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Old January 18th, 2012, 05:50 PM
Bruce Chafkin1 Bruce Chafkin1 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ibiza / Japan
Posts: 620

Originally Posted by johnthed0g View Post
Bruce I see what you mean, but from a passenger's point of view even with P&O's lower recommended rates, two people giving a room steward 6+ a day multiplied by maybe 20 cabins works out to 3,600 a month, seems an awful lot of money to me, + whatever wages are received is more than I have ever earned & that is before taxation! We have no idea who if anyone he shares it with or if it just goes in a big pot to be shared out anyway.

Good point. The cruise lines do not explain to passengers how wages are computed, shared nor earned. The company you work for probably does not explain to your clients how your wages are computed, shared, nor earned.
There are two slight differences.
1. The product your company produces probably has your wages built into the price of the product. The cruise lines have followed the original idea from the White Star Line (1912) of adding the wages after the purchase of the product.
In both cases the customer pays the wages; one indirectly, one directly.

2. You get to keep most of your wages - except for taxes. Cruise line employees have always shared their wages with many other people. In the old days when we received cash in envelopes, we had to tip the dishwashers to keep an eye on our cutlery, the laundry staff to deliver our clean sheets and table cloths in a timely manner, the cleaners who vaccumed and mopped, the sailors who assisted in cleaning cabins and carrying suitcases, the aassistant waiters and assistant stateroom stewards, the list goes on and on.
Today when you are charged a daily tip, all that money goes into a pool. All the people we used to tip directly now get a share of that pool.

Whatever the amount you think you are tipping a steward, he gets to keep only a small fraction of that money. That's the way it has always been.

The one BIG change however is the amount that is being tipped. Thirty years ago, the average daily tip given was over US$25 per person.
Today, thirty years later - without factoring in inflation - the average tip is less than half of that. But the same number of crewmembers are getting a share of that now much smaller pie.

Can you imaging working for an industry where your salary is reduced every year for three decades, until it is less than half of where you started?
Then at the same time, you have customers claiming that you are well compensated?

Is it any wonder that the best service people in the cruise industry quit long ago because they could no longer afford to work on ships?
Next time you have a service issue on a ship, wonder why the waiter is not very good, or ask why there are not more crew to take care of you, you will know the answer.
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