This Week in Cruise: Three Big Updates to Onboard Charges

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Photo by Martin Barraud/OJO Images/Getty Images

This week in the cruise industry three major cruise lines have issued updates to their policies regarding specific onboard charges. 

Norwegian Cruise Line is increasing its onboard service charge, effective April 1. The prepaid service charge will rise from $15.50 for The Haven and Suites and $13.50 for Mini-Suites and below to $16.99 for The Haven and Suites and $13.99 for Mini-Suites and below, starting with bookings made on or after April 1 for all ships except Norwegian Sky. On that ship, the prepaid charges will rise to $21.99 for Suites and $18.99 for Mini-Suites and below.

For service charges paid onboard, regardless of the booking date, the new rate will be $16.99 for The Haven and Suites and $13.99 for Mini-Suites and Below. On Norwegian Sky, the new rate for service charges paid onboard will be $21.99 for Suites and $18.99 for Mini-Suites and below. 

All service charges are per person per day for all guests three years or older. Guests sailing to Hawaii will be charged an additional 4.275 percent Pre Paid Service Charge GET Tax.

Lindblad Expeditions – National Geographic, meanwhile, has announced it will make guests’ bar tab and crew gratuities complimentary on all departures of National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion.

The new policy, which will also start in April, will effectively create “inclusive pricing” the line said in a statement provided to Travel Agent. The line also does not charge for activities and excursions, including pre- and post-cruise city explorations, or Zodiac, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and hiking explorations. Rates also include onboard lectures, all meals, equipment, photo instruction, wellness classes and group flight transfers.

The new policy does not include the line’s upcoming cruise ships, the National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture.

Finally, this week Royal Caribbean announced a new plan to start charging for room service. As part of the new policy the line will charge guests a fee of $7.95 per order for ordering room service from the All Day Menu and the American Section of the breakfast menu.

Continental breakfast options will still be complimentary. Additionally, room service will remain complimentary for guests staying in a Grand Suite stateroom or above. The $7.95 fee will be assessed for each room service order.

The change will go into effect on sailings after March 27, 2017, along with a newly updated room service menu.

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