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Old February 27th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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Default Do you find the Automatic Tipping Arrangement Convenient?

Do you think it saves you from running around looking to find the people you wish to tip at the end of the cruise? Did it make thanking your stewards easier for you?
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Old February 27th, 2007, 03:07 PM
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Default Not really, no

because I always end up tipping the steward on top of the 'automatic' rate.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 04:04 PM
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I appreciate the fact that one doesn't have to run around looking for those who perhaps don't serve you daily that you still wish to remember with a gratuity.

Even more I appreciate the fact that with the auto-tip HAL has at least given most of us a starting point of what is an appropriate tip amount. One doesn't have to wonder if the cash amount is enough as they know the auto amount is always applied.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 04:13 PM
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We do find the auto tipping a lot easier as it does save us running around finding the right people to tip. We still hand out envelopes to the certain few who have gone out of their way to really make our cruise special.

Jennie
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Old February 27th, 2007, 05:36 PM
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It's convenient in that it puts the base amount on my shipboard account, thus keeping me from having to carry that much extra cash. I like it.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 05:40 PM
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I definitely prefer the auto-tip and I'd be willing to bet that the crew does too. I think when people tipped on their own, lots of crew people got "stiffed" ... because sadly there are a lot of cheap people out there. Yes, we appreciate the great service we receive, but many take that as their due when they paid for the cruise. Therefore, on the last day of the cruise, they don't bother tipping very well, if at all.

With the auto-tip, even the cheapest passenger is not likely to have it removed ... not unless there were some real service issues ... and for that reason, I think the crew probably does better.

The way I do it is I let the auto-tip ride if the service is acceptable. Then, I put together a few envelopes at the end of the cruise for people who really went above and beyond to make my experience memorable. I like it better that way.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old February 27th, 2007, 06:19 PM
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For us it is the answer to our prayers almost. I used to have the envalopes, trying to figure out how much to leave each person and running to the purser or casino for the exact chage. We now only have to worry about the 2 or 3 we may want to give a little extra to. NMNita
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Old February 27th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Like Jim said it keeps be from carrying a lot of extra money. We always tip above what the auto tip is but it does help to not have to have as much with me. I still like to tip the last night and our cabin steward when we leave the last morning. I also like it that I know there are some I would have liked to tip a little bit to such as those in the Lido that I do not always get the chance to do. This way I know they are getting something.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 08:13 PM
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Just as long as the service stays the way it is , the auto-tip
is fine with me. It does make life easier ,one thing less to think about.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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I have to honestly say that when the automatic tipping first came into being I was a little leery. But now I'm all for it and find it more convenient than the envelopes that used to be.
I still usually add some cash where warranted.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron
I have to honestly say that when the automatic tipping first came into being I was a little leery. But now I'm all for it and find it more convenient than the envelopes that used to be.
I still usually add some cash where warranted.
Weren't we all leery? Some actually said the service on various lines went down hill. We never witnessed this, I think some just expected it to deteriorate. NMNita
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Old February 28th, 2007, 10:41 PM
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I absolutely love it.

How many of you remember how controversial this was, when first implemented? It was almost as bad as the discovery of the plans for the first Vista class ship and then alternative dining.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammybee
I absolutely love it.

How many of you remember how controversial this was, when first implemented? It was almost as bad as the discovery of the plans for the first Vista class ship and then alternative dining.
I can't say I was an experienced cruiser when this was implemented, but I don't remember a lot of conflict at all. I had already taken one cruise before the auto-tip was put in place, and I remember laughing on that cruise when I found out that the last night of the cruise, all of the alternative dining options (Lido, Pinnacle, etc.) were closed. When I asked why, I was told "unofficially" that HAL had to do that because if they didn't the majority of the passengers would use the alternative venues in order to avoid tipping their wait staff who had taken care of them all week. I actually thought that was funny. I couldn't believe people could be so cheap.

Then I banged heads with the woman I was sharing my cabin with. As we were busily packing up before dinner that last evening, I mentioned to her ... "you know, maybe we should get together on our tip for the cabin steward since we're sharing this cabin." She looked at me like I had grown a pair of horns. "What tip? Holland America doesn't require tipping." She actually intended to leave him nothing. I told her that perhaps we should give him something for his trouble and after some prodding she begrugedly tossed a ten dollar bill on my bed. That was for a ten-day cruise ... basically $1 a day from her. Remember, there was no auto-tip then ... so this $1 a day was her TOTAL tip for the cabin steward.

When I tried to gently tell her that perhaps we should try to do a bit better than that, she actually became angry with me. She said that she took this writer's cruise on a tight budget and she was told that the benefit of Holland America Line was that no tipping was required and she thought I had a hell of a nerve trying to make her feel cheap. With that, she took her $10 and put it back in her purse, saying that she wasn't required to tip, and she wasn't going to.

I was shocked. However, after thinking about it I realized she was probably right. It was HAL's fault with their slogan "the only tip required is your smile," so who could blame her for feeling that way.

That's why I think the auto-tip is a great thing, and I'd be willing to bet that the crew does better under this system than they did in the past.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old March 1st, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Controversial may be an understatement! I remember the flack very well.

I believe Rita is on track ... it was the advertising slogan itself that caused so much misunderstanding. Does anyone remember when the "no tipping required" phrase began to be used? Was tipping at that time coming into play on other lines, but not yet a practice on HAL? I'm just curious as to why HAL would incorporate that slogan.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammybee
I absolutely love it.

How many of you remember how controversial this was, when first implemented? It was almost as bad as the discovery of the plans for the first Vista class ship and then alternative dining.
Boy I remember and like most things, as we became used to the new policy we adjusted. Now it is hard to remember any other way. On a 5 day Celebrity cruise about 18 months ago we couldn't do any auto tipping (only the 5 dayers and don't ask me why) we were beside ourselves that night. Of course I can remember telling DH we would never have a computer. I thought they were totally unnecessary and a waste of money. I did agree to a remote control for our TV.

NMnita
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 01:22 AM
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The HAL Tipping Optional thing was as big a disaster as "New Coke".That they did not think many pax would take it literally- what were they thinking?

And then when they went to auto tips, the messages board lit up like a Christmas Tree.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammybee
The HAL Tipping Optional thing was as big a disaster as "New Coke".That they did not think many pax would take it literally- what were they thinking?
Was HAL the only line not requiring tips ... or did other lines have the same sort of slogan? I wasn't into cruising that far back, so I honestly can't remember.

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--rita
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 07:19 AM
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I believe that slogan was unique to HAL. Up at the high end of cruising you will find that gratuities are included in the fare ... along with adult beverages ... but that's different.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 02:48 PM
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It's definitely more convenient ... can't argue that. And I admit I was one of the people who thought service would go downhill with auto-tipping.

I can't really say whether it has or hasn't. Service in the dining room on our last cruise was terrible, but it might have been anyway. As a result we did not give our waiter an added tip. And oddly enough he disappeared the last night about the time everyone would have done that.

But our cabin steward was exemplary and wonderful and couldn't do enough for us. So of course we gave him something extra and he reacted as though we had crowned him King of England! He was just an amazing, terrific steward.

So whether or not the auto-tip affects service, I don't know. It's not that much easier for us because we do still tip over and above the auto-tip (as a general rule) so we're still dealing with envelopes. But if it's a benefit for them, then it's a good thing.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhannah
I believe that slogan was unique to HAL. Up at the high end of cruising you will find that gratuities are included in the fare ... along with adult beverages ... but that's different.
You are right, HAL was the only mass marketed line advertising gratuities not required. The apparently discouraged crew members from soliciting in any way, but tips jars were very easy to spot.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Shores
IAnd oddly enough he disappeared the last night about the time everyone would have done that.
He likely KNEW what a poor job he had done!
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhannah
I believe that slogan was unique to HAL. Up at the high end of cruising you will find that gratuities are included in the fare ... along with adult beverages ... but that's different.
Then they're marketing/promo person should have been fired.

If you want to set your cruise line up to be a step above other mass market lines, then rather than jerk around with the crew like that, you should simply assess an extra $100 per person per week, and then instead of saying "tipping not required," it should be "tipping highly discouraged." Let people think that your crew is compensated well by the line, so that the passengers are not expected to tip ... even though in reality, basically all the line is doing is assessing prepaid gratuities from the passengers.

But at least that way you create the illusion that passengers are getting something for nothing ... and distinguishing your line from the others. And, most important of all, you're not doing either of those things at the expense of the hardworking crew.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 11:52 PM
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Then they're marketing/promo person should have been fired.

If you want to set your cruise line up to be a step above other mass market lines, then rather than jerk around with the crew like that, you should simply assess an extra $100 per person per week, and then instead of saying "tipping not required," it should be "tipping highly discouraged." Let people think that your crew is compensated well by the line, so that the passengers are not expected to tip ... even though in reality, basically all the line is doing is assessing prepaid gratuities from the passengers.

But at least that way you create the illusion that passengers are getting something for nothing ... and distinguishing your line from the others. And, most important of all, you're not doing either of those things at the expense of the hardworking crew.Blue skies ...--rita[/quote]


Rita, I bet HAL would love to be able to do what you are suggesting. Trouble is, so many pax choose a sailing by the price and the mass marketed cruise with the highest price for a 7 day sale in the Caribbean is not going to sail full. I do however think it would be succesful on longer cruises.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammybee
I bet HAL would love to be able to do what you are suggesting. Trouble is, so many pax choose a sailing by the price and the mass marketed cruise with the highest price for a 7 day sale in the Caribbean is not going to sail full.
And that is the catch-22. When we're asked to pay more, we expect added value for our dollar. To raise the price just to cover a cost that we don't perceive does anything extra for us just won't fly, as you point out. If some perk is added then that increases the cost to the cruise line. That means more cost pass-along.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammybee
Rita, I bet HAL would love to be able to do what you are suggesting. Trouble is, so many pax choose a sailing by the price and the mass marketed cruise with the highest price for a 7 day sale in the Caribbean is not going to sail full. I do however think it would be succesful on longer cruises.
Or it would only be successful if HAL could somehow position themselves out of the "mass market mentality" and more into the luxury cruise category. Raise the prices a bit ... though nowhere near as high as the luxury lines ... and then give a few more ammenities ... i.e., no tipping allowed, perhaps one free bar set-up in certain cabin categories, free bottled water and soda in the cabins, etc. You wouldn't get all of the perks of a fully luxury cruise line ... but some of them. That would position HAL as competing with the luxury lines, rather than the mass market ones ... and in that arena, HAL would be very, very price competitive.

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--rita
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Old March 5th, 2007, 08:17 AM
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I never had a problem finding the people I wanted to tip, since I didn't wait until the last night, so there was no running around like a chicken with it's head cut off.

I did find the service went down hill.

Let's say, you had some horrible service from the cabin steward and you wanted to reduce his tip. This cannot be done without penalizing all the others included in the auto tips.

I find Hal's policy very unfair.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westie
I did find the service went down hill.

Let's say, you had some horrible service from the cabin steward and you wanted to reduce his tip. This cannot be done without penalizing all the others included in the auto tips.

I find Hal's policy very unfair.
I agree 100% that the policy is unfair ... especially since I honestly wonder if all cash tips are not required to be placed into the "pool." Let's face it, HAL's published policy ... that service people can keep extra cash tips as long as you don't cut out the auto-tip ... would be a nightmare to administer. Let's say you slip your cabin steward $50 bucks at the end of the cruise, and thinking that it is "something extra," he pockets it. Then, let's say right before disembarkation you go to the purser's desk and cut out the auto-tip. How can HAL penalize that crew member from keeping the $50 bucks? He honestly thought it was "extra."

Frankly, I'd bet that all cash tips for room stewards and waiters go into the pool for fair distribution among the members of that pool.

Just my opinion ...

Blue skies ...

--rita
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