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Old May 17th, 2009, 02:19 PM
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Default Crew Notification of Tip Removers on Splendor

I just saw this article and thought if would be of interest.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/ar...led-staff.html

Quote:
List of cruise passengers who don't tip is made public to staff

By Sarah Gordon
Last updated at 1:22 PM on 12th May 2009

An email picking out the names of holidaymakers who opted out of a pre-paid tip to staff on a cruise has caused uproar after passengers discovered it pinned to a wall in crew quarters.

An email pinned on the staff notice board of the Carnival Splendor reveals those passengers who've chosen not to pay the service charge.

The controversial email, listing those who had removed the prepaid service charge from their cruise bills, was found by a holidaymaker while they were on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Carnival Splendor ship. The story came to light when the passenger then alerted fellow travellers on the message boards of specialist cruise website CruiseCritic.co.uk.

When booking a cruise holidaymakers can pay a service charge in advance or opt out and tip staff individually in cash at the end of the cruise.

Questions have arisen as to why staff should know about which customers have removed the gratuity charge and whether this affects the service they receive on board.

The embarrassed Carnival Splendor has had to defend themselves, claiming it is not protocol to make the names of passengers who have opted out of the service charge public to the staff.

Passengers were already facing disappointment after the cruise had to change course away from the Mexican Riviera because of the the threat of swine flu.

A spokeswoman for the cruise company said: 'I've confirmed that this is absolutely not standard protocol and should not have happened. Crew members are not informed of which guests removed their gratuities until after the voyage is completed and guests have disembarked.

'This information should not have been posted, and shore side management is in communication with this vessel to ensure that it doesn't happen again.'

Apology: A Carnival spokeswoman said the company do not usually print the list of passengers who have opted out of the service charge

Many cruisers have been outraged by the find saying they opt out of the charge so they can tip hardworking staff members on an individual basis and would hate to think their decisions are being made public.

One cruise passenger, discussing the issue on an online forum, said: 'I hope another name for it (the list) isn't the 'Spit in Food' list.'
I apoligize if this has already been posted.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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Marc, there is big thread on the forum where the person who took the picture is always at. The person was given a special tour of the background places of the ship.

I bet that won't be happenning again soon!
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Old May 17th, 2009, 03:04 PM
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This practice was openly disclosed to us by the Hotel Manager on the Holland America Statendam so it isn't an isolated incident. I also believe there is nothing wrong with it.

NCL did a report, a number of years back that the vast majority of people who remove their tips from the automatic tipping program in order to personally give their gratuity "NEVER" do. It is the same on other cruise lines. It is just an excuse for people to be cheap.

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Old May 17th, 2009, 03:26 PM
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OK, now I'm confused. I thought that the tips were only on your Sail & Sign card and added daily. We could decide to keep, raise or lower them at the end of the cruise. Is that not the case?
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Old May 17th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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I just can't imagine NOT tipping for the wonderful service I've received!! We prepay our tips and then also do something special for the ones who went above and beyond.
Last cruise, in addition to the standard tips prepaid we also gave a bottle of Hennesy to our waiter (his fave), an xtra $20 to his asst, and an xtra $20 plus some books I was reading to our steward (we shared the same likes in authors). All the extras were accompanied by cards telling them how great our cruise was THANKS TO THEM!

We also gave cards and smaller items to our hostess and bar waiter which we don't always do but on that cruise they really went out of their way for us!
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Old May 17th, 2009, 03:41 PM
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we have been on 6 cruises and #7 is 31 May out of norfolk, VA
we have been more than pleased with the staff and the extra service provided. If you have aproblem with the staff let the appropriate people know, ENJOY
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Old May 17th, 2009, 07:10 PM
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I'm glad they know. There is no reason to remove the tips. If you feel the service was beyond the auto tips, add another cash tip to it. Most of the people removing auto tips are cheap and have no intention to tip. I say most because I do believe some long time cruisers perfer to tip individually. I like auto tips, I look at it as a base tip. I have never had a reason to remove an auto tip.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlb1050
Marc, there is big thread on the forum where the person who took the picture is always at. The person was given a special tour of the background places of the ship.

I bet that won't be happenning again soon!
I have a question the e-mail is dated 4/30/09, I know the Splendor cruised May 3, 2009 and April 26, 2009. If the person who took the picture was on the 5/3/09 sailing then it's an old list. If it's the April 26, 2009 sailing then could be a problem, but only if the list is from the current sailing.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 08:16 PM
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Honestly, those who remove tips and do not give a tip at all aren't just being cheap, but also rude and improper. For god sakes man, show some propriety(in a Irish accent).
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Old May 17th, 2009, 11:05 PM
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katlady, I just looked at the article on the other board and it states that it was the April 28th sailing, so that would mean it was cruise she was on.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 06:16 AM
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I think it is a great thing that the Paymaster on the ship notifies the workers, who has already removed their autotips and who had left them intact.

At least it gives them a reasonable idea of who is going to stiff them outright and who will at least leave them the minimum tip.

I can not for the life of me, imagine anyone who has EVER been on a cruise before, feeling that the $10 a day minimum tip is too much for even mediocre service. (considering overall how much service you are given each and every day)

And the old time cruiser excuse about wanting to give the entire tip in person in the envelope is just total BS.

What is the difference if the waiters and stewards get their cut of the $10 each day and then you cash tip them additionally at the end?(that is what we always do)

I guess these people feel better about themselves by handing an envelope with slightly more cash in it, than just the additional tip?!?!?!

Plus if the rumored Carnival policy, of making waiters and stewards turn over any cash tips at the end of the cruise, if auto tips were removed, then having those cash tips put in a pool, but if the auto tips are left on, they get to keep any additional cash tips at the end of a cruise.
If this practice is correct, then people removing autotips are just hurting their waiters and stewards, rather than giving to them directly.

Obviously, anybody who removes autotips, and doesn't pay at all, is just some sub-human creature I wouldn't want to cruise with, let alone meet or eat with.

I say Kudos to Carnival for letting their workers know this info and let them make educated decisions about service, based on who is more likely to at least leave them the minimum tip. (I'm sure they can tell somewhat, who is more likely to stiff them after reading the list.)

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Old May 18th, 2009, 06:31 AM
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If the rumored policy of requiring any cash tips up to the minimum to be turned over is true, I would posit that the cruise line is hurting both the passengers and the crew. Passengers are less likely to leave even the minimum tip on autotip if they do not trust it will get to the people it is for because they think the cruise line will pad it's own pockets. When you leave a tip in a restaurant using a debit or credit card, if the manager even distributes the tips at all, they are divided equally instead of proportionate to actual customers and service.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 08:25 AM
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One of the comments on the article was they remove auto tips because they don't know how the money is split. It could be true some people are not computer savvy. However, the information is on the Carnival site under the FAQ. http://www.carnival.com/CMS/FAQs/Gratuities_Tips.aspx Here is the split of the $10 per day. They site makes it clear tips can be removed at any time. But to me if you feel the stateroom service deserve more then add to the tip.

"For your convenience, we automatically charge the gratuities for dining and stateroom staff to your onboard Sail & Sign account. The total amount is $10.00 per guest, per day (our recommended guideline) as follows:

$ 3.50 Per Day Stateroom Services

$ 5.50 Per Day Dining Room Services

$ 1.00 Per Day Alternative Services: distributed to other kitchen and hotel service staff

For Cruises-To-Nowhere, gratuities of $10 per guest, per day must be prepaid.

Our Staff is totally committed to exceed your expectations in every way possible. If you are not satisfied with the service you receive, we encourage you to contact the Purser’s Information desk while onboard. This will allow us to address your concerns in a timely and appropriate fashion. At your discretion, you may adjust the gratuities at any time.

For beverage purchases, fifteen percent of the bill is automatically added to the Sail & Sign charge. Room Service staff may be tipped as service is rendered. Tipping your Maître d’ is at your discretion, based upon the service you receive."
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Old May 18th, 2009, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicalgal
OK, now I'm confused. I thought that the tips were only on your Sail & Sign card and added daily. We could decide to keep, raise or lower them at the end of the cruise. Is that not the case?
The tips are applied to your Sign & Sail in a lump sum at the rate of $10/day rather than accruing daily. You can go to the purser's desk at any time during your cruise and remove or adjust them.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlb1050
katlady, I just looked at the article on the other board and it states that it was the April 28th sailing, so that would mean it was cruise she was on.
Thanks Nlb1050 the article didn't make it clear what sailing this happened on. The people who cruised on April 28th sailing of Splendor made one port stop San Francisco on a seven day cruise. Carnival has sent an e-mail recently to these people and offered them 50% off the next cruise. Carnival didn't have time to arrange other ports or give the people on this cruise the opition of rebooking. So I think Carnival was more then fair, the problem is the people didn't find this out until after the cruise.

My guess is because people were upset at missing the Mexican ports and feeling they would not recieve a proper refund a lot of them removed their auto tips. This caused concern among the crew on how many auto tips were removed. So to address the concern the e-mail was sent and posted. I doubt this would happen under normal conditions. I understand being upset I don't understand taking it out on the crew who can help what happened.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 10:45 AM
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katlady, I agree that it was probably a case of passengers being unhappy about the changes.

I'm glad that I would not have been on that list. I have never removed tips and don't think I would, it would have to be something really bad by the crewmember for me to do it. Even on the cruise where we never show our cabin steward I did't change but did metion on the comment form that we had never met that person. I figured the cabin was cleaned as it should and the person just had way too many cabins to be able to meet everyone.

On our first MSC cruise I know a lot of the older Americans took off tips for the dining room, more because they did not like the food than for any problem with the waiters/assistants.

From reading the articles about this case it looks to me as though the ship always notifies the crew who has taken off tips but it may not be normal for the email to be posted.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 11:14 AM
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After our first cruise, DW and I did a revenue/cost analysis of where the ship would have been financially if everyone cruised the same as we do [i.e. non-drinking, non-gambling, but some on-board shopping]. We concluded that the basic service charge is not really a "tip" at all, but another part of the cruise cost, like taxes, that is separated from the fare, probably so they can show TA's a higher commission percentage while keeping the actual amount down.
Accordingly, we just consider it part of the fare when comparing and selecting a cruise. While it is true that service may not always be up to standards, consider that these people have to live on the ship and they can't fish a replacement out of the sea. If someone is sick, they have to go with a short team or risk spreading the sickness.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_rd
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicalgal
OK, now I'm confused. I thought that the tips were only on your Sail & Sign card and added daily. We could decide to keep, raise or lower them at the end of the cruise. Is that not the case?
The tips are applied to your Sign & Sail in a lump sum at the rate of $10/day rather than accruing daily. You can go to the purser's desk at any time during your cruise and remove or adjust them.
Thanks for clearing this up for me. We have always had our tips applied to our Sign & Sail card in lump sums per day. The confusion was over the "pre-paying" of tips.

We tip with the envelopes at the end also. Is it true that these tips "HAVE" to go into a pot for all the ships crew?
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Old May 18th, 2009, 12:51 PM
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Monkeythyme I think we have the same habits. I have a cruise comparsion spreadsheet. It had space for 3 cruises and has two tabs the feed into the summary page. The tabs show all basic costs of a cruise. Cruise fare, auto tips, tax & port fees, hotel, airfare (or if driving gasoline and parking costs), transfers, petsitting, and travel insurance. I have a travel rewards credit card so I have a line that shows the discount price after points are used.

Because I can drive to port this template is helpful in compare a cruise I need to fly to and a cruise I can drive to. I can compare the difference bewteen a 7 day and an 8 day. Because an 8 day has extra pet sitting, auto tip, and parking costs involved. The summary tab has a formula to calulate the day a per night expense. I showed my template to co workers and they suggested I seek help. But I don't like surprise expenses.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
I have a question the e-mail is dated 4/30/09, I know the Splendor cruised May 3, 2009 and April 26, 2009. If the person who took the picture was on the 5/3/09 sailing then it's an old list. If it's the April 26, 2009 sailing then could be a problem, but only if the list is from the current sailing.
I'm not so sure that the purpose of the message was to let crew members know who had removed tips from their accounts. If you read it, it sounds like they were warning crew members that even though the auto-tips had been removed, they were still going to show up on the report the next (last?) day. I'm thinking it was to prepare the crew members for when guests started complaining that their account was incorrect.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 11:16 AM
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I love it , I think they should put that outside the dining room for all to see.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicalgal
Thanks for clearing this up for me. We have always had our tips applied to our Sign & Sail card in lump sums per day. The confusion was over the "pre-paying" of tips.

We tip with the envelopes at the end also. Is it true that these tips "HAVE" to go into a pot for all the ships crew?
I'm not sure about the pooling. The Carnival site indicates certain amounts for people in specific positions. Whether the people in those positions share a pool is a good question.

There is also the option to pre-pay your tips before the cruise. In this case you pay the tips along with the rest of the cost of your cruise. This amount shows as a credit on your Sign & Sail and the tips will still show as a debit. I suppose you might still be able to adjust them on board - has never been an issue for me.

The only envelopes I have seen on two Carnival cruises were for the maitre'd. I think the tipping envelope is becoming a thing of the past.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_rd
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicalgal
Thanks for clearing this up for me. We have always had our tips applied to our Sign & Sail card in lump sums per day. The confusion was over the "pre-paying" of tips.

We tip with the envelopes at the end also. Is it true that these tips "HAVE" to go into a pot for all the ships crew?
I'm not sure about the pooling. The Carnival site indicates certain amounts for people in specific positions. Whether the people in those positions share a pool is a good question.

There is also the option to pre-pay your tips before the cruise. In this case you pay the tips along with the rest of the cost of your cruise. This amount shows as a credit on your Sign & Sail and the tips will still show as a debit. I suppose you might still be able to adjust them on board - has never been an issue for me.

The only envelopes I have seen on two Carnival cruises were for the maitre'd. I think the tipping envelope is becoming a thing of the past.
We wanted envelopes to add more tips on the Freedom cruise. Our cabin steward was in the hall getting ready to turn down the beds. He had envelopes on this cart.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 05:28 PM
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[A="tropicalgal"]
We tip with the envelopes at the end also. Is it true that these tips "HAVE" to go into a pot for all the ships crew? [/quote]

From what others have posted on another board I frequent,

If you leave the $10 per day tips on your sign and sail or pre-pay them, any additional cash you give to your room stewards or wait staff, they can keep without question.

If you remove your $10 a day tips, to tip personally, any tips the stewards or waitstaff recieve from you, must be turned in and put into a pool to be split amongst the rest of the crew. (like the $10 a day tips are)

I would guess it is to safeguard that the people who man the buffetts and other venues, don't get completely stiffed.

We would never consider removing any of our $10 a day tips (unless we got the most god awful waiters or stewards) so we just leave them alone and additionally tip anyone else who has given us phenominal service that cruise.
That way, the people we want, get to keep 100% of what we want to tip additionally.

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Old May 19th, 2009, 06:42 PM
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We have never not paid the $10 per person per day on any of the cruises that we have been on. One trick that I did learn was to tip the room steward a little extra when we first get on the ship. This is not to say that we would not get great service anyway but it sure didn't hurt either. The only time we didn't tip extra was on our very first cruise. All I can say about that was we just didn't know any better. Now thanks to Cruisemates and having 10 cruises under our belts we are a little more knowledgeable.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old May 21st, 2009, 11:04 PM
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When we first sailed on carnival they used envelopes for us to put our money in and hand to crew, i think to many people ran out of cash by end of cruise they would be a run on the atm. on our recent rccl cruise i noticed they do auto tip but give you a voucher and envelope so you still feel like you are handing them somthing and can put in extra to. Only tim i ever took tip off was last carnival cruise took just dinng room tips of because of bad service but also did not go back to dinning room.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchman
I love it , I think they should put that outside the dining room for all to see.
You're too kind.

I say post them in the capers.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old May 29th, 2009, 12:00 PM
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We were on that infamous 4/26 Splendor cruise. When we were told that we were not getting any refunds, it created an almost riot with hundreds of passengers.

We had to get off in Long Beach, as we had recieved a text msg. that DS was on his way to the hospital with the flu. I had to stand in line at the purcers desk for 45 minutes to add our names to the LB list.

People were very rude and yelling, and they had security posted around the area.

I know about that list. I heard about it at dinner that last night before we arrived in long Beach. We DID NOT remove OUR tips, and we did tip extra to our great crew.

All 600 of us who debarked in LB were told that we would get no compensation. HOWEVER, CCL has since given everyone on that 4/26 cruise 50%off a next cruise of 3-7 days booked before 12/09, plus $50.00 OBC, and a refund of unused shore excursions.

I think thats a good deal. Many of us on that cruise have already rebooked.

Pat
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Old May 30th, 2009, 05:22 PM
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I know the gentleman that took the picture.

These lists are made AFTER guests get off the ship...so no worries about anyone spitting in the soup or anything.

This particular list was of folks who elected to get off in Long Beach in the middle of this cruise. So these folks were already off the ship.

Why have a list?

As an accountant, it is understandable to me why. These cabin stewards and waiters know exactly how many guests they waited on. And I can assure you that they can calculate EXACTLY how much their tips for a particular cruise should be.

Carnival has to PROVE to these workers WHY their pay is not exactly the amount it should be. Carnival can't just hand them a paycheck for any amount they wish without a "detailed" listing of any shortages.

Posting it in public simply keeps Carnival from having to have 500 copies of the same information.

This list is posted after every cruise.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 08:13 PM
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Although auto tipping makes the whole thing simpler for everybody, I hate it. I like to tip directly to the crew so I can personally thank them for all they have done. It just makes me feel better and its better to do so in person than not. Its common courtesy and its a nice thing to do. I do not skip anybody and I am never cheap about it. People will think I shortchange people but I never have. Anybody that doesnt like the way I do this is misinformed and can take it up with me personally.
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