Got the following excerpt via e-mail. Found it interesting. I did not copy the whole e-mail but the more important part.
For many years, the gratuity policy aboard Holland America's ships has been "No tipping required". I believe that most passengers took that to mean "No tipping, period", while others felt that they were still expected to tip for excellent service, and did so.
We have just received notice of a change in this tipping policy. Here's the announcement Holland America is sending to folks booked on upcoming cruises:
"Exceptional service is part of the Holland America cruise experience. Because you are our guest, it is our goal to make sure you receive the finest service possible. And we have made it easy for you to reward excellent service on-board.
A gratuity of $10 per guest per day for dining and stateroom services will be automatically added to your shipboard account on a daily basis. We are confident that you will find the service on-board exemplary and, should you wish to make adjustments, you may do so at the end of the cruise by contacting the front desk. A 15% service charge will be automatically added to your bar charges and dining room wine account."
The new gratuity policy will be effective with the following sailings:
Amsterdam: May 9, 2004
Maasdam: May, 9, 2004
Noordam: April 29, 2004
Oosterdam: May 15, 2004
Prinsendam: May 7, 2004
Rotterdam: May 5, 2004
Ryndam: May 7, 2004
Statendam: May 9, 2004
Veendam: May 16, 2004
Volendam: May 5, 2004
Westerdam: April 25, 2004
Zaandam: May 12, 2004
Zuiderdam: May 1, 2004
Radiance of the Seas May 2, 2004
Constellation Sept 7, 2004
__________________ Ready to Steer towards another cruise
Steve, are you familiar with Houston's restaurants in Southern California? When you get the bill at the end of the meal, printed on it are tipping "suggestions." Also, they base the tip including the tax.
Sounds like the HAL thing means that people are stiffing the staff.
You gotta admit that "no tipping required" is confusing. I can imagine a new cruiser sailing on HAL and thinking, "Well, the service was really good, but tipping isn't required so I'm not going to because that must mean they must make a decent wage."
Absolutely. A couple of years ago we met two different couples on HAL who weren't going to tip. So we had a quiet little lesson/armtwisting and they figured it out. At that time the alternative restaurant was no additional charge and when we went there, we tipped at the rate of what an equivalent meal would cost at a nice restaurant on land. Obviously we overtipped cause the good news was that the server would seek us out on the ship offering us reservations even though it was technically sold out - lol.
now that i think about it "No tipping required" would be very confusing to some. HAL should do what others do, publish the "suggested tipping amount" on the web site in the literature and in the daily paper
I thought that HAL had a "tipping not required policy " because they paid their staff better than the other ships. I have a feeling they do.
I think the tipping thing sucks. It is something I do but I resent them telling me how MUCH to tip.
If we ever went to a restaurant that listed the tip on the bill we would NEVER go back. . That is the height of tacky!! AND the poster said they base the tip on the tax, HOW DARE THEY!
It's one thing to say the cruise lines pay their staff low ( slave) wages and we should make it up, it is another thing in America where there are minumum wage laws.
I have ,and DO work tor tips, so believe me I LIKE tips. I just don't DEMAND them. I work for them and most of the time I get them, once in awhile I get "stiffed" . That is life.Even with "automatic tipping" people can stiff their waiter and steward. People who really don't want to tip won't no matter what, it isn't a fee and they don't care if you try to make them feel " cheap".
Is HAL putting their prices lower and therefore making less and need the pax. to pick up the slack on wages?
As I said I do tip, I like tips, but I do NOT like this forced tipping, with set amounts. The fact is ALL the tips get pooled so what is the incentive to tip your cabin steward a bit more, according to these boards he has to hand it in. And if he has 10 cabins and they all tip the automatic amount plus he recieves say 100 dollars extra( form two or three cabins combined) .NOW if one of his cabins stiffs him he is REQUIRED to PAY the amount stiffed onto the pool. Therefore losing some of his "extra tips
I think pooling the tips sucks."