September 13, 2019
(5 p.m. EDT) -- Norwegian Cruise Line has confirmed that it is testing a "Pay for Perks" program onboard some of its vessels, which would allow passengers to purchase amenities usually reserved for cruisers booked in top suites or who have achieved high status within the line's loyalty program.
CruiseCritic reached out to Norwegian Cruise Line, which confirmed the program -- dubbed Priority Access -- is being tested on select ships.
"Our Priority Access program is currently being offered to a very limited number of guests on two of our ships, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Breakaway," said a spokesperson for the cruise line. "We are looking at providing this service to guests that have told us they want to pay to enhance their experience, while limiting the offering as to not impact our current priority embarkation process.
"Please know that our guests' loyalty is very important to us, and we will continue to reward that loyalty with excellent service and exclusive complimentary amenities through the Latitudes program. We will continue to assess the Priority Access program over the coming weeks and will absolutely take any concerns into consideration."
According to Cruise Radio, which first reported on the program, passengers are entitled to priority security, check-in, boarding and tendering; access to a daily complimentary room service breakfast menu; a $50 spa credit for use on port days; and in-cabin canapes to be delivered on the second day of the cruise. The package also includes priority disembarkation.
Costs for this trial program, reportedly being tested on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Sky, run from $69 per stateroom to $199 per stateroom.
Members on CruiseCritic's message boards were generally unhappy about the changes, noting the new Priority Access perks stand to devalue the perks already given to those with higher Latitudes status or those splurging on the ship's highest-end suites.
Member tomk3212 notes, "It's basically a way to raise 'newbie' [passengers] to elevated Latitudes status [perks without] their having sailed on NCL for the requisite number of sailings to attain said Latitudes status."
But not everyone was upset by the offering: "The $50 spa credit and complimentary room service would make it worth it somewhat if you were already planning on using those services," said RedwingHockeyFan.