Thursday, May 28, 2015

Norwegian Reverses "No-Carry-Out" Policy

In addition to recently adding a $7.95 charge (per order) for room service, Norwegian instituted a very unpopular policy of restricting carry out plates of food to be consumed in staterooms. The feedback was loud and Norwegian has listened. Following is the email statement from Andy Stuart, President & COO, explaining the thinking behind the no-carry-out policy and rescinding it:
Many of our most loyal guests and travel partners have expressed concerns about our recent policy change regarding taking away meals from restaurants onboard. In keeping with the spirit of Partners First and ensuring that we are listening and taking action, today we announced that Norwegian is reverting to our original policy that will allow guests to take meals from the ship's many restaurants back to their staterooms.

The policy resulted from a leadership team ship inspection and was originally an endeavor to create a higher quality guest experience by eliminating dirty trays, plates and glasses that were observed in the ship's hallways. We saw this as an opportunity to enhance the guest experience onboard, which is always our number one priority. In truth, we simply didn't understand how important it was for so many of our guests to have the option to enjoy meals at their convenience in their stateroom. Based on the feedback we received, it's clear that this is an area many of our guests and travel partners see as important and therefore, we're pleased to share that guests are welcome to enjoy their meals either in the restaurant or in their stateroom, as they always have.

We believe that these are exciting times at Norwegian, with many positive changes in the onboard experience for guests to be excited about. In recent months we made several other announcements relating to enhancing the high-quality offerings onboard, including making Asian restaurants complimentary, fleet-wide. There was a charge for Asian restaurants aboard Norwegian for many years and now more than 250 guests per night are enjoying this memorable experience at no cost. To differentiate the 3- and 4-day cruise product from competitors, we also announced that all premium beverages would be included in the cost of the cruise for Norwegian Sky, elevating this short cruise product to give guests an all-inclusive brand from which to choose... and giving travel partners higher commission potential when selling a short-cruise product. We have also offered a very rich promotional opportunity for guests to enjoy a strong value-added experience since January, with a majority of guests having the option to choose from an Ultimate Dining Package or an Ultimate Beverage Package included in their fare that made their experience much more inclusive once onboard, as well as helping to protect pricing and, ultimately, commissions.

Thank for your continued support and let's look forward to a fantastic 2015.

Sincere regards,
Andy Stuart
President & COO
We agree that no one likes to see dirty plates piled up in the hallways, but many parents bring snacks from the buffet to their staterooms for their children and others simply want to enjoy eating in privacy. We're glad that Norwegian has given them the green light to continue doing so without having to resort to paying the room service fee.

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