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

Paulusthemighty, the gratuity charges also go toward paying the back-of-house staff that you don't interact with. I had a very informative discussion with a staff member about this on my NCL cruise a few weeks ago. So while it's great that you want to tip those who provide direct service to you (and you absolutely should!), there are a lot of people behind the scenes who help make the service you're receiving possible that will never be in a position to receive gratuity directly from you.

The notion that this is "robbing people off" is simply inaccurate, and, frankly, a little cruel. Given the sheer number of employees working on a cruise ship who are helping to make your trip possible, a daily "tip split" of all direct gratuities received would be a logistical nightmare. It's not a corner cafe with 12 active employees who can quickly settle up at the end of a shift.

As the previous poster said, think about the people who laundered and pressed the cloth napkins you're using in the dining room, the person who cleans your dirty dishes, the person who's carting provisions to the kitchen that's preparing your food, the person who's breaking down and incinerating your garbage, etc. There's a lot happening that the cruise companies work very hard to keep out of sight for vacationers. But that's no excuse for being oblivious to the fact that there are a lot of people you don't see who are working to make your experience a positive one.

If you haven't done so, I'd highly recommend taking a "back-of-the-house" tour on your next cruise. It's a perfect sea day activity. We just did one, and it was fascinating -- and enlightening -- to see the behind-the-scenes operation that makes it all possible.

My attitude is the same as ARCJCM. I did the behind the scenes tour and was surprised by the fact that there are many down in the bowels of the ship working for us that "never see the light of day". The tour guide said they work down below and don't have permission to go out of a certain region of the ship. They go from cabin to work station, their dining area, and their common use bathing area, and then back to cabin. They certainly deserve more pay and I hope some of that gratuity reaches them.

NCL is not my favorite cruise Line , I have cruised with them a few times

I think you'll find I paid £3000 for the things you quoted.

Im not cheep. The service industry is the only place this ridiculous 'service charge' thing still exists.

I hear what you're saying, but I have paid the quoted cost of this cruise, which was over £3000. If this cost doesn't include paying the back room people properly, or paying staff to fold napkins and the other things quoted, maybe they need to revise their prices and costings, instead of trying to make the customer feel responsible to top up the wages.

Im sorry I simply disagree with the entire premise of service charge. Quote me the price for the service, I pay it, and you provide it. Don't give me this discretionary nonsense, then try making me feel guilty about not paying these poor people who are on someone else's patrol for providing a service I have paid quite a lot of money for.

It sounds like your issue is with tipping in the service industry in general. Perhaps rather than penalizing the employees who, under the current structure, rely on service charges and gratuities to make ends meet, you could simply write a letter to NCL expressing your displeasure with their compensation structure -- since your beef seems to be with the corporation and not with the people who are being penalized by your current approach.

Just a thought!

It certainly is a hot topic. People blast each other badly at another forum about this. Glad we can keep it all civil here. It's one of the things I like about this forum. Guess each individual has to decide on her/his own what to do about this issue.

Personally I don't think gratuities should be removed because they are shared among several people. We've always had great service on our cruises.

Quite right. I have no desire to penalise any individual. I believe they should be paid properly by the company who employs them. I paid over £3000 for my cruise, there is no reason they shouldn't be paid properly, without having to rely on hand outs and basically charity payments. I don't understand why anyone thinks it is acceptable for a big corporate to put presssure on the customer I ensure their staff are remunerated appropriately.

This isnt just me, lots of people object to this.

I made this quite clear at the customer service desk, believe me.

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