Hi there, just have a few questions for my upcoming cruise on the Jade, so excited! My first time on a NCL ship & with their "Freestyle Concept" though I am a travel agent and did do a ship tour of Norwegian Pearl last month which was amazing and gave me some insight, I understand it is similar to the Jade.
Have a few questions, the controversial service charge onboard with NCL, was told by the cruise line on the phone its a "fixed charge" that can only be adjusted should something major happen subject to their approval? I have also heard many people go down on the last day and have had their accounts adjusted to lower the 12.50/day charge with no problems at the pursers desk.
Wondering if the arcades on Norwegian including the Jade's are included or are they for fee?
I have seen the sushi listed as a $15 cover charge but then also read the sushi & sake bar (something Carnival does free, NCL does seem to have some silly charges such as the sauna and steamroom being part of the "thermal suite" package!!) comp on other lines, anyways seen the sushi and sake listed as a la carte pricing. Is it $15 for some and "a la carte" for other options?
Also my first time in a balcony, any suggestions? Also hear some perks with NCL for being with a balcony! I did a guarantee and got an upgrade to a BB Balcony, any general "Freestyle"/NCL suggestions would be greatly appreciated too, many thanks.
If you are already considering pulling the service charge I am concerned. It is the only way Freestyle can work and NCL can retain the best crew. Other then your room stewards you may never see the same crew twice. The move from venue to venue and work as a giant team. Freestyle almost failed before it was put in place. It was far to easy for passengers to stiff the crew since unlike a traditional ship no last night guilt dinner. No realistic way to carry cash to every meal and tip as you go. 9 years ago when Freestyle started the crew was in revolt with drastically reduced income. The service charge fixed the problem. Also with the Jade in Europe year around where the normal tipping practice is far different then the states without the service charge the best crew would refuse to join the Jade.
Yes there will always be some passengers removing the service charge the last day for no good reason. No different then those people who never show up the last night for dinner with the traditional envelope. Everyone knows going in the service charge is really part of the cost of the cruise and if it is a problem they should book another line. I will get off my horse now but pulling service charges only hurts those that work extremely hard and can least afford to lose the income.
Here is the $15 Sushi menu
And yes you can order specials by the piece like this
A better way to do it should be to remove the service charge and add the same amount to the price of the cruise and add it to the crews salary.
The normal tipping practice in many, not all, european countries is far different than in the states and the reason for that is that people here get a salary they can live on without getting a tip.
On the surface that seems like the simple answer. There are a couple of related major problems with that. First if the tips were in the fare they would be treated as income to the cruise line and subject to corporate taxes. So for example to collect enough for the crew to get $100 they would have to charge us $150-$200. That increase in fare now makes the published price no longer competitive with the other lines. Fewer bookings increased prices or onboard charges to cover the fixed cost of running a ship. Now if all the mass market line like the high end lines included tips then it would work but we might get sticker shock