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Shorty6095

Removing Gratuity Charges?

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3 hours ago, schildiams said:

More than one employee on the POA this summer told us (without us asking) that the DSC does NOT go to them. Not sure if the POA is a different beast bc they also said that they get overtime and are paid minimum wage? Mostly an American crew. There was a lot of turnover before the cruise. One waiter said that he had been the Asst. on the last cruise and his "partner" abruptly quit and he was made waiter with no assistant for our cruise. A bartender said that his "partner" had also abruptly quit the week prior. Some seemed happy, some seemed overwhelmed with work. Definitely a different crew vibe than a typical ship.

POA is American registered and therefore is a unicorn in the cruise industry as they have to comply with US Work rules, rest of the fleet is Bahamian, and therefore things like overtime etc don’t exist. 

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3 hours ago, schildiams said:

More than one employee on the POA this summer told us (without us asking) that the DSC does NOT go to them. 

Hopefully you gave them a huge cash tip.

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On 10/8/2019 at 3:02 PM, Sam Ting said:

We have made many purchases on Amazon and not once did they ask us to pay an optional charge to pay their employees.

Unlike the cruise line business model, Amazon's upcharges on the products versus what they pay for them, are used in paying their employees.  If cruise lines were to include the DSC/automatic gratuities into their cruise fare, then there would be a true comparison of business models.

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When Amazon now (or whatever their instant delivery service is called) started, I got a coupon for enough of a discount to cover the delivery fee which I think was about $5 so I ordered some cold medicine (I was at Disney with a terrible cold).  So I got charged for the medicine, the (waived) delivery fee and the bill was about $9, and the “recommended” tip was $7.95!!!  So they also have (or had) their DSC equivalent (aka guilt the customer into paying the employee directly so they can save themselves the payroll cost).

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On 2/26/2019 at 3:26 PM, Shorty6095 said:

Hello all, first time cruiser here!  We'll be on the Pearl from Mar 6-10.  I have been scouring these message boards and finding lots of information!  One thing I've seen mentioned multiple times is that we have the option to remove the gratuity charges from our credit card that we made the reservation with.  We would prefer to tip with cash.  Even if we aren't able to remove the gratuities from the credit card, we'll still tip with cash while on the ship because that is just how we are.  We are very appreciative of those in the service industry and we'd rather put cash in their hand instead of NCL deciding how to divide up gratuity. 

Anyways... is having the gratuity charges removed as simple as calling NCL?

You should leave the tips on and tip anyone that gives you great service over and above.  When you remove gratuities you are taking them away from people who are supporting your steward and waitress or waiter.  

 

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If you remove the DSC and ONLY tip those that you actually and physically see in the course of a cruise what about all the other people behind the scenes who make your cruise so enjoyable; the kitchen staff (without them the wait staff would have nothing to do) and the laundry staff (without them you would be on the same dirty sheets for a week)????!!!

 

Do you tip your children's teachers?  Do you tip the nurses at the Doctor's practice?  If not why tip on the boat?  Those people do much more for you than anyone on the boat!!!

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Casofilia, you seem to be taking the “party line’ in your first paragraph and the “since when is the customer supposed to tip the majority of employees, other than waitstaff and maid service, in the second paragraph?

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@erdoran

 

Being a POM who has lived in NZ for 50 years I abhor tipping in any form.  I believe that it is an abomination and that a "labourer is worth his hire" and so should be paid a wage commensurate with his employment.

 

However "When in Rome ....." I reluctantly tip.   In the case of the cruise line I am in agreement with the policy that the DSC should be shared between ALL those who work for the best interest of ALL passengers, wherever they work on board.  Especially those that the American system of tipping fails to provide a decent, living wage without the need for tips.

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2 hours ago, casofilia said:

If you remove the DSC and ONLY tip those that you actually and physically see in the course of a cruise what about all the other people behind the scenes who make your cruise so enjoyable; the kitchen staff (without them the wait staff would have nothing to do) and the laundry staff (without them you would be on the same dirty sheets for a week)????!!!

 

Do you tip your children's teachers?  Do you tip the nurses at the Doctor's practice?  If not why tip on the boat?  Those people do much more for you than anyone on the boat!!!

This is why we remove the daily sucker charge. 

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We look at the DSC not as a gratuity but a service charge, hence the name Daily Service Charge, and is part of the cruise price that is just billed in a different way from rest of the cruise. As such, we consider it part of their salary. As far as tips are concerned, we tip in cash on the ship. We never remove the DSC and feel it should not be removable. If you get sub par service, just don’t tip that person and file a complaint with their supervisor. 

 

Mary Ann

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5 minutes ago, UFMOM said:

We look at the DSC not as a gratuity but a service charge, hence the name Daily Service Charge, and is part of the cruise price that is just billed in a different way from rest of the cruise. As such, we consider it part of their salary. As far as tips are concerned, we tip in cash on the ship. We never remove the DSC and feel it should not be removable. If you get sub par service, just don’t tip that person and file a complaint with their supervisor. 

 

Mary Ann

We would never file a complaint against anyone working on the ship. I wouldn’t want to affect their livelihood just because they are exhausted or having a bad day. 

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@Sam Ting

 

Not even if they were having a BAD week!!   We have had that and certainly wanted them out of the way of the public.   Their future employment NEEDED to be elsewhere.

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2 hours ago, casofilia said:

@Sam Ting

 

Not even if they were having a BAD week!!   We have had that and certainly wanted them out of the way of the public.   Their future employment NEEDED to be elsewhere.

No. Not at all. We are not snitches. 

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2 hours ago, Sam Ting said:

We would never file a complaint against anyone working on the ship. I wouldn’t want to affect their livelihood just because they are exhausted or having a bad day. 

Since you don't pay the tip, I certainly understand that you wouldn't have an issue with subpar service.

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35 minutes ago, NLH Arizona said:

Since you don't pay the tip, I certainly understand that you wouldn't have an issue with subpar service.

Oh we tip directly, and get great service.  We just don’t pay the daily sucker charge to the cruise line.

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1 hour ago, Sam Ting said:

Oh we tip directly, and get great service.  We just don’t pay the daily sucker charge to the cruise line.

Can you get the dsc removed in the beginning of the cruise or only at the end?

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1 hour ago, Sam Ting said:

Oh we tip directly, and get great service.  We just don’t pay the daily sucker charge to the cruise line.

So you tip directly to the people that YOU think should get it. How about the buffet people who clean the tables and reset them, or the people who clear you table at in the MDR or the myriad of other who directly influence you cruise experience.  I guess since they didn't come directly into your view they don't deserve anything. By the  way when you tip in a land based restaurant the tip is generally shared among the staff and yes unfortunately some restaurants actually keep part of the tip.

Eventually if enough people remove the DSC it won't be able to be removed and it will be added to the price of the cruise and called free gratuities or just won't be refundable. Right now they make it very easy to remove them, would you still be willing to go and have them removed if they asked you the reason and had to support it showing you tried to have it fixed while on the cruise? 

 

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I bet if every passenger removed the "sucker charge" 🙄 it would take about a millisecond for the DSC to become a MSC. I am surprised it is not a MSC already because  currently it just gives an unfair bonus to those who believe in the "sucker charge".

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6 hours ago, Sam Ting said:

We would never file a complaint against anyone working on the ship. I wouldn’t want to affect their livelihood just because they are exhausted or having a bad day. 

 

Although we tip extra on top of the DSC, not everyone does this. So after discussing the bad service with the service provider we would just withhold that extra tip if the bad service continues. But if this happens to someone who does not tip extra then they would need a different recourse. I don’t believe in removing the DSC because that would penalize all the other workers in the pool that did nothing wrong. Any complaint would have to be considered very carefully and done only after giving the employee a good chance to rectify the situation for just the reasons you stated. Also your expectations of service should be at a reasonable level. Some people are just never satisfied. 

 

Mary Ann

Edited by UFMOM

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To me a TIP is something given AFTER I have received a service; if I were to give it BEFORE I had received the service, and I never would, it is a BRIBE.

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I am really confused by this.  i always payed my prepaid gratuities and made a point to tip extra to those that go above and beyond. What got me questioning the whole gratuity program is when on several cruises I would tip my cabin Stewart extra, explaining this is over and above the pre-charged gratuity and he would say, “I don’t get any extra tips, what are you talking about?”  What?!  Are their paycheques confusing or do they actually not receive this? Wish NCL would confirm.  I would love to know every deserving crew member gets what they are entitled to.

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@Northern Prairie Cruiser

 

 Wish NCL would confirm.

 

They will hide behind : "This is commercially sensitive"!!   And not even answer any questions!!

 

Build it into the cost of the cruise and pay the staff a decent wage!!

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10 hours ago, casofilia said:

@Northern Prairie Cruiser

 

 Wish NCL would confirm.

 

They will hide behind : "This is commercially sensitive"!!   And not even answer any questions!!

 

Build it into the cost of the cruise and pay the staff a decent wage!!

They have already given you the answer in the FAQ’s about tipping. Will they tell you the breakdown? No, but I doubt that any company would and if the did why would you believe them more than NCL? 

As far as building it in to the price, unless the other lines do the same it will put NCL at a severe disadvantage in pricing.  

As far as the “decent” wage goes, do you know what they make and what are you comparing their wages to? My understanding is that there is maritime law that governs their salary and not just what the line wants to pay. If the crew members were not happy with their contract they just wouldn’t renew and if it was as bad as people here say NCL would be replacing entire crew staff every 6 to 9 months and that just doesn’t happen because if it did they would be making salary corrections very quickly..

i am not a NCL cheerleader but I do try to use common sense and take the emotion out of it this argument. This whole discussion stems around one thing that some people here don’t believe what NCL does with the DSC without any proof. Does any really believe in this ear of social media there wouldn’t be a thousand posts about this?

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11 hours ago, blcruising said:

In the event you want to adjust, just go to guest services on either of the last two days of your cruise and complete a "Service Charge Adjustment Request". It is a one page form where you can do 4 things:

 

1. increase the service charge due to exceptional service

2. Decrease the service charge due to poor stateroom service.

3. Decrease the service charge due to poor dining room service.

4. Decrease the service charge for a different reason.

 

There is a space after each option to provide names and or reasons.

 

If you want to tip directly, just state that in option 4.

 

You'll sign the form as will the guest service rep and the adjustment is reflected on your final folio statement.

 

@blcruisingThank you! I am amazed to get a straight answer. Do you know if this is still the current procedure. Some time ago, I read that there was a form but it had to be emailed to customer service once the cruise was over. Now, is it all done onboard before leaving? Again, not endorsing this. Just asking for the information. Thanks again!

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