When we booked our first cruise with NCL I was a little "put off" by the mandatory tipping. I am a generous tipper, but also don't believe in being generous when service is bad.
When we got on board, it was just a few short hours before I realized what a bargain that $10 per day per person really is. All your wait staff, room stewards, and much, much more share in that tip.
Even so, we have tipped a few of the exceptional crew members extra...both during and at the end of the cruise. (During for the wait staff and at the end for the room stewards.)
I never felt that ANY of the staff deserved any less of a tip. Some people say that this takes away the staffs incentive to give extra good service. You couldn't prove it by me. On both NCL cruises we've had wonderful service. As if they were all working extra hard for those tips.
I consider that $10 per day per person a real bargain. It saves me money because I would be handing out much more in tips otherwise.
This is great to know. We are booked on our first NCL cruise on 4/30/05. But this policy is not only on NCL. We had this last year on Carnival. You were able to change the amount at the cruise desk, but I thought the amount was reasonable for all of the services that were provided. The restaurant tipping alone would have been more had we been at a comparible restaurant back home. And it was a relief to us actually to know it was taken care of in a fair manner. On our first cruise we just got all those envelopes in our room on the last evening and weren't sure what to put where, not to mention because it was the end of the cruise we were running low on cash. So having it on the sign & sail account is helpful. We also felt that there were some employees that had never come into play on our trip, and should we tip them or give more to our wonderful room steward that really helped make our trip enjoyable.
So I am of the opinion that this just makes my trip easier and more carefree. I include it on the estimated ship account total from the beginning. I am really happy to hear that the service on NCL will probably exceed our expectations which is based on our past experiences.