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  #31 (permalink)  
Old January 23rd, 2009, 03:33 PM
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Default airfare home

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As Kuki has hinted don't believe all the stories you hear from waiters. Ask a waiter in the tip pool if he would trade income with a junior officer on salary. He wouldn't. Also the cruise line pays for the air fare back home.
From what I have heard is the cruise line doesn't pay for the airfare back for employees like waiters. They do pay for airfare for people like the matre'ds
In general they pay air fare back for ALL employees. Waiters, cabin stewards, bartenders, etc.
Ok I didn't know that.
It's something they kind of use a leverage to make sure the employees fulfill their contract.
That makes sense.
all tipping positions on-board (dining room, housekeeping, bar) book and pay for their own flight. it's only no-tipping crew that the company pays for.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 04:00 PM
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Regarding airfare home...

We still correspond with our room steward from the Valor back in 2005 and she has said that Carnival pays for her airfare home. She is on her 7th contract right now and is from Romania. She and my youngest daughter chat at least 3-4 times per week. So I'm not really convinced that Carnival doesn't pay for airfare home for tipped staff. Just my opinion backed up by what we think is a good relationship we've grown with a crew member.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 05:03 PM
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None of the service people on ships make a lot of money. I always give them a little extra. Most waiters in the US make minimum wage. There real pay comes from tips. If they come up with so clever way to ask for more that does not bother me. Mike
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 05:21 PM
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Life is just a point of view; on one cruise we became good friends with one of the headwaiters. He told us before each new cruise he tells his staff how hard and long the passengers must work to afford the upcoming cruise. So, it was important to make the dining experience enjoyable.

Yes, the wait staff works hard but they also play hard. We realize they are away from home for long periods of time but I would still rather work on a cruise ship than serve in the military in Iraq.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 2Littletime
Regarding airfare home...

We still correspond with our room steward from the Valor back in 2005 and she has said that Carnival pays for her airfare home. She is on her 7th contract right now and is from Romania. She and my youngest daughter chat at least 3-4 times per week. So I'm not really convinced that Carnival doesn't pay for airfare home for tipped staff. Just my opinion backed up by what we think is a good relationship we've grown with a crew member.
You are correct. Carnival does indeed pay for their airfare to and from a contract. Now if for some reason they leave BEFORE their contract is fulfilled...then they have to fly themselves home.

But as long as they do the time....Carnival pays for the ride.

I can not speak about what other cruise lines do.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 05:36 PM
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Default Wow...

What would you think would be good to leave for them, over and above the automatic tips? I'd like to hear others' opinions on how much......
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 06:11 PM
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What would you think would be good to leave for them, over and above the automatic tips? I'd like to hear others' opinions on how much......
I am always nervous responding to questions about tips, my family says it's the Canadian in me : ) But here goes. If we receive good service, where our expectations are met and we are happy we leave just the automatic tips, no extra. We don't tip the maitre'd unless he/she actually does something for us that is above and beyond their job of running the food service area. We have had some room stewards/stewardesses and some waiterstaff that have exceeded our expectations and we have left them what we thought were good tips. Our last team was spectacular and we left them their regular tips, plus we gave them an extra $40 each. The cruise before we had an outstanding room stewardess who spent far too much of her free time making our trip wonderful, we showed our gratitude with an extra $50 and a new headset and Skype connection so she could call home. She was thrilled.

Oh, and another thing about tips, we always tip Camp Carnival when our kids have had a great week. But from what we've heard we're the minority that do.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by green_rd
Don't forget waiters in the US "make" about 2 bucks an hour + tips.

Also when thinking about the number of people tipping crew waitstaff you need to double the number of folks you see them serve - there are two seatings.

I just consider the tip a part of the cost of my cruise and will tip extra for serice I believe is over and above.
I didn't even think of adding in two seatings for tips.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: airfare home

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As Kuki has hinted don't believe all the stories you hear from waiters. Ask a waiter in the tip pool if he would trade income with a junior officer on salary. He wouldn't. Also the cruise line pays for the air fare back home.
From what I have heard is the cruise line doesn't pay for the airfare back for employees like waiters. They do pay for airfare for people like the matre'ds
In general they pay air fare back for ALL employees. Waiters, cabin stewards, bartenders, etc.
Ok I didn't know that.
It's something they kind of use a leverage to make sure the employees fulfill their contract.
That makes sense.
all tipping positions on-board (dining room, housekeeping, bar) book and pay for their own flight. it's only no-tipping crew that the company pays for.
Ok thats what I thought.
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old January 23rd, 2009, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: airfare home

all tipping positions on-board (dining room, housekeeping, bar) book and pay for their own flight. it's only no-tipping crew that the company pays for.[/quote]

Ok thats what I thought.[/quote]

thank-you!! if i could find a copy of a contract i have i'd attach it!
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old January 23rd, 2009, 08:33 PM
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I always give my room steward, his assistant, my waiter and his or her helper a tip at the end of the cruise. These people work so hard and I feel a little better doing my part to help them out.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old January 23rd, 2009, 09:12 PM
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Yes we have had some very good room stewards and waiters. We always do the automatic tipping ang give extra tips. We have had some really good waiters and believe me we have tipped them VERY well!
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Old January 24th, 2009, 04:43 PM
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Gotta jump in here.
I really don't care what their salaries are. Wouldn't dream of asking. I tip for good service, which is usually what we get. Exceptional service gets extra, poor service (rare), I take some off, but only if I am comfortable explaining why to the dept manager. That has only happened once.
Beyond that, I hope that they do well financially and that they can get to a point where they don't need to be so far from their families in order to provide well for them. But, the details are none of my business.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 06:15 PM
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Here's a hypothetical situation. Say you only eat at the buffet. Would it be wrong to remove the tips for the Matrade (sp)?
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Old January 24th, 2009, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beentravelin
Here's a hypothetical situation. Say you only eat at the buffet. Would it be wrong to remove the tips for the Matrade (sp)?
Maitre D doesnt get any prepaid tips to begin with so you may mean your dining room waiters. Most waiters work in the lido too so its a little dicey in that area. If I ate only at the buffet I would probably not adjust my tips. He is there to serve us whether we are there or not. So in my mind he gets the tips...
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Old January 24th, 2009, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briguy
Quote:
Originally Posted by beentravelin
Here's a hypothetical situation. Say you only eat at the buffet. Would it be wrong to remove the tips for the Matrade (sp)?
Maitre D doesnt get any prepaid tips to begin with so you may mean your dining room waiters. Most waiters work in the lido too so its a little dicey in that area. If I ate only at the buffet I would probably not adjust my tips. He is there to serve us whether we are there or not. So in my mind he gets the tips...
I agree with you Briguy. One cruise the wife and I only ate in the dinning room once. We sill left the tips in place because the staff from the dinning room worked the Lido deck buffet also.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 08:08 PM
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Thanks guys! I had a feeling this was the case. On our Eurodam cruise we only ate in the buffet one night and the specialty restaurants the other two. When we got to HMC our butler was apparently our main diningroom waiter, because he wanted to know why he hadn't met us yet. They play so many roles. Not only did we not remove his tips, we added extra. I felt bad that we never ate at the main diningroom. Like someone said earlier we probably should have informed the Maitre D that we weren't coming so they could have given our seats to someone else. It wasn't our intention to not eat there though. It just worked out that way.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 08:30 PM
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The tips are part of the minimum wages for servers. Ask any sever in the US and it is about the same.
Umm.. as someone who's worked for the federal gov't income tax division (in Canada. although I'm sure its the same) that would be ilegal.. minimum wage is determined by each state.. and restaurants would be required to pay their staff..wait staff included.. minimum wage at a bare minimum.. tips are ALWAYS extra above that.. I can't see how legally a restaurant could get away with paying someone only $2.00/ph and then saying that tips would bring them up to minimum wage or higher? No one can guarantee tips.. tips generally are not mandatory in restaurants.. I don't mean to offend anyone.. Just trying to understand the comment made about how tips are part of the minimum wage?
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Old January 24th, 2009, 10:26 PM
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No, it's true. Waitstaff in the US make less than minimum wage plus tips.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by beentravelin
No, it's true. Waitstaff in the US make less than minimum wage plus tips.
Wow.. Since tips are never guaranteed.. I would wonder why anyone would choose this job? Sure..someone has to do it.. but they should at least get minimum wage ..thats unfortunate that they don't..
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Old January 25th, 2009, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briguy
Quote:
Originally Posted by beentravelin
Here's a hypothetical situation. Say you only eat at the buffet. Would it be wrong to remove the tips for the Matrade (sp)?
Maitre D doesnt get any prepaid tips to begin with so you may mean your dining room waiters. Most waiters work in the lido too so its a little dicey in that area. If I ate only at the buffet I would probably not adjust my tips. He is there to serve us whether we are there or not. So in my mind he gets the tips...
Thats a tuffy.

On the last cruise the wait staff were just average to mabye a little sub-par.

We ate in the steak house one night and another couple nights ate at the buffett when the menu didnt appeal to us.

We adjusted our tip to exclude those nights.

If we had only missed one or two nights and the service was good then we may have not have made the adjustment. In our case we only ate in the dining room about 65% of the time. That to me means that the wait staff had a work load about 20% less on those nights so they had to work less.

I have a hard time tipping when I havent been rendered any type of service. I diferentiate between not going to the dining room and hanging a do not diturb sign on the door for the cabin steward. Do the non-drinking folks tip the bar staff even though they dont patronize them? Tips are added on to the price of drinks.

R
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Old January 25th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosiegirl
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Originally Posted by beentravelin
No, it's true. Waitstaff in the US make less than minimum wage plus tips.
I would wonder why anyone would choose this job?
Well depending on the restaraunt it can be well worth it. My girfriend who has been a Nurse for the last 15 years used to wait tables when we first got together. She was making a killing being a waitress. Granted not as much as being a Nurse but it wasn't shabby. Now your right about no guarantees, that is the downside.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 06:48 PM
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I was a hairstylist and some of the other stylist would leave a $5 bill on there station like it was the last person's tip. Their hope was the next person would see it and match the tip. I never did anything like that, I'm so charming it didn't need to.[/quote]


I did that when I performed in cocktail lounges; put a few $$ of my own money in the tip jar. I called it "priming the pump".
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Old January 25th, 2009, 08:39 PM
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This is a very tough subject. We just got back from Splendor. My son really had a hard time watching how hard everyone worked and how little they make. In one respect I agree with RON, we really don't go around asking everyone who serves us how much they make. My family, who has never cruised before kept asking how much do we tip? I said we have already paid our tips. But if you liked his service you can give more.
Our waiter didn't do a very good job, one friend on this cruise has cruised 7 x this was the worst waiter he had had. Others in our group (58) had the best cruise experience because of the wait staff. I'll admit it was hard to really enjoy this cruise because you felt sorry for the "under paid" staff.
I'm suppose to have a meeting with our Carnival rep. this month and just asked how thing really are. (I'm a new agent).

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Old January 28th, 2009, 04:17 PM
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Pul-Leez; those underpaid wait staff are pulling your leg. Many have Rolex watches or comparable; you will never see them wearing them in the dining room and many make more money than the some of cruiser themselves. Yes, they work hard for their money and yes, they are far from home. Once again, I would rather have my son work on a cruise ship for 6 to 8 months out of the year than have him in Iraq in the army.
Do the math but be sure to factor in two dining room seatings. I think you are a very kind person but do not let this subject ruin your cruise. After about 30 cruises, I have learned this;
Most of the crew, after their work is done, has more fun than most of the paying passengers. Party Time!
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Old January 29th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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I would like to add my two cents about cruise wages.
I live in Honduras and you will find many working on ships. Reason? The money.
I worked with a fellow who had spent 5 years in various jobs aboard ship. We chatted many times about his experiences and he was happy to have had the opportunity to earn the amount he did. He was able to save enough to buy a nice home in La Ceiba and when I knew him he had a very good job at the Shipyard in Ceiba. He learned a lot from his experiences from learning to respect his job and his bosses to finding out how much more you make by providing good service to your guests. Cabin Stewards, incidently, are checked frequently for the quality of their work. Poor work gets them a demerrit in their file. Did you know a waiter must serve the Capt. and be accepted before he is allowed to be a water to guests. I have known many from here and Belize who have been accepted for cruise work and they all were happy to get the jobs.
It is good to understand that in Honduras, for example, before the new increase in mimimum wage, you could get a worker to start at a nonskilled job for about $6.00 per day. Now it is about $10.00. That is a day, not an hour. The staple for food is Beans and Rice. The more wealthy people are miles above the general population in lifestyle, so getting a job on a Cruise Ship is the best and most honest way to better yourself if you are poor. The alternative is not pretty.

Thanks for reading,,,, Russty in Honduras, a long time cruiser and expat from the U.S.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosiegirl
Quote:
Originally Posted by arrowhead55
The tips are part of the minimum wages for servers. Ask any sever in the US and it is about the same.
Umm.. as someone who's worked for the federal gov't income tax division (in Canada. although I'm sure its the same) that would be ilegal.. minimum wage is determined by each state.. and restaurants would be required to pay their staff..wait staff included.. minimum wage at a bare minimum.. tips are ALWAYS extra above that.. I can't see how legally a restaurant could get away with paying someone only $2.00/ph and then saying that tips would bring them up to minimum wage or higher? No one can guarantee tips.. tips generally are not mandatory in restaurants.. I don't mean to offend anyone.. Just trying to understand the comment made about how tips are part of the minimum wage?
In the US the Federal Minimum wage is $6.55 per hour. The indivduals state can have a higher Minimum wage but not lower. Meals and lodging can be considered wages and is subject to payroll taxes. I'm to lazy to look up the Federal fair labor laws to determine if tips are part of the law. I doubt they are. Employers can paid under minimum wage until someone takes them to the labor board and they get caught.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 04:27 PM
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I was a waiter for a time in college, and my base pay was exactly $2.13/hour. I averaged $15-20 in tips an hour so a 5 hours shift usually paid about $100.

The $2.13 when added to my tips had to come out to equal the hourly minimum wage every 2 weeks. If it didn't, the restaurant had to make up the rest. The $2.13/hour was in place to allow a successful restaurant to hire as many waiters as they wanted and stay low on operating costs because waiters didn't need the house's wage. They earned 10X as much through tips and never had to claim them all.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 05:16 PM
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I have a wonderful suggestion ( in my opinion , anyway)--
I'm retired and don't have a huge salary. I have to pay taxes, electric bills, water, sewer, groceries, buy food for myself, wife and cat, and pay for my house. I have to put gas in my cars , have to pay insurance on my cars, have to pay homeowners ins., car ins., health ins. and pay all upkeep on said cars and house and several thousand a year taxes on my house.
I have spent the day getting my tax info. together. I pay city, county, state and Fed. taxes all year, as well as pay taxes on whatever I spend during the year, and will pay more come April to the Feds, who will proceed to send it somewhere over the deep blue sea to be unaccounted for.

I grew up poor, worked hard to provide for myself and family, was drafted into a war, fought same, returned, worked harder, went to school and survived to retire.

Now, can someone out there spare a few extra dollars to help me out?? I can use the help, seriously !! If you could give an " extra " $ 20.00
that would help tremendously !! Anyone interested can contact me for the address to send the money ( cash only ).

Many thanks, Ron.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 05:31 PM
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Ron, here is a consideration for a second job with none of those vicious taxes:
There was and no doubt still is, a “greeter” at the door to the dining room on a HAL ship called Little Eddie. That was all he had to do greet the guest. Eddie had a wonderful personality; he could remember most everyone’s name.

Little Eddie spent some of his vacation time with friends of ours. He informed them he averaged $1.00 from each guest as an extra tip. We tipped him $5.00 and we are very frugal. So to be conservative lets say he made an extra $1,000 per week, that’s above salary, shared tips from the cruise line, room and board.

Then again, if you can get 1,000 people to send in $20 each that would work too!
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