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Don't Flame Me - Honest Question.

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I overheard a comment recently on the Sea Princess from a Customs Service person that 65% of the DSC is shared among the staff. 

We prepay the DSC (or being from NZ it might be included in our fare depending on where we are cruising) but do give a LITTLE extra to our cabin steward and to the regular dinner waiter and assistant in the MDR.

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In addition to the DSC we always tip our room steward extra, in addition to butler/concierge if we are in a suite, but we don't do it until the end of the cruise. We once tried to tip a butler for a specific service early in the cruise and he declined, telling us that we could show our appreciation at the end of the cruise if we were happy with his service. (Which of course we did, he was fabulous)

 

If we want to give a specific server or bartender a bit extra for great service we do that as we go along since we don't always know if/when we will see them again.

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46 minutes ago, njkate said:

No they are not but $15 pp per day it a bit extreme, unless you are the type to run the butler ragged

I agree that’s a lot, but that doesn’t mean they should get stiffed either, they’d be tipped in the envelopes were still used for everyone.

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On our one cruise in a suite, we had a VERY so-so butler.  On the penultimate day he came in THREE times to ask if we had been satisfied with his service!!!!!!

The Concierge and Hotel Director were not happy!!!!

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Conventional wisdom is that you should plan to tip butler and concierge if you are satisfied with their service because (right or wrong) they don’t get any DSC, not even the inflated DSC for Haven.  Sorry, but that’s reality.  Others it is truly optional and I’ve been guilted into tipping my steward an extra $20 at the end of the cruise, and on occasion handing the bartender a couple of dollars, even though I’ve paid a very inflated 20% on the “free” UBP. 

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I am just off the Escape in a Studio Cabin.  On day of embarking, I could not get into my cabin.  Went to Guest Services.  They reset my card and still nothing.  Went back to Guest Services.  Long story short, Security came, replaced Key Lock and still nothing.  They told me to go back to Guest Services.  Three hours later, they finally figured it out.  My Cabin Steward was there.

 

I gave him $10 at that point as incentive.  Wrong.  I left a note for him on day one because the shower Gel was empty.  He thanked me for alerting him.  I left a note for him to please give me a box of tissues since they were empty like a day ago.  He thanked me for reminding him.

 

Point?  I think they owe me money.  LOL!  I will tip (or not tip) Cabin Steward at the end of cruise next time.  JMO on this.

 

Other than the cabin SNAFU, I tipped bartenders with every drink I had.  They are truly grateful and offers up great service

JMO 🙂

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2 hours ago, seemoreroyals said:

I guess I don't get it.  I thought this whole DSC thing was so that all gratuities whether they be for room steward, drink service, or dining room service, could be paid in advance thereby eliminating the need to be concerned with how much to leave to who. Now it seems there is a movement to guilt people into tipping extra for the very things that are supposed to be covered with the prepaid gratuities (DSC).  Either go back to envelopes like it used to be so we can leave tips accordingly or stay with the new prepaid system.  Asking or suggesting that cruisers pay both is preposterous and unreasonable.

 

This is exactly why I wouldn’t want the gratuities included in the cruise price.  

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If one prepays gratuities then there is absolutely no need for one to tip any additional amount for the duration of the cruise unless a service provided to them is above and beyond expectations.

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17 hours ago, Shore>Mom said:

DH and I both work in the service industry. We are big tippers and would never screw a server, steward or bartender. That said, we prepaid tips on  a Disney cruise then  handed our steward $75 at check in and told him we would hit him up again at departure. U guessed it - never saw him again and our cabin was not really serviced well. I'm hesitant to go hard early or even pay gratuities up front after that experience. Who gets the prepaid gratuities? Does my steward even see that money? Any insight into the "cut" would be greatly appreciated. I want to tip the folks who make my vacation special the most - over and above what they might get from Norwegian. 

 

NCL has a daily service charge that is different than a gratuity, in that it goes to NCL, and is used among other things as part of the crews wages.  If you want to provide them a gratuity, you may do so whenever you wish. I would not give them anything at the beginning of the cruise unless you ask them specifically to do something that is not part of their normal duties. Keep in mind that bar tenders are compensated differently than in the US, and stewards make a living wage.

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Great another tipping thread!  We gave 100€ to the butler; 90€ to the concierge; and 50€ to the steward for a seven day cruise.  All paid on the last day and reflective of service received.  We also handed out two other envelopes the last evening for a bartender and a maitre’d who provided exceptional service.  Additionally, filled out and return four “vacation hero” cards to guest services on the last night.  We rarely pre-tip, but do acknowledge great service.

Edited by Son of a son of a ...
Damn grammar!

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Studio cabin on the Epic . I had crappy pillows and left a note for my steward (along with $5) if she could find some "squishy" pillows. She came back with pretty much an entire Haven bed set. LOL

 

I left her $40 at the end of my 7 day cruise- 20 American for on the boat and 20 E for in port. Because that's how my money broke down at that point LOL. I tipped about $10 cash to the bartenders total.

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When we cruised with my brother he tipped his steward at the beginning and never saw him again and room was not that clean. I tipped at the end and we always saw our steward and had great service.

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Any reason not to complain during the trip to whoever about the MIA pre-tipped stewards?  I usually won’t report people, but it’s pretty sucky that once they get their tip they disappear - you are paying DSC and fare, you are entitled to steward service and that’s actually insulting IMHO

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Drop a note to the Hotel Director and/or Housekeeping Manage.  If in a suit talk to the concierge.

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It is my understanding, those living in countries where tipping is not customary, do not pay the service charges.  I could be wrong, but I do not think Australians or Brits pay the same service charge as we do in the US.  Aussies and Brits please comment.

 

I recall reading in a forum about tipping, 5 years ago, when going to South East Asia, some Australians saying that Americans were ruining it for them because of their tipping.   Everyone was starting to expect a tip.  Just repeating what I read.

 

I too, am an American, custom to tipping but the customs are different around the world.  That’s the experience of travel, is it not. 

 

We’ve been on 3 NCL cruises with the Beverage package and do not recall anybody leaving a tip at a bar.  Then again, I wasn’t watching.  I will have to observe on our next cruise. 

 

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On 10/28/2018 at 2:58 AM, Trimone said:

Always tip at the end of cruise, it keeps the staff on their feet.

look at it this way, would you tip before a haircut?

Post of the day!

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14 minutes ago, debeni said:

It is my understanding, those living in countries where tipping is not customary, do not pay the service charges.  I could be wrong, but I do not think Australians or Brits pay the same service charge as we do in the US.  Aussies and Brits please comment.

 

I recall reading in a forum about tipping, 5 years ago, when going to South East Asia, some Australians saying that Americans were ruining it for them because of their tipping.   Everyone was starting to expect a tip.  Just repeating what I read.

 

I too, am an American, custom to tipping but the customs are different around the world.  That’s the experience of travel, is it not. 

 

We’ve been on 3 NCL cruises with the Beverage package and do not recall anybody leaving a tip at a bar.  Then again, I wasn’t watching.  I will have to observe on our next cruise. 

 

Not sure what you mean by that, if I book and pay in Australia there are no auto gratuities added on most lines, but if I cruise on a line or in a location that does have them I pay them. I think the system is wrong, but it is what it is.

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On Princess those of us in Australia and New Zealand who book through Princess in Sydney pay a greater cruise fare than those who book in other parts of the world because the Daily Service Charge is built into the cost of the cruise.

 

The reason that this is rumoured to have been done was that too many Aussies and NZ'ers immediately went to Customer Services on boarding to have the DSC removed!!

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3 hours ago, casofilia said:

On Princess those of us in Australia and New Zealand who book through Princess in Sydney pay a greater cruise fare than those who book in other parts of the world because the Daily Service Charge is built into the cost of the cruise.

 

The reason that this is rumoured to have been done was that too many Aussies and NZ'ers immediately went to Customer Services on boarding to have the DSC removed!!

Yeah but usually pretty much the same as other prices plus gratuities.

 

and I’m sure many ANZACS removed them, as as you know we don’t tip a lot down here, and no one tells you about the crap wages, many assume that crew are paid a decent wage and the tips are on top, rather than slave wages and tips really are their wage.

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Maybe the $75 pre-tip scared the $#!% out of him - like you were going to ask him to hide a body...

 

Seriously though - these room stewards are so over-worked.  I always cringe when I read the hoops that some cruisers expect them to jump through, in addition to servicing the room twice daily.  Book a suite, where that level of service is customary.

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9 hours ago, casofilia said:

 

 

The reason that this is rumoured to have been done was that too many Aussies and NZ'ers immediately went to Customer Services on boarding to have the DSC removed!!

That is the same reason it is rumored that they now included DSC in the fare for European cruises.  One poster said that her child worked on the ship and they disliked cruising out of Europe, because so many removed the DSC and they didn't make anything more than the minimum.

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11 hours ago, debeni said:

It is my understanding, those living in countries where tipping is not customary, do not pay the service charges.  I could be wrong, but I do not think Australians or Brits pay the same service charge as we do in the US.  Aussies and Brits please comment.

 

I recall reading in a forum about tipping, 5 years ago, when going to South East Asia, some Australians saying that Americans were ruining it for them because of their tipping.   Everyone was starting to expect a tip.  Just repeating what I read.

 

I too, am an American, custom to tipping but the customs are different around the world.  That’s the experience of travel, is it not. 

 

We’ve been on 3 NCL cruises with the Beverage package and do not recall anybody leaving a tip at a bar.  Then again, I wasn’t watching.  I will have to observe on our next cruise. 

 

yes the DSC is the same amount for Brits-its the same amount added in dollars to onboard account or can pre pay

but now there is the all inclusive option where DSC UBP and all gratuities are included in price

there is an option for basic fare with no dining or drink packages and the DSC would be payable on that

although the all inclusive looks more expensive we prefer it that way as less to budget for on board

 

as for leaving tips at bar I've never seen the point of that as 20% gratuity is already added and why would you want to carry around a load of currency when whole idea is the ship card makes it cashless on board

 

I always fill in vacation hero cards on last night for those who have gone beyond as I understand that helps their career

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On 10/28/2018 at 5:59 AM, Clay Clayton said:

My experience is different from the PPs. We alwaysleave a $20 with our note to the steward-empty the fridge, 2 ice buckets please, extra pillows, and a bar of soap (had to cross that one off on Breakaway, maybe Norwegian is now providing both shower gel and bar soap with out ya having to ask?) when we first go to the room. If we meet the steward we hand it and the note to him/her in person. 

 

Have always had great service-not sure how much the pre-tip has to do with it but we figure it can’t hurt.  If we ever had a lousy experience, we wouldn’t leave more at the end of the trip. 

 

Regarding the split, rumor is that the crew only sees a portion of the money directly. The remainder (majority?) goes to fund crew benefits-I would presume parties, prizes etc.  We went to add  few dollars as a gratuity to a specialty dining tab once as our server was extraordinary. She said not to bother as she would only see 1/940 of the amount as anything added to the bottom of a receipt goes into the pool.  Since then we have always tried to have some cash in our pocket or go back with some when service is above average. 

We also do the $20 upfront with our requests and then the rest of the tip  at the end.  We have always had great success with that.

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We have to pay $406 plus $498 for the Service and Beverage tips on our upcoming 14-day New Zealand cruise.  At ~$65US a day, I think we should be covered.  I don’t think we spend that much on tips while travelling outside of a cruise.  Between us we may have four glasses a wine a day so that is a big per glass tip.

 

We do however add an extra tip when we ask for something unusual that requires extra attention.

 

We always research the local tipping customs wherever we go and follow the local standard, however cruises have their own standard.

 

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On 10/28/2018 at 7:45 PM, seemoreroyals said:

You would think as much as NCL charges for Haven accommodations and privileges that the least they could do is pay the butlers and others a decent wage so they would not be expecting compensation over and above the DSC.

 

You would think that NCL could include the wages for cabin stewards, waiters, etc., in the cruise fare so they wouldn't need a separate DSC, but they don't, at least not for US customers.  There must be a reason for that.  Whether it's because of tax implications, competitive marketing, cultural considerations, or some other reason, they choose to use the DSC rather than include the full cost of the cruise in the fare.

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On 10/28/2018 at 6:55 PM, JamieLogical said:

I don't think you should feel guilty if you don't tip above the DSC.

 

+1.  But I do like to if I've had a good cruise.  Which has been almost every cruise.

 

On 10/28/2018 at 6:55 PM, JamieLogical said:

I don't know how the DSC is divided up

 

From the Carnival website, "The majority of the tipping amount goes to employees such as stateroom stewards, assistant stewards, dining room waiters and assistant waiters. A small portion goes to a mix of other personnel who are in guest-facing customer service positions within areas such as culinary and hotel services, along with certain key positions in entertainment and guest services. Here is the breakdown, per day, based on the current recommended guidelines: Housekeeping Team: $4.05 ($5.05 for suites); Dining Team: $6.40; Alternative Services: $2.50."

 

From the Disney website, suggested gratuities are (per guest per day): $4 for the Dining Room Server, $3 for the Dining Room Assistant Server, $1 for the Dining Room Head Server, and $4 for the Stateroom Host/Hostess.

 

As various cruise lines must stay competitive with each other when hiring staff, it's reasonable to guess that NCL allocates something like $4ppd for the cabin steward and $7ppd for the dining room staff.  That's not to say that your specific steward or waiter will receive that amount.  Some portion of that may be allocated to the back of the house staff, e.g., laundry, bussers, potato peelers, etc.

 

For example, I've read in various places that senior room stewards make ~$2000/month.  If they work 30 days and take care of 15 cabins each, they'd get $4.44/cabin per day, or about $2ppd.  Doing the numbers the other direction, if your room steward actually got $4ppd, they'd be making ~$4000/month, which is much more than I've ever read about.

 

On 10/28/2018 at 6:55 PM, JamieLogical said:

I also almost always fill out a Vacation Hero card for our room steward.

 

I do as well.  Every room steward or waiter I've spoken with has stated these cards are very important for getting promotions to more lucrative positions.

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A good steward is a good steward, no upfront tipping is going to make a bad steward good in my opinion.  Anyone can have an off day, but I've only had one room steward in 30+ cruises that I would say was not good (no wash clothes several days, carpet not vacuumed the entire trip, not filling the ice bucket for days...).

 

I always tip upfront for any special requests, then at the end as well. 

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CE UK Free Pre-Paid Service Chargers Per Day in Mini-Suites and Below

CE UK Free Pre-Paid Service Chargers Per Day in Mini-Suites and Below

CE UK Free Pre-Paid Service Chargers Per Day in Mini-Suites 
Service Charge on Beverage, Water & Coffee all inclusive

Service Charge on Beverage, Water & Coffee all inclusive

Service Charge on Beverage, Water & Coffee all inclusive
 
We have prepaid, why pay more, they get this even if they do a crap job?

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16 minutes ago, Trimone said:

CE UK Free Pre-Paid Service Chargers Per Day in Mini-Suites and Below

CE UK Free Pre-Paid Service Chargers Per Day in Mini-Suites and Below

CE UK Free Pre-Paid Service Chargers Per Day in Mini-Suites 
Service Charge on Beverage, Water & Coffee all inclusive

Service Charge on Beverage, Water & Coffee all inclusive

Service Charge on Beverage, Water & Coffee all inclusive
 
We have prepaid, why pay more, they get this even if they do a crap job?

I thought this thread was about tipping the butlers and concierges? They aren’t included with what you posted (minisuites and below). Mini suites aren’t suites.

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28 minutes ago, mjkacmom said:

I thought this thread was about tipping the butlers and concierges? They aren’t included with what you posted (minisuites and below). Mini suites aren’t suites.

Correct, but when you get upgraded to haven, you pay no more.

This thread has ventured into tipping in general, bar staff etc.

Dont shoot the messenger, if NCL registered its ships in the USA, everyone would be paid a decent salary and DSC wouldn’t exist, just normal tipping. 

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On 10/28/2018 at 1:17 PM, ColinIllinois said:

 

If you look at how much Bird Travels said they also give to the stewards/bartenders also you are looking at how much some people pay for their cruises.   Ridiculous amounts, if true.

 

But hey...it's their money.

Yep... And a write off for travel agents.  😏😏😏

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The only time I have tipped above the DSC is if we are on a holiday cruise i.e. over Christmas. Then on Christmas day we normally will leave out a note and maybe $20 to $40 as a "Christmas present". Amount depends on the cabin attendant. On our Jade cruise last Christmas the attendant was superb.

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