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azalea4va

Tipping based on TOTAL service

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For someone who claims to be a consumer advocate you seem to be remarkably ignorant of the way large corporations work, how to properly lodge a complaint, and how to increase public awareness to the ethical and/or legal shortcomings of these corporations. At any time have you actually sent a letter or email to NCL? Have you, at any time, sent a complaint the BBB or any consumer protection agency?  Since you seem certain that they are committing fraud, have you contacted the Attorney General's Office? Any or all of these would seem to me to be a logical first step. You could even be one of "those" who rant on Facebook. But you immediately jumped on stiffing the on board crew....

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azalea4va, you have told us that you consider cruise lines in general - and NCL in particular - as engaging in deceptive business practices.  Yet when asked why you would book with them again after a initial dissatisfactory experience you claim that there was "no alternative".   Unless you cannot or will not fly and use QM2 as a transatlantic ferry, cruise ships are not A to B transportation.  We do have alternatives be it another cruise line or skipping a cruise and opting for a land vacation instead. 

 

You are already angry before even stepping on the ship.  As others have suggested it may be best for you to cancel the cruise.   Post you sentiments on their social media pages and let them know why you've decided to cancel.   Spending our money elsewhere is the loudest message we can send to a business. . 

Edited by BlueRiband

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11 hours ago, azalea4va said:

I am about to take my second cruise on NCL. For many things, I find that NCl engages in unfair business practices, in some cases what I consider fraud.  Even if the unjust act itself is not 'service", the interaction with customer service certainly is.  The stuff that happens before the cruise is just as important to my overall satisfaction with my sailing experience as that which happens on the cruise.  If a service charge is to reward good service, shouldn't it apply to the overall experience?

Even if you have thus far had all totally pleasant experiences, if someone does have poor service either pre-cruise or during cruise, how do you react to customers reducing the "official" service charge paid from your account.  (This could be in conjunction with giving cash tips with particular crew members you want to reward.)

I am less concerned with the money than with sending a message to management.  If one reduces the service charge amount, one has to do so through customer service and tell them why.  That sends a messsage and if many people did it, it would send a loud message.  Let me give one example.  One of the supposed perks offered by NCL on some voyages is a $200 airfare credit, provided you book through NCL. You do not find out until you have bought your cruise what this supposed benefit provides.  In my case, I could buy the ticket on my own from almost any source for about $300 or I could buy it from NCL for $600 minus the $200 credit for a net of $400.  Maybe if NCL got thousands of reports from customer service about customers taking $100 off their service charge as a result of such deceptive practices,  maybe they might consider a more honest approach advisable?
 

I have not done this, but am wondering what other cruisers think.

It sends no message except to crap on the crew whose income is derived from grats.  Your airfare HAS NOTHING to do with the wait staff who memorize your face, your dining preferences and spends 14 hours a week catering to your needs.  

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10 hours ago, azalea4va said:

Let me re-word the narrative, as in my limited cruise experience I have met many hard working staff that I do not want to hurt.  But I am a consumer advocate and there are many businesses out there that have practices that are very consumer unfriendly.  In general, the cruise industry falls into this category. Almost any cruise line will promote that "customer satisfaction" is our utmost priority, yet certain bean-counters in the company will resort to any trick in the books to maximize profits.  Sometimes the bean counters win.

 

I understand that you were looking for suggestions and may not have been familiar with how the DSC impacts the staff; there are plenty of threads discussing how it is calculated, how cash tips may or may not be better, etc.  Its an active discussion.  I personally don't decrease it, but I think even those folks who consider it would agree it should only be done for on-board issues.

 

As far as unfriendly marketing?  It is growing.  When making an expensive purchase it pays to thoroughly research.  I have joked  NCL's corporate logo should be an asterisk, because you need to be on alert for them when reading their promotions.  But the information is out there and not too hard to find.  And for some people, the promotions work out very well, asterisk and all!  You just need to carefully look at what is best for you.

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I’m not getting your logic. From the standpoint of sending a message to NCL; they will certainly miss more the thousands you spend on the cruise fare and on board spend over the couple hundred dollars for the service charge. There is always another way to take the trip you want to take if you are that against a business. I’m guessing this was just the cheapest/easiest.  I have a couple businesses that I felt committed fraud against me. I most certainly don’t use them and don’t even include them in my searches when I go to book something in their industry.

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6 hours ago, AL3XCruise said:

 

I understand that you were looking for suggestions and may not have been familiar with how the DSC impacts the staff; there are plenty of threads discussing how it is calculated, how cash tips may or may not be better, etc.  Its an active discussion.  I personally don't decrease it, but I think even those folks who consider it would agree it should only be done for on-board issues.

 

As far as unfriendly marketing?  It is growing.  When making an expensive purchase it pays to thoroughly research.  I have joked  NCL's corporate logo should be an asterisk, because you need to be on alert for them when reading their promotions.  But the information is out there and not too hard to find.  And for some people, the promotions work out very well, asterisk and all!  You just need to carefully look at what is best for you.

NCL has become very adept at shining the bright light of marketing in the consumer's eyes since Del Rio took the reins a few years ago. Too PT Barnum-ish for me. That being said I wouldn't take it out on the crew for what corporate is doing.

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2 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

NCL has become very adept at shining the bright light of marketing in the consumer's eyes since Del Rio took the reins a few years ago. Too PT Barnum-ish for me. That being said I wouldn't take it out on the crew for what corporate is doing.

 NCL certainly know what they are doing - they know their market and they fine tune their marketing to appeal to the many unthinking pigeons who believe the pitches:  consider how many people post on this site about the “FREE” drink packages and “FREE” dining upgrades they receive.

 

With that low level of intelligence demonstrated by a large part of their market, they show great adeptness at marketing .

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Something else I haven't seen mentioned in any response (I may have missed it) but you say you would tip in cash those that took care of you so they are not hurt. Do you not realize some of the tips paid thru the cruise lines also go to folks behind the scenes that you will almost never encounter but still provide you with great service? How do you propose to keep their tips intact if you remove all of the paid thru the line system?

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9 minutes ago, Pyrate13 said:

Something else I haven't seen mentioned in any response (I may have missed it) but you say you would tip in cash those that took care of you so they are not hurt. Do you not realize some of the tips paid thru the cruise lines also go to folks behind the scenes that you will almost never encounter but still provide you with great service? How do you propose to keep their tips intact if you remove all of the paid thru the line system?

 

Good point. To add to this, most cruise lines will require any cash tips to be surrendered to accounting at all times. By removing the tips in order to give tips only to those one chooses, the tip won't go to that person at all. It will go into the tip pool to be distributed appropriately. 

 

If auto tips are kept in place, all affected crew members will be taken care of, and any cash tips given to reward a crew member's extra service level will then be deposited into that crew member's account during the accounting process. 

 

By tipping only in cash you put the burden on that crew member. They can be fired for not turning in cash tips they receive. And since all accounting is done at the end of the cruise, even if a passenger removes the tips on the last day, any cash tips will be affected accordingly. 

 

 

Edited by SantaFeFan

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3 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

 NCL certainly know what they are doing - they know their market and they fine tune their marketing to appeal to the many unthinking pigeons who believe the pitches:  consider how many people post on this site about the “FREE” drink packages and “FREE” dining upgrades they receive.

 

With that low level of intelligence demonstrated by a large part of their market, they show great adeptness at marketing .

Too few recognize that 'included' isn't the same as 'free'.  I had a poster here who was very insistent that her drinks were 'free' because the cruise line was paying for them.

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On 4/2/2019 at 9:19 AM, azalea4va said:

No my question is not about NCL, it is about the general principle of if one receives bad service pre-departure that impacts ones overall satisfaction with the cruise experieince, is it ok to consider the service charge as a reflection of the overall service.

 

(FWIW: Duh, yes I booked on my own.  Again, you missed the point. To promote that buying the cruise would result in a lower airfare then only AFTER buying the cruise, reveal that the savings was as phony as a $3-dollar bill, that I do consider a customer unfriendly practice that downgrades MY customer satisfaction. You might be OK with that kind of business practice, but I am not alone in finding it distasteful.)

I'm wondering why you would remove/reduce the DSC if you receive unsatisfactory service pre-departurne, since that would have nothing to do with your services on the ship?  If you have unsatisfactory service on the ship and you have notified Guest Services and they have not fixed the issue, you should remove/reduce the DSC.

 

By removing/reducing the DSC, you are not sending a message to management, you would be sending a message to the onboard crew.

 

Just wondering, if you don't like a company's business practices and find them so distasteful, why would you do business with them?

Edited by NLH Arizona

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20 hours ago, azalea4va said:

Please stop with the character attacks that I was trying to stiff the staff.  I may have been unclear, but that was not at all about what I was proposing.


Please stop the character attacks that NCL was deceptive and fraudulent.

 

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20 hours ago, azalea4va said:

Please stop with the character attacks that I was trying to stiff the staff.  I may have been unclear, but that was not at all about what I was proposing.

 

As I said twice before, I was trying to find a way to send a message to management WITHOUT HURTING OR SHORT CHANGING THE CREW, by tipping "off-book".   I get it, it was a bad idea.  That is why I asked the question before I did it.

For the question that has been asked a few times...

 

Why go back?  I avoided them. But for the trip that was desired, there was no practical alternative.  And I knew what to watch out for. So like taglovestocruise said, I was willing to grin-and-bear-it, but also wanted to send a message to management (again, while still giving the crew a full tip).  Given thse comments, I will just have to rely on the traditional mechanisms, no better tool found.

Not spending another dime on-board other than the daily service charge and any set service charges for the drink or dining packages that were “free perks” would be a way to send a message that you have given NCL all the money that they are getting from you.

20 hours ago, azalea4va said:

 

 

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4 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

Too few recognize that 'included' isn't the same as 'free'.  I had a poster here who was very insistent that her drinks were 'free' because the cruise line was paying for them.

 

I'm always entertained by the number of folks that think that way.  Though, I suppose, if the total value of drinks consumed exceeds the total profit the line is making from your fair and onboard spending, you might be able to claim that.  You also might need to be rolled off the ship...

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I know what people think of be because of my tipping. I am always told that everyone that waits on me should receive a tip. Well my tip is. You will get a tip if you  are worth it. Not going to the dining room for dinner or any other time I feel that the maitre d and waiters are not entitled to a tip from me. Then I am informed the waiters on the buffet are the same. I will tip in cash our room steward accordingly to the service we receive, I will tip any waiter in the buffet that goes beyond cleaning a table. I will also tip at the end of the cruise any bartender that went out  of his way to be friendly with a nice attitude. That is it. No more tips for everyone ever. Do not like wasting my money for something I did not get.

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On 4/2/2019 at 8:18 PM, fyree39 said:

I'm one of those who thinks reducing or removing tips is akin to kicking puppies. Your idea of reducing or removing tips to punish a company's policy on air fare is way off the mark. It's like you're kicking puppies AND kittens.

 

That's an extreme and ludicrous comparison. Removing tips doesn't get you arrested and cause immediate danger to life.

 

OP, you have to take up any gripes with management and not the 'workers on the bottom'. You can state your dissatisfaction through feedback surveys or in extreme cases go to the press/Jim Walker if they would listen.

 

We were very happy with NCL but had a very different free at sea package to US cruisers as our tips were included.

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