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JOHNHOWARTH2

Opting out of paying Daily Service Charge

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30 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

The DSC is meant to replace tipping.

 

Actually it is meant to avoid increasing the headline fare.

 

30 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

 I don't understand  why this is so hard for some to comprehend.

 

Agreed, I don't understand why it is so hard for some to comprehend that the cruise lines pay their staff buttons in wages from the fares, and then rely on waiving a begging hat around asking for voluntary DSC payments to collect enough money to hand out to the staff so have enough to live (but only if the staff have been good and scored 10/10 on all their score sheets).

 

And if they don't collect enough, well tough, it is the staff's problem - the cruise company directors will be quaffing champagne anyway based on the increased profits from keeping the headline fare low.

 

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20 minutes ago, Sam Ting said:

Sorry you are wrong. They are not the same thing at all. Seems to me the DSC took the money out of the pockets of the people who served you and gave it to the company to subsidize back of the house wages. 

what in heck do you think a gratuity is for heavens sake? it is the same, the company, regardless whether it  is a tip or DSC it replaces some of the salary the company would pay and leaves it to us to subsidize the their salary.  You just can't seem to accept the fact this is the way it works. I think it is about time to give this nonsense up and debate other topics. I don't know how many times the issue of DSC versus tips etc has come up and most think of the DSC being the same or replacing gratuities Tje system was put it place several  years ago by a cruise line that recommended no tipping required and many took it literally , so the DSC became a way to help the crew. This is also why so many restaurants in tourist locations now add a  gratuity to the bill automatically and some call it a service charge 

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18 minutes ago, PTC DAWG said:

Cheapskates are easy to spot.  I’ll say that. 

I do hope kind Sir, that you are not referring to me. May I remind you that the Daily service charges are discretionary which of course means you have a choice to pay or not as the case may me.

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I noticed on our last Disney cruise they included tipping envelopes and pre-printed cards showing the amount of the daily gratuities (what they call them) per position. Like the old days, $3 per day went to your head server, $1.50 per day went to your bread server, etc. (amounts could be off ... I don't recall the exact amounts). You could increase or decrease the tip for that particular person. Our head waiter served us every single meal, so it was easy to make a decision to increase it or decrease it.

 

On NCL, they have done away with the traditional gratuities and instead replaced that system with the daily service charge (or, discretionary service charge; I've seen both used in the past). It is technically a service charge if you are thinking in US tax terms. But it replaces the traditional tips like DCL still has. From a consumer's point of view, both the service charge and the daily tips  are the exact same thing - money we give to thank the crew. From an employees point of view it's a bit different, and from what I understand, works like many of the group incentive plans I have had in my own jobs.

 

There's a myth that cruise lines don't pay a "living wage". They do. In the UK, the living wage is 7.83 pounds as of April, 2018, or about $9.50 an hour in USD. The site GlassDoor.com lists self-reported wages, and the typical experienced or senior cabin steward reports from $9 to $12 an hour. In addition to that hourly rate they have room and board, and medical coverage, paid for by the company.

 

The decision to pay or not pay the DSC on NCL is the passenger's decision alone. So is the perceived morality of paying it or not paying it. My decision to pay or not is based on how much I value my cruise vacations and my personal ethical standards.

 

 

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What really makes me chuckle to myself about this topic (and you're right, it's not even the 50th time I've seen it posted in various boards) is that most of you who are defending this rank abuse of the "tipping" generosity of our culture would be the first ones to complain if the cruise lines just raised their fare to cover the deficit in their pay scale outright.  Think about it.  You want to shame people in to paying a tip out of guilt because the cruiselines don't pay their employees enough.  But if the cruiselines just added the amount to the price of a ticket, this would somehow offend your sensitivity toward paying a higher price for something.

It's insane.  And it's a kind of un-thought-out hypocrisy that just really gives me the giggles.

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33 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

what in heck do you think a gratuity is for heavens sake? it is the same, the company, regardless whether it  is a tip or DSC it replaces some of the salary the company would pay and leaves it to us to subsidize the their salary.  You just can't seem to accept the fact this is the way it works. I think it is about time to give this nonsense up and debate other topics. I don't know how many times the issue of DSC versus tips etc has come up and most think of the DSC being the same or replacing gratuities Tje system was put it place several  years ago by a cruise line that recommended no tipping required and many took it literally , so the DSC became a way to help the crew. This is also why so many restaurants in tourist locations now add a  gratuity to the bill automatically and some call it a service charge 

Years ago with the envelopes they would give a list of people and amount to tip. So much for the waiter, assistant waiter, steward etc. 

 

Now that they have control of the money they refuse to tell you how much of your tips goes to those people. 

 

Jeez. I wonder why. LOL. I think we all know the reason whether we want to admit it or not. 

 

Have a a great cruise!

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1 hour ago, cottagers2000 said:

I do hope kind Sir, that you are not referring to me. May I remind you that the Daily service charges are discretionary which of course means you have a choice to pay or not as the case may me.

So NCL just needs to change verbiage to MSC  ( Mandatory Service Charge) and be done with it. 

 

Or maybe sail MSC and pay whatever People  want to spilt hairs about. Whether all the DSC goes to staff or a %, TIPS ARE a part of it.

 

Better yet just raise fares and include everything and let the bitching begin.

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1 hour ago, fshagan said:

There's a myth that cruise lines don't pay a "living wage". They do. In the UK, the living wage is 7.83 pounds as of April, 2018, or about $9.50 an hour in USD. The site GlassDoor.com lists self-reported wages, and the typical experienced or senior cabin steward reports from $9 to $12 an hour. In addition to that hourly rate they have room and board, and medical coverage, paid for by the company.

 

 

You have misunderstood.

 

The figures on glassdoor include the amounts distributed to staff from the DSC, it is NOT the wage paid by the cruise line.

 

If the steward was being paid a wage of $9 to $12 with room and board, then why on earth would anybody 'tip' them through the DSC.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, picsa said:

 

You have misunderstood.

 

The figures on glassdoor include the amounts distributed to staff from the DSC, it is NOT the wage paid by the cruise line.

 

If the steward was being paid a wage of $9 to $12 with room and board, then why on earth would anybody 'tip' them through the DSC.

 

 

 

Completely right the minimum monthly wage for seafarers (2019) is US$618

This is made up of a very low wage topped up with the DSC, if the DSC does not make the $618, because it's a legal minimum, the cruise line have to make it up out of their pocket insead of the passengers pocket.

 

The only way the crew benefit from the DSC is if their share exceeds the $618 minimum.

 

However if nobody paid the DSC the cruise would have to pay the full amount of $618.

 

personally I pay it in full.

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1 hour ago, fshagan said:

I noticed on our last Disney cruise they included tipping envelopes and pre-printed cards showing the amount of the daily gratuities (what they call them) per position. Like the old days, $3 per day went to your head server, $1.50 per day went to your bread server, etc. (amounts could be off ... I don't recall the exact amounts). You could increase or decrease the tip for that particular person. Our head waiter served us every single meal, so it was easy to make a decision to increase it or decrease it.

 

On NCL, they have done away with the traditional gratuities and instead replaced that system with the daily service charge (or, discretionary service charge; I've seen both used in the past). It is technically a service charge if you are thinking in US tax terms. But it replaces the traditional tips like DCL still has. From a consumer's point of view, both the service charge and the daily tips  are the exact same thing - money we give to thank the crew. From an employees point of view it's a bit different, and from what I understand, works like many of the group incentive plans I have had in my own jobs.

 

There's a myth that cruise lines don't pay a "living wage". They do. In the UK, the living wage is 7.83 pounds as of April, 2018, or about $9.50 an hour in USD. The site GlassDoor.com lists self-reported wages, and the typical experienced or senior cabin steward reports from $9 to $12 an hour. In addition to that hourly rate they have room and board, and medical coverage, paid for by the company.

 

The decision to pay or not pay the DSC on NCL is the passenger's decision alone. So is the perceived morality of paying it or not paying it. My decision to pay or not is based on how much I value my cruise vacations and my personal ethical standards.

 

 

Well said

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6 minutes ago, ziggyuk said:

 

Completely right the minimum monthly wage for seafarers (2019) is US$618

This is made up of a very low wage topped up with the DSC, if the DSC does not make the $618, because it's a legal minimum, the cruise line have to make it up out of their pocket insead of the passengers pocket.

 

The only way the crew benefit from the DSC is if their share exceeds the $618 minimum.

 

However if nobody paid the DSC the cruise would have to pay the full amount of $618.

 

personally I pay it in full.

 

So the question is how much do the staff get over $618.

 

If the DSC is never sufficient to take it over $618 then there is no logical point in paying anything as whether you do or don't won't benefit the staff, as all they are ever going to get is $618 so the moral argument goes out of the window.

 

Perhaps some more transparency from the cruise lines, or the radical solution NCL adopted in 2017 for UK and EU customers but abandoned 6 weeks ago, was to get rid of the DSC and simply price their fares so they could pay their staff properly.

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2 hours ago, cottagers2000 said:

I do hope kind Sir, that you are not referring to me. May I remind you that the Daily service charges are discretionary which of course means you have a choice to pay or not as the case may me.

The bit dog yelps.  

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2 hours ago, fshagan said:

There's a myth that cruise lines don't pay a "living wage". They do. In the UK, the living wage is 7.83 pounds as of April, 2018, or about $9.50 an hour in USD.


The country in which somone can live on $9.50 an hour is a mythical place, too.

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1 hour ago, picsa said:

 

Perhaps some more transparency from the cruise lines, or the radical solution NCL adopted in 2017 for UK and EU customers but abandoned 6 weeks ago, was to get rid of the DSC and simply price their fares so they could pay their staff properly.

It was abandoned because customer complained too much about the raise in price to include the DSC and booked with other lines.  I found that really funny, because those from non-tipping culture countries were the first to say it should be included in the cruise fare and then when it was.....they complained the price was too high.  Seems like no matter what the cruise lines do, they can't win.

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1 hour ago, PTC DAWG said:

The bit dog yelps.  

At least I can read and understand terms and conditions ( Do you know what discretionary means) ? What a shame you have to get personal ☺️

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1 hour ago, NLH Arizona said:

It was abandoned because customer complained too much about the raise in price to include the DSC and booked with other lines.  I found that really funny, because those from non-tipping culture countries were the first to say it should be included in the cruise fare and then when it was.....they complained the price was too high.  Seems like no matter what the cruise lines do, they can't win.

 

Which demonstrates the cruise company cares more about the director's champagne than the staff wages.

 

If you are attracting customers who wouldn't pay a higher 'tips included' price, then you can bet your life that a substantial number paying the cheaper 'tips excluded' are not going to volunteer to pay the DSC and will opt out (and the only people that impacts are the staff).

 

Nice. 

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On 6/8/2019 at 11:49 AM, JOHNHOWARTH2 said:

Thanks, I just looked. (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

Here's the simple answer.  The "subject to adjustment at your discretion" is there in case you get truly horrible service that warrants such an adjustment.  It is not  intended to allow passengers to opt out of the service charge for the purposes of tipping individuals in cash.

 

I started cruising many moons ago when we did the envelope way.  I hated it because I was never quite sure about how much to tip.  Did I tip too much? not enough?  There were guidelines provided so I guess you could tip less than the guidelines if you had bad service or more if your cabin steward or wait staff went above and beyond.  I like it the way now.  Just leave the SC on and tip a bit extra if some individuals were outstanding.  BTW In all my cruises, I have never every had a reason to adjust the service charge.

 

 

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I'm gingerly dipping my toe into this discussion just to say I prefer the prepaid tips. The old way of handing out envelopes just made me cringe. Sort of that master/servant vibe. I live in the US, and adding a tip on a restaurant bill or a few dollars on the table seems normal to me. But handing over the envelope just seemed so forced and unnatural. I like the fact my tips are paid, and I'm ready to enjoy a carefree cruise.

 

Toe now out of the water and creeping back into obscurity. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, texasgirl29 said:

I'm gingerly dipping my toe into this discussion just to say I prefer the prepaid tips. The old way of handing out envelopes just made me cringe. Sort of that master/servant vibe. I live in the US, and adding a tip on a restaurant bill or a few dollars on the table seems normal to me. But handing over the envelope just seemed so forced and unnatural. I like the fact my tips are paid, and I'm ready to enjoy a carefree cruise.

 

Toe now out of the water and creeping back into obscurity. 

..

..

To take it a step further on the bolded text, I always felt that the whole tipping system is such. To me it makes a worker grovel to get paid. If the employer was paying the wage, it would not be that master/servant scenario.  The system is antiquated and should be nixed. With all that said, I find the DSC system simpler than having to take all that cash like in the past when I started cruising in the late 90's.

Edited by IrieBajan54
correction

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4 hours ago, texasgirl29 said:

I'm gingerly dipping my toe into this discussion just to say I prefer the prepaid tips. The old way of handing out envelopes just made me cringe. Sort of that master/servant vibe. I live in the US, and adding a tip on a restaurant bill or a few dollars on the table seems normal to me. But handing over the envelope just seemed so forced and unnatural. I like the fact my tips are paid, and I'm ready to enjoy a carefree cruise.

 

Toe now out of the water and creeping back into obscurity. 

I hated the envelopes because it was so uncomfortable. I will never forget a maitre d on an RCI ship ignoring our table all week and then coming over to introduce himself on tip night. I am fine pre-paying and letting everyone involved get their share.

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1 hour ago, Zippeedee said:

I hated the envelopes because it was so uncomfortable. I will never forget a maitre d on an RCI ship ignoring our table all week and then coming over to introduce himself on tip night. I am fine pre-paying and letting everyone involved get their share.

 

Lol. I use to put a dollar in a envelope and give it to anyone that treated me like that on the last day.   Lol. 

Ive actually had it happen a few times on Carnival.  Doesn’t bother me to do it.  

I’m all about service.   

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12 hours ago, ziggyuk said:

 

Completely right the minimum monthly wage for seafarers (2019) is US$618

This is made up of a very low wage topped up with the DSC, if the DSC does not make the $618, because it's a legal minimum, the cruise line have to make it up out of their pocket insead of the passengers pocket.

 

The only way the crew benefit from the DSC is if their share exceeds the $618 minimum.

 

However if nobody paid the DSC the cruise would have to pay the full amount of $618.

 

personally I pay it in full.

 

The minimum wage is just that; a minimum the company must pay. It doesn't mean that the minimum is the ONLY rate the company can pay. Companies pay more than the minimum wage for several market reasons, including and attracting good workers.

 

For the maximum hour days, and 7 days a week, the minimum + overtime is about $1,000 for cruise line workers, if I recall correctly. I'd have to do the math for the 40 hours at minimum wage, then the overtime pay for the remaining 30 hours.

 

I don't know how they present the money on the check. It could be one sum, their contracted amount, or perhaps it's like one poster said, their regular wage and then a line item for the DSC.

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10 hours ago, fisherguy said:

Here's the simple answer.  The "subject to adjustment at your discretion" is there in case you get truly horrible service that warrants such an adjustment.  It is not  intended to allow passengers to opt out of the service charge for the purposes of tipping individuals in cash.

 

Wrong.

 

They state it is "subject to adjustment at your discretion" because if they didn't say they would have to include it in the headline fare as it would then not be an optional charge.

 

If the service is so poor then that is a separate matter which should not be dealt with by withholding a tip, but it should be a complaint to the service provider and a reduction in the charge if warranted.

 

Anyway, if the DSC is linked to the service you received, then surely it should be linked to the scores you give on the customer survey at the end of the cruise. Score everything 10/10 then they get to charge the full DSC for the wonderful service, but 5/10 and they get zero as the service was just average and nothing special, and if you score 0/10 they refund you the equivalent amount. Seems fair to me.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, fshagan said:

 

The minimum wage is just that; a minimum the company must pay. It doesn't mean that the minimum is the ONLY rate the company can pay. Companies pay more than the minimum wage for several market reasons, including and attracting good workers.

 

For the maximum hour days, and 7 days a week, the minimum + overtime is about $1,000 for cruise line workers, if I recall correctly. I'd have to do the math for the 40 hours at minimum wage, then the overtime pay for the remaining 30 hours.

 

I don't know how they present the money on the check. It could be one sum, their contracted amount, or perhaps it's like one poster said, their regular wage and then a line item for the DSC.

 

Of course, but as we don't know or care what the wage is, it does not matter, the method of payment stands correct and I clculated it around what is know, the minimum wage.

The will be a variety of wages and I guarantee some, non customer facing crew will be on that minimum wage.

Edited by ziggyuk

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