Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Lines (Mainstream) > Norwegian Cruise Lines
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 01:44 AM
AlohaRefugee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Reply from the crew

Hello, I've just finished my first (yes, first, implying more to follow) contract on the Norwegian Sky/Pride of Aloha. I'm back home in the Midwest & have had a week to process my experience, since I never had time to blink onboard.
Believe me when I say there is little pride other than the name. The crew and most of the management is embarassed at the product we've given to you so far, & realize we have a long way to go. That being said, we aren't giving up, we're striving to make this a first class ship, if only to rub it in the face of all you naysayers.
That includes the presidents of several major cruise lines. Not only do they want us to fail, they've started a pool, with $20,000 buy-in, to guess the actual day we throw up our hands.
All you have to do is find 850 crew members, Right? Well, I dare you to find 850 Americans with no criminal background (USCG requirement) who will leave home(they can't all live in Honolulu) for five months and work atleast twelve hours a day, with a cruise director who never misses a chance to tell pax we are compensated, therefore don't need to be tipped.
Did I mention it takes six weeks for background checks and off-ship training, MMDs and physicals, plus you spend two weeks onboard before you're even acclimated to the ship and aren't in everyone's way?
If people haven't quit by then, they might be able to contribute. During thier acclimation period, they might enjoy half a beer in the crew bar. Only half a beer, because anyone with a bac of .02 or higher will be terminated. That might explain the shortage. Help is on the way. Or so management says.
What I've heard since I came aboard in April. "Things will get better when we leave the caribbean." "There will be no more 15 hour days when we reach San Francisco." "Things will be easier when we are an American flagged ship." "It will be much better in Hawaii." "Just wait until we are fully staffed." NCL finally sent some corporate types from Miami a couple weeks ago to observe. They came in believing it was an incompetent crew, just like most of you. Now they send e-mails everyday to Miami saying NCL needs to do something to alleviate the workload.
I'm not naiive. I didn't expect a vacation, I expected to work. I just didn't expect to put up with so much verbal abuse from pax. I'm sorry your vacation hasn't worked out, but what do you expect your waiter to do about it? If it involves a hot meal, or a cup of coffee, you got it, come to me. If you're mad because you were supposed to be on the Pride of America, tough. Guess what, so was I.
Sorry about the tangent. The last few weeks really calloused me. I'm refering to the Festival at Sea charter cruises, and the August 15 cruise. I'd never put up with so many snide remarks, and in-your-face cursing as I did on those voyages. Crew members were physically assaulted, ice buckets were thrown at cabin stewards, and my maitre 'd was spit on. (one side note to the caveman who spit on Guy; you picked the right person to spit on, anybody else would have cut you by that point in the cruise.)
I'm sorry this rambles so much, I just needed to vent. I'll be back on board in a few weeks, ready to prove everyone wrong again. Those of you who have cruised so far and have been understanding, I thank you.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 07:21 AM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 386
Default Re: Reply from the crew

Aloha Refugee

I appreciate you're taking the time on your vacation to come here and post, to keep people informed and/or correct impressions about this ship.

I do have a couple of questions or comments to make on some of the things you've said. While I understand that it is totally unacceptable for passengers to act the way you described ( throwing ice buckets, spitting, etc.) I do think that it is understandable for passengers to be kind of upset that they have spent their money on a cruise that (from reports so far) seems to be far below what most people would expect from a cruise experience. I am sure it is also very frustrating and difficult for the crew to work under these circumstances.

What do you think passengers should do in these circumstances.? It sounds okay to say, just be patient and give us time to get things right, but I am sure you realize that for most passengers this is their one cruise, right now. If POA gets things right in 6 months it will do them absolutely no good. Their vacation will be over, their money will be gone. From earily reports it seemed that complaints to NCL about conditions on the ship were virtually ignored, leading to more passenger frustration.

Now, finally, it seems that NCL is taking some steps to compensate passengers ,although there are lots of us who feel that, being told you have to spend more money and take a chance on another cruise with NCL to get any compensation is not really satisfactory, at least there is an indication that NCL is trying to do something.
But for the first several cruises, if you believe even some of the reports here and on other boards, NCL seemed to be pretty unresponsive to customers concerns and complaints. In my opinion it is largely because people were so vocal on the boards and on the ships that NCL finally made some concessions.

I don't know if you have been following the boards for very long but if you have you might have noticed that I personally have NOT blamed the crew. I have had my own experience with NCL which leads me to believe everything you said about :

"What I've heard since I came aboard in April. "Things will get better when we leave the caribbean." "There will be no more 15 hour days when we reach San Francisco." "Things will be easier when we are an American flagged ship." "It will be much better in Hawaii." "Just wait until we are fully staffed." NCL finally sent some corporate types from Miami a couple weeks ago to observe. They came in believing it was an incompetent crew, just like most of you. Now they send e-mails everyday to Miami saying NCL needs to do something to alleviate the workload."

Based on all this do you believe that NCL has handled this whole veture well? Aren't you a little angry that NCL has put you out there in the front lines facing passengers daily without giving you the tools to do the job properly?

NCL hired staff and trained them. Tthey knew the staffing level on the ship and yet according to you

"They came in believing it was an incompetent crew, just like most of you."
How could that be?
It seems to me that you are blaming passengers for being angry about the lack of staff and service and expecting them to understand that you are all doing the best you can under very difficult circumstances. Wouldn't it make more sense to blame NCL?

Lastly, as I mentioned in another post on this board, my heart goes out to all the crew who are bravely sticking it out and trying to make a success of this. At the same time though I don't think passengers should be expected to treat their vacation dollars as charitable donations to help get American flagged cruising up and running.
If by some miracle the hard working staff and patient customers manage to turn this around and make a successful venture of this who will benifit the most? Would it be NCL, the company that apparently has lied to, mis-lead and cheated both their customers and their staff?

Somehow that just doesn't go down very well with me.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 08:02 AM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 105
Default Re: Reply from the crew

Aloha Refugee
I just wanted to say that I was on the July 11th sailing and experienced all of the problems that everyone else is venting about. I complained very strongly to a young lady named Andrea, I think that was her name, and then I quickly apologized to her stating that I was angry with NCL, not her. I told her that she just happened to be standing in front of me wearing an NCL jacket and that was who I was complaing to. She said that she understood, and I think she did. I have said all along that the problem has not been with the American crew, that it has just been the lack of it. NCL cannot expect to pay a crew 25 to 50 per cent less than promised and think that they can live on those wages. I had several conversations with crew members and I have never blamed them, it's just that you guys are on the front lines where all of the frustration is. It's difficult to get to complain to the right person, especially when you have no idea who the right person is.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 08:51 AM
Mike Fast
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Reply from the crew

I just read your post, and I'm sorry for the treatment you recieved. We are scheduled for the POA next spring, and we sure wish you the best of luck. I have worked with the public, and I know too, that there is no harder way to make a living than to try to please everybody. Hang in there, and hopefully it will all be taken care of.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 09:28 AM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 328
Default Re: Reply from the crew

Aloha Refugee, first I want to say that if you really go back and look at this board, no one since the first two weeks of this cruise has had nothing but good things to say about the crew. So if you are still dogging us because of what was said back in June ... get over it. If you want us to give you respect then do the same for us. I've read every single post on this board dealing with POA, and like I said, since June the reports on the crew have been very sympathetic.

Here is a portion from my review:

"This cruise also showed me that the American spirit is alive, well, and living in our young people. This crew is NOT made up of lazy Americans, just a group of people who have been given an impossible task. You could see the fatigue in the eyes of the staff, but they continue to give it their all against the odds created by a company that is abusing them. There HAS to be labor law violations on this ship, and they will come to light in time."

I was on the second Festival At Seas cruise. I know someone spit in Guy's face the first week, but I saw no throwing of buckets or things of that nature on my cruise. Please separate the two. I keep hearing all this stuff, but it was all on the first week. And frankly, if some of your buddies had punched out a passenger on my cruise, there would have been a riot and I don't think your guys would have come out on top. Did you see some of the big dudes on that cruise!?

That being said, Guy worked out a problem for us and was cool and calm. Thanks to him, we ended up with Amber for the rest of the week for great service. I can't imagine Guy doing anything that would cause someone to disrespect him and spit in his face. Whoever did that should have been kicked off the ship.

But you're making a mistake painting everyone on that ship for two weeks with broad brush. But we're use to it, its done all the time. That's like saying all cops are bad.

Since it was our two weeks and the Aug. 15 cruise that caused the most problems for you, could it be possible that people are upset about paying hard-earned money for an over-priced, second-rate cruise and things were getting worse at that point? I know that isn't your fault, that your employers are totally to blame. But you work for NCL and I can see some people getting upset and taking it out on you.

While on my cruise, I saw a few instances where the crew was rude to passengers. Each time, I didn't see the passenger retaliate. We were smart enough to see the stress this crew was under. One rude person in particular was Louis (I think that's his name) at the reception desk. While I was standing there the first day I heard a few snide remarks made by him to other passengers. All they said to him, in a very civil voice, was that the comments were uncalled for.

Its a two-way street. I'm sure there are some jerks among your crew. In fact, with 650 crew members, I'm sure you have some racists in that group as well. No guys aren't perfect and neither are we. I do know that some of the rumors circulated by you staff aren't true.

Again, please read the reviews. You're taking it out on the wrong people.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 09:29 AM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 42
Default Re: Reply from the crew

I was on the August 15 cruise and I did not witness any of the horrible things that passengers did to the crew members. I guess they happened on the charter cruises, some crewmembers were telling us about these terrible passengers. I disagree with the violence but you almost have to expect something to happen like that when people spend $4000 on a vacation and get a cruise that is worth maybe 100 bucks. Your comment that it is tough luck that the Pride of America sunk because you were supposed to be on that also. Why does it matter to you which ship you work on, we the passengers were the one's that lost out on the brand new ship which was much larger and would have been nicer. Pride of Aloha was apparently refurbished, could you tell me how much of it was not redone. It did not appear to me to be done very well. What do you think is fair compensation for this poor cruise that thousands of people have spent alot of money for. This is one of the most expensive cruises on the market right now, and NCL should have expected some major problems as a start up company and should have charged less until the kinks were worked out. This is not an attack on you or any other crew members, because personally I had very few problems with the crew. Maybe the bartenders could smile once in awhile. How do you think they are going to introduce another ship to Hawaii in just a few month? Will they be having the same start up problem? and if they can't find crew for one ship how will they find enough for 2 more ships by 2006? It seems to me like NCLA has alot of work to do before Pride of America sails next year or the company might just go under, maybe it should.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 10:04 AM
tigersshadow
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Reply from the crew

I hope your remark that "one side note to the caveman who spit on Guy; you picked the right person to spit on, anybody else would have cut you by that point in the cruise." was written in haste. I was on a ship where people were threatened with death from an angry pax who was angry the $200.00 products his wife bought from the spa could not be returned. There were signs up all over the spa stating spa products were non-returnable. We (my husband and myself) were in the spa at the time on the bottom deck with no where to go while he & his wife hreatened to kill us all from the doorway. The security came fast but the passengers in the spa demanded they be put off the ship at the first port. It was toooo close to 9-11 and threats have now become a more serious thing. I would not want to be in a situation like that again, you cannot get in the car and go home. Please think twice before saying anything like that. You are right to be upset at his action, the coward acted like an animal, no, animals don't even spit at you. I hope he was charged. I myself have made quick remarks, we probably all have but posting them is not good even if you would never carry out the thought. It can scare people who intend to cruise on your ship.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 10:45 AM
John Tee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Reply from the crew

I believe that the Crew is working their asses off. I salute you for trying to making things better on the POA and I hope that NCL supports you and get's their management act together.

I was on the POA Repo cruise from SF to Hawaii. I realized right away that the crew was short staffed and poorly trained in many cases ... especially at the Bar. We where lucky and got Jasper & Adam as our servers after a few days and stuck with them in the Crossings restraunt and ended up having a great time with them even though our food services was extremely slow and many items where wrong or out of order or what not. Jasper & Adam made it fun. I hope they are both still with the ship? Are they? Do you know them?

I didn't blame the Crew one bit. It's totally incompetent management of the new venture by NCL 100%. I was very upset to see NCL imply the problems were American work ethic issues when in reality it was an understaffing and undertraining problem.

I think NCL Management has a work ethic problem, not the Crew. I have read reports of crew not getting paid what they expected from job fairs and such. I was shocked when the automatic tip program became just some sort of underhanded increase in the price of the cruise.

We did TIP those who served us well. Adam & Jasper and our outstanding room stewards.

Future POA passenger .. you will be tipping so just be prepare. That service fee is not a tip! There is no Auto-Tipping program on the POA.

The only solution to this problem is to reduce the passenger load by about 40% and to make those people happy and then increase the passenger load slowly as the crew is staffed up and trained. IT IS CRIMINAL THAT NCL IS ALLOWING THIS SHIP TO SAIL FULLY LOADED WITH THE CREW ONLY ABLE TO SERVICE AT A 60% LEVEL.

I want POA to success and I want the hard working crew to be reward with pride and a proper income level. I hope that NCL stops abusing the crew and in doing that it will allow the passenger to experience a cruise they can be happy then went on.

Keep up your good work!
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 11:23 AM
newmexicoNita
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Reply from the crew

Could I get a reading as to why the same poster posted the same thing, title and all 40 minutes apart?

NMNita
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 11:56 AM
ACCagent
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: Reply from the crew

It appears to me that several people have had some problems with their postings on here. It's not just this one. There is another on where the respondent's message is posted 5-6 times. There is a delay and sometimes I think they believe it didn't post. I can't think of a possible ulterior motive.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 12:45 PM
zimmerjulie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Reply from the crew

Thanks AlohaRefugee,
Keep up the good work. I hope you, and like-minded, dedicated crew members can turn this thing around. I know the process to get more American crew onboard is long an involved, so I hope that relief is already the works. The frustration level must be so high, for crew and for passengers.
Good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 12:47 PM
Nate
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Reply from the crew

I can understand how it could be possible, but the crew (or some of them anyway) did not even seem to realize when passengers were trying to be nice. I was on the August 15th cruise. I think the spitting was the week before actually, along with the reports of people crapping in towels and leaving it for the stateroom staff (crew confirmed this happened in some cases).

One case I can think of that happened on my trip was at one point me and my mother were talking to the person that worked the front desk of the Palace. (I think it was the Palace and not the Crossings, the one that is not right next to the main desk). Anyway, she was seated at a desk near the front desk, filling in for someone else, it was not at dinner, about 1pm and we kind of knew her from talking to her while waiting so long from the night before.

While we were talking, a passenger comes up to us screaming about how we had to pay for her health insurance, that was what the desk told her that $10 charge was for. My mother, having heard earlier that it was not used for that actually stood up for the crew member saying that that was not what the charge was for, and when the passenger finally walked away, I said to the crew member something like: "I feel so bad for the crew, I know they are trying hard but they are short handed and things are bad". She said to me something like "Well why didnt you say something? you just stood there". Right about this time another passenger came us to her very nicely (smiling and all) and was like "Oh I just have a quick question". the crew members reply was "it never is, but go on" and that upset the passenger.

My point is that the crew was so broken to the point where even when people were trying to be nice they were met with anger. Everyone seemed to be grouped together and treated as the enemy. I can understand how people would blame the crew even if it is not the real cause.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 01:13 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 328
Default Re: Reply from the crew


Whew! That passenger must have been a holdover from my cruise the week before. I thought that the only angry passengers in the nealy three-month life of POA were on our charter cruises.
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 09:00 PM
AlohaInsider
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Revisions

Dalwhitt

I apologize. You're absolutely right. The two charter cruises were separate groups and should be treated as such. Most of the incidents described happened on the first cruise. For some reason, the second cruise, whether you were prepared for the worst or whatever, was much more understanding.

The incident where someone was punched wasn't "one of our guys" but two families, one white, one black, on the 8/15 cruise. You're right, there were some big dudes we wouldn't want to mess with.

newmexicoNita

sorry, didn't mean to repeat post. Tried to take it off, but couldn't.

John Tee

Adam is still around. Jasper, as I mentioned in an earlier column, was fired.

Tigersshadow

Perhaps I choose my words hastily. No one would have been cut. However, I stand by my thought that things might have gotten ugly if that pax had spit on the wrong person, charter or no charter. I personally would be fired and enjoy every second of it if I were spit on. Sorry, but that's my personal thought.
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 09:01 PM
AlohaInsider
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Revisions

Dalwhitt

I apologize. You're absolutely right. The two charter cruises were separate groups and should be treated as such. Most of the incidents described happened on the first cruise. For some reason, the second cruise, whether you were prepared for the worst or whatever, was much more understanding.

The incident where someone was punched wasn't "one of our guys" but two families, one white, one black, on the 8/15 cruise. You're right, there were some big dudes we wouldn't want to mess with.

newmexicoNita

sorry, didn't mean to repeat post. Tried to take it off, but couldn't.

John Tee

Adam is still around. Jasper, as I mentioned in an earlier column, was fired.

Tigersshadow

Perhaps I choose my words hastily. No one would have been cut. However, I stand by my thought that things might have gotten ugly if that pax had spit on the wrong person, charter or no charter. I personally would be fired and enjoy every second of it if I were spit on. Sorry, but that's my personal thought.
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 09:27 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 386
Default Re: Reply from the crew

AlohaInsider

Hi again,

I did post a couple of questions near the top of this thread which you don't seem to have answered. I'm not sure if you just missed them or if you couldn't or just chose not to answer them but I really would like to know what you think the passengers should have done about the poor conditions and service on those cruises?

Also, are you angry with nCL for the way they have handled this?
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2004, 09:43 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 328
Default Re: Reply from the crew

Alohainsider, apology accepted. I wish your crewmates nothing but the best.
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old September 1st, 2004, 07:18 AM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 126
Default Re: Re: Reply from the crew

I am very happy to read thsi information from a crew member.

If you read the posts, many of the people who posted stated that the staff that were working wokred their butts off. I can imagine the frustration you must be feeling by doing your best to service passengers, but because of the short staffing, findit impossible to service people as you ideally would like to.

I will be on the Oct. 24 sailing and have read many of the reviews and fully intend to tip those who I can see are working very hard - over and above whatever the ship is charginf us for service fees. THAT is the way to let people know they are doing a good job.

This service fee thing is ridiculous - it does not give anyuone incentive to do better - people who provide poor service are compensated the same as people who go above and beyond and that isn't fair to those that are working hard.

I hope I'll meet you when I sail!
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old September 1st, 2004, 01:05 PM
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 946
Default Re: Reply from the crew

AlohaRefugee:

Wasn't on any of these cruises, so all I can say is I'm sorry some of them went badly for everyone.

I do have a question, however, about that $10 per day "service charge" (or whatever it is), on which I have not seen an answer. Is this service charge in place of, or in addition to, customary tips? And, if it is in addition to customary tips, are there any published guidelines for the tips and can they be paid via shipboard account?

Believe me, this is not the beginning of any "rant" on the subject of tipping! I just like to "go with the program" and it helps to know what the "program" is before you go! Some of the answers NCL managment has given on this question have been pretty "weasel worded."

Thanks,
Richard
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old September 1st, 2004, 01:21 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 260
Default Re: Reply from the crew

Babe, read the "mandatory service charges on NCL" thread below, specifically where a crew member explains the service charge towards the bottom. Hope this helps.
Reply With Quote
  #21 (permalink)  
Old September 1st, 2004, 01:58 PM
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 946
Default Re: Reply from the crew

Thanks,

I read that thread as per your suggestion. Now I understand that the "service charge" is not a replacement for customary tips.

As my question continues, does NCL publish any "suggested tipping amounts" for the POA, and can one pay the tips on the shipboard charge?

Thanks,
Richard
Reply With Quote
  #22 (permalink)  
Old September 1st, 2004, 02:05 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 260
Default Re: Reply from the crew

No, from what I understand that info is still contradictory. Some higher ups on the ship tell customers "a gratuity is not needed" during the entertainment shows but them passengers on earlier cruises received written documentation stating "The service fee is not a gratuity". I'm not sure what is being told to passengers as of the past few weeks, hopefully someone else will be able to report here that was on the ship
Reply With Quote
  #23 (permalink)  
Old September 1st, 2004, 02:34 PM
NCL First Timer
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Reply from the crew

Not sure if this is the same policy being distributed to the customers. When I was on board, the letter i received stated the service charge WAS NOT a gratuity. But this is what is posted on the NCL web site:

"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.

However, all of our staff are encouraged in our S.T.Y.L.E. service program to "go the extra mile", and so they are permitted to accept supplementary cash gratuities entirely at the discretion of our guests who wish to acknowledge particular staff members for outstanding service."
Reply With Quote
  #24 (permalink)  
Old September 1st, 2004, 03:32 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 386
Default Re: Reply from the crew

I'll give you my reading on this and then you can all tell me I'm just.
cynical.

When NCL is talking to passengers who want to remove the service charge NCL says that this is NOT a tip and therefore can't be removed.
When NCL is talking to customers who say that this charge is just a sneaky way of upping the fare by $70pp/pweek NCL says that since no other tipping is required it is just the same cost as a regular cruise where you Would tip the staff.

Bottom line for me: most of the staff, when they were hired, thought they would be getting tips so, without those tips, their salary will be considerably less than they were expecting.
If I was on this cruise I would feel I still needed to tip hard working staff and I would feel that NCL just had helped themselves to $70 of my money as a sneaky sort of fare increase.
Reply With Quote
  #25 (permalink)  
Old September 1st, 2004, 03:33 PM
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 946
Default Re: Reply from the crew

NCL First Timer:

As you say you don't know if the information in your post was provided to passengers, I assume you are or were a POA crewmember. What was the crews' understanding of the tipping situation at the time they were hired?

Let me clarify the reason for my questions. I've cruised several lines. RCI and other NCL ships have included "recommended tipping amounts" in their brochures, as well as info about whether my ship's account could be used for this. This is good, as I knew that on these ships, tips would be extra, in what amount, and how paid, so I could prepare before booking. On Radisson, tips are included in the fare, and no tips are expected or customarily given for "services that are rendered to all guests," as in the NCL POA statement in your post. There, tips are given and accepted only when the crew member does something outside their job description for the guest, such as running an errand.

In these instances, there has never been a problem as far as I have known, because the understanding of the crew about tips, and that of the passengers, was the same. Where I have observed problems are on lines where the tip policy hasn't been clear, the crew expected tips, but the guests weren't informed by the line that they were customary. Where tips couldn't be charged to the guests' accounts and where a guest didn't bring a bunch of cash (which I don't do unless there is a reason for it), there have been some disappointed crew members and embarrased guests!

In just the past few minutes, there has been a new thread on this board on this very question of tipping amounts and procedures on the NCL POA, so it is an issue that folks don't understand. Cruises just go better when we are "all in the same boat" on such policies and customs. Hopefully, this will get cleared up so that both crew and guests can have a better cruise experience.

Thanks,
Richard

PS to gardencat: Your post brings up the very problem I fear is at work here. I suspect that the crew is expecting tips, and guests that have not been told it is customary for them to tip, and in what amounts, and how.

Post Edited (09-01-04 16:34)
Reply With Quote
  #26 (permalink)  
Old September 1st, 2004, 05:43 PM
NCL Employee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: Reply from the crew

In response to the gratuity issue...I work in a "tipped" incentive position aboard the POA. When we were an "International" ship the gratuity was included on all beverage checks (yes I work in the F&B department). Once we became POA the 15% service charge was eliminated. We protested this move as we were not told in advance that this would happen, THEN we went from a "salaried" position to an hourly position. No front line employee is "salaried", we work as if we were on land, hourly rate plus tips. We do not EXPECT tips, we try to earn them. Just as if you walked into a bar on land, if the service is quick and professional, tip..if not, don't! NCL has made the communication between passangers and the facts very convoluted and we try DAILY to get the message out..GRATUITIES ARE NOT INCLUDED and is at the discretion of the guest. It is a very ackward position for us to be in but we are getting no support and have to do what we can to inform people. Hope this helps a little, Aloha
Reply With Quote
  #27 (permalink)  
Old September 1st, 2004, 08:01 PM
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 946
Default Re: Reply from the crew

NCL Employee:

Thanks for your response. You confirm that the situation is just as many have feared. The policy NCL gave you looks just like that on a "tips included " ship, but the POA is not a "tips included" ship! I have personally never had service on a ship that wasn't better than any I can find onshore, including two NCL cruises. I never thought about no tipping, on a ship where tips were not included and clearly stated as such. I'm sorry that this has happened to you.

Thanks,
Richard
Reply With Quote
  #28 (permalink)  
Old September 2nd, 2004, 06:59 AM
NCL First Timer
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Reply from the crew

Babe Ruth..please allow me to clarify. I was a passenger on an earlier cruise and was notifed that the $10 service charge was NOT a gratuity. Knowing this, I did provide gratuities to those who provided good service.

What I should have stated was... I am not sure if current passsengers are notifed the same way I was...by a letter sent to the cabin.
Reply With Quote
  #29 (permalink)  
Old September 2nd, 2004, 07:44 AM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,875
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default Re: Reply from the crew

This is the first I have heard about the behavior of some individuals on the charter cruises. I firmly believe the customer is always right - until he is wrong. As long as the crew was trying their best they should be treated with courtesy, but if someone takes their aggressions out on a crewmember who didn't deserve such treatment (even if a crewmember was at some fault, if the response from the customer was overly rude and aggresive) then you can't blame the crew for giving bad service.

At least some of the blame for the breakdown on those cruises should be shifted from NCL (crew or management) to those rude passengers who got the crew so upset they broke their spirit for the rest of the cruise.

I am not saying it was the passenger's fault. But I am saying the story gets more interesting and complicated (as is usually the case) and there is probably far more o know about this situation than what meets the eye.

I myself have been gulity of getting overly upset when I didn't get good service. I wouldn't do anything as crass as spitting or (I can't believe this one) defacating in a towel. But I do know that customers who behave rudely often have a hard time admitting they contributed to the ugliness of the situation.

The main thing that hit me about this post is that NCL is trying hard to get enough personnel, and it is complicated and expensive. People have quit or not cut the mustard. They got fired for small traces of alcohol.

I am in ageement that NCL should cut the passenger load until this shakes out, but really how do you do that? Do you contact people already booked and say "sorry, we decided to cancel your cruise?" No. But you could contact some and offer to change their sail-date to a later date.

Reply With Quote
  #30 (permalink)  
Old September 2nd, 2004, 10:59 AM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 24
Default Re: Re: Reply from the crew

NCL should give those passengers who request it a 100% refund, thereby lowering the passenger load and giving the employees a much needed break!

I'm fighting for my refund as we speak. I do not want to take the chance on my first and probably only cruise with these problems.

I live on Oahu and am personally going down to Aloha Tower with my TA on Sunday to talk to passengers getting off the ship.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
aloha, charge, complaints, concepts, crew, cruise, cruises, independence, members, monopolost, monterey, pacific, photos, price, ss

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
REPLY cacky Royal Caribbean International 4 February 12th, 2007 01:42 PM
Reply from the crew AlohaRefugee Norwegian Cruise Lines 3 August 31st, 2004 08:24 PM
Reply from the crew AlohaRefugee Norwegian Cruise Lines 7 August 31st, 2004 12:29 PM
Reply from the crew AlohaRefugee Norwegian Cruise Lines 0 August 31st, 2004 01:44 AM
Calling all s/s Norway crew and crew from "classic ship suzannen Crewmembers 2 May 12th, 2003 04:42 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:27 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1