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  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 6th, 2001, 03:40 PM
dgm
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Default Automatic Tipping

My travel agent told me that Carnival implemented a 10.00 per day tipping charge that is automatically billed to your onboard account - is this true? What is the incentive for the staff to provide you with good service then? On other cruise lines, when you tip at the end of the cruise its based on service you have received during the cruise. Thus poor service equals poor tips. However, if Carnival automatically bills you, then there is no incentive for the staff to provide you with outstanding service because they know regardless that they get a tip from you. Thats crazy. I have travelled Carnival before and did not find their service to be outstanding - it was adequate and that was before I heard about this automatic tip billing. Any one got any info on this - is tipping automatic or whats the scoop? Please advise. Thanks.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 6th, 2001, 05:12 PM
farmgirl
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

I cruised in October and I never heard of this. I agree with you there would be no incentive for them to give good service. On some of my cruises the service was outstanding and some of the people were terrible and tipped according. I hope this is not true.
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Old December 6th, 2001, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

On Carnival, at the moment, I believe it depends on which ship you're sailing. They are experimenting with this automatic tipping on some ships.

NCL and Princess have already implemented this system.

If it is in place on your sailing, you can go to the Purser's desk, ask that the tips be taken off your sail and sign account, and tip tradionally.

Regards,
Kuki
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Old December 6th, 2001, 06:34 PM
dgm
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

as long as you can have it taken off your account then I am fine with that - I would rather pay the traditional way. Although I would imagine a good majority of people might not be aware of this - I wonder if this will affect the level of service you receive when cruising? As with most service oriented places that have tipping - the servers know that the better the service usually the better the tip - so if everyone gets tipped automatically, then both poor & good service is rewarded - its kind of odd but I guess it makes it easier for some people who are uncomfortable with the traditional tipping procedures. I still like the traditional tipping method - if the service was great during the cruise I tip over the set standard amount - if service is poor it is definately reflected in the tip! Thanks for responding.
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Old December 6th, 2001, 09:01 PM
Chyna_C
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

As of earlier this week, it purely depened upon what ship you are on. Carnival told me that the Sensation is still the traditional "cash" tips.

THREE more days!! YAY!!
Chyna
Sensation 12/9/01
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Old December 6th, 2001, 11:42 PM
Therese
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

I am wondering if part of their reasoning is to attract more international guests from countries where tipping is not part of the culture?

I know I feel a great deal better not having to worry about it, though I can understand why those from countries where tipping is the "norm" could rather have control over it.
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Old December 7th, 2001, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

Personally I'd rather have it put on my bill so I wouldn't have to worry about filling envelopes at the end of the trip.

I wonder if they are doing this because a lot of people try to skip out on tipping.
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Old December 7th, 2001, 10:35 AM
frechette
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

Sailed on the destiny in oct. the tips ? 68.25 per.person were on our sail & sign cards the first day of our cruise.This being our third carival cruise the service was by far the worst.I feel it is definiantely reflected in thier service .Some people had it removed from thier card and payed cash.I know some people stiffed them in the past like not showing up for dinner the last night but by putting the tips on our cards they have less incentive to do a better job.
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Old December 7th, 2001, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

I'm would guess they did the automatic tips for the ease of the guest. There are lots of people out there who have trouble hanging on to cash for the last day of their vacation. Especially families who are looking at $260+ in tips. I have no problem with it, I would rather get my frequent flyer points from charging it as long as I can adjust the amounts if needed.
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Old December 7th, 2001, 03:18 PM
Trina
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

We sailed on the Destiny in November. Tipping was automatically charged to our sail and sign card. We have been on three cruises prior, all Carnival. We had excellent service with the exception of our room steward. She was TERRIBLE!!! We simply went to the purser desk and removed half of her tip when repeatedly our bed was not made and the bedspread was pushed under the bed. We then went down and removed the remainder of her tip, when she charged us for a bottle of water that we did not drink and refused to give us soap, when we asked. It was no big deal adjusting the tip and quite handy to not have to have cash the last evening for tips.
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Old December 7th, 2001, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Who gets the auto tips?

With auto tips added to your SS card. Whats the breakdown.........who gets what?? Thanks
Rick
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Old December 7th, 2001, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

Just returned from the Fascination. I had a wonderful time. The first night I went down to the purser's office to have my tips taken off of my sign and sail card. Two days later I was back having them put back on my card. It is soooo much easier to prepay your tips or have them on your card. It is done automatically. The entire crew was great. This was my 14th cruise. Be prepared to show your docs and ID prior to arriving to the check in counter. Key West and Mexico had a lot of security(armed officers). There were two check points in Key West prior to getting back on the ship. In Mexico if you go into the duty free shop at the pier in Punta Maya?? you must show your sign and sail card-the shop is only for passengers and crew. If you drink tequilla buy it at the shop instead of on the ship it will save you about $4.00. Getting off the ship in Miami was very easy. No one in my group of 50 was stopped by customs. This was the first time when non-US citizens went to immigration like without being paged. Also, now at bingo you can use your sail and sign card to purchase tickets.
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Old December 8th, 2001, 03:00 AM
mlbcruiser
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Default Re: Who gets the auto tips?

I would like to know the breakdown, too. Anyone know if the Pride will use automatic tipping? I can see pros & cons, but think I'll stick to the envelopes - & let my room steward, etc., know that. Do you know if we can go to the purser's desk & charge our tips according to how we want to tip on the last night? I might be in favor of that. It seems easier than having the existing tips reduced.

We sailed last year on RCCL w/2 other families. One was on their lst cruise. Though the rest of us advised them thoroughly & well in advance of the tipping policies on a cruise (as well as many other things), they acted surprised about l/2 way through the cruise & said they really didn't have enough money to tip. I guess there was no way to politely do this, but I offered to loan them some money IF they felt they wanted it so they could tip. They didn't accept. I felt bad for our waiter, since he really went out of his way for them as on 4 different nights one or the other member of their family was tired or slightly ill & he always made up a covered meal to be taken back to the missing person. Maybe automatic tipping would have prevented this waiter from being stiffed.
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Old December 8th, 2001, 11:36 AM
dezertcruzer (jennifer)
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Default Re: Who gets the auto tips?

As a member of the cruising public who has not yet experienced having the tips automatically added to my account, my gut feeling is that if this is done on our Dec. 30 cruise on the Carnival Pride, I will go to the purser's desk and have them removed so that we can tip the amount we feel is appropriate at the end of the cruise and hand it to each person individually with our thanks for their service. I say this as one who always tips the recommended amount or more. I have never received service that didn't warrant such action.

As the wife of a former Carnival waiter who made his living for more than 15 years helping all of you (and me!) have a memorable dining experience aboard Carnival's ships, I have somewhat of a different take on the whole subject. When Jose began his career with Carnival in 1983, the cruising public was a very select segment of society and the cruise experience was very much an "upper echelon" type of experience. Very seldom did a waiter or a cabin steward get "stiffed" after a week of hard work. In the mid 90's, all the cruise lines began bringing out more and more and bigger and bigger ships, saturating the market with berths to be filled. How to fill them? Lower the prices! Soon, cruising became affordable to the masses and a whole knew segment of society began to cruise. And aren't all of those of us who are hooked on cruising happy that this became possible! However, along with mainstreaming the cruise experience, those ships' crew members who rely on tips to make their living began to see their earnings erode away consitently, year after year. With the introduction of alternative dining on the lido decks in the mid 90's came the reluctance of the passengers to tip their dining room waiters because the mentality was that they hardly ever saw him or used his services, therefore they didn't feel that they owed him anything.

At this point I feel the need to digress to address the argument that some of you have about the fact that a tip is intended to reward good service, and should not be automatically expected. The fact of the matter is that most of your waiters, bus boys and cabin stewards (I'm not sure about bartenders) make approximately $50.00 per month salary. Tips are their only income. Stiff him, and he has no money to send home to his family, the only reason he's there to begin with. Whether or not you like the system, that's the way it is. With the advent of alternative dining venues, masses of waiters were being left with no income, and many long-time employees finally found themselves forced to leave that profession and seek employment elsewhere. Remember that the same waiters who are in the dining room at night are the ones who are in the alternative dining areas the rest of the time. Whether or not you go to dinner at "your" waiter's table on a consistent basis or not, you are still receiving the services of the wait staff 3 (or more) times a day! One way or another, WE, the cruising public, are going to pay these people's wages, whether in the form of higher cruise fares to begin with, voluntarily given tips, or auotmatically assessed tips. The bottom line is that ANYTHING you buy must result in a profit for the seller, or the company will go out of business and no longer be able to sell ANYTHING! ALL the expenses of the cruise line must be met by the price that you pay. Bottom line!

In conclusion, I think the advent of automatic tipping was due. Whether they assess it to you on your onboard account after you've already paid your bargain cruise fare to begin with, or whether they make all cruise fares a little bit higher right up front and say that tips are included, it boils down to the same bottom line dollar amount for the average cruiser. Just remember how the crew makes your cruise experience possible. Without them, you simply couldn't cruise. I hope you will all either pay the automatic tips as assessed, or tip directly. But don't stiff those hardworking crew members, and don't penalize any of them for an unpleasant aspect of your cruise over which they had no control.

Everyone have a great cruise!
jennifer
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Old December 9th, 2001, 01:27 PM
holly
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

Every wait staff person I have EVER heard of makes peanuts/hour,day,month.
Just because the cruise lines pay didly and aerson knowingly accepts this job is NO reason to reward the kind of abismal service I had in the dining room and at the deck buffet on my last cruise. Dirty dishes were seldom cleared in either place. In the dining oom: meat ordered rare came well done on several occassions even tho I specified I would oder an alternative if rare was not available, refills of water and coffee had to be begged for, hot soups were served luke not even wam. There is NO way I would tip for this type service at a land based resturant and just the same on board a ship. The captain ended up taking over our table and he got the tip.
Room steward: service marginal at best. We leave the cabin around 7-7:30 every day, putting out the make-up sign. The cabin was never done up before noon and frequently later. He got minimum.
Therfore, I will only tip "the old fashioned way."

PS. I leave this week and have already set aside the reccommended cash and more for these tips.There is no way I would stiff these people because I was low on cash, thats what budgets, taveles checks and credit cards are all for.
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Old December 9th, 2001, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

holly wrote:

> The captain ended up taking over our table and he got the tip.

I've always wanted to be served by the Captain <G>
Sure u meant the Maitre D, or head waiter, but I couldn't resisit.

Regards,
Kuki
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Old December 10th, 2001, 11:47 AM
dgm
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

I agree with you 100 percent. Before a trip I always put aside X amount of dollars to cover any and all tips plus extra and do not touch that money AT ALL - and I enjoy thanking the staff and personally handing them their tips - quite often I will include a thank you note for outstanding work & service - as was the case on a past Celebrity cruise I was on. However, on a past Carnival cruise - the service was mediocre and therefore I do not believe in rewarding of poor service - the tips they received reflected the service I received. Any waiter/serving position regardless of being on land or sea is usually poor paying and requires tips to make it worthwhile - and I agree - if you receive poor service, then the tip reflects that. If I was staying at an all inclusive hotel and I got poor service, I would tip appropriately, and regardless of land or sea - quality of service is reflected in a tip. Regardless, I will continue to set aside money to cover the tips at the end of the crusie and do it the OLD FASHIONED WAY.
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Old December 10th, 2001, 12:02 PM
dgm
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Default Re: Who gets the auto tips?

I agree almost 100 percent - however poor service is poor service - if poor service is unacceptable at a resort hotel or restaurant on land, then poor service should be unacceptable on a cruise as well. I am always generous on all my tips and go out of my way to thank the staff who have provided great service - however I will always tip according to the service I received - if I receive poor service then the tip will reflect that. I see great advantages to automatic tipping but also I can see problems arising - the major one is the lack of incentive to provide great service. Whatever the results , happy future cruising...
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Old December 10th, 2001, 06:56 PM
holly
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

The matre'd is in charge of the entire dining room. A wait captain is in charge below the mate'd of a particular section or floor. I know my uncle was one.
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Old December 10th, 2001, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: Who gets the auto tips?

I think the break down is this:

Steward $3.50/day
Waiter $3.50/day
Asst. Waiter $2.00/day
Alt. Dining $0.75/day
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Old December 17th, 2001, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: Automatic Tipping

We were on the inspiration 12/2/2001. This was the worse cruise ive ever been on. The food was horrible and the service in the dining room was worse. I will neaver go on another carnival ship again. I guess were just spoiled with princess, ncl and hal. My advice is to go to the pursers office and take the tips off that are automatically added to your bill. The room steward was great so we tipped him well but as far as the main dining room service and food quality, carnival ranks around 4th class. I know a cruise is what you make it and we made the best of it but if youve neaver cruised any other cruise lines you will neaver know the difference from 1st class to 4th class. hope you enjoy your cruise
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