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Increase in gratuity

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11 minutes ago, erdoran said:

Comments on the FB page are that crew doesn’t see the increases.  What was interesting was scrolling through the page, MSC is making DSC mandatory effective 3/31, and they also stated that they DISCOURAGE additional tipping!  That’s interesting!

I think it’s not my business to determine if ncl pockets the dsc.  They tell guests it’s the easiest way to pay the gratuity.  Ncl calls it a gratuity.  They also say we’re welcome, but not expected, to give additional cash tips for above and beyond service.  Now that they’re up charging for just about anything and everything and adding a 20% on top of it, the rake is substantial. 

 

If I’m charged 20% on a dinner out at land based, I’m certainly not adding another 20% just in case the owner is scamming his employees.  I’m likely not alone in this reasoning.  

 

Butler and concierge  get cash tipped at the end of the vacation at my discretion and by me.  I’m ok bringing a certain amount of usd for tips but I’m not going to be running to a cash machine in every port in Europe just to keep getting more euro to square away everyone onboard just in case ncl is not tipping them out like they tell me they are. 

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49 minutes ago, littlelulu01 said:

I think it’s not my business to determine if ncl pockets the dsc.  They tell guests it’s the easiest way to pay the gratuity.  Ncl calls it a gratuity.  They also say we’re welcome, but not expected, to give additional cash tips for above and beyond service.  Now that they’re up charging for just about anything and everything and adding a 20% on top of it, the rake is substantial. 

 

If I’m charged 20% on a dinner out at land based, I’m certainly not adding another 20% just in case the owner is scamming his employees.  I’m likely not alone in this reasoning.  

 

Butler and concierge  get cash tipped at the end of the vacation at my discretion and by me.  I’m ok bringing a certain amount of usd for tips but I’m not going to be running to a cash machine in every port in Europe just to keep getting more euro to square away everyone onboard just in case ncl is not tipping them out like they tell me they are. 

Is there an expectation or perception you should?  Other than butler/concierge the whole point of DSC is to do away with the little envelopes.  There are some on here who sound like they think everyone should pay DSC and do th envelope thing besides, but I really hope that they are the exception.  I have to say that when I first sailed NCL, whenever I did something that added an auto tip - paid for a drink, did a spa service - that “extra tip” line was a bit of a shock, made me think there was an expectation.  This was pre-DSC days.

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2 minutes ago, erdoran said:

Is there an expectation or perception you should?  Other than butler/concierge the whole point of DSC is to do away with the little envelopes.  There are some on here who sound like they think everyone should pay DSC and do th envelope thing besides, but I really hope that they are the exception.  I have to say that when I first sailed NCL, whenever I did something that added an auto tip - paid for a drink, did a spa service - that “extra tip” line was a bit of a shock, made me think there was an expectation.  This was pre-DSC days.

There’s no expectation according to ncl but in reading these boards there’s typically an overwhelming response that the dsc and 20% is not a gratuity despite Ncl’s repeated assertions they are grats. People start thinking they’re stiffing the poor crew if they’re not giving their room steward... an extra $10 pp pd.  Ncl does increase the grats and fees pretty regularly as well as cut back on what the freebies include.   when folks are sold or given one thing but received something less once onboard it’s easy for distrust to arise.  But imo Ncl’s distribution of dsc and the 20%... is between ncl and their crew.  Extra cash tips for  excellent service will still occur but likely not to the extent crew were accustomed to which will likely affect morale now that these up charges are in place for specialty dinner, drinks...  Dsc increases in themselves are not likely to deter an extra cash tip when warranted but if you’re paying an extra $5 plus 20% just to get a couple shrimp with your specialty meal that you also paid 20%... plus you’re paying for the dsc...well that’s not going to work out to an additional cash tip windfall for crew.

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4 hours ago, littlelulu01 said:

I don’t know if the hardworking crew have received the entire 50% increase we’ve incurred over the last few years but  I don’t reduce my dsc.  Ncl tells me that by paying the dsc im providing gratuity to all the crew I need to aside from the butler and concierge.  Bar and specialty dinners have the 20% mandate.  I’m not going to stiff my butler so I know I have to pay a double tip on any specialty dinners he brings me but otherwise I’m about tapped out on all the up charges,  service fees and tips and grats on top of tips and grats business.   We mostly do longer sailings.  I find a few good crew  and servers in a few different places and cash tip whoever made our vacation better.  This is done towards the end of sailing. I don’t run around the ship with wads of cash to throw at everyone who I interact with.  I find the best service I receive on a ship is done with no expectation of extra cash tips.  I might very well be a sucker for paying the dsc, but I’m not up for tallying up everyone who serves me and making sure they are taken care of with cash when I’m on a boat thousands of miles from home. I’m just fine letting ncl take care of business with my dsc.

 

I would imagine the crew receives wage increases just like most other jobs, 3% annually unless you get a promotion.

 

The notion that NCL would give their crew a 50% raise over the course of a few years (and at the cost of angering the customer) is absolutely absurd. Do you think a corporate big wig just decided one day, hey, let’s give our service employees a bigger raise than any of our working customers receive, and we’ll make the customer pay for it all! Ha!

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1 hour ago, erdoran said:

Comments on the FB page are that crew doesn’t see the increases.  What was interesting was scrolling through the page, MSC is making DSC mandatory effective 3/31, and they also stated that they DISCOURAGE additional tipping!  That’s interesting!

I would prefer that over the way it is now.  They should charge everyone and disclose it up front.  It is just an additional fee disguised as a gratuity.

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2 minutes ago, JoMoe said:

I would prefer that over the way it is now.  They should charge everyone and disclose it up front.  It is just an additional fee disguised as a gratuity.

 

Its nothing more than a fee disguised as a gratuity on every line. I haven’t been on a ship that has one, but apparently Royal’s bionic bar charges 18% if you don’t have the drink package. That’s right, a robot gets tipped 18% on every drink it makes.

 

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7 minutes ago, CruisingNole said:

 

I would imagine the crew receives wage increases just like most other jobs, 3% annually unless you get a promotion.

 

The notion that NCL would give their crew a 50% raise over the course of a few years (and at the cost of angering the customer) is absolutely absurd. Do you think a corporate big wig just decided one day, hey, let’s give our service employees a bigger raise than any of our working customers receive, and we’ll make the customer pay for it all! Ha!

They raised the dsc 50% over the past few years.  That’s presumably only a small portion of actual wages so theoretically they might have passed it all on to crew.  20% of ubp is no way making it to the bartender.  If it is they’re making more than the ship captain. 

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7 minutes ago, littlelulu01 said:

They raised the dsc 50% over the past few years.  That’s presumably only a small portion of actual wages so theoretically they might have passed it all on to crew.  20% of ubp is no way making it to the bartender.  If it is they’re making more than the ship captain. 

 

If the powers that be felt the crew was THAT underpaid that they were going to charge the customer 50% more to make up for it, they have been running a sweat shop. But sweat shops don’t give their staff from poor countries gigantic raises. What’s the incentive?

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1 minute ago, CruisingNole said:

 

If the powers that be felt the crew was THAT underpaid that they were going to charge the customer 50% more to make up for it, they have been running a sweat shop. But sweat shops don’t give their staff from poor countries gigantic raises. What’s the incentive?

That 50% dsc increase has occurred over the past few years. Not just this latest increase. Granted it is an extraordinary increase but who knows - there’s always a chance they are getting it to crew as grats like ncl states they are. Their explanation of the 20% is more ambiguous and with regard to the ubp I can bet it’s mostly a way to make $ on “free” alcohol.  

 

For dsc they clearly state the dsc is grats to crew. For all I know they’re trying to make it more fair for everyone.  I’ve had talks with seasoned crew over the years.  Supposedly US passengers don’t typically remove dsc unless they have an issue that’s not resolved. Who knows if it’s true but a crew member told me dsc and the extra write in tips are distributed per sailing.  They supposedly have a quota and once the quota for the sailing is met the extra is split up. Quota is typically exceeded on USA sailings.  A sailing that is say half charter with a group which removes dsc and no extra spending   onboard and isn’t drinking won’t make quota so no extra to crew. I’ve actually been on one of these over half charters and the included venues were a madhouse while the specialty venues,  bars and casino were empty. It was on one of these sailings that a crew member explained the grats situation.  He told me they were not going to make quota on the sailing so not to bother writing in an extra cash tip on a bill. It was a particularly peculiar sailing in that they had to search passengers as they got off the ship in each port for ship’s food. They could have cared less what was brought back on at the end of the day but the getting off the ship the bag search was a comic s*** show. 

 

  Cash is cash and every cash extra tip is kept by the crew who receives it. I know Ncl’s got a well earned king of nickel and dime reputation but they also typically have great crew.  They are doing something right by their crew so I’m happy to pay the dsc.  With all the new up charges and increased grats and fees I’m less likely to give the extra cash amount I did in the past. 

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On 3/14/2019 at 9:07 AM, Gershep said:

This is ridiculous. They raise them every year. 

People do like to get raises you know.  

 

On 3/14/2019 at 10:10 AM, littlelulu01 said:

4 years ago the dsc was $12/day for those in suites and not in suites.  Suite dsc has increased 50% in four years compared to inflation which was a little over 5% during the same time period. If only passenger  income and the ship employees income had increased by 50% in the same period!

 

Service fees on purchasing dinners and drinks and spa went up from 15% to 20% during that period as well as adding the $7.95 room service fee.  

 

I hope ncl is taking care of their employees with all these increases. When passengers are charged such high tip rates in dsc specialty dining and beverage fees, they’re likely not tipping the extra cash they otherwise would. My fear is the ship staff resentment from decreased cash tips. 

You can always pay the daily in cash.

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11 hours ago, littlelulu01 said:

They raised the dsc 50% over the past few years.  That’s presumably only a small portion of actual wages so theoretically they might have passed it all on to crew.

 20% of ubp is no way making it to the bartender.  If it is they’re making more than the ship captain. 

 

the 20% is for bartenders AND bar backs.

ie: bartender helpers

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, fstuff1 said:

 

the 20% is for bartenders AND bar backs.

ie: bartender helpers

 

 

Let's do some math...large boat, let's say 1,000 people have the beverage package. That's nearly ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS in "gratuity" (just for the bar, and that's only people with drink package, doesn't include pay as you go people) for a 7 day cruise. If all of that money goes directly to the bar staff, on top of whatever NCL pays them as a base wage, I need to quit my desk job, throw away my post grad degree and go work on a cruise ship.

Edited by CruisingNole

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2 hours ago, fstuff1 said:

 

the 20% is for bartenders AND bar backs.

ie: bartender helpers

 

According to ncl t&c’s it’s not solely a gratuity.  There’s zero possibility it’s all going to the bar backs and bartenders.  Even ncl doesn’t think we’d believe that and they definitely don’t try and make that claim. Service fees on a “free” beverage packages are a money maker for NCL.  They are not collecting them so they can pay their bar staff more than the captain and officers combined. They claim the dsc is an easy way for us to pay staff grats which is much different than what they’re telling us the beverage package service charge is for. 

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18 minutes ago, littlelulu01 said:

According to ncl t&c’s it’s not solely a gratuity.  There’s zero possibility it’s all going to the bar backs and bartenders.

 Even ncl doesn’t think we’d believe that and they definitely don’t try and make that claim. Service fees on a “free” beverage packages are a money maker for NCL.  They are not collecting them so they can pay their bar staff more than the captain and officers combined.

They claim the dsc is an easy way for us to pay staff grats which is much different than what they’re telling us the beverage package service charge is for. 

 

link to ncl saying the auto 20% tips on drinks dont all go to the bartender staff?

 

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On 3/14/2019 at 10:07 AM, Gershep said:

This is ridiculous. They raise them every year. 

Thats because they probably give the crew "raises" in their pay every year. So NCL is NOT making MORE money off this. They are just charging the passenger a lil more so more money is paid to the hard working staff on board. wait...wait...you dont think NCL is just increasing their profitability while keeping the wages the same for the crew do you? i think im on to something now that you bring it up... lol

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I have always been glad to tip at least 20 percent at home (I live in the US)

I have always been glad to pay the DSC and have tipped on top of that

especially to my room attendant.

That said, for the first time, I sat down and added up the DSC, grats on the

beverage package, the extra amounts I have been tipping plus all those

tips in port, on the way to and from the cruise port, etc. (I know those are not

NCL). It was an eye opener. On my 11 day  cruise it came to $500-$800

for the two of us. Not going to change anything but it sure puts a dent in the wallet.

(I usually cruise in the Haven so higher DSC and tips to Butler and Concierge which

some people don't have). 

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, fstuff1 said:

 

link to ncl saying the auto 20% tips on drinks dont all go to the bartender staff?

 

The beverage service charge t&c’s on ncl site states it’s for gratuity AND beverage service charges.  It can’t be 20% all to grats if it’s grats + something else. Ncl states in plain English the beverage service charge is not just grats.    

 

https://www.ncl.com/terms/premium-beverage-package

 

This is different from the DSC which specifically goes to staff as incentives and ncl specifically states it’s an easy way to provide staff grats. 

 

Gratuity is given at discretion and is optional and removable  = DSC. Beverage service charge is mandatory and zero ability to reduce = not solely gratuity. 

Edited by littlelulu01

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20% on UBP is "SERVICE CHARGE and gratuity".  It is NOT 100% going to bar staff & backs.  If it was it would be a GRATUITY and perhaps even optional, on the same level as DSC.  As soon as you see SERVICE CHARGE that means it is NOT a tip, gratuity, or any other category that will show up directly in staff pay AFAIK.  Anyone who believes otherwise SAY SO!

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22 minutes ago, ioksengorn73 said:

Can you cancel tips and pay on your own. 

Yes.  Simply go to the customer service desk and tell them your intentions.  No fuss, no muss.

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1 hour ago, ioksengorn73 said:

Can you cancel tips and pay on your own. 

 

 

You can cancel the DSC.  As far as tips go if you choose not to tip just don't tip in the first place and there is nothing to cancel.  All tips are 'paid on your own' except the auto tips on a few packages.

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Why don't they do the same as the British company P.&O they have done away with the daily service charge from this month

 

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18 minutes ago, snee said:

Why don't they do the same as the British company P.&O they have done away with the daily service charge from this month

 

Because, whilst people grumble about the DSC, they also grumble when the prices go up if it is added into the cruise cost.

 

NCL actually did away with the DSC for us in the UK last year. They have now brought it back in. As a result, NCL cruises are now more affordable for us (I cancelled my booked cruise under "all inclusive", rebooked and saved a load of money).

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1 hour ago, KeithJenner said:

Because, whilst people grumble about the DSC, they also grumble when the prices go up if it is added into the cruise cost.

 

NCL actually did away with the DSC for us in the UK last year. They have now brought it back in. As a result, NCL cruises are now more affordable for us (I cancelled my booked cruise under "all inclusive", rebooked and saved a load of money).

I went to book a cruise on the 31st MARCH under the old prices but asked the T.Agent about the new deals after the 2nd April he found it would be cheaper so I waited and like you I saved a packet and still got the drinks package and 5 nights sp.dinning on a14 night cruise

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I'm always amused that the people who get most incensed about the DSC, whether about its existence, or increases to it - are often the same people who say it should be included in the base price.

 

Then they turn around and complain when it's collected by the company and distributed according to the company's own protocols. 

 

Then they worry it might be KEPT by the company, and only partially paid-out to crew.

 

 

HOW,  I would love to know.... is that any different than a higher fare, that includes service????   The company collects the whole amount, and decides what to do with it.

 

 

Stephen

 

 

P.S.   One advantage with crew being ranked & rated by their supervisors & management is that it ensures a more consistent standard of work.   Otherwise one could work super-hard one week, get loads of tips (and making someone's cruise awesome) and step back a bit the next week to recover (making someone else's cruise sub-standard).    By using overall ratings, and apportioning a share of the DSC pool, service becomes more predictable. 

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