There will be an increase in Norwegian Cruise Line’s daily service charges on December 6, 2022, which provide tips to key crew members. In a letter to guests and travel agents, the company announced that it will adjust daily service fees starting January 1, 2023.
In The Haven & Suite, the daily service charge will be $25.00, and in Club Balcony Suites, the charge will be $20.00.
Compared to previous years, this is the steepest and biggest jump in the increase in tips for the crew. This is also the second time in a year that NCL has increased gratuity.
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 Balconies and below.
Compared to the increase in March, the latest adjustment is a 25% increase for guests in The Haven & Suite, 11% for Club Balcony Suites and a 25% increase for guests in Balcony Cabins and below (with the latest increase for Balcony and below category aligned with Club Balcony Suites.
This could be good news for the crew who work as room stewards, restaurant servers and behind-the-scenes support staff on Norwegian Cruise Line ships. With the latest announcement, they could see a pay rise of at least 15% from January 2023.
When it comes to cruises, tipping is one of the most discussed topics among passengers and crew members. There is no doubt that the hardworking crew deserve a raise, especially in these trying times. The question is: will the latest increase affect NCL crew wages? We will know the answer to this question soon and will inform you about this story as soon as the team affected by this increase receives their first salaries in January.
Over the years Crew Center has covered tipping news. Before the pandemic, and this trend appears to be accelerating with global inflation, all major cruise lines were steadily increasing daily charges.
In the article “Cruise tips increased by 70%. What About Crew Wages?” published back in 2017, you can see our analysis of how cruise lines have increased daily service charges from 2010 to 2017.
The latest figures show that crew members who are entitled to these tips should take double their 2010 wages.
NCL sent the following letter to guests regarding the latest increase:
“The following is important information regarding your upcoming cruise.” Travel partners should share the information below with affected guests. At Norwegian Cruise Line, we are committed to providing exceptional guest experiences every step of the way, 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 service charges, which tip key team members, including room attendants, restaurant servers and behind-the-scenes support staff.
Beginning January 1, 2023, we will make 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 booking on or before December 31, 2022, will have the option to prepay their service charges at the current rate if they do so prior to the departure date. If guests booked on or before December 31, 2022, choose to pay their service charges while on board, they will be charged prevailing rates. This does not affect guests with existing cruise reservations who have already prepaid their service charges at the current price.
Service charges can be prepaid in the Vacation Summary section of Mi NCL. As always, we are at your service and look forward to welcoming you to your dream vacation soon.”
Interestingly, NCL copied/pasted the same letter sent to guests and travel agents back in March this year. The only difference is that they increased the service rates and added Balcony and lower guests to the higher category Club Balcony Suite.