Published on : Friday, February 17, 2017
Norwegian Cruise Line, one of the largest cruise lines has adopted a strange strategy over tips for the crew. This new strategy is making “service charge” appear as a compulsory levy, yet the passengers can opt out if they want to.
Norwegian Cruise Line automatically adds a service charge of US$13.95 (£11.25) per person per day for each passenger in one of its smaller cabins; the service charge is higher for more luxurious cabins.
Norwegian has told their passengers that, staff members including complimentary restaurant staff, stateroom stewards and behind-the-scenes support staff are compensated by a combination of salary and incentive programmes that is part of the service charge supports. In other words, the fee forms part of the crew’s wages.
A Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson said that, if guests are not prepared to pay the service charges, then they can obtain a form from the Guest Services to fill out. This form allows NCL to obtain valuable customer feedback so that if there is a serious issue with the service issue with the service on board it can be addressed.
Many British travellers resent the way that cruise lines stipulate the expected level of tips and add it to the on-board account. Some passengers ask for these charges to be removed, and instead reward staff personally with cash.