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Opting out of paying Daily Service Charge

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, newmexicoNita said:

Do you think what he made is much different than what other COEs make with major corporations? Of course now. as for people behind the scene, you are right we have no idea how the pool money is divided but you can be pretty sure many people we never come in contact with are sharing in some of it. I am just amazed at how many really do not understand the DSC when all mass marketed lines have the same policy; the amount may vary but they all do have one. 

Not true that all lines have the same policy.  On all other lines we sail, the lines will tell you exactly who gets your money.  On dcl they even list each individual’s name and the exact amount you are paying to each person.  NCL effectively says it can go to anyone in the company.  If you are on an “American “ cruise, I suspect you are subsidizing the rest of the world.  If NCL wants to do that, they should be doing that themselves, not with my autograts.  They really have an obligation to let customers know where their money is going.  It is very paternalistic and collectivist to have NCL tell me, just trust us, we will do what we think is best.  Their lack of transparency is telling.  We will be paying $500 plus in grats on our next NCL cruise.  On our last cruise with Carnival last May we paid $500 + in autograts and another approximately $300 in additional tipping.  We tip the kids club.  We tip our room stewards extra.  We tip in specialty dining.  We love to tip.  But we are big believers in individual rewards for a good job done.  It will give me great pleasure to hand over $300 plus to each of the stewards working our two cabins after I take off the DSC.  I am not directly  responsible for the salaries of dishwashers or prep cooks or cruise directors or cruise next salespeople or window washers.  NCL seems to be trying to convince their customers that they should be directly subsidizing the salaries of everyone on the ship.   The entire ship is not on my shoulders like atlas holding the world!   

 

And to add... I bet the people working in traditionally tipped jobs on NCL HATE this system.  I have worked in a tipped position many years ago.  I know what it is like to rely on tips for income— far better than relying on any company for a similar position.  It is a very individualistic system, where you get immediate individual feedback on your performance.  And that is why tipping is very American, the United States is a very individualistic society.  Most Americans cringe at the idea of some company or government telling them how to do things. I just instinctively recoil at NCL’s “DSC,” even the acronym is anti-American.  Lol

Edited by Cafedumonde

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2 minutes ago, MotownVoice said:

 

If you've been paying attention, the position of your antagonists in this thread is that it's high time we stop accepting this mythical axiom and move toward a system less dependant on tipping such as the rest of the world already accepts.

 

My reading of the position of the antagonists is that unless you voluntarily hand over whatever random number NCL have thought of, then even if the service is decidedly average then you are 'cheap' not to pay the full amount.

 

As for America moving to a non-tipping situation; don't make me laugh. The employers are far too happy not taking the risk of paying the staff, the staff are far too happy not paying all the tax due on their income, and the customers are far too happy felling they are lord and master over the serving staff.

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28 minutes ago, picsa said:

In the United States it is accepted by everyone that hospitality businesses don't pay their staff and the money the staff take home is almost exclusively derived from tips (with the staff being happy with this arrangement as they usually make more than they would with a fixed salary and receiving cash is handy from a tax point of view). So anyone dining is expected to pay a substantial tip and to do anything else is 'cheap' no matter if the service is not up to scratch or just average.

 

In the UK and Europe it is the opposite situation. Hospitality businesses are required by law to pay their staff a wage at the same level as an employee in a non-hospitality business. So tips although welcome are a bonus for the staff they are not the major element of the money they take home. If a customer decides they want to leave a tip, then great. However if the customer decides they don't want to pay anything even if the service has been good, then also absolutely fine; nobody is going to be chasing them down the street or calling them 'cheap'.

 

You have hit the nail bang on the head with this.

People like to say "there is no tipping culture in the UK" which is totally wrong.

 

What is different the the tip itself, you have described the difference very well, in the US people are happy to pay a workers wage via a tip, it is considered the "norm", for us this is completely alien, we pay a tip (small 10% tip) as a "treat" or a "thank you" and do not expect it to form part of a living wage.

 

I have said before I always pay the DSC in full, however I hate the thought of this making up crews living wage rather than the "thank-you" I want it to be.

 

These threads will go forever and never reach an answer, both viewpoints are valid and we need to forget it and let people do their own thing, these pointless threads will never change people's views.

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10 minutes ago, ziggyuk said:

These threads will go forever and never reach an answer, both viewpoints are valid and we need to forget it and let people do their own thing, these pointless threads will never change people's views.

 

Exactly. So the answer to the original question should have been a simple - "yes you can complete the form at reception and opt out of the DSC and there will be no charge on your account" and stopped there.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Cafedumonde said:

Not true that all lines have the same policy.  On all other lines we sail, the lines will tell you exactly who gets your money.  On dcl they even list each individual’s name and the exact amount you are paying to each person.  NCL effectively says it can go to anyone in the company.  If you are on an “American “ cruise, I suspect you are subsidizing the rest of the world.  If NCL wants to do that, they should be doing that themselves, not with my autograts.  They really have an obligation to let customers know where their money is going.  It is very paternalistic and collectivist to have NCL tell me, just trust us, we will do what we think is best.  Their lack of transparency is telling.  We will be paying $500 plus in grats on our next NCL cruise.  On our last cruise with Carnival last May we paid $500 + in autograts and another approximately $300 in additional tipping.  We tip the kids club.  We tip our room stewards extra.  We tip in specialty dining.  We love to tip.  But we are big believers in individual rewards for a good job done.  It will give me great pleasure to hand over $300 plus to each of the stewards working our two cabins after I take off the DSC.  I am not directly  responsible for the salaries of dishwashers or prep cooks or cruise directors or cruise next salespeople or window washers.  NCL seems to be trying to convince their customers that they should be directly subsidizing the salaries of everyone on the ship.   The entire ship is not on my shoulders like atlas holding the world!   

 

And to add... I bet the people working in traditionally tipped jobs on NCL HATE this system.  I have worked in a tipped position many years ago.  I know what it is like to rely on tips for income— far better than relying on any company for a similar position.  It is a very individualistic system, where you get immediate individual feedback on your performance.  And that is why tipping is very American, the United States is a very individualistic society.  Most Americans cringe at the idea of some company or government telling them how to do things. I just instinctively recoil at NCL’s “DSC,” even the acronym is anti-American.  Lol

I was not referring to who gets the pool money or how much, I was referring to all mass marketed lines now use a form of DSC per day. I don't understand how you misunderstood what I was posting. This is how things get taken out of context, but oh well, it really isn't all that important.   

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20 minutes ago, picsa said:

 

My reading of the position of the antagonists..

 

 

Yes.  It's been clear that you're reading exactly what you need to.

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12 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

I was not referring to who gets the pool money or how much, I was referring to all mass marketed lines now use a form of DSC per day. I don't understand how you misunderstood what I was posting. This is how things get taken out of context, but oh well, it really isn't all that important.   

Yes, they do all put gratuities on (although you are not required to leave on), but only NCL calls it a “daily service charge,” which to me sounds Orwellian.  And only NCL (that I have so far encountered) refuses to say exactly what they do with the money.  Sorry, if I misunderstood you.

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7 minutes ago, ColeThornton said:

This thread needs to be euthanized

I never understand why people say this kind of thing.  If I am tired of a thread, I just stop looking at it.  But there are other people who seem to want to decide whether a thread even continues or not... controlling.

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This thread is just like the Energizer Bunny. It keeps on going and going......... 

 

Image result for energizer bunny gif

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4 minutes ago, Cafedumonde said:

I never understand why people say this kind of thing.  If I am tired of a thread, I just stop looking at it.  But there are other people who seem to want to decide whether a thread even continues or not... controlling.

 

 

There comes a point on internet threads where everything has been said many times over repetitively.   At this point all this does is bump other threads off the front page.    Many forums mods would have locked this by now.

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3 hours ago, Cafedumonde said:

Yes, they do all put gratuities on (although you are not required to leave on), but only NCL calls it a “daily service charge,” which to me sounds Orwellian.  And only NCL (that I have so far encountered) refuses to say exactly what they do with the money.  Sorry, if I misunderstood you.

 

Cunard call it a "Hotel and Dining charge" and don't tell you who gets what, only that the charge will be shared amongst those crew members who helped provide and support your holiday experience, including the restaurant and accommodation staff, stateroom and buffet stewards and others.

 

P&O had a "service charge" which they charged daily until they scrapped it and never told you who got what, other than it was only front of house staff (waiters and stewards only).

 

Costa cruises has a "service charge" which they charge daily and don't tell you what happens to it at all.

 

Shall I continue?

 

 

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I thought that this thread was all about Norwegian Cruise Line. I see little point in throwing into the debate other cruise lines which seems totally irrelevant as are you aware if those charges are Discretionary and if they can simply be waived ? 

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3 hours ago, picsa said:

 

Exactly. So the answer to the original question should have been a simple - "yes you can complete the form at reception and opt out of the DSC and there will be no charge on your account" and stopped there.

 

 

I may be incorrect, but it is my understanding that you cannot just "opt out". You need to supply a reason, so to speak. From the FAQ: 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.

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15 minutes ago, picsa said:

 

Cunard call it a "Hotel and Dining charge" and don't tell you who gets what, only that the charge will be shared amongst those crew members who helped provide and support your holiday experience, including the restaurant and accommodation staff, stateroom and buffet stewards and others.

 

P&O had a "service charge" which they charged daily until they scrapped it and never told you who got what, other than it was only front of house staff (waiters and stewards only).

 

Costa cruises has a "service charge" which they charge daily and don't tell you what happens to it at all.

 

Shall I continue?

 

 

 

This is straight from the Costa web page:

 

The service charge, which is calculated on a daily basis according to the length of the cruise, the destination and the ship, is used to provide incentive to staff who perform hotel duties and to continually improve the quality of service offered onboard Costa Cruises ships. The service charge is an integral part of the cruise and therefore the amount cannot be altered. As a convenience, Costa Cruises will add a modest service charge per person, per day to the onboard account as a gratuity for cabin and dining services. Bartenders, servers, deck stewards and other staff may be tipped as service is received. A 15% gratuity is added to beverage purchases which are added to the onboard account.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, valleyvillage said:

I may be incorrect, but it is my understanding that you cannot just "opt out". You need to supply a reason, so to speak. From the FAQ: 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.

 

Of you can just opt out, with a reason of "I don't want to pay" - what are they going to do about it? They can't charge you as it is not a mandatory charge. And if they did do something stupid by just charging it anyway, that would just lead to credit card charge-backs (or in the UK invoking s75 of the Consumer Credit Act).

 

Of course if it is a service related reason they would like to know to resolve it, but if it is just someone who doesn't want to pay then no further information is needed. 

Edited by picsa

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32 minutes ago, valleyvillage said:

I may be incorrect, but it is my understanding that you cannot just "opt out". You need to supply a reason, so to speak. 

Yes, you are incorrect. Guest services have a form ready simply to be signed with no reason needed, as the charge is of course DISCRETIONARY

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22 minutes ago, cottagers2000 said:

Yes, you are incorrect. Guest services have a form ready simply to be signed with no reason needed, as the charge is of course DISCRETIONARY

I usually make a point of mentioning that the room steward did a good job, and will receive a tip directly. 

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T&C clearly states they want the opportunity to fix the "issue"...it appears that some just lie to get out of the charge.  

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Just now, PTC DAWG said:

T&C clearly states they want the opportunity to fix the "issue"...it appears that some just lie to get out of the charge.  

 

It is only a lie if you pretend there is an issue when there isn't.

 

It isn't a lie to simply say you don't want to pay the optional charge.

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6 minutes ago, picsa said:

 

It is only a lie if you pretend there is an issue when there isn't.

 

It isn't a lie to simply say you don't want to pay the optional charge.

Read the FAQ above, that is not what it states at all.  

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41 minutes ago, PTC DAWG said:

Read the FAQ above, that is not what it states at all.  

 

I suggest you actually take a look at NCL's DSC adjustment form to see whether a customer needs to lie before pontificating on the subject.

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13 hours ago, Cafedumonde said:

Yes, they do all put gratuities on (although you are not required to leave on), but only NCL calls it a “daily service charge,” which to me sounds Orwellian.  And only NCL (that I have so far encountered) refuses to say exactly what they do with the money.  Sorry, if I misunderstood you.

 

Some lines, like Carnival, say it goes "100% to the crew" but nothing more. So you don't know if the crew gets the same treatment everything thinks NCL gives out or not. The gratuity could be funding the entire wages for the crew for all we know.  I suspect they are the same because of their sister line, Princess (quoted below).

 

Here's RCL's policy:



The automatic service gratuity is $14.50 USD per person, per day for guests in Junior Suites and below, or $17.50 USD per person, per day for guests in Grand Suites and above, applied to each guest’s SeaPass account on a daily basis. The gratuity applies to individual guests of all ages and stateroom categories. As a way to reward our crew members for their outstanding service, gratuities are shared among dining, bar & culinary services staff, stateroom attendants and other hotel services teams who work behind the scenes to enhance the cruise experience.

 

Here's the Princess policy:



To simplify the tipping process for our guests, a discretionary gratuity of $16.50 per guest for suites, $15.50 per guest for mini-suites and club class, and $14.50 per guest for interior, oceanview, and balcony staterooms. This gratuity will be shared amongst those staff who help provide and support your cruise experience, including all waitstaff, stateroom stewards, buffet stewards, and housekeeping staff across the fleet.

 

I think Disney is the line you should sail if you want clarity in tips and making sure they all go to the crew. They give you cards and envelopes, and will charge the suggested amounts unless you specify otherwise. But they break down the amounts going to each person who receives tips.

 

I think Disney is the exception instead of the rule in this regard. All of the other major, mass market lines have a very similar policy to NCL. There might be a few more like Disney; I think Celebrity might define where the money is intended to go.

 

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