So what would be the difference if the crew were actually paid a living wage instead of needing to rely on the kindness of strangers?
Service would decline, that much is obvious. If no part of you wage relies on the quality of your service you donít have the incentive to go the extra mile. 9 out of 10 people on this board seem to rate cruise service consistently excellent.
I am tired of reading about how hard the crew works, and how they really need the tip money. I agree they do work hard, but I am tired of being told I HAVE to TIP, that I am cheap or mean if I don't.
Most of the major cruise lines tipping policy is a SUGGESTION it is not a must. They may add it on but you can take every bit of it off at the end of your cruise if you want.
When I HAVE to do something it is not a gratuity!
Once again it is not MANDATORY on most cruise lines. You can adjust up or down at the end. If you have some form of personal embarrassment about doing this then that is you fault.
The actual people who are being cheap and mean are the cruise lines for hiring these people on and paying them so little and expecting guilt to provide the wages.
By paying a good wage upfront and making cruise lines a no tipping zone ala' all inclusive resorts, the service would decline. Go to any all-inclusive resort (tips included) and compare the service to a cruise line. It cant compare.
If they pay employees more where do you think that money will come from? Its first year economics. Either you are going to pay $400 for a 5 day cruise and tip $50, or the cruise lines are going to pay employees more and you are going to pay $450 and not have to tip. Then you REALLLY donít have a choice and the service will be worse. Even though itís the same amount I guess that wont make you angry because its not called a tip.