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'Fee Creep' continues in cruise industry

Norwegian Escape (above) arrives with new dining charges                  Photo: Arno Redenius / Wikimedia


Perhaps taking a cue from the airlines, a number of cruise lines have recently added fees and surcharges for things that were previously free, even as they dabble in free WiFi.


Among the latest changes: Norwegian Cruise Line is adding surcharges for premium dishes  in its main dining rooms, which are otherwise part of the fare for the cruise. The policy is making its debut with the U.S. debut of Norwegian Escape this week; the surcharged items include prime rib, surf and turf and lobster, all dishes that many cruisers have considered to be among the main attractions.


Also changing: in the ship's specialty restaurants, meals will no longer be a flat charge, but will be charged a la carte for different items.


On CruiseCritic's visitor discussion, the changes are predictably unpopular, with some long-time cruisers planning to take their business elsewhere. One particular complaint: The charges come with an automatic 18% gratuity, on top of the daily charge cruisers pay to cover tipping all personnel.


For more, at CruiseCritic, click HERE

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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