Dalwhitt, send me to my room, you are right she didn't say daily, and I should have been more clear, hotels and ships do not change sheets period during a 7 day cruise unless you insist. I should have been more acturate and said, why do you have to change your sheets period? We still know what this is leading up too? Most of us use the same ones at home for a week, or everyone I know does. Sorry!!!
I am not about to argue with you on whether your beds are changed at top hotels or not, but I will tell you last time we were at the Waldorf (a little over a year ago) they were not, nor were they at the Venitain in Vegas this past summer or the Embassy suites in San Francisco. They also do not change the towels. In June when we stayed at the Pointe resort in Phoenix they didn't either, not did they on Celebrity last Novemeber. Now I am through with this thread for awhile. The mandatory service charge has been discussed on three different websites for almost a month. Time to go on with some other subjects.
The only thing I see is people are wondering how we know the service charge is in place of tipping to be split with the servers. I guess I see the word "service charge" and would think it goes to servers and service people which would in fact be like a tip. Also someone said:
"If the staff doesn't expect tips, and their pay is the same regardless of level of service, where is the incentive to go the extra mile? Right, there is none."
There very definitely is the incentive. They get the service fee but I think they will try extra hard to get a cash tip just for them. I know I would. I would do those little extra things that the people wil remember.
It's kind of like a teacher I had in school who only gave an average grade in citizenship.(we were also graded on classroom behavior besides our regular grade). This was the only teacher of mine that did things this way. Teacher said most people are average so I give them average grade. If they go above expectations than I give them higher. I know this is off the main topic but an illustration, about getting the average service charge that everyone gets and the incentive to try harder.
Besides we all know that the majority of the cruiseline employees are non-US and send money to support their families so you bet they will try harder to get extra cash to send or to be able to spend on themselves.
On the freestyle cruises, I can agree that the tips should go into a pool... at least for the meals. The cabin steward does not change but which waitstaff would you tip at the end of the cruise if you have a different server each night?
It would be more fair if the steward tip was not automatic but the dining portion was.
Now, the policy is what it is, and as such, I sure won't be one of those who tip additional amounts. That's just plain unnecessary. If the cruise line reappropriates the tips and does not give it all to the crew, it's the crew's problem, not ours. We paid our fair share! The crew can vote with their feet, just as the pax can. There are just as many cruise lines to work for as there are to sail on.
I have heard about bar receipts that both include the automatic gratuity and also have a tip line to add in an additional amount. I hope that is some standard comptuer program doing that and not a calculated attempt to get tipsy pax to pay more gratuity. One can always slip the bartender a bill, for an extra good drink, but don't try to trick us with every receipt! Even so, I think pax catch on to that very quickly, so not a problem.
One last comment in favor of auto-gratuities... there are, unfortunately, those who have less conscience than most, and who may also find themselves maxed out on credit at the end of the cruise. The only item that is possible to adjust is the tip, and the desperate will use any means to get themselves out of a jam. With cruises being mass-market as opposed to luxury, you have more and more of those sort of people on board... and more potential for tip abuse.
So, I am in favor if the auto-tipping even though I would prefer to slip cash in an envelope.
just want you all to know that the serivce charge is not a tip. I'm a waiter on the Aloha, and that money will not reach me in it's current form. It goes into a vacation/bonus/benefit pool. Most of my check is highly taxable hourly wage, and 70% of additional gratuity that passengers leave, whenever I sell a bottle of wine or specialty cover charge. Thanks.