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Old March 9th, 2007, 04:15 PM
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Default Should I STOP "AutoTip"

I understand the $10/day/person. And it seems reasonable. But what if ALL our meals are in the buffet. Would it be wiser to simply stop the "AT" & tip the waiters & cabin staff directly?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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If you remove the auto tip, anything you give to individuals must be *pooled* with the rest of the staff. The management closely monitors this and when an auto tip is removed the cabin attendant and others are expected to come forward with the tips they were given personally. If you leave the auto tip on and want to reward someone individually, they get to keep it.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 05:09 PM
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I agree. Leave the AT in place since your specific tips will be "watered down."
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Old March 9th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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To me, tipping is a very, very personal matter ... so you do whatever feels right. However, be aware that if you stop the auto-tip, anything you hand over to the service staff ... your cabin steward, waiters, etc. cannot be kept by them. They have to turn it into the tip pool. Also, from what I understand ... and of course, this is just conjecture ... the service staff gets "hassled" by management if someone stops the auto-tip. Management assumes they didn't do their job properly.

What I would do if it were me is just leave the auto-tip in place (assuming, of course, you are satisfied with the service provided to you onboard), and then if someone went waaaaayyyy above and beyond to provide you with a great cruise, slip them some greenbacks before you get off the ship.

That's what I do.

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Old March 9th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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Remember those who work the buffets share in the pool as well. some will work the buffets for lunch or dinner and the dining room other times. this is the advantage of the auto tipping. It really isn't advised to remove it no matter what unless the service is really unacceptable. Then you need to take this up with the management. NMnita
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Old March 9th, 2007, 06:18 PM
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I don`t agree with the auto -tip system. you should tip if you like the service. I have nothing against tipping a person if they do you a good service. The cruise company pay them also nothing, thats why are under
a foreign flag. they expect us to pay them. I know tipping is a sore subject.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 06:33 PM
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I do not agree with the auto tip. However, it is the way things are done now and therefore I leave it in place.

I do miss the "no tipping required or expected" but that, sadly, has gone the way of nice clothes in the dining room, uncrowded ships and truly personalized service. Not necessarily on HAL but in the cruise industry in general.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by crusin' fool
I do miss the "no tipping required or expected" but that, sadly, has gone the way of nice clothes in the dining room, uncrowded ships and truly personalized service.
On HAL, of course, the "or expected" was never part of their slogan. The slogan itself caused so much misunderstanding that I personally am glad they've gone to the AT system. It makes it harder for curmudgeons to stiff their wait staff.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 07:47 PM
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Thanks to everyone for their fast responses. This site really has quite a few outstanding & experienced posters. For that I am very appreciative.

I think I should clarify my original thougths. First of all, I'm not an experienced cruiser(4 on RCL)but my wife & I are very experienced travelers. I personally find "AT" somewhat disconcerting. I always tip & tip well to individuals that offer service. Why would I AUTOMATICALLY have to pay a certain predetermined amount?

Here are the finer points. We'll be traveling with my adult son. All prefer buffets, so formal dining is NOT a consideration. I believe suggested tips to the room attendant would be about $12.00/day or $84.00 for the 7 day cruise. I'd give this individual at least $100.00 & possibly more for a job well done.

Secondly, buffets are essentially "self-service". We always tip the folks that bring water & soft drinks , etc, to the table. Most meals we simply serve ourselves, simply a matter of personal preference. Tips usually are very minimal because service as a rule isn't required. Always add at least $1-$2.00 to any bar order on top of the 15%.

So, basically my question is this. Total tips from "AT" would be $210.00. My preference of individual tipping for services rendered would be about $140.00. Why should I be asked to tip $70.00 extra for no incremental increase in the service I receive?

I'm certain I'm probaly missing a key element that would explain this somewhat arcane transaction. Thanks so much for reading this elongated post & I look forward to learning as much as possible from the insightful folks on this board. Stay Well!
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Old March 9th, 2007, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
We always tip the folks that bring water & soft drinks , etc, to the table
On HAL ships, if you are eating at the buffet you would get your own water, tea/coffee and there is already a 15% "tip" added to soft drinks, so you'd be tipping the waiter extra if you did this.

The point everyone is trying to make is that if you remove the auto tip, the extra tip that you might give a crew member has to be put in the pool and shared with all the other crew members.

It's really up to you want you want to do.

By the way if you do remove the Auto Tip, then you will get a letter and I believe have a meeting with one of the Senior members to explain why you are doing this. I have no idea if it is the Front Office Manager or the Purser or who, does this.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earl
I don`t agree with the auto -tip system. you should tip if you like the service. I have nothing against tipping a person if they do you a good service. The cruise company pay them also nothing, thats why are under
a foreign flag. they expect us to pay them. I know tipping is a sore subject.
I share your sentiments exactly. I too get very annoyed that I am expected to pay HAL's employees. However, what's the solution? If I don't tip them, who am I punishing? Certainly not HAL.

Tipping, at least here in the U.S., has gotten way out of hand, but I have a real hard time onboard ship not tipping for good service ... and letting the auto-tip ride if I am satisfied. I guess it may partly be guilt. Here I am on a wonderful cruise ... spending money on myself ... when half the people taking care of me couldn't afford to take their families on a cruise if they wanted to.

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Old March 10th, 2007, 10:53 AM
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Anyone who has done any research prior to booking their cruise, is well aware of HAL's Automatic Tip Program. If you don't like it, you may wish to not book with HAL. If you think you can abide by their policy, in effect, by purchasing passage on their ship you have agreed to their policy IMO

In the event you receive really poor service or have severe complaints, BY ALL MEANS do NOT suffer in silence and fume and steam and have a horrible cruise and then remove your automatic tips to get your point across.

You should be speaking up at the time you begin to incur a difficulty aboard. The point is that you want to have a good cruise with good service. Presumably, your point is NOT to 'stiff the crew' out of tips. If you think the service in any area is substandard, speak up. See the Guest Relations Manager (GRM); see the Maitre d'; see the Head Housekeeper; see the Beverage Manager; see the Hotel Manager. These people are all accessible and approachable. Discuss your problem with them and let them make it right.

By doing that, you win - win. You have a great cruise....which is the point. You also do not have feel as though you have punished an entire crew by tipping no one.

It totally confuses me why someone would suffer things aboard the ship they think should not be occuring. They stay silent while aboard and then they come running to BB's and tell the world what a terrible cruise they had. If your A/C doesn't work, ask to have it repaired. If you have a painfully slow dining steward, speak with his supervisor.

Give them a chance to make it right!!! It's for your own benefit.....and for the rest of us.

Just because you choose to have all your meals in Lido, you are still using dining stewards. Some of the dining stewards are assigned to breakast/lunch/ dinner in Lido. There is no way you are eating aboard an HAL ship for 7 days and not being served by a steward. They clean the tables; they serve iced tea at the stations; they help carry trays for you; they refill you coffee cup at breakfast by wheeling their cart around.

When calculating the cost of your cruise, the cost of tips is part of the total price IMO
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Old March 10th, 2007, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earl
I don`t agree with the auto -tip system. you should tip if you like the service. I have nothing against tipping a person if they do you a good service. The cruise company pay them also nothing, thats why are under
a foreign flag. they expect us to pay them. I know tipping is a sore subject.
ok, look at it this way: the cruise lines can do away with tipping by paying the crew better, Right? If that were to happen, the added salary would be passed onto us in the form of higher cruise prices and we would have no control, plus the crew members would pay income tax on their entire salary which would net them less. I prefer to tip, one way or the other, of course auto is easier. NMnita
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Old March 11th, 2007, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by fmhealth
So, basically my question is this. Total tips from "AT" would be $210.00. My preference of individual tipping for services rendered would be about $140.00. Why should I be asked to tip $70.00 extra for no incremental increase in the service I receive?
HAL's auto-tip is $10.00 per day/per person.

So, based on two people that would be $140.00 for a seven-day cruise.

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Old March 11th, 2007, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos
Quote:
Originally Posted by fmhealth
So, basically my question is this. Total tips from "AT" would be $210.00. My preference of individual tipping for services rendered would be about $140.00. Why should I be asked to tip $70.00 extra for no incremental increase in the service I receive?
HAL's auto-tip is $10.00 per day/per person.

So, based on two people that would be $140.00 for a seven-day cruise.

Blue skies ...

--rita
I think you missed the post where the OP said "We'll be traveling with my adult son.", so that would be 3 people at $10.00 per day - $210.00.
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Old March 11th, 2007, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeDee
I think you missed the post where the OP said "We'll be traveling with my adult son.", so that would be 3 people at $10.00 per day - $210.00.
Oh, okay. You're right, I missed that.

I will admit that I've long had an "issue" with auto-tips applied per person in the cabin. It always seemed to me more logical to charge them based on two people in every cabin. So, if you have a single in the cabin, or four people in the cabin, the auto-tips would be $140.00 for a seven-day cruise ... especially if those two extra people in the cabin were young children.

I know I've always felt bad when I travel solo. I feel the cabin steward is getting jerked because he's only making $10 per day on a cabin that takes him just as long to make up each day as the one nextdoor that may have three people in it.

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Old March 11th, 2007, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeDee
I think you missed the post where the OP said "We'll be traveling with my adult son.", so that would be 3 people at $10.00 per day - $210.00.
Oh, okay. You're right, I missed that.

I will admit that I've long had an "issue" with auto-tips applied per person in the cabin. It always seemed to me more logical to charge them based on two people in every cabin. So, if you have a single in the cabin, or four people in the cabin, the auto-tips would be $140.00 for a seven-day cruise ... especially if those two extra people in the cabin were young children.

I know I've always felt bad when I travel solo. I feel the cabin steward is getting jerked because he's only making $10 per day on a cabin that takes him just as long to make up each day as the one nextdoor that may have three people in it.

Blue skies ...

--rita
Iknow how you feel about the solo traveling, but disagree about the charges being per cabin. When we stay at a hotel or resort we tip the housekeeper per person, not a flat amount. the more in a room or cabin, the more mess usually. NMNita
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Old March 12th, 2007, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
I know how you feel about the solo traveling, but disagree about the charges being per cabin. When we stay at a hotel or resort we tip the housekeeper per person, not a flat amount. the more in a room or cabin, the more mess usually. NMNita
Of course, if you have a couple of kids traveling with you, and they are particularly messy ... and you don't care to pick up after them ... then, yes ... I would imagine that cabin would take him an inordinately longer amount of time to tidy up each day. But if you have reasonably neat adults in the cabin ... then I really doubt it takes the cabin steward any longer to clean up after three than it does two. Of course, he will have a day bed to make up in that case, and maybe a few extra towels to replace, but that's about it. I know it doesn't take him any less time to make up the single's cabin that it does the couple ... and there he is getting cheated out of the extra $3.50 or whatever a person the auto-tip provides for cabin service. I guess I just feel bad about that and think it would be much more fair to access the auto-tip on two per cabin in that case.

Of course, auto-tips can be removed or lessened ... so if a particular single really had a problem with this, they could just adjust it back down at the front desk. But, looking ahead to the day when auto-tips will be called a service charge or "resort fee," I think a minimum charge of $20 per day per cabin would be a bit more fair.

And, believe me ... I see this day coming. I think HAL is already beginning to call their auto-tip a service charge. It won't be long now before it will be just like it is on NCL ... non-removable.

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Old March 12th, 2007, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
I know how you feel about the solo traveling, but disagree about the charges being per cabin. When we stay at a hotel or resort we tip the housekeeper per person, not a flat amount. the more in a room or cabin, the more mess usually. NMNita
Of course, if you have a couple of kids traveling with you, and they are particularly messy ... and you don't care to pick up after them ... then, yes ... I would imagine that cabin would take him an inordinately longer amount of time to tidy up each day. But if you have reasonably neat adults in the cabin ... then I really doubt it takes the cabin steward any longer to clean up after three than it does two. Of course, he will have a day bed to make up in that case, and maybe a few extra towels to replace, but that's about it. I know it doesn't take him any less time to make up the single's cabin that it does the couple ... and there he is getting cheated out of the extra $3.50 or whatever a person the auto-tip provides for cabin service. I guess I just feel bad about that and think it would be much more fair to access the auto-tip on two per cabin in that case.

Of course, auto-tips can be removed or lessened ... so if a particular single really had a problem with this, they could just adjust it back down at the front desk. But, looking ahead to the day when auto-tips will be called a service charge or "resort fee," I think a minimum charge of $20 per day per cabin would be a bit more fair.

And, believe me ... I see this day coming. I think HAL is already beginning to call their auto-tip a service charge. It won't be long now before it will be just like it is on NCL ... non-removable.

Blue skies ...

--rita
I think many lines are leaning that way. As for NCL, it is removable on NCL, not NCLA. Of ocurse to remove it takes an act on congress. NCL also only suggest $5 a day for kids under 13. NMNnita
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Old March 12th, 2007, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
I think many lines are leaning that way. As for NCL, it is removable on NCL, not NCLA. Of ocurse to remove it takes an act on congress. NCL also only suggest $5 a day for kids under 13. NMNnita
And $5 a day for kids sharing their parents' cabin is much more fair and reasonable.

I just think it's a real burden on a family to be expected to pay $10 per day, per person when they are struggling to afford the cruise by bunking the kids in with them. I know I work with a woman who told me under no uncertain terms that she deletes autotips for her two kids, and just pays it for the two adults in the cabin. She said that $40 a day was just way over the top ... and in some respects, I can't help but agree with her. But, by the same token, I think it is a bit unfair for the single occupying their own cabin to get off with only $10 a day in auto-tips. Somehow it would seem to me that the cabin steward is doing just as much work in that cabin, and the waiters in the dining room usually wind up with the extra chair at the table going empty anyway when there's a single seated at the table.

Of course, this stuff probably doesn't much matter right now ... in the case of families in a cabin, they just do what my co-worker does and delete the kids' auto-tips. The single can always up the tip. So, it's a non-issue. But where it will become an issue is when the day arrives that HAL goes the "service charge" route and makes it very, very difficult, if not impossible to delete the auto-tip for anyone. Now, that set of parents with the kids in the cabin is gonna be forced to pay an auto-tip for the kids. But, at least at $5 per kid, it will be much more fair.

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Old March 12th, 2007, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earl
I don`t agree with the auto -tip system. you should tip if you like the service. I have nothing against tipping a person if they do you a good service. The cruise company pay them also nothing, thats why are under
a foreign flag. they expect us to pay them. I know tipping is a sore subject.
The hotel and dining crew receive a wage, room , board and medical care. The primary source of their income is derived from pax tips. The majority of cruise lines went to automatic tipping as a convenience to pax who often forgot to show up in the dining room on the final night and then forgot to tip their room steward too. Most of us would have a serious problem if our employers/clients forgot to pay us.

As for pax paying the crew, where else might their wage come from? Either we pay increased fares, automatic tips or what is becoming known as a service charge. This is no different than any business. Ultimately, the customer or taxpayer pays the employee's wage.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammybee
Quote:
Originally Posted by earl
I don`t agree with the auto -tip system. you should tip if you like the service. I have nothing against tipping a person if they do you a good service. The cruise company pay them also nothing, thats why are under
a foreign flag. they expect us to pay them. I know tipping is a sore subject.
The hotel and dining crew receive a wage, room , board and medical care. The primary source of their income is derived from pax tips. The majority of cruise lines went to automatic tipping as a convenience to pax who often forgot to show up in the dining room on the final night and then forgot to tip their room steward too. Most of us would have a serious problem if our employers/clients forgot to pay us.

As for pax paying the crew, where else might their wage come from? Either we pay increased fares, automatic tips or what is becoming known as a service charge. This is no different than any business. Ultimately, the customer or taxpayer pays the employee's wage.
And yo can be sure if they add additional amounts to our fare to cover raises for the employees before we know it tips will be expected again. This is a no win situation. I agree, it is easier to do the auto tipping. NMNita
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Old March 13th, 2007, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
And yo can be sure if they add additional amounts to our fare to cover raises for the employees before we know it tips will be expected again. This is a no win situation. I agree, it is easier to do the auto tipping. NMNita
Exactly. Before the auto-tip, HAL left it to passengers to tip or not to tip. Then they put in the auto-tip because, presumably, I would imagine many people were opting not to tip and HAL was having trouble keeping employees. Now we have the auto-tip, but it is sort of expected that you will stand hand your waiter and your room steward a little something additional at the end of the cruise if you were satisfied with the service. Go to a service charge, or the tips included in the fare, and eventually we'll be right back to tipping envelopes being handed out by the purser's desk toward the end of the cruise.

You can't win.

Tipping is just the custom onboard cruise ships and if the service is good, you really should tip. If that thought is particularly revolting to you, then all I can say is that perhaps you shouldn't be cruising.

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Old March 13th, 2007, 09:41 PM
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iprefer the old days of cruising where you gave your dining room waiters an envelope and thanked them for a job well done and this was by far more personable than what is happening today.It would be my guess that when Holland did not require tipping that most folks who were previous cruisers made a real effort to reward the excellent service provided by an outstanding staff.Those who stiffed the waiters on the last nite by not showing up for dinner do the same type thing in shore restaurants and are only on the cruise because of some last minute deal and believe me I have seen this type having cruised since the 50,s out of Miami.Am sure Hiolland is attempting to eliminate a lot of this proceedure however these people will still go to the pursers desk and remove the auto tip sometime toward the end of the cruise and believe me when they will come up with in their mind a reason for so doing.Am not sure what the compromise should be however do feel that tipping is here to stay as in most service businesses on land.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisbum
iprefer the old days of cruising where you gave your dining room waiters an envelope and thanked them for a job well done and this was by far more personable than what is happening today.It would be my guess that when Holland did not require tipping that most folks who were previous cruisers made a real effort to reward the excellent service provided by an outstanding staff.Those who stiffed the waiters on the last nite by not showing up for dinner do the same type thing in shore restaurants and are only on the cruise because of some last minute deal and believe me I have seen this type having cruised since the 50,s out of Miami.
Remember what HAL used to do, though? On the last night of the cruise, they closed down all of the alternative dining venues (including room service) so that people were forced to go to the dining room if they wanted to eat.

So, if HAL had to do this, I would also assume that there were plenty of people who would stiff their dining room stewards given the chance. HAL was just not giving them the chance.

So I do understand why HAL went to the auto-tip. True, you could still remove it, but now you have to go to the purser's desk and explain to them why you are removing it. I would imagine the thought of the embarrassment alone would stop a lot of people from doing this.

At some point in the future I would not be surprised if the "auto tip" turned into a "service charge," or "resort fee" and became a non-removable (or reduceable) charge.

Unfortunately, it's just a commentary on the kind of society we live in today. People will find a great deal that will let them get onto a cruise ship, but they won't even think to budget for tips once there. Give them the chance, and they will simply stiff the service providers.

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--rita
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Old March 14th, 2007, 04:08 PM
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I have stopped the auto tip twice because I just don't see most of the people I am tipping. I have had 16 HAL cruises and once again only done this twice. I do not do the dress up thing and go to the big dining room. In fact I don't even eat dinner. I like to eat a late lunch and be done with it. It helps maintain my lovely figure. When I do remove the auto tip, I don't do it until the last night, then I don't get any flack from anyone. I did however, once upon a time, get a letter from HAL asking that I don't do that again. I only did it because I felt I was tipping people I never see. ON the other hand, on those two ocassions, I tipped very nicely my cabin steward and several others whom I felt deserved extra. Do you really think they take those tips and share? I wonder. Anyhow, I probably won't do it again. This is just my experience with the whole matter.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLLP
Do you really think they take those tips and share? I wonder. Anyhow, I probably won't do it again. This is just my experience with the whole matter.
From what I understand ... if you remove auto-tip and your cabin steward gets caught keeping your cash tip, he would be fired ... not to mention getting a lot of flak from his co-workers for trying to "cheat" them. HAL's "party line" about the auto-tip is that those behind the scenes people included in the pool are ones who help the front line service people to do their jobs. Yes, you only see your cabin steward, but he has a lot of folks in the laundry room helping him to do his job by making sure fresh linens and towels are all ready when he services your room. Your waiter in the dining room has a lot of behind-the-scenes help in the kitchen. You may never see them, but if they weren't there, he couldn't give you great service at your table.

At least this is the reasoning HAL uses for why there are others who share in the auto-tip that you never see.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old March 16th, 2007, 12:47 PM
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just an observation: because one doesn't actually 'see' an individual does not mean that person or persons aren't working behind the scenes to make the cruise a better experience for everyone on board. waiters and room stewards are the most visible, of course, but think beyond them to the whole 'cast.'
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Old March 17th, 2007, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hombre
just an observation: because one doesn't actually 'see' an individual does not mean that person or persons aren't working behind the scenes to make the cruise a better experience for everyone on board. waiters and room stewards are the most visible, of course, but think beyond them to the whole 'cast.'
Excellent point. Just like the nightly cast shows ... you only see the cast, but there are a ton of people behind the scenes ... sound mixers, lighting staff, stage manager, costume people, laundry folks ... you name it. These people are all just as responsible for the great show you enjoy as the people singing and dancing upfront.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old March 17th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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Not tipping because see a person is about the strangest reason I have heard for not tipping. The wait people you don't see cause you choose not to go to dinner are working for you during lunch and breakfast, maybe in the dining room, maybe the buffet but they are working.

Of course tipping is a personal thing, but to me, it is the only way we have to thanks for a job well done even if I haven't personally met you. NMNita
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