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Casino party company stealing tips and gratuity, what legal action can I and other workers take.
So the story is, I work for a casino party company in dallas tx and me and other dealers know ( from our customers telling us and asking questions) that our boss is stealing tips and gratuity. We know, for example, that if a customer give cash tips or one from there credit card to her that she keeps it. Also her websites said under pricing "that a 10% gratuity is added to the bill as a tip to the dealers" and she keeps that. I don't kow what kind of legal action to take. Or what time of layer i would need for this So i just needed some advice about what should I do going forward.
I drove an hour to gamble and felt sad on the road , can’t help to think I left my family for this .
So where do I begin . I started watching gambling streams out of nowhere and seen my favorite person won a lot of money , ofcourse he would bc he has plenty of money to gamble and does it daily , eventually something would of hit . Then on my day off I asked my bf to come with me to the casino and have our day to ourselves without the kids . We had such a great time and ate a nice meal at the casino , I was up 700 on my freeplay and life was good until I decided to continue playing and lost 1,000 before I had to leave the casino to get our kids . Me and bf still had a good time and we didn’t think nothing of the loss bc we hit a lot of bonuses and enjoyed ourselves even though we did end up losing but it’s bc we had to leave early . Then 10pm came and I started watching the gambling videos again and had the sudden urge I could win my money back if I go back and stay longer . I told my bf I’ll be back bc I want to go and play and plus I’m off I had nothing to do . At this point the kids are almost in bed and I’m ready to go win my money . The casino is about 1.2 hours away and I drove so fast on the road . About half way there I felt as if I am leaving my family behind to go live out my addiction . When I was about 5 mins away from casino , there was a big truck stopped dead in one of the lanes I did not see him bc I was driving behind an SUV, by the time I finally saw him i had to break , luckily he wasn’t in my lane but I can see how another person traveling in the truck lane would crash into him , that should of been a warning that I shouldn’t go but I didn’t care . I mainly went bc I was suppose to check into the free hotel room to get my resort credit which is up to 1,000, and u guess it right I got there in time to check in . The front desk gave me my keys and told me where to go . I didn’t even make it of my room before I start gambling at the slots . I only had 1,000 dollars and I guessed it, lost it . Then before I left my house I had made a 1500 credit card payment and the sickening addict that I am , I withdrew the money from my bank and lost that . So now that credit card payment which I can’t cancel will debit my bank and make it negative . Now it’s 2am I’m tired , broke and had to tell my bf I’m too tired to drive home . This morning I’m laying in this hotel room writing this post , when I should of been with my family . I’ve lost a total of 3600 dollars that should of been for rent and credit payment and now I am negative 1500 and I don’t even know what to tell my mom when she deposit the rent check I gave her and hoping it won’t bounce which I’m sure it will . I have no more cash advances on any cards even though I have been paying them but I guess if they are not paid off I won’t get any more advances . Uugh this is my third time this year gambling and it will be my last for the year . Such a horrible feeling when you stuck at a casino with no money literally not a single dollar . I was hoping to use my resort credit to get a spa treatment or something but literally can’t even do that bc I have no money for gratuity either . I’m probably going to drive home soon and just feel like a sad puppy . The dreaded long drive home . For the rest of my day, I think I will go to the mall shopping with my credit card which is the only access to money I have and take my bf out . He did told me not to go and that he would get off his video games and watch a movie with me but I didn’t listen , I went anyway , it’s bad for our relationship and I should never leave my house like that at night again . Especially bc I came here and Lose my whole rent and credit card payment ! Well that’s it for me for this year , I gambled now 3 times . Once in feb lost 700, once in July lost 1200 at an online casino , once in October 3600 . I guess I’m gonna see what I can charge to my room before I leave this place , maybe some breakfast that I can bring home to my bf or something and spend the rest of this month broke until I get paid again .
Randonaut Trip Report from Jember, East Java (Indonesia)
Intention Driven Anomaly found A-EB5DA55B (-8.175642 113.685501) Type: Attractor Radius: 71m Power: 3.45 z-score: 4.41 Report: Awesome First point what3words address: gratuity.kick.casinoGoogle Maps | Google Earth RNG: ANU Artifact(s) collected? No Was a 'wow and astounding' trip? No
With this U.S. State Dept. warning, should I cancel?
We got a great deal because of casino rates on this cruise when we booked it about a month ago. It leaves out of San Juan P.R. March 22, carnival fascination. Originally booked a room with a porthole for $805, this price includes all of the fees in gratuities. I called today about an upgrade and we got upgraded to a window ocean view room for free. All in all, we also have $340 OBC for the both of us. Is it worth the risk? I could add that we are both 23 y/o and able to do our jobs as long as we have internet and our laptops and do not have a risk of anything on that front if something does happen. Since we still have some time before we have to make a decision, I suppose we will wait and see for now. Thank you for all of the replies.
Cruse (Canrival / Royal Caribbean)Stock Holder Cruise Discount/Credits
Questions: Has anyone used the "stock" discount for the cruises? Is this a good time to do this? I can't find the thread I found someone mention to get credits on cruises as shareholders. I found a link below saying I need 100. One doesn't have a link to FAQs, the other shows a PDF but says its through July 31, 2010. 100 shares of Carnival Corporation @ 11 = $1100 100 shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. @ 34 = $3400 Found at https://www.cruisecompete.com/shareholderbenefits.php
Cruise Shareholder Benefits Instructions Cruise travelers who own at least 100 shares of stock in Carnival Corporation (CCL) or Royal Caribbean (RCL) can receive up to $250 in onboard credits during their next vacation at sea. Just follow the instructions below to secure your shareholder benefit. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Royal Caribbean International Celebrity Cruises Azamara Cruises The onboard credit is offered exclusively to shareholders that directly own a minimum of 100 shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. at time of booking. To take advantage of this offer, the following items must be submitted: A photocopy of your shareholder proxy card or a current brokerage statement showing proof of ownership of at least 100 shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Your name (the owner of the 100 shares will receive the onboard credit.) Your home address, telephone number and e-mail address Your ship and sailing date Your confirmation number Your Captain's Club or Crown & Anchor Society Number (if any) Please send the above to: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Investor Benefit P.O. Box 02511 Miami, FL 33102-5511 Alternatively, you may fax all of the required documentation (in a single fax) to 305/539.4645, or mail .jpeg images of all required documentation to [email protected]. Note: RCL has imposed additional restrictions about how benefits can be used and combined with other offers. See RCL's FAQ for more details. Carnival Corporation Carnival Cruise Lines Princess Cruises Holland America Costa Windstar Seabourn Cunard Line The onboard credit is available exclusively to shareholders holding a minimum of 100 shares of Carnival Corporation or Carnival Plc. Employees, travel agents cruising at travel agent rates, tour conductors or anyone cruising on a reduced-rate or complimentary pass are excluded from this offer. This benefit is not transferable, no combinable with any other shipboard offer and cannot be used for casino credits/charges and gratuities charged to your onboard account. Only one onboard credit per shareholder-occupied stateroom. Shareholders must provide the following information with the initial deposit to your travel agent: Name Proof of ownership of Carnival Corporation or Carnival plc shares (i.e. photocopy of shareholder proxy card, shares certificate or a current brokerage or nominee statement). Reservation number Ship and sailing date See Carnival's official announcement here.
Tips, Tokes, or Gratuity, by the Outlaw Micheal Tomsik
It is all about the Delivery Business by The Outlaw Micheal Tomsik The delivery business is a lot about Tips, Tokes or Gratuity, if you are a delivery driver as an employed driver or a driver that is self employed the money you make from Tips, Tokes, or Gratuity are a huge part of life. However there are a lot of industries that Tips, Tokes, or Gratuity make a impact on one's income. Anyone who works in a casino for instance that deals cards, works on the floor, housekeepers, or sports books. Also if you work in restaurant positions, bartender, valet, taxi driver, and various other positions whereas Tips, Tokes or Gratuity is a major part of your income. Wage laws very from State to State on tipped positions like here in Missouri in a tipped position you are paid $4.74 per hour plus your wages, in positions with no Tips, Tokes or Gratuity currently the wage is $9.74 per hour. You will need to research your State and Federal regulations on wages where you live HERE IS A LINK THAT MAY HELP YOU JUST CLICK HERE I have worked in positions with Tips, Tokes or Gratuity for several years being that a big part of my career was spent working in casinos in the Sports Books. I also have 3 years of delivery driving and passenger pick ups/drop offs or as a self employed contractor. There are drawbacks and benefits to having employment or being self employed with Tips, Tokes, or Gratuity. One of the drawbacks is you never really can estimate or count on how much you will receive in Tips, Tokes, or Gratuity. In the positions I worked in at the casino it varied all the time, and as for being a self employed contractor it can change on a daily basis. One benefit is most likely you will receive some amount of Tips, Tokes or Gratuity in these positions when you are working. It takes some careful thought on saving, spending and using income from Tips, Tokes or Gratuity. When I worked in the casinos the department split the Tokes, Tips and Gratuity on a bi weekly bases usually on the opposite weeks of regular paychecks. I usually made about $250 to $500 in Tips, Tokes or Gratuity on a bi weekly bases so averaging $600 to $1000 in income per month plus my salary (wages) from the casino. There was one time I received $750 that was the highest I ever got in a two week period. While doing self employment contracting I could make anywhere from $50 to $150 in an 8 to 10 hour shift. However this can vary from location to location. It is really best to research your area. One thing I found in my investigation is that companies that do deliveries or passenger pick up/drop offs do not regulate how many drivers in an particular area. I found in my experience at times some areas could be over saturated and therefore less work for contractors. This means less Tips, Tokes, or Gratuity. Also with Tips, Tokes or Gratuity you are responsible for reporting that income. Most employers do not take any taxes, or unemployment, or social security out of Tips, Tokes, or Gratuity. If you are a self employed contractor than you are completely responsible for these taxes. It is suggested to put away at least 40 percent of Tips, Tokes, or Gratuity for these government taxes. It is hard to change if you move from a position that was including Tips, Tokes or Gratuity to a position that does not include them. I found in the past I really had to change and work on my spending and savings habits going from a position with Tips, Tokes, or Gratuity to a position that did not include that income. I started investing my Tips, Tokes or Gratuity in the stock market and was able to eventually get enough to move from Reno, Nevada to Springfield Missouri, pay off some debts, and buy a home. To this day I still am working a position that involves Tips, Tokes or Gratuity but in a few weeks I am leaving that position for one that does not offer any. So I will have to look at making some changes on how I save money or spend money. However I can still do independent contractor work if I really want the Tips, Tokes or Gratuity. If your in a industry that you get Tips, Tokes, or Gratuity I would love to hear how it affects your lifestyle. The Outlaw Micheal Tomsik
I’m in Vegas atm, never been to the US before so this is all new to me. Some first impressions: 1) Everything is bigger here: The Vegas eye, the hotels, the casinos, the TVs, the food portions. Also loads of obese people. 2) I love the US breakfasts which seem to offer huge choice and lots of waffles and pancakes. Every breakfast is good. 3) I hate US chocolate/ candy it is probably the nut worst on the planet. The butyric acid makes it taste like vomit. 4) Played a 1/2 session (was jet lagged, will be playing 2/5 minimum in future) and game was insanely passive. Everyone is either loose passive or tight passive. People thought I was a maniac. Some guy mumbled ‘this fucking limey is raising me again’ after I kept punishing him. 5) everyone wants to chop the blinds and everyone is annoyed when I say no. It’s $1 rake if you see a limped pot BvB but IMO this just means SB should play raise or fold. Also I won a $1K pot BvB so feel vindicated. Basically if you are a nitreg who whines about someone being LAG I want to ruin your whole night. 6) there are free drinks at the table so people sit down at 0700 ordering beers and shots. Not only do you have to pay for drinks in the UK, you can’t even buy alcohol at 0700. 7) The strip is weird, it is like a massive 21+ playground that seems to mostly be Americans on holiday. 8) I assumed that the stereotype of Americans being gun nuts was over hyped. Then I heard someone tell the table that recently someone was tailgating him so he stopped his car, got out, pulled out a gun and told the other driver to back off. That’s not a story you would hear in Britain. 9) The UKs biggest cultural export is apparently Harry Potter. Told someone at the table I was from Britain and he goes on an enthusiastic rant about how amazing Harry Potter is and that Hermione is a ‘bad bitch’. Apparently everyone loves Harry Potter. 10) the only British poker players people know of are Kassouf and Luke Schwartz. I have already been called an absolute pigeon. Feels bad. 11) prices are fucked because they don’t include tax or service charge or a gratuity. This is not GTO. Also all the wait staff are almost overly friendly. 12) inside is freezing and outside is boiling. Overall I would give Vegas 8/10, it’s pretty fun just avoid the chocolate.
JUST GOT OFF the NCL Bliss - My personal impressions (long)
Of course, the first disclaimer is “we all have different interests and likes.” We were excited to sail aboard The Bliss based on many good reviews. I was a little hesitant because of the size and number of passengers. We just returned from the 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise. Weather was meltingly hot and humid in Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. Cabo was quainter than we expected. The good stuff - and it’s almost all good! Large ship, very clean and easy to get around (walking) and navigate. Beautiful art. Fantastic chandelier at Ocean Place atrium! Nicely appointed. We had a balcony room, which was just fine. The closet is facing the sofa and it was quite awkward to access the hangers. I mean, there was 6” between sofa and closet door. Haha, we moved the bed down just a bit so we could squeeze in. There was room for summer stuff, but it might be tight to stow jackets and heavier clothing if you went to Alaska. The bathroom was great. The glass enclosed shower was really a nice touch. There was also a little coffee maker in the room, which we used often. We had a mid ship location, slightly forward, and it was not far from elevators except.... (see cons). We did not partake of any. speciality dining. The Local is open 24/7, and great for light meals. The Korean chicken wings were fabulous. The service was very nice. You could sit “outside” the restaurant, around the atrium, watching things happen, and they would bring you your food. Taste and Savor main restaurants were very good with very good service. We usually booked a reservation to avoid any wait. After all, there are a LOT of people on this ship. It wasn’t five star dining (i.e., when the waiters come to your table and lift off all the domes covering your food at once, etc.), but we liked it. The appetizers are small, so don’t hesitate to order more than one. The Manhattan room is larger and a bit noisy. We had the misfortune to go on a busy night with not many table choices. We were sat next to a table of 12 kids (parents were at different table). They were not bad kids...but they were kids, talking and doing all the stuff we all do. I mean, any party of 12 might be a little crazy. However, it took any quiet elegance away from the experience. The Garden Cafe is their buffet and breakfast is insanely crowded. We loved the Indian food, the soft serve ice cream, the omelette station. Really, things were quite edible. There is free Iced tea, coffee, lemonade and water. Gem of the ship: The Observation Lounge. This is truly an island of tranquility amidst a lot of action. It’s a large area, with great lounge chairs, views, and ambience. The PErFECT quiet space. Also, Suzanne Jade is wonderful at the Piano!! The Bliss theater is huge. Get there at least 15 minutes early to obtain a good seat. You need reservations for “Jersey Boys” so do that prior to departing if you can. They also had a production called “Six” which was lots of fun~! They say it will be going to Broadway in the future. Casino: pretty large with a LOT of slots. Most table games were 10.00 minimum, which meant we weren’t gambling. If you like pools and slides, you have come to the right place. The kids (of all ages) loved it. There is also “Spice H20” club which is more adult, if you don’t want quite so much frenetic action. The crowd tends to be younger and livelier than on other cruise ships. However, it wasn’t “spring break” antics! Just happy people. Most were super polite and we had some good laughs - especially about the elevator waits. The hot tubs were plentiful even on busy days. Surprise! The Gym/fitness had plenty of treadmills but not much more in the way of exercise activities. I think one cardio class that was maybe held there. I do my own thing, but if you are looking for a lot of organized classes, forget it. Bring your own water to center or sip from the fountain. I didn’t try the Thermal Suite, which is a big upcharge. Based on the crowds everywhere else, I’m glad i didn’t. I have a feeling every lounge chair would be booked. That’s not tranquility to me. (Save that for the Haven Lounge, which i’m such is quite refined). “The Waterfront” was nice to walk around during the day. It wasn’t crowded at all, so we sat there, looking out on the ocean, on one of the days at sea. Peace! We found the staff to be friendly and accommodating. Our room steward, Roel, was so sweet. We aren’t demanding, but he learned our schedule so when we went out, our room was quickly made up. Thank you, Roel! Take ten steps in just about any direction in a public area and you will find a very nice bar. I had two drinks on the vacation. They were each 13.30 with the tax and auto tip. A lot of people purchase the unlimited drink package. Keep in mind, even if it is a “free at sea” perk, the gratuities and tips are NOT, and they add up to at least 200.00 dollars - maybe more. - and everyone in your room has to purchase it. I liked that the smoking area in the Casino was closed off with glass doors. If you like to be casual, you will LOVE this cruise. There really is no real dress code. People wore shorts and flip flops everywhere except, i believe, in the uber fancy ocean blue restaurant. The “Cons” I’m going to start with the very worst thing that happened on the ship. The debarkation. I know, it’s always a drag, but this one was a REAL drag. People left their rooms and hung in the stairs well before it was their turn, creating a nightmarish traffic jam everywhere. There were ZERO elevators to take. We survived, but pity anyone who is even slightly handicapped. We literally stood in a roped off line that wended all through the ship, two persons wide: through the casino, restaurants, down the hall, make a turn, etc etc. etc. It took us over 1 3/4 HOURS to debark, and we were carrying our OWN luggage. Customs was a bit slow, but NOTHING compared to (what i felt) the haphazard and thoughtless way to make guests feel like cattle as they departed their vacation. Standing for THAT long, without able to use the restroom, get something to drink, even sit for a second - the absolute PITS. The obvious solution is to pay through the nose and book “The Haven” where there is preferred treatment. We couldn’t afford that, but, really, that’s the thing to do on this ship. Disorganized entertainment listings: Using the NCL app, it said that “The Beatles” at the cavern was SOLD OUT. Not “first come, first served” - which is how it really is!!! We finally caught on, but it was very misleading and even the box office wasn’t clear. She said, “oh it’s sold out but you have a waiting line.” No, it’s first come, first served, and maybe a waiting line for people who don’t get in. I have a feeling this also applied to the Social Comedy club and that we missed out, thinking that it WAS sold out. We didn’t find that many activities to do that we liked. That is just personal. Also, many featured things like “Deal or No Deal” have to be bought into, in order to even get a chance to play. It seemed that we were being nickel and dimed all the time. Some folks would say, “Well, i just pay for what i want and don’t overpay.,” Well said, but i like a more inclusive experience, I think. Excursions: Glad we didn’t do any based on the crazy crowds that lined up. However, we walked to the marina in Cabo San Lucas, and you can easily grab a little boat trip out to Land’s End for 10.00 - that’s right, 10 bucks - per person. It was really fun and lasted about 45 minutes. TV selection. I guess this is a cruise ship problem. There were few things to watch on TV. We like to chill in our stateroom in the afternoons, so it would have been nice to grab a movie or series. We saw one only (A STar is born). Crowds crowds crowds. This wasn’t just our observation. The place can be a madhouse after the end of any show. People crowd the elevator areas and it’s very difficult to get a lift during some hours. VERY difficult. During the “next” cruise presentation, NCL said that except for one ship, future ships were going to be a tad smaller. I wouldn’t rule out a smaller NCL ship. I didn’t like that they were always pushing the sale of some lotto ticket and chance to win money for the cruise. Like, before just about every show or presentation. Shopping: o.k. Not as many high end watches (if ya care) or other souvenirs. I’ve seen more on smaller ships. Just saying... Rooms: our end tables were 6” wide - that’s right, SIX INCHES - and everything kept on falling off. There were nice USB ports on the lamps. I didn’t find myself sitting on the balcony, BUT it was very fun to have when arriving or leaving port, or to grab a wonderful sunset. In conclusion, this was a very fun cruise for us, and we enjoyed the entertainment, but didn’t find that many other activities to draw us in. (The game shows were held in the very active, noisy Atrium, so they weren’t as engaging as they would have been if held in a smaller club or bar). All in all, I enjoyed my cruise on the Bliss. I don’t think i would sail her again because the crowd size and constant “pay for this” mentality that left me feeling a little disenchanted. It’s partly our fault, because we aren’t into go-carts and laser tag, which many adored. I think we prefer more of a classic shipboard atmosphere. It was GREAT that it wasn’t stuffy, but sometimes we missed certain traditional things. Also, the disembarkation was really really awful. They need to spread it out or find ways to manage the hoards better. People totally lost their civility, getting in line 1 hour before their “color” was even called. They packed the elevators and stairwells, preventing an organized exit. This made things almost dangerously crowded and difficult. Then again, pay for the upscale “Haven” and i bet it was an entirely different animal. But one still might venture out into the huddled masses (which is how I felt) and then, ugh, very crowded. They need to explain how the smaller clubs work on the ship (first come, first served) and not say “This is sold out” on the activities app. That was really annoying! I loved ditching the “formal nights” and that nonsense. I like “freestyle dining” although it is still wise to book a table if you also have other evening plans. If you can afford it, “The Haven” is the way to go. It will give you a respite from the crowds as well as a lot of priority perks (including disembarkation). I personally would book a smaller, more upscale ship if i were going to spend that money, BUT if I had teens and pre-teens, might consider this ship because of the water features, laser tag, and track. This is especially good for young adults and families, as there are singles cabins and plenty of music venues as well as that super water park and scary slides!
How should I answer this? Questions for tipped job.
1) Who do you direct tip? 2) How much daily? 3) Out of 10 table's average % tipped to you? 4) Out of 10 tables how many stiff you? 5) How many times do you go to the bar daily? (Average) 6) How much do you tip bar daily? (Average) We have a tip compliance at our job it's about 11 dollars an hour and now any auto-gratuity/18% we put on a check goes to our paycheck and we get taxed on it. Before it was part of our tip compliance. Most of the time we don't make that much considering it's slow. We work in a small casino so IRS had us on tip compliance even though the dennys and ihop I've worked for let me report my own cash tips and all credit card tips would be reported when clocking out. For question 1 we have to tip expos 1 dollar per hour we've worked minimum but then they also expect an extra tip from us. And stiffed every so often or coins on a big check mostly from the cheapos. Thanks in advance. Located in Las Vegas Nevada
Alicia godsey omaha | Find Good Online Pokies Games
Alicia godsey omaha – Pokies is the Australian word for poker, or the games which are played with slot machines. Poker is a very popular game in the Australian casinos. The online Poker games are those games which you can play by sitting in the comfort of your own home. There are many well-known online casinos which offer Poker game at your own computers. However, to find good Poker online games, you need to keep certain tips in mind. Alicia godsey omaha Alicia godsey omaha | Tips To Find Good Poker Games Online: 1) Conduct Proper Research – You need to research properly in order to find good Poker games on the Internet. This is a very critical step. If you get this step wrong, then you will really struggle with the rest of the tips regarding finding good Poker online. You need to find out a website which has a good reputation and which also happens to service your specific area. 2) Search Out Your Favorite Games – Searching for your favorite games can be a good way of finding good Poker games online. You can use the Google search engine to search for the Poker online games which you like. If you use Google search, you will be able to find sites of good repute, which offer facilities for playing online Poker. These websites will also be likely to serve your specific areas. However, the main reason for searching for your favorites Poker online games. The main reason is that you should enjoy the time which you spend on the website. There are several benefits associated with staying with a particular website and building up customer loyalty. 3) Look For Large Sign Up Bonuses – You should be on the lookout for the large sign up bonuses. Such bonuses could range from absolutely none to as much as three thousand dollars, which depends on the amount of money you are initially likely to deposit into the account. This is a very big benefit and is something which you should really take advantage of. It is not essential for you to deposit a large amount of money when you are playing online Poker. You can do well even if you put in a small amount of money. 4) Site Gaming Quality – You should avoid websites which have poor sound and video qualities. These can make your experience of playing online Poker very average indeed. Alicia godsey omaha | If you keep these tips in mind, you will have no difficulty in finding the best online Poker games. On-site Gaming – Kick-off your guys’ poker trip with some big-time dealing in your own suite. That’s right, we deliver the high-rolling casino thrills directly to you! This feature can be purchased separately with any package starting at $1,000 (Prices are subject to change – Gratuity not included). Contact your host for more high-rollin’ details. Alicia godsey omaha click here……….
So I had an exiting customer force a $5.00bill into my hand. Generous, and I really appreciate the gesture. Only problem is that I'm not allowed to accept gratuities. He was out the door before I could say anything. Which means I had to call dispatch and let them know what happened (putting the money in my pocket would have been the been the equivalent of resigning). This is known as a 'forced tip' where I work. I actually had to write a report about it. The money is considered 'casino assets' and goes to the main cage. Truth be told, I should have dropped it on the floor. Then I could have 'found it' and submitted it as found cash, claimed it in 30 days.
I’m a casino server in Las Vegas, I was working today on thanksgiving (a notorious day for cheap people to be out and about) After getting stiffed non stop the entire day I decided to take matters into my own hand ...a lot of people from foreign countries don’t tip so sometimes you need to let them know Anywho I had a group of people order and they didn’t tip. They were playing black jack. I smile and stand there I ask them if they would like anything else They said no they’re good I ask them if that’s it for them They say yes they’re good I ask if they would like any change They said no I let them know all drinks are complementary but we accept gratuity, UNLESS the service was bad then I can call my manager. Then they look at me like I’m crazy and I just smile and say that’s it and they say yes without tipping 🤦♀️ I mean they just sat down to play they didn’t even have time to lose any money at least not in my section.
I am curious how people personally determine their threshold when pricing out a cruise. Do you have a set amount, either by cruise, or per person, or per person/per night that you try not to exceed? Are you just looking at the price of the cabin, or including other things you know you're going to spend money on such as gratuities, badrink package, excursions, casino, spa, specialty dining? Do you keep travel costs and pre/post cruise hotel as a separate budget, or do you factor that in as well? What makes a cruise a "great deal" for you, vs "eh, that's alright" vs "they've got to be kidding!"? Do you have different pain points for different itineraries - Caribbean vs Mediterranean vs Alaska (etc), or do you try and keep all your cruises within your set comfort level?
This cruise was the most horrible I've ever been on! I'm going to outline a few of the problems, and the narrative the rest. Mind you, I've been in almost constant contact with Carnival and they choose to do nothing to remedy the situation! Hubby and I cruised out of NOLA in April, immediately booked another for sons Senior trip in May, out of Galveston on the freedom. Minutes before embarking in Galveston, I'm notified the credit card I used for previous cruise had been compromised. Embarkation process was slow and unorganized, with guests being yelled at by staff, an altogether different atmosphere than NOLA. Very bad, not vacation-y or enjoyable at all. Problem #1 After 4 hours, our luggage was finally delivered to our balcony state room, where I find my brand new hard case suitcase to be split across the bottom with a wheel hanging only by a few pieces of plastic. Inside, my husbands $1300 Invicta reserve Watch was damaged to the point of not working, not to mention the huge scratch across the face of it. Guest services was notified. They directed us to purchase a new piece of luggage in the Port of Cozumel up to $200 and we would be reimbursed. We took 1/2 our day in port, paid $80 for taxi to take us to some "mall" and got a pos piece of luggage for an outrageous amount. The guest services manager refused to reimburse me for the taxi fee. They said that my husbands watch and any other contents wasn't their problem. Thanks Carnival. Got our $$ now your customer service is non-existent. I see. Problem #2. We had all gratuities removed from our account and chose to disperse them on our own as cash. When I went to guest services to do this, the agent and the manager spoke to each other, thinking I couldn't hear them, about how I am "grumpy" when I asked him why they called me grumpy, he stuttered a bit, giggled, and said they had said country. Haha. I know exactly what they said. They just didn't expect to get caught. Problem #3 Two days after embarkation, the credit card I used on this sailing was compromised. This card has never been used for anything other than sail and sign on this ship. And it stays in a protected sleeve, so I know it wasn't scanned. So, simple math says to me... card A number used on carnival cruise 1 was stolen + card B number used solely on carnival cruise 2 was stolen = carnival cruise lines has a security issue somewhere within their credit card system. However, I'm the only one that can do that math. No one at Carnival WANTS to admit any fault. They also don't want to compensate me for any of the trouble I've had to go thru due to any of their employees short comings, fraudulent activity, or disrespect. Think twice before you give them your credit card number! And if you choose to do so, be sure to check and double check every single charge that comes thru that card account for the next few months!! On a side note, I spent over $8000 in the casino and $6000 on jewelry on the cruise in April. On the cruise in May, I spent over $14000 in the casino!!
Recap!! (budget & rsvp breakdown, schedule, photos, after thoughts)
Date: Sunday, 12/2/2018 Location: Seattle area Total cost: $25k I love a good brain dump after the end of a long-planned event, so I spent this evening going over all the little details before they start to fade. I'm mostly writing it all down to help myself remember and help friends and family plan in the future, but hopefully some of you will find this enormous wall of text useful as well :) PICS:https://imgur.com/a/7cRjN19 Stationery:https://imgur.com/a/sgpiWZF RSVP breakdown:
Photographer: $3,379 (8hrs of photography, high-res photos) Flowers: $403.30 Cake: $554.53 Nails: $75? (Spa pedicure, Shellac french manicure with accent nail art) Hair: $45? (We switched from full updo at the trial to half-up/half-down the day of, and she gave me a friend discount so I don't remember the final total, sorry!) Makeup: $140 (Included trial run, false lashes, touch-up kit, friend discount) My Outfit: $1600?
Alterations: $400? (replaced zipper with corset back, hem, 12-point bustle)
Accessories: $ 40?
Muff: $29.99 (probably could have made two muffs with that much fur, but wanted to leave room for error)
Bridesmaids x5: $157.59 each (They bought their own dresses and shoes, and added on hair and full face makeup if they wanted)
Capelet and pin: $15.92
Gift box: $90? (decorative box, dice bag with their gamer handle embroidered, assorted dice, tin of tea, peppermint chapstick, old fashioned ornament, wine or cocoa mix (for those that don't drink), pajamas)
Stationery: $580.19 (basicinvite.com, used 20% off codes on all orders)
Save the Dates x75: $106.59
Invitation suite x80: $357.76 (invite, details card, rsvp card and pre-stamped envelope, belly band)
Thank you cards x80: $115.84
Wedding rings: $1,200? (both white gold bands with extended warranty, free repairesizing/redipping for life) Miscellaneous: $1,200?
Guestbook ornaments: $130?
Name cards: $90 (bought a template on Etsy, had them cut and printed at FedEx)
Signs: $13.96 (Welcome table, cocoa bar, 2x bar menu. Printed on cardstock, put in cheap standing frame)
Favors x150: $689.70 (Customized Adagio tea tin and 2 Dilettante chocolates in a silver box with a bow)
Centerpieces x17: $170.94 (Greens, ornaments, and twinkle lights in a glass bowl)
Sand ceremony supplies: $46.83
DIY Photobooth: $90? (already owned the iPad. Bought a tripod, iPad attachment, some props, and a photobooth app)
Bubbles for grand departure: $50.94
My engagement ring
Beach house for bridesmaids the night before
Hotel rooms for groomsmen and family the night before
All honeymoon/travel costs
Rehearsal dinner (covered by groom's parents)
Schedule Day Before: 12-12:45pm - rehearsal at venue 2-4pm - rehearsal “dunch” 4pm onward
Groomsmen hung out at the casino (where they were staying)
My parents met and had dinner with the late-arriving out of town guests
Me and the bridesmaids hung out at the house we rented next to the venue. Harry Potter marathon in matching pajamas ensued.
Day of: 8:30am - Hair and Make-up artists arrived at the house.
Harry Potter marathon continued while everyone took turns getting hair and make-up done
10:00am - My mom arrived with donuts, joined the line for hair and make-up 11:00am - My dad arrived with sandwiches for lunch 12:30ish - Photographer arrives for getting ready photos as hair and make-up is wrapping up. 1:00pm -
Everyone at the bridesmaid house is driven over to the main venue building (the Atrium) to get dresses on and prepare for first look.
Groomsmen arrive at the venue, get ready in a separate building (the Lodge).
2:00pm - First look photos, photos with wedding party 2:45pm - Photos with family 3:30pm - Bridesmaids hide in dressing room in the Atrium while guests arrive 4:00pm - Ceremony in the Atrium 4:30pm -
Move guests to the Lodge for cocktail hour
Bride, Groom, Maid of Honor, Best Man, Officiant sign marriage license in a separate room
More bride and groom photos
5:00pm - Bride and groom join cocktail hour 5:30pm - Move everyone back to the Atrium for dinner, bride and groom introduced 5:45pm - Dinner service begins 6:30pm - Toasts (best man, maid of honor, father of the bride) 7:00pm -
Couple’s first dance
Father daughter dance
Mother son dance
8:30 - Grand departure What went well: Bridesmaid dresses: The girls used Azazie and were extremely happy with them! Each picked a different chiffon dress in the same color (dark green) and they turned out exactly how we hoped! The vendors: 10/10 stars for every single one of my vendors. All of them went above and beyond my expectations and were absolutely fantastic to work with. All of them were on my venue’s preferred vendors list, except hair and makeup who are friends of mine from high school that started a HMU business together. Going to the venue’s open house: One of the venues we were considering has an annual wedding open house. We made last-minute plans to go, and it was the best planning decision we made. We were so thrilled with the venue we put our deposit down on the spot. We got a chance to try all of their entrees and appetizers, and some drink samples. We got to meet lots of vendors who were already preferred by the venue, and we found our photographer, baker, and florist there that day! First look: I had always wanted my husband to first see me in my dress as I was walking down the aisle. But having been at weddings where guests had to wait 2-3 hours for photos to be taken between the ceremony and reception, I opted to get photos out of the way beforehand with a first look. It was still every bit as wonderful as I had imagined, and it just made the timing work out so smoothly. And, I had the added bonus of a partial outfit change between the first look and the ceremony - he never actually saw my full dress (or my veil at all) until I walked down the aisle, thanks to: The Cape!: I knew that I was signing up for a couple hours of (hopefully) outdoor photos, in a strapless dress, in December, in Seattle. Even in the best weather scenario, it was going to be cooooldddd. So I got a navy blue cape and (faux) fur muff to keep warm during the outdoor bits. I was very comfortably warm the whole time, it looks awesome in the photos, and it mostly kept my dress a surprise until the actual ceremony (where I took the cape off and put on my veil). The Bridal Buddy: OMG. One of my bridesmaids got me this as a shower gift. I cannot sing its praises highly enough. I was able to put this delightful contraption over my form-fitting slip and under the actual dress. It took 2 bridesmaids to help lift my dress and find the arm holes, but once the dress was skooshed in and the neck hole cinched up I was free to go to the bathroom ALL BY MYSELF. As an extremely shy person this was a priceless freedom to me. It felt extremely secure when “in use”, I never worried about my dress falling into the toilet. It didn’t show under my dress at all, I completely forgot it was there the rest of the time. I swear they’re not paying me anything, I just really loved this product!! Shellac manicure: Totally worth the cost. Got them done 3 days before the wedding, and they held up beautifully for over 2 weeks! Zero worries about scratching or breaking them!! Early rehearsal dinner: I was a little disappointed that my MIL had scheduled the rehearsal dinner so early, but I’m SO glad she did. I was able to enjoy it without worrying about how late it was getting, and then I had plenty of time afterwards to spend with my bridesmaids at the house while still getting to sleep at a sane-ish hour. I figured we would get hungry later in the evening after eating so early, but we just ordered pizza at around 8pm and it was PERFECT. Guestbook ornaments:I made another post about this earlier. I was SO HAPPY with how this turned out. I expected people would just sign their names, but most people got super creative with decorating them!!! I got a spray polyurethane to seal the wood and protect the writing (thank you so much streetbirds for the advice!), and the ornaments signed by the band made it onto the wedding tree and back home unscathed! Hot Cocoa Bar: I was disproportionately excited about this. It was one of the first wedding ideas I had, and I was worried about the venue doing it justice (I wasn’t allowed to bring any outside food or drinks, besides a cake by an approved bakery) but it was PERFECT!! It wasn’t just powder packets and hot water, they had real melted chocolate in milk, and all sorts of fun toppings!! I got SO many comments on it!!! No kids: There were a LOT of guests, mostly extended family, with young children. I had a very particular vision for the ambiance of the event, and the unpredictability of two dozen young kids was just not what I wanted. I communicated this as early as possible to everyone with children, and only 2 couples (both with ~2 month old newborns) were unable to make it due to this decision. My MIL shielded me from most of those conversations, but everyone was very understanding. No DJ, no dancing: I’ve never been into dancing. I’m that person who tries to find another non-dancer to talk to while desperately trying to not get peer-pressured into awkwardly bobbing around on the dance floor to music that triggers awkward memories of Jr. High school. I had a first dance with my husband, a dance with my father, and he danced with his mother. Otherwise all of the music was a Spotify playlist of relaxing holiday music. I pay for Spotify premium so I was able to download the playlist onto my laptop (and a couple of old phones as backups), and that worked perfectly! I was worried that people would get bored without the dance floor, but people were perfectly happy to chat, play with the photo booth, play with the coco bar, explore the venue, and enjoy the liquid entertainment we provided ;) What I’d do differently: Read the ceremony script beforehand: I can’t believe this never actually occurred to me beforehand, but it legitimately didn’t! My husband’s grandfather has officiated all of the grandkids' weddings so far, and having been to most of those weddings I always thought the ceremony was beautiful and exactly what I would want. Which it was for the most part... the only real problem I had were a couple of very hetero-normative/cis-normative comments (“God made us male and female”, stuff like that). Fortunately my LGBTQ+ friends in attendance confirmed that they brushed it off as “religious grandpa doing his thing” and not something I'd asked for or approved beforehand, so it wasn’t really a problem. Just something I would have liked to tweak in advance if I had thought to ask! Schedule our grand departure earlier: We had initially planned on having our departure at 9pm, but I was noticing a lot of people starting to trickle out around 8:15. A lot of people had work the next morning (it was a Sunday night), others had a ferry to catch (which was leaving at 8:45), and I was worried that there would only be like 10 people left to blow bubbles at us!! So we ended up leaving at around 8:30. There were plenty of people still there, this allowed more time for cleanup before our time at the venue ended, and we ended up making the 8:45 ferry with a bunch of our guests! Bridesmaid robes: I never understood why it was so popular to get matching robes for getting ready together. Particularly the lightweight satiny robes I always see in pictures. I’d never wear it again, and I doubted any of my bridesmaids would, so I got us matching pajamas instead since we were staying together the night before. Until I realized...you wear a robe so you don’t have to pull a shirt over your head and mess up your hair and makeup!! DURR. I ended up having to ask everyone to make sure they brought a robe or button-down shirt for getting ready (and ironically one bridesmaid got to re-use her robe from another wedding). It worked out fine anyway, though the robe I brought was a heavier bath robe which did get uncomfortably toasty after a while.
Is it right to hold customers accountable for servers not making enough money?
Every server you will ever meet, past or present, has a story of someone racking up enormous bills, sometimes totaling upwards of $500 if you're in a nice enough restaurant with or with a big enough group, and getting $10 or less for a tip. Obviously, anyone that can afford a $500 tab by themselves can easily afford an extra $50 for a tip. (Unpopular opinion, but for large tabs I don't expect or demand more than about 10% just because a $50 tip is still $50, but I digress.) The way I see it, restaurants have two options for combating large groups, or anyone, for that matter, from not tipping their servers. 1.) Restaurants can add gratuity to a bill. I've seen some restaurants that believe strongly in this, but this is often seen as a slap in the face to patrons, as tips are generally seen as payment for good service, and can be lowered for bad service. I've had many tables where I've gotten tipped 10% or less, but admittedly, I did something to deserve a lesser tip, and when this occurs, I'm usually fine with the smaller tip. If I give bad service, I shouldn't get a full tip. Great in theory, but servers make mistakes, and we should be held accountable. 2.) Restaurants could pay their servers more. It isnt a hard concept, but for some reason, because there is "extra income" we're allowed to be paid less than minimum wage. Outside of servers, bartenders, and pizza delivery drivers, most other tipped jobs that I can think of still make at least minimum wage. Caddies (in my experience, however I expect this to be debated), casino dealers, and bellhops all make at least minimum wage, but also make extra money from tips. Why is serving still seen as something that employers don't value? At a restaurant I worked, they would often keep us on the clock long after it was dead and done for the day "just in case it got busy," which it never did. When we asked the manager why some of us weren't cut when there were 8 servers on at 8pm on a Tuesday, her reply was "I only pay you about $4 an hour, it's not a big deal". Problem with this logic is that it's a waste of our time, because we're at work but somehow not making any money. I understand that this may have been because this manager was shitty(she wasn't that bad, but she had no respect for our time outside of work), but this seems to be common in the industry. I realize it will take a lot more than a reddit post for there to be any inkling of change, but I wanted to know what others thoughts on the issue are. In some states, minimum wage for servers can legally be less than $2.25/hr, which is fucking absurd. Some nights are great, and servers can walk out with $100-200, but some nights are awful, I've had nights where I've lost money after tipouts (giving money to bartenders and hosts in case there are other terms for this)because the night was so damn slow or I got stiffed on all the tables I had for the evening. I dont really know how to close this, but has anyone else had this thought? I do genuinely enjoy serving, but sometimes it's the worst job in the world and I wonder why I don't quit and go back to Walmart where I made $12/hr and only lost money to taxes.
Almost got kicked out of Seattle Children’s hospital.
My son is in children’s. His heart is failing, right now the doctors are trying all options before going to the last resort of the transplant list. My husband and I have been at the hospital every waking possible minute. Unfortunately as a casino dealer he is paid an hourly wage, but most of his money come from gratuity. They gave him time off, but his time off only consists of his hourly wage which in wa state is around $12/hr. My son is stable for now and as a couple we made the decision it was time for him to go back to work. We have no idea what the future is going to bring to we wanted to be proactive and have him work when he is able to. So I’m not sure if other children’s hospitals are the same, but on each floor they have a lounge area. It has a kitchen and fridge where families can store and make food to cut down on the costs of eating away from home. The floor my son is on is the cardiac icu, so all families on that floor are part of a little clique we never wanted to be part of. Just because of that there is a sense of family or solidarity. We are all going through something incredibly trying and awful. It’s not unheard of to receive hugs from complete strangers when making food or just taking a minute out of your child’s room. We were in this lounge area and I was saying goodbye to my hubs as he was leaving to go to work. He works nights and sleeps in the available sleep rooms children’s has. He is there all day during tests etc. A couple over heard us saying goodbye and mentioned how hard it must be for him having to leave. I explained what I said above about working for tips. She casually asked if I worked. And I said no, I had always stayed home with our three children. Instantly she perks up saying she has a job that allows her to work from home so she gets the best of both worlds. AND she gets to play with makeup all day. Ok, I have a Facebook, I know what younique is. I said something to the effect of, oh I’m happy that works for you, but I’m not interested in work that is a glorified pyramid scheme. Ok, it was kind of rude. I admit it. She said that was inaccurate info and that pyramid schemes are illegal. I just continued making food. Her husband comes over to her and says that “he’s so glad that she values spending time with her kids enough to work from home.” I said excuse me? Are you implying that my husband doesn’t value spending time with my son, because he has a job? He said well if it walks like a duck... I said you both are sick for using this situation to attempt to recruit people and I’m complaining immediately. It took everything in me not to hit either one of them. Just they way they were looking at me, so smug, like they were better than us. So long story short, they didn’t even have a child in children’s!! They had been making their way from lounge to lounge on each of the floors over the last few weeks. They had been kicked out twice for the exact same type of thing!! I’m not really sure how they kept getting on the special floors like the ccu and the ONCOLOGY floor because you have to be buzzed in and it’s supposed to only be families that have children on that floor. They had been in the main cafeteria, they had been to support groups for families. I was floored at how low they were willing to stoop. Now I know not everyone who is involved in MLM are like this. I just needed to vent and found this forum. My first post on reddit, but I think I will be staying at least on this page!
[30M] Looking for a cruise buddy - November 9-18 (Cruise Fare is free!!)
Hey all, I won a Caribbean cruise for two leaving from New York City on November 11 until November 18 and none of my friends have any vacation time, so that is where you come in!! About me: I am a 30 year old male from California. I travel frequently and I love to meet new interesting people. While cruising I typically enjoy slow paced relaxing days at sea and exploring or finding an adventure while in port. I enjoy good conversation over dinner, a good drink with the entertainment in the evening and can often be found in the casino late at night!! About you: Any age, any gender, any nationality. Just looking for an interesting human to share my trip with the hopes you will help improve my experience. All I ask is that you are a relaxed, go with the flow type of person; it is a vacation after all. ;) Mainly I am looking for someone to share meals and to explore the ports with. I will be spending several hours each day at an event on board, so you will have plenty of time to explore and be on your own as well. About the trip: I plan to arrive in NYC a few days before the cruise departs (Nov 8 or 9), you are welcome to meet me early to explore there as well. After a couple days we get on the ship the afternoon of Nov 11, seven days away before returning to NYC and taking a flight home the afternoon of Nov 18. On-board we would be sharing a room with two separate beds (don't worry, I am not a snorer). Depending on your interests we can choose either: an alcohol package, a tour credit package or a fine dining package for free. As mentioned, the cruise fare is already paid for. The only costs to you would be on-board/in port expenses and gratuities (~$200-$300 total). Depending on where you are coming from I may be able to help cover airfare costs as well. If this sounds like something you would be interested in please reach out and send me a message so we can chat. I'm happy to share some social media contacts with you and video chat a few times to verify who I am. I look forward to speaking with you and hopefully cruising with you soon!! PS: I travel frequently and am often looking for travel buddies. If we get along well this could lead to more trips together in the future!!
Please help me decide between the two venues for a possible fall wedding of 2020! We wanted to keep within 100 guests, budget is $15k. We wanted our guests to have fun and enjoy the night with us. Food and photography is our priority. http://biloxiwhitepillars.com Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/WhitePillars/photos/?ref=page_internal The first venue is White Pillars restaurant. To reserve the day of, it would have to be a buyout for $15k for everything excluding open bar. The event coordinator there are willing to work with me on a set price for food & beverage including gratuity&tax and that can expand up to 350 guests. The menu would be curated to our tastes and from the reviews, the restaurant has a great chef and food. Here are some pros and cons: Pros: Great food, with in-house chef Alll-inclusive $15k for up to 350 people (if we plan on expanding. Fiancé side has a LOT of people and I'm worried his mom might want to increase the list.) I really love the interior; it is Beautiful, minimal decor is needed Awesome bar display. Just really love the elegant atmosphere, but at the same time, not too formal. Good location, on the coast, close to casinos and hotels Minimal work for us. Cons: No outside ceremony area (it's something fiancé and I wanted, but not a big problem if we can do it inside) minimal 50-75 guests inside ceremony, not sure how that works out. It would have to be flipped once ceremony is done during cocktail hour. $15k is out of our budget and that's not including photography/videography, open bar, cake, etc. Link: https://www.wedding-spot.com/venue/12411/Biloxi-Visitors-Cente The Biloxi Visitor Center is a historical venue sits right on the coast where the view of the lighthouse is right in front of it. Pros: Affordable, rental fee is $1000. Options are open for different caterers. Outside lawn ceremony or inside in case it rains. Has a ballroom, max to 120 people without dance stage, 96 limit with a dance stage. Cons: Since it's just a venue, it'll be more work for us to find catering in for food & beverage, ceremonial chairs etc. We can't increase the amount of people we want to invite since the space is limited if parents wanted to invite more people. Any advice, suggestions, thoughts or anything is greatly appreciated!
I just got back and a friend who is taking the exact same cruise and is also cost conscious asked me to give him all my lessons learned. I figured you all might benefit even if some of this information isn't strictly about cruising. I'm going to ask my travel companions to review it (first time in Hawaii and first time cruising) to see if they have anything to add.
Getting There And Getting Around
Air Fare With Southwest now offering tickets to Hawaii, I expect the competitive market to drop prices across the board but unless you are fortunate enough to live on the west coast in a city with flights that fly direct, air fare can be pricey. I had to get 4 people there round-trip (2 from rural Maine, 1 from Louisville Kentucky and 1 from the Baltimore/D.C. area). I ended up signing up for the Chase Sapphire credit card (annual fee waived for the first year) and the Alaska Airlines credit card that gave me a buy one/take one sign up offer. My total air fare cost was $2400. Besides the credit card, there was no secret other than monitoring the prices as far in advance as possible to see what typical prices are and then striking when there was a decent sale. I would also mention following Scott's Cheap Flights on the off chance a deal becomes available for when you were already planning on traveling. Ground Transportation We flew into Waikiki on Tuesday (cruise started on Saturday) so I got a rental car through Autoslash. The total cost for a mid-size for 4 days was $176 and ended up being from Alamo. While I feel this was a good deal as I had four people, if you're not 100% sure you will need it - you can probably get by with an Uber, taxi or even a hop on/off bus (see excursions later). Many excursions had an option for hotel pickup/drop-off. Probably the best deal I found was Star Taxi which only charged $25 for up to 4 people one-way to/from the cruise terminal and not much more for other locations. Call 1 hour before you need the service. Parking Parking is EXPENSIVE so be sure to do a lot of research if you plan on renting a vehicle.
General In your mind, you have this idea of what Hawaii is going to be like. Oahu (specifically Honolulu/Waikiki) is not it. It is very over developed and crowded. Many places are run-down because investors have purchased the property but have chosen to wait until conditions are more favorable to develop. There is a very large homeless population in Hawaii overall but I was shocked by the number of shanty towns and abandoned vehicles doubling as homes I saw on Oahu. Excursions
Snorkel-Cruise-Swim-Dolphins-Turtles - highly recommended (hint: This excursion may be cheaper directly with the vendor Dolphins And You - if you buy the photos, you will have to go to their Waikiki office later to pick them up and they will offer you a 10% discount on merchandise at that time).
Shark Dive - Unfortunately, this tour got canceled due to weather so I can't comment on it. Since it is on the north shore, the plan was to do an early morning adventure (when the water is calmest) and then spend the rest of the time exploring the beaches and surfers. (hints: You may be able to get this cheaper directly with the vendor North Shore Shark Adventures and if you drive, take one way to get there and another way to get back so you can experience more of the island).
Sunset Cruise & Show - The people I was going with had never cruised before so this was to get their feet wet so to speak. It was nice but not spectacular. You may be able to get it cheaper directly through the vendor Star Of Honolulu. On Fridays, they offer an extra hour for a nominal fee upgrade which includes fireworks. I didn't see the fireworks myself but several people I talked to said they are put on by a hotel and aren't anything special. (hint: If you drive, they will validate your parking ticket and parking will only be $4 instead of $18).
Waikiki Trolley Hop-On Hop-Off You can trade time for money and if you have time, this would be a much more cost effective solution to getting around and is very configurable (how many days of use, how many different lines, etc.)
Polynesian Culture Center - I had the Ambassador Luau Package With Circle Island Tour of Oahu. Pickup was at 8:30 in the morning and drop off wasn't until after 10 PM so it is a long day. If you do this one I have several recommendations. First, take it early in the trip because it includes a multi-day pass so you can go back at no charge for 3 more days and the Circle Island tour allows you to see some areas you may want to explore on your own. Second, you don't get food until 6 PM so be sure to eat breakfast first and plan the rest of the time accordingly (bring snacks for instance). The only thing I was disappointed in was the Diamond Head didn't actually drive up to the crater. Update After the initial post, I was reminded by mashel2811 of a few things. The PCC is Mormon owned/operated which has pros/cons. On the downside, there is no alcohol on-site and things overall tend on the conservative side. Not that I have an issue with that but if you're looking for authenticity then this would represent Polynesia post Christian missionaries. On the upside, it is a huge facility that truly will allow you to experience many of the cultures besides just Hawaii. Also, regardless of how you feel about religion, the money taken in from PCC helps to sponsor many students education from all over Polynesia. I had nothing to compare the luau to but I have heard from several other people that there are much better options (the luau at PCC is optional). The Breath Of Life was awesome.
Pearl Harbor (see the end of the cruise excursions)
You probably want a beach other than Waikiki due to the number of people - Hanauma Bay looked awesome. If you do decide to stay in Waikiki, walking the coastline towards Diamond Head is a better choice for the beach instead of around all the hotels. This is because in Hawaii, beach access and water is considered a public service (free)
What is and isn't expensive didn't make any sense. Eggs imported from the mainland were cheaper than eggs from Hawaii despite chickens EVERYWHERE but I was able to get a large jar of peanut butter for $1.89. The best place I found for groceries was Don Quijote and it had a free parking garage.
Souvenirs were much cheaper on other islands
It rains - almost daily - but not for long - don't let it fool you - WEAR sunscreen of at least SP50
Hydrate more than usual - especially if you're drinking beer like me
Updates From original post below
You can get insanely discounted Pearl Harbor tickets from recreation.gov but they sell out in 5 minutes. Exactly 7am Hawaii time they sell tickets for the next day or for 2 months out. Nothing in between. I recommend having 2-3 people trying it simultaneous for different time slots. The early tickets sell faster. Then the bus ride anywhere is $2.50 each. When you board the bus ask for a transfer ticket. The transfer ticket is good for two more rides for the next 2.5 hours. If you get out of PH within the time slot you can ride back for free.
There's a stand near Breakout Waikiki that is a hard sell timeshare sales pitch (couples only). If you're willing to sit through it, they give you $150 towards an excursion or a free meal and a $120 Visa gift card (as of March 2019). If you want the exact location, message me.
You may think being a Costco member will help you out on expenses and you're probably right but know that the busiest Costco in the world is on Oahu and they claim 1 in 4 people have membership so plan accordingly (think shopping for the latest toy on Christmas Eve)
Pride Of America
I have to be honest, this was hands down the most expensive cruise I have taken and it was the worst cruise ship. I had a great time but there was a lot left to be desired.
Entertainment was very underwhelming - I believe unlike other mass-market cruise lines, NCL's entertainers are on multi-month contracts just like other staff. This tends to be bad for entertainers like comedians (how many different sets can they have prepared) but should be better for magicians (you shouldn't have to rely on the suitcase you get through security at the airport). I have seen a Vegas quality magic show on NCL before (Norwegian Spirit last November) but this act was honestly no better than a birthday party. I could go on but I will summarize it as this: On Carnival, I struggle deciding what I am going to do because of so many good things where as on this ship, I struggled to find anything I actually wanted to do.
Beer prices were outrageous and included a mandatory 20% gratuity and since you spend a LOT of time in port, taxes too. In each port, I found a better selection of beer right off the ship for at least 20 - 30% cheaper than on the ship. If you do drink on the ship however, I highly recommend the Gold Rush Saloon as it has a couple of beers on tap you can't get anywhere else. It has a self-serve popcorn machine and is adjacent to the buffet so you can get self-serve ice cream too.
The food was mediocre (main dining quality was about the same as the buffet which was good but not great). I didn't spend the money to try any of the specialty dining.
Update: One thing that really stood out as being a good thing is that the room had 3 US standard outlets!!! Why Does It Cost So Much
There is no casino to subsidize the fare cost
It is a US Flag cruise ship which means it has to abide by US labor laws (this is an indirect result of the Jones Act as it doesn't travel to any foreign ports)
Hawaii not only has a sales tax but a tourist imposed General Excise Tax which of course NCL passes on to you
Exclusivity - unless you want an extremely sea day intense cruise from California, around Hawaii, to Mexico and then back to California (or similar) cruise - they're the only show in town
Hint: You should get the NCL Mobile App. It includes dinner reservations, account charges, dinner reservations, deck plans, passenger to passenger chat for an additional fee ($10 vs Carnival's $5) and other nifty features. Observations I was astounded by the number of first time cruisers I saw (based on their ship card color). Because so many of the employees were American, I was also surprised by how many told me that they were on their first contract and wouldn't be back. The people (both employees and passengers) were incredibly friendly and most everyone seemed to be having a good time. I didn't see long lines at guest services. I mentioned earlier how this was the worst ship I had been on - and, while true, shouldn't give you the impression that I didn't have a great time. For my traveling companions, they had nothing to compare it to and other than the entertainment - they had no complaints at all and loved it.
Day 1 & 2 Maui (overnight)
If you have ever been on a Caribbean cruise and you didn't feel like paying for an expensive excursion you could always just walk off the ship and go to a beach or a shopping district or a friendly bar - something. This is not the case in Maui. Where the Pride Of America docks there is absolutely nothing (it took 10 minutes to walk out of the port with chained link fence on both sides only to end up about another 10 minutes away from a strip mall). I do want to point out that the strip mall did have a few artisans selling things out on the sidewalk but this was far from what you will be used to at other locations. So what to do instead?
Rent a car if you want to go on your own - day rentals are common and you will be in port overnight. You will have to do your own research as to what to do as I booked excursions for both days
Go up to Haleakala Crater for sunset or sunrise. I went for sunset as sunrise required leaving the ship at 3 AM. I can't stress how amazing this sunset was at nearly 2 miles above sea level. If you go, take plenty of warm (think Maine winter) cold. It was 44 degrees without the windchill when we arrived at around 5 PM (still sunny) and the temperature dropped significantly by the end of the sunset (around 6:40 for us but varies based on time of year).
Road To Hana - I didn't take this excursion but it is extremely popular. Most guests I spoke with said they absolutely loved it though a few called it the road to hell (it's an all day excursion)
Maui Northshore & Waterfall Walk - This is the one I took because it was rated as "easy" and one of my traveling companions has mobility issues. There is an alternative called Waterfall Hike that you may want to consider. This was a great excursion which took you into a historical town for lunch (delicious) and gave you some free time to explore the artisans (glass blowing, jewelry making, etc.) before taking you to the private access Wailele Farm. The waterfalls you can walk to (as opposed to hike to) were not breathtaking but overall the plants and flowers here were amazing. You will get an opportunity to eat many of the things you encounter so if you're feeling adventures, give it a try.
This is the first of two days on the island of Hawaii and it is on the eastern (very wet) side of the island. Normally doing two excursions in one day is a not recommended. I would make an exception here because the Botanical Gardens are not to be missed. It is a short excursion (2.5 hours), is relatively inexpensive (you can even do it on your own) and is offered at multiple times allowing you to get another excursion in. Recommendations
The Botanical Gardens - either through NCL or directly with Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden - they have social media as well if you have questions. Tip: One of my traveling companions said walk through twice - once looking down and once looking up because there is just so much to see.
Go zip-lining. I happened to choose Zipline Through Paradise as it had a tandem/parallel course (you got to zip at the same time as someone else). You can even hold hands on one line for a very special photo. You may even want to book directly with Kapohokine
The other side of the island is a stark contrast to Hilo as it is dry/desert climate. It is the only tender port on the cruise. Unfortunately, we didn't fare very well here on excursions but shopping and beer was good. It has been on my bucket list to be in a real submarine and go over 100 feet to below the surface to the ocean floor. That's what 3 of us did here in Kona and while I am glad that I can now say I have done it (105'), the experience itself was underwhelming. To not interfere with the wildlife, the sub doesn't use any artificial lights nor does anything to attract the fish to your windows. This means almost everything is a monochrome blue (the color red doesn't exist at this depth for instance). It's also nearly impossible to get nice photos out the windows even though they are clear enough - just not the right conditions. Now, I met a guest back on the ship that said he had a phenomenal time on a sub that wasn't sponsored through NCL but I'm not sure what it was. The other guest in my party decided to go on the Gold Coast & Cloud Forest excursion and was also not impressed. The gold supposedly comes from the Hawaii state fish (yellow trigger fish also known as humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa) but apparently they haven't been plentiful enough to turn the coast gold for years. She also said if she was a coffee drinker, she probably would have enjoyed it more (they are famous for their coffee). Recommendations
If you would like to buy coffee at a discount, a tour guide let me in on a little secret. To be called Kona Coffee it has to indicate what percentage is from Kona (i.e. 100%). Well, geography being what it is, the line between Kona and the region to south is arbitrary (created by humans) so buying coffee labeled just across the boarder (I forget the name of the place - I don't drink coffee) is 25% cheaper
If you want to see the pretty coral and reefs, consider a glass bottom boat ride. The bartender I chatted with told me that she used to work on the sub and a much more beautiful experience was the glass bottom boats.
Normally, the closer to port you are the more expensive things are - like souvenirs. That may in fact be the case in Kona but I found the prices at Whalers General Store to be very competitively priced. Many of the same items I saw at stops before here were at least 20% cheaper.
Have a drink or 6 at Paradise Brewing Company. I was fed up with the prices on the ship so I checked this place out (there was another one further up the street with a fairly large beer menu as well but they weren't very friendly so I moved on. I sat in here for hours (was one of the last tender boats back to the ship). It was extremely friendly - the beer was good, the food was good - I would definitely recommend.
Remember how I said you have this ideal image in your head of what Hawaii is and Oahu doesn't meet it. Kauai exceeds it - I fell in love and if I ever go back, I will just fly directly here and stay on this island - it is that good. I am not going to suggest you do anything other than exactly what I did because I couldn't possibly imagine having a better time. Recommendations
Day 1 - Best Of Kauai. I have no idea if a similar excursion can be booked elsewhere because it included 5 stops (Waimea canyon, Spouting Horn Park, Keoki's Paradise for lunch, Opaekaa Falls and Wailua River Fern Grotto). If you want to "build your own", just go to Waimea canyon and dine at Keoki's Paradise as they were the highlights of the day. If you are into photography and have gotten tired of lugging all of your lenses around, today is the day to have it all at the ready.
Now, there's more to the story than just these two excursions. First, since you're overnight you can stay out as late as you want. I asked our tour guide where an affordable place to get good beer close to the ship was. She recommended The Nawiliwili Tavern (or just the Tavern). It happens to be a 2 minute walk from one of the free shuttle stops and they have great pizza, beer and pool. Secret I learned this is also where a lot of the crew from the ship hang out after they get off at 9PM so if you want to have a real conversation and ask real questions - this is the place to do it. Once the bartender realized I was into craft beer and trying all they had, she told me about a brew pub not too far up the road that I really wanted to try but ran out of time.
Napali Coast (still day 6)
The cruise ship leaves port early (circa 2PM) and instead of heading to Honolulu backtracks around Kauai. There is a portion of the island that's only reachable by air (helicopter) or by sea (cruise ship) and I was fortunate enough to do both. Actually, our pilot said that a few of the beaches can be reached by a hiking 11+ miles but it isn't an easy hike. In any event, this is where the opening scenes of Jurassic Park were filmed if I remember correctly - utterly gorgeous. My pilot also let me in on a little secret - that the captain times the cruise ship to sunset when the coast is all lit up in spectacular colors so be out on deck with camera ready.
Day 7 - Honolulu (Pearl Harbor & City Tour)
I made a big mistake here. I booked a late flight so I could go to Pearl Harbor and then get dropped off at the airport. We had already done the Circle Island Tour and none of the other offerings were of interest. This was a mistake for two reasons. Reason 1: Exhaustion After having spent 5ish days in Waikiki and then taking a 7 day cruise, we were wiped out and really didn't have the stamina to really take it all in. Recommendations
Eat a big breakfast as this tour didn't include food
Bring food for the tour and possibly the airport (see airport notes below)
The cheapest place to get hot dogs at the time was at the Missouri ($6 as of March 2019)
If you are using your phone as a camera, practice taking photos against the bus window as the city tour took you to some neat places but they didn't stop to let you off
The tour includes the Missouri and the Arizona - everything else is additional
At the time of this writing, the Arizona was still under repair so you only took a boat close. You will be watching a very emotionally moving video before the boat ride so sit as close to the exit doors (front left) as you can so that when it's over you can pick one of the corners of the boat to get unobstructed photos from - they don't allow you to stand up and they don't play. Oh, and if you are sensitive to loud noises - when the bomb actually drops on the Arizona it is about 10 times louder than the rest of the film so be prepared
Our guide got tickets for the Arizona at 2:15 PM, helped us navigate the shuttle over to the Missouri and told us he would see us at the bus 3:30 PM. If you're not comfortable navigating on your own then this is probably not the tour for you
It's only 5 minutes from the airport so if you want to stay longer because of a late flight it would be fast/cheap to go on your own - just ask to get your luggage off the bus
Reason 2: Airport If you have a late flight home, I'm sorry. All of your checked bags have to be screened by agriculture (certain plants are not allowed to leave the state) which is airline specific and unless that airline is running flights all day (looking at you Alaska), then you will have to wait for them to open before you can even check in. While you wait, there is essentially no place to eat (Starbucks and a bar that serves hot dogs for $12.50 - yes, $12.50). I recommend you keep some food with you for this reason. They do offer a baggage hold service but the prices were ridiculous (4 checked bags for 24 hours was $100). Sorry if it seems like I am whining - it was the end of a long trip and I was returning to reality.
In this post, I have provided a number of links to NCL's excursions, directly to the vendor and also to Viator. Viator is part of Tripadvisor and generally speaking, you can trust the reviews. On most of the bookings, you can cancel for a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. They are competitively priced and you can usually get a discount. For instance, new customers will get offered a 10% discount off their first purchase. Companies like Ebates and TopCashBack will offer an additional 3 to 6% cash back as well. Use a credit card that gives back 2-4% on travel and it can really reduce the price. I haven't had too much trouble figuring out what vendor was being used through Viator so you could just book with them direct too and just use them as a way to find fun things to do and use the reviews to distinguish between what's good and what's not.
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