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JOHNHOWARTH2

Opting out of paying Daily Service Charge

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40 minutes ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

I'm not sure about that:  Here's a snip of a price breakdown for a mock booking I just did on NCL's site.  As you can see, there is no mention of the DSC in the price details.  I think this is what gets confusing for some people.  Especially those who are not familiar with how NCL does this.  I was not familiar with how it worked the first time I booked and was surprised when I got an e-mail from my TA about additional balance due after I had already paid in full.  The TA explained that it was for the DCS.  Of course I paid it and never thought about asking for it back once I got on board.  ON the other hand, I also did a mock booking for the same type of room and similar itinerary on Celebrity.  I find their pricing details to be far more broken down and explicit.  I prefer the Celebrity way but I've grown used to the NCL way.  But that's just me.

 

 

Celebrity Mock Booking:

image.png.d9e19a381300f23407379b802368cf7f.png

NCL Mock Booking:

image.png

Isn’t under packages the prepaid gratuity for 2 what I was talking about.

Whether it’s prepaid gratuity or DSC it all the same.

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1 minute ago, beerman2 said:

Isn’t under packages the prepaid gratuity for 2 what I was talking about.

Whether it’s prepaid gratuity or DSC it all the same.

Yes, but my point is, it's not broken down or shown on the NCL pricing details.  It is shown on the Celebrity pricing details.  I think your original comment was something to the effect that  NCL shows the DSC in the price breakdown when booking.  Perhaps this fee is shown somewhere else and I missed it.  I'm not trying to be argumentative, just saying that some people may feel blindsided by the addition of the DSC, especially from non-tipping cultures which may explain why they wish to opt out once on board. 

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17 minutes ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

Yes, but my point is, it's not broken down or shown on the NCL pricing details.  It is shown on the Celebrity pricing details.  I think your original comment was something to the effect that  NCL shows the DSC in the price breakdown when booking.  Perhaps this fee is shown somewhere else and I missed it.  I'm not trying to be argumentative, just saying that some people may feel blindsided by the addition of the DSC, especially from non-tipping cultures which may explain why they wish to opt out once on board. 

As the OP was from the UK, I think it is relevant to point out that here, the DSC is clearly stated on online bookings. You have to specifically opt out of prepaying it, so it really is quite clear for us.

 

This is from a dummy booking. I have to say that I don't actually know where you do opt out, or even if it is possible online.

Screenshot 2019-06-10 at 15.21.49.png

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2 minutes ago, KeithJenner said:

As the OP was from the UK, I think it is relevant to point out that here, the DSC is clearly stated on online bookings. You have to specifically opt out of prepaying it, so it really is quite clear for us.

 

This is from a dummy booking. I have to say that I don't actually know where you do opt out, or even if it is possible online.

Screenshot 2019-06-10 at 15.21.49.png

 

Did you include perks with that mock booking?  I know that the 20% service charge is mandatory when using the Beverage package or the specialty dining one.

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11 minutes ago, Kingkonig said:

 

Did you include perks with that mock booking?  I know that the 20% service charge is mandatory when using the Beverage package or the specialty dining one.

Not in the UK.

 

The prepaid service is the DSC.

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41 minutes ago, KeithJenner said:

This is from a dummy booking. I have to say that I don't actually know where you do opt out, or even if it is possible online.

 

 

It is possible to opt out on the payment page.

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38 minutes ago, Kingkonig said:

 

Did you include perks with that mock booking?  I know that the 20% service charge is mandatory when using the Beverage package or the specialty dining one.

 

In the UK we can choose to upgrade our booking for £99 per person to allow us to select two free perks. In essence this £99 is our service charge/gratuities on the perks we select.

The prepaid service showing in the screenshot is the DSC.

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1 hour ago, KeithJenner said:

As the OP was from the UK, I think it is relevant to point out that here, the DSC is clearly stated on online bookings. You have to specifically opt out of prepaying it, so it really is quite clear for us.

 

This is from a dummy booking. I have to say that I don't actually know where you do opt out, or even if it is possible online.

Screenshot 2019-06-10 at 15.21.49.png

Ah well that explains it. Thank you for posting. It does beg the question as to why NCL would leave off that pricing detail for USA bookings.  Interesting. 

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Still hard for me to understand why someone is confused.  

 

If you want to remove the DSC, do so.  Tell NCL, not us....especially by claiming “we don’t understand” our own language.   We can’t remove the DSC for you.

 

Every cruise line charges them.  They aren’t a surprise.

 

Posted this before so there can’t remotely be any confusion......

 

https://www.ncl.com/faq

 

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1 hour ago, graphicguy said:

Still hard for me to understand why someone is confused.  

 

If you want to remove the DSC, do so.  Tell NCL, not us....especially by claiming “we don’t understand” our own language.   We can’t remove the DSC for you.

 

Every cruise line charges them.  They aren’t a surprise.

 

Posted this before so there can’t remotely be any confusion......

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.

 

https://www.ncl.com/faq

 

Correct, and it's clear that they want any problems addressed and the ability to correct said problems before removing the DSC.

 

"

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On 6/8/2019 at 7:41 AM, 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)

 

 

http://bfy.tw/O2vR

 

Some have. Most don't appear to.

 

The link explains how Google works.  🙂

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On 6/9/2019 at 4:31 PM, rkelly21 said:

I can only go by word of many crew members personal experiences. They all get a base salary and are only rewarded if they get complementary letters from the passengers expressing their great service. Be sure to always leave a note at the front desk for those who took care of you.

We always do.

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On 6/10/2019 at 2:38 AM, DominicAUS said:

Whilst I understand that tipping isn’t a big in the UK or here in AU shouldn’t make a difference. Cruising has always had tips and this culture. If you don’t like or want to do this maybe cruising isn’t the holiday for you. Just because you don’t tip back home does that mean you don’t tip when visiting the US?

When I visit other countries or different holiday types. I like to read and understand what is expected of me. If I don’t like then move on. 

Pay the charge, if you can’t afford the $200 or so each. Go to an all inclusive 

 

As someone who lives in a tourist destination with friends in hospitality -- there's a fair number that don't tip when visiting the US. It's why a lot of the receipts in restaurants in my city have verbiage similar to "Gratuities are not included in your bill" and then do the math for you at various percentages. 

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On 6/8/2019 at 10:33 AM, 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?

My first question is why would you want to get out of paying tips to all the workers on board who are there to make your cruise the best it can be?  All tipping to a certain extent is discretionary.  You decide whether an experience, whether on land or sea, is deserving of a tip. 

 

My personal experience is that most people who inquire about getting out of paying a gratuity are actually planning to bring it to fruition.  Like this little scenario that played out in front of me at the service desk once when a man and woman said they wanted to cancel all gratuities because they had brought their own sheets and towels, made the bed themselves and generally tidied up. 

 

We always tip extra whether on board or in a resort for good service, even at all-inclusives. With the exception of some egregious circumstances (and I'm not referring to the lack of towel animals or itinerary changes) my philosophy is if you can't afford to tip then don't go on a cruise.  Full stop.

 

And just to be perfectly clear, I'm British but have lived for many years in Canada and I know that Brits generally don't tip.  It gets a little tiresome when some British people I've met who've traveled all over (not referring to you) still like to use that old chestnut about not being used to tipping.  When in Rome.

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50 minutes ago, citygirl62 said:

My first question is why would you want to get out of paying tips to all the workers on board who are there to make your cruise the best it can be?  All tipping to a certain extent is discretionary.  You decide whether an experience, whether on land or sea, is deserving of a tip. 

Because people are cheap. And they can do it anonymously 

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On 6/8/2019 at 8:00 AM, 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’re right...but the fact is across the board the cruiselines DON’T make the fares inclusive of the service charge/gratuities to make it seem like a “lower” base price (I call it the “Walmart effect”...folks look for the lowest price, not what’s the best value)..  I for one would prefer they just roll the gratuities into the base fare for everyone and be done with it, but until they do I consider the DSC part of my non negotiable fare, just like the taxes and port fees.

 

Posters here on CC have bitched about the DSC for almost as long as smoking, formal nights and chair hogs...get over it people, wether you like it or not, the crew (all the crew) relies on your tips...just make it easy on yourselves and enjoy your cruise.

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7 hours ago, citygirl62 said:

My first question is why would you want to get out of paying tips to all the workers on board who are there to make your cruise the best it can be?  All tipping to a certain extent is discretionary.  You decide whether an experience, whether on land or sea, is deserving of a tip. 

 

My personal experience is that most people who inquire about getting out of paying a gratuity are actually planning to bring it to fruition.  Like this little scenario that played out in front of me at the service desk once when a man and woman said they wanted to cancel all gratuities because they had brought their own sheets and towels, made the bed themselves and generally tidied up. 

 

We always tip extra whether on board or in a resort for good service, even at all-inclusives. With the exception of some egregious circumstances (and I'm not referring to the lack of towel animals or itinerary changes) my philosophy is if you can't afford to tip then don't go on a cruise.  Full stop.

 

And just to be perfectly clear, I'm British but have lived for many years in Canada and I know that Brits generally don't tip.  It gets a little tiresome when some British people I've met who've traveled all over (not referring to you) still like to use that old chestnut about not being used to tipping.  When in Rome.

My opinion and probably that of many here is like yours: if someone is inquiring they propably have no intentions of tipping or certainly not the amount of the DSC.

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For those who think gratuities are not included in a cruise package.

NCL did include them until 7 weeks a go, hence confusion.

Celebrity include  gratuities on certain cruises  for  UK customers.

Three UK based companies have offers including gratuities.

Still feel that cruise lines should include them for UK customers , & then it would put all this

palaver to bed.

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I’m not going to pretend I know other peoples motives, but as someone from Britain who is quite happy to tip when I am somewhere that it is expected and enjoys following the customs of wherever I am visiting, could I caution against making sweeping statements about whole countries. People could equally make sweeping statements about Americans, for example, which don’t apply to many people from the US.

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22 minutes ago, KeithJenner said:

I’m not going to pretend I know other peoples motives, but as someone from Britain who is quite happy to tip when I am somewhere that it is expected and enjoys following the customs of wherever I am visiting, could I caution against making sweeping statements about whole countries. People could equally make sweeping statements about Americans, for example, which don’t apply to many people from the US.

Not a sweeping statement about a whole country, just a comment of our opinions on those that remove the DSC.

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On 6/8/2019 at 6:27 AM, 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

 

And how are you going to tip all the cooks, laundry staff, bar backs, etc. behind the scenes that you may never actually meet in person but who still make your vacation fantastic and memorable?

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I have to admit that when I eat out in a restaurant in my home town and leave a tip, I don’t know if it’s getting distributed to all of the people behind the scenes who perform necessary tasks but don’t interact with me personally.

For example, the folks who are washing the dishes and mopping the floors and cleaning the bathrooms. These are all important jobs, and I hope that the people who perform them are being adequately paid. But I don’t usually have them in mind when I tip for the personal service I’ve received.

And regardless of whether the tips are pooled among the restaurant staff versus awarded to waitstaff only, they are still at the discretion of the customer. Of course in the U.S., customers are usually expected to tip something in a table service restaurant. But they aren’t compelled to do so unless it’s a larger dining group such as 6 or more people.

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10 hours ago, rtkenmore said:

 

And how are you going to tip all the cooks, laundry staff, bar backs, etc. behind the scenes that you may never actually meet in person but who still make your vacation fantastic and memorable?

 

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It is customary in the U.S. to tip the waiter and bartender if they do their job right. The bartender normally kicks back a portion of his tips to the waiter/waitress  if drinks were ordered through them.  The bartender generally tips the bar helper if there is one a small amount also.The rest of the employees are considered in the cost of overhead and priced into the cost of the meal. It's that simple. General rule is 20% for good service however I always tip more if service is excellent. Unfortunately some restaurants, hotels and cruise lines use these tips to offset their labor costs which has nothing to do with serving the customer.

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19 minutes ago, rkelly21 said:

The bartender normally kicks back a portion of his tips to the waiter/waitress

 

Nitpick...

 

Servers typically tip out TO the bartender. Bartenders do not normally tip out to servers.

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