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witchell - Answered a Question by cohen (30 Sep 08 15:57)

We have just returned from the norwegian jade. so many disgruntled people on board. not only the fact that the service charges are taken before you sail but you will be charge 10 dollars to exchange money on the ship (£5.--plus) each time. Should you be travelling to Turkey, the ship organises the visa to enter which costs 20 dollars, but also charge $15 dollars administration fee ( for two people that amounts to 70 dollars!!!) and by the way - you will be asked to disembark at 8 a m. no matter what time your flight leaves for home. we had an eith hour wait at the airport.

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Wilba - Answered a Question by cohen (14 Aug 08 08:09)

No, thats the idea of paying up front. It reduces your bill at the end of cruise.

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Taylor - Answered a Question by cohen (14 Aug 08 15:11)

It's a ridiculous procedure and you should asked that it be removed. It's simply a way of the cruise line to make more money out of you. Personally, I would never book with any company that applied this policy. It is simply not correct that it reduces your bill at the end of the cruise - rather it doesn't add to it - but then tipping should always be voluntary, not compulsary. You will see this view is shared by a large majority in the recent forum on tipping.

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Neil and Ida Down - replied to Taylor (14 Aug 08 20:11)

As I understand it gratuities are not negotiable on NCL ships and those who have paid them in advance recently have gained 5% because that is the amount the pound is down against the dollar so nothing ridiculous about it. If some people want to pay in advance who are you to say it is wrong, it's what they have chosen to do. Tipping is used at the moment, as it has been for many years, if you see it is wrong how you break this system is a matter for conjecture but I have yet to have explained to me a way of getting the cruise lines to do away with it without someone, other than the cruise lines, coming off worse. Nice to see this old chestnut again. ..... Neil .

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Taylor - replied to Neil and Ida Down (15 Aug 08 10:50)

Good to hear from you again Neil, (By the way, is Ida Down a joke? That's something that goes on a bed isn't it?) Just to illustrate the point I'm making, can you, or anyone else for that matter, tell me who exactly benefits from the charges NCL make? I doubt that anyone knows precisely. Anyone who dishes out money willy nilly without any clear idea of who it goes to is quite mad in my opinion.

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Neil and Ida Down - replied to Taylor (15 Aug 08 11:44)

I'd like to see you tell Ida to her face that she is a joke. I can't tell you what happens on NCL because I dislike their style and demeanour and haven't used them for years prefering more cultured companies. Regards. ... Neil.

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Kincaid - replied to Taylor (18 Aug 08 19:35)

We spoke to the staff about the gratuities, they told us that they go directly to the staff to bump up their very low wages, $600 per month. NCL do it this way so that all staff get tipped, as there is plenty behind the scenes who do not have the opportunity to get tipped. There is no employment law governing pay on most cruise ships so they pay staff what they want, NCL and RCL been two of them. I dont agree with this, I think all staff should be paid fairly but then the cost of cruises would be a lot more expensive and less attractive to customers. It is a basically a marketing tool. And if the service isnt good, you have the choice to remove it. But if you can afford to go on a cruise where you are waited on hand and foot, by staff who have no choice but to work on a ship for nine months at a time for very low pay, well, I hope people that remove gratuities realise how lucky they are in life.

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Jim Taylor - replied to Kincaid (19 Aug 08 09:12)

Good to see that at least one person has made the effort to discover just whrere the tips go, but also good to see my opinion that no-one knows PRECISELY where and to whom the tips go. And is $600 per month really that bad when you have free board and lodging and no bills to pay?

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Kincaid - replied to Jim Taylor (19 Aug 08 20:39)

Well, I personally think it is pretty poor considering the lenght of time they're away from their family (children), but thats me, been a mother. I spoke to some staff who had young family at home but who had to work on the ships to give them a decent chance in life. They werent crying on my shoulder either, it was matter of fact. But I do agree with you, will we ever know the truth! But back to the inital question, dont pay before you receive good service.

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Goose - replied to Neil and Ida Down (28 Aug 08 17:14)

...I'm reading this with interest as we are booked on Jade next spring. I understand the tipping on Jade to be something different; a "service charge" in fact. I have no objection to tipping. I have sailed with companies where tipping is included; fine, but I prefer to tip where I see good service, so am I able to do this on Jade? i.e. have the service charge waived and tip as I see appropriate. Has anyone does this with NCL successfully? Advice appreciated; thanks... Mary.

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