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Old February 15th, 2015, 06:54 PM
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Default NCL is Raising the daily Service Charge

Hello all, just wanted to let anyone know who has booked a cruise after Mar 1st. Just received an email from NCL stating Mar 1 they are jacking up the daily service charge from $12.00 to $14.00. The reason given: rates have been $12.00 since 2009. Since I am sailing May 9, I have just prepaid mine to avoid the increase. You have until Mar 1st to lock in the lower rate.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 08:40 PM
aerospace aerospace is offline
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I'm surprised they haven't started charging for bags like the airlines too.

Advertise price $499
oh and that will be $250 for taxes
oh when you get on board we want $14 more per day
you want to eat in our restaurants while on board? Room key pls....

And don't say it's a tip to staff; a tip is given based on the quality of service you get not a required fee.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 10:54 PM
Popdog Popdog is offline
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Actually the increase is more complicated than that.... Going from $12.00 to $12.95 for Inside, Oceanview, Balcony and Mini-suite; $12.00 to $14.95 for Suite and Haven. (I guess that's because people in suites are slobs and demand more service and yes that would include my wife and I).
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Old February 16th, 2015, 02:51 PM
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I have been told they charge more for suite guests because the size of the cabin is larger, and there is more to do in suites.
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Old February 27th, 2015, 10:48 AM
Travelbuggs Travelbuggs is offline
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Well, I don't think an increase of $7 for a week's cruise is going to make or break my cruise, so I'm not going to get my knickers in a knot about it. Most of the cruise lines do this, and it sure is easier than spending the last day of my cruise placing money in envelopes and chasing people around the ship. $12.95 is not a lot of money per day. If I were to tip the room steward like I do our hotel maid, breakfast, lunch and dinner servers, I would spend far more for sure.

Nothing beyond the service charge is required, except at your own discretion for service above and beyond. You don't need to "tip" anyone. The daily service charge according to NCL goes to incentive and welfare programs for the employees. Most staff are included such as behind the scenes kitchen and service staff we never see, so it would be impossible to "tip" everyone who is in the DSC pool. They all work their tails off so I have no problem with a service charge any more than I do with the need for tipping in a restaurant at home.

Just to put it into perspective, consider the typical land vacation to the beach. $300+ room rate, $30 resort fee per day for things you may never use, breakfast buffet $30 pp plus tip, $30 for chair and umbrella at the beach, lunch plus tip, take the kids to water park, mini golf, etc daily, $$$, dinner plus tip, probably $200 for a family of 4 daily, return to hotel exhausted, no entertainment offered. People do this all the time and think nothing of it, yet they flip out at the mention of a $12.95 daily service charge on a cruise and pay for NOTHING ElSE beyond this..
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Old February 28th, 2015, 11:47 AM
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Travelbuggs, I am not complaining; I only started this thread to let people know who may be sailing on NCL in the future. I have already prepaid my service charge.
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Old February 28th, 2015, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyK View Post
Travelbuggs, I am not complaining; I only started this thread to let people know who may be sailing on NCL in the future. I have already prepaid my service charge.
Not directed at you. Just a reminder to some of what a good value cruising is. Minisuite with large balcony, @1300 pp incl taxes and fees and that includes free Ultimate Drinks Package for 2. What's that, about $185 per person per day for transportation to 3 islands, all entertainment, all food, and all I can drink 24/7. The free UBP alone will save us $400 or $500 for the week. They can have an extra .95 cents a day from me, no complaints.

In all fairness, we are only two traveling, so the DSC can add up for a family with several members. Can make budgeting a little more difficult, but cruising is still a still a great value.

PS. The drinks pricing is increasing by around 6%. I guess it is part of the extra $50 Del Rio wants to squeeze out per couple.
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Old March 8th, 2015, 11:06 PM
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Do you think the new CEO is going to try and turn the company into a more upscale line?
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Old March 8th, 2015, 11:43 PM
Bruce Chafkin1 Bruce Chafkin1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerospace View Post
I'm surprised they haven't started charging for bags like the airlines too.

Advertise price $499
oh and that will be $250 for taxes
oh when you get on board we want $14 more per day
you want to eat in our restaurants while on board? Room key pls....

And don't say it's a tip to staff; a tip is given based on the quality of service you get not a required fee.
It's not a tip. It's a Service Charge.
Many hotels in America are charging thesame thing.

When I started working on ships about 40 years ago, the average daily TIP
given was $25 per passenger.

40 years later - even disregarding inflation - we have people screaming when they are asked to pay only half as much for good service.
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Old March 12th, 2015, 12:26 PM
Travelbuggs Travelbuggs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyK View Post
Do you think the new CEO is going to try and turn the company into a more upscale line?
I don't. Why create more competition for their ships already offering this product. But I do fear the NCL experience is going to get "watered down" in this attemp to squeeze out a few more bucks from everyone.

Current example: NCL is offering a great promo which includes choice of OBC, or free drinks package, or free dining package AND in addition, kids (or others) sail free. Most are opting for the drinks package, so there are many people sailing in the next year or two with unlimited drinks. Within the last two weeks, there are reports of sudden substitutions of one very anemic and generic bar menu in ALL the bars. Even something so basic as a margarita can't be found. Yes, you can still order anything, and if the bartender knows how to make it, you are OK. Even a specialty bar like the martini bar will list only 5 or so Martinis as compared to 30 or so in the past. The alcohol is being measured out into the drinks very carefully. No free pours. IMO, this sounds like an attempt to limit losses on alcohol costs for these free package passengers. Nothing more fun than looking at a very extensive drinks menu and trying new things. But, out of sight out of mind and people may drink less as a result. The less someone with a free package drinks, the more profit NCL makes from the slightly increased cruise fare included with the promo.

Another very recent example is that show reservations are being done away with on some ships ( as a so called "trial") with no advance warning. People are showing up to their reserved theatre show to be told that it is first come first seated, no reservation needed. The theatre is full within 10 minutes of the doors opening. I am not a big fan of the need to make reservations while on a cruise, but due to having many entertainment venues as options, and the fact that they must each hold smaller numbers of passengers as a result, I can understand the need. We only reserved two on our Getaway cruise and it was not much bother. Much better IMO than having to line up an hour or an hour and a half before the doors open to make sure you get a seat. The only show exempt from this rule was the dinner show. If NCL wants to trial this, why not just remove the option from a future cruise and inform passengers the cruise is FKFS. Not a good PR move on NCL's part.

Now why would NCL even consider taking away the reservation option which IMO only results in an inconvenience to the passenger? Again, just my opinion, but it costs NCL staff time and money to staff a reservation desk on the ship, take reservations by phone, change said reservations, etc. Must be getting cynical in my older age..
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Old March 12th, 2015, 06:22 PM
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I am sailing on NCL Jade in May; they don't take show reservations; so its all good.
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Old April 26th, 2015, 01:35 PM
SuiteTea SuiteTea is offline
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I always prepay tips and then tip my cabin steward and butler and concierge extra in cash as I feel the prepaid tips are too low for the service I receive as I usually get excellent service. I also pay extra tips in the specialty restaurants for great service.
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Old April 27th, 2015, 05:20 PM
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SuiteTea, I agree with everything you say; I do same as you.
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