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Opting out of paying Daily Service Charge

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17 hours ago, cottagers2000 said:

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

 

16 hours 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.

 

I guess cheap people will always find a way to convince themselves that they aren't cheap. 

 

Ask a few staff what they think of your interpretation,  see what the consensus is.

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23 hours ago, ColeThornton said:

This thread needs to be euthanized


Or ya just need to stop clickin' on it.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, ziggyuk said:

This helps to understand how the system works.

https://www.tourismconcern.org.uk/campaign/cruise-ships-what-the-foc/

 

That article is severely out of date. It is especially troubling that they show what appears to be an NCL ship and then make their assertion about low wages. It is either lazy journalism or libel, take your pick.

 

All NCL ships are signatory to the ITF Seafarers union, and have a minimum wage and overtime guaranteed. As far as I know, all of the major cruise lines are. There is no one on board relying solely on tips to supplement a 35 pound monthly salary.

 

ncl-ships-union.thumb.png.8c66ebf0c9aed8dd4e6f578e6c10fcb5.png

 

The site glassdoor.com does salary surveys. The three major cruise lines they have self-reported salaries on  all have salaries in the same range for each position. This is an example of the salaries on NCL the employees reported, but you'll see similar salaries on RCCL and Carnival:

 

ncl-salaries-glassdoor.thumb.png.bfbc706118af405e081321aa35bcb6c0.png

 

Most of those salaries match the "living wage" as defined in the UK and exceed minimum wage in the US. As I understand it, each crew member has an employment contract with the master or captain of the ship spelling out their pay and benefits.

 

While you can question how NCL, RCL or Princess distributes the service charge, the employees earn a living wage, especially for their country. Sensational articles like that one linked, and irresponsible journalists seeking higher ratings during sweeps week, don't care about the truth. What is in that article is a bald faced lie.

 

Remember that in addition the worker is given room, board and medical care at no additional cost.

Edited by fshagan

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, fshagan said:

 

That article is severely out of date. It is especially troubling that they show what appears to be an NCL ship and then make their assertion about low wages. It is either lazy journalism or libel, take your pick.

 

All NCL ships are signatory to the ITF Seafarers union, and have a minimum wage and overtime guaranteed. As far as I know, all of the major cruise lines are. There is no one on board relying solely on tips to supplement a 35 pound monthly salary.

 

I think you miss the point, all the cruise lines pay a very low base salary and then us the DSC to make it up the the contractual salary which is alway in line with or above the ITF minimum wage, where the DSC does not achieve the contractual salary the cruise line will "top up" the pay.

Much like a US waiter/waitress will be paid very little and make a wage through tips.

 

Edited by ziggyuk

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7 hours ago, nclsuncruiser said:

 

 

I guess cheap people will always find a way to convince themselves that they aren't cheap. 

 

And gullible people will believe whatever they want to. 

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14 hours ago, ziggyuk said:

 

I think you miss the point, all the cruise lines pay a very low base salary and then us the DSC to make it up the the contractual salary which is alway in line with or above the ITF minimum wage, where the DSC does not achieve the contractual salary the cruise line will "top up" the pay.

Much like a US waiter/waitress will be paid very little and make a wage through tips.

 

 

I was responding to the article which stated their pay is about $50 a month, and then they get tips to make up the difference. The inference is that the employees could end up with only that $50 a month as their wages if they get no tips. That actually used to be the case, but hasn't been for a couple of decades. It's a persistent lie that journalists keep spreading. Dig deep on that union site and you'll see the workers were organized to get away from that system.

 

They make those hourly rates no matter what. Its required. You may be right that the cruise line uses the DSC to pay their employees that wage. Or the poster that said he was an NCL employee may be right; the DSC is a separate line item on their check but doesn't come close to what the full tips from his cabins would be. No one here has ever demonstrated that they actually know; we haven't seen an image of a pay stub to see how it's broken out.

 

Money is fungible, and it doesn't matter if it comes from the DSC or the cruise fare. The cruise line must pay their employees that minimum wage. And the cruise line will get the money from their passengers, whether you reduce the DSC or not. The UK already pays higher fares often enough. I suspect it's because so many Brits reduce the DSC.

 

Reducing the DSC may indeed hurt the employees; in most bonus systems I've been in, a pooled bonus is distributed based on performance and poor performance results in less pay. Not under the minimum, livable wage you are paid, but less than you would get if you met all your goals. I suspect the NCL system is like that; the pooled DSC is used to pay for health care, employee parties, and an amount is distributed as an extra line item on their check. The less paid into the DSC the less that extra line item is. But, like every other opinion in this thread, that is conjecture on my part.

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As far as I know, the ITF wages listed are those paid, including the DSC. The actual minimum wage for seafarers is $614 per month, for a 40 hour work week. Including DSC, their compensation would be about $1700-1800 per month. So, reducing the DSC could result in the crew losing 2/3 of their compensation. 

This minimum wage was set by the ILO, an organization of the UN, not by the ITF, though the ITF had representatives at the ILO convention.

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34 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

As far as I know, the ITF wages listed are those paid, including the DSC. The actual minimum wage for seafarers is $614 per month, for a 40 hour work week. Including DSC, their compensation would be about $1700-1800 per month. So, reducing the DSC could result in the crew losing 2/3 of their compensation. 

This minimum wage was set by the ILO, an organization of the UN, not by the ITF, though the ITF had representatives at the ILO convention.

Thanks again for clarifying all the speculation with your knowledge of the ship/cruise industry!

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

As far as I know, the ITF wages listed are those paid, including the DSC. The actual minimum wage for seafarers is $614 per month, for a 40 hour work week. Including DSC, their compensation would be about $1700-1800 per month. So, reducing the DSC could result in the crew losing 2/3 of their compensation. 

This minimum wage was set by the ILO, an organization of the UN, not by the ITF, though the ITF had representatives at the ILO convention.

 

Thanks for the clarification. I know you worked for NCL at one point, and are familiar with the rules and regulations. My reading of the ITF site is that the $614 per month is based on a 208 hour month ($2.95 per hour), but that crew often are working longer than 8 hours, and work 7 days a week on their tour. A rough calculation I've made is that the crew probably works up to 14 hours a day (allowing for the required 10 hours of rest time) and is paid 1.25 times the minimum hourly rate for those extra hours ($3.68 for those hours). Instead of 48 hours per week, they might work up to an additional 50 hours, for a minimum of about $325 a week (48 hours at $2.95 plus 50 hours at $3.68). At 4.3 weeks a month, that works out to about $1,397 (if they didn't have a day off, and worked the maximum 14 hour days all month).

 

Elsewhere on that site they have a listing of the ships that are signatory, and it mentions that the pay and benefits are governed by a separate contract, so none of the above could apply. It's still speculation on my part.

 

My main concern in researching crew wages had nothing to do with the DSC, but was due to the idea that I was taking a vacation on the backs of exploited workers. As a moral and ethical stance, I didn't want to contribute to a situation where people were exploited. But the workers are protected, and seem happy to do the work (even western "millennial" kids from the US and UK who report on Youtube seem happy with it).

 

If the workers do get dinged when people remove the DSC then I don't want to hear any nonsense from the "removers" that they are concerned about living wages or corporate exploitation of workers. I think the workers are harmed in some way by removing the DSC, so I always pay it. It's a personal ethical thing with me, and I don't expect others to follow suit and I try not to judge them. But I don't want to hear how concerned they are with working conditions if they knowingly contribute to making those conditions worse.

Edited by fshagan

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The minimum wage is based on a 40 hour work week, or about 172 hours per month. The crew is limited to a maximum of 98 hours of work per week, (mandatory 70 hours of rest in every 7 days) so they get paid at 1.25 times for the 58 hours of overtime.

Each company signs a different contract with the maritime union in each different country where they hire. The ITF is an umbrella organization of national unions, much like the AFL-CIO in the US.

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