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Old November 24th, 2011, 05:17 PM
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From April 2012 (effective cruises below), P&O Cruises will be introducing a new scheme designed to remove the confusion over the age-old question of tipping.

We’ve always been a company both proud of and dedicated to providing our passengers with excellent customer service. Our reputation demands it and we are all passionate about delivering it. Our crew work extremely hard to deliver the high level of service that our passengers rightly expect of us. More recently many of our passengers have told us that tipping on board can be a source of confusion and embarrassment, not least for those who are trying cruising for the first time. And for our crew, this confusion can lead to some very significant variations in their take home earnings.. We have looked at how we can make it easier and fairer for both our passengers and crew and, as a result, have developed a new arrangement for tipping that will apply to all P&O Cruises holidays sailing from April 2012 onwards.

The recommended daily rate of £3.10 will now automatically be added to a passenger’s on board account on a daily basis. This will be shared out among restaurant and accommodation staff.

The new scheme is effective from the below cruises

Ventura - N206 - 23 March 2012
Oceana - E204 - 21 March 2012
Azura - A207 - 30 March 2012
Adonia - D203 - 9 April 2012
Oriana - X202 - 10 April 2012
Aurora - R202 - 12 April 2012
Arcadia - J202 - 27 April 2012
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Old November 24th, 2011, 05:26 PM
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I actually think this is a good thing. I would prefer that all tips be rolled into the fare so nothing is added to the onboard account but that would stop the folks who want that $399/inside cabin/seven day cruise. If it was $469 they wouldn't cruise.( but quite true)

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Old November 24th, 2011, 05:59 PM
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Just add the tips to the fare. If all cruiselines did it; you wouldn't get the negative connotations of a price increase. If the $70 is a deal breaker for purchasing the cruise; the cruise lines probably don't want you anyway.
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Old November 24th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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Varied opinions elsewhere...from outrage (nobody tells me what to pay/like to hand out envelopes) to Good idea saves all the handing out envelopes crap. Already heard the ''I'll have it removed because I like to reward (the serfs) personally'' ones.
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Old November 24th, 2011, 06:15 PM
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Just add the tips to the fare. If all cruiselines did it; you wouldn't get the negative connotations of a price increase. If the $70 is a deal breaker for purchasing the cruise; the cruise lines probably don't want you anyway.
Marc,

I believe that the $70 automatic gratuity is a deal breaker for many people plus it would also be a deal breaker if it was rolled into the fare. Most of the mainstream lines want the bodies onboard in hopes they spend money.

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Mike
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Old November 24th, 2011, 07:05 PM
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I think the Brit view is IF they decide to tip they want to give it personally to individual staff at a rate they decide. I think tipping is an archaic class based patronising thing & best left in the past. If the cruiselines want the customers to pay all or part of the wages just call it a service charge, & advise in the (very) small print that it will be charged to your account as such.
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Old November 24th, 2011, 07:08 PM
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Marc,

I believe that the $70 automatic gratuity is a deal breaker for many people plus it would also be a deal breaker if it was rolled into the fare. Most of the mainstream lines want the bodies onboard in hopes they spend money.

Take care,
Mike
I actually discussed this with a manager on my recent Celebrity cruise - and comment was made that it would be unacceptable to 90% of US passengers on board.

However I agree with Marc et al- include the tips in the fare.

Annie

PS £3.10 pp pd on P&O is a joke!
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Old November 24th, 2011, 09:45 PM
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I actually had to pre-pay tips for my last cruise on Allure of the Seas, due to anytime dinning. I actually love it, add it into the cruise price. I think too many cruisers are not tipping, which is not fair, if you can afford to cruise, include that in your fare...
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Old November 25th, 2011, 06:40 AM
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I actually had to pre-pay tips for my last cruise on Allure of the Seas, due to anytime dinning. I actually love it, add it into the cruise price. I think too many cruisers are not tipping, which is not fair, if you can afford to cruise, include that in your fare...
I suppose if it's included in the fare it makes cruises look more expensive...like flights over here, we recently flew to Scotland £32 each way that ended up £180 including taxes & extras!!
I dislike tipping I admit, I find it patronising almost implying that I am better than the person I am tipping.."here you are my good man & spend it wisely" sort of thing, I would rather it was levied as a service charge & if I want to give someone something out of genuine gratitude then that is up to me, but it will NOT be US$25 a day.
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Old November 25th, 2011, 07:18 AM
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I I would rather it was levied as a service charge & if I want to give someone something out of genuine gratitude then that is up to me, but it will NOT be US$25 a day.
I find that "service charge" or "automatic tips" to be more a matter of semantics. It's a charge no matter what and as long as it goes to the people who are delivering service directly to me then I have no problem.

I assume the $25/day is for two people. I personally believe it's a fair amount. Then again, I'm American (but my mother was a Leicester girl) and I worked in the service industry so my perspective is different.

As I stated earlier, the cost should just be rolled into the price of the cruise. The problem with that is that, just as when automatic tipping was instated, people will then think they need to tip MORE. I get a bit irritated when people get the idea that if they don't give MORE than the standard tip then they are cheap.

I also have some issues with those who brag about giving the $100 up front in order to get good service. I think they do this more to make themself feel like a big shot rather than to assure good service. Pre-tipping does not guarantee better service. One problem with this is that new cruisers will believe they have to do this in order to get good service. This can't be further from the truth.

Take care,
Mike
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Old November 25th, 2011, 07:56 AM
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I have to agree with Mike

I also agree that $25 per day for a couple is not huge - if you were to tip after every meal it would add up to a lot more - JMHO.

I prepay my gratuities too - can not be bothered with envelopes etc - and I believe in transparent pricing.

When I have my breakfast delivered to my cabin, I tip additionally - I keep a roll of small bills in my bedside table for that purpose - it is so worth it - I need breakfast before I leave the cabin

Annie
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Old November 25th, 2011, 08:44 AM
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John,
I totally agree with you, in my case it was basically a service charge and was added with final payment, so the price of the cruise initially didn't have that, so it looked more reasonable in price. Like you, and I would say, most have no problem tipping the service personnel that take care of while cruising, there are still those that don't, for whatever their reason is. I am hoping more of the mainstream cruiselines go to the pre-tipping, and if you see the need to tip extra, go for it.
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Old November 25th, 2011, 09:42 AM
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We've sort of got used to the auto tipping on the various cruiselines, and are surprised that P&O have held off (or at least had a split policy) for so long now.

Even with the auto tipping in place, pax will be allowed to go and amend the amount and explain their reasons if they want to. We remember being wheeled round into one of the Pursers Offices a few years back to explain why we felt we had the right to reduce the tips. Our explanation that "we were happy to have part of the tips automated, whilst we pay the rest as & where we want too" only seemed to confuse things, and they wiped off all the tips - d'uh.

Hopefully this policy will help deter passengers from giving nothing, or even worse, empty envelopes, just because they can get away with it, and whilst they will no doubt still be able to remove all tips, at least they may feel obliged to explain their reasons, or think twice.

As for including the tips in the cost of a cruise (my favourite answer), it seems there may be more tax liabilities for the companies, and employees as the monies are handled in your local country & not in the 'tax haven' of the ship.

I had heard on another site that employees are being more & more recognised for providing that extra service & deserving a bonus/topup. Perhaps P&O will (or already do) have the same approach.
However this did lead to one of our cabin stewards positiviely touting for high marks on his sheet, even though he didn't deserve them

Alan.

PS I agree Annie, £3.10 doesn't really seem to be worth the effort does it. Even Fred.Olsen charge £4 pppd !!
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Old November 25th, 2011, 10:03 AM
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I also didn't convert the 3.10 pounds correctly. That's only $4.80/pp/pd at today's conversion rate. Pretty good compared to other cruise lines.

I know that there are probably a number of people who gave nothing. A couple who cruised with us on the Norwegian Jewel, on a Baltic cruise, had no problem proclaiming that they were not going to pay the service charge or give tips. BTW: They were staying in an Owners Suite. The people were not Americans.

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Old November 25th, 2011, 10:55 AM
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I also didn't convert the 3.10 pounds correctly. That's only $4.80/pp/pd at today's conversion rate. Pretty good compared to other cruise lines.

I know that there are probably a number of people who gave nothing. A couple who cruised with us on the Norwegian Jewel, on a Baltic cruise, had no problem proclaiming that they were not going to pay the service charge or give tips. BTW: They were staying in an Owners Suite. The people were not Americans.

Take care,
Mike
Mike - just a couple of thoughts:

1. I read somewhere that on NCL did not permit the adjustment of the s/c.
2. Your story re the occupants of the Owners Suite reinforces my belief that the s/c should be included in the price.
3. That is how you can afford the Owners Suite - don't tip -BTW that is intended as a joke.

Annie
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Old November 25th, 2011, 10:56 AM
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We do tip, but to be honest only because it is expected & customary, I just think the staff do their job. I don't begrudge them the money I am sure they deserve it but I do think this tipping thing is a scam to get money out of the passengers to pay wages with. So....I would rather it was taken care of without me actually putting cash in envelopes.
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Old November 25th, 2011, 11:09 AM
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As I understand it, this is 2nd hand from a former colleague, the auto-tips are used to fund the allotments sent home to the families of the seastaff. He was advised of this by the Staff Captain on his Alaska cruise.

BTW my former colleague is a director of a shipping company but not a cruise line.

Alan makes a valid point re possible tax liabilities but if the above is correct - that would not be a factor.

Annie

BTW the hairdressing staff in my local salon uare assessed by the UK taxman as receiving £x in tips and taxed accordingly.
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Old November 25th, 2011, 11:11 AM
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I think the problem with auto tipping, is people could still have them taken off and either pay a different amount, or pay cash to the specific crew member, or some, not pay anything. With pre-paid, they are already paid and just about impossible to change it once onboard, you would have to deal with your credit card company, because it would of been paid with your cruise fare....I think we will be seeing more of this, that way it is part of the cruise fare.
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Old November 25th, 2011, 11:17 AM
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Another thing that irritates me is this statement people make of "we shall go down & have this removed so we can tip who we like" this just confuses the system, they have to hand it in I think, it all goes in a pool to share. If you believe the staff deserve tipping then just leave the auto tips in place & everyone gets their share. I also tend to wonder about those who declare they always pay above the recommended amount, the term "empty vessels'' comes to mind.
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Old November 25th, 2011, 12:19 PM
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General tipping in this country can be unfair (IMO) because of the venue.

The typical tip today over on this side of the pond is now pretty much 20% (used to be 15% but it's just kinda' gone up). What most people don't understand is that most wait staff in this country get the minimum wage of something along the lines of $3.00 an hour. At the small restaurants around here you can get a good home cooked southern style meal (chicken fried steak and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and cole slaw) for about $4.75 which would make the tip 95 cents. If the girl waits on four tables with one person each, she still is only making around $7.00 an hour and that's if (a very big IF) the diner leaves 20%. Often they leave nothing, especially at buffets where, in fact, the staff actually quite often work harder.

Now if you're in a high class joint where you may pay $65.00 bucks for one person at each of four tables, $55 bucks in an hour certainly ain't shabby by any stretch of the imagination.

But of course most of us don't usually dine at such expensive establishments. That is why if I have any meal, regardless of how small or how inexpensive, delivered to me or has a wait staff member give me continuous service even at a buffet, I never leave less than $3.00.
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Old November 25th, 2011, 01:06 PM
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General tipping in this country can be unfair (IMO) because of the venue.

The typical tip today over on this side of the pond is now pretty much 20% (used to be 15% but it's just kinda' gone up). What most people don't understand is that most wait staff in this country get the minimum wage of something along the lines of $3.00 an hour. At the small restaurants around here you can get a good home cooked southern style meal (chicken fried steak and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and cole slaw) for about $4.75 which would make the tip 95 cents. If the girl waits on four tables with one person each, she still is only making around $7.00 an hour and that's if (a very big IF) the diner leaves 20%. Often they leave nothing, especially at buffets where, in fact, the staff actually quite often work harder.

Now if you're in a high class joint where you may pay $65.00 bucks for one person at each of four tables, $55 bucks in an hour certainly ain't shabby by any stretch of the imagination.

But of course most of us don't usually dine at such expensive establishments. That is why if I have any meal, regardless of how small or how inexpensive, delivered to me or has a wait staff member give me continuous service even at a buffet, I never leave less than $3.00.
Todd you probably know this already but the min wage in the UK for a 22 year old is approx $9.00 an hour; in Eire it is approx $15.00 per hour.

So the restaurants in the US pay wait staff $3.00 an hour and expect the passenger to top it up? That should be illegal JMHO - it is certainly immoral - also JMHO

Annie

BTW I know Eire is virtually bankrupt but they are not alone.
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Old November 25th, 2011, 02:55 PM
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Totally different over here, minimum wages & conditions apply...there are of course some who don't but employ illegals. A cruise line though I think pays well enough, there are enough people wanting jobs on them...over here anyway, mostly from India & Phillipines. 20 cabins at £3 /day £ 60/day x 30 days= £1800 & that is just tips.....in cash...no expenses.
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Old November 25th, 2011, 07:08 PM
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Lots of indignant comments coming in....''Damn cheek''...''nobody tells me what to tip''...'''I always tip more than that''..."I'm going right to guest services to have it removed"..."I only want to tip who I decide to tip". In reality if you are an honest person who tips then you won't mind having basic tips charged to your account & you can give extra if you wish.....A lot of empty vessels about!!
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Old November 28th, 2011, 04:52 PM
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Just an update, the majority seem to be outraged, some saying it will make the cruises far too expensive, but if they were going to tip anyway it's no different, unless of course.....some are saying that it will be an awful lot of money on a world cruise, again you tend to wonder what their intentions were about tips.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 06:36 PM
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Yea, there are those that just plain, don't tip.....I can't understand that, but that is why we are seeing the pre-paid tips.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 06:57 PM
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Yea, there are those that just plain, don't tip.....I can't understand that, but that is why we are seeing the pre-paid tips.
I can see both sides of the argument, we in the UK do not have a "if it moves give it a tip" culture & if we do it is for something out of the ordinary not just doing a job, so people just don't get tipping in general & certainly don't see giving hundreds of pounds as justifiable. On the other hand tipping on cruises has always been the norm as has tipping when on holiday in foreign lands so I am used to it.
I am still scarred from my first experience of US tipping, I knew it was expected, so there we were in that nice Chinese restaurant in EPCOT Orlando, the bill came & I put $10 in the tip box, this obviously wasn't enough as the waitress went mad at us, really embarrassing, we were worried about going anywhere & who to tip/how much.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by anniegb View Post
Mike - just a couple of thoughts:

1. I read somewhere that on NCL did not permit the adjustment of the s/c.
2. Your story re the occupants of the Owners Suite reinforces my belief that the s/c should be included in the price.
3. That is how you can afford the Owners Suite - don't tip -BTW that is intended as a joke.

Annie
Annie: You can't unless you have a very valid reason and they will do whatever they can to correct the problem before they will remove the SC. The couple "proclaimed" but I doubt they ever did.

I agree: There are cheap people in every category

Cheap and Frugal are totally different. Most wealthy people are frugal but rarely cheap.

Take care,
Mike
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Old November 29th, 2011, 11:10 AM
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28,000 views on the P&O tips thread now...
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