Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
spanishguy1970

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

Recommended Posts

11 minutes ago, SeaShark said:
18 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??

Thank you for explaining that. It now makes perfect sense. You are definitely more generous than me since you

would opt to tip at the fair rate of $51.43 per person, per day on an $1800 cruise instead of paying the absolute bargain price of $15 a day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Airfare, hotel, etc has nothing to do with cruise fare.

 

If your vacation budget is $2K, then you choose a vacation that costs that amount.  If you don’t know how much you’re going to spend on your vacation, not sure you have any feel on how much you’ll spend on any sort of vacation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, spanishguy1970 said:

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.

What increases?  The Discretionary Service Charge has always been adjustable.  Adjust it to your liking and be happy.  It really is that simple.  NCL can raise it to $500/day and it would not bother me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SeaShark said:

 

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.

Glad someone is thinking clearly😁  This is exactly why I cringe every time I read a post that mentions adding the DSC into the cruise fare.   

We always buy insurance and also pay DSC in advance but if we had to cancel and the reason was not covered by insurance at least we would get the DSC back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, coscab said:

Glad someone is thinking clearly😁  This is exactly why I cringe every time I read a post that mentions adding the DSC into the cruise fare.   

We always buy insurance and also pay DSC in advance but if we had to cancel and the reason was not covered by insurance at least we would get the DSC back.

 

And what you point out is yet another reason NOT to include the DSC.

 

If the DSC was rolled into the cruise fare, then the insurance would go up as your insurance rate is based on the cost...increased cost = increased insurance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, mark290 said:

Thank you for explaining that. It now makes perfect sense. You are definitely more generous than me since you

would opt to tip at the fair rate of $51.43 per person, per day on an $1800 cruise instead of paying the absolute bargain price of $15 a day.

 

Right...so if you can say "absolute bargain price of $15 a day" then there is really no legitimate purpose for a thread about the cost rising from $14.50 to $15. Absolute bargain, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The DSC is not a worry for me.  The cruise price is the concern. I too used to think cruising was the best value for vacation.  I don't think that anymore and have not cruised in 4 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours 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 

I did not know that. I usually book through an online travel site and adding prepay gratuities isn't an option at the time of booking but once I go to the cruise line site with my booking number, I'm able to pay it there. My intention is to always prepay but it's always been one of those things I can pay later on, closer to the final payment date. I knew in theory that it would be best to lock in a lower rate by pre paying it. I just assumed a price increase like that would be something they tell you about in advance, like when your cc company increases fees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, reeinaz said:

I knew in theory that it would be best to lock in a lower rate by pre paying it. I just assumed a price increase like that would be something they tell you about in advance, like when your cc company increases fees.

 

NCL does let people know when an increase is coming and gives people the option to pay the lower rate if paid before. If the sail date is after the increase and isn't paid before the sail date, the guest is charged the higher rate even if booked before the announced increase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, reeinaz said:

I did not know that. I usually book through an online travel site and adding prepay gratuities isn't an option at the time of booking but once I go to the cruise line site with my booking number, I'm able to pay it there. My intention is to always prepay but it's always been one of those things I can pay later on, closer to the final payment date. I knew in theory that it would be best to lock in a lower rate by pre paying it. I just assumed a price increase like that would be something they tell you about in advance, like when your cc company increases fees.

Whenever NCL increase the DSC it doesn't matter if you haven't prepaid it before the increase is announced.

 

As long as you booked before the increase was announced (actually a stated date soon after it is announced), and have prepaid it before you sail then it will be at the old rate. The only way you pay the new rate is if you pay it onboard (and don't adjust it when onboard).

Edited by KeithJenner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the DSC was rolled into the fare, you would have to pay taxes on that, wouldn't you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours 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.

 

It's really easy for a Canadian family of 5 to be pushing $10,000 without having the Haven experience.

 

We have to factor in 30% more due to the unfavourable exchange rate that we've been experiencing the past few years. 

 

We are a family of 6 so we always need two cabins and have chosen to cruise out of NYC for the next few cruises just to save on airfare which is ridiculously expensive. We only have two national carriers so there isn't the same kind of competition as Americans can benefit from.

 

For example, we cruised with two of our kids last December and switched to a 12 nighter out of NYC so we could drive since the airfare from Toronto to Miami was almost as much as the cruise fare for a 7 nighter (airfare was $3000 for four, cruise fare was approx. $3200 Cdn) The 12 nighter even with gas, meals and one night hotel was less expensive than the cost of 7 nights with air.

 

When looking at the cost of a cruise, I always have my TA include daily service charges as well as perk gratuities on the quote so I know the actual cruise cost (and I do use a US agent so it is in USD and I then convert). I then build my budget with related expenses for the vacation such as air, hotel, meals, onboard expenses, shore ex, etc.) Only when I have an accurate picture of the costs associated with the vacation can I evaluate it.

 

An increase of $0.50 per person per day is relatively negligible over the course of a week's cruise for my family ($21) so I have no issue with it even though it's gone up over the years fairly regularly. As a stay-at-home parent, I really appreciate the cruise experience where everything is done for me. It's truly a vacation for me and I am so grateful to be able to have a break from the things that I do daily at home that for me it is money well spent.

 

When will it be too much? I don't know. For us, if we can no longer afford the overall price of the cruise then something is too high, whether it be the base fare or service charge or perks gratuity or related costs (airfare & related fees, hotel, wifi, shoreex, etc.)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There really is no limit for me. I remember going to a restaurant and the average tip was 10%. Now it's 20%. I still go. The DSC is still only a small percentage of the cruise price in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Chigirlcruzin said:

But you can’t see a show the quality of Hamilton on any ship haha. 

 

I’m going to see Hamilton for the third time on Tuesday!

 

As for the DSC, I just factor that into the cost of the cruise. It is still hard to beat the value of a cruise. 

Loved HAMILTON!  Not sure when, or if, if I’ll ever hit an NCL ship.  But, Choir of Man, Rock of Ages, Million Dollar Quartet, Cirque, etc are so good they’re hard to beat!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t know my dsc cap either.  I just keep the total within the budget and away we go. If the cruise costs more, I don’t buy as many extras on the ship - Drinks, casino, thermal spa, diy ports.  I only have so many dollars.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, spanishguy1970 said:

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.

 

 

I donty worry about hypotheticals.  It is a silly waste of my time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I don't have a limit but would throw all of these stupid additional service charges to be trash bin and just include those in the cruise price. 

 

I also prepaid the service charge for my coming cruise on Escape - it was 10,11EUR per day which is round 11USD. So much cheaper than paying 14,50 or 15USD onboard. 

Edited by JezzaC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, spanishguy1970 said:

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.

Is high, but no one knows how high will be enough? Look at it this way, if the lines and this goes for all of them do not raise the gratuity price they will just add it on to the base price of the cruise. Like most things, we all adjust one way or the other. Anyone who cancels a cruise based on a .50 a day higher DSC than other lines would find a reason for cancelling anyway and anyone who booked and then canceled 4 cruisers in a row on the same line would probably not be someone I would want to be sitting next to anywhere on the ship. OP< I am not talking about you of course, but the person who posted just a few postings above this one. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People spend so much energy critiquing every aspect.  Just look at the total cost.  Is $3k a reasonable price for your family to take a week long vacation?  If so go.  If not look for something else.  Worrying about how it breaks down into gratuities, price of drinks, taxes, ect is all a futile effort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a cap on the DSC. I look at the total cruise cost for me and whether or not I feel ok paying that for that specific cruise. If it's not the DSC, or gratuities, it would be the port fees/taxes/etc. Now that's a line item that sometimes gives me pause. I also keep my eye on that potential fuel supplement charge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do as others have mentioned in that I add up the total cost of the cruise

airfare, etc.  Then I decide.

That said I think that since it is only two of us sailing DSC up to around $25 pp per day would

be my limit. If I had a family of 6( like someone mentioned) I think the current DSC would be

my limit. I also think that if I thought I was getting a super bargain priced last minute cruise

and the DSC significantly increased the cost percentage-wise it might deter me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just priced out 2 inside connecting cabins on the Bliss with one free perk sailing the Pacific Coast.  All in for $5,500.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a cap for DSC but sadly I think the prices keep creeping up while the level of product is going down.  I was a big fan of NCL but sadly I understand people selling their Cruise Next certs.  This last cruise was the first one that we did not buy one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...