"Free" drinks package - do we now have to pay 18% service charge?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 09:55 AM.
#21
Ottawa Ontario Canada
561 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
We just returned from a cruise on the Jade. We were 4 cruisers. 2 of us had the UBP as a perk & the other 2 bought it.
None of us saw any gratuity charges on our bills at the end of the cruise other than the DSC.
#22
Arizona
10,938 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by Samstress
We just returned from a cruise on the Jade. We were 4 cruisers. 2 of us had the UBP as a perk & the other 2 bought it.
None of us saw any gratuity charges on our bills at the end of the cruise other than the DSC.
If you got it as a perk when they started charging this, it would have been on your invoice when you made final payment. For those that purchased the package, it would have been added on to the purchase price of the package.
#23
Cardiff, Wales, UK
915 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
The OP is from the UK so the promo works differently here

If NCL charged grats on a free promo they then would be liable for income tax on the grats.

A lot easier for them to not charge grats and the claim back 20% in tax relief ( offsetting VAT) on every "free drinks package" they give away
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
09-09-2012 Liberty of the Seas .........25-08-2013 NCL Epic
24-08-2014 Celebrity Silhouette ........09/08/2015 Celebrity Constellation
27/03/2016 NCL Breakaway .............26/08/2016 NCL Dawn
09/04/2017 NCL Dawn.......................20/08/2017 NCL Star

UPCOMING
31/03/2018 Ruby Princess
19/08/2018 Celebrity Summit
#24
Georgia
1,927 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Man...the drama queens flock here. Just pick another amenity and purchase the drink package at retail and still pay the service charge. That will show them!
#25
Chelsea, London, England
3,772 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by nomad098
The OP is from the UK so the promo works differently here

If NCL charged grats on a free promo they then would be liable for income tax on the grats.

A lot easier for them to not charge grats and the claim back 20% in tax relief ( offsetting VAT) on every "free drinks package" they give away
NCL are a corporation so they do not pay income tax. They would pay corporation tax on profits, not income.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
If you can read this - thank a teacher
If you are reading this in English - thank a soldier

Norwegian Jewel (28 Jul 2008 - 09 Aug 2008 - Baltic Capitals)
Norwegian Jade (24 May 2009 - 29 May 2009 - Ireland)
Norwegian Jade (30 May 2010 - 06 Jun 2010 - Western Med.)
http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/member...?EntryID=70844
Crown Princess (29 Jul 2010 - 10 Aug 2010 - Iceland & Norway)
Norwegian Jade (30 Jul 2011 - 13 Aug 2011 - Eastern Med.)
Norwegian Jade (22 Dec 2012 - 02 Jan 2013 - Med. + Holy Land)
Independence of the Seas (29 Oct 2013 - 02 Nov 2013 - Europe)
Norwegian Spirit (26 Dec 2013 - 04 Jan 2014 - Canary Islands +)
Norwegian Getaway (14-15 Jan 2014 - Southampton CTN)
Norwegian Jade (12 Jul 2014 - 26 Jul 2014 - Grand Med. from Venice)
Norwegian Jade (23 Dec 2014 - 03 Jan 2015 - Med. from Rome)
Royal Princess (08 Jul 2015 - 20 Jul 2015 - Round Britain)
P&O Oceana (27 Mar 2016 - 06 Apr 2016 - Iberia + Western Med.)
P&O Ventura (12 Sep 2016 - 18 Sep 2016 - Western Europe)
Azamara Journey (01 Feb 2017 - 19 Feb 2017 - Singapore to Sydney)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager (12 May 2018 - 01 Jun 2018 - Dubai to Rome)
#26
Ottawa Ontario Canada
561 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by NLH Arizona
If you got it as a perk when they started charging this, it would have been on your invoice when you made final payment. For those that purchased the package, it would have been added on to the purchase price of the package.
Aha moment! It was built in somewhere along the line prior to the cruise.
Thank you for clarifying that.
#27
1,362 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by don't-use-real-name
If you received the UBP by way of a FREE promo then there should be NO gratuity or 18% service charge.

NOTHING TIMES NOTHING IS OF COURSE NOTHING and 18% of NOTHING is still nothing !



Now if you purchased the UBP then you would be charged the cost of the UBP

package and an additional 18% of the program cost.

Thanks NCL for making that Oh so clear.



If you go to a bar restaurant etc. and order a drink costing more than $15 (FREE) you could expect to be charged the difference plus the 18% of that difference.

So you order an high end premium drink that costs $20 - $15 is covered under

the UBP and the remaining $5 is charged the gratuity of $0.90 for a charge

of $5.90 for that premium drink.

It is fawty (intentionally misspelled) math to charge 18% on the total drink of $20 when $15 was under a FREE program or had already been charged 18% !



Something is rotten in the state of Norway - or put another way what part of FREE do you not understand NCL ?


You are looking at it all wrong. For example, if you had a coupon for a free meal at a restaurant, even though your bill can say $0.00, you still tip on the full price. Caveat is that I am speaking for us Americans.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
#28
Cincinnati
3,023 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Originally posted by navybankerteacher
It seems clear that the gratuity is charged on the "value" of the package, and not per drink - which means the more you drink, the lower the per-drink gratuity will be.



To me, the only question is why do people who pay for a drink package insist upon calling their drinks "free"?

Correct, the drink package isn't free. It's a promo. Just like my $699 cruise (as advertised) isn't $699, it's $893 with taxes, port fees, and dsc. it's a fee that is presented upfront so you have the choice (and yes, a completely extra free, no promo option is offered too). But for me, the drink promo fee was a good enough deal that it was worthwhile.

It's the 'free drinks promo' not because it's free. You can get a guarantee cabin at a lower rate with no promos anyway, but because once you book with that option, your drinks on the cruise are free


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
#30
NJ
3,402 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by wales4ever
MM That was a speedy reply Thank you - great for us then, but still seems a con for the rest.
It does when you get the drink package for free on celebrity gratuities are included This is not a good idea.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Maggieq
Cruisestaken.....
Carnival Ecstasy (eastern) 7/91, Carnival Fantasy (bahamas) 9/92
Golden Princess (southern) 5/04, RCCL NOS (western) 8/21/04
RCCL AOS (Aruba itin.) 4/3/05, RCCL Mariner (western) 10/9/05
RCCL SOS (southern) 04/01/06, RCCL Majesty of the Seas (no Coco Cay)5/25/07
RCCL LOS (western itin) 9/8/07, RCCL Empress of the Seas 1/25/08
RCCL AOS 5/18/08, HA Eurodam 8/29/08 (cruise to nowhere)
RCCL Freedom (western) 10/12/2008, RCCL IOS(Eastern) 2/7/2009
RCCL Freedom (E) 7/12/2009, RCCL Liberty10/24/2009
Carnival Dream (2nt ctn), Celebrity Solstice 4/11/10 - E. itin.bad weather cruise
RCCL Oasis 10/16/10 great ship.....terrible weather, RCCL Liberty 1/9/11 (Eastern)
RCCL Oasis 5/14/11 Western - finally some sun, RCCL Allure 9/11/11 (western) more sun..yey!
Regent Seven Seas Mariner - 10/24/11 - Tuscany & Amalfi Coast - First time to Italy!!!
RCCL FOS 12/30 cruise to Diamond Plus,RCCL JOS 4/19/12 - first cruise as Diamond Plus
RCCL AOS 5/20/12 - Allure for the 2nd time...RCCL OAS 2/23/2013 - Oasis Eastern
RCCL EOS 5/11/13 - Bermuda RCCL LOS 9/1/2013 Barcelona finally! Med itin
Celebrity Reflection 1/11/14 ....just ok...RCCL JOS - Aruba/Curacao 5/10/14
RCCL OAS - Eastern itin 8/23/14, RCCL Quantum Transatlantic 11/2/14 - Amazing
RCCL OAS - Western 1/31/2015- not so amazing, RCCL OAS - eastern 5/16/2015 - slightly better
RCCL - Serenade Baltic 8/15 - Amazing,Celebrity Summit 11/28/2015
3/5/2016 RCCL Adventure, 3/13/2016 RCCL Jewel, 5/20/2016 - Adventure, RCCL Allure 9/4/2016
2/26/2017 - RCCL Jewel, 5/13/2017 - RCCL Harmony

#31
Cincinnati
3,023 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Originally posted by maggieq
It does when you get the drink package for free on celebrity gratuities are included This is not a good idea.

True, but when, for the same itinerary, ncl charges $699 with free drinks and free grats plus $200in the package free and celebrity charges $1199 for free drinks only with no package fee, which would you rather pay? In my pricing celebrity was generally much more pricey than ncl, so it's all relative.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
#32
Ottawa, Illinois
4,192 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by phoenix1181
Since our bar tab always exceeded $200 on a 7 day cruise, it's ideal for us!
I agree, paying just under $200 for a 7 day cruise is nothing compared to what the bar bill would have been.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Plus

USS Saratoga CV-60 1974-1978

Upcoming cruises


Brilliance of the Seas 01-25-18
Anthem of the Seas 12-6-18
Vision of the Seas 2-5-18






41 Trips the Empress of the Seas hasn't been added to the active list yet.
#33
Allentown, Pa.
1,456 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by navybankerteacher
It seems clear that the gratuity is charged on the "value" of the package, and not per drink - which means the more you drink, the lower the per-drink gratuity will be.



To me, the only question is why do people who pay for a drink package insist upon calling their drinks "free"?

Not hard to understand


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
#34
2,374 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by SteveH2508
NCL are a corporation so they do not pay income tax. They would pay corporation tax on profits, not income.
In the US, corporations do pay "income tax", but it is on net income (profit). All of our income tax is structured that way ... income minus expenses for businesses, and income minus exemptions and deductions for individuals. So it is similar to your tax on profits in the UK. Some states do have a "gross receipts tax" for some corporations (CA imposes a gross receipts tax on limited liability companies, so you pay that tax even if your business fails and you lose money).

My guess is that NCL pays more corporate tax to the UK than they do to the US. The cruise lines pay no US corporate tax on ship based revenue.

World-wide, the cruise industry pays about 1.3% tax on profits. I'm not certain, but I think that they incorporate each individual ship "off shore" and use the loophole under section 883 of the IRC (our "Internal Revenue Code" of tax law).
#35
Chicago
710 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by Moby0215
You are looking at it all wrong. For example, if you had a coupon for a free meal at a restaurant, even though your bill can say $0.00, you still tip on the full price. Caveat is that I am speaking for us Americans.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

The problem with this is that you assume people tip on a free meal. .




Sent from my iPhone using Forums
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
DD15, DS14
#36
1,362 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by Cruiser Who Knows Nothing
The problem with this is that you assume people tip on a free meal. .




Sent from my iPhone using Forums


Wow. That just amazes me. I do not assume that. It is the accepted protocol (for us Americans). And it is how the servers make a living. If you can't afford to tip them you shouldn't go out to eat.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
#37
Chicago
710 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by Moby0215
Wow. That just amazes me. I do not assume that. It is the accepted protocol (for us Americans). And it is how the servers make a living. If you can't afford to tip them you shouldn't go out to eat.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I have to hope you're not yelling at me? If so, take a chill. Relax. I'm in your side. Whoa!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
DD15, DS14
#38
1,362 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by Cruiser Who Knows Nothing
I have to hope you're not yelling at me? If so, take a chill. Relax. I'm in your side. Whoa!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums


All good. I definitely misunderstood you. But I would never yell. Always try my best to be civil.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
#40
241 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
It's 18 % on the package price of $79 pp per day about $14 pp each day, and we still leave cash dollar bill,per drink.. Always good service ...So worth it if you have 2 or more drinks a day.. We love it and we aren't big drinkers but do drink a bit more with the package ..w
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Norway 1980
regal empress 1998
Carnival triumph 1999
Celebrity Zenith 2000...Bermuda
Explorer of the seas 2002
Enchantment of the seas 2003
enchantment of the seas 2004
serenade of the seas 2005...Alaska
granduer of the seas 2006
Veendam 2007
Soveriegn of the seas 2008
Zuiderdamn 2009 ..panama canal
Monarch of the seas 2009
Glory 2010
NCL Jade 2015 Greece, Turkey , Croatia and Venice
NCL Getaway Baltic cruise 2017