I recently took a cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines. They are different in that they indicate you don’t have to "worry" about tipping because they take care of it for you automatically. Yes, they definitely put $10 per person per day onto your bill. And yes, you do tip servers in bars and restaurants as you would on other ships.
So why the "automatic tipping fee" if you’re leaving tips for your service people (who deserved it) all along during the cruise?
My suspicion is that only a fraction of the tips taken are actually distributed to the staff. The corporation holds back a significant portion and chalks it up to "administrative fees".
It is frustrating to me because when I asked servers about the "pooled tips" they had no idea what amount they were getting.
Anyone know how much really goes to the staff?
Let me tell you a little bit about nothing. The Tip system is not fair to anyone. The BEST thing you can do, and this is what I do. Pay the abosulute minimum that the ship automatically tacks on. If you have someone you want to "thank" DO IT PRIVATELY and give them cash. Sad but true this is what GETS GREAT SERVICE.