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Markanddonna

Increase in gratuity

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1 minute ago, spanishguy1970 said:

well sounds great, but question? isn't MSC part of the NCL family?

 

NOPE.

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3 hours ago, Georgie562 said:

I called it !!

Late last year I said they would raise them again this year!!

Up next... 25% dining and beverage service charges. Just wait for it 😉

certainly not the next increase but some day yes 

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2 minutes ago, mdsgu said:

 

So are you saying we should all dispute the DSC?  Remove it entirely or at least in part?  Tip in cash to those we deem worthy? 

 

I'm not arguing against your point -- I think we all agree that it is nothing more than a fee that allows the cruise line to advertise low fares and then make it up on the back end by charging ever higher gratuities or service charges that, of course, are not reserved for the hard-working employees.  The big question is whether there is something that can be done that's not "unpatriotic" or do we just swallow it and pay up?

I've never reduced or removed the service charge.  I would do it if I had particularly bad service though.  Money speaks.  I generally view the service charge as part of the base fare with the added perk of the ability to reduce it in extenuating circumstances.   

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3 hours ago, Georgie562 said:

 

Taking Norwegian cruises is already not the best bang for your buck.

Just scored a 14 day Caribbean cruise on MSC Seaside for $1,033 per person. Did not find nothing close to that price range with NCL.

 

Well all I can say is, the price for hotels that I have checked is out of sight. Add to it, you still pay for your meals, nightly entertainment and yes, gratuities. In many places now, especially resort locations you are looking at daily resort fees that are very high. So, no land vacations are not a better deal. There are some, depending on the location and quality of the hotel where the price is a toss up. 

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2 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

Well all I can say is, the price for hotels that I have checked is out of sight. Add to it, you still pay for your meals, nightly entertainment and yes, gratuities. In many places now, especially resort locations you are looking at daily resort fees that are very high. So, no land vacations are not a better deal. There are some, depending on the location and quality of the hotel where the price is a toss up. 

I agree, specially if you go to HAWAII...😥

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DSC increase should not be a surprise.  Mr FDR recently mentioned that he is looking at increasing cruise prices in 2019 and 2020.

 

A few years ago, he had mentioned that he was looking at ways to get another $5 US per day per cruiser and he is definitely true to his word.

 

So far, he has increased the cruise fares,  the DSC, the price of drinks, the % of gratuity on drinks and SDP,  the value of the Beverage package and Dining package, removed  some favorite items from MDR and Specialty restaurants menus, reduced the benefits of the latitude program at the Platinum level, and the list could probably go on forever.

 

Within the last eight years, and before the Free at Sea, there were a lot of cruisers who were begging for All Inclusive (AI) cruises similar to what Resorts offer.

 

NCL listened and introduced the Free at Sea (not so free in my  mind) program. What I have noticed with the introduction of that program is that the basic cabin fares have increased across the board to subsidize it   I am a firm believer that even if you do not drink and do not eat at Specialty restaurants, you are paying in your cruise fare a portion of that perk.

 

For those who would like to chastise me, in Nov 2014, we did a 21 day Mediterranean cruise on NCL Jade and the cost was $4,305 for a mid-ship balcony (BA).  For Nov 19 same cruise duration with same cabin type (BA) without the Free at Sea is $10,340 for basically the same itinerary.  It is almost a 150% price increase.

 

I can assure you that as a Veteran, my pension has not increased to keep pace with NCL increases.

 

We love cruising but our TA cruise next month on the Epic will be our last. We all understand the supply and demand concept and that companies have to make money but this is getting ludicrous.  

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Posted (edited)

Deleted duplicate

Edited by FSNA5861
duplicate

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I'm still locked in at $13.50 for my upcoming cruise having originally booked in January 2017.  It's been a steady 50 cent/year increase for the past 3 years.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, FSNA5861 said:

DSC increase should not be a surprise.  Mr FDR recently mentioned that he is looking at increasing cruise prices in 2019 and 2020.

 

A few years ago, he had mentioned that he was looking at ways to get another $5 US per day per cruiser and he is definitely true to his word.

 

So far, he has increased the cruise fares,  the DSC, the price of drinks, the % of gratuity on drinks and SDP,  the value of the Beverage package and Dining package, removed  some favorite items from MDR and Specialty restaurants menus, reduced the benefits of the latitude program at the Platinum level, and the list could probably go on forever.

 

Within the last eight years, and before the Free at Sea, there were a lot of cruisers who were begging for All Inclusive (AI) cruises similar to what Resorts offer.

 

NCL listened and introduced the Free at Sea (not so free in my  mind) program. What I have noticed with the introduction of that program is that the basic cabin fares have increased across the board to subsidize it   I am a firm believer that even if you do not drink and do not eat at Specialty restaurants, you are paying in your cruise fare a portion of that perk.

 

For those who would like to chastise me, in Nov 2014, we did a 21 day Mediterranean cruise on NCL Jade and the cost was $4,305 for a mid-ship balcony (BA).  For Nov 19 same cruise duration with same cabin type (BA) without the Free at Sea is $10,340 for basically the same itinerary.  It is almost a 150% price increase.

 

I can assure you that as a Veteran, my pension has not increased to keep pace with NCL increases.

 

We love cruising but our TA cruise next month on the Epic will be our last. We all understand the supply and demand concept and that companies have to make money but this is getting ludicrous.  

we are on the same cruise next month.  We have definitely noticed the hike in prices and it is getting out of hand, unfortunately is about supply and demand, the only way they would lose and stop increasing prices is if people cruise other lines and their bookings go down.

Edited by spanishguy1970

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Thanks for the heads-up.  I haven't yet received an e-mail from NCL about this, but I went ahead and prepaid our daily service charges for our upcoming cruise to ensure that we're locked in at the old rate. 

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7 hours ago, mdsgu said:

I don't recommend it, but you are allowed to adjust (up or down) the gratuities simply by visiting the Guest Services desk.  No explanation is necessary.

 

 True, but I'd bet a hundred dollars to a donut that most folks adjusting gratuities aren't adding additional funds and I wouldn't bet 2 big dogs could whip one little one. Those looking to reward services additionally should tip individuals in cash, otherwise the money is pooled and the individual sees little of the extra you gave. I leave the auto grat in place and take care of those that take care of me and my family, thats how I believe tipping should be practiced.

 

Now, there are folks that don't understand tipping, they should be provided a guide on what is recommended for specific services rendered. If you have the ignorance to adjust your gratuity down, you deserve a special place in hello for eternity.

 

If you can afford to pay for a cruise and I realize many folks save for years just for a single trip, then you are able to compensate the workers by at least giving them a wage for their efforts. Many positions receive very small wages from the cruiselines, a lot lower than you expect, like a pool server may make $100 a week from the line, (food and lodging also) but they depend on the gratuity to make a living wage (skype and internet fees are outrageous for the workers also). If the average cruise costs $1K PP, surely you can afford a tip to all of your service folks approximately $100 for working everyday 12-14 hours without a day off for 8 month contracts. 

 

They earn every dime they make and although the increases come often, the amount for daily service is still a great value. I'm not a person of wealth but I respect the folks providing me a vacation by working hard and consistently and I don't begrudge them anything,  they deserve so much more so I give them what I can and I treat them with the respect they give and receive.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Highlander1 said:

 

 True, but I'd bet a hundred dollars to a donut that most folks adjusting gratuities aren't adding additional funds and I wouldn't bet 2 big dogs could whip one little one. Those looking to reward services additionally should tip individuals in cash, otherwise the money is pooled and the individual sees little of the extra you gave. I leave the auto grat in place and take care of those that take care of me and my family, thats how I believe tipping should be practiced.

 

Now, there are folks that don't understand tipping, they should be provided a guide on what is recommended for specific services rendered. If you have the ignorance to adjust your gratuity down, you deserve a special place in hello for eternity.

 

If you can afford to pay for a cruise and I realize many folks save for years just for a single trip, then you are able to compensate the workers by at least giving them a wage for their efforts. Many positions receive very small wages from the cruiselines, a lot lower than you expect, like a pool server may make $100 a week from the line, (food and lodging also) but they depend on the gratuity to make a living wage (skype and internet fees are outrageous for the workers also). If the average cruise costs $1K PP, surely you can afford a tip to all of your service folks approximately $100 for working everyday 12-14 hours without a day off for 8 month contracts. 

 

They earn every dime they make and although the increases come often, the amount for daily service is still a great value. I'm not a person of wealth but I respect the folks providing me a vacation by working hard and consistently and I don't begrudge them anything,  they deserve so much more so I give them what I can and I treat them with the respect they give and receive.

 

 

Maybe is time for NCL to give them a higher living wage and most importantly better working hours, some of them can go as you as 14 hours of work and i have been on cruises that workers look very tired. We always leave extra tips for our steward and if we have a great waiter or waitress we always try to get their section, 9 out of 10 times it works 🙂 and of course they will get a great tip at the end of the cruise.

Edited by spanishguy1970

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1 hour ago, JustAllie said:

Thanks for the heads-up.  I haven't yet received an e-mail from NCL about this, but I went ahead and prepaid our daily service charges for our upcoming cruise to ensure that we're locked in at the old rate. 

 

I haven't gotten an email either (I sail on April 28) but I am tempted to do the same as you did.

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21 minutes ago, Highlander1 said:

 

 True, but I'd bet a hundred dollars to a donut that most folks adjusting gratuities aren't adding additional funds and I wouldn't bet 2 big dogs could whip one little one. Those looking to reward services additionally should tip individuals in cash, otherwise the money is pooled and the individual sees little of the extra you gave. I leave the auto grat in place and take care of those that take care of me and my family, thats how I believe tipping should be practiced.

 

Now, there are folks that don't understand tipping, they should be provided a guide on what is recommended for specific services rendered. If you have the ignorance to adjust your gratuity down, you deserve a special place in hello for eternity.

 

If you can afford to pay for a cruise and I realize many folks save for years just for a single trip, then you are able to compensate the workers by at least giving them a wage for their efforts. Many positions receive very small wages from the cruiselines, a lot lower than you expect, like a pool server may make $100 a week from the line, (food and lodging also) but they depend on the gratuity to make a living wage (skype and internet fees are outrageous for the workers also). If the average cruise costs $1K PP, surely you can afford a tip to all of your service folks approximately $100 for working everyday 12-14 hours without a day off for 8 month contracts. 

 

They earn every dime they make and although the increases come often, the amount for daily service is still a great value. I'm not a person of wealth but I respect the folks providing me a vacation by working hard and consistently and I don't begrudge them anything,  they deserve so much more so I give them what I can and I treat them with the respect they give and receive.

 

 

Wow! A holier than thou attitude. The amount being charged for the daily gratuity is far in excess of what a gratuity is. Giving me a guide about the recommended charges isn't going to change the fact, and it is a fact, that if I am permitted to adjust the charge downward by forty nine cents per person per day, I will do it. I am not looking for approval from anyone here on cruisecritic. I answer to myself at the end of the day, and unless or until there is an increased level of service tied to the increase to the gratuity, my daily gratuity has capped out at $14.50 per day. I don't need an accounting from NCL about if or how they choose to distribute it; I trust them to adequately compensate their hard working people, and if they can't accomplish that with $14.50 per person per day, not my problem.

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Just checked with my PCC who advises that this increase is only for new bookings before 3/31/19 and the DSC is not prepaid and at the higher rate for any new bookings after 04/01/19.  If you have a cruise booked already the dsc rate is grandfathered in at old rate and doesn’t need to be prepaid. Hope so because I have two 12+ day cruises booked. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Maybee71 said:

Just checked with my PCC who advises that this increase is only for new bookings before 3/31/19 and the DSC is not prepaid and at the higher rate for any new bookings after 04/01/19.  If you have a cruise booked already the dsc rate is grandfathered in at old rate and doesn’t need to be prepaid. Hope so because I have two 12+ day cruises booked. 

This is contradictory to the email that was sent. Not surprising with NCL....some of the worst communications on the planet. According to the email, the only people protected are those that have existing reservations and have already prepaid gratuities. If you have a cruise booked, you have until March 31 to either prepay at the old rates or pay anytime after April 1 at the higher rates or just adjust downward onboard during the cruise. We are adjusting downward during our cruise. NCL isn't a bank and the four of us don't desire to make an interest free deposit with them six months in advance of our cruise.

Edited by blcruising

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29 minutes ago, Maybee71 said:

Just checked with my PCC who advises that this increase is only for new bookings before 3/31/19 and the DSC is not prepaid and at the higher rate for any new bookings after 04/01/19.  If you have a cruise booked already the dsc rate is grandfathered in at old rate and doesn’t need to be prepaid. Hope so because I have two 12+ day cruises booked. 

Your PCC almost certainly gave you bad information.

 

If you don’t prepay before the cruise then you will be charged the new rate. That is how it has always worked previously, and the wording is the same this time.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, blcruising said:

NCL isn't a bank and the four of us don't desire to make an interest free deposit with them six months in advance of our cruise.

There is no need to pay them six months in advance. You can wait until the week before the cruise and prepay it then.

Edited by KeithJenner

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I think I'm going to tip in cash and remove the charge from my account. If what I've read here is true then all of the cash we give out will be divided anyway. Who knows what really happens with the $14.99 a day. 

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56 minutes ago, blcruising said:

 NCL isn't a bank and the four of us don't desire to make an interest free deposit with them six months in advance of our cruise.

 

call up your travel agent or NCL and see if they can add the prepaid gratuities to your booking by increasing the final payment amount. both of my next ncl cruises is set up like this.

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i still shake my head the people who talk about how horrible it is to remove DSC and instead tip the same amount or more directly to the staff that serve you.  There is NO ASSURANCE that 100% of the DSC goes to the staff the DSC people are so concerned about.  There is a better chance that the $10 or $20 I hand someone will end up in their pocket.

 

Having said that, I still pay my DSC out of guilt - but with all the talk here about paying DSC and then tipping extra on top of it, let me ask - 

wasn’t the DSC instead of the little envelopes?  Why DSC and envelopes too?  Doesn’t that reinforce the appearance that DSC goes to NCL and not to the staff, if you have to pay DSC to tip the staff—and then are expected to tip them again directly?

 

And while I’m on my soapbox, why are suites/Haven DSC rates higher?  The steward has fewer rooms to clean.  The butler and concierge are tipped directly.  This is especially true for non-Haven suites - those rooms in particular get no extra services other than butler/concierge, so why are they charged a higher DSC?

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21 minutes ago, erdoran said:

Having said that, I still pay my DSC out of guilt - but with all the talk here about paying DSC and then tipping extra on top of it, let me ask - 

wasn’t the DSC instead of the little envelopes?  Why DSC and envelopes too?  Doesn’t that reinforce the appearance that DSC goes to NCL and not to the staff, if you have to pay DSC to tip the staff—and then are expected to tip them again directly?

 

 

I believe this has been answered to you before.  First, I've never seen an envelope in my cabin.  Second, if someone wants to tip extra, they can go to Guests Services and ask for an envelope.  Are you expected to tip them directly inaddition to the DSC, no.  If someone chooses to tip extra, that is their decision, but in no way is anyone expecting you to tip extra. 

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Posted (edited)

 

3 hours ago, Highlander1 said:

 

 True, but I'd bet a hundred dollars to a donut that most folks adjusting gratuities aren't adding additional funds and I wouldn't bet 2 big dogs could whip one little one. Those looking to reward services additionally should tip individuals in cash, otherwise the money is pooled and the individual sees little of the extra you gave. I leave the auto grat in place and take care of those that take care of me and my family, thats how I believe tipping should be practiced.

 

Now, there are folks that don't understand tipping, they should be provided a guide on what is recommended for specific services rendered. If you have the ignorance to adjust your gratuity down, you deserve a special place in hello for eternity.

 

If you can afford to pay for a cruise and I realize many folks save for years just for a single trip, then you are able to compensate the workers by at least giving them a wage for their efforts. Many positions receive very small wages from the cruiselines, a lot lower than you expect, like a pool server may make $100 a week from the line, (food and lodging also) but they depend on the gratuity to make a living wage (skype and internet fees are outrageous for the workers also). If the average cruise costs $1K PP, surely you can afford a tip to all of your service folks approximately $100 for working everyday 12-14 hours without a day off for 8 month contracts. 

 

They earn every dime they make and although the increases come often, the amount for daily service is still a great value. I'm not a person of wealth but I respect the folks providing me a vacation by working hard and consistently and I don't begrudge them anything,  they deserve so much more so I give them what I can and I treat them with the respect they give and receive.

 

 

 

you're making the assumption that the $14.50/day gratuity is additional $ that the crew gets.

 

have you thought about the gratuity being NCL's play on words?

it could be ncl's backhanded way of collecting from the passengers the $ they already paid to the crew in the form of salary/crew activities.

so they are just recouping the $ they already paid out.

 

thus reducing the gratuities doesnt reduce crew pay at all.

 

if it's not true, then why doesnt ncl come out and give the breakdown of where the gratuity goes, like Celebrity does.

and if not true, why does NCL forbid the Hotel Directors to talk about the gratuities during the officer's Q&A?

 

I have attached Celebrity's breakdown of their $14.50/day gratuity:

celebrity auto-grats.jpeg

Edited by fstuff1

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