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Trying to Charge for Everything?


yuccaman
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Until the guest can be guaranteed of service issues being resolved the current system is fine. If some abuse the system that's the price to pay. You're trying to legitimize poor service not being addressed. Sad!
Not at all. I've always said if there was an issue that was not resolved on the ship, one should be able to reduce their DSC accordingly, but unfortunately you know how it is, the bad behavior of a few ruins it for all. I think if someone doesn't put a service issue on the request for removal or reduction, NCL should write them and ask what the service issue was and if they say there was none, the should point them to this in the FAQ:

 

If I cancel my cruise are the service charges refundable?

Yes! The service charges are 100% refundable. If there is a service issue can the service charges be adjusted on board? Guest satisfaction is the highest priority at Norwegian Cruise Line. We have structured a guest satisfaction program designed to handle any concerns about service or on-board product quickly and efficiently. However, in the event a service issue should arise during your cruise please let our on-board guest services desk staff know right away, so that we can address these in a timely manner. It is our goal to reach a satisfactory solution to any issue when it happens and make sure our guests can focus on enjoying their cruise. Should your concerns not be met with satisfaction you can adjust the charges.

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Easy solution for NCL............change that word DISCRETIONARY TO MANDATORY......takes care of the issue once and for all.

 

In my 50 odd cruises with the various cruiselines starting back in the early 70s on the SS Uganda, NOT once have I paid the DISCRETIONARY charges, call them whatever you want. Although let me take that back, I once did a month long cruise on Holland America's Statendam and sure enough I left the $300 odd DISCRETIONARY charges in place. At that time these were still around $10 a day.

I refuse to do the cruiselines' dirty work, they are the ones who should be paying their employee's salary NOT me.

 

Don't agree with my logic? Too bad. :rolleyes:

 

It is none of my business how much anyone tips and it certainly is NO ONE's business if I choose to refuse to pay DISCRETIONARY charges. As long as the option to REMOVE these DISCRETIONARY charges is there, I will exercise that option each and every single time I sail. As I will be doing this week on the Jewel.

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14.22 per day to drink as much as you would like. It's a no brainer if you choose to imbibe frequently and the occasional drinker is ahead with 2 beers or 2 glasses of wine or one frozen drink and a soda. The UBP only makes no sense for those teetotallers or for those who are friends of Bill.

 

Sent from my XT1254 using Forums mobile app

 

On our recent Sun cruise, we had the beverage package as a promo, but were grandfathered with not having to pay the service charge on the promo.

 

Still, for two of the seven days, we didn't even use the beverage package, since we are Platinum, we had a free bottle of wine at dinner. That is want DW and I usually drink in a day, a bottle of wine. On a cruise with many sea days like a transatlantic, we might drink more.

 

We may elect the beverage package on another cruise, depending on the cruise and what other choices are available. Another choice is the fee cabin service charge.

 

Note, we sometime cruise Celebrity, which does NOT charge the service charge on the promos like beverage packages.

 

We always look at the bottom line prices, after promos or not.

 

Like we just booked two Royal Caribbean cruises for 2018 out of Sydney that beat NCL and Celebrity on pricing for the NZ cruise. On the transpacific to Seattle, NCL didn't have such a cruise and Celebrity's was a more and ended in Hawaii instead of Seattle.

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Easy solution for NCL............change that word DISCRETIONARY TO MANDATORY......takes care of the issue once and for all.

 

In my 50 odd cruises with the various cruiselines starting back in the early 70s on the SS Uganda, NOT once have I paid the DISCRETIONARY charges, call them whatever you want. Although let me take that back, I once did a month long cruise on Holland America's Statendam and sure enough I left the $300 odd DISCRETIONARY charges in place. At that time these were still around $10 a day.

I refuse to do the cruiselines' dirty work, they are the ones who should be paying their employee's salary NOT me.

 

Don't agree with my logic? Too bad. :rolleyes:

 

It is none of my business how much anyone tips and it certainly is NO ONE's business if I choose to refuse to pay DISCRETIONARY charges. As long as the option to REMOVE these DISCRETIONARY charges is there, I will exercise that option each and every single time I sail. As I will be doing this week on the Jewel.

 

I'm glad you can hide behind the wording, and sleep well at night. Most of the rest of us realize that if we did that, our stewards and waiters would be working hard for us, for absolutely free (not counting that big almost $2/day contract.)

 

The rest of us don't necessarily agree with the "let's have the passengers pay for them over and above their cruise fare" system, either, but we refuse to let these hardworking people, who are majority very good at taking great care of us, work for us for free.

 

(Someone remind me of where this post is, because the next fifty times I need to write this same answer, I can come back and "copy and paste" it. :p You can even feel free to copy and paste it for your own use. :))

Edited by yuccaman
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You are right poor service should be addressed.

How do you address entitled, belligerent and rude guests that think they can treat the crew as if they were their personal employees.

I am sure a lot of them will be filing these forms.

 

Unfortunately some will abuse the system. Any system. You can't stop it 100%. But the answer isn't to remove the mechanism in place to address poor service for the rest of us that play fair. Sorry I don't have a smoking gun for you.

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Unfortunately some will abuse the system. Any system. You can't stop it 100%. But the answer isn't to remove the mechanism in place to address poor service for the rest of us that play fair. Sorry I don't have a smoking gun for you.
By making the DSC mandatory, they can address poor service issues on the ships, with either OBC, dinners, etc., that way there has to be an issue. The only ones that will be hurt if they make it mandatory are those that don't want to pay it.
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Unfortunately some will abuse the system. Any system. You can't stop it 100%. But the answer isn't to remove the mechanism in place to address poor service for the rest of us that play fair. Sorry I don't have a smoking gun for you.

 

I disagree. There is one reason that the charges are discretionary and that is because if they were mandatory they would be considered part of the fare and thereby be commissionable. About a year ago I did the math and estimated that 10% of cruisers would have to remove the DSC before it would equal the amount of revenue lost to higher travel agent commissions.

 

I don't think that a mechanism to address quality of service matters to the current NCL corporate culture at all. It is all about the money.

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Unfortunately some will abuse the system. Any system. You can't stop it 100%. But the answer isn't to remove the mechanism in place to address poor service for the rest of us that play fair. Sorry I don't have a smoking gun for you.

 

I don't disagree with you that poor service should be addressed.

It can be discussed with trained personnel who can compensate on the spot with appropriate comps, similar to what casinos do. But allowing the DSC to be "discretionary" almost invites anybody to remove it simply to save the cost. This is not fair to the others who are subsidizing this cost, as I am sure NCL has statistics to know fairly accurately what percentage will be filling out forms.

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I don't disagree with you that poor service should be addressed.

It can be discussed with trained personnel who can compensate on the spot with appropriate comps, similar to what casinos do. But allowing the DSC to be "discretionary" almost invites anybody to remove it simply to save the cost. This is not fair to the others who are subsidizing this cost, as I am sure NCL has statistics to know fairly accurately what percentage will be filling out forms.

 

HD Mirsad Bucuk with NCL once confided in me that on some sailings it approaches a high of 11%.

 

Hotel Director Pier Giorgio on Carnival once told me during a dinner with the Splendor's Captain that Carnival is more concerned with their food expenditue rather than with passengers removing the DISCRETIONARY fees which averaged 6-7% on his sailings.

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HD Mirsad Bucuk with NCL once confided in me that on some sailings it approaches a high of 11%.

 

Hotel Director Pier Giorgio on Carnival once told me during a dinner with the Splendor's Captain that Carnival is more concerned with their food expenditue rather than with passengers removing the DISCRETIONARY fees which averaged 6-7% on his sailings.

Wow! An officer confiding in a passenger with regard to NCL's business, I hope NCL isn't reading this.
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I did check, having empty beds has nothing to do with the profitability. At current price points NCL is making money and not loosing enough customers to change their price point.

 

You, however, didn't address the over all theme of my post. That being you/us the passengers are choosing to pay more than we have to.

 

I booked on the Escape for next year, I could have gone for $1500 ($599 p/p inside guarantee) I didn't. On your next NCL cruise are you going to be staying in an inside guarantee? Are you not going to consume paid beverages, meals, and shows?

 

If you answered yes, how is that NCL's fault? It isn't it's yours. You are making the choice and in doing so you are rewarding NCL's behavior and encouraging them to continue. If you want them to stop, then start booking the cheapest inside guarantee and don't participate in any upcharged items.

 

Nickel and diming would be if NCL advertised a cabin price, then forced you to buy a drink, dining, and entertainment package. If you didn't purchase these additional things, they wouldn't sell you a cruise. This isn't happening. What is happening is people are blaming NCL for their own lack of ability to control their own spending.

 

Ahhh ,

 

What ever.

 

 

My point is NCL Is Not FILLING ships.

 

Almost every NCL ship has available cabins for next weeks cruise.

 

They are not full ships.

 

That is all.

 

.

Edited by biker@sea
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By making the DSC mandatory, they can address poor service issues on the ships, with either OBC, dinners, etc., that way there has to be an issue. The only ones that will be hurt if they make it mandatory are those that don't want to pay it.

 

You have a more optimistic view than me. If things worked your way that would be fine. But I can tell you many companies that hold your money captive aren't interested in resolving issues if you as the guest has no recourse or alternative. If you can't get the ear of the hotel director or guest services doesn't address your issue you are just out of luck. If the fees are mandatory why should they give you anything in the way of a comp?

 

I'd rather an issue be addressed and taken care of. I always give the benefit of the doubt to management and an opportunity to resolve a problem. But if not I don't want to argue for a dinner. Business only understands one universal language. $$$. If some abuse the system that shouldn't be my problem or yours either. We should have leverage to ensure resolution of problems.

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If some abuse the system that shouldn't be my problem or yours either. We should have leverage to ensure resolution of problems.

 

 

I agree with everything you have said except for this last part.

It is always everybody else that ends up compensating for abusers.

So yes we should be concerned by it.

It can come in many forms, Increased DSC charges, increased cabin charges, it does not really matter, all cruise lines have a profit margin they want to maintain and you will be affected by the abusers.

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Just a question - if you remove the DSC aren't you penalizing those that did give you good service? Do the buffet preparation staff, laundry and other behind the scene staff get part of the DSC? Just asking.

 

 

Yes, yes, and yes.

But don't worry NCL will just raise prices on other things to compensate if they don't get the margins they want.

Even the ones that remove the cost in the end will be returning some of that money next cruise in added costs.

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We have remove the charges on two cruises because of poor dining service in the MDR and buffet. On both cruises we informed the managers and completed complaint cards more than once of day, with no improvement. We did tip the room staff. There was a lot of people in buffet line that had the same service. That was several years ago and recent trips have not been bad.

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NCL Is NOT FILLing the ship's!!

 

Thats why you see $379 cruise's

 

Dawn's first Canada run had over 500 empty beds

 

Most NCL ships still have rooms for sale the day before sailing. Check some.

 

This is definitely true. I went on the Gem's sailing in June to Canada (booking at the last minute), and the fares were down by something like 60 percent from what they had been 2 months out. And the ship sailed with a ton of empty rooms. NCL has the prices way too high far out from the cruise and doesn't drop them soon enough. (The cruise was originally priced at 1699 for a balcony, without kids sail free, which was an insane price for three people on a 7 day to Canada, we ended up paying something like 699 a person booking two weeks in advance.). NCL's pricing is way off and has to be costing them money in the long run because of all the empty rooms.

Edited by Fido Chuckwagon
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I disagree. There is one reason that the charges are discretionary and that is because if they were mandatory they would be considered part of the fare and thereby be commissionable. About a year ago I did the math and estimated that 10% of cruisers would have to remove the DSC before it would equal the amount of revenue lost to higher travel agent commissions.

 

I don't think that a mechanism to address quality of service matters to the current NCL corporate culture at all. It is all about the money.

 

That's a good point, the TA commissions.

 

Also in the mix is how they can call a portion of the worker's salary "tips" if they are not collecting service charges they can hand over as "tips". I suspect giving many of the workers a 30% pay cut on a large part of their salary would not be welcome, although their home tax agencies might like it.

 

Many countries that have staff on cruise ships do not pay income taxes on gratuity income ... Filipinos and Romanian citizens do not, for instance. Make it mandatory and it loses it's legal definition as gratuity.

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I agree with everything you have said except for this last part.

It is always everybody else that ends up compensating for abusers.

So yes we should be concerned by it.

It can come in many forms, Increased DSC charges, increased cabin charges, it does not really matter, all cruise lines have a profit margin they want to maintain and you will be affected by the abusers.

 

What I mean by concerned is it's not my station to worry about who spends how much on whatever they choose. I'm not on vacation to police others. I can only make decisions for myself based on what I feel is right and warranted. I choose to believe many others do the same, but accept that some do not.

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Just a question - if you remove the DSC aren't you penalizing those that did give you good service? Do the buffet preparation staff, laundry and other behind the scene staff get part of the DSC? Just asking.

 

The money (or some of it) goes into a pool and is distributed to the workers as tip income on their checks. There are a lot of different opinions on how it works, but the only person here who worked on an NCL ship in management said the pool distribution can be reduced over time if the customers remove the service charges. It's like those "team bonuses" you get at work, except it's broken down into each check.

 

My speculation has been that since the workers are on a contract, and presumably get the same amount each week from NCL in "salary" and "tips" that the pool can only be adjusted occasionally, and not affect the bottom line of the workers who have a contracted salary. Now, the contract may allow for that. Who knows? No one here.

 

Here's my take on the daily charges: I never have to tip anyone on an NCL cruise. All of my tips are taken care of. If I buy something not covered by a tip, outside of a few sub-contractors, like a beer ... then NCL adds the tip automatically.

 

Paying the daily service charges is just so darn easy. I remember spending time filling out envelopes, and trying to decide how much I should tip the waiter, the drink waiter, the head waiter, the assistant waiter and their boss ... I forget what he was called. There was a little chart and you had to add up $X per day per person in your party for each worker.

 

Now I pay the DSC and know I have it covered. I don't need to carry $1 bills with me and act like Daddy Warbucks buying orphans a meal.

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What I mean by concerned is it's not my station to worry about who spends how much on whatever they choose. I'm not on vacation to police others. I can only make decisions for myself based on what I feel is right and warranted. I choose to believe many others do the same, but accept that some do not.

 

Agreed, a vacation is to relax and have fun. I never gave these things a second thought until I found this sight and just paid everything and tipped on top of that if the service merited it.

It does however make me wonder now when I see all the different charges. DSC, 18% on top of every bar and specialty dinning. Then of course it is expected to tip casino staff because apparently they don't share in the DSC. Then you may tip everybody else extra if the service merits it.

 

No wonder we have threads like this

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Paying the daily service charges is just so darn easy. I remember spending time filling out envelopes, and trying to decide how much I should tip the waiter, the drink waiter, the head waiter, the assistant waiter and their boss ... I forget what he was called. There was a little chart and you had to add up $X per day per person in your party for each worker.

 

Now I pay the DSC and know I have it covered. I don't need to carry $1 bills with me and act like Daddy Warbucks buying orphans a meal.

 

Yes! This! I hated the "olden days" of the maitre'd hanging around your assigned dining table to make sure he got his envelope when we had not seen him all week. I am happy to have my tips paid in advance and tip for good service when warranted.

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I am in no way an expert on cruises. I prefer all inclusive hotels and I now know why. We recently booked NCL, travel agent quoted a price of approx $1340 pp. We are now at over $3100 total before we have stepped on the ship. The free unlimited drink package cost over $200 in taxes and gratuities. .

 

Mine was over $1100 in tips for a free UBP:rolleyes:

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