NEWS: Norwegian Cruise Line Changes Policy, No Removing Tips Onboard

Cruise Radio reports: Norwegian Cruise Line Changes Policy, No Removing Tips Onboard

"Previously cruisers could have gratuities removed at their request by visiting the Guest Relations desk.

Now guests will be required to pay gratuities upfront and email guest services when they get home to have the gratuities rebated back if unsatisfied."

Tags: Norwegian Cruise Line Gratuities Service Charges

62 Answers

Interesting approach but one that may ultimately fail because of the hassle factor this will create for post-cruise customer service.

They are just making it harder for passengers to remove gratuities.

I get that... glommarone... I think that NCL is missing a major opportunity here.

Instead of making the hurdle higher, they should look at bona fide reasons why people are removing them in the first place and helping the crew do a better job in addressing common complaints that lead to people withdrawing their tips.

I say bona fide reasons because there are a few issues in play here...

- tipping is a cultural issue, especially different for Europeans. I don't think forcing people into tipping is good practice.

- some people are just cheap b*st*rds :/ who don't want to tip for good service. They pull the same thing on dry land.

- I don't think that being a cheapskate is a bona fide reason, I also don't believe people should be forced to tip at a prescribed level. All this does is allow the cruise lines to hold compensation levels low and promise workers that if they work hard they will earn good tips. That isn't fair.

T.I.P. To Insure Promptness............. now how can we insure promptness when they have no $$ incentive to be prompt.

If it can not be removed, then stop calling it "Gratuities", just increase the price o the cruise by $12.00 per person per day and advertise tipping is included in the price. This will then get NCL the $12.00 and some people will still tip so the staff will end up doing better.

Most people will not bother to e-mail and wait for tip refund once they are back home.

I mean that's like holding a gun to somebody's head demanding they say how great you are and then thanking them for the compliment.

Unfortunately too many people do opt to remove the daily gratuity. I have a co-worker that did this for her family just because she knew she could. Personally I just consider this as part of the cost of the cruise. Pay it and be done. We usually pay it in advance so it is one less thing to worry about.

On the plus side this will mean that the Guest Relation desk will have less people arguing to have the gratuity charge dropped and credited back. Some people can be quite rude when they are at the desk. As well as having to do this on line now the passengers requesting that the gratuity is refunded must also provide a valid reason for the request.

I suspect that this policy is due to an increase in people requesting that the gratuities be dropped from their account. This increase I suspect is due to, among other things NCL instituting an 18% gratuity and beverage service charge on all on board charges such as beverages and speciality restaurants and the new room service charge. NCL has had a number of recent policy changes and new charges added and some are not happy about it so their response is to pull back the discretionary service charge. It would appear that NCL response is this new policy.

Personally, I have no problem with this. I believe it will make for less on board conflict between passengers and staff and hopefully allow the rest of us to enjoy our cruise.


I’m okay with this. I’ve never removed gratuities and I always give extra to those who deserve it but, if I were to remove them, it would be for a very legitimate reason that needed to be addressed. There’s always a chance the crewmember at Guest Services doesn’t record the concern properly or that it isn’t addressed by the ship. If issues are being recorded at the corporate level I feel they will carry more weight.

I won't remove the tip, I would actually prefer to pay it up front. Monique and I have been in the customer service industry for over 40 years. I know that some employees work their butt of to make sure the customer has a great experience. I have see that up close and personal. The lines should make it part of the package and be done with the haggling about it. I know the lines may be hurting with the likes of Carnival cancelling Lobster of short cruises and the like. And the events over the past have not put the industry in a good light.. But really? Cancelling your tips because you're cheap??

We budget a high number to spend on a cruise, because we save for it and we know the value of a buck... to everyone. That being said....The lines had better increase the customer care aspect of the industry--or they will lose market share.

The question of tipping on cruise ships will go on for ever. Unfortunately, NCL (and others) are getting greedy by charging 18% which I consider to be a complete rip off. This seems to come from the American culture that everything revolves around tipping. Tips should be earned and not expected. In a restaurant in England, I would pay say £40, if the bill came to around £37/£38. Paying somebody 18% for handing you a bottle of beer is absolutely crazy. The idea from NCL in not accepting gratuities to be deleted on the last night of a cruise will put an end to all the queues at the customer desk. It will just add to the work in the offices of NCL when they receive hundreds of E-mails requesting the DISCRETIONARY gratuities are removed

Are you sure about this?

Response from NCL

Dear Mr Howarth

Thank you for your email and enquiry

The Service Charges can be amended on the last day of your cruise, this however needs to be done before your on board account is closed.

I hope this information helps with your enquiry, we look forward to welcoming you on board very soon.

Kind regards

David Edmunds | Guest Relations Executive

Guest Relations : 0208 8349030 | Switchboard: 020 8834 9000 | Fax: 020 8834 9140

Norwegian Cruise Line®
5 Town Quay | Southampton | Hampshire | SO14 2AQ | UK

We have never had cause to remove the gratuities from an NCL cruise. Their service has always been stellar Big Smile

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