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Auto Gratuities/Questions/Options?

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If you go to a restaurant that has a "two for one" special, how much do you tip on?  The actual price of the meal or the hypothetical price?  The wait staff is still bringing you two appetizers, two main courses, etc. etc.  Their work is not halved because of a special offer. 

 

If you only drink 5 drinks a day, don't get the UBP and just pay the 20% gratuity on the actual quantity you drank at the end of the cruise.  However, most people DO drink more than 5 drinks when on the UBP. It's akin to an all-you-can-eat buffet where people eat far more food when they aren't paying for it.

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3 hours ago, blcruising said:

Think about the folks who don't want the beverage package, but enjoy an occasional drink here and there. A non- import vodka, such as Tito's, is priced at a rip-off level of $14.95. And then they add a cryptic, overpriced, $3 "service charge"/"gratuity". It's an easy decision for us. We forego all alcohol on our NCL cruises. Actually, we forego all of their ridiculous overpriced onboard offerings. We drink in the ports of call, take independent tours, etc. Our onboard spend on NCL only is zero. On other cruiselines, it is different. We don't find the pricing as extreme, even though we expect to pay a premium.

$3 tip for a $15 drink is 20% which is pretty standard.  What do you tip when on land?

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16 minutes ago, StolidCruiser said:

I've missed nothing.  Your math is fuzzy and suited to your personal consumption while other posters are flat out wrong.

 

However, you continue to believe what you want to believe by internet strangers with no real basis for their "facts" that the staff gets shorted and the cruise line pockets the rest. 

 

I can relate what I know to be fact (being in the hospitality industry and participating in trade seminars with industry executives) but I'm just another internet stranger that isn't to be believed any more than you or Kerri from Cork.

 

Continue debating how you're on the losing end of the "forced gratuity".  It's wildly entertaining for the umpteenth time and I'm sure you will dredge up some scintillating previously undiscussed nugget that will send cruise financiers running back to their ledgers to retract the whole DSC and gratuity structure because you're "over-tipping".

Amazing. Can you read beyond mention of your own name or has the narcissism got that tight a hold on you? 

 

Your post clearly shows you failed to understand what anyone here has said. Virtually all answers given to me are the tips are all pooled and given to the all the staff, so which poster was wrong when they all seem to agree with you? Beyond that no one seemed to know specifics. Considering this was what the majority believes I stated... I believe were going on 5 times now... that I will accept that as the truth as it is how the majority reads the wording in the FAQ.

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Just now, citygirl62 said:

$3 tip for a $15 drink is 20% which is pretty standard.  What do you tip when on land?

Tito's and club sodas at home are $6 cheap and $10 on the high side. Happy hour prices are $4. So the tip is between $1 and $2 per drink.  If it's happy hour,  I still tip $1 to $2 per drink. Only on Norwegian Cruise Lines is it $15. Well, maybe in some high end Vegas clubs or in Manhattan. But NCL? Really?I would never tip someone $6 for mixing two drinks with vodka and club soda. Outrageous!! Keep your liquor, NCL. We will gladly do without.

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13 minutes ago, citygirl62 said:

If you go to a restaurant that has a "two for one" special, how much do you tip on?  The actual price of the meal or the hypothetical price?  The wait staff is still bringing you two appetizers, two main courses, etc. etc.  Their work is not halved because of a special offer. 

 

If you only drink 5 drinks a day, don't get the UBP and just pay the 20% gratuity on the actual quantity you drank at the end of the cruise.  However, most people DO drink more than 5 drinks when on the UBP. It's akin to an all-you-can-eat buffet where people eat far more food when they aren't paying for it.

Lol. 5 drinks a day plus the service charge can easily cost $60-$80. Total rip off. We cruise for the amazing sights and ports not to drink overpriced liquor and ridiculous fees and charges.

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41 minutes ago, smplybcause said:

My understanding, and at this point I don't recall where I got said impression from, is that the gratuities charges on drinking packages are distributed to bartenders/servers base on the number of drink package drinks they serve. ie If a bartender served 10% of all drink package drinks they get 10% of the pooled drink package gratuities. That was they have a reason to not ignore drink package cruisers in favor of pay-by-the-drink cruisers. 

 

 

I hope this is right. This way if you find someone you like they get rewarded for being the person everyone enjoys. I'd find you're way would be more likely to incentivize great service more so than a straight pool. Sounds like everyone wins. 

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Posted (edited)

Just booked our 5th cruise (UK) Escape, Caribbean 2020 and I have always paid the DSC up front, however this time I booked via VPN to get a phenomenally better deal paying US$ as opposed to GPB £ but I had to phone up to convert my Cruise next from pounds to dollars (which was simple enough )to seal the deal and whilst on the phone the NCL TA advised me (seriously) to remove the DSC and fill out a waiver on board to state i would tip as a choose!

 

1, Is this normal

2 Will I have a probelm when i board?

 

Thanks 

Edited by falkensmaze

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11 hours ago, Wedgie23 said:

That's not my intention but even with the answers here I'm not sure I understand. So the gratuities added for the drinks and the dining packages are not similar to the DSC which is resort fee? 

 

Does this mean the wait and dining staff in the main restaurants are not getting dedicated tips like the bar staff is? If that's the case then I believe we should be tipping them. I'm assuming the added gratuity for the dining package is the added tip for the staff when using that service, though in those I know you can add on an extra tip on top of it when you dine. At the main restaurants I don't recall ever being given a receipt where I could have billed a tip just for the wait staff, is this possible to do/get? 

 

Similarly with the added gratuity for the unlimited drink package, kerry stated above only 20% drink gratuity goes to the bar staff so if you pay $139 for the gratuity, order 5 drinks a day at $10 a piece which equals $10/day in 20% gratuities that's only half of the gratuities you've paid, so where is the rest going? 

 

I wish NCL was more clear on their charges. If I understand correctly the added gratuity for the unlimited drink package cannot be removed or reduced down to the 20% amount per drink that is actually going to the bar staff? And if we wanted our bartender to be tipped higher than 20% we would need to do so in cash even though we are paying much higher than 20% for the auto gratuity?

Just opt out of the prepaid tipping after you get on board and DON'T pay beforehand as then it will be too late to change. Tip those who treat you well directly as you go. Works especially well with a favorite bartender. Tip upfront and they will be right there to serve you anything you want! The "out of site workers" should be calculated in the lines overhead and not part of a tipping policy.

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What people don’t understand is that if the “background” employees were going to have their salaries calculated into overhead, guess what?  Your cruise fare would go up by about $15 per person per day.  In fact I think I remember reading that they tried this in the British port, and bookings went down because prices went up.  So they went back to the daily service charge.  

 

The cruise line isn’t going to operate at a loss, they’ll just raise their prices.

 

And just like refusing to tip a waiter because “employers should pay their workers better” you aren’t taking a stand, you’re just pretending to, while being nothing but cheap.  If you truly disagree with the way ripped employees get paid, do not frequent businesses that employ them.  

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I have no issue with the lines increasing their prices to pay a fair wage. I don't wan't my tip money for a specific job well done to simply cover what most other business consider overhead. I do care who gets my money but no cruise line front desk will give you a detailed breakdown. What have they got to hide? I have been told by a friend of mine that worked as an accountant for a cruise line they take a cut as a Management fee. Don't know if that still goes on.

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3 minutes ago, rkelly21 said:

I have no issue with the lines increasing their prices to pay a fair wage.

 

You personally might not, but the market does.  

 

At the end of the day, you can remove the service charge at guest services, but you’re not hurting the company, or “punishing” them for depending on a service charge.  You are taking advantage of a service provided, with the intent to not pay for the service at the end of your cruise.

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20 minutes ago, rkelly21 said:

I have no issue with the lines increasing their prices to pay a fair wage. I don't wan't my tip money for a specific job well done to simply cover what most other business consider overhead. I do care who gets my money but no cruise line front desk will give you a detailed breakdown. What have they got to hide? I have been told by a friend of mine that worked as an accountant for a cruise line they take a cut as a Management fee. Don't know if that still goes on.

They don't tell you because it isn't anyones business, except for the company and employee.  If I called the company you worked for, would they give me all the information about your salary?

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, PTC DAWG said:

I think that is a new one one me, someone wanting to adjust the tips on the drink package down....funny what folks will come up with to cheap out.  

 

 

No not really I watch people who try to cram 17 days worth of clothes in a 20 inch suit case come n here all day long all to not pay a luggage fee. Or not pack anything but shorts, tee shirts, a bathing suit and flip flops  to not pay for a piece of luggage.   

Cheap is everywhere.
But that said , the only reason these posts go south is because holier than  thous come out and snark at the OP or  just are in a total put own mode.   Why is that?   These posts can be fine even if you think it is a dead horse, just because you read it before,answered it before, doesn't make it a wrong question.

It never fails that the longer posters/ cruisers are the first to go on the war path to an OP over something THEY decided is a dead horse.   If you don't want to beat the horse, why do you answer and post with basically useless information and attacks???  You feed the   "dead horse" theory, the one you claim to hate. 🙄

Edited by juju2454
spelling lol

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24 minutes ago, rkelly21 said:

I don't wan't my tip money for a specific job well done to simply cover what most other business consider overhead.

I can understand this. When I started this thread my understanding of who the auto tips went to/how infrequently I used their services had me believing I was tipping as though money was going out of fashion all week long. Now after hearing everyone saying they are all pooled for all staff is making me feel as though I stiffed a lot of great staff members who gave me fantastic service. As no one knows if cash tips on top of the autos are pooled as well, there doesn't seem to be a definitive way to reward a specific person extra for a fantastic job. 

 

 

7 minutes ago, NLH Arizona said:

They don't tell you because it isn't anyones business, except for the company and employee.  If I called the company you worked for, would they give me all the information about your salary?

Well no you might not get specific salary information but you usually do deserve to know if their compensation is commission based, tip based, if they are an independent contractor or an employee getting their compensation directly from the company. Knowing what is expected helps dictate how you do business.  I don't think if Americans weren't well aware that waitstaff work primarily for tips here they would be as generous as they are because as Americans we don't feel were 'tipping' for extra service when we go out, we feel we are paying the salaries. Neither an argument for or against how we do things here just an acknowledgement. People are going to behave differently under different structures and it's difficult to know what is expected when you don't know which structure you're in. You're going to expect a much better level of service from your TA, taking up much more of their time than your bartender however you don't tip or pay anything to your TA directly. Because we know the compensation structures and how they differ we know what to expect and what is expected of us.

 

In either event I don't think transparency is ever a bad thing. If it wasn't for the posters here I'd read the FAQ on service charge as wait/kitchen staff and find the tipping to be extreme and possibly removed it in favor of cash, I don't think I could possibly be the only one thinking this and I'd think many people have removed the charge resulting in less for the employees due to lack of transparency. 

 

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11 minutes ago, Wedgie23 said:

Well no you might not get specific salary information but you usually do deserve to know if their compensation is commission based, tip based, if they are an independent contractor or an employee getting their compensation directly from the company. Knowing what is expected helps dictate how you do business.  You must work for a very different type of company than most people work for.  There is no way that most companies would tell you how an employye is paid.  It must be difficult dealing with businesses, if this is something you require in order to do business with them. 

 

I don't think if Americans weren't well aware that waitstaff work primarily for tips here they would be as generous as they are because as Americans we don't feel were 'tipping' for extra service when we go out, we feel we are paying the salaries. Totally incorrect.  With our tipping culture, I really don't think someone decides a tip bassed on how a person is paid, but how good their service is.  I've got no problem not tipping a server if I got terrible service and I would also tell the Manager.

 

In either event I don't think transparency is ever a bad thing. If it wasn't for the posters here I'd read the FAQ on service charge as wait/kitchen staff and find the tipping to be extreme and possibly removed it in favor of cash, I don't think I could possibly be the only one thinking this and I'd think many people have removed the charge resulting in less for the employees due to lack of transparency.  That is one's opinion and they can do what they please.  I don't think the tipping is extreme and would never removed in favor of cash, even though I tip cash over and above it when a crew members goes above and beyond.  I look at what I get:  Three meals a day, housekeeping, etc. and the DSC is a whole lot less than what I would be tipping if I went to a resort and had to tip on those services and BTW, I would probably have to pay a resort fee of $25 or $35 a day on top of the tips.

 

I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this, see my response in red.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Wedgie23 said:

So I understand now that all the tips, UDP/PBP and service charge, that is all pooled. If you were to tip someone extra beyond the auto gratuities does anyone know if they are allowed to keep the whole thing?

 

The NCL FAQ at https://www.ncl.com/cruise-faq/what-about-gratuities says in part:

 

Quote

While you should not feel obligated to offer a gratuity, all of our staff are encouraged to “go the extra mile,” so they are permitted to accept cash gratuities for exceptional or outstanding service if you care to offer them.

 

 

I take that to mean that the staff member is allowed to keep the cash gratuities, but others differ because they insist on being wrong.

Edited by fshagan

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Yes you tell them discretely this tip is for YOU and YOUR great service. No sharing. They always agree. Just do it quietly and it's really appreciated by them. Never make a production of it.

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12 hours ago, blcruising said:

asfTito's and club sodas at home are $6 cheap and $10 on the high side. Happy hour prices are $4. So the tip is between $1 and $2 per drink.  If it's happy hour,  I still tip $1 to $2 per drink. Only on Norwegian Cruise Lines is it $15. Well, maybe in some high end Vegas clubs or in Manhattan. But NCL? Really?I would never tip someone $6 for mixing two drinks with vodka and club soda. Outrageous!! Keep your liquor, NCL. We will gladly do without.

You are not 100% correct about other lines versus NCL. Were are you getting your information about only on NCL?  As for not drinking on NCL or any other ship, your choice, others disagree with you. 

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10 hours ago, NLH Arizona said:

They don't tell you because it isn't anyones business, except for the company and employee.  If I called the company you worked for, would they give me all the information about your salary?

They would if you were being asked to foot some of that salary.

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32 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

You are not 100% correct about other lines versus NCL. Were are you getting your information about only on NCL?  As for not drinking on NCL or any other ship, your choice, others disagree with you. 

The bar menus of other cruise lines are published in cruisecritic as well as other areas of the internet. I encourage you to do some research and then see if you come to the conclusion that I am not 100% correct.

 

Of course people will disagree with me about not drinking. Thanks for pointing out what I thought was obvious.

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1 hour ago, KateQ22003 said:

They would if you were being asked to foot some of that salary.

 

Any time you spend money on anything you are footing someone’s salary

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I wish this forum had moderators. Why this stuff is allowed to continue is beyond me.

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12 hours ago, rkelly21 said:

I have no issue with the lines increasing their prices to pay a fair wage. I don't wan't my tip money for a specific job well done to simply cover what most other business consider overhead. I do care who gets my money but no cruise line front desk will give you a detailed breakdown. What have they got to hide? I have been told by a friend of mine that worked as an accountant for a cruise line they take a cut as a Management fee. Don't know if that still goes on.

But NCL did this for non US cruisers, increased the price and didn’t charge the DSC. Sales went down, and NCL discontinued the all inclusive fare.

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Whether anyone chooses to drink alcohol on any cruise line is entirely up to them.  Are the drinks costly on a cruises?  Yep!  They’re costly at any resort I’ve ever been to.  That’s what makes their drink package so good for someone like me, who does choose to drink while on a cruise. 

 

It sounds like some won’t drink on a cruise because they drinks cost so much, or the all inclusive packages aren’t to their liking.  Can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time.

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3 hours ago, KateQ22003 said:

They would if you were being asked to foot some of that salary.

Everytime you purchase a product from a company,  you are being forced to foot the company's employees' salaries.

 

Here is what I don't understand.  If someone's cruise is $1,000 plus the DSC of $100 or their cruise is $1,100 and no DSC, isn't it all the same.  Either way you are paying for the cruise and the crew's wages.   When NCL did the second option in the UK and the other countries, after folks have been posting here for years that it should be included in the fare, they still complained, not it was that the cruise fare was too expensive.  I can only surmise that the people that complained saying they wanted the crew to be paid a decent either don't understand how business works or they really don't give a rat's behind about the crew, it is just about saving them money.  I also wonder if these some folks fight with hotels about paying a resort fee, if not maybe NCL should start calling it a resort fee.

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