As a frequent cruiser, I’ve always been curious about the intricacies of gratuities and service charges on Norwegian Cruise Line. With fees ranging from $20 to $25 per person, per day, it’s crucial to understand the details before setting sail.
In January 2023, NCL increased their gratuity fees, leaving couples on a week-long cruise with a total of $280 in charges. While these fees are discretionary, they are mandatory unless service is abysmal.
Join me as we decode Norwegian Cruise Line’s gratuities and service charges, uncovering payment options, additional tips, and more.
- Gratuities on Norwegian Cruise Line range from $20-$25 per person, per day, depending on the type of stateroom booked.
- NCL raised their gratuity fees in January 2023.
- Passengers three years and older are charged the daily gratuity fee, but couples traveling with small children receive a break on the cost of gratuities.
- Passengers can prepay service charges up to 24 hours in advance of sailing, but if not prepaid, the charges will be added to the account during the cruise and charged at the end.
The Cost of Gratuities and Service Charges
I need to budget for the cost of gratuities and service charges on my Norwegian Cruise Line trip.
The cost breakdown for gratuities is between $20 and $25 per person, per day, depending on the type of stateroom booked. In January 2023, NCL increased their gratuity fees. For a week-long cruise, couples can expect to pay a total of $280 in gratuity charges.
To determine the exact cost, NCL provides a free gratuity calculator. It’s important to note that a 20% gratuity is automatically added to beverage purchases and specialty restaurant dining.
The increase in gratuity fees has had a significant impact on the overall cost of the trip. It’s essential to factor in these charges when budgeting for the cruise to avoid any surprises.
Who Is Responsible for Gratuities on Norwegian Cruise Lines
Passengers three years and older are charged the daily gratuity fee on Norwegian Cruise Lines. Here are some important details about gratuity charges for couples with small children and prepayment options for service charges:
Couples traveling with small children receive a break on the cost of gratuities. Kids under three years old are not charged gratuities, which can help reduce the overall cost for families.
Passengers have the option to prepay service charges up to 24 hours in advance of sailing. This allows them to budget for the charges and lock in the current rates, ensuring no surprises during the cruise.
If service charges are not prepaid, they will be added to the account during the cruise and charged at the end. While gratuity fees are discretionary, they must be paid, unless there have been significant issues with service.
It’s important to consider these factors when planning a Norwegian Cruise Line vacation, as they can impact the overall cost and budgeting for gratuity charges.
Payment Options for Gratuities and Service Charges
Prepaying service charges up to 24 hours in advance of sailing ensures that the charges are budgeted and rates are grandfathered in. This option has several advantages.
Firstly, it allows passengers to plan and allocate their budget more effectively, as they know the exact amount they need to pay for gratuities in advance.
Additionally, by prepaying, passengers can avoid any potential increases in gratuity fees that may occur after their payment. This means that even if the cruise line raises the gratuity fees, those who have already prepaid will not be affected and will be able to enjoy the lower, grandfathered rates.
It’s important to note that while prepayment covers service charges, it’s still customary to offer cash gratuities for exceptional service, particularly to staff members such as restaurant staff and stateroom stewards.
Additional Tips and Recognition for Exceptional Service
Recognizing exceptional service is important, and offering cash gratuities is a great way to show appreciation to staff members who go above and beyond. By giving a cash gratuity, we can directly reward those who have provided exceptional service during our cruise. Not only does this gesture acknowledge their hard work and dedication, but it also motivates them to continue delivering outstanding service to other passengers.
To make it easier for you to decide how much to tip based on the level of service you received, I have created a table below:
|Service Level||Cash Gratuity Amount|
|Above and Beyond||$100|
Exclusions and Separate Charges for Certain Staff Members
I should note that auto-gratuities do not include compensation for casino dealers, kids camp workers, and spa workers.
- Casino dealers, kids camp workers, and spa workers are not included in auto-gratuities.
- Separate gratuity charges apply to spa, bars, and specialty restaurants.
- Land-based service providers should be tipped separately.
While Norwegian Cruise Line includes gratuities in their service charges, it is important to understand that there are exclusions for certain staff members. Casino dealers, kids camp workers, and spa workers do not receive compensation from the auto-gratuities. This means that if you want to show appreciation for their service, you will need to tip them separately.
Additionally, there are separate gratuity charges for services such as the spa, bars, and specialty restaurants. It is important to keep this in mind when budgeting for your cruise and to tip these staff members accordingly.
Lastly, if you make use of any land-based service providers during your cruise, they should also be tipped separately. Overall, it is crucial to be aware of these exclusions and separate charges for non-included services to ensure that you appropriately compensate the staff members who provide exceptional service during your cruise.
Other Considerations for Norwegian Gratuities and Service Charges
When budgeting for my cruise, it is important to consider other factors related to gratuities and service charges. Besides the automatic gratuity charges added to my onboard account, there are additional considerations for tipping on Norwegian Cruise Line. It’s also essential to know how to handle gratuities for land-based services. To help you navigate these aspects, here are some tips and information:
|Tips for Tipping on Norwegian Cruise Line||How to Handle Gratuities for Land Based Services|
|– Cash gratuities are appreciated for exceptional service||– Tipping guidelines for land-based services may vary from country to country|
|– Restaurant staff and stateroom stewards are compensated by the service charges||– Research local customs and norms for tipping in the destination you are visiting|
|– Casino dealers, kids camp workers, and spa workers are not included in auto-gratuities||– Consider using a tipping guide or app to determine appropriate gratuity amounts|
|– Separate gratuity charges apply to spa, bars, and specialty restaurants||– Have small bills or local currency on hand for tipping|
|– Use Cruzely’s free gratuity calculator for an accurate estimate based on cruise details||– Remember to express gratitude and appreciation for good service|
Tips and Etiquette for Specific Services and Situations
Paying attention to specific tips and etiquette for different services and situations helps ensure that service providers are properly acknowledged and appreciated.
When it comes to cruise staff etiquette, it’s important to follow tipping guidelines to show gratitude for their hard work. For the restaurant staff and stateroom stewards, the gratuity charges included in the cruise fare serve as their compensation. However, it’s always a nice gesture to offer cash gratuities for exceptional service.
Keep in mind that casino dealers, kids camp workers, and spa workers are not included in the auto-gratuities, so it’s recommended to tip them separately if you feel inclined. Additionally, when using services like the spa, bars, and specialty restaurants, separate gratuity charges apply.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that land-based service providers should be tipped separately.
Following these guidelines will ensure a smooth and enjoyable cruise experience for everyone involved.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Gratuities and Service Charges Mandatory on Norwegian Cruise Line?
Yes, gratuities and service charges are mandatory on Norwegian Cruise Line. However, there are alternatives such as prepaying or offering cash gratuities for exceptional service. Mandatory gratuities ensure that staff members are compensated for their hard work.
Can Gratuities Be Adjusted or Removed if the Service Is Not Satisfactory?
Yes, gratuities can be adjusted or removed if the service is not satisfactory. Passengers can address issues with gratuities and service charges by making adjustments and expressing concerns for resolution.
Is It Necessary to Tip Separately for Spa Services, Bars, and Specialty Restaurants?
When deciding whether to tip for spa services, bars, and specialty restaurants on a cruise, it is important to consider the etiquette of tipping and factors such as exceptional service and personal preference.
Are Casino Dealers, Kids Camp Workers, and Spa Workers Included in the Auto-Gratuities?
Yes, casino dealers, kids camp workers, and spa workers are not included in the auto-gratuities. Tipping culture on cruise ships varies, but it’s customary to show appreciation for exceptional service with a cash gratuity.
Can Passengers Prepay Gratuities for Exceptional or Outstanding Service?
Yes, passengers can prepay gratuities for exceptional service on Norwegian Cruise Line. This allows us to budget and ensures the rates are locked in. It’s a great way to show recognition for outstanding service.
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