Here is an explanation of the Princess auto tipping. Hope this helps to all of you sailing Princess.
Each person in the cabin has the charges automatically added to the sail and sign card. The shipboard account sheets show separately for the persons in the cabin if authorization is given to sign for charges against a credit card
Was not able to find out how children show on the shipboard account, but rest assured it is charged at the same rate as adults, $10 per day.
The charges are divided in this manner. $3.50 p/p a day for the cabin steward, and $6.50 p/p a day for the wait stewards or a total of $10 p/p a day. Tips are then pooled and divided to the staff accordingly, cabin and meal staff.
If you desire and have the charges removed from the sail and sign card and give cash to these individuals it is still handed in to the pool and distributed to the staff, strict Princess policy. As you can see there is no reason to have the tips removed from the sail and sign card because they are pooled.
Extra amounts to the cabin and meal stewards given either by cash or adjusted at the pursers' desk are also pooled then returned to those individuals. The extra amounts given by cash, even in the pool is determined by cabin number or table seating number.
If passengers adjust the amount to a lesser gratuity, either cabin or waiters the money is calculated from the pool by cabin number and then distributed to those staff individuals, cabin, waiter, assistant waiter etc.
Who gets the tips?
The cabin steward and their assistants (who we do not always see) receive this gratuity. The waiter, assistant waiter, headwaiter (mater 'd) and some behind the scene personnel (we are not aware) receive the gratuity.
Beverage tipping are automatic with a 15% added to the bar bill.
Post Edited (09-28-02 20:48)
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SO, are you saying it really doesn't matter? The pool is the pool and all receive equal amounts? Even if you end up with the waiter from He!!?
Following, if you end up with the waiter from He!! and choose not to tip or tip less than the recommended amount (which, of course, you would explain to the maitre d') , every other member of the waitstaff gets proportionally harmed by that choice?
Why should a lousy waiter (and there are not very many of those or they would not be on the ship) get the same amount as a wonderful one?
Is there no provision for a special tip to a great waiter or cabin steward?
This begs another question. Say, I go on Princess and refuse auto-tipping. In fact, I don't tip at all because I am a total cheapskate. (This is a hypothetical.) I would then be allowed to (cheap) skate free without tipping ANYBODY?
This begs a further question. Why not just include tipping in the cost of the cruise fare?
If a waiter is consistently lousy and adversely affects the pool, self selection by the other staff (throwing overboard and such) will minimize the problem. Seriously, the staff will know who is screwing their tips and ostracize him.
As for your last question, that is exactly what lines like Radisson and Silverseas (unlike HAL) are doing.
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Well, again Pamda brings up the questions we all want answered.
I have to agree that the substandard employees should not drag down the compensation of the stars. It is the same in business; when Dept. A and Dept. B get the same amount from corporate headquarters to hand out in raises each year. If in Dept. A there are nothing but low performers they each get an equal amount. If in Dept. B there are only super performers their raises are also the same amongst their group. And they all are rewarded the same raise as those in the other department even though you have low performers in one and top performers in the other.
When we sailed the Golden Princess for last years it was my first encounter with automatic tipping. Didn't think I would like it, but as it turned out I found it convenient.
The fact a share of the pool goes to some waiters who may not deserve it could be desturbing, but there is little doubt if consistantly producing lower tips, combined with bad comment cards, those waiters will have smaller sections, and eventually be shown the gangway.
Within the pool, those who have smaller sections, also get a smaller , so eventually the field is leveled for the good staff and the bad.
I specifically asked what would happen if I were to tip the staff, in cash, over and above the auto tip, and I was assured the particular staff member would get to keep the amount over the auto tip. Possibly they have to report to the amount, but I was told by management that they get to keep it.
Since auto tipping had become a growing trend I've asked staff on all the ships I've been on.... some who had auto-tipping, some who didn't... which system they prefer. Everyone who I spoke to preferred the auto-tipping route.
They say, with that system, if you do your job, and keep the size of your sections up, they know pretty much what they are going to be making.. as opposed to working as hard as they know how to make guests happy, and being stiffed at the end of the cruise for no apparent reason.
With the auto tipping system/pool system the avg %18 stiff is also shared by everyone, so no one eats it all.
Are you saying, Kuki, that if Waiter A has 20 tops to take care of and Waiter B has 40 tops to take care of that waiter B gets 2X the amount of tips?>>>>>>>
<<<Following that logic, the "good" waiter, "B", gets stiffed twice as hard as the "bad" waiter, "A". And, arguably, makes twice as much money in tippage>>>
But I think we can be sure that "bad waiter A" wouldn't last long if the habit of producing low revenue for the pool is consistant. One because of peer pressure, and two because the cruise lines have no interest in providing bad service.
I think auto-tipping is the mass market cruise line's way of including the tips in the fair.... but still allowing the passengers a choice to opt out. They make the passenger aware the system exists, then leave it to the passenger to take active steps to opt out.
It would be simpler to have it locked it, and included in the fare, but so would it be to include bottled waters, sodas, wine and even liquor, but then marketing these to the masses (who they really need to fill the berths) at the higher prices would become very difficult.
As for the luxury lines... on two different Seabourn cruises I offered the staff a gratuity, and both times, though somewhat surprised by the offer, they gladly accepted.
This begs a further question. Why not just include tipping in the cost of the cruise fare?
Flying in from Europe, we pay the tips in advance, included with the air/cruise fare.
So my question is, since we pay for it before we cruise, can I remove the automatic tipping from our sail & sign card, without getting short on the crew, if you know what I mean.
I asked my TA while booking the Jan cruise to skip the tipping, because I want to tip the crew personally, because like you all said there are good and bad ones. He asked for me at an organisation here called cruise-travel and contacted Carnival, but we have to pay it in advance. So I said OK, then find out what to do about automatic tipping on CCL, and he could not give me an answer.
It can be very confusing sometimes ....
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Tips to me are personal and EARNED by the person recieving the tip. If in fact this is true onboard that ship I will refuse to tip unless I can be assured that the person I am tipping will receive the ENTIRE tip. I will also write to Princess and tell them my strong and complete objection to any policy of sharing tips.
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Ok--- did the auto tip thing on the Sea Princess mostly because we did personal choice for our dining --
Ok who's to tell -- on any cruise if you handout cash tips -- the exact amount ? for instance you give an extra $20.00 to your room steward-- above the recommended amount--- does he really have to admit the exact amount that was giving to him-- ???? or should he fib-- and say something else----- whos to really know the truth-----
I agree with Robocop---tipping is personal but also an open subject especially to those that are new to cruising and dont know what they should or should do---- I still kick my self for tipping-- the recommended amount -- to a lousey waiter-- but never again--I have learned to speak up----
I agree with you. I will be removing the automatic tip on my Nov. 30th Dawn Princess cruise, and I will tip the individuals that I want to tip. If they have to share with others, at least they will know I wanted them to have it.
I read on a different board that a cruiser specifically asked a waitstaff if they received cash as extra above the amount charged automatically, if they had to declare it and put it into the pool, and the waitstaff said YES, they had to share any cash tips. I don't know how this can be enforced, if staff are just exceptionally honest, or what. In that particular case, the cruiser asked the waitstaff if they had to share non-cash tips, to which the waitstaff replied NO. The cruiser then asked the waitstaff if there was a particular liquor they enjoyed - the waitstaff told the cruiser his fave - which the cruiser then purchased and gave to the waitstaff as an extra tip beyond the auto charge.