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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2005, 07:11 AM
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RIDGID,

Holland America Line no longer has that "tipping not required" policy. They now automatically add gratuities to passengers' onboard accounts.
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:50 PM
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Raoul
I like the way you do it in Europe. If some one goes above and beyond he may get a tip.If in fact he just manages to do his job he gets his regular pay. I think that is a really fair way of doing it, and also adds a considerable incentve for someone to do an excellent job. Tipping in the U.S. has gotten out of hand. Everywhere you go someone has there hand out. Again thanks for the input.
Tom
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2005, 06:55 AM
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Raoul

Tipping in America is really out of hand. The paper delivery, mail delivery, car wash, bellboy, courtesy van drivers, tour guide, card dealer, change person, usher, etc. Everyone is looking for that extra bit of change. I guess the feeling is if you are willing to give it I will take it. People are almost shamed into tipping by fear of look upon as being cheap.
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Old 01-05-2005, 03:23 PM
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We just got back from the Dawn on Dec 30, and we were able to remove the service charge and decide who to tip.
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Old 01-05-2005, 03:50 PM
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thor,

as mentioned in a different thread: if you have been able to remove the amount, it was not the service charge but the automatic gratuity, which will soon be discontinued. I know it's confusing, but there is a difference between the two.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2005, 04:37 AM
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what's the difference between the service charge and the gratuity?
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angeldust
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2005, 11:10 AM
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Why wouldn't you be able to remove the service charge? When we book our cruise thier website was still saying that it wasn't going to take effect until may. (Our travel agent actully said this cruise had NO tipping which was one reason we picked this cruise. But oh well, people make mistakes)
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Old 01-06-2005, 01:27 PM
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angeldust4300 & Sheryl,

from the August 2nd, 2004 issue of my news column Cruising & Beyond:

quote:
Dear friends of "Cruising & Beyond",

for the third time in a row, Norwegian Cruise Line makes it into C&B's editorial. The company has not only been integrated into a new corporation within the Star Cruises Group, but it has also announced a controversial change in its tipping policy. Effective May, 2005 "a service charge of US$ 10 per person, per day will be added to your onboard account. For children ages 3-12, a US$ 5 per person per day charge will be added to your onboard account; there is no charge for children under the age of three. This is a fixed service charge and is not adjustable. [] Unlike most other ships in the cruise industry, there is no required or recommended tipping on Norwegian Cruise Line and NCL America ships. Our staff is paid salaries. Guests should not feel obliged to offer a gratuity for service that is generally rendered to all guests." Currently the above mentioned daily amounts are added to passengers' onboard accounts as tips which can be increased, decreased or removed at each passenger's discretion.

According to a study conducted by NCL, 95% of its passengers do not change the current tips added to their accounts, while 5% do so for various reasons which according to NCL virtually always result in no tips being paid. NCL claims that hence, the planned change would only affect 5% of its passengers. "We recognize that, just on principle, not everyone will find this new policy acceptable and we also recognize that some people budget their cruises with the intention of not paying the service charge regardless of their on board experience. That is why we are giving plenty of notice of this adjustment in our policy prior to its implementation across the fleet next summer," said NCL's Director of Public Relations, Susan Robison.

To be honest with you, dear friends, I indeed do not like this new charge. To explain why, I do have to explain why I have disliked most cruise line's tipping policies for years. In my opinion - and in accordance with the word's definition - a tip should be a reward for good service. If the service is not good, one usually would tip less or nothing at all. Many cruise lines, however, have been paying their employees ridiculously low salaries, with a large amount of the final income resulting from so-called tips, which were "officially" voluntary, but often heavily solicited and almost considered mandatory by both passengers and crew members.

It is a matter of course that in the end passengers pay for the crew's work and service they benefit from, but there is no doubt it would be better to include that amount in the original cruise fare. However, doing that would result in travel agents earning commission on that amount (unless it is billed as a "non-commissionable fee") and cruise fares would appear higher and hence less competitive compared with competing cruise lines' prices. The problem I see is that a vast number of passengers embark for their cruise totally uninformed of certain important policies. I'm sure many of you have read cruise reviews where e.g. passengers complained about bottled water in their cabin they - surprisingly - were charged for. Thoroughly reading brochures and working with a specialized travel agent generally avoids inconveniences like that, but many passengers look only for the lowest fare without receiving professional advice. At the end of their NCL cruise these passengers will find themselves presented with a bill of US$ 70 per person per week, even if they did not buy anything onboard during the whole cruise. For a family of four, this adds to up to US$ 280 per week - probably too much for some people with low limits on their credit cards. And those who would like to settle their onboard account with cash will likely be forced to pay the new service charge up front at embarkation.

To make this clear once more, I have no problem whatsoever with jointly paying the crew members' salary with all passengers on the same cruise, but I don't like to do this through "tips" which are actually a kind of service charge (and to be fair, NCL is the only major cruise line now at least calling it a service charge!) or through a non-adjustable service charge added to my onboard account. It's not the amount I don't like - it's the way I am expected to pay it.

Another problem is that NCL will not comment on whether the whole US$ 10 will actually be paid to its employees or whether parts of it will simply be used to maximize the cruise line's profit.

In my opinion, NCL missed a great opportunity here to break with the industry's ridiculous system of obtaining the crew members' well-deserved salary. Raising the rates for a one-week cruise by US$ 70 would have made NCL's cruises look more expensive than their competitors' ones, but an informed passenger, booked through a knowledgeable travel agent who explains this, likely wouldn't find this that bad at all - knowing that the hassle usually involved with tipping on a cruise ship would not apply to him.[...]


I hope this clarifies the situation.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2005, 05:42 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by angeldust4300:
what's the difference between the service charge and the gratuity?


It is probably a play with word to get around passengers wanting to remove it from their accounts.

Basically if it quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck and looks like a duck it is a duck.

Look at your phone bill. Our basic charge is $12.95 per month for a basic simple plan just to have a phone in the house. After all the service fees, taxes, and etc are added in the end cost is $25.54.

The universities in Michigan are obligated to freeze their tuition rates with increases to be only due to the inflation rate. They have found more ways to get money with out increasing the tuition. They have imposed new fees that are automatically charged to all students that include but are not limited to: lab, telephone, sports, paper, registration, testing, seats, computer, TV, radio, etc name it and there is a fee. These are fees that are mandatory whether the services are used or not.

Like the man says pay me now or pay me later.
 
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