Cruises

Cruising Norwegian is about to get more expensive

If you're cruising on Norwegian after April 1, be prepared to pay more.

If you're cruising on Norwegian after April 1, be prepared to pay more.  (iStock)

Planning to take a cruise this spring or summer? Guests sailing Norwegian will be shelling out a bit more dough than usual. 

Starting April 1, the cruise line will be increasing service fees for passengers in all cabins, reports USA Today.

Specifically, Norwegian will be bumping up the service charge it adds onto passengers' final bills by 3.6 percent. That will lead to an approximate cost of $13.99 per person each day for those staying in most of the cabins on the ship. But passengers in suites will be charged more-- $16.99 per person, a near 10 percent jump from current costs.

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For a family of four in a standard cabin on a one-week cruise, the finally tally in services charges will in just under $392. 

The jump in costs is nothing new for cruise guests.

Many rates have been increasing higher than inflation. In February 2015, Norwegian added $12 in service charges to passenger bills. Now, with the newest jump, service charges for the cruises will have increased almost 17 percent in just over two years. 

Other cruise lines have also started tacking on extra gratuity fees. Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess and Holland America have all raised prices. Holland America and Royal Caribbean currently have a $13.50 per person, per day charge while Princess and Carnival charge passengers $12.95 for the majority of cabins.

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The trend hasn’t been felt industry-wide, though. Luxury cruise lines like Crystal, Seabourn, Azamara and Regent have cut the fees completely. And they’re vanishing from some river cruise lines, too. On those lines, gratuities for crew members are included in the base fare.

Still, cruise passengers do have some recourse. Select cruise lines will allow passengers to reduce or cut the service charge completely if they’re unhappy with the service provided once onboard.