I've seen this subject discussed on a couple of other boards, but not here yet, so I thought I'd bring it up.
Starting October 2nd, Carnival has begun a new policy on the Imagination only (however, it is planned to be "fleet wide" eventually).
$9.50 per passenger per day will be added to your Sign & Sail card for cabin and waiter service. This is completely reversable if desired. (You can go to the purser's desk once onboard and eliminate it, or change the amount.) However, by default, the charges will be there.
Personally, I think that this is a good move, and it will help ensure that the "casual" dining wait staff get the tips they deserve.
I have been disgusted in the past at people who stiff their steward or waiter, it appears to happen all too often.
(I once had a woman sitting next to me in a lounge while waiting for debarkation tell me that she and her husband only left "one person's" tip for them and their two children. She said that's all they could afford. Then she got her cell phone out to see if their pre-arranged Limo pickup was waiting.
Sounds like they are going to do that just for the reason you stated. I find it really hard to believe people go on a cruise and not tip the reasonable amount. Its certainly stated in all the brochures and those people work way too hard for their money. I guess if it will eliminate the problem it will be the way all the cruise lines will do this. I supposed some of those same people will go down and have them taken off?
I figure if you can afford to go on the cruise, the least you can do is tip the recommended amount. This will be interesting to see what develops further with this new concept.
i really like the idea of sign and sail tipping
we have taken two cruises this year and will being doing our third
thanksgiving. we had great service both times so we tipped more
than carnival recomends. i work in a production job where we were
paid by the amount of work we produced. we were all changed to
a flat rate pay.everyone is paid the same even if their is a big
difference in the amount of goods produced from worker to worker.
an attitude devolopes of "why work harder? i still make the same.
what i am getting at will the carnival workers get like this.
it is bad for them on tip night when they know who is dodging them.
i really like knowing who gets what they are supposed to get because
i am the one who knows what kind of service i have gotten, not some
big ceo at the top.
I don't agree with the policy. I just got off the Victory and found the service had a lot to be desired. My last cruise on the Triumph was wonderful. Some of the Victory staff needs to go back to cruise school. Our cabin steward was awful!!! She did the minimum in our room, which by the way was a cat. 11 suit. We were out of tissues for days and out of t.p. for 5 hrs. A candy wrapper laid on the floor for three days and we found old sail and sign reciepts from the last guests in still in our room. She never set-up the bar or cleared our drink glasses. What's the deal!!! She received the minimum tip. Dinning room staff was better, but I always felt my waiter rushed us, eventhough we were late seating. He never made suggestions from the menu unless we asked and we felt like a burden to him. We only had three people at our table, maybe he realized no huge tip here... because the tables of 10-12 got all his attention. Until the last night of the cruise, when they come looking for their tips... the waiter, and head waiter admitted they recognized us from other cruises and were sweet as sugar. Again, minimal tip.
Ahhhh, the question of tipping rears it's ugly head......again!!!
I am not in favor of automatically adding tips to the on board account. Tipping is a personal decison based on many factors some of which are cultural. I believe that if the cruiseline wants to share the wealth around the staff then make the tips commonly shared (this does happen on some lines). If the passengers are not tipping fairly then raise the wages and raise the cruisefares a bit. But don't make me have to go through an extra step to personalize my tipping based on the service actually rendered.
I have had good service for which I have tipped the recommended amount. I have had awful service for which I have cut my tip below that amount. On a recent HAL cruise I tipped far over the normal amounts because the service was so good. And remember, on HAL, tipping is not required.
I'm going on the Sensation Nov. 19 and will be watching for this development. Maybe I'll interview some of the service staff and an officier or two regarding this issue to get that side of the story.
This reminds me of a coversaton I just hadd this past weekend with my brother-in-law. He is Egyptian, has lived all over Europe and now lives in Washington DC. He makes his living as a waiter in fine dining establishments. We were talking about tipping and the general habits of types of people (stereotyping). According to him the best tippers are Women dining without Men. The worst tippers are foreigners (Europeans, etc.) who come from countries where tipping is not something that is done unless teh service is really exceptional. he tells me that in many of the countries that he has worked the wages are set higher so that tipping is really not considered a major part of the compensation.
The only reason for mandatory tipping is to offer the staff some degree of protection from bottom-feeders who don't tip. IMHO, it is sad that Carnival is compelled to take this step.
We will sail with Carnival for the seventh time Sunday when we leave on the Paradise. I have never had poor service, though some has been better than others. We get great pleasure from personally thanking the wonderful folks who work so hard to take care of us - and presenting them with a significant gratuity for their efforts (ALWAYS more than the recommended amount).
When the new policy is implemented on a ship where we are sailing, we will simply cancel the charges and proceed with our tipping as we have always done. My hope is that the non-tipping lowlife who don't have the nerve to show up for dinner empty-handed on the last night of the cruise, will also not have the nerve to cancel the charges from their sign and sail cards.
I too will, upon boarding, have the tip charges removed ffrom my sail and sign account. Have never tipped less than the recommended and the service on all my cruises has been outstanding. The last night out I will continue to tip the traditional way and unless disappointed in the service (I doubt) will tip at least the recommended amount for service receivED. If tip is automatic, where is the incentive to give superior service? I also will give my views on the debarkation comment card.
It seems to me that the only way to ensure the minimum tip is to build it into the price of the cruise. Therefore the cheapo's who say I didn't eat in the main dining room will still pay. Then leave it open to people who would like to tip more.
Maybe the better solution is to eleminate any alternative dining on final (tip) night and room service. Even on shore restaurants have the occaisional cheapo that stiffs the wait staff. Again I say, when you eleminate the traditional tipping, where is the incentive for excellent service? All gratuities should be for service receivED.
Right take away service from the people who pay to punish those who don't. The incentive to do better is the tip you get above the mandatory amount. Now say if cruise lines would pay their help this wouldn't be a problem, so I can say who do you think would pay for that...
I agree with Alesia. Many resturants charge a minimum tip for large groups usually a minimum of 15%. My experience is that doesn't keep the waitor from trying to do his best knowing he might get more. Build the tip into the cost of the cruise and let the consumer reward those that go that extra mile. I wonder what the employees of the cruise line think?.
What is going to stop those scofflaws from eliminating the gratuties from the
sail and sign accounts, and STILL stiff the hardworking crew? The policy seems
to work fine for those of us who do the honorable thing by paying the
gratuities through the sail and sign accounts or to continue to do it the
traditional way. I'm not sure if this policy is going to totally solve the problem.
Maybe including a less than minimum gratutity into the cruise fare and let
the passengers add on to it the traditional way for good service. That way,
all crew members will get something.
Just a thought.