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ERIN123

Gratuities on NCL

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Cruise Critic and a few other sites show NCL as having a daily gratuities added to your room, however, it doesn't appear from the website that is correct. Is Norwegian now including tips in the fare so they are not paid in addition (other than those for beverages, specialty dining, etc).?

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22 minutes ago, ERIN123 said:

Cruise Critic and a few other sites show NCL as having a daily gratuities added to your room, however, it doesn't appear from the website that is correct. Is Norwegian now including tips in the fare so they are not paid in addition (other than those for beverages, specialty dining, etc).?

https://www.ncl.com/faq#service-charge

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2 minutes ago, NLH Arizona said:

I read this https://www.ncl.com/ca/en/faq#tipping which is why I thought they didn't charge it. 

 

Unlike most other ships in the cruise industry, there is no required or recommended tipping on our ships for service that is generally rendered to all Guests. While you should not feel obligated to offer a gratuity, all of our staff are encouraged to "go the extra mile," so they are permitted to accept cash gratuities for exceptional or outstanding service if you care to offer them. Also, certain staff positions (e.g., concierge, butler, youth program staff and beverage service) provide service on an individual basis to only some guests and do not benefit from the overall service charge. We encourage those Guests to acknowledge good service from these staff members with appropriate gratuities. Additionally, there is an 20% gratuity and spa service charge added for all spa and salon services, as well as an 20% gratuity and beverage service charge added for all beverage purchases and an 20% gratuity and specialty service charge added to all specialty restaurant dining and entertainment based dining.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, ERIN123 said:

I read this https://www.ncl.com/ca/en/faq#tipping which is why I thought they didn't charge it. 

 

Unlike most other ships in the cruise industry, there is no required or recommended tipping on our ships for service that is generally rendered to all Guests. While you should not feel obligated to offer a gratuity, all of our staff are encouraged to "go the extra mile," so they are permitted to accept cash gratuities for exceptional or outstanding service if you care to offer them. Also, certain staff positions (e.g., concierge, butler, youth program staff and beverage service) provide service on an individual basis to only some guests and do not benefit from the overall service charge. We encourage those Guests to acknowledge good service from these staff members with appropriate gratuities. Additionally, there is an 20% gratuity and spa service charge added for all spa and salon services, as well as an 20% gratuity and beverage service charge added for all beverage purchases and an 20% gratuity and specialty service charge added to all specialty restaurant dining and entertainment based dining.

You need to look at the Onboard Service Charge (which is the same as what other ships call their automatic gratuities) in the FAQ, which is charged to your cabin daily or can be prepaid.  NCL considers gratuities a totally different thing, which you can give or not give, with the exception of the automatic 20% gratuity that is charged for drinks, spa, specialty dining.  You can pay your Daily (or onboard) Service Charge daily, which will be added to your account, or you can pre-pay them.

Edited by NLH Arizona

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We have the 5 night specialty dining package. If we only use two of those dinners, will we only be charged 20% on the two days we use?

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On every cruise I go on, I do a $100 challenge.  I always bring 100 singles with me and randomly tip everyone.  IDK if the tips that you sign for ever get to the workers, but if I hand someone a couple of bucks, they can at least use it to buy themselves lunch at port.

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26 minutes ago, CozGurl said:

We have the 5 night specialty dining package. If we only use two of those dinners, will we only be charged 20% on the two days we use?

They add 20% gratuity of the price of the specialty dining package when you buy it or take it as a perk, not on each individual meal.

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4 hours ago, CozGurl said:

We have the 5 night specialty dining package. If we only use two of those dinners, will we only be charged 20% on the two days we use?

The 20% gratuity is based on the 5 meal specialty dining package value and is paid in your final payment or when purchased on board (for the 5 UBP $23.80 is the gratuity on $119 per person)..... whether you go to 0 or 2 or 5 meeals..... you are charged that amount and do not receive a refund for meals not used.  Just a clarifiaction: the SDP isn't a per night package so if you wanted to go to Cagney's at 530 and Le Bistro at 930 in one evening you can. 

Edited by esm54687

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11 hours ago, CozGurl said:

We have the 5 night specialty dining package. If we only use two of those dinners, will we only be charged 20% on the two days we use?

nope, it is like so many things in this world: use it or lose it.   

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The 20% gratuity on the hugely inflated value of the beverage package is ridiculous.  We don't care for the drink package choices nor the outrageous cost of the gratuity.  In fact, I bring my own wine, pay the corkage fees of $15 per bottle and pay less for alcohol than we would just to pay the gratuity.

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13 hours ago, yoolykeme said:

On every cruise I go on, I do a $100 challenge.  I always bring 100 singles with me and randomly tip everyone.  IDK if the tips that you sign for ever get to the workers, but if I hand someone a couple of bucks, they can at least use it to buy themselves lunch at port.

so, you are essentially doubling the daily service charge/tip...

When we sail for a week, our daily service charge is right around $100 pp.

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We chose to prepay our daily service charge so we don't have to deal with it on ship.  I consider that tips, but sounds like additional tipping with cash is becoming a bit more of the norm?  Are people leaving cash on the table at specialty dining (we have the "free" dining perk) even tho gratuities have been included?  I can see a few bucks to a good bartender here and there...........

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4 minutes ago, ZsaZsa2019 said:

We chose to prepay our daily service charge so we don't have to deal with it on ship.  I consider that tips, but sounds like additional tipping with cash is becoming a bit more of the norm?  Are people leaving cash on the table at specialty dining (we have the "free" dining perk) even tho gratuities have been included?  I can see a few bucks to a good bartender here and there...........

I am not a fan of the dsc and preferred the old way that gratuities were handled so I could make a determination at the end of my vacation. With that being said, I totally understand the reasoning behind the dsc and that is typically the sum total of what I leave except for a couple of caveats.

If my cabin steward makes an attempt to meet us the first day and find out our particular preferences (extra towels, empty mini fridge, etc.), I give him or her $20 that first day. If he/she doesn't make an effort (very rare) and we have to chase to get things the way we want, then nothing extra.

The only other tipping I do is to my favorite bartenders. I typically find a bar to frequent almost exclusively outside by or above the pool deck (on Escape it was bar outside vibe on deck 19) and I'll throw down $10 after my first or second drink and a couple of dollars every so often so that I'm remembered and get that extra friendly service or maybe even get a drink a little faster when it's crowded.

I usually find another bar to frequent at other times and do the same. On the Escape it was the 5 oclock somewhere bar.

That's it for me. I've never left money on the table for a specialty restaurant or any other eating establishments on board but, of course, tipping is very personal and everyone should do what they're comfortable with.

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23 minutes ago, ZsaZsa2019 said:

We chose to prepay our daily service charge so we don't have to deal with it on ship.  I consider that tips, but sounds like additional tipping with cash is becoming a bit more of the norm?  Are people leaving cash on the table at specialty dining (we have the "free" dining perk) even tho gratuities have been included?  I can see a few bucks to a good bartender here and there...........

I always tip extra at the specialty restaurants onboard, whether in cash on on the "tip" line of the receipt.  Typically $5pp or so.  At Teppanyaki $5 to the server and $5 to the chef since he's the main part of the show.

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Posted (edited)

The OSC is optional.

Refer to the Guest Ticket Contract:  https://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/NCL_Guest_Ticket_Contract_041818.pdf

section 3(c), emphasis added:

(c) Service Charges: Certain members of Carrier’s crew are compensated by a combination of salary and incentive programs that are funded in part by the service charge paid by each Guest. The charge, which is automatically added to your onboard account and subject to adjustment at your discretion, is intended to reward service provided in all departments and job categories and is distributed to employees according to Carrier's evaluation of job performance. A portion of the service charge collected by Carrier is also used for fleet-wide crew welfare programs.

 

 

Edited by jordanbrown11225
reformat

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7 minutes ago, jordanbrown11225 said:

The OSC is optional.

Refer to the Guest Ticket Contract:  https://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/NCL_Guest_Ticket_Contract_041818.pdf

section 3(c), emphasis added:

(c) Service Charges: Certain members of Carrier’s crew are compensated by a combination of salary and incentive programs that are funded in part by the service charge paid by each Guest. The charge, which is automatically added to your onboard account and subject to adjustment at your discretion, is intended to reward service provided in all departments and job categories and is distributed to employees according to Carrier's evaluation of job performance. A portion of the service charge collected by Carrier is also used for fleet-wide crew welfare programs.

 

 

 

7 minutes ago, jordanbrown11225 said:

The OSC is optional.

Refer to the Guest Ticket Contract:  https://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/NCL_Guest_Ticket_Contract_041818.pdf

section 3(c), emphasis added:

(c) Service Charges: Certain members of Carrier’s crew are compensated by a combination of salary and incentive programs that are funded in part by the service charge paid by each Guest. The charge, which is automatically added to your onboard account and subject to adjustment at your discretion, is intended to reward service provided in all departments and job categories and is distributed to employees according to Carrier's evaluation of job performance. A portion of the service charge collected by Carrier is also used for fleet-wide crew welfare programs.

 

 

Interesting post for a newbie to bump up. I think you forgot this part:

 

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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Posted (edited)

Er... what's the question?

 

I was quoting the contract, the authoritative definition of the business relationship between the customer and NCL.  The section of the FAQ that you quote says the same thing, pretty much.

 

Edited by jordanbrown11225
OK, it's not more words. But it's pretty much the same.

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On 2/20/2019 at 9:23 AM, bkrickles1 said:

I am not a fan of the dsc and preferred the old way that gratuities were handled so I could make a determination at the end of my vacation. With that being said, I totally understand the reasoning behind the dsc and that is typically the sum total of what I leave except for a couple of caveats.

If my cabin steward makes an attempt to meet us the first day and find out our particular preferences (extra towels, empty mini fridge, etc.), I give him or her $20 that first day. If he/she doesn't make an effort (very rare) and we have to chase to get things the way we want, then nothing extra.

The only other tipping I do is to my favorite bartenders. I typically find a bar to frequent almost exclusively outside by or above the pool deck (on Escape it was bar outside vibe on deck 19) and I'll throw down $10 after my first or second drink and a couple of dollars every so often so that I'm remembered and get that extra friendly service or maybe even get a drink a little faster when it's crowded.

I usually find another bar to frequent at other times and do the same. On the Escape it was the 5 oclock somewhere bar.

That's it for me. I've never left money on the table for a specialty restaurant or any other eating establishments on board but, of course, tipping is very personal and everyone should do what they're comfortable with.

 

You still can tip as you please.  There is absolutely noting stopping you from doing so.

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9 hours ago, jordanbrown11225 said:

The OSC is optional.

Refer to the Guest Ticket Contract:  https://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/NCL_Guest_Ticket_Contract_041818.pdf

section 3(c), emphasis added:

(c) Service Charges: Certain members of Carrier’s crew are compensated by a combination of salary and incentive programs that are funded in part by the service charge paid by each Guest. The charge, which is automatically added to your onboard account and subject to adjustment at your discretion, is intended to reward service provided in all departments and job categories and is distributed to employees according to Carrier's evaluation of job performance. A portion of the service charge collected by Carrier is also used for fleet-wide crew welfare programs.

 

 

Jordan Brown

Welcome to Cruise Critic. Watch the dates on the threads you want to participate on. This thread has been dead for over 3 months.  And you're jumping in offering a cut-n-paste from the NCL website to people who have long forgotten about this thread. 

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It was one of the more recent conversations on the subject on the net, and none had quoted the chapter and verse buried deep in the fine print.  Even if the original participants are no longer interested, searchers like me might be.

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24 minutes ago, jordanbrown11225 said:

It was one of the more recent conversations on the subject on the net, and none had quoted the chapter and verse buried deep in the fine print.  Even if the original participants are no longer interested, searchers like me might be.

 

Most of us are not looking for a way to screw over the crew members that do their best to make our cruises great. So you might want to finish your research before you continue to advocate not paying your Daily Service Charge for no good reason. 

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The reason that I've been researching the matter is not because I want to stiff the crew, or to save a few bucks.  It's because I think NCL's promotional material ("Unlike most other ships in the cruise industry, there is no required or recommended tipping on our ships for service that is generally rendered to all Guests.") is simply fraudulent, and if people don't push back on it they'll continue to publish it.

 

Most of the industry presents deceptively low prices, but NCL makes a point of claiming that they are different... when they aren't.

 

In order of preference, I'd prefer:

  • Pay the crew realistically (and charge the passengers accordingly), so that tipping is for extraordinary service, or
  • Include the recommended/automatic gratuity in the price advertised, or
  • Include the recommended/automatic gratuity in the total disclosed when you book, or
  • Include the recommended/automatic gratuity in the collateral materials (as most do).

But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, don't try to claim that it's not a duck.

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9 hours ago, jordanbrown11225 said:

The reason that I've been researching the matter is not because I want to stiff the crew, or to save a few bucks.  It's because I think NCL's promotional material ("Unlike most other ships in the cruise industry, there is no required or recommended tipping on our ships for service that is generally rendered to all Guests.") is simply fraudulent, and if people don't push back on it they'll continue to publish it.

 

Most of the industry presents deceptively low prices, but NCL makes a point of claiming that they are different... when they aren't.

 

In order of preference, I'd prefer:

  • Pay the crew realistically (and charge the passengers accordingly), so that tipping is for extraordinary service, or
  • Include the recommended/automatic gratuity in the price advertised, or
  • Include the recommended/automatic gratuity in the total disclosed when you book, or
  • Include the recommended/automatic gratuity in the collateral materials (as most do).

But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, don't try to claim that it's not a duck.

All of the mainstream cruise lines have the same exact charge, do your research. Back in the day, folks were expected to tip certain crew members at the end of the cruise, but apparently some chose not to do so. We are a family of 7, most of the time restaurants add an automatic tip to our bill, having waitressed in my youth, I understand why.

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10 hours ago, jordanbrown11225 said:

In order of preference, I'd prefer:

  • Pay the crew realistically (and charge the passengers accordingly), so that tipping is for extraordinary service, or
  • Include the recommended/automatic gratuity in the price advertised, or
  • Include the recommended/automatic gratuity in the total disclosed when you book, or
  • Include the recommended/automatic gratuity in the collateral materials (as most do).

But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, don't try to claim that it's not a duck.

 

Sail on the cruise lines that do that: Azmara, Celestyal, Crystal, Lindblad, Paul Gauguin, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas (a NCLH brand), Seaborne, Seadream, Silversea, Star Clippers and Virgin Voyages just to mention a few.

 

NCL calls it what is actually is, a daily service charge. It's fixed by management and added to your bill. NCL does allow you to reduce or remove it. But it's not a gratuity, it's a service charge. A gratuity is given by the customer to an individual worker. A service charge is collected by management and distributed. When you reduce a service charge the remaining amount is still collected by management and distributed as they see fit.

 

Some lines do have gratuities that are suggested in set amounts for various employees, and you can increase or decrease their portion of the gratuities.  If you remove $1 from your cabin steward and add $1 to your waiter they get those amounts. Disney does this. NCL doesn't, because NCL has a service charge that is collected by management and distributed as they see fit.

 

It's not "bait and switch", or "false advertising". And let's say someone really believes in their heart of hearts that this is dishonest, the place to complain is the FTC, not Cruise Critic. The FTC loves to punish companies that engage in false advertising.

 

You have zero chance of influencing NCL by resurrecting old threads and trotting out tired old arguments. You do get some attention, and I think that's probably the gain people see from posting like this.

 

 

 

 

 

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