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JOHNHOWARTH2

Opting out of paying Daily Service Charge

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Kingofcool1947 said:

 

I have read on CC many of you from UK pull the pre pay gratuities, and leave nothing.  I don’t know if that is true or not, or what the thinking is behind that.

It is perfectly true and the thinking behind it is the fact that NCL UK are advising passengers that the service charge is indeed discretionary and also advising passengers exactly what to do to have the charge removed from your account. It is all quite simple really and fascinating that so many posters from USA are making a real song and dance about the whole issue

Edited by JOHNHOWARTH2

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37 minutes ago, JOHNHOWARTH2 said:

It is perfectly true and the thinking behind it is the fact that NCL UK are advising passengers that the service charge is indeed discretionary and also advising passengers exactly what to do to have the charge removed from your account. It is all quite simple really and fascinating that so many posters from USA are making a real song and dance about the whole issue

I wouldn’t read too much into what the booking agents say to be honest.

 

i have booked many cruises via NCL reps, and have never been advised about the charge being discretionary or how to remove it. My discussions regarding the DSC have always been almost exactly the same:

 

”Will you be prepaying the gratuities?”

 

”Yes please”

 

My guess is that the booking agents get quite a bit of grief about the DSC so they are quite defensive when discussing it, and go through the options if anyone mentions questions it in any way (even if the customer is just clarifying what it is).That isn’t necessarily NCL policy and could be individual decisions by members of staff. They don’t want the grief.

 

Basically, I think that the fact that they advise UK customers on how to remove the DSC is because so many want to remove it, rather than the other way round.

 

 

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5 hours ago, JOHNHOWARTH2 said:

IIt is all quite simple really and fascinating that so many posters from USA are making a real song and dance about the whole issue

And we find it fascinating that you don't see the point AT ALL.

 

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On 6/16/2019 at 9:59 PM, rkelly21 said:

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.

My husband used to work in restaurants and bars.  He was very good at his job and made a LOT of money in tips.  He tipped the busboys who worked his tables and they hustled to clean and set up tables quicker. He tipped the bartenders and they were quick with drinks.  He did that even though it wasn't SOP.  When you work in a restaurant you are part of a big process.  He never tipped cooks or chefs because they make much better money that wait staff.  He walked out of restaurants if he found out the owner made servers pool their tips and would take a cut.

 

We drive to Florida a lot and always stop in a restaurant in Lexington Kentucky because they play cool jazz, have comfy banquette tables and an incredible waiter.  We were shocked to learn his base pay was $2.13 hr!!  I couldn't believe that and checked it out when we got home and it's true.  Kentucky is allowed to pay any where from 2.13 hr to 7.25 hr for a tipped employee.  It just made me wonder just how much workers on a ship get paid.  

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This horse is dead, till the next thread that is.  Folks that don't want to pay the grats, they won't.  Period...they come here looking for absolution for getting out of it.  They get the same lines.  It is what it is.

 

What I don't get is, why mention it here at all?  You know what you are going to do. 

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34 minutes ago, citygirl62 said:

My husband used to work in restaurants and bars.  He was very good at his job and made a LOT of money in tips.  He tipped the busboys who worked his tables and they hustled to clean and set up tables quicker. He tipped the bartenders and they were quick with drinks.  He did that even though it wasn't SOP.  When you work in a restaurant you are part of a big process.  He never tipped cooks or chefs because they make much better money that wait staff.  He walked out of restaurants if he found out the owner made servers pool their tips and would take a cut.

 

We drive to Florida a lot and always stop in a restaurant in Lexington Kentucky because they play cool jazz, have comfy banquette tables and an incredible waiter.  We were shocked to learn his base pay was $2.13 hr!!  I couldn't believe that and checked it out when we got home and it's true.  Kentucky is allowed to pay any where from 2.13 hr to 7.25 hr for a tipped employee.  It just made me wonder just how much workers on a ship get paid.  

That's pretty standard in the US for tipped employees.  When in Rome...

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3 hours ago, ECCruise said:

And we find it fascinating that you don't see the point AT ALL.

 

OK I'm from the UK and always pay my DSC. There are two aspects here. First of all. Up until recently NCL in Europe sold the cruise as "Ultra all inclusive"  and included the "Tips" in the charge. I think the change in policy has caused some confusion over here.

Secondly, tipping is not at all a widespread custom in the UK and some other parts of Europe, I've been going to the US for many years,  and I feel comfortable with it now. But at first it was completely alien to me.

 

My first trip to the US was to visit Disney World. I worked 2 jobs to save up, one of which was as a Barman in a busy pub. In the 3 years I worked there I never once did I or my co workers receive a tip. On new years eve we got the occasional drink "paid on" but that was it, and we never complained because that's the way it was. You were paid a wage and did your job tax was taken off at source and that was it.

Now I know you have a "tipping" culture in the U.S. and now I have my head round it that's fine. A lot of people from the UK, so called baby boomers and such do not get it. Over here you pay for what you get. You see a price on something and that's what you pay. You don't  get to the till and find you have other taxes etc. to pay. So the culture over here is very much you pay the up front price and that's it.

 

Not better or worse, just different

 

.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, tjt87 said:

 Up until recently NCL in Europe sold the cruise as "Ultra all inclusive"  and included the "Tips" in the charge. I think the change in policy has caused some confusion over here.

 

I believe it was changed because so many people complained that the price, which included to include the DSC, was too high.  Which is funny to me, because many from the UK on here, who complained about the DSC, said they wanted it included in the fare cost and then went it was, they complained that the price of the cruise went up and were unhappy.  I don't think NCL can ever win on this no matter what they do, because some just don't want to pay it, whether it is extra or included.  I don't think there should have been any confusion when they changed it back to being a separate charge, because it had been that way for so long.

 

All it takes is a little research for anyone to find out the tipping cultures in different countries or on cruise lines, but unfortunately many don't bother or don't care.

Edited by NLH Arizona

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If I ever were to teach a course on confirmation bias, the homework would be for the class to read these tipping threads. Pure gold!

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42 minutes ago, valleyvillage said:

If I ever were to teach a course on confirmation bias, the homework would be for the class to read these tipping threads. Pure gold! 

Best comment yet. Good work.  

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1 hour ago, tjt87 said:

OK I'm from the UK and always pay my DSC. There are two aspects here. First of all. Up until recently NCL in Europe sold the cruise as "Ultra all inclusive"  and included the "Tips" in the charge. I think the change in policy has caused some confusion over here.

Secondly, tipping is not at all a widespread custom in the UK and some other parts of Europe, I've been going to the US for many years,  and I feel comfortable with it now. But at first it was completely alien to me.

 

My first trip to the US was to visit Disney World. I worked 2 jobs to save up, one of which was as a Barman in a busy pub. In the 3 years I worked there I never once did I or my co workers receive a tip. On new years eve we got the occasional drink "paid on" but that was it, and we never complained because that's the way it was. You were paid a wage and did your job tax was taken off at source and that was it.

Now I know you have a "tipping" culture in the U.S. and now I have my head round it that's fine. A lot of people from the UK, so called baby boomers and such do not get it. Over here you pay for what you get. You see a price on something and that's what you pay. You don't  get to the till and find you have other taxes etc. to pay. So the culture over here is very much you pay the up front price and that's it.

 

Not better or worse, just different

 

.

 

Are you certain it’s the “baby boomers” (non-Americans) that don’t get the tipping culture in the U.S.A.?   Having never sailed with NCL,  do “baby boomers” make up  the majority of the NCL cruising demographic?

.

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1 hour ago, PTC DAWG said:

That's pretty standard in the US for tipped employees.  When in Rome...

Cruise ship workers make between $400 - $600 per month and most work a 9 month contract 7 days a week and 10 hours per hour. The hours use to be longer but they eased back. That's why you see most of the workers are from 2nd and 3rd world countries. I consider it legalized slavery. The folks running the shops are paid more.

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2 minutes ago, rkelly21 said:

Cruise ship workers make between $400 - $600 per month and most work a 9 month contract 7 days a week and 10 hours per hour. The hours use to be longer but they eased back. That's why you see most of the workers are from 2nd and 3rd world countries. I consider it legalized slavery. The folks running the shops are paid more.

Here is a post from a poster who was an officer on NC:

 

The only thing that is "guaranteed" to a crew member is the minimum total compensation, which is currently $614/month for a 40 hour work week, plus overtime at 125% of the base wage for hours over 40/week. This totals out to about $1500/month. If the base wage, overtime, and DSC totals more than this, per their contract, they get that much, if the DSC is reduced, their wages can drop to the above minimum.

 

 

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2 hours ago, PTC DAWG said:

That's pretty standard in the US for tipped employees.  When in Rome...

I was looking at hourly rates for servers in Kentucky specifically because I know servers in restaurants where we have our condo in Florida make more than double that an hour.  I think the last time someone made 2.13 hour in Canada would have been around 1965!

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, citygirl62 said:

I was looking at hourly rates for servers in Kentucky specifically because I know servers in restaurants where we have our condo in Florida make more than double that an hour.  I think the last time someone made 2.13 hour in Canada would have been around 1965!

I believe the average salary for a server in Florida, including tips, is around 25K.  In high-priced restaurants it is double or more.  So don't think the minimum wage is actually what they receive, as they received with their salary and tips about the same as servers in Canada do.

 

FWIW, there was a restaurant chain that decided to go non-tipping.  They raised the servers salaries twenty percent and raised the price of the food the same.  Not only were their customers upset, but the servers were as well, because they were making more money when they were getting tips.  They went back to the tipping policy in all but ten locations and everyone was happy again.  Just proves that one should look at the entire picture of what a server makes and not just the 2.13 an hour in determining what is fair.

Edited by NLH Arizona

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46 minutes ago, rkelly21 said:

Cruise ship workers make between $400 - $600 per month and most work a 9 month contract 7 days a week and 10 hours per hour. The hours use to be longer but they eased back. That's why you see most of the workers are from 2nd and 3rd world countries. I consider it legalized slavery. The folks running the shops are paid more.

I'm assuming you don't cruise if you consider it slavery.  

 

Most of the crew members I have interacted with seem to say they can make more money on the ship than they can at home...that's why they do it.  

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Given the alternative you would probably take the job too. Doesn't make it right. When we had slavery most of them were treated better here than at home.

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7 minutes ago, rkelly21 said:

Given the alternative you would probably take the job too. Doesn't make it right. When we had slavery most of them were treated better here than at home.

so I assume you don't cruise? Not sure why you are on these boards if you dont cruise

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4 hours ago, citygirl62 said:

My husband used to work in restaurants and bars.  He was very good at his job and made a LOT of money in tips.  He tipped the busboys who worked his tables and they hustled to clean and set up tables quicker. He tipped the bartenders and they were quick with drinks.  He did that even though it wasn't SOP.  When you work in a restaurant you are part of a big process.  He never tipped cooks or chefs because they make much better money that wait staff.  He walked out of restaurants if he found out the owner made servers pool their tips and would take a cut.

 

We drive to Florida a lot and always stop in a restaurant in Lexington Kentucky because they play cool jazz, have comfy banquette tables and an incredible waiter.  We were shocked to learn his base pay was $2.13 hr!!  I couldn't believe that and checked it out when we got home and it's true.  Kentucky is allowed to pay any where from 2.13 hr to 7.25 hr for a tipped employee.  It just made me wonder just how much workers on a ship get paid.  

NJ is $2.13 an hour, after taxes my Dd never really got an actual paycheck, and the COL here is really high.

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1 hour ago, NLH Arizona said:

I believe the average salary for a server in Florida, including tips, is around 25K.  In high-priced restaurants it is double or more.  So don't think the minimum wage is actually what they receive, as they received with their salary and tips about the same as servers in Canada do.

 

FWIW, there was a restaurant chain that decided to go non-tipping.  They raised the servers salaries twenty percent and raised the price of the food the same.  Not only were their customers upset, but the servers were as well, because they were making more money when they were getting tips.  They went back to the tipping policy in all but ten locations and everyone was happy again.  Just proves that one should look at the entire picture of what a server makes and not just the 2.13 an hour in determining what is fair.

Most customers would be very unhappy if all servers were paid a living wage, not just minimum wage, by their employers.  That $18 plate of pasta would cost $30 and the $12 burger would cost $20.  Most large hotel chains are unionized, at least here in Canada, which is why a croissant and coffee for breakfast costs maybe $15.  

 

My example shows that Kentucky is one of the states that allows employers to subsidize their employees wage by using tip credits to pay them a minimum wage.  If business is slow and the server doesn't get tips, the employer has to pay them the minimum of 7.25 hr.  If service is slamming, the server has to submit their tips so the employer can top up the hrly rate to the minimum. 

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19 minutes ago, rkelly21 said:

Given the alternative you would probably take the job too. Doesn't make it right. When we had slavery most of them were treated better here than at home.

 

 

giphy.gif

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5 hours ago, PTC DAWG said:

This horse is dead, till the next thread that is.  Folks that don't want to pay the grats, they won't.  Period...they come here looking for absolution for getting out of it.  They get the same lines.  It is what it is.

 

What I don't get is, why mention it here at all?  You know what you are going to do. 

 

You've apparently got your wish.  And started by someone who "doesn't want to start drama".

 

 

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I spoke with a barman about wages, he was working with Celebrity prior to that he worked for Four Seasons in Dubai. He was making double the amount working for Celebrity and he had health care, meals and accommodation, no transport costs (to/from work). He said he would never return to the hotel sector.

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6 minutes ago, StolidCruiser said:

You've apparently got your wish.  And started by someone who "doesn't want to start drama".

The amount of people on these forums who can't or won't read past the word 'gratuities' when someone asks a question is truly astounding. 

 

I had actual questions, like it seems this poster originally did that involved the gratuities. Despite the goating, insinuations and incorrect personal insults and assumptions which I ignored I was able to get an answer. I don't know if this poster was as lucky because I'm not reading through 8 pages of the same, like I'm sure someone looking for the answer isn't going to read through so they will post their own topic, asking the same question and the swam will gather to ride once more. Rinse and repeat. 

 

I attempted to set the tone right at the start that I was looking for information not a debate. When you're imagining bait to pretend to get sucked in by so you're able to cross thread bash you are certainly taking a stones and glass houses approach to calling out drama. 

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On 6/9/2019 at 12:33 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?

Hello in Australia  as in the UK it isn't  the norm to pay gratuity. If cruising on a line the doesn't have  tipping included we always opt out. Not cheap at all just feel we already pay enough to cruise. We have removed our gratuity with RCL before & Princess, don't feel bad to do this there won't be back lash for it. Make sure you do it the day you board.

Enjoy your cruise.

We have 2 ncl cruises booked next year & our gratuity are part of the package, which I'm  happy with.

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