In a bold move, NCL has decided to loosen its restrictions on facial hair, tattoos and jewelry for its dedicated crew. The new rules mean that crew are able to express themselves more through their appearance – although there are still restrictions in place.
The changes apply to all crew members on the ship, including officers and staff in all positions. They came into force on 1st July 2023, and have been fully communicated to all NCL employees before this date.
The new rules on facial hair allow crew members to have a mustache, beard or goatee, provided it is well-maintained and trimmed. Mustaches must still be no longer than the upper lip. So while an epic handlebar mustache will still be banned, the rules are a lot more chilled.
Jewellery rules have changed too – specifically for bracelets, rings and earrings. The crew can now where a maximum of three bracelets, provided they’re in good condition. Any crew involved in preparing food and/or drinks, including bartenders, aren’t allowed bracelets.
Up to three rings can be worn, with an engagement ring and wedding ring counting as one together, even if they are completely separate. Those crew working on food or drink stations are allowed one ring, as long as it doesn’t have any elaborate decoration or detailing which could house crumbs and grease.
And with regards earrings, up to two stud earrings are allowed per ear, or two hoops as long as they have a diameter “no larger than a US dime” (0.75 inches).
With tattoos, some are now allowed to be seen – but only in certain places. The specifically-banned locations include the face, head and the front of the neck – anything visible above a t-shirt collar, essentially.
Otherwise, common sense rules apply to tattoos – nothing “extremist, indecent, sexist, or racist”. This includes any tattoo that could depict gangs or extreme groups.
Also, tattoos must already be in place when a crew member begins their contract. The crew aren’t allowed to add new tattoos during their contract, because the checks on whether the tattoos are permitted will only happen before crew are assigned to a ship.
The policies of other cruise lines vary. Typically, the more luxurious cruise lines are those that are more strict on facial hair, jewellery and tattoos, although some family-friendly cruise lines still have tough rules in place – like NCL did prior to these changes.
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