Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
JOHNHOWARTH2

Opting out of paying Daily Service Charge

Recommended Posts

I have just booked on the Epic next month and booked through NCL UK. They asked me did I want to pre-pay the Daily Service Charge or sort it out on board. NCL however did say that the charge was discretionary and that you could go to guest services on the first day, complete a form and then there would be no charge on your account at the end. I believe that the idea is if you prefer to tip individuals yourself. This is not an attempt to not pay the hard working staff, but all I am trying to establish is if this practice actually works and if anybody has successfully had the discretionary DSC waived from their account. Any help would be appreciated

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, JOHNHOWARTH2 said:

I have just booked on the Epic next month and booked through NCL UK. They asked me did I want to pre-pay the Daily Service Charge or sort it out on board. NCL however did say that the charge was discretionary and that you could go to guest services on the first day, complete a form and then there would be no charge on your account at the end. I believe that the idea is if you prefer to tip individuals yourself. This is not an attempt to not pay the hard working staff, but all I am trying to establish is if this practice actually works and if anybody has successfully had the discretionary DSC waived from their account. Any help would be appreciated

 

Yes, try Google Search for DSC.   This has been discussed 1,000,000 times, and all are indexed on Google.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, JOHNHOWARTH2 said:

I have just booked on the Epic next month and booked through NCL UK. They asked me did I want to pre-pay the Daily Service Charge or sort it out on board. NCL however did say that the charge was discretionary and that you could go to guest services on the first day, complete a form and then there would be no charge on your account at the end. I believe that the idea is if you prefer to tip individuals yourself. This is not an attempt to not pay the hard working staff, but all I am trying to establish is if this practice actually works and if anybody has successfully had the discretionary DSC waived from their account. Any help would be appreciated

All I can say is: remember if you opt out there will be many, who work behind the scenes that will not benefit from the tips you will not be leaving. These are those who we never meet but are part of the tipping pool. On the other hand if you do opt out you can tip those you want at a much higher rate. I personally would never opt out. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

All I can say is: remember if you opt out there will be many, who work behind the scenes that will not benefit from the tips you will not be leaving. These are those who we never meet but are part of the tipping pool. On the other hand if you do opt out you can tip those you want at a much higher rate. I personally would never opt out. 

This!!!

OP, There are many behind the scenes workers who make your cruise . A few of those you don't come in contact with are laundry, line cooks, dishwashers, maintenance workers who are essential to making the cruise.

 

Just reward those you come in contact with extra if you feel inclined. We always tip a few bartenders, room stewards, and waiters/waitresses extra.

 

However it is a personal preference on how each pax thinks.

Edited by beerman2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sjbdtz, I cannot find any reference to what I was actually asking and Newmixiconita, I am fully aware of the consequences of the behind the scenes workers, but my question is not about the ethics of the system, merely to ask anybody who has signed the form at guest services. (Unless the hundreds of people on this site have never opted out of the discretionary charge)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, beerman2 said:

This!!!

OP, There are many behind the scenes workers who make your cruise . A few of those you don't come in contact with are laundry, line cooks, dishwashers, maintenance workers who are essential to making the cruise.

 

Just reward those you come in contact with extra if you feel inclined. We always tip a few bartenders, room stewards, and waiters/waitresses extra.

 

However it is a personal preference on how each pax thinks.

We do the same as you. We normally leave extra for our cabin steward if they are friendly and do a good job, we tip some of the bar tenders or bar wait staff and sometimes extra in specialty dining rooms if they really do go above and beyond. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never tried to opt out, as it just seems to be making unnecessary work for myself when there is a system in place. I just pay it upfront and enjoy my holiday without having to worry about it.

 

However, there have been many discussions on it here, and it seems that people have had differing experiences. At one point, the way it worked was apparently that you had to pay the DSC, fill in a form and get it refunded afterwards. Some people say that this is still how it works and some argue that it isn't.

 

I don't recall anyone ever reporting that they haven't been able to opt out. The discussions tend to be about how it actually happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish once and for all we could get a clear answer about the issue of paying the Daily Service Charge vs. giving money directly to various employees.  Do they get to keep it?  Does it have to go into the pool?  You hear various answers where people are 100% certain it is one way, or %100 certain it is the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, PTC DAWG said:

Yeah, cheap out...that’s the ticket. 

I made it particularly clear in my opening post, that I was not looking to "cheap out" as you put it, whatever that means, merely asking for anybody to advise is it as easy as NCL suggest that it is to request not to be billed for the DSC. Why would they call it discretionary if it wasn't. ?

From all the replies, there has only been Keith (from the UK) who has come close to answering the question. All the remaining replies are from USA members. Is everybody afraid to admit they may have done the same in case they are castigated by comments on here or have passengers signed the form not been members of Cruise Critic?

Edited by JOHNHOWARTH2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The workers do receive money from the DSC but no one knows how much of it. 

 

As as far as how it works to opt out, it is my understanding that it can be done but NCL looks at it as a last measure due to unacceptable service that could not be remedied on board, not just as an option because you want to pay your service people individually. So they will want to know why. Knowing that they see it that way, I personally would not do it. As people have said, there is a system in place. But it’s certainly up to you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The DSC is paid out to eligible employees at the DISCRETION of the cruise line based on their job evaluations. This is why it is "discretionary"...it is not intended to mean "optional". 

 

You can just pay it once and be done with it. Given that...why would you go to fill out a form only to have to run around tipping everyone individually? Seriously, why? This is a $20 solution to a $2 problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, JOHNHOWARTH2 said:

I have just booked on the Epic next month and booked through NCL UK. They asked me did I want to pre-pay the Daily Service Charge or sort it out on board. NCL however did say that the charge was discretionary and that you could go to guest services on the first day, complete a form and then there would be no charge on your account at the end. I believe that the idea is if you prefer to tip individuals yourself. This is not an attempt to not pay the hard working staff, but all I am trying to establish is if this practice actually works and if anybody has successfully had the discretionary DSC waived from their account. Any help would be appreciated

There are a lot more hard working crew working 80 hours a week to make your cruise excellent and memorable. By not paying the requisite Daily Service Charge, you are cheating all of those crew members because you want to save a quid. Don’t do it. 

 

You want to tip the person handing you a plate of food, not the 20 others who prepared the food, cleaned the dining room, cleaned your table, washed your dishes, and laundered your tablecloth and napkins. Pretty short sighted. 

 

Not it to mention the crew who clean up the mess you leave behind throughout the day. Set up loungers for you. Clean the loo.  

 

Not it sure if it is different for UK guests. The US folks need to wait until the cruise is complete, then request a refund because of a service deficiency. 

Edited by BirdTravels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, JOHNHOWARTH2 said:

I made it particularly clear in my opening post, that I was not looking to "cheap out" as you put it, whatever that means, merely asking for anybody to advise is it as easy as NCL suggest that it is to request not to be billed for the DSC. Why would they call it discretionary if it wasn't. ?

From all the replies, there has only been Keith (from the UK) who has come close to answering the question. All the remaining replies are from USA members. Is everybody afraid to admit they may have done the same in case they are castigated by comments on here or have passengers signed the form not been members of Cruise Critic?

I would never consider opting out...you do you...

 

You want to go back to envelope lines?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, BirdTravels said:

 

 

Not it sure if it is different for UK guests. The US folks need to wait until the cruise is complete, then request a refund because of a service deficiency. 

So why are NCL UK telling me that you simply go to guest services at the start of the cruise. The cruise documents state quite clearly "Onboard service charges" These discretionary charges are additional. Why can nobody just answer the actual question?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

John, because the replies are from US folk who are used to paying grats.,

 

Here in the UK  in 2017 NCL changed the gratuity rule & stated that to attract more UK cruises the gratuities would be included in the all-inclusive deals. I too have just booked a cruise with them & find that this is not the case & there is a charge.

This is most annoying & do not know when this changed, you get no help from NCL on this issue.

What our friends in the USA don't understand that most Brits & Aussies hate the paying these gratuities & would prefer them included in the price & then we get a better idea of the end price.

The last three cruises I have done the gratuities were included.

Edited by liverpoollad
I wanted to add more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, JOHNHOWARTH2 said:

sjbdtz, I cannot find any reference to what I was actually asking and Newmixiconita, I am fully aware of the consequences of the behind the scenes workers, but my question is not about the ethics of the system, merely to ask anybody who has signed the form at guest services. (Unless the hundreds of people on this site have never opted out of the discretionary charge)

Yes, there is a form that is completed by going to guest services desk. You will have the opportunity to disclose why you are removing the DSC right in the form. I take a picture of the form once I sign it for my records. The adjustment will then be made to your onboard account prior to debarking the vessel, usually on the last day. My experience is that NCL likes to backload this process nto the last day or two of the cruise, so if you go at the start of the cruise, they may tell you to come back on the last day...at least that is what I have been told.

 

PS...don't let any of the flamers here in this thread work you up. If and how you choose to reward staff is a personal decision and is not for those who don't know you to pass judgment. Enjoy your cruise.

Edited by blcruising

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, JOHNHOWARTH2 said:

So why are NCL UK telling me that you simply go to guest services at the start of the cruise. The cruise documents state quite clearly "Onboard service charges" These discretionary charges are additional. Why can nobody just answer the actual question?

 

Hi

 

So, what do you want people to tell you? You weren't satisfied with what NCL told you, and now you are seemingly complaining that you are getting a different answer here. What difference does it make, both comments say you can opt out if you go to guest services, if not at the beginning of the cruise then at the end. 

 

You obviously didn't even bother searching this site or the internet in general, because as sjbtdz said it has been discussed at least 1,000,001 time. 😃

 

hope this helps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought NCL started adding them to the cruise cost for UK cruisers to prevent them from removing them. Anyway, the DAILY service charge is a system NCL set up that benefits behind the scene employees as well, plus prevents guests from not handing over envelopes with cash the last night, with the old system. With this system, they will refund if they can’t fix what the guest complained about:

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Nic6318 said:

 

 

 

You obviously didn't even bother searching this site or the internet in general, because as sjbtdz said it has been discussed at least 1,000,001 time😃

 

 

Exactly where.? There is not one comment that is answering my question which was "NCL however did say that the charge was discretionary and that you could go to guest services on the first day, complete a form and then there would be no charge on your account". Is this easy enough to do but nobody has yet answered

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John. It does work, we have amended at guest services & also if you leave it to the last night, there is usually a queue of Brits & Aussies doing it. I have spoken to Brits who have told me they don't like the Grats., charge so get rid of the lot. which I would never do. THere will be no problem doing it, hope this helps.

Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, JOHNHOWARTH2 said:

So why are NCL UK telling me that you simply go to guest services at the start of the cruise. The cruise documents state quite clearly "Onboard service charges" These discretionary charges are additional. Why can nobody just answer the actual question?

John,

These replies are one if the reasons why CC gets a bad rap.  There are folks who just like to complain about the DSC and their desire not to pay it.  But to try an answer your question... This is what I am seeing from the FAQ's from NCL

Why is there a service charge?
The reason there's a fixed service charge is an important one: Our Crew (as are the crew from other lines) is encouraged to work together as a team. Staff members including complimentary restaurant staff, stateroom stewards and behind-the-scenes support staff are compensated by a combination of salary and incentive programs that your service charge supports. 

 

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.

 

The UK has a totally different concept on tipping than the US, so probably a number of posters are not totally aware of this.  

Do what your heart tells you to do and no not listen to the folks who are so against the DSC that they just complain about it at every opportunity.  I consider the DSC as a cost of cruising and if the price of the cruise along with ANY additional tips/service charges/gratuities are more than I am willing to pay for the cabin, then I just do not cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, liverpoollad said:

John, because the replies are from US folk who are used to paying grats.,

 

Here in the UK  in 2017 NCL changed the gratuity rule & stated that to attract more UK cruises the gratuities would be included in the all-inclusive deals. I too have just booked a cruise with them & find that this is not the case & there is a charge.

This is most annoying & do not know when this changed, you get no help from NCL on this issue.

What our friends in the USA don't understand that most Brits & Aussies hate the paying these gratuities & would prefer them included in the price & then we get a better idea of the end price.

The last three cruises I have done the gratuities were included.

The problem is that when they added the service charge to the price, people complained that the cruise cost had gone up.

 

In the end, I believe that NCL moved away from the all inclusive model because, despite the fact that people say they would rather these things were added to the cruise cost, when it is done they stop booking the cruises because they are more expensive. They scrapped it a couple of months ago.

 

I find it is best to just ignore how things are presented and just work out how much it is going to cost in total.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, liverpoollad said:

John, because the replies are from US folk who are used to paying grats.,

 

Here in the UK  in 2017 NCL changed the gratuity rule & stated that to attract more UK cruises the gratuities would be included in the all-inclusive deals. I too have just booked a cruise with them & find that this is not the case & there is a charge.

This is most annoying & do not know when this changed, you get no help from NCL on this issue.

What our friends in the USA don't understand that most Brits & Aussies hate the paying these gratuities & would prefer them included in the price & then we get a better idea of the end price.

The last three cruises I have done the gratuities were included.

You can prepay them. Can’t our friends in the UK do basic math?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...