I think some things need to be set straight on the automated tipping put on your sail and sign accounts. I am a person who works hard for my money, the same as the people who serve you on your vacation and make it pleasurable. If you ask the cruise line they will tell you the staff gets the money a day or two after your cruise. If you talk to the staff they will tell you Carnival is not paying them until 2-3 weeks afterwards. I removed all tips from my account on the Spirit a few weeks ago and gave the wait staff and cabin steward their tips personally. It gave me the satisfaction of seeing the appreciation in their eyes and gestures. It is also a nice way to end the week and say thank you for a job well done. I would not have it any other way. Automated this and automated that. What is the world coming to? How hard is it to tell someone thank you?
After a week of spending money, many people are tight with their money when it comes to tipping. I have noticed the disappointment on the faces of the staff on the last night. Many people don't understand that the staff depends on the tips, and are not willing to give them the amount they deserve. During college I was a waitress, and this was a big issue. We were paid $3.10/hr + tips. Regardless of the quality of service they received, many people never tipped 15%. Perhapps the math was too difficult for them. I would have gladly automatically added it to the check if that was an option, even if I didn't receive the money for 2 weeks. Many companies only pay once or twice a month...no big deal. It's great that you see that the staff is tipped the appropriate amount, but many people don't. At least now they are more likely to get what they deserve.
I'm with you on this, jeff.
And I always think it's sort of "lame" for ADULTS who go on cruises to say "I spent too much money and can't afford to tip now." Do they say "I spent too much money this month and can't afford to pay the rent." ? EVERYONE has to eat and everyone has to make a living.
Jeff and Malinda both state valid points. Jeff, I am sure you will keep a pocket full of $1's to tip the waiters in the buffet/grille area too. We made sure our primary servers were happy with the new policy and felt that it was the fairest solution for all of them. We will do the same on our Pride cruise in two weeks and include the opinion of our cabin steward. Should we feel they deserve more, then we will extend cash too. It is a real shame people just can't budget for this expense and put the money aside, but some are not disiplined or just don't care.
I'm with Jeff on this one and always have been on this attitude. I do not like the auto tipping. Tips are a personal thing and I for one will always tip this way. It gives me pleasure to physically present the tip to the crewmember with a personal expression of thanks for a job well done. This way there is no question that they got the tip "I" gave them.
The average stiff rate on ships is something like 18%.
A pretty large number of people who don't tip. I'm certain this is the reason most of the lines have started or are looking at automatic tipping.
On our New Year's sailing on Golden, I went to hand our waitress a tip over and above the auto tip. She advised me the tips were taken care of. I explained I understood that, but this was extra. She was actually reluctant taking it... but DELIGHTED.
Just home from the Pride today. Left the tips on the S&S card. Had the worst experience with cabin steward ever. Never around had to look her up for everything. Never introduced herself and showed us around the cabin. If it would have been up to me she would have gotten nothing but hubby made me leave it. On the other hand the wait staff in the dining room got extra from me because they did an outstanding job.Just my two cents worth. By the way the ship is beautiful and was only rocky one nite when the wind was blowing about 35 knots. We were in the back of the ship and there was not anymore rocking there than anywhere else in the ship.
If I can ansswer anyother questions just ask.
I see a plus & minus to the auto tipping. On the plus side the advantage is to the staffs getting at least 'minimum' grats from people who are NOT tippers! On the minus it does take away the personal feature of handing the envelopes out in person on the last night. BUT you have a choice to have the auto grats adjusted off your account and do your own tipping, or adjust them upward if you prefer. I do like the ease of having all my charges on the S & S account, and if I feel a staff member went 'above and beyond' I will give a little extra in way of cash besides the auto grats.
I know this is a hot topic withall the cruise lines leaning in this direction. My whole point is if you are not going to tip you can still do that. Simply remove the tips and don't hand one over. The bigger problem I have is the amount of time the cruise line takes to get the money to the employees. What are they doing with it for 2-3 weeks. Alot of ships times alot of passengers adds up to extra revenue for them in handling the cash.
Another issue is that of the employees not knowing if they're getting all the tips collected on their behalf or not, or who did or didn't tip them. I guess the issue of knowing if Joe Blow from Podunk did or didn't tip you isn't terribly important, but I would like to know if it I were the waiter or steward. Jose has a good friend from his days of being a waiter for Carnival who is still a waiter, currently on the Paradise. They talk frequently, and we saw him in Miami in December the day before we embarked on the Pride. His main complaint about the new system is that there is absolutely NO accounting by Carnival, either the amounts tipped or from whom. Simply a check every two weeks. "Here's your money. Take it or leave it." That would be sort of like those in our society who are paid by the hour not having any accounting of regular hours, overtime hours, vacation pay, or sick pay. Just take it or leave it. On the other hand, most of the waiters seem to appreciate the fact that their income is more predictable now than before. And for those who say that some workers slack off because they know their income is guaranteed, it just isn't going to happen. The bosses are very strict, and the consequences are not desirable if you get disciplined. All that said, Jose and I removed our tips from the sail and sign account and tipped in person. We like it better that way, and the recipients seemed to too.
Another point about the tipping being "built in" is that the amount collected is split between all of the staff, not just the people who actually helped you. My wife and I choose to 'opt out' and do it ourselves, and budget accordingly.
Has anyone seen guests giving the staff calling cards as an additional tip?? Someone suggested that and I wasn't sure how well the staff would like that. It seems to me they would, because that is the only way for them to call home from the ports.
I never thought of that. That seems like a good idea. Maybe I'll try that on the next cruise. It seems kind of impersonal anyways to have it automatedand as you said, people appreciate it more to have it in person. It also takes away the hassle of going to the desk every time you want to change the amount you want to tip someone for the amount of work that they did.
If you ask the purser, they will give you a breakdown of who-gets-what. The obvious recipients and their amounts -- like waiters, assistants, stewards -- and then, the buffet staff and dining room hostess. Rest assured that all of the service people who depend on tipping are take care of.