NCL announces the biggest increase of daily services charges

Dec 07, 2022

On December 6, 2022, Norwegian Cruise Line announced the increase of daily services charges, which provide gratuities to key onboard crew members. In a letter sent to guests and travel agents the company said that starting January 1, 2023, will be making a nominal adjustment to the daily service charges.

The new daily service charges per person per day will be $25.00 – for guests in The Haven & Suite, and $20.00 for Club Balcony Suite and below.

Compared to the previous years this is the steepest and the biggest jump in the increase of crew gratuities. This is also the second time in a year that NCL has increased the gratuities.

Back in March 2022 NCL increased the daily service charges to $20.00 – for guests in The Haven & Suite, $18.00 for Club Balcony Suite, and $16.00 for Balcony and below.

Compared to the increase in March, the latest adjustment is 25% increase for guests in The Haven & Suite, 11% for Club Balcony Suites, and 25% increase for guests in Balcony cabins and below (with the latest increase the Balcony and below category is aligned with the Club Balcony Suites.

This could be good news for the crew working as room stewards, restaurant servers and behind-the-scenes support staff aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line ships. With the latest announcement they might see salary increase of at least 15% from January 2023.

When it comes to cruising, gratuities are one of the most discussed topics among cruise passengers and crew members. No doubt the hard-working crew deserves a rise, especially in these difficult times. The question is: Will the latest increase affect the salaries of the NCL crew? The answer to this question we will find out soon and update you on this story as soon as the crew, affected by this increase, receives their first paychecks in January.

Over the years Crew Center has been covering the news of the gratuities. Before the pandemic, and it seems that this trend is accelerating with the global inflation, all the major cruise lines have been constantly increasing the daily service charges. 

In the article “Cruise Ship Gratuities Increase by 70%. What about the crew salaries?" posted back in 2017 you can see our analysis how the cruise lines have increase the daily service charges from 2010 to 2017.

The latest numbers show that the crew members who are entitled to these gratuities should take double the amount compared to their 2010 salaries. 

NCL sent the following letter to the guests regarding the latest increase:

“The following is important information regarding your upcoming cruise. Travel partners should share the below information with guests who may be affected. 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. 

Beginning January 1, 2023, we will be making a nominal adjustment to our daily service charges, as follows. 

  • • $25.00 per person per day - The Haven & Suite 
  • • $20.00 per person per day - Club Balcony Suite and below 

Guests who make a reservation on or before December 31, 2022, will have the option of prepaying their service charges at the current rate, if done prior to sail date. If guests booked on or before December 31, 2022 choose to pay their service charges while onboard, they will be charged the prevailing rates. Guests with existing cruise reservations who have already pre-paid their service charges at the current rate are not affected. Service charges can be prepaid in the Vacation Summary section on My NCL. As always, we are at your service and look forward to welcoming you aboard very soon for your dream vacation.”

Interestingly NCL copy/pasted the same letter sent to the guests and travel agents back in March this year. The only difference is they increased the service charge numbers and added Balcony and below guests to the higher category Club Balcony Suite.

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