Originally Posted by Meercat
From what I've managed to learn - cruises lines differ in their policies, and, onboard staff have 'different stories' they tell me. For instance, I've heard that the 15% gratuity added to every bar drink/dining room order does not go entirely to the serving staff, let alone the person who served you.
I don't know how the other lines do it, but I think on HAL they assume many people will tip their favorite servers far more than the 15%. They will give them cash tips at the end of the cruise ... and those servers will be allowed to keep them. I believe this is the policy because HAL rotates the servers among the various bars and lounges, so that tips will be fairly distributed. I would imagine that maybe the staff in certain lounges tend to get tipped more ... probably the more intimate venues where passengers really get to know their servers ... and the line wants to ensure that all servers have the opportunity to work those venues and make more in tips that week.
If they weren't being permitted to keep these tips, then why bother rotating them?
Blue skies ...