I called NCL re service charge and was told that there is a $10 per day per adult and a $5 per day per child service charge still in effect.
But if you read the brochure the service charge is different than gratuity which is encouraged but not required (e.g. concierge service or bar service).
Too much confusion.
Read the first post - it is specific to the NCLA Pride of Aloha, a US flagged ship. The crew is paid under US labor law. The Service charge was never a TIP. Tipping is at your descretion.
For all the NCL ships (Not US flagged NCLA) the $10/$5 is still in place. Without it freestye would have failed. There is no way to tip at the end since you may never see the same wait staff again or even eat in the same restuarant.
Nobody wants to carry cash to every meal. It was too easy for many passengers to not tip. No last night embarassment of sitting at the table and being the only one without an envelope.
The $10 is the same amount expected on any ship. The difference is you don't have to bring cash to fill envelopes the last night. If you want to you can take the cash you would have tipped and pay down your onboard account giving your money to NCL 45 days sooner then had you paid with a credit card you can.
Most all of the US lines have gone to adding the tip to the onboard account it is just so much easier then finding all that cash the last day.
BTW I am on the same cruise on the JEWEL.. We have a roll call going on another board with about 40 others from around the globe. We have a meet and greet planned for the first see day with the Hotel Director and other members of the onboard management team.
You can find it just google shoreguy jewel roll call - welcome aboard