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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 2nd, 2003, 03:30 PM
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Default HAL tipping policy may be changing

Heads up to future HAL cruisers. I was telephone sureyed last week about tipping on HAL. Would I prefer tips added to bill or envelopes given out for the last nite of the cruise? Would I like bar tips added in or tip seperately? Looks like some changes are coming.
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

I am very glad to hear that. Their No Tipping---Yes Tipping policy is very confusing to the customer who wants to treat all employees of H.A.L. in a fair manner. Let's hope the changes come soon.
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 08:56 PM
thoth
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

Don't just add tips to my bill, but I do think that voluntary tipping should be pushed so to speak. I had to almost beg for the envelopes last year on the Maasdam. I do believe in tipping for a job well done, however how much is at my discrection, not theirs.
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

I think the tipping policy is fine just the way it is. In about 35 cruises with HAL, we have never had a difficulty thanking the wonderful stewards by preparing envelopes to give them on the last night of the cruise. I sincerely hope they do not start adding tips automatically to the bar tabs. It is inevitable the service will become perfunctory and the friendliness of the stewards will diminish. It is human nature!
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

I agree 100%....the tipping policy is fine just the way it is! When it's taken out of your hands, it's no longer tipping, it's a fee for service rendered.
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

For seasoned HAL cruisers, that is fine. You are used to the way things are. For those who have never sailed HAL before or are not experienced cruisers, HAL's tipping policy is so muddled and unclear it is a hindrance. Why not make it clear to EVERYONE exactly what the policy is?

I know what you veteran HAL cruisers are going to say...it's tradition, it's all in the fine print in your pre-cruise docs, don't mess with things that "WE" are used to......but maybe for everyone else's sake some CLARITY on the issue on HAL's part would make it much easier on the rest of us! I'm not talking prepaid tips or tips automatically charged to your sign and sail card, but making it easier for others to tip the well deserving HAL employees!

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Old July 4th, 2003, 06:18 AM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

We were all inexperienced cruisers at one time. At the disembarkation talk, they make their policy very clear.
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Old July 4th, 2003, 07:40 AM
jay and lynda
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

the tipping policy is fine and fair the way it is now.
tipping should be left to you not forced on you.
as far as fair to all employees, it should be up to YOU who you wish or do not wish to tip and how much.
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Old July 4th, 2003, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

Mirish is right - we were all inexperienced cruisers at one time and our 1st cruise was on HAL and we understood their tipping policy. It's just fine with us and as far as we are concerned, LEAVE IT ALONE.

From reading many posts on a couple of boards, I put the blame on TA's who tell a client that there is NO Tipping on HAL. It's time the TA's learned what "Tipping Not Required" means. Of course we tip, who wouldn't. The staff work hard and are always pleasant and cheerful. Anyone who doesn't tip them is just CHEAP.

We had a lady and her 2 daughters (from our home town) sitting at our table last year. She asked all of us a number of times about how much to tip and when to do it. Well, on the last night one daughter did not arrive at the table - we were told she was ill. Mother and the other daughter left right after dinner, before desert, to check on the sick one and did not leave a tip - they made sure they left the table when the waiter was in the kitchen. Now these 3 were the pickiest eaters I have ever seen and had the poor waiter running back and forth to the kitchen because they didn't like something that was served to them. He DEFINITELY deserved a tip from them. When we saw them the next day at disembarkation, they wouldn't look or speak to us. I think they knew what we thought of them.
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Old July 4th, 2003, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

To the contrary, I think it is a bore trying to find every person that may have served you a drink at bar X, to find out that person is working at bar Y on the last day of the cruise. (and you may not know their name or be able to find them at all) Also it is very unclear if H.A.L. employees are paid more upfront by the cruise line. The implication is that they are paid more, but the reality is that they are probably not. If H.A.L. wants a no tipping policy, it should be just that, Or they should have a tipping policy that is clear to all. (I don't care if we have envelopes or if it goes on my expense sheet.)

I have been on three H.A.L. cruises (so I am not a veteran) and I find the entire process baffling. My last cruise, they would not allow me to add a tip to the bottle of wine a group of us had ordered in a lounge. Other cruise lines would have added the 15% onto the bill automatically. Then I would have been sure this server is getting paid a decent wage for the very hard work he or she does. Why must I either constantly have tip money in my pocket on the cruise, or be force to track down this hard-working employee on the last day of the cruise.There is no tip pooling, so it would seem that some lower lever service people are left completely out of the mix, and that's wrong.

To me it appears the "No Tipping Required" policy borders on bate and switch tactics. H.A.L. uses that to sell cruises and then tells unsuspecting cruisers there really are tips expected just as you are leaving the ship. I find it very annoying. And I think many H.A.L. employees don't get the tips they deserve because of this policy.
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Old July 4th, 2003, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

After reading all these posts, maybe this is the reason for the survey. Sounds totally confusing to me.
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Old July 4th, 2003, 05:11 PM
thoth
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

On Carnival when I went (2001), they left tipping up to you but gave suggestions and guidance. Let's face it .....they nagged! All things considered, that might be the best policy for all parties concerned.
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Old July 4th, 2003, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

Totally agree with Mirish and Dizy....all of us took our first HAL cruise at one time or another. It has never been confusing to me and it seems as though all these claims of confusion have only begun in the last year or two. All the years we cruised HAL, anyone who felt they were unsure about the policy (because they did not bother to attend the disembarkation talk of listen to it on tv), simply asked. Seeing as tipping usually occurs at the end of the cruise, surely you will have met a few persons while aboard who you can ask. Claims of confusion IMO are a red herring.

I think many claim confusion as a rationalization to themselves for being cheap.

It is no hassle finding the bartenders/bar stewards on the last night. With very few exceptions, the same crew works the same bar for the entire cruise. They do move from bar to bar but not during an ongoing cruise (with, as I said, a few exceptions). They don't move to a different bar until one cruise ends and the next begins.

Nothing stops anyone from tipping cash to a bartender or bar steward at the time of service. It is perfectly fine if you wish to give them a tip each time they serve you the same as you would be doing if the sum was automatically added to your bar tab. Cash is not heavy, it fits easily into a pocket/purse and carrying a few dollars with you is no big deal.

One can blow anything out of proportion and make it a big deal if they wish to.
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Old July 5th, 2003, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

If the tipping process were actually as difficult as Chuck makes it out to be, I'd sign a petition to make changes. However ... prior to my first HAL cruise I read a discussion about HAL's policy and had no difficulty locating the stack of envelopes at the purser's desk and had kept enough cash to dole out to those members of the staff who were deserving, which turned out to be more than I had anticipated. Everyone I dealt with more than once were at their usual posts on the last day/evening and I was able to express my appreciation verbally and with a tip. It's just not a big deal and the staff were totally deserving of the little effort I had to put in.

SFJ
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Old July 7th, 2003, 12:07 AM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

Well said Mirish, Sail7Seas and Dizy, we too were once first time cruisers. Back then you had to deal with a TA; we read brochures and asked questions. No way would we have missed the Disembarkation Talk.

All these cruisers who are 'confused by HAL's policy' are IMHO conveniently so - in short, they are CHEAPSKATES. As for having to 'search' for envelopes, what's so wrong with folding a few bills and passing them over with a handshake and a 'thank you'?

HAL's policy is fine the way it is but I agree that HAL Customer Service people must be trained and required to explain the Line's Policy to all who call. TA's and TC's should also be trained.......even if they are not specifically asked. After all, if a Line requires prepayment of 'gratuities' it is so stated in the passengers' documents, e.g. Cunard - US$70.00 per week per person.
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Old July 7th, 2003, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

I think there is a relatively simple three step solution here.

1. One add an automatic tip to bar tabs. It is too confusing without one, at least on the decks and in the bars. The dining room could stay the same because the wine steward functions a lot like the waiters during the meal hours.

2. Remove the tipping not required advertising and leave it up to the passengers as to how they tip their cabin and dining room helpers. Perhaps an appropriately worded statement to the effect that tipping is your choice as a reward for good service could replace the current verbage.

3. In additional to the removal of tipping not required advertisments, launch a train the travel agent campaign. I suspect a lot of confusing information is passed out at the TA level. Maybe an attempt to educate would help the overall situation.

My 38 cents worth.

Enjoy your cruise and please please tip for good service.
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Old July 7th, 2003, 07:40 PM
Benjamin Smith
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

I agree with Sports Fan. Though I'm not sure about bar servers. Perhaps HAL doesn't pester for drinks so that the bar servers can make tips. Now, some people may tip bar servers at the end of the cruise, but some will not receive tips per drink as they do on other lines. So perhaps bar servers should be tipped as per other lines. But will this lead to some pestering and pushing drinks that happens on some other lines?

On HAL, tipping is expected as it is on other mass market lines. HAL says "no tipping required" and people misinterpret that as meaning "no tipping" as in HAL is a "no tipping" line. That's why HAL always has the CD explaining exactly what it means. I do think it can be ambiguous and should be clarified. And I agree that some travel agents don't know, or don't explain it clearly to pax new to the line.
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Old July 7th, 2003, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

Sports Fan and Benjamin Smith,

Sure, if you're going to interject common sense into the arguement.

The HAL tipping statement in their advertising is obviously a ploy to make their line "appear" roughly $80-$100 less expensive per person than their competition. In my opinion its a shame and a sham. The brunt of the whole debacle is the crew, which the HAL loyal so convincingly tell you they just LOVE! No telling how many hundreds of thousands (albeit millions) this little misunderstood phrase has cost those hardworking waitstaff employees! HAL should be ashamed. And to see this "vague" tipping policy defended by the HAL loyal infuriates me!

As for automatic tipping on the s&s card, this is the most misunderstood tipping process ever on HAL boards, according to some of the posters. Having your tips put on your S&S card is NOT MANDATORY tipping. You can have them removed AT ANYTIME DURING THE CRUISE! If you wish you can have more added to the S&S card or you can give extra in person, however you want to do it.

As some of you posted, this tipping policy just gives the cheapskates an excuse NOT TO TIP. Well, that's just another reason for having the "suggested" tip posted on the S&S account. Let the cheapskates march down to the pursers desk and remove the tips and then try to "feign" ignorance!

Adding 10-15% to the bar bill just makes good sense. I can't imagine anyone tipping less than that for even a modicum of service. As one poster put it, at the end of the cruise you don't have to hunt down some employee that may or may not even be on duty to give them a tip. And at any time if you get superb service some evening you can give these hard-working people even more!!!

If in no other area of HAL's operations there is a place for the HAL "loyal" to stand up and be heard, it is with this issue.
The Fillipino crew NEEDS YOU to swallow your pride and say "HAL, you've got to change this. Its wrong. Its misleading. Please reconsider this tipping statement".

I'll calm down now.

Gary
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Old July 8th, 2003, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

Adding on what others have said why should I, on the last day of the cruise, have to hunt down a bar server on the pool deck who MAY have served me one or two drinks during the week to give him a tip, or a server that took care of me ONE night when I checked out a different venue on the ship - while I am trying to pack and get ready to disembark and getting in one last day of relaxation? After thinking about this, maybe it should be arranged that the tip be added to bar bills; those that want to tip those special servers extra are free to do so on the last night (as I have done in the past on other cruise lines - for those who think I am a cheapskate!) It is the service people on HAL who suffer when the tipping policy is unclear.

At least you KNOW you will see your waitstaff and room steward on the last night of the cruise to tip accordingly.

I am not a fan of auto tipping; in fact I do have the tips removed from my sign and sail card and tip the traditional way on my cruises for the room steward and wait staff in the dining rooms, but the bartenders and cocktail staff always have had the 15% added to the bills so I know they have at least had that tip to count on.

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Old July 8th, 2003, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

Lisa...there is no reason you cannot hand the steward in the lounge, on deck or anywhere on the ship, a tip when he serves you your drink so that you won't have to "hunt them down". In all honesty, we have never had to hunt them down but perhaps someone else has. They are always in the same place they were for the whole cruise.

Carry a few dollars in your pocket (purse) and tip as you go if you wish. Cash is small, it doesn't weigh anything and aren't most of us used to having a bit of cash on us at home all the time??? What is the big deal about having a little cash on you when aboard the ship?
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Old July 9th, 2003, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

We always take along a roll of dollar coins and toss a few in a pocket when heading to the crow's nest or wherever. one given with each round, results in every waiter or waitress fighting over who gets our table.
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Old July 10th, 2003, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

Lisa - sometimes it pays to "hunt down" a waiter/bartender. My husband forgot to tip one of his favourite bartenders during the day on our last cruise, so after packing, he went down to give him the tip. The fella had stepped out for a break (he was doing his washing), so my husband waited around and as this waiter was stationed in the Casino bar, my husband walked over to a dollar machine, put in $5.00 and came back to the cabin with over $500. It turned out to be well worth his time to wait for the bartender.

In all our years of travelling with HAL, we have never had a problem hunting down anyone to give them their tip. If you don't want to do this, then do as S7Ss suggests.
It's no big deal.
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Old July 11th, 2003, 06:31 AM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

Heres something to think about...Does anyone know what the Room Steward,Waiter, Ma"tradie, Wine steward ect. make as a salary ?Do they get room and board?If so how much is that worth? What would be a fair salary for these positions so you don't have to tip? I 've talked to a few and most of them put in over 40hrs/week .Is Minimum wage what they deserve?? Most servers (on Land) who I know make under minumum wage and depend on there tips to suppliment their income. If the restaraurants started paying servers 7-10 dollars/hr don't you think the cost of the meals would go up? and same for the cost of a cruise. But Hey then ya would'nt have to worry about tips. Guess it's the old adage... Ya Pay Me Now or Ya Pay Me Later...Oh Yes I'm not a server....just a person who has an opinion..and everyone has one Happy Cruzin..... Rick
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Old July 11th, 2003, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

So exactly what should you tip for the waiter and room steward for a 7 day Alaskan cruise? I am going on the Statendam in mid August.
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Old July 12th, 2003, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

Waiter and Cabin Steward $3.50 per passenger per day
Assistant Waiter $1.75 per person per day
Maitre "D ......... $.50 per day

That's what was recommended on Celebrity Zenith in December & January.
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Old July 14th, 2003, 02:43 AM
Wayne and Marcy
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

I find it amazing that so much discussion takes place repeatedly over something this elementary. If you go to a restaurant, what do you do if your service has been exceptional? what changes if the service is bad?
-good service = good tip
-bad service=poor/no tip
Seems to me this is REALLY simple....apply the same rules on board! We've done a fair bit of cruising, and frankly it offends the @(*&(^*$ out of me to have a 15% surcharge automatically added to everything, and envelopes left in our cabin with recomended amounts. If I get good service, I tip, and I tip well. Bad service is just that, bad service and I refuse to reward it, regardless of the policy. We have travelled on HAL more than any other line (and we have a close friend who is an Officer on another line...despite being extremely inexpensive for us to cruise on that line, we choose HAL) for their common sense approach to tipping, among many other things.

It's simple, and so is their policy

my 2 cents......
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Old July 14th, 2003, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

Just read my Cruisesonly e-mail specials and there it was only a slightly different twist this time:

"Don't forget gratuities are not expected with Holland America."

ROFLMAO....and the beat goes on.

Gary
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Old July 19th, 2003, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

When I get good service on a cruise, I always tip very generously. My last trip with HAL was excellent, and I tipped accordingly, greater than the 15% most are accustomed to. If they were to add to my bills atomatically, I know I wouldn't like it. Keep it like it is. Service should always be very good, and HAL has a reputation for outstanding service. If service deteriorates, so will my faith in HAL.
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Old July 20th, 2003, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

Gary wrote:

"The Fillipino crew NEEDS YOU to swallow your pride and say "HAL, you've got to change this. Its wrong."

I haven't sailed HAL in awhile, but will do so very soon. However, I do recall there were many fine Indonesians onboard as well. In fact, they used to be in the majority. When we sailed (years ago) the only non-Indonesian crew members we met were in the bars and nightclubs, and they were from the Philippines. Has this changed?
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Old July 20th, 2003, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: HAL tipping policy may be changing

For hotel crew: Indnonesian crew persons work in the dining areas.

Fillipino crew works as cabin stewards and bar staff.

I think it may be a mixture of both for the engineering department and the sailors.
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