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Old November 30th, 2006, 08:50 PM
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Default Cruise crews rely on tips...Do you tip?

Every now and then on a cruise...we've been made aware of passengers who do NOT tip their Bartender, or the Dining staff. The reason we know they don't tip...they tell everyone at the table. Their proud of it! They make some frail excuse regarding service or the food, etc. ...most likely they're also not tipping the cabin attendant and cabin assistant.

I found this article in Sundays' (11/26/06) San Jose Mercury News. The article was titled, "How much do cruise crews rely on tips?" The article points out that salaries vary and can depend on the person's:

1. Position
2. Experience
3. The ship (cruiseline)
4. Destination

According to the web site, Cruiseshipjob.com a:

Cabin steward earns $1,800-$2,200 (this INCLUDES tips)
Room-service attendant: $700-$1,000
Bartender: $1,700-$2,400
Dining-room waiter: $2,200-$3,800
Maitre d': $3,400 $5,200

There are several luxury class cruise lines that include tips in their fares...they are, Silversea, Seabourn and Radisson Seven Seas.

These people work very very hard for their wages AND tips for the duration of the company contract, and they value their jobs.

Most will greet you with a smile even when they are exhusted, and when they finished pampering us...there's another group who can't wait to board.
And you know...that's fine, cause it's the job they signed on for...but unless the service is really bad...I think staff and crew should be tipped.
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Old November 30th, 2006, 09:19 PM
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We have always left the auto tips in place. So far never have wanted to increase but that may change some day. We have never had bad experience that would want us to decrease either.
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Old November 30th, 2006, 09:21 PM
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To brag about stiffing the helps is one comment I would not let slip by unnoticed. I would have to speak up, and would hope they would change tables

Bartenders get their tips on the bill as the pasenger buys the drinks, they don't get stiffed...

It's very sad to think these hard working people don't get their tips..I will say I usually adjust up, but a couple of times I adjusted down for really bad service.
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Old November 30th, 2006, 10:39 PM
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Fieldmouse,

Are those figures for annual income?

I suppose even after you add in tip income, these employees aren't making very much.

On the other hand, they have little in the way of expenses. All of their major expense items are provided, and so after taxes, they keep all of their incomes.

I know people who make tens of thousands per month, and yet spend more than they make. (The BMW in the driveway of the unfurnished house.) For these people positive cash-flow of any sort would be a good thing.

So, positive cash-flow, travel to exotic places, luxury liner to work on -- not that bad of a situation.

I always tip, as these people make my cruises such great experiences.

Dean
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Old November 30th, 2006, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Are those figures for annual income?
Those would be guestimates of MONTHLY income.

And in most cases they would also be non taxable.

People should also remember that these people work almost every day of the term of their contracts. It's not a 5 day, 40 hr week.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 01:13 AM
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Kuki's right...also we have to keep in mind that many of the crew /staff support not only their families but sometimes an EXTENDED family as well. It's very different in a third world system. There is no welfare or state services to save you...you literally work for food.

My husband and I make it a point to tip extra for service that is better than expected in the dining room or cabin, and if we order room service, we tip in cash right then.

Of course if the service is lousy...or the cabin attantant isn't doing his/her job, and we've address the issues directly to them and the matter wasn't corrected.. then of course the amount of the tip would decrease....but that's never happen ....YET!
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Old December 1st, 2006, 09:49 AM
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Of course we tip, usually more than the standard amount. And, I agree, if anyone bragged about stiffing the crew, I'd weigh in with a pointed reply.

These folks do work very hard, and deserve what they earn.

That said, if you've ever really chatted these folks up, you know that many of them see their jobs as terrific opportunities to get ahead early in life. As Kuki says, the money is tax-free, PLUS they get room and board. That means they're able (if they want to) to sock away almost all of their gross earnings. And many of them do. One waiter was looking to open his own restaurant in Bulgaria; another wanted to open an engineering firm in Poland.

Many of these folks are industrious, well-educated people with terrific work ethics. And their experiences aboard ship will give them a world view that few will ever match. How many Americans do you know who can tell you where Bulgaria and Poland are, much less what their people are like, what their economies are all about, etc? But most of these crew folks have their eyes wide open to the places they visit and the people they meet (including the Americans who stiff them), and these experiences will serve them very well throughout their lives.

I have great respect for them.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 11:20 AM
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Default Cruise Crew Rely on Tips. Do You Tip?

Yes, we tip, though nothing above the norm. We never ask for extra services. But I think staff deserves tips for their sevices.

My mother never tipped for anything. I remember one particular visit to the midwest when we took her out for dinner, and she had a fit because my DH tipped the waitress.

Judy
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Old December 1st, 2006, 12:07 PM
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That was some interesting background information AR....

I now remember speaking to a number of the younger crew who were stashing away alittle for their education, etc.....but most staff that we've met and interacted with are dependent on the income for their families immediate benefit.

But ...our view point IS based on the cruiselines that we been on...for example HAL...where most of the working staff or from Asia and the Pacific Islands and not Europe.

Either way, nice to have a little background information on the hard working staff hired by cruiselines.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 02:39 PM
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I like tipping. It makes everyone feel good.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 03:50 PM
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On three of the four cruises we've been on, tipping at approximately $10.00 per day per person was charged to our account. We allways tipped our cabin stewart and dining room waiters extra.

After inquiring about the automatic charge for tipping, the answer given was that some passengers wouldn't tip at all. So to make it fair, the cruise line had to institute that policy.

It would be nice to know how much of the $10.00 per day per person goes to each service staff. It would be easier to determine how much extra tipping should go for what one feels was extra good service.

Bill
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 07:37 AM
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I have always payed the automatic tipping, and then on the last night brought extra in envelopes for the waitstaff and also for my cabin steward. The last cruise the maitre'd as well, as he was especially helpful during an ackward dining room situation. The nicest people I have met on my cruises so far have always been the help.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 08:20 AM
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we stick with the auto tips and never reduce them; in addition, depending on the level of service tip extra to waiters and room steward.
The bartenders also make extra tips from us and we have never been disappointed.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msblackjack
we stick with the auto tips and never reduce them
What's an auto tip?
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Old December 4th, 2006, 12:18 AM
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Firewhirlz,

Most of the major cruise lines now offer auto-tipping as the default method of tipping. What it means is that tips are automatically added to your shipboard account. You no longer have to determine tip amounts and stuff cash into envelopes to present to the staff on the last night.

On the other hand, the tips are pre-determined and charged to your account, which you settle on the last day. With this method, you don’t have discretion over who receives the tips, nor do you have discretion over the amount.

You can however, opt out of the auto-tipping program and tip manually, if you prefer.

Some cruisers practice a modified auto-tip policy, whereby they use the auto-tip procedure for most of the staff, and then tip additionally the staff who have provided outstanding service.

The choice is yours, as always.

Happy cruising,

Dean
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Old December 4th, 2006, 08:16 AM
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besides the automatic tips charged to the room, we pick up 5 envelopes at the desk on our way into the ship and place 25 for the head staff, 20 for the asst. staff, 10 for the Maitre d at the start of each cruise. from that point we either add a few or subtract a few dollars depending on the service we get. so far the Maitre d on our carnival cruises has never gotten the envelope. we have been on the second level for our carnival cruises, and they NEVER make it to the second floor to either introduce them self’s or check on us for the most part we are happy to hand over the extra because we feel the service is well worth it. we did have one cruise where the dining staff kept changing, our regular staff was only with us for 3 out of 5 days, and of that they only worked twice as a pair. the asst. got her envelope because she was with us the last day, but the other envelope came home with us. i hope this never happens again, but if it does we may pull the automatic tip as well to set off a flag for the cruise line.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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One cruising tip you might want to keep in mind, is that if you are not the type to reduce tipping, you might do like we do, and have the tipping included in the price of your cruise. That way, it is also paid before you cruise.

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Old December 4th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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One of the reasons we don't use the 'auto tip' method...

Tips are our response for personal service and a positive interaction with the staff. So...we like to 'hand' the staff the tip envelope along with a personal thank-you.

For example: I have servere food allergies...and on a recent HAL cruise...one of the buffet cooks noticed that I would take very little food or...only one or two buffet items. He asked why...I explained briefly my problem. He told me, "You come back in a few minutes...I will fix special for you."

After that, he would prepare a special lunch dish just for me, and he did this BEFORE he cooked anyone else's food. We always got to the lunch buffet line early to make it easier...but if we were a little late...the other cooks held my plate aside. They all seem to know.

Trust me...HE GOT A 'TIP'!!
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Old December 4th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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I do auto plus extra. the auto is so I don't forget anyone, and the extra is for those who do such a good job, making things extra special.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 03:19 PM
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Wow! Thanks for the tips on the tips!

This is our first cruise and I've gained a fair amount of knowledge already from these boards.

Is is our first cruise and we posted on it here:

http://cruisemates.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=566423

If you care to take a look and give some feedback, it would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old December 4th, 2006, 06:12 PM
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Fieldmouse,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Most will greet you with a smile even when they are exhusted, and when they finished pampering us...there's another group who can't wait to board.
And you know...that's fine, cause it's the job they signed on for...but unless the service is really bad...I think staff and crew should be tipped.
Absolutely!

That said, I should also counsel against overtipping -- which is a hallmark if social ignorance and an insult to the recipients. Studies have shown tht the "nouveau rich" ("new money") flaunt their wealth by tipping far more than the proper amount while the real elite consistently leave proper tips. Also, excessive tips are considered to be an assertion that the recipient needs a charity hand-out because he/she cannot earn his own way.

Here's how I calculate gratuities for a seven night cruise.

>> Waiter & Cabin Steward: $3.50/passenger/day x 7 days = $24.50/passenger; round up to $25/passenger; add extra if exceptional service provided.

>> Assistant Waiter (and, on Celebrity, Assistant Cabin Steward): $2/passenger/day x 7 days = $14/passenger; round up to $15/passenger and add extra if exceptional service provided.

>> Assistant Maitre d'Hotel: $0.75/passenger/day x 7 days = $4.75/passenger; round to $5/passenger.

And I don't use the optional shipboard charge system on Celebrity because there's no way to remove the tip for the Assistant Chief Housekeeper, who is not entitled to a tip by standard etiquette.

Norm.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 10:35 PM
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Hi all,
I beleive if you can't afford to tip you can't afford to cruise. But I was a hairstylist for 14 years so I understand first hand how important tips are. I love the auto tip because it makes everything so easy. But I cruised Celebrity last and made certain that I knew what the standard tips were from the Celebrity website. Those standard tips are per person we made certain we had enough money to tip on top of any spending money.
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