Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gratuity On Norwegian No Longer Adjustable?

According to an article on the Orlando Sentinel web page, Norwegian Cruise Lines have put into their contracts that the gratuity of $10 per day is no longer adjustable at the passengers discretion. While I find this to be a bad move on the cruise lines part in the realm of public relations, I wonder how much it helps or hurts the employees on board. According to the article, the amount can be changed but only after a specific complaint, and giving them a chance to rectify whatever caused you to want to change the amount. This move will not have much of an affect on our personal cruising experience because we have never changed the amount on a cruise, and just tip extra for those who go over and beyond our expectations during the cruise. And really, mandatory gratuity is nothing new anyway. there is already the tip added to all bar tabs on board, and in the restaurant industry most places auto add a gratuity to parties of 8 or more. Gotten caught on that one a couple of times where we have added a tip to an amount that was already tip taxed when in a big group.

A side not on Norwegian. On a recent post, an anonymous comment was left that only 2 of their ships are U.S. flagged and that because of this, Alaska would not be a monopoly for the cruise line. I thank the commenter for bringing this to my attention. It sounds like just about everyone gets hit when it comes to Alaska and the way the Jones Act may be interpreted.

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