Originally Posted by peggyann1216
... but their tip is intended for their own personal pockets, and that's the way we want it to be.
Perhaps that is the way it was some time ago when a gratuity was our way of saying thank you for good service. But that is not happening today. As in the current model in Europe, a charge is added to your bill, referred to as the "service charge" and that amount is allocated in certain percentages to each participating employee. Whether or not you pay your "tips" in cash or via your onboard account, everyone in the system is going to get his or her share, their actual service performance notwithstanding. That is why we should no longer refer to this practice as tipping.
Having accepted this fact many many cruises ago, our daily service charges are left in tact and we then practice rewarding those who have made our cruise more pleasant with a true gratuity. It is our understanding that as we do not alter the daily service charge on our account the recipient can and will keep our gratuity. However, it has been hinted that when we do present a gratuity to an employee we do so in private.