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

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I have the free drinks package for our February cruise. I am assuming that, like other cruise lines we would pay nothing when we order a drink up the the amount of $15 I am sure I read on here that from December we will now have to pay a 18% service charge for each drink we order now? Is that correct? If so, what is 18% of nothing - for that is what we will be paying for our drinks? If this in fact correct, then there is no "free" drinks package and passengers will be paying 18% of drinks prices rather than nothing up to the stated amount.

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I have the free drinks package for our February cruise. I am assuming that, like other cruise lines we would pay nothing when we order a drink up the the amount of $15 I am sure I read on here that from December we will now have to pay a 18% service charge for each drink we order now? Is that correct? If so, what is 18% of nothing - for that is what we will be paying for our drinks? If this in fact correct, then there is no "free" drinks package and passengers will be paying 18% of drinks prices rather than nothing up to the stated amount.

 

If you've booked through EU, U.K., or AU then you don't need to pay the 18%, if you've booked through the US or Canada then Yes there is an 18% gratuity added.

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MM That was a speedy reply :) Thank you - great for us then, but still seems a con for the rest.

 

Agree, there has been a lot of discussion around the introduction of the charge, I suppose for those of us not in the US/Canada, they generally win with cheaper prices and better cancellation and change conditions than what we get in other parts of the world.

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The 18% is NOT per drink for those with the UBP promo no matter where they are from. The "out of pocket" cost is 18% of the retail price of the UBP and is paid before boarding the ship for those who have to pay it. Once onboard, the only "extra" that needs to be paid would be taxes (depending on port) and the cost over $15 per drink plus 18% on the over amount. If the drink is $18, the guest would pay $3 plus 18% ($3.54 total).

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No one pays 18% per drink during the cruise due to the free drink promo. Customers where it is applicable pay a service fee when booking with the promo. Customers where it is not applicable do not. But either way, everything is upfront when booking, no surprise charges after the fact.

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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 ?

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On our upcoming 7 day cruise with the free drinks package, UBP, it cost us $99.54 per person up front. So for 2 of us it was $199.08, it is called, bar service charge.

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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 !

The above statement is 100% false for those of us that book cruises through a US based TA or through NCL directly. You can wish that there should be no gratuity involved' date=' but the reality is that NCL does in fact charge it, unlike some of their competitors.[/font']

 

On our upcoming 7 day cruise with the free drinks package, UBP, it cost us $99.54 per person up front. So for 2 of us it was $199.08, it is called, bar service charge.
The above statement is 100% true for those of us that book cruises through a US based TA or through NCL directly. Since NCL is the only cruise line to offer a "free" drinks package with an inside cabin, I feel that the 99.54 is a great value.

 

The charging of the 18% gratuity on top of the "free" perk was instituted some time during mid 2015. Prior to that, it was factored in and not charged to the cruiser.

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I suspect both UK and EU law would not allow advertising of something that is free that the consumer has to pay for.

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With other perks to choose from, no one is forced into paying the 18% gratuity, they can simply pick another perk.

 

Exactly and this should be the end of the discussion......PICK ANOTHER PERK IF YOU DON'T WANT TO PAY THE BAR SERVICE CHARGE. No, I'd rather whine and complain.:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

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On our upcoming 7 day cruise with the free drinks package, UBP, it cost us $99.54 per person up front. So for 2 of us it was $199.08, it is called, bar service charge.

 

Since our bar tab always exceeded $200 on a 7 day cruise, it's ideal for us!

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If I win at the casino, lottery or a washing machine from a grocery store promotion I still have to pay taxes on the winnings. I don't see the difference of having to pay the service charge on a free promotional offer. Too many people got their knickers in a twist on here.:rolleyes:

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MM That was a speedy reply :) Thank you - great for us then, but still seems a con for the rest.

 

The 18% was included in your booking. You won't be charged for each drink when you order on board.

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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"?

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

 

The same reason that people who pay for a cruise call the buffet "free". :p

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If I win at the casino, lottery or a washing machine from a grocery store promotion I still have to pay taxes on the winnings. I don't see the difference of having to pay the service charge on a free promotional offer. Too many people got their knickers in a twist on here.:rolleyes:

 

FYI - in UK there is no tax on casino, lottery or washing machine winnings etc..

 

Different countries, different systems.

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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.

Edited by Samstress

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

 

 

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Edited by sanger727

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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

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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).

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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. [emoji23][emoji23][emoji23].

 

 

 

 

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The problem with this is that you assume people tip on a free meal. [emoji23][emoji23][emoji23].

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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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!

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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

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