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spanishguy1970

NCL daily service charges goes up! what's your cap?

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We have two coming cruises, one this October where we are paying $14.50 per person, and the next one next year we see that it has gone up to $15.00 dollars. We still  think cruises are still the best bang for your buck, but, we are now working on what would be the highest price we would pay for the service charge before we say is time to look for other ways to vacation. 

 

I know prices go up, that is a fact of life but i also know when is time to keep up with our budget. Anyone else knows when will be enough for you before you give on cruises? just curious.

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Like the service charges on all cruise lines, they all charge them.

 

I look at the total cost of the cruise with all fees, tips, charges included.  I don’t isolate just one charge.  I want to know the entire amount that’s coming out of my pocket when I cruise.

 

That’s one of the variables that go in to choosing a cruise.  It’s not the only one (itinerary, ship, time of year, etc also enter into the choice).

 

If I only look at one aspect of the charges, I’m going to end up cheating myself by not looking at the entire price of the cruise.

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Every year, usually around April is when the daily service charges increases. If you book before april, it is always best to add the pre-pay daily service charge to your booking to be locked in at the old price 

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10 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

Like the service charges on all cruise lines, they all charge them.

 

I look at the total cost of the cruise with all fees, tips, charges included.  I don’t isolate just one charge.  I want to know the entire amount that’s coming out of my pocket when I cruise.

 

That’s one of the variables that go in to choosing a cruise.  It’s not the only one (itinerary, ship, time of year, etc also enter into the choice).

 

If I only look at one aspect of the charges, I’m going to end up cheating myself by not looking at the entire price of the cruise.

Agree completely. The actual amount of the service charge is completely irrelevant if the total cruise cost is still OK. There is an overall cost level which would stop me cruising (and NCL were creeping towards that in the UK with their all inclusive a while ago, but now they seem to have fallen back a bit), but II look at that rather than any individual part of the price.

 

The fact that NCL's highest prices in the UK were when the DSC was zero kind of proves the point.

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15 minutes ago, shof515 said:

Every year, usually around April is when the daily service charges increases. If you book before april, it is always best to add the pre-pay daily service charge to your booking to be locked in at the old price 

Yes we know, but this was not the question but thank you for your response 

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2 minutes ago, KeithJenner said:

Agree completely. The actual amount of the service charge is completely irrelevant if the total cruise cost is still OK. There is an overall cost level which would stop me cruising (and NCL were creeping towards that in the UK with their all inclusive a while ago, but now they seem to have fallen back a bit), but II look at that rather than any individual part of the price.

 

The fact that NCL's highest prices in the UK were when the DSC was zero kind of proves the point.

Very true

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The daily service charge can be so painful. 🤣 We are a family of 5, so it often dips over past $1000 for the entire cruise for us, which is a substantial amount. I mean, that's another small trip for my husband and I! I'd much rather they built it into the cruise price, and paid the staff a fair wage. Out of sight out of mind. And then we could make our decisions on booking the trip based on the actual cost. It's misleading, and very easy to think we are getting an awesome deal that generally creeps up to a $9000+ cruise after all fees and gratuities are applied. It absolutely impacts how often we are able to go on vacation as a family. We will still go on trips, but are doing it every second year now, instead of annually, because of the cost increases.

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1 minute ago, NikkiDee-Canada said:

The daily service charge can be so painful. 🤣 We are a family of 5, so it often dips over past $1000 for the entire cruise for us, which is a substantial amount. I mean, that's another small trip for my husband and I! I'd much rather they built it into the cruise price, and paid the staff a fair wage. Out of sight out of mind. And then we could make our decisions on booking the trip based on the actual cost. It's misleading, and very easy to think we are getting an awesome deal that generally creeps up to a $9000+ cruise after all fees and gratuities are applied. It absolutely impacts how often we are able to go on vacation as a family. We will still go on trips, but are doing it every second year now, instead of annually, because of the cost increases.

Never thought about a big family, it does add up. Thank you for your response 

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MGM National Harbor charges a $25/night resort fee. I have no idea where the money goes. But much like the DSC I just include it into the total cost. 350/night becomes 375. Until the nightly cost exceeds my threshold for "worth", I'll continue to cruise.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, JennyB1977 said:

MGM National Harbor charges a $25/night resort fee. I have no idea where the money goes. But much like the DSC I just include it into the total cost. 350/night becomes 375. Until the nightly cost exceeds my threshold for "worth", I'll continue to cruise.

Wow, yep cruises are still the best bang for your buck

Edited by spanishguy1970

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10 minutes ago, NikkiDee-Canada said:

The daily service charge can be so painful. 🤣 We are a family of 5, so it often dips over past $1000 for the entire cruise for us, which is a substantial amount. I mean, that's another small trip for my husband and I! I'd much rather they built it into the cruise price, and paid the staff a fair wage. Out of sight out of mind. And then we could make our decisions on booking the trip based on the actual cost. It's misleading, and very easy to think we are getting an awesome deal that generally creeps up to a $9000+ cruise after all fees and gratuities are applied. It absolutely impacts how often we are able to go on vacation as a family. We will still go on trips, but are doing it every second year now, instead of annually, because of the cost increases.

You know the cost of the service.charges up front.  Figure that amount into your cruise cost, just like adding taxes.

 

if you’re paying $9k for your cruise for a family of 5, you better be sailing in a large Haven Suite.

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I consider the DSC a charge like port fees. They all increase over time. So do TOT taxes for hotels and resorts. I will continue to cruise and I will always find a fare that I am happy with

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16 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

You know the cost of the service.charges up front.  Figure that amount into your cruise cost, just like adding taxes.

 

if you’re paying $9k for your cruise for a family of 5, you better be sailing in a large Haven Suite.

Probably not. I was in the same position for many years, the fact that they are a family also dictates they travel during summer/holiday season which are the highest rates with very little discount, then figure in the DSC and it quickly adds way up there and fuhgedditabout if you need airfare too.

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I was just looking at a hotel that charges 34.00 a day for a resort fee, and doesn't include meals. So tell me how the DSC is so outrageous.

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4 minutes ago, phillyguy31 said:

I was just looking at a hotel that charges 34.00 a day for a resort fee, and doesn't include meals. So tell me how the DSC is so outrageous.

 

Some Las Vegas hotels charge more than that.  They don't include meals either and in the fall and winter the pools are closed.  

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47 minutes ago, NikkiDee-Canada said:

 I'd much rather they built it into the cruise price, and paid the staff a fair wage. Out of sight out of mind. And then we could make our decisions on booking the trip based on the actual cost. 

What is the difference in the cruise line charging you $9k, plus $1,000 DSC or a cruise line charging you $10k and which includes the DSC?  Since most all cruise line charge some sort of DSC, how is it difficult to just add that total figure into the cruise fare, when looking for a total price of a cruise?

 

BTW, when NCL added the DSC into the fare in some European countries, there was an uproar that the fares were too high, so NCL changed it back to the way it was with the DSC being extra.  It seems to me that all those that complained so loudly, even though they said exactly what you did that they wanted it rolled into the fare, really meant they want it in the fare, but they don't want to pay it that way either and wanted the fare to stay the same price before the DSC was rolled in.  It is really a no win for the cruise lines.

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56 minutes ago, NikkiDee-Canada said:

I'd much rather they built it into the cruise price, and paid the staff a fair wage. Out of sight out of mind. And then we could make our decisions on booking the trip based on the actual cost. It's misleading, and very easy to think we are getting an awesome deal that generally creeps up to a $9000+ cruise after all fees and gratuities are applied.

 

If the DSC was rolled into the fare "out of sight, out of mind", NCL would raise the fare by an amout that is higher than the DSC.

 

Just pre-pay the DSC and you'll know the total cost (not counting onboard spending). If the total is too high, walk away.

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54 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

if you’re paying $9k for your cruise for a family of 5, you better be sailing in a large Haven Suite.

 

But then, the DSC would be higher...😝

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12 minutes ago, NLH Arizona said:

What is the difference in the cruise line charging you $9k, plus $1,000 DSC or a cruise line charging you $10k and which includes the DSC?  Since most all cruise line charge some sort of DSC, how is it difficult to just add that total figure into the cruise fare, when looking for a total price of a cruise?

 

 

I can tell you one difference that most people don't even think about.

 

Using your example numbers:

 

Cruise A: $9,000 cost + $1,000 DSC

Cruise B: $10,000 cost w/DSC included

 

If, for some reason, you had a last-minute event that caused you to cancel Cruise A, you would lose the $9,000, but the cruise line would refund the DSC. However, if you had to cancel Cruise B for the same reason, you'd lose the entire $10,000.

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Posted (edited)

The "normal" rate for tipping these days is 20%. Given that, lets look at the cruise numbers...

 

$9,000 for a family of five is $1,800 per person.

 

20% gratuity on $1,800 is $360.

 

Assuming a 7-day cruise, that breaks down to $51.43 per day.

 

I'd much rather pay $15.00 DSC than a $51.43 DSC.

 

That $36.43 difference makes the DSC look like an absolute bargain.

 

$15.00 in DSC for an $1,800 cruise is a gratuity of 5.8%, seems very cheap for a tip, no?

Edited by SeaShark

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Posted (edited)

Cruise fare + taxes/fees + gratuities/dsc/tips + onboard things like drink/dining packages + excursions + travel to/from port = total price

 

I then decide if total price is what I'm willing to pay or not. I don't get caught up in the fact that most cruise lines have decided to separate out a daily gratuity/service charge. Either way it's still part of the cost and if enough people stopped paying it they'd just raise the price of the cruise fare to cover it. 

Edited by smplybcause

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4 minutes ago, SeaShark said:

The "normal" rate for tipping these days is 20%. Given that, lets look at the cruise numbers...

 

$9,000 for a family of five is $1,800 per person.

 

20% gratuity on $1,800 is $360.

 

Assuming a 7-day cruise, that breaks down to $51.43 per day.

 

I'd much rather pay $15.00 DSC than a $51.43 DSC.

 

That $36.43 difference makes the DSC look like an absolute bargain.

 

$15.00 in DSC for an $1,800 cruise is a gratuity of 5.8%, seems very cheap for a tip, no?

Very cheap. The difference is that in restaurants we know the 20% percent tipping we give  we know is going to our waiter or waitress, the 5.8% on a cruise not so much....

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9 minutes ago, SeaShark said:

The "normal" rate for tipping these days is 20%. Given that, lets look at the cruise numbers...

 

$9,000 for a family of five is $1,800 per person.

 

20% gratuity on $1,800 is $360.

 

Assuming a 7-day cruise, that breaks down to $51.43 per day.

 

I'd much rather pay $15.00 DSC than a $51.43 DSC.

 

That $36.43 difference makes the DSC look like an absolute bargain.

 

$15.00 in DSC for an $1,800 cruise is a gratuity of 5.8%, seems very cheap for a tip, no?

So when staying at a hotel that is $300 a night you tip $60 a day (20%) ? Not a very good analogy IMO.

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7 minutes ago, spanishguy1970 said:

Very cheap. The difference is that in restaurants we know the 20% percent tipping we give  we know is going to our waiter or waitress, the 5.8% on a cruise not so much....

 

You really assume it is going to the server, you really have no idea what, if any, sharing of tips goes on.

 

NCL, on the other hand, spells out in both the FAQ and the Cruise Contract where that money goes. How much any employee gets is dependent on their performance and not really a  concern that I have.

 

3 minutes ago, mark290 said:

So when staying at a hotel that is $300 a night you tip $60 a day (20%) ? Not a very good analogy IMO.

 

If you tip at a fair rate you do, if not, you don't...which makes it a perfect analogy, btw.

 

Better to ask, if you are willing to tip $60 for a $300 dinner, then why would you not be willing to offer the exact same tip for the hotel staff??

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"if you’re paying $9k for your cruise for a family of 5, you better be sailing in a large Haven Suite."

 

Just looking at the OP avatar they are from Ottawa, Canada. That means 5 airfares to Florida or some southern city. That is easily $3000, if they are going on school breaks then it is even more $750 or more per person for a flight, plus the cruises are more expensive those weeks.

 

Given where they are flying from, $9000 is just about right. They are probably using Canadian dollars, so $9000 is definitely right. That is about $6700 US at todays rate

 

 

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