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kris10wine

Service Charge Vs. tipping freely on NCL

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Hi All,

 

We are first timers doing the NCL Baltic cruise booked in the Haven and I am confused about the service charge they want you to prepay. When I spoke to my cruise consultant he said he tips beyond the service charge when in the Haven section on NCL. So, my question is, do we just bypass the service charge fee and tip according to service? I am from the service industry so TIPS to me means “to insure proper service” so I have no problem tipping well, I just want to clarify.

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You can tip who you want but the DSC will still be on your account

 

I would look on the NCL forum for more details

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May I be so bold as to ask what the DSC means? I will, in turn, look for the NCL forum you mentioned. Feel free to ask me any wine question as that is my regular banter.

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The DSC (daily service charge) ARE the tips....you need not tip additionally, unless you really, really want to. They cover your cabin attendant, waiters, ass't waiters and head waiters.

 

Bartenders get tipped via whatever you buy, whether it's a la carte drinks or a drink package. Again, no additional tipping is required.

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My 1st time in the Haven I read up on tipping there. You will a bulter and concerige. If you use their services you should tip them.

 

Sent from my SM-G920V using Forums mobile app

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A cruise consultant would tell you to tip extra because it is better for him...I would take his advice with a pinch of salt.

 

However, I can remember reading on our NCL cruise last year that the Butler/Concierge are not included in the general Service charge so if you use those guys tip accordingly.

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the daily fee( however it is presented) covers the basic stuff that every passenger gets: daily housekeeping and all meals in included venues. however if you have an additional level of service, such as the Haven butler /concierge, those people are NOT included in that daily surcharge.

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Hi All,

 

We are first timers doing the NCL Baltic cruise booked in the Haven and I am confused about the service charge they want you to prepay. When I spoke to my cruise consultant he said he tips beyond the service charge when in the Haven section on NCL. So, my question is, do we just bypass the service charge fee and tip according to service? I am from the service industry so TIPS to me means “to insure proper service”so I have no problem tipping well, I just want to clarify.

 

I've never understood the application of this acronym to tips:confused: . On a cruise I tend to pre-pay gratuities, but virtually everywhere on land I extend a tip/gratuity after service. The verb is TIP, so does that mean To Insure Proper? Also, what are you "insuring" - insurance is a transfer of financial risk. I suspect the thought is to "ensure" proper service, but again tips are generally received after the service is provided.

 

To your direct question: we pay suggested service charges/gratuities and consider them part of the cruise fare and a convenience for us to not have to have cash and envelopes for each person that provides us service and worrying if we missed someone. If someone does something to make our cruise more enjoyable (going above standard service) we tend to provide extra for that individual in the form of cash and written recognition.

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Hasn’t NCL implemented a policy whereby service charges are automatically added to your bill - and can only be removed by submitting written claim after debarkation?

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Hi All,

 

We are first timers doing the NCL Baltic cruise booked in the Haven and I am confused about the service charge they want you to prepay. When I spoke to my cruise consultant he said he tips beyond the service charge when in the Haven section on NCL. So, my question is, do we just bypass the service charge fee and tip according to service? I am from the service industry so TIPS to me means “to insure proper service” so I have no problem tipping well, I just want to clarify.

 

If you ask the concierge or butler for something special tip then what it's worth for you.

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Hi, Kris,

 

I don't know if you're North American or European, and I don't know where you've travelled or where your experience of the service industry has been. So my apologies if you're already aware of some of this and I'm teaching grannie to suck eggs.

But here goes..........

 

"Tipping" is very different between Europe and the US.

And between the US and US cruise ships.

 

Wages for servers in the US are lower than in Europe so tips in the US are part of the server's bread-and-butter. Hence the comparatively high 15-20% tips in the US, and those tips are expected rather than earned - although better service earns better tips.

 

Cruise ships have taken that remuneration system to a new level.

Hotel-side crew receive virtually no "wages", their income is almost entirely dependent on "tips".

 

And that applies to background crew as well - chefs, kitchen porters, laundry staff etc as well as those you see face-to-face. They all get abysmal wages, they all share in the automatically-charged "tips" for their income.

So by-passing the DSC doesn't work

 

Although you'd normally expect wages to be included in the price of any purchase - a bus ride, a car repair, a cup of coffee, etc it's best to treat those "tips" as wages.

Newbie cruisers, particularly non-Americans, frequently get a wallet-shock when they learn of the expectation of a set level of "tips", and I hope you were made aware of it when you booked.

It's a system I detest, though when comparing US cruise fares against UK or Aus cruise fares I simply add that charge to the cruise ticket price - where common sense says to everyone (except most Americans) that it should be.

But it's an American ship and, even though you're sailing nowhere near the US, American culture rules,

 

NCL do at least have the decency now to call them "daily service charges" whereas most cruise lines still call them grammatically-incorrect "tips" or "gratuities".

 

You can pay the DSC (wages) in advance. If you prefer not to pay it up-front (lots don't, & that's perfectly acceptable) it will be added to your on-board account. Whether you pay up-front or leave it to be added to your on-board account, I'm fairly certain the amount is the same - though if your home currency is different to ship's currency (USD) there might be a small advantage or disadvantage depending on currency exchange rates.

 

If you leave the DSC to be added to your on-board account you can (I'm not suggesting you should) ask for it to be reduced or removed when you're on the ship. You do have that right - the charges are theoretically voluntary.

But whereas other cruise lines will remove / reduce that charge from your on-board account immediately if asked, NCL make it much more difficult - they don't remove the charge, instead they give you a form to complete and in due course they will send you a refund. That just might be illegal for bookings in the EU, but I don't think anyone has put that to the test.

This is something I've seen & heard - I've never welched on auto-tip, and I've never even sailed NCL.

 

I strongly suggest you keep life simple and pay the DSC as billed, whether you do so in advance or as a charge to your on-board account.

I don't know about tipping to butlers & concierges, we always cruise steerage-class :(

Yes, it's normal to additionally tip in cash for those who've gone-the-extra-mile. Personally I don't, because having paid the auto-tip I have this mental block on "double-tipping".

 

Tips are a contentious subject on Cruise Critic - this thread is currently very civilised.:)

Hopefully I've not changed that :D

 

JB :)

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A cruise consultant would tell you to tip extra because it is better for him...I would take his advice with a pinch of salt.

 

How is it better for the cruise consultant, they don't get any of the tip?

 

Yes, you and the cruise consultant are correct. The Butler and Concierge are not included in the DSC and that is why the cruise consultant said he tips beyond the DSC while in the Haven.

Edited by NLH Arizona

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How is it better for the cruise consultant, they don't get any of the tip?

 

Yes, you and the cruise consultant are correct. The Butler and Concierge are not included in the DSC and that is why the cruise consultant said he tips beyond the DSC while in the Haven.

 

If he works for the line that should be obvious.

 

If he doesn't then many lines and TAs and so on have 'scratch your back relationships'. I am not sure if it happens in the US but UK indy consultants who put generous cruisers on ships/get a lot of trade often get a few benefits of their own.

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If he works for the line that should be obvious.

 

If he doesn't then many lines and TAs and so on have 'scratch your back relationships'. I am not sure if it happens in the US but UK indy consultants who put generous cruisers on ships/get a lot of trade often get a few benefits of their own.

Would only be obvious if he got a part of it. In all my cruises in suites, I've never had anyone mention tipping the Butler and Concierge or tipping beyond the DSC. Do you think that maybe the cruise consultant knew the poster was a first time suite cruiser and was just trying to help, instead of it being some kind of nefarious action?

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Hi All,

 

We are first timers doing the NCL Baltic cruise booked in the Haven and I am confused about the service charge they want you to prepay. When I spoke to my cruise consultant he said he tips beyond the service charge when in the Haven section on NCL. So, my question is, do we just bypass the service charge fee and tip according to service? I am from the service industry so TIPS to me means “to insure proper service” so I have no problem tipping well, I just want to clarify.

 

Sometimes I have to let my inner pedant run free. :) Acronyms only came into use about the time of WWI, but the concept of tipping, and the idea of calling it a tip goes back a lot longer. To Insure Proper Service is a back-formation. https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2017/08/14/origin-posh-tip/

 

Anyway, as other have said, please let your DSC stand. You can tip a bit extra if you feel it’s deserved.

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Would only be obvious if he got a part of it. In all my cruises in suites, I've never had anyone mention tipping the Butler and Concierge or tipping beyond the DSC. Do you think that maybe the cruise consultant knew the poster was a first time suite cruiser and was just trying to help, instead of it being some kind of nefarious action?

 

A more helpful consultant statementy would probably be 'Some people do this, but some people do this...it is up to you' tbh.

 

Sales folk are sales folk after all.

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On ‎7‎/‎31‎/‎2018 at 4:52 PM, kris10wine said:

Hi All,

 

We are first timers doing the NCL Baltic cruise booked in the Haven and I am confused about the service charge they want you to prepay. When I spoke to my cruise consultant he said he tips beyond the service charge when in the Haven section on NCL. So, my question is, do we just bypass the service charge fee and tip according to service? I am from the service industry so TIPS to me means “to insure proper service” so I have no problem tipping well, I just want to clarify.

 

Just leave it in place and if you feel anyone deserves a little, just slip them some cash.  Like someone else said, NCL doesn't allow you to remove tips anyways until after the cruise and by written request.

 

And yeah, if tips meant what you said it meant, it would be "teps." 

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52 minutes ago, crazycath said:

How much do you tip a Butler?  This will be my first time with a butler.

TIA

 

Following this.  Would be handy to have a daily range or something as a guideline.   

 

Just in case I ever have a butler! 

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1 hour ago, crazycath said:

How much do you tip a Butler?  This will be my first time with a butler.

TIA

 

Tip whatever you want. It is impossible for anyone to know how much you will use your butler, how responsive to your requests your butler will be, how satisfied you will be with the service, etc. 

 

Some people never request anything beyond the standard butler delivered treats. Some people have a list of requests that they give to the butler. Everyone is different. 

 

You can't get it wrong. 

Edited by Two Wheels Only

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On 8/1/2018 at 5:39 AM, pacruise804 said:

I've never understood the application of this acronym to tips:confused: . On a cruise I tend to pre-pay gratuities, but virtually everywhere on land I extend a tip/gratuity after service. The verb is TIP, so does that mean To Insure Proper? Also, what are you "insuring" - insurance is a transfer of financial risk. I suspect the thought is to "ensure" proper service, but again tips are generally received after the service is provided.

I found this online (where else?)

In Joolz Guide’s Youtube video (“Funny English Idioms – and why we say them!”) He shows a Twinnings Tea museum that goes back to the 1700s, which has box that says ‘T.I.P’ with a slot for money ‘to insure promptness’.

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Just off the Bliss Haven. I tipped my butler, steward and concierge on the last day and my bartenders and wait staff for every transaction.  The day before disembarkation I went to the service desk and requested the DSC to be removed.  I signed a form, no questions asked and it was immediately removed from my invoice. The only charges on it were US port taxes for alcohol. 

 

I tip very generously, and receive excellent service because of it. Your mileage may vary. 

 

Bon voyage. 

Edited by softl

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On ‎8‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 9:16 AM, John Bull said:

where common sense says to everyone (except most Americans) that it should be.

But it's an American ship and, even though you're sailing nowhere near the US, American culture rules,

Your post was well informed - however NCL ships are not American ships they are of Bahamas registry I

believe but the American culture rules apply in most cruises except those in Asia Australia New Zealand

Such is the heavy influence of sailings from Florida/USA. If from Europe the UK and sailing from Europe the

Mediterranean Baltic etc. you don't have to change your tipping regimen.

I believe that the NCL cruise contracts in the UK are worded applied and the fine print is different than the

USA version - Member Keith Jenner may have some comments about this. 

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Since the OP is in the Haven the following is from the NCL FAQ site.  I highlighted the section about tips for the butler and concierge.  The DSC covers a lot of the behind the scenes crew such as kitchen staff, laundry staff, etc.  Removing the DSC is basically taking well deserved money from them.

 

"Unlike most other ships in the cruise industry, there is no required or recommended tipping on our ships for service that is generally rendered to all Guests. 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. Also, certain staff positions (e.g., concierge, butler, youth program staff and beverage service) provide service on an individual basis to only some guests and do not benefit from the overall service charge. We encourage those Guests to acknowledge good service from these staff members with appropriate gratuities. Additionally, there is an 20% gratuity and spa service charge added for all spa and salon services, as well as an 20% gratuity and beverage service charge added for all beverage purchases and an 20% gratuity and specialty service charge added to all specialty restaurant dining and entertainment based dining."

 

As far as I'm concerned the DSC is part of the cost of cruising.  If you don't want to pay it don't cruise.  Most major cruise lines now have a daily charge added to your bill to cover gratuities for the staff.

Edited by Oakman58

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