I am due to sail on the Spirit in December for 11 days from New York. A Few questions. I like to tip for a good service and I believe that the old style tipping was better as you could give more to staff who served you well. Can you cancel the $10 per day per person that they put on your account and tip accordingly. Next Question is can ladies wear capri pant/cut of trousers in the evenings? We are going to be situated on deck 11 in a balcony cabin do they have coffee makers in the cabins. We are now in the process of trying to find a good hotel pre cruise and post cruise in New York any recommendations would be appreciated. Also if anyone can recommend who to take shore excursion with that too would be appreciated.
On the Spirit, I don't think you can change the $10/day tipping policy, without cause. What you can do is tip those who deserve more, individually.
Deck 11 staterooms have the following electic stuff: coffee makers, hair dryers, and a TV set.
Specifically, Ladies can wear capri pants, but not cuttoffs for dinner.
Fron NCL's web site:
Resort casual is a much more comfortable way to dress for dinner. Basically, itís slacks or pants and a collared shirt for men and pants, slacks, a dress or skirt for women.
Dress Code in Dining Rooms
Freestyle Cruising gives our guests the freedom to dress as they please. Resort casual attire is always appropriate morning, noon and night. However, NCL/ NCLA does not allow any blue jeans, t-shirts, shorts, cut-offs, tank tops, bare feet, etc. in any of our fine dining restaurants for dinner, including all main restaurants, alternative restaurants, and cover charge venues.
Guests are allowed to wear blue jeans, shorts and t-shirts, in the evenings at the buffets, outdoor barbeques, and 24-hour venues, such as the Blue Lagoon, the Cadillac diner, etc.
Below are a few exceptions to the dining room dress code:
Blue Jeans will be allowed in all dining rooms on all Houston departures, due to the Texas culture.
Blue Jeans will be allowed in the Trattoria's in the evenings.
Bermuda shorts with knee high socks, or Scottish kilts with knee highs will also be allowed in all dining rooms in Bermuda as these are considered formal dress in Bermuda.
Hawaiian shirts are allowed with proper slacks in all dining rooms.
Ladies Capri Pants, which are a length between the knee and ankles, are acceptable in all fine dining rooms as long as they are not blue jean capris.
Sorry, I'm not much help with excursions and NYC hotels.
Not really what you asked, but hope it helps. You might be able to adjust the mandatory gratuity, but I think it might be bad karma overall. On my last cruise (CCL) there was a line of people wanting to get the mandatory tips off of their bill the night before we docked. I just stood there and thought: you are arguing with 3 bucks a day for the cabin steward? I asked for some envelopes to tip a few people with- tip EXTRA. FWIW, I gave the waiter 75 bucks and the cabin steward 45 (7 day cruise, me and 4 kids). I also gave another waiter from the buffet 50 bucks.
I got the sickening feeling, as I gave them their enveopes, that they would think I had nuked the minimum and was tipping them ONLY that much. I then tried to mumble out that that was not the case, this was EXTRA, but that was an awkward conversation to say the least. Does anyone know how to let them know it is extra, or is it just assumed?
Have fun on your cruise. Hotels in NYC are all expensive- maybe you should just go to Expedia and start pricing that way.
Shore excursions: Tabyana Beach Party in Roatan. People LOVE the Sante Wellness Center, and I know I missed it but now I can't remember if it is in Roatan or Cozumel. I really wanted to do the canopy tour in Roatan, but it was sold out. Cayman: stingray city (do it privately, not through NCL unless you wanted to pay double at least). Those semi submersible things are hot tickets but can't go out if there is any chop or swell in the water, and I have heard many stories of people missing that excursion.
Have fun on your trip. I am assuming these are your ports of call but I didn't know the Spirit was sailing from NYC! Maybe you mean the Dawn?
For extra tips - I always bring a couple of generic thank you notes and write a little note expressing my thanks for their service that "was above and beyond what was expected" and that this is a little extra token of my appreciation.
BTW - Did you give anyone international phone cards like you thought you might do? If so, how were they received?
No I did NOT, and it is a good thing. I was talking to one of my waiters one day, and he said they have MANY computers they can use. Not sure what many is, but I am sure they all email instead of phoning. Further, when I got his email yesterday he said to send my phone number and he would call me. That can mean one of two things, a) that I am so intoxicatingly irresistible that he is willing to overlook our ten year age gap and my five kids and use his precious tips to talk to me on the phone, me in English and he in Hindi-lish, OR b) they have access to phones that are reasonably priced and it won't break the bank to talk on the phone for a bit. c) is a complex mix of immigration issues that I won't get into here. LOL!
I also left my room steward half a bottle of Absolut, and as I was laughing about it and giving it to him another guy came by and gave him three Cuban cigars. So there you go- more creative solutions to tipping.
What a great idea- service "above and beyond." I will do that next time. I wonder if they can tell who opted out, or even care considering that new pax are coming on literally as we are leaving. It seems a little ridiculous for people to shortchange the crew when the crew aren't even going to know which person did it!