NCL Lays Off Staff Members - Entertainment Department Will Be Reduced Across the Fleet

Jan 13, 2023

After laying off 9% of its shoreside employees, reducing housekeeping services, eliminating onboard positions, and taking away staff members' privileges, Norwegian Cruise Line is taking another drastic step to cut down costs.

This time the company is targeting the entertainment department by eliminating “expensive” production shows and laying off cast members and entertainment staff.

Cast members of the popular production show “Kinky Booths” aboard the Norwegian Encore said they have been laid off and sent home in the middle of their contracts. 

“NCL has decided that “Kinky Boots” is too expensive to produce onboard and will be removing it from the Encore on January 15 – thus ending my contract three months early. All of the cast and musicians were completely caught by surprise by the announcement.

Several of my fellow musicians affected by this have already received offers for future work which is appreciated. I definitely feel for the cast members who have to adjust accommodations and try to find future work while being away. Not the nicest thing to happen right before Christmas either.” said staff member in a public post on social media.

Some of the entertainment staff who were on vacation at home, received a letter stating that their services are no longer required.

A staff member who was scheduled to join NCL ship said he received an email from the company two days prior to his joining date.

“Just got an email from NCL, they are firing staff without even notifying me prior the time. I have to sign on in 2 days, I packed and even said my goodbyes to everyone and they just fired me thorough a mail. This is ridiculous.

The email sent to the crew member states:

“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.

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.”

We must admit this is an interesting choice of words by NCL, without crediting the hard-working crew for the successful relaunch of the entire fleet. Is this the reward for the hardworking crew who have dedicated years to the company and the sacrifices they made during the relaunch?

The recent cuts and uncertainty have made many NCL crew members wonder: Is this the end of the reductions or this is just the start of additional layoffs?

Furthermore, it sends a message to other crew members that they may not be safe in their job, which can lead to a decrease in morale and productivity. 

in December 2022, NCLH fired  9% of its shoreside employees as part of a "broad and ongoing effort to improve operating efficiencies." The company said that these cuts were done with their guest-first philosophy at the forefront, and these actions will not impact the onboard services or voyages.

This month Norwegian Cruise line reduced housekeeping cleaning services and eliminated crew positions in this department. The company's explanation was that these changes follow environmental sustainability and adapt to the evolving guests' preferences. 

I wonder what NCL’s explanation will be on reducing entertainment.