Cruise NewsNorwegian Cruise Line Adds Surcharge to Margaritaville

Norwegian Cruise Line Adds Surcharge to Margaritaville

Dining at Margaritaville on Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest and largest ship, Norwegian Escape, will no longer be complimentary starting November 28, 2015.

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Norwegian stated the reason for this change was so that the cruise line could continue to deliver the highest quality experience to the passengers.  The first ever Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at Sea quickly became one of the most popular dining venues on Norwegian Escape.

The menu at Margaritaville will now be à la carte with prices ranging from Cheeseburger in Paradise at $6.99 to Key Lime Pie at $3.99.  To see the entire menu with prices for each item, you can download it here (PDF).

An 18% gratuity charge will be added to the final bill.  We would love hear your opinions on this recent change by Norwegian Cruise Line. Leave a comment in the comment section below with your thoughts.  To take a video tour of Norwegian Escape, you can watch the video below.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise NewsNorwegian Cruise Line Adds Surcharge to Margaritaville


  1. Well NCL I hope you are satisfied….. Turning people away from cruising due to your pure greed…. It has nothing to do with reducing wait times, you could always take reservations on a first come first served basis…. same excuse Royal Carribean uses for charging money now at the character breakfast, too popular with the people……Bull, it is just greed….. Hope you choke on it…… when people find better ways to spend their money than cruising with pirates…..

  2. I’m very mad that NCL has made changes after we booked! Totally unethical. Won’t cruise with them again after this trip in Feb.

  3. We are paying $2100 more for the Escape than the Royal Caribbean Navigator, and Margaritaville was ONE of the selling factors. We are huge JB fans and a parrot-head family. I very much regret going with NCL over RC!! This change was made suddenly and it is too late to cancel for our Jan 2 sailing. I called Customer Service, The Escalation Department, and Guest Services. They all smugly said that NCL will not do anything for customers who were anticipating Margaritaville to be a part of the complimentary dining options as promised at the time of booking. If you have not chosen a cruise line yet, GO ELSEWHERE!

  4. Norwegian are the stingiest cruise line on the planet. Gone is customer service in search of the bottom line dollar. Fortunately there are other cruise lines available who will get our business.
    Look after your passengers & pay your directors less !

  5. As for the additional charge on the Escape I totally disagree with it. We have been cruising since 1996 and over the years we have notice a lot of cut backs, and a lot more pay for resturants I believe they are taking the cruise industry away from what many of us have known it to be and turning it into the expensive vacation like other vacations. Eventually turning many people against cruising.

  6. Cheeseburgers are probably the same you can get at the buffet anyway. So much on cruises is just not worth the extra price unfortunately. I learned the hard way but after about 5 cruises figured out what’s worth it and what’s not (and there’s not a whole lot worth it).

  7. In addition to the Margaritaville change, it’s so infuriating that several of the Specialty Dining venues have suddenly become ala carte as well. NCL lures you with Specialty Dining Package as a free perk and then changes the terms of the perk (and all within about 60 days).
    We’ve been on a dozen cruises on 4 different lines but I think this is the last time we’ll “cruise like a Norwegian.” Piracy on the high seas!!

  8. I guess having eaten two times at JB’s on the initial xatlantic on a comp basis, I have enjoyed it twice as much as anyone else, apparently. The seats were empty and the staff was freezing (bless them) while they dreamed of the warmer climes to come.

    Sailing south of Bermuda I returned for the third lunch, and being confronted with a 12 table, 2 hour wait, I did walk away. It may have been good, but not 2 hour wait good, and I guess that is the point of the surcharge; if the charge reduces the wait time, it accomplishes the stated goal.

    Would *I* pay the up charge? No thanks, anymore then at Food Republic or either Garces restaurant. To exclude them from the comped lists is a mistake, no matter how upscale.

    And please, do not get me started on fee changes AFTER booking. There are plenty of IT resources that can bring the on board computers up to speed based on individual cards everyone just happens to already carry.

    I enjoyed the Escape, but I might have had a singularly unique situation on a singularly unique cruise.

  9. A nail in a the hull of the titanic fleet called Norwegian
    I talked our group of 12 into a cruise on the escape instead of “the oasis” cruise is on Dec 12
    Knowing we are doing NONE of the extra fees add ones at all my kids and dad were all really looking forward to Margarittaville With the reviews I’ve been reading this past month I’m dreading the cruise….
    NCL was so amazing for years no #suckstocruisenorwegian

  10. I agree, the staff was not the friendliest. I tried to go Margaritaville 3 times but each time it was closed. All I wanted was a drink. Some things need to be changed like the hours but not a surcharge.

  11. We were on the Nov. 21st cruise on Escape. Margaritaville is NOTHING special. Not worth any extra money. We are Silver level with NCL, and we were very disappointed with our total experience on the Escape. The staff is not friendly and service is below what we have experienced on other cruise lines and not up to other NCL cruise ships. Read the reviews and think twice before going Escape.

  12. I think the people who have already “booked” their cruise under the pretense that Margaritaville was all-inclusive should remain that way! All cruisers from this point on should then be charged. You don’t take away what was already given to us after us having booked… That’s just poor judgement…Plus I read that it was open 24 hrs, I guess that has been changed too?!!

    • Agree! This is complete wrong. It was inclusive when booked and should not be changed. It’s not right to start ADDING FEES to something after people have booked. Charge for future bookings but not on cruises all ready booked. What are you going to start charging for now? Will not book on future cruises if this is how this cruise line works!

    • If they can begin altering the included items after the booking charges there is every possibility that I am about to embark on a week from hell

      I’d like to suggest to the head of NCL the following
      -please feel free to do away with any included food for cruisers
      -please also make our embarkation Check in longer as you root through our luggage confiscating any food we bring no on board- don’t forget to charge for the increase in time and manpower this wil involve
      -please feel free to add a surcharge to use the deck chairs and of course another to use a towel for that chair
      -please remember to add the surcharge for sheets and towels in our cabin along with checking our luggage again at embarkation for sheets towels or pillows we smuggle aboard with the guise of it being for bedbug protection on the vessel (once again don’t forget to charge for the baggage checking)
      -please remember to add an easy transit pass where certain faster routes through the ship are only for passengers who have purchased the transit package- perhaps all decks advise from 5, 11 and 18 ( may I suggest the reasonable fee of $200 a week per person)
      -and please please remember to smack us all in the face and wallet with a fee for ALL recreational activities on board ..shows, ropes course, pay per water slide, pay per pool dip…….

      Finally Please remembers of fire the lot of executives running your sinking fleet as cruisers begin reporting you to our credit card agencies as our trip did not include what was booked and we ask for charge backs.
      Norwegian cruise lines the NEW PIRATES OF THE HIGH SEAS

  13. I think a charge for Margaritaville When Our grouped booked (500 plus ) it was inclueded . Now your charging for it Many of us if not all of us Plan to BOYCOTT. Being Parott heads word will get out. May never cruise NCL again. Will be booking With Princess.

  14. Anytime dining as turned into a play for more money anyway they can get it. I no longer cruise on NCL because nickel & dime has turned into five & ten. “It’s always about the money”

  15. So now you are going to pay extra for waiting in line for 2 hours for a lunch time restaurant that is only open for 5 hours. Now that doesn’t sound to good for business now does it. Parrotheads should wait till they see or visit the rest of the Margaritavilles from around the world before dining in this one.

  16. I’ll just have my cheeseburger elsewhete. The Margaritaville restaurant will not be getting any extra money from this passenger.

  17. I’m tired of “Del Fee O” and all of his changes. This is the tip of the ice berg for me. Long time NCL cruiser, and he just pushed me over the edge. Time to move on …

  18. Well that did not take long. sailed on the first cruise out of Miami (3 day) Margaritaville is a rehash of the flamingo grill (Getaway Breakaway). Walk 10 feet more into the buffet and make your own cheese burger. or go to O’Sheehans. The issue was it was GROSSLY understaffed. and there is nothing special here, do not be fooled

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