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Old July 30th, 2001, 12:12 AM
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Default Freestyle dining on NCL

We are used to the traditional dining and two night formal nights. NCL tacks on a $10 pp/per day tip and a $10 pp/pday cover charge if you use their speciality dining. The tip add on does not even include your cabin steward. I only tip on service and not everyone gets some. How do I avoid this and direct the tip to whom I want? Especially since you may get a different waiter every night?? Can we keep the same table and waiter? How do we avoid being seated at a table where others are in the middle of their meal?
Thanks,
Chuck
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Old July 30th, 2001, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Freestyle dining on NCL

Chuck,
I haven't cruise NCL, so have no personal experience with Free Style. I can just relate what I know from others.
First off, with NCL Freestyle, I believe the automatic tipping does indeed include your cabin steward. On Princess, the auto tip only covers the serving staff, and maitre d, not the cabin steward.
With Freestyle it would be very difficult to tip individually, unless you requested the same table/waiter for each evening.
At first glance I wasn't very happy with this trend to automatic tipping.. but after giving it some thought, I'm more inclined to accept it, as a possibly fair and equitable solution. And certainly if someone's service warrants an extra tip, that's easy enough to do directly.

Regards,
Kuki
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Old July 30th, 2001, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: Freestyle dining on NCL

Thanks for your reply Kuki. I found out the NCL will adjust your account acccordingly if you so desire to lower or up the tips charged. You do it through the purser's office.
We will see how it goes and then let you know of my findings.
Chuck
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Old September 4th, 2001, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Freestyle dining on NCL

We sailed with NCL last March and the "freestyle" dining was anything but. We could request tables, but had to wait long periods if we wanted to do that. We were unable to eat when/where we wanted due to the crowds. A reservation system was set up where we could reserve a table at a certain time, but that broke down as some folks tend to sit for hours over endless cups of coffee and that just backed things up even more. We were less than impressed with it. As for the tipping, we deleted all of the automatic tips and tipped individuals who had served us well, steward, etc. Having a different wait staff every meal made service haphazard at best. Enough so that we will never sail on NCL again.
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Old September 4th, 2001, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Freestyle dining on NCL

I couldn't agree more. We just got back on 8/26 and found the same problems.
2 hours to eat dinner and a waiter that was rushing about trying to serve others at different times, etc. We enjoyed the LeBistro dining ($10 pp extra) but that service should be standard, and the barbecue & stir fry stations that allowed for alternative dining. I can't see spending a large sum for a cruise with that service when I can get the better service on Celebrity for the same of less!
I have a cruise review in the near future.
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