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Paying Half of Gratuities?

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3 minutes ago, willsears94 said:

You didn't understand my comment. I will only sail with a corporation that includes DSC as a perk or in the cruise fare.

 

I received the DSC as a perk with Celebrity and my cruise fare was still $500 less than NCL on a similar ship/route.

Sorry, no I didn't because you didn't mention getting it as a perk.  As a long time Celebrity cruiser, they don't always offer it as a perk.

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3 minutes ago, erdoran said:

Let’s not invite NCL to take advantage.  I personally agree that I would infinitely prefer it quoted and included as part of my fare BUT not “add DSC to fare AND go back to the expected little envelopes on the last night”.  It’s “add DSC to the fare and no additional tipping expected/required”, so additional tips are the same basis they are right now - TRULY optional and to express appreciation for over and above work.

 

I’m another who detests games and artificially low prices displayed.  If I have to pay for something, just add it to the displayed price and don’t obfuscate.

I never want to go back to the envelopes, like the old days, because I saw so many empty seats the last night in the MDR where folks stiffed the dining staff, because they wanted to keep their dollars in their pockets.

 

I disagree that if they added the DSC into the fare that they should say no additional tipping expected/required, because it would be a win for the crew, if NCL added the DSC to the fare and then those that want to tip can tip and those that don't won't.  

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4 minutes ago, erdoran said:

Let’s not invite NCL to take advantage.  I personally agree that I would infinitely prefer it quoted and included as part of my fare BUT not “add DSC to fare AND go back to the expected little envelopes on the last night”.  It’s “add DSC to the fare and no additional tipping expected/required”, so additional tips are the same basis they are right now - TRULY optional and to express appreciation for over and above work.

 

I’m another who detests games and artificially low prices displayed.  If I have to pay for something, just add it to the displayed price and don’t obfuscate.

I am not asking them to go back to the old days, just go to the new one.

 

If you going to keep the DSC, offer it as a perk. If your not going to keep the DSC, write it into the fare and don't have expectations that I will fill an envelope on the last night.

 

I know that with my next two cruises, I will have none of these worries, in good conscious that I have done my part to support crew along with maintaining convenience as a financial consumer.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, NLH Arizona said:

Sorry, no I didn't because you didn't mention getting it as a perk.  As a long time Celebrity cruiser, they don't always offer it as a perk.

Except for the fact I did.

 

"Celebrity cruise that include service charges within my fare."

 

What exactly do you think included service charge in my fare mean?

 

It means that the corporation I used included the DSC in their fare in some form. As a supposed experienced celebrity Cruiser, I would assume that you obviously understood that I received it as a perk. Not everything needs to be implicitly stated to be understood.

Edited by willsears94

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, willsears94 said:

Except for the fact I did.

 

"Celebrity cruise that include service charges within my fare."

 

What exactly do you think included service charge in my fare mean?

 

It means that the corporation I used included the DSC in their fare in some form. As a supposed experienced celebrity Cruiser, I would assume that you obviously understood that I received it as a perk. Not everything needs to be implicitly stated to be understood.

Sorry, I must have missed it in the post I quoted and I still can't see it.  If it was on another post, I didn't read that one.  I think and, probably others do as well, that if you said "included service charge in my fare" means that it is included in the fare, but not necessarily given as a perk.  Here is the post of yours that I quoted and didn't see "added as a perk":

 

There is the nail on the head. It is NCL's responsibility to pay crew a proper living wage.

 

I, for one, will only be sailing with companies that do this from here on out which is why my next 2 sailings are with Virgin and a Celebrity cruise that include service charges within my fare.

Edited by NLH Arizona

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Posted (edited)

Do whatever you feel comfortable doing. 

You can justify it by saying it's not illegal to not pay. So why bother asking us to judge you?

 

If enough people not pay, they would make it mandatory and not refundable, or better they inflate your price and remove the whole DSC thing.

 

Personally, I prefer to pay DSC so I don't constantly have to worry about tipping. I don't care if it goes to employees or not. you pay them one way or another.

 

 

Edited by thetaro

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4 hours ago, erdoran said:

Bird no offense but I don’t think it is pax cheating the crew.  Dsc is optional right?  If anyone is cheating the crew it’s ncl not paying them an adequate wage!

What difference does it make if cruise lines don't pay what you consider an adequate wage and we pay the service or the cruise lines pay better and they raise the cost of the cruise?Or do you think the cruise fare should stay the same and the cruise lines should still pay better? This is not basic type of jobs but it is the travel/hospitality business. They do not work the same as the types of jobs most of us may have. 

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1 hour ago, willsears94 said:

Except for the fact I did.

 

"Celebrity cruise that include service charges within my fare."

 

What exactly do you think included service charge in my fare mean?

 

It means that the corporation I used included the DSC in their fare in some form. As a supposed experienced celebrity Cruiser, I would assume that you obviously understood that I received it as a perk. Not everything needs to be implicitly stated to be understood.

We have cruised Celebrity 3 times, never had the gratuities as a perk. We have on NCL twice, but don't expect it all the time. Perks change from time to time. 

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Relax Cruiser said:

Hi all, it’s me again and before anyone jumps down my throat have searched extensively and obviously I know this will be opening a can of worms but just wanted a few opinions which can be both “yay or nay”

 

This will be my 4th upcoming cruise and my past 3 cruises I have “ALWAYS” prepaid the Gratuities. Why? Because even if the service might be bad etc I understand that it goes to all the crew members who make our trip worth it on the cruise. I also tip extra to the room stewards and room service people. But this time is different. On our 11 day Cruise we have only 1 sea day. We don’t embark until 4pm so there’s no question of having lunch on Embarkation day. So basically we eat only 1 lunch on cruise and rest on land. Breakfast we just order room service of cereal because we’ll have to be out as soon as the ship docks (for which I’ll be tipping them like I always do). My question is wrt to dinnertime. We have availed the Specialty Dining Package for which we have already paid the 20% tips for. And that covers 5 nights. So rest of the 6 nights will be in the MDR. For a total of 2 people we will be paying Gratuities of almost $330 for an 11 night cruise.

 

I understand from reading the boards that you either pay full or remove the whole thing (which I don’t want to do and definitely feel it’s unfair). But is there a way we can pay only half? We never drink or purchase any drinks and will not be onboard to enjoy the pool. I really dont want to take the livelihood of crew members and don’t want to sound like a cheapskate trying to get my way out of paying where stuff need to be paid.

 

I welcome Constructive criticism And advice but will not entertain name calling as I’m still a newbie at cruising and unsure how this all still works.

 

TIA!

Hi. To answer your question, yes, you can reduce  the DSC by any amount by making your request at the guest services desk onboard the ship during one of the final two days of your cruise.

Edited by blcruising

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It really bothers me to hear language like “cheating, stealing, stiffing” etc applied to pax who remove DSC for any reason.  If it is such a terrible thing to do, then NCL should not create the perception that the DSC is optional, nor should it put its behind the scenes staff in the position of being “cheated”.  If the final price is the same, then make it mandatory, and use the same language as is used now for DSC so pax know that the “mandatory” tipping is done; additional tipping is always welcome but not expected or required.

 

Folks here on CC are so draconian about what a terrible thing it is to remove DSC no matter how terrible the service, so a caring, responsible employer should step in and protects its employees.

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1 minute ago, erdoran said:

It really bothers me to hear language like “cheating, stealing, stiffing” etc applied to pax who remove DSC for any reason.  If it is such a terrible thing to do, then NCL should not create the perception that the DSC is optional, nor should it put its behind the scenes staff in the position of being “cheated”.  If the final price is the same, then make it mandatory, and use the same language as is used now for DSC so pax know that the “mandatory” tipping is done; additional tipping is always welcome but not expected or required.

 

Folks here on CC are so draconian about what a terrible thing it is to remove DSC no matter how terrible the service, so a caring, responsible employer should step in and protects its employees.

Just as you don't like hearing cheating, stealing, stiffing, etc., there are some that don't agree with folks removing the DSC because they feel that folks are cheating, stealing and stiffing the crew.  Not saying you are wrong or they are wrong, just saying that everyone doesn't think the same way and you and them have the right to voice their opinion, even though some might not like it.

 

I don't think anyone has said that the DSC shouldn't be removed for terrible service, after it has been reported to Guests Services and not gotten better.  

 

I would bet that NCL will eventually go the way they did in some European countries where they have included it in the fare.  Unfortunately, when they do this, we will hear a lot that have issues with that, like we heard when they made that change in those countries.   IMHO, many that don't want to pay the DSC now will not like having to pay it in their fare.  I say this because some from non-tipping countries have always said that it should be included, but when it was and the price was raised, they had huge issues with the price raise.  FWIW, I hope they do include the DSC in the fare.  

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Posted (edited)

I truly battle to understand the logic of some!! People, we are talking about a daily service charge of $14.50 per person per day here and yet it is SUCH a huge problem.

Living in South Africa and with our currency the way that it is, each $ that we spend costs us no less than ZAR14.00 currently. So for a cruise of 7 days, where you are devastated at having to pay an additional $101.50 per person, we would currently be paying around ZAR1421 per person! 

And do you know what? We pay it gladly, as this goes towards and is shared amongst the crew - those crew that you see and those that you don't see. Those you don't give a second thought to: those who spend hours producing the copious amounts of food that we get to eat, those in the galley, those in the bowels of the ship washing and pressing your linen, those cleaning up the ongoing mess left by some at meal times, those cleaning the public toilet facilities on the various decks, some which have been left in a disgusting state by some passengers, who clearly have no respect for themselves or anyone else.

And some are wondering if they should only pay half of the DSC, if anything at all? Truly amazing!!!!

Edited by HAPPINESS IS

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I have just had a brain wave.

If I were NCL, I would simply increase ALL cruise fares by $14.50 per person, per day, and this would alleviate the possibility of passengers squabbling over / reversing the  payment of $14.50 per day.

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The process for paying less than the full service charge is handled in the home office, post cruise. Plan to pay it and if you think less is warranted fill our the form. If you stop all the other tipping you may find you save the amount of money you want without the administrative effort.

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12 hours ago, NLH Arizona said:

Just as you don't like hearing cheating, stealing, stiffing, etc., there are some that don't agree with folks removing the DSC because they feel that folks are cheating, stealing and stiffing the crew.  Not saying you are wrong or they are wrong, just saying that everyone doesn't think the same way and you and them have the right to voice their opinion, even though some might not like it.

 

I don't think anyone has said that the DSC shouldn't be removed for terrible service, after it has been reported to Guests Services and not gotten better.  

 

I would bet that NCL will eventually go the way they did in some European countries where they have included it in the fare.  Unfortunately, when they do this, we will hear a lot that have issues with that, like we heard when they made that change in those countries.   IMHO, many that don't want to pay the DSC now will not like having to pay it in their fare.  I say this because some from non-tipping countries have always said that it should be included, but when it was and the price was raised, they had huge issues with the price raise.  FWIW, I hope they do include the DSC in the fare.  

totally agree with you. 

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5 hours ago, HAPPINESS IS said:

I truly battle to understand the logic of some!! People, we are talking about a daily service charge of $14.50 per person per day here and yet it is SUCH a huge problem.

Living in South Africa and with our currency the way that it is, each $ that we spend costs us no less than ZAR14.00 currently. So for a cruise of 7 days, where you are devastated at having to pay an additional $101.50 per person, we would currently be paying around ZAR1421 per person! 

And do you know what? We pay it gladly, as this goes towards and is shared amongst the crew - those crew that you see and those that you don't see. Those you don't give a second thought to: those who spend hours producing the copious amounts of food that we get to eat, those in the galley, those in the bowels of the ship washing and pressing your linen, those cleaning up the ongoing mess left by some at meal times, those cleaning the public toilet facilities on the various decks, some which have been left in a disgusting state by some passengers, who clearly have no respect for themselves or anyone else.

And some are wondering if they should only pay half of the DSC, if anything at all? Truly amazing!!!!

 

The problem with ncl's dsc is that they decide for the passenger who gets the money and it isn't even necessarily people working on the ship you sailed.  On other lines, like on Disney, for example, you are told who receives your gratuities and how they are split.  On dcl, they go to people who have directly served you: your room steward, your specific waiters, etc.  Disney even lists the individual employee names and the amount they receive from your gratuities.  Ncl is like the federal government, taking your money and not telling you exactly what they are doing with it.  If they want to pay whomever they want, they should take it out of the fare.  If they want to encourage me to pay gratuities, they should tell me what they are doing with my money.  We have never taken the dsc off by the way.  And we always tip extra cash because we want the people who actually worked for us to get rewarded.  However, I do not see us sailing ncl again frankly, because we have become more informed about ncl and do not like many of their policies, the amorphous dsc being one.  

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Anyone studying NCL prices recently will notice they are rising...without all this DSC rubbish 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, HAPPINESS IS said:

I have just had a brain wave.

If I were NCL, I would simply increase ALL cruise fares by $14.50 per person, per day, and this would alleviate the possibility of passengers squabbling over / reversing the  payment of $14.50 per day.

Amen.

 

NCL, stop guilting pax into voluntarily funding your payroll under the illusion they are being generous and magnanimous and doing the customary tipping.  Just fund your own payroll and increase fares by $14.50 per day to cover it.  It will accomplish the same thing, raise the compliance rate to 100%, and remove the angst.  Oh and your staff will now get the paychecks they are "supposed" to get based on DSC.

 

but don't bring back the envelopes, just say "the customary staff gratuity is now included in your cruise fare.  Additional tipping is always welcome, but not expected or required.  Please consider rewarding staff for exceptional service.  Staff in the following positions (butler, concierge, etc) are the exception, since they don't provide services for everyone.  if you receive services from these staff, then please tip appropriately."

 

done deal.

 

Easy peazy.

 

(although I also like my MANDATORY DSC, but pax have the option to reallocate the amount NCL assigns to pax-facing positions based on good or poor service - not remove and put back in their pockets, but let's say remove the dining room's share of DSC for poor service, in which case NCL would reallocate it among the remaining customer-facing groups equally)

Edited by erdoran

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Posted (edited)
On 3/2/2019 at 5:20 PM, Relax Cruiser said:

Hi all, it’s me again and before anyone jumps down my throat have searched extensively and obviously I know this will be opening a can of worms but just wanted a few opinions which can be both “yay or nay”

 

This will be my 4th upcoming cruise and my past 3 cruises I have “ALWAYS” prepaid the Gratuities. Why? Because even if the service might be bad etc I understand that it goes to all the crew members who make our trip worth it on the cruise. I also tip extra to the room stewards and room service people. But this time is different. On our 11 day Cruise we have only 1 sea day. We don’t embark until 4pm so there’s no question of having lunch on Embarkation day. So basically we eat only 1 lunch on cruise and rest on land. Breakfast we just order room service of cereal because we’ll have to be out as soon as the ship docks (for which I’ll be tipping them like I always do). My question is wrt to dinnertime. We have availed the Specialty Dining Package for which we have already paid the 20% tips for. And that covers 5 nights. So rest of the 6 nights will be in the MDR. For a total of 2 people we will be paying Gratuities of almost $330 for an 11 night cruise.

 

I understand from reading the boards that you either pay full or remove the whole thing (which I don’t want to do and definitely feel it’s unfair). But is there a way we can pay only half? We never drink or purchase any drinks and will not be onboard to enjoy the pool. I really dont want to take the livelihood of crew members and don’t want to sound like a cheapskate trying to get my way out of paying where stuff need to be paid.

 

I welcome Constructive criticism And advice but will not entertain name calling as I’m still a newbie at cruising and unsure how this all still works.

 

TIA!

 

yeah, thats what i do.

if i have a 5day sdp on a 11day cruise, i take off 5 days because i already paid tip on it.

and im not paying tips twice. (yes, i consider service charge and tips the same. you're just splitting words. "i did not have sex with that woman...")

 

and i also view the $14.50/day service charge as NCL's backhanded way of getting reimbursed by us passengers for salary/enrichment programs they ALREADY paid the crew for. (and not in addition to crew pay.)

Why else is NCL not more transparent about it? Why are the hotel directors forbidden to discuss it? (ie: senior officer's Q&A)

 

sometimes i even remove all the service charges because it looks silly to just pay a few days.

ie: 8 day sdp on a 11day cruise

i give my room stewart the $ i saved on the 3 days

 

Edited by fstuff1

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Wow! I'm amazed how so many people who are privileged enough to take numerous cruises will quibble over a few hundred

dollars. I certainly would not be enjoying cruise if I worried about every little expense and who is getting it. Personally have never had experiences with staff on ship to make me want to take away any of their livelihood. Hard working folks are the majority. If I do have less than stellar service I will certainly report it but not penalize all other crew members. 

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I think the responses here fall into two camps - and they aren't about who does or does not think the staff deserve to be rewarded for their hard work. Some people see the DSC as an add on that gives *extra* money to the staff and is, as it is advertised by NCL, an additional and optional fee. Others see the DSC as a part of the cruise fare and an integral part of the monies paid to the cruise staff. Depending on which side of the divide you fall on, you choose what you feel you owe at the end of your cruise. It may be that everyone here feels they know exactly which side is right, but, if you are uncertain, I would point you to this interview on Cruisecritic - https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=1059 - and this quote -

 

"Tipping is serious stuff. It represents well over 95% of what the crew makes...Auto-tips were a Godsend, because anyone who thinks he/she tips enough voluntarily is usually wrong. The auto-tips were figured by how many guests are assigned to your dinner section. If you had a small section, say only 18, you were constrained by that number. The biggest sections were 22 or 24, which are a whopper of a section. But there is a lot more money to be had for that extra strain during dinner. Thus, even if the guests don't go to dinner, you get those auto-tips. They are automatically split between you and your assistant waiter for the cruise. Since you work breakfast, lunch, midnight buffet, and room service without any specific pay, those tips are well earned even if the guest opts out of the dining room constantly (by going to the supper club, for example, or eating in port)."

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7 hours ago, Nola26 said:

The process for paying less than the full service charge is handled in the home office, post cruise. Plan to pay it and if you think less is warranted fill our the form. If you stop all the other tipping you may find you save the amount of money you want without the administrative effort.

On Epic in January 2019 and Pearl in November 2018 it was handled onboard and reflected in final balance due, which was settled in cash. No need to fill out forms and deal with Miami post cruise. 

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7 hours ago, HAPPINESS IS said:

I have just had a brain wave.

If I were NCL, I would simply increase ALL cruise fares by $14.50 per person, per day, and this would alleviate the possibility of passengers squabbling over / reversing the  payment of $14.50 per day.

Easy to do, in theory, but much more complicated than that in practice. Are there now income tax consequences to NCL for higher gross revenues? What about travel agent commissions? Would demand decrease if overall base price increased? 

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1 hour ago, fstuff1 said:

 

yeah, thats what i do.

if i have a 5day sdp on a 11day cruise, i take off 5 days because i already paid tip on it.

and im not paying tips twice.

 

 

This reasoning is something I've never heard before.  

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