NCL Norwegian Cruise LineNorwegian Cruise Line (NCL) plans to increase the automatic gratuities charged to its cruise passengers, effective April 1, 2018. Travel Pulse states that NCL informed travel agents of the so-called “nominal adjustment” to its daily service charges today.

The new rates for standard cabins will increase from $13.99 to $14.50 per passenger per day. The new gratuities for suites will increase from $16.99 to $17.50 per person per day.

Just last year, NCL raised gratuities on April 1st from $13.50 per person, per day, to $13.99 (except for the Norwegian Sky where NCL increased daily gratuities to $18.99 a day (an increase over 40%). NCL increased daily gratuities for suites from $15.50 to $16.99 on all of its ships (again, except for the Sky where it increased the daily charge to $21.99).

Regarding the Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun, the gratuities will increase from $18.99  to $19.99 for cabins and from $21.99 to $22.99 for suites, per person per day.  

It seems that there is no limit to the greed of cruise executives. 

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 began charging for room service  last year 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?)

Cruise CEO’s like Del Rio, who collected nearly $32 million in 2015 alone, 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.

Of course, as crew members tell me, the increased gratuities go into the cruise line’s coffers, not into the pockets of the hard working crew members.

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Photo credit: Coolcaesar CC BY-SA 3.0, commons / wikimedia.

  • Easyduke 50

    My wife and I have cruised for over 50 years, and back in the day the cruise lines did allow us to select the amount to tip or not. Now we have cruised in excess of 60 times and yes we do remember the Home Cruise Lines, Royal Viking , Holland America (in the day) plus a number of others. When the cruise lines went to auto tipping it cost the crew serving us quite a bit as we were much more generous with the staff that served us. Also in the day having a drink on the ship did not cost more than a 5 star resort, we just drink much less, duty free booze cost the cruise line so much less that everyone else pays, why the gouge. It is still a good value but no longer a bargin

  • Betia tito

    Ncl has increased the graduties but its all going in their own pocket not for the crew, all the hardworking crew from arround the world are just struggling and in return they just get paid like a peanut.

  • Emogi

    Thats was absolutely true because i used yo work in tgis company. The guest pay the daily graduities but sad to say it goes straight to companies pocket. We are working very hard and its also easy for them to fired people. The previous ceo is much better and have a good heart. But del rios has no mercy!!!!del rio have his own karma!!!god is watching you.

  • Joseph Wee

    What can we do? Avoid taking cruises. Visit our own places of interest at home and support local businesses instead.

  • Chris

    Let us not forget, that NCl will allow you to get a FULL refund of the gratuity fee’s before you leave the ship.
    Happens at the Guest relations center, if you are that unhappy with your service they will credit you back, all you have to do is ASK.