If you’re booked to take a Norwegian cruise on a ship that leaves after Saturday, prepare for a little inflation.
Starting Sunday on all sailings, Norwegian’s daily gratuity charges are going up to $12.95 per person ($14.95 if you’re cruising in a suite) and applies even if your cruise is already booked. The increase is less than a buck a day (95 cents) and it’s this cruise line’s first such increase since 2009.
Where does that leave Norwegian in an industry where gratuities are sometimes one of life’s little surprises, except for seasoned cruisers?
Celebrity charges $12 a day, and $15.50 in suites. Carnival also charges $12 and breaks it down for you: $3.90 for stateroom crew, $6.10 for dining room crew and $2 for crew members in the galley, guest services, entertainment. Princess, from the Carnival family, charges $11.50 as does Cunard, another Carnival sibling. Disney does it a little differently, suggesting amounts and breaking them down by length of cruise but in the end — whether it’s three days, four days or seven days — the suggested daily gratuity is $12.
So Norwegian appears to be the first of the mainstream lines to bump it up. There is one break for Norwegian passengers already booked: It stays at $12 if you pre-pay your tips.
Gratuities are always discretionary, but who wants to be the person arguing with the guest services people about why they shouldn’t pay what is already charged to your room?
Today at portsandbows.com: Princess plans for Europe 2016