Originally Posted by Wando
One correction...Royal Caribbean does not have autotipping. If you book their anytime dining you have to prepay. Otherwise tips are by cash. However, if you wish to have the tips added to your account the passenger must request it by filling out a form.
I have read that some cruiselines, tipping for room service is included in the autotip/service charge, but not all. I guess it depends on who brings the room service order...is it someone who is a tipped crew member or someone not included in the tip pool (eg. another crew member who agrees to do this for extra money over and above their regular duties).
RCCL doesn't have auto-tipping - yet. But they are in the process of introducing it.
All the mass market lines have Room Service Waiters as a near entry level position for Dining Room Staff. As such, they are part of the tipping pool.
Usually, if Room Service gets terribly busy, waiters are pulled from the buffet or dining room to assist. These people are already part of the tipping pool. It makes sense to have food servers delivering room service orders. They have proper USPH training and know the food better than non-food servers would.
There are a few exceptions. Occasionally Cabin Stewards are recruited, in a pinch, to assist with room service delivery. But they are already in the tipping pool as well. Even so, USPH does not want people who clean your toilet and bath tub to also handle your food.
It is extremely rare to have crew from other departments delivering room service orders to make extra money. The International Labor Organization carefully monitors the daily working hours of our crew. They cannot legally be "on the clock" more than 13 hours per day. Since most Hotel Department crew are already working very close to the legal maximum hours every day, it would be very difficult for them - and us - to legally work extra hours on the side.
Bear in mind also that cruise lines do not like to pay overtime or extra duty pay to anyone at any time. As a hotel manager on a ship, with the belt tightening and cost cutting that we see these days, I could never justify allowing a crewmember to work extra hours to get paid more money.