Tipping is not included in the cruise price for NCL as far as I know. They automatically charge your shipboard account daily for a certain amount unless you tell them otherwise. We're on Dream in 2 weeks.
Go for it! We have been on the Majesty before and are sailing on her again this Sunday! NCL adds the tips to your shipboard account ($30/pp per day). It's a wonderful older ship - not glitzy but classy.
I think (hope) that the amount is $10 pp/perday,not $30. If you prefer, as I do, to deliver the tips in person, you can request that the charge be removed from your account. If you are going to eat in any of their alternative restaurants, I suggest that you tip at the time of service.
Yes, $10.00 per day to cover cabin steward, waiter, bus boy and mairte D. Gratuities for drinks are added on an as you go basis at 15%.
You can have tips removed, but they ask you to do that at the end of the voyage. A little psychology there, the lines can be very long, people tend to say
Note, if you tip (cash) in the alternative dining room be sure they note it so as not to add addtional charges to your onbord account.
Gratuities are charged per day to your cabin. So for instance, if you ask for an account summary mid-cruise, you will see the $10 charge for each day so far. You can request that these be removed or not charged at all. But keep in mind that you will probably eat in a different dining room each night, with different waiters at each meal. So really the automatic tips, which are pooled for the entire crew, ensures that the waiters get tips instead of being stiffed. You don't have to remember who to tip either. As far as incentive for the waiters is concerned, I found that on the occasion when I had a slow waiter, a stern look in the direction of the maitre D' did the trick. They seem to know how to read passenger's facial expressions very well and sure enough I'd see the waiter in conference with his boss.
If you decide to eat in the same dining room and request the same waiter throughout the cruise, you can request that the automatic tips be adjusted and tip in cash. The $10 includes your cabin steward too and the rules are the same. If you want to tip in cash, they will adjust or remove whatever amount you want.
Personally, I like the automatic tips. Saves having to figure out how much cash to set aside. If someone provides really great service, such as my cabin steward or a particular bartender, I give them a little extra in cash at the end of the cruise.
Cruisemates has an excellent article somewhere written by Anne Campbell(sp?) that describes exactly how it works.
Lori, we just returned yesterday from cruising on the Norwegian SKY.
One of the more interesting "hidden costs" of our cruise was tipping on bar bills. We aren't big drinkers, but enjoy sodas or fruit smoothies. The 15% gratuity from these items isn't very large, so everytime we wanted a soda, juice or whatever, we'd end up adding to the tip.
It really added up over ten days. Also, the available "free" beverages on the ship were coffee, tea, milk and water. The "free" water was heavily chlorinated. There was juice at breakfast, but the rest of the time, juice was $2.00.