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Lunchlady

Free at Sea...really Free on NCL?

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There is a charge of $249.00 for bartenders for the week added to our summary of

charges...plus we added the prepaid $189 grats (which if fine) does that sound right:o

Just saying....

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There is a charge of $249.00 for bartenders for the week added to our summary of

charges...plus we added the prepaid $189 grats (which if fine) does that sound right:o

Just saying....

The UBP (beverage package) is free, it is the gratuities/service charge on that package that is not free.

 

If you don't think you would drink $249 worth during your cruise, then I wouldn't take the perk and just pay by the drink.

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We keep seeing you this "issue" pop up regularly, but it does baffle me. It seems NCL is pretty transparent about gratuity charges applying to their perks. Personally I always use their website to model the cruise I'm interested in and to see approximate charges, and then I talk with my TA to see how they come out. Those gratuity fees are pretty clear.

 

Of course everyone has to estimate their own anticipated intake and costs to see if they come out ahead or not. We enjoy our cocktails, so for us, the UBP is a great deal!

 

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This is a new and insightful original post. [/sarcasm]

 

 

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When 3rd/4th are free, taxes, port fees, and DSC are still applicable.

 

When the UBP is free, a 20% (based on the UBP's price) service charge is automatically added.

When the SDP is free, a 20% (based on the SDP's online price) service charge is automatically added.

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I think you may have known the answer to your question before you asked because you already knew the charge was for the bartenders, ( just saying) .

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If you read the fine print aka the terms and conditions of the free at sea, it is clearly written in plan text:

Guest is responsible for 20% gratuities on the retail value of the Ultimate Beverage Package ($17.80 USD per person per day) and/or Soda Package ($1.50 USD per person per day) prior to cruise.

Guest is responsible for 20% gratuities on the retail value of the Specialty Dining Package prior to cruise.

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If you purchased the package, you would pay $623.00 per person for a 7 night cruise, plus $124.60 per person for the 20% gratuity on the package. So the package price is free ($623.00), and you just pay the gratuity.

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You can always go to the other lines where you pay the package +gratuity if you think that is a better deal.

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It's up to you if you think it's worth paying the gratuity. It pays for itself after a few drinks, depending on what you get.

 

On my upcoming cruise, it works out to $17.77/day. Drinks are at least $5, IIRC, and a number of them are $10 or so. Of course, that cruise is port intensive and won't involve a lot of drinking, like some Caribbean ones would, but a beer or two during the day, wine at dinner, a cocktail or two in the evening...maybe more if you're partying, heh...I think it's worth it.

 

It also means you don't have to worry about it as you go along (which could also be bad!), like, "I'd like another drink, but eh...I'm going to have such a huge bill at the end of this...maybe I shouldn't."

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$18 a day vs $55-60 plus grats on other lines...looks like a deal to me. Math is easy.

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For legal reasons, free should be completely free. If McDonalds offered you free fries with your burger, you get them free, you don't pay taxes or gratuity on them.

 

Instead of pre-paying gratuity which the NCL waiters NEVER see, just make drink packages completely free with the expectation that you must offer cash tip to the waiters for every single drink. That is more than fair.

 

NCL is just pocketing the pre-paid gratuity for extra profit like a typical corporation. Your drink package isn't free. It's paying for the Johnny Walker Black Label and coke you ordered.

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For legal reasons, free should be completely free. If McDonalds offered you free fries with your burger, you get them free, you don't pay taxes or gratuity on them.

 

Instead of pre-paying gratuity which the NCL waiters NEVER see, just make drink packages completely free with the expectation that you must offer cash tip to the waiters for every single drink. That is more than fair.

 

NCL is just pocketing the pre-paid gratuity for extra profit like a typical corporation. Your drink package isn't free. It's paying for the Johnny Walker Black Label and coke you ordered.

 

 

And not one single person bats an eye or whines on a message forum when gratuities or service charges and port fees are charged on free passengers. Why? Because people can just be grateful, use their brains, and spot a bargain when given one. Well, most people.

 

 

 

 

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For legal reasons, free should be completely free. If McDonalds offered you free fries with your burger, you get them free, you don't pay taxes or gratuity on them.

 

Instead of pre-paying gratuity which the NCL waiters NEVER see, just make drink packages completely free with the expectation that you must offer cash tip to the waiters for every single drink. That is more than fair.

 

NCL is just pocketing the pre-paid gratuity for extra profit like a typical corporation. Your drink package isn't free. It's paying for the Johnny Walker Black Label and coke you ordered.

Booking in Australia we don"t pay the 20%on the drink or specialty dinning package ,but we pay more for the cruise than the USA.

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Booking in Australia we don"t pay the 20%on the drink or specialty dinning package ,but we pay more for the cruise than the USA.

 

Agreed, nice not having to pay the service charges in Australia. Not sure about paying more for the cruise these days, its just currency conversion. And when you look at the average salary in Australia versus the US, we do ok.

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And not one single person bats an eye or whines on a message forum when gratuities or service charges and port fees are charged on free passengers.

Don't give them any ideas. :evilsmile:

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For legal reasons, free should be completely free. If McDonalds offered you free fries with your burger, you get them free, you don't pay taxes or gratuity on them.

 

Instead of pre-paying gratuity which the NCL waiters NEVER see, just make drink packages completely free with the expectation that you must offer cash tip to the waiters for every single drink. That is more than fair.

 

NCL is just pocketing the pre-paid gratuity for extra profit like a typical corporation. Your drink package isn't free. It's paying for the Johnny Walker Black Label and coke you ordered.

For legal reasons, some expenses are business expenses and some are write offs. And no public ally traded company wants write offs.

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For legal reasons, free should be completely free. If McDonalds offered you free fries with your burger, you get them free, you don't pay taxes or gratuity on them.

If you get a coupon for a free meal at a restaurant, one usually leaves a tip.

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I swear, if another person complains about the service charge for the UBP ......... Go on Royal or Carnival and pay $1000 for their week long drink package instead of a couple hundred for NCL's ...... Your complaining should subside.

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For what it's worth, if you were dining at a land-based establishment and had a coupon for a "free" anything, common sense dictates that your gratuity is still calculated on what you would have paid without the coupon/offer.

 

Way back in the day, Dear Abby (and others) would say "if you cannot afford the tip, stay home."

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Your choice to either get the package or not.

 

Seems like Norwegian raises the drink package price every year and with it comes more of service charges.

2016 - $69 to $79 per person per day

2017- $79 to $89 per person per day

2018????? who knows

 

so get the package now if you intend on getting it before they increase the prices once again(if they do). At least you'll be grandfathered in.

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Your choice to either get the package or not.

 

Seems like Norwegian raises the drink package price every year and with it comes more of service charges.

2016 - $69 to $79 per person per day

2017- $79 to $89 per person per day

2018????? who knows

 

so get the package now if you intend on getting it before they increase the prices once again(if they do). At least you'll be grandfathered in.

 

Yup and its overpriced so the service charge/gratuitys are higher.... Sort of a sneaky way to advertise freebies. They price their package atleast $30/pp a day higher than other lines.....and I do not want to hear...there is no drink limits or price limits on drinks. For the majority of people its irrelevant. Just more price gouging even when they give you the package for free!!

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Yup and its overpriced so the service charge/gratuitys are higher.... Sort of a sneaky way to advertise freebies. They price their package atleast $30/pp a day higher than other lines.....and I do not want to hear...there is no drink limits or price limits on drinks. For the majority of people its irrelevant. Just more price gouging even when they give you the package for free!!

 

I agree, their drink package SUCKS. No water, no coffees, no powerades,

 

But it seems that it doesn't stop people myself included from choosing the beverage package as their "freebie" . I rather pay just my service charges for gratuities upfront with this "freebie" than to have a bar bill with service charges at the end of my cruise.

I'm on vacation, ill splurge a little. I don't mind paying the extra $$ service charge for unlimited booze. It is what it is. :)

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I agree, their drink package SUCKS. No water, no coffees, no powerades,

 

But it seems that it doesn't stop people myself included from choosing the beverage package as their "freebie" . I rather pay just my service charges for gratuities upfront with this "freebie" than to have a bar bill with service charges at the end of my cruise.

I'm on vacation, ill splurge a little. I don't mind paying the extra $$ service charge for unlimited booze. It is what it is. :)

 

I hear you and would agree.... For that price..the package should be inclusive of all beverages!!! But its so sneaky. Your thinking your getting something for free(as a sales perk) and then you see this $125/pp charge added onto the overall cruise total and I know I was trying to figure it out the 1st time I saw it.... Now I know...but for 1st timers it can be an unpleasent surprise

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For legal reasons, free should be completely free. If McDonalds offered you free fries with your burger, you get them free, you don't pay taxes or gratuity on them.

 

Instead of pre-paying gratuity which the NCL waiters NEVER see, just make drink packages completely free with the expectation that you must offer cash tip to the waiters for every single drink. That is more than fair.

 

NCL is just pocketing the pre-paid gratuity for extra profit like a typical corporation. Your drink package isn't free. It's paying for the Johnny Walker Black Label and coke you ordered.

 

 

 

No, if you win a free car, or a free vacation, or a free million dollar lottery, or a free meal at ato a restaurant with Service, you pay the taxes, you pay the tip.

 

 

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NCL is just pocketing the pre-paid gratuity for extra profit like a typical corporation.

 

Can you provide a link to proof of this claim?

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I hear you and would agree.... For that price..the package should be inclusive of all beverages!!! But its so sneaky. Your thinking your getting something for free(as a sales perk) and then you see this $125/pp charge added onto the overall cruise total and I know I was trying to figure it out the 1st time I saw it.... Now I know...but for 1st timers it can be an unpleasent surprise
It's NOT sneaky when they so clearly disclose it! It's only sneaky for those that don't take the time to read the "terms and conditions!"

 

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Well it wouldn't be so bad if you just had to pay the $249 gratuities to get the beverage package for the two of you for a week but that is not the total cost of the package.

 

I just priced the cruise I am going on and I can get a "sail and sign cabin" $600 cheaper than another oceanview cabin. With the "sail and sign" cabin you don't get any "free" perks like the beverage package and you get a guarantee cabin. With the regular cabin you get the beverage package and get to pick your cabin but you have to pay $600 more plus $249 more for gratuities making it $849 for the beverages and getting to pick your cabin out of only 9 cabins that are unsold in that class and are all pretty much the same.

 

Now we do like to drink and have been on many cruises but there is no way that we are going to drink $849 worth of drinks in a week when we are in port most of the time.

 

Getting to pick your cabin out of only 9 unsold cabins in that class that are close to each other and identical is of absolutely no value and the guarantee cabin is even more valuable because you may get upgraded to a better cabin.

 

With the $849 I save by not getting the beverage package we are then able to get specialty coffee, water, ultra premium liquors, items from the minibar, sports drinks, Irish Coffee and many other drinks and still have hundreds left over.

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No, if you win a free car, or a free vacation, or a free million dollar lottery, or a free meal at ato a restaurant with Service, you pay the taxes, you pay the tip.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

 

Yeah. I hear Oprah. You get a car. You get a car. People were shocked to have to pay taxes.

 

If someone doesn't want to pay a small tax or fee. Opt out.

 

 

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Hi I'm new to NCL just booked a cruise with them. I choose the drink package and internet, and i prepaid my regular gratuities and paid in full for my cruise but the lady i booked with didn't say anything about gratuities for the drink package. do they charge this daily? or is it totaled in when i paid? Thanks

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Hi I'm new to NCL just booked a cruise with them. I choose the drink package and internet, and i prepaid my regular gratuities and paid in full for my cruise but the lady i booked with didn't say anything about gratuities for the drink package. do they charge this daily? or is it totaled in when i paid? Thanks
Look at your cruise confirmation and make sure it is the service charges (DSC) that you paid and not the gratuities/service charge for the drink package. The gratuities/service charge for the drink package is charged upfront and you pay at your final payment, while the Daily Service Charge is charged daily unless you pre-pay.

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Hi I'm new to NCL just booked a cruise with them. I choose the drink package and internet, and i prepaid my regular gratuities and paid in full for my cruise but the lady i booked with didn't say anything about gratuities for the drink package. do they charge this daily? or is it totaled in when i paid? Thanks

 

Have you already "Paid" as you stated?

 

If so, you know what they say bout Snoozin :*

 

NCL already billed you for the UBP Grats and you didn't notice.

 

Well if so why worry about it Now. Your balance is Zero, "Paid In Full".....

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Even a comped room in Atlantic City still costs about $25.

 

 

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I swear, if another person complains about the service charge for the UBP ......... Go on Royal or Carnival and pay $1000 for their week long drink package instead of a couple hundred for NCL's ...... Your complaining should subside.

 

Or Celebrity where it actually is “free” and you aren’t charge additional gratuity/service charges on the perk or pocket change on each drink while in port of Miami.

But, they are a completely different experience and lack any nightlife or real entertainment.

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I hear you and would agree.... For that price..the package should be inclusive of all beverages!!! But its so sneaky. Your thinking your getting something for free(as a sales perk) and then you see this $125/pp charge added onto the overall cruise total and I know I was trying to figure it out the 1st time I saw it.... Now I know...but for 1st timers it can be an unpleasent surprise

 

 

 

Would you not tip if a restaurant manager comped a meal? When one redeems a frequent flyer ticket, one still pays the taxes on the value of a free ticket

 

 

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There are definite issues with NCL’s “free” UBP from any consumer who overanalyzes things. They charge the most of any mass line, don’t include bottled water, and have CLEARLY run the numbers to figure out the point at which the 20% covers/surpasses what the average drink consumption is per person. In case this is news, while yes, many people will benefit from the package, plenty will not. Much like a casino, or any other business, the house will win.

It is up to us to decide if we want to participate and if the larger product is worth the additional cost.

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Can you provide a link to proof of this claim?

 

I could be mistaking it for something else but I think a link was actually posted before that gave the breakdown. Most of the amount was going into things like funds for staff medical care with a much smaller than expected percentage going to “gratuities.” But maybe that was the DSC. I’ll try and find it.

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Instead of pre-paying gratuity which the NCL waiters NEVER see

 

Got any evidence for this outrageous claim?

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Got any evidence for this outrageous claim?

 

Of course not. It's just something many of the cheapskates who don't want to tip say to try to justify their cheapness.

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