NCL to Raise Gratuities. What About Higher Wages For Crew?

Mar 18, 2017

Starting April 1, 2017, Norwegian Cruise Line will increase the onboard guests gratuities. Travelers occupying standard cabins on all NCL cruise ships, except Norwegian Sky, will be charged $13.99 instead of the current rate of $13.50 per person, per day, and $16.99 for the suites, up from the current $15.50. The new onboard gratuities for standard cabins on Norwegian Sky will increase to 41% or $18.99 per day and the gratuities for guests staying in the suites will be $21.99.

According to a statement by Norwegian Cruise Line, the significant increases on beverage-inclusive Norwegian Sky was made "to better address the demands of the enormously successful all-inclusive product aboard Norwegian Sky."

Will the crew benefit from the increase of service charges remain to be seen? In the FAQ section on NCL website says that “restaurant staff, stateroom stewards, and behind-the-scenes support staff are compensated by a combination of salary and incentive programs that your service charge supports.” However, from the statement, it seems that NCL is trying to cover the beverage costs on Norwegian Sky and maybe if the crew are lucky they will receive some increase in their paychecks, or the money will go to the company’s bosses which is more likely to happen.

Last month we wrote an article addressing the increase of service charges by the major cruise lines titled “Cruise Lines Raise Gratuities for Crew. What about Higher Wages?"  What do you think? Are the crew getting their fair share of the service charges? Please share your experience in the comment box below.