As we all heard by now Norwegian implemented a new policy, in which you’re not able to remove your gratuities during your cruise. To do so, you will need to place a call or email to guest services after your cruise, and make the claim to get a refund. My stance on this has always been very clear, the crew works incredibly hard for us.
Removing the gratuity is something that I heavily disagree with. It does not matter what the reason is, the mistake of one should not be the demise of all. The one that gets me irritated the most is, “well, I never ate in the MDR”. Some people do not realize that there is someone working for you at all times, and the tip is not only for the front of the house. Unfortunately, I know of people who are close to me that have done this in the past. And while they claimed that it was due to bad service, personally I think it was due more to a cultural issue, and just being cheap I guess.
I am part of a large number of groups on Facebook, some of them international. I have read more than a few people complain about this new policy. The issue arises from the tipping idea, and the fact that it is not customary in their country. From working in the service industry I can tell you one thing, foreigners bring their customs when they travel. They might be aware of the way that it is done here, but they still ignore the fact and try to get away with it. This can be quite frustrating, and as a result, you’re cautious when situations present themselves.
So what happens now? From a few reports that I have heard on the internet, it seems like NCL has even delayed the refund process. I wonder if this is even the right move, maybe they should be thinking in just including the gratuities in the fare of the cruise. But then again the total sum might look too large and drive guests away to another cruise line.
I applaud NCL’s effort to stand for the crew, especially considering the string of bad decisions that we have heard from them lately. This is one policy that I fully support, and I hope other cruise lines follow suit soon.
The current Daily Service cost for Norwegian is $13.50 per person, per day.