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Service Charge Vs. tipping freely on NCL

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10 hours ago, crazycath said:

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

TIA

Tip based on how much you use them. They do a certain amount of work

automatically (stocking coffee, bringing snacks.) For a one week cruise I

have tipped as much as $200 for a really excellent one that arranged a

cocktail party for my friends in my cabin and have tipped as low as $40

for one that barely did his basic duties and was imppossible to get ahold of.

Most other times it was somewhere in between.

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1 hour ago, Oakman58 said:

Since the OP is in the Haven the following is from the NCL FAQ site. 

 

Since the OP posted this 18 months ago, they probably have already taken their cruise...

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On my latest booking DSC included Concierge.

We have option to pay in advance, we did, it must be a U.K. market price 

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Best to remove the service charge and put money right into the hands of people who serve you well. I do it every time without question at customer service, and the staff who receive the money I give them

throughout the cruise are grateful and I’m happy to be able to help. 

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On 12/10/2019 at 4:07 AM, don't-use-real-name said:

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. 

Just want to make a point here. The vessel is registered in the Bahamas but NCL is a Miami FL based business. The employees are paid according to US wage standards and are subject to US Tax Law. 

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7 hours ago, marktwothousand said:

Best to remove the service charge and put money right into the hands of people who serve you well. I do it every time without question at customer service, and the staff who receive the money I give them

throughout the cruise are grateful and I’m happy to be able to help. 

totally disagree with you. There are too many people behind the scenes that benefit from our DSC that you would never seek out and tip. We keep the DSC in place and then we tip above to those who really do go above and beyond for us. 

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7 hours ago, marktwothousand said:

Best to remove the service charge and put money right into the hands of people who serve you well. I do it every time without question at customer service, and the staff who receive the money I give them

throughout the cruise are grateful and I’m happy to be able to help. 

 

How do you tip the behind the scenes staff? Do they let you come to where they work or do they come to your cabin and get their tip?

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On 12/9/2019 at 6:56 PM, crazycath said:

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

TIA

On CC if you ask 100 people, you will get 100 different answers.  I have read on these boards that a good place to start for tipping butlers is 10$ pppd. 

So on a 7 day cruise it would be around 140.00 for 2 people. 

 

We had 4 kids with us the last time we stayed in the Haven and tipped 250 for a 7 day cruise.  According to the above it should have been ~420 but that seems excessive to me.  If we had stayed in a Garden Villa or DOS I probably would have tipped more.

 

I've read everything from people tipping nothing because they never used their butler, to tipping a flat 100 and then some tipping well into the thousands.  Some say 10% of your fare should be split among the butler and concierge to others saying 20%.   Some say the DSC should be factored into the total percentage of tips you pay and others say remove the DSC all together.

 

Tipping culture is US based and came from a law that allowed businesses to pay half of minimum wage to service oriented people that were in a tipped position.  Back when minimum wage was 5$ an hour I made 2.50 an hour plus tips as a bartender.  Most times that paycheck was just enough to cover insurance and taxes and was less than 50$ for a week.

 

From a business standpoint it makes financial sense to offset your labor costs with client tips.  It's easy to say here on CC that you would pay 250$ more for a ticket and not have to tip but when you are looking at ticket prices and the company that has the tips included is a higher pricetag most people would pass right over that unless they read the details or knew up front about 100% of the ticket costs.  No one is bragging about a higher ticket cost with tips included.  Psychologically it's just not what most people pay attention to.  And when your competing with this bottom line pricing with other lines it makes a tough sell on the front end.  And I say all this but then you have a product like Disney which is 3x more expensive, doesnt include tips and they still sell out.

 

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48 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

How do you tip the behind the scenes staff? Do they let you come to where they work or do they come to your cabin and get their tip?

not to be snarky but in the old cash envelope days how do you know the tips were split with behind the scenes staff? and/or split honestly? was the dining room maitre'd gonna share with the laundry staff? 

Edited by bones774

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1 hour ago, newmexicoNita said:

totally disagree with you. There are too many people behind the scenes that benefit from our DSC that you would never seek out and tip. We keep the DSC in place and then we tip above to those who really do go above and beyond for us. 

You mean like the stockholders?  

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57 minutes ago, bones774 said:

not to be snarky but in the old cash envelope days how do you know the tips were split with behind the scenes staff? and/or split honestly? was the dining room maitre'd gonna share with the laundry staff? 

 

I don't know how they did it then.

 

Maybe one of the reasons why they now have the DSC is that it was difficult to handle the tip to behind the scenes staff or maybe their salaries wasn't based on them getting a tip.

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1 hour ago, bones774 said:

not to be snarky but in the old cash envelope days how do you know the tips were split with behind the scenes staff? and/or split honestly? was the dining room maitre'd gonna share with the laundry staff? 

 

I only asked how he tip the behind the scene staff.

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6 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I don't know how they did it then.

 

Maybe one of the reasons why they now have the DSC is that it was difficult to handle the tip to behind the scenes staff or maybe their salaries wasn't based on them getting a tip.

 

Also it was much easier to stiff the crew by not putting anything in the envelopes.

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2 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I only asked how he tip the behind the scene staff.

I don't know how it was handled then either. it was a serious question to anyone

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4 hours ago, bones774 said:

I don't know how it was handled then either. it was a serious question to anyone

Maybe the cruise lines paid them properly out of revenue rather than passing their obligations on to pax.  

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12 hours ago, softl said:

Just want to make a point here. The vessel is registered in the Bahamas but NCL is a Miami FL based business. The employees are paid according to US wage standards and are subject to US Tax Law. 

The cruise line employees are absolutely NOT paid according to US wage and labor standards.  I may be incorrect, but I believe they are paid under the laws of the ships flagged country.  I know for a fact, they are not paid according to US laws.

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2 minutes ago, buckeyefrank said:

The cruise line employees are absolutely NOT paid according to US wage and labor standards.  I may be incorrect, but I believe they are paid under the laws of the ships flagged country.  I know for a fact, they are not paid according to US laws.

 

Correct.  The only NCL ship subject to U.S. laws is the Pride of America which is a U. S. flagged ship. 

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1 minute ago, Oakman58 said:

 

Correct.  The only NCL ship subject to U.S. laws is the Pride of America which is a U. S. flagged ship. 

Which is one of the largest reasons that ship is generally much more expensive than the rest of the fleet.

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2 hours ago, buckeyefrank said:

Oh please.... Can we stop with this nonsense.

You can stop whenever you want. 

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3 hours ago, buckeyefrank said:

Oh please.... Can we stop with this nonsense.

 

36 minutes ago, Sam Ting said:

You can stop whenever you want. 

 

The beatings around the bush will continue until morale improves !

 

Really no one for sure knows if the DSC is equally applied to the non-customer contact crew and what if that amount is.

And no one knows if that DSC is used by NCL to pay less than fair wages to the crew and what those wages are.

(I believe the crew is not supposed to entertain talk about their pay and the details - maybe part of their perhaps

confidential contract mumbo-jumbo fine print of future continued employment).

Cabin stewards Butlers and Concierge if doing a good job must make good money in tips - as for other crew members

bartenders host/ess waiters tips are there but in uncertain amounts - the rest of the non-customer contact crew for

sure there are no obvious tips.

Whether NCL is paying out the DSC to any or all of the crew remains to be an open on going discussion -

So much for the "WE ARE FAMILY" tip sharing !

It is a questionable issue that NCL has chosen to bring on itself by this practice.

 

Ideas of increasing the cruise fare the amount of the DSC have been mentioned from time to time to avoid this

uncomfortable charge but little or no action is taken to come to a solution.

 

So we are left with "TO TIP OR NOT TO TIP - TO PAY THE DSC OR NOT" tis more noble to aw bah-hum-bug

- the discussion continues - one acceptable uniform global industry wide application is not coming soon ! 

 

The beatings around the bush will continue until morale improves !

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12 hours ago, buckeyefrank said:

The cruise line employees are absolutely NOT paid according to US wage and labor standards.  I may be incorrect, but I believe they are paid under the laws of the ships flagged country.  I know for a fact, they are not paid according to US laws.

The wage information I posted was shared with me by an Asian bartender on the Bliss over the Thanksgiving week cruise.

 

 

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On 12/11/2019 at 12:42 PM, Trimone said:

On my latest booking DSC included Concierge.

We have option to pay in advance, we did, it must be a U.K. market price 

Are you Haven or Joy concierge cabin?  The reason I ask is that when I asked NCL the question about why the Haven DSC is higher-also asked TA same question - both said because it includes tips for butler and concierge, so I don’t need to tip additionally.  We all know that is misinformation, so that’s why I’m wondering about your concierge tip.  But, being from the UK it may be different.

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5 hours ago, softl said:

The wage information I posted was shared with me by an Asian bartender on the Bliss over the Thanksgiving week cruise.

 

 

A portion of their wages MAY be subject to US tax reporting.  It would only be the portion of wages that are earned while in US waters though.  The wage and labor laws are definitely NOT based on US laws.  US law dictates things like the 40 hour work week, overtime, FLMA, employment status, issuance of year-end W2 forms, etc.  Employees or NCL are not subject to those laws.  However, generally speaking income earned while in the US (I believe including US waters) would be subject to US taxation.  Different subject.

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13 hours ago, don't-use-real-name said:

 

 

The beatings around the bush will continue until morale improves !

 

Really no one for sure knows if the DSC is equally applied to the non-customer contact crew and what if that amount is.

And no one knows if that DSC is used by NCL to pay less than fair wages to the crew and what those wages are.

(I believe the crew is not supposed to entertain talk about their pay and the details - maybe part of their perhaps

confidential contract mumbo-jumbo fine print of future continued employment).

Cabin stewards Butlers and Concierge if doing a good job must make good money in tips - as for other crew members

bartenders host/ess waiters tips are there but in uncertain amounts - the rest of the non-customer contact crew for

sure there are no obvious tips.

Whether NCL is paying out the DSC to any or all of the crew remains to be an open on going discussion -

So much for the "WE ARE FAMILY" tip sharing !

It is a questionable issue that NCL has chosen to bring on itself by this practice.

 

Ideas of increasing the cruise fare the amount of the DSC have been mentioned from time to time to avoid this

uncomfortable charge but little or no action is taken to come to a solution.

 

So we are left with "TO TIP OR NOT TO TIP - TO PAY THE DSC OR NOT" tis more noble to aw bah-hum-bug

- the discussion continues - one acceptable uniform global industry wide application is not coming soon ! 

 

The beatings around the bush will continue until morale improves !

Everyone is shrieking for NCL to put DSC into the cruise fare and they think that'll solve the tip issue.  It'll actually make it worse.  If it's included in the price, passengers will have less visibility into what the employees are paid.  More and more people will be accusing NCL (and other lines) that they are profiting from the included tips.

 

I can tell you there is almost zero chance that the money is going to the bottom line.  I am an accountant and have been involved in audits of a multi-national company.  Management makes their assertions and accounting procedures that are publicly available in the financial statement report.  The auditors test those assertions to make sure that the accounting process is handling transactions according to the assertions.  So when NCL says the DSC goes to employee compensation and programs, the auditors testing to make sure that the money collected IS going go employee compensation and programs.  The auditors would generally not be able to provide a clean (unqualified) opinion if they were profiting from the DSC against their assertions.  NCL is so large that for DSC to make an impact on the financial statements it would certainly be noticable in testing by the auditors.  This doesn't even begin to touch the SAS-70 reporting they need to do on their internal controls.

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