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Old February 27th, 2007, 06:43 PM
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Default Ahhhhhh ... Another Tipping Thread

Let me ask ya all a question ...

Do you feel that the auto-tip amounts are fair? Mainly, I'm referring to how they are based ... per person.

Does anyone feel as I do that a more fair way to do it would be to have the auto-tip based on the cabin, and not the individual? For example, should people who stay in the "cheap seats" have the same auto-tip assessment as those in luxury suites, where the service is far greater? Also, why should a single person staying in a cabin by themselves only pay $10 per day, while the couple is paying $20? Doesn't the cabin steward have pretty much the same amount of work to do in that single cabin as he does in the double occupancy one?

Finally, what about people who have a couple of kids in the cabin with them. Should they pay $40 per day in auto-tips?

I'm not looking to start a fight ... just wondering what your take is on this ...

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--rita
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Old February 27th, 2007, 06:49 PM
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I believe it is very fair. After all, it wasn't proposed until all involved had hashed it out to determine what would be good for all. So I fully support it as it is. There could be all sorts of variations, which would only confuse people. Saying $10 PP/PD keeps it simple.

Using that as a base amount, passengers are free to give extra as they see fit if they feel service has been superior.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 07:22 PM
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But this system has no way to not tip part of the crew.
I don't use the DR why should I tip them!
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Old February 27th, 2007, 09:12 PM
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Just because you may not go to the dining room does not mean you are not being served by dining stewards.

The stewards who work Room Service are dining stewards as are those who work in Lido.

Unless you don't eat your entire cruise, you are definitely being served by the dining crew.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 09:21 PM
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And also no matter what cat. cabin assignme3nt you are in, I assume, your bed still gets changed, new towels, etc. everyday, food in dr. is the same, so what is different in the verandahs, or suites, then inside lowers?
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Old February 28th, 2007, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crusin' fool
But this system has no way to not tip part of the crew.
I don't use the DR why should I tip them!
Aren't the Lido waiters included in the tip pool, though? And how about the Pinnacle Grill waiters?

That's why I rarely tip in the Pinnacle Grill ... unless the service is absolutely extraordinary. My feeling is that they are included in that tip pool and will get their cut just like the dining room waiters do. And, frankly, I'd rather save my extra tip money for the guy who took care of me for a full two weeks, rather than for just one evening.

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Old February 28th, 2007, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Ahhhhhh ... Another Tipping Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos
Let me ask ya all a question ...
For example, should people who stay in the "cheap seats" have the same auto-tip assessment as those in luxury suites, where the service is far greater? Also, why should a single person staying in a cabin by themselves only pay $10 per day, while the couple is paying $20? Doesn't the cabin steward have pretty much the same amount of work to do in that single cabin as he does in the double occupancy one?
First off, suite pax pay a much higher fare than the folks riding in the cheap seats, which should cover the cost of the greater services provided. I'm not certain, but I think the cabin stewards servicing suites have a smaller number of cabins to service than a steward servicing inside cabins. And, I think the tips are doled out equally among the crew.

Furthermore, the tips go to much more than just the room steward. There are many crew members that provide service to a guest, all over the ship, that get part of that tip money. All pax have the use of these services equally. As for the single occupancy vs double occupancy, I think you're still thinking only in terms of your cabin steward. While I suspect the work for the steward is similar, its a bit less if there is only one person. But, all the other services on the ship are provided to an individual person.

I think its quite equitable. As long as service does not decline, I'm all in favor of the auto tips. Personally, I'd like to see the crew be paid better and tips abolished all together. But, that will never happen.

Tim
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Old February 28th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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I think HAL calls it a service charge now. I am surprised that the recommended minimum is so low on HAL. I noticed Cunard goes for $13-$15 per person. You will have to come back and tell us if service is 30-50% better than HAL.

I tend to sail during prime time, when there are tons of kids onboard. When going to/from my cabin, I, like most people, gawk when given the opportunity to see someone else's cabin, usually while it's being cleaned.

There is only one term that comes to mind when viewing most cabins with kids, and that's pig-sty. Given what I have seen, there should be a surcharge for cabins with kids.

As for suites, they are paying multiples of what I paid and in that should come extra service. I also think those sailing in suites are more inclined to tip above and beyond the service charge.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammybee
I think HAL calls it a service charge now. I am surprised that the recommended minimum is so low on HAL. I noticed Cunard goes for $13-$15 per person.
Wanna take bets on when HAL will up the ante?
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Old February 28th, 2007, 11:35 PM
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Here are some of the suggested minimums associated with other cruise lines:

Costa $8.50
RCC $9.75
Carnival $10
HAL $10
Princess $10
NCL $10
X $10.25
Crystal $10.50
Oceana $11.50-14.50
Cunard $13-15
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Old March 1st, 2007, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puppylips
And also no matter what cat. cabin assignme3nt you are in, I assume, your bed still gets changed, new towels, etc. everyday, food in dr. is the same, so what is different in the verandahs, or suites, then inside lowers?
I think the full suites get a whole different level of cabin service. From what I understand (cause I have never been fortunate enough to stay in one) there are cabin stewards stationed up in the suites all day. As soon as you leave your cabin ... no matter how many times you leave it ... they come in and tidy up. They also take care of any special requests, like ice delivered at certain times of the day, shoe shining, laundry pick-up, etc. In the regular accommodations, however, you get cabin service twice a day and that's it. They come in and tidy up your cabin at some point in the morning and then again in the evening while you are at dinner. So, there are more services provided in the suites and while, yes, you are paying more for a suite ... you are primarily paying for the large amount of space you get there as opposed to the special services.

I know Cunard has the auto-tip based on accommodations, so I didn't understand why HAL didn't as well.

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Old March 1st, 2007, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhannah
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammybee
I think HAL calls it a service charge now. I am surprised that the recommended minimum is so low on HAL. I noticed Cunard goes for $13-$15 per person.
Wanna take bets on when HAL will up the ante?
I don't know about upping the ante, but if HAL is now calling the auto-tip a service charge, I'd bet it will become a charge that is not removable in the foreseeable future. I believe NCL America's auto-tip is like that. It can be adjusted upwards, but not reduced or eliminated. My bet is that HAL will soon consider it similar to a "resort fee" at a hotel. It will become a fixed charge that the guest cannot have removed from his or her bill.

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--rita
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 02:33 AM
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[quote=kryos][quote="I don't know about upping the ante, but if HAL is now calling the auto-tip a service charge, I'd bet it will become a charge that is not removable in the foreseeable future. I believe NCL America's auto-tip is like that. It can be adjusted upwards, but not reduced or eliminated. My bet is that HAL will soon consider it similar to a "resort fee" at a hotel. It will become a fixed charge that the guest cannot have removed from his or her bill. Blue skies ...--rita[/quote]

I don't have a problem with this. Mass marketed cruising is dependent upon attracting new cruisers and as a result I beleive there are a lot of people sailing that probably have no business doing so.

We had table mates that informed us they were removing the tips because the service was not what they expected. We were shocked given we thought the crew performed well. What it came down to was that they expected a personal butler that would be at their beck and call. They were , like we were, in inside cabins. Clearly they thought it appropriate to stiff the staff and then rationalized their choice to do so. The whole deal makes me sick when I think about it.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammybee
We had table mates that informed us they were removing the tips because the service was not what they expected. We were shocked given we thought the crew performed well. What it came down to was that they expected a personal butler that would be at their beck and call. They were , like we were, in inside cabins. Clearly they thought it appropriate to stiff the staff and then rationalized their choice to do so. The whole deal makes me sick when I think about it.
I agree with you on this score.

The only thing I disagree with is calling it an "auto-tip." If it is becomes a fixed charge ... non-removable ... then it should be called what it is ... a mandatory "resort fee" or service charge. Tips should be an entirely separate matter. If you want to tip extra, then it goes back to the way it was in the old days ... tip envelopes. If you don't wish to tip extra, beyond the "resort fee," then I suppose that is okay too.

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Old March 2nd, 2007, 08:41 AM
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When this whole auto-tip thing came up (and I don't think it's a "tip" at all when it's withheld this way ... but that's another issue) someone asked why they just didn't pay their stewards more and be done with it. This, of course, would make the cruise fare to go higher. Postulation was that this would prevent some folks from cruising. (Well, we've seen that the $50 deal in Alaska shoots this argument in the foot! People are accepting this added cost in droves.) If this service charge/resort fee is going to be fixed and immoveable, then why not just raise wages and be done with the daily surcharge?

This, of course, would cause a significant increase in payroll taxes for HAL, since the money would come from them and not the passengers. (Semantics ... but that's the way the Department of Labor does business!) And IMO it would remove the incentive to perform at exemplary levels since there would be little chance of getting an extra toke at the end of the cruise.

Disney Cruise Line still places tip envelopes in the staterooms at the end of the cruise. They are up-front about it, and even publish suggested amounts for the various participants. For convenience, you can put it all on your stateroom account and they will give you a "chit" to place in the envelope letting the recipient know what you've done. I haven't heard of any mutiny of staff over there because they're being stiffed by the passengers and can't make a decent living.

So why can't Holland America do the same? Your thoughts?
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhannah
This, of course, would cause a significant increase in payroll taxes for HAL, since the money would come from them and not the passengers. (Semantics ... but that's the way the Department of Labor does business!) And IMO it would remove the incentive to perform at exemplary levels since there would be little chance of getting an extra toke at the end of the cruise.
Jim,

Aside from a couple Norwegian Cruise Lines ships, I dont know of any cruise ships registered in the USA. Therefore, the whole payroll tax and DoL really does not factor in. These cruiselines are all run as off-shore business, not subject to any USA labor laws or taxes. In fact, the ships tend to be registered in countries that have very loose labor laws.

I have mixed feelings on the autotip/service charge concept. Its certainly more convenient for the pax. As long as the service remains good, I'll support it.

Tim
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 05:31 PM
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But the payroll comes from Seattle, does it not?
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 06:01 PM
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The money may come from Seattle. I'm sure the ship's employees are paid by a company located in the country of the ship's registry. I think most HAL ships are registered in the Netherlands. My guess is the workers are paid from a company in the Netherlands.

Think about it. How could a cruise line ever deal with USA's labor laws. Minimum wages, overtime for over 40 hours, blah, blah, blah.

Tim
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaggy
Think about it. How could a cruise line ever deal with USA's labor laws. Minimum wages, overtime for over 40 hours, blah, blah, blah.
NCLA does it every week. Those ships are registered in the U.S. and because of that, they enjoy exemption from the Jones Act. On the downside, though, they also have to adhere to all U.S. wage and hour laws ... and that includes overtime pay after 40 hours. My guess is that just like service jobs on land, however, wages can take into account tip income ... so I doubt they have to pay minimum wage in the service jobs onboard.

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