratuity only for the hotel staff?

  • Katie

    I have just returned from 19 days on NCL Star, our gratuities would have come to over $500, I say would have because I went to reception and signed a letter to opt out. The letter is pre-printed and you have to give a reason why such as I will reward those that serve me. NCL like to say that the gratuities all go into the pot and are then divided equally making sure everyone benefits. Not so, if staff want to, they join the incentive scheme for their job type, if they meet their targets then they get something out the pot. Not so equal now! I am from the UK and was able to do this, not sure about USA residents.

  • Norwegian Cruise Line Crew Member (POA)

    The gratuities go straight to the company. If we make a big deal out of not receiving gratuities or a a piece of the service charges for over performing on our beverage sales we get pushed off the ship by management. The so called union does not support the crew but answers to the company. A petition to get a lawyer or auditor to look into the service charges for crew is being circulated by the American crew. The international crew will not support the Americans because 800 dollars a month is a lot of money in the Phillipines, Jamaica, India, Croatia. We are fully manned so the management is cutting hours even though service suffers and guests complain. The company does not care about the crew or the passengers, only the bottom line. It shows and I can prove it. The new rule on the ship is if a Platinum Member gets in a line he or she goes to the front. Window seats in the restaurant are held for rewards members only.

  • Frans

    Ever heard ofvapril fools day?😂

  • K. Matts

    The answer to the question is yes. The crew that serve you get the recommended amounts. The money does not go to the company. As a crew it hurts when people opt out saying that they would ” tip who served them”. That is just the cheapest reason when they do not intent to pay the staff. Simple. If you do not want to tip. Don’t cruise!!!

    • USAFR

      Sorry, I do not agree. I have to earn my pay by working and do not get tipped for it. Why should I be forced to hand over my money even if I don’t use their service. You do a good job, you get tipped. Otherwise, buzz the F off.

  • Rob

    Its simple. Go the the front desk and opt out. Write on the NCL
    form that you tip cash.

    I do this every single time, and I do tip cash, what I want to tip
    , to whom I want to tip.

    Tipping is wage subsidization in the cruise industry. As long
    as they call it a “tip” there should always be a way to opt out.

  • joe

    The idea of having to tip twice 18% on beverages and $19ave australian U.S $ is ridiculous will never travel NCL again will post on face book will tell all my friends to post Change your ways NCL. Princess /P&O not ipping req though we tip what we feel is right. Celebrity and Royal carribean remove tipping at your request. To the CEO Frank Del Rio take a pay cut THIEF

  • bonnie

    Just received email from NCL, that they are AGAIn raising gratuities for cabins, as of March 31, 2018. I have 7 people(3 children) staying in Haven Cabins @ $854 tip for week. Bar bill still gets added 18%. I have a strong feeling that corporate keeps some of it for “administration fees.” We are big tippers, and I would prefer to pay our waitress, cabin people a big tip. Definitely last time on NCL. NCL tops the greedy list in cruising.