Having never cruised before I am confused about tipping, my attitude has always been to tip for good service, but having studied the message board it seems that tipping is expected, some peoplle seem to have paid on their onboard account and then tipped extra in cash.
Do the staff get a working wage ?
If service is poor should one leave anything at all ?
It seems to me that if everyone leaves the recommended amount the staff will receive a lot of money on top of their wages possibly for doing a average or even poor job.
The staff makes approximately $50 per month and they rely on their tips for income. There are some very good discussions about it on the tipping board if you want to take a look. Its on this site under Practical Advise. For the most part the all of the staff work very hard to keep the customers pleased. So far I haven't encountered anyone that hasn't done an excellent job. On our last cruise our staff was so good we not only tipped the recommeded amount ($10/pp per day on our sign and sail card) but gave them extra in cash. Having said that if encountered very poor service I would go to the Purser's desk, explain why I was dissatisfied, have that staff member's portion of the tip either reduced or eliminated depending on how bad the service was (ie was it one day or the whole week), and then follow it up in a letter to Carnival. Unless manangement knows there's a problem they can't take care of it.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
In the world of cruising gratuities ARE expected for your stateroom attendant, waiter, assisstant waiter and headwaiter. If you prepay your gratuities the head waiter for your section of the dining room will recieve .75 cents per day per passenger. It has been this way since cruising began. The total per day per passenger is about $10.00, about $12.00 if you are in a suite. Not eating dinner in the dining room does not absolve the obligation, your waiter and asst. waiter are serving you and all passengers all day long. Extending gratuities based on level of service rec'd is pointless as everyone has different expectations. Due to so many modern day cruisers either not understanding the giving of gratuities and/or outright stiffing their service providers, the cruise lines are now reaching the point where the gratuities will either become part of the cost of the cruise or paid upfront with the cruise payment. Hopefully it will end the ridiculous eg. I didn't get a towel animal every night so I am going to short the gratuity for the attendant or my water glass wasn't refilled before it was empty so the waiter and asst. waiter are going to pay for that error and on and on it goes...do the right thing, these people make virtually nothing. Enjoy your cruise.
Would it not be more sensible for the Cruise company to pay them a sensible wage and charge a honest amount for the Cruise, how pleased I am to live in England where we have a minimum hourly rate that all employees have to be paid.
Why do they call it Gratuties which one normally gives for Service above the normal, this system is almost equivalent to slave labour, it probably produces results but is detestable.
John, the tipping is a matter of idividaul preference and service as well. We do tip according to the service; the amounts suggested are just guidelines. We have been known in rare situations to tip less than the suggested amount for service that was not what we thought was up to par, we have also been known, unually the case, to tip above the suggested amount. I like what some lines are now doing, a set amount per day is applied to your sign and sail card. You can add to that if you desire. The service charge is divied up betweeen several crew members. You asked why it is called gratuaties? it;s because that is still what it is. Sure the ship could just add an extra $100 per person and be done with it, but by doing it this way you are showing your apprecaition for a job well done. As for slave labor, yes it appears to be just that, but your standards in Endland and ours in America are quite different from the working conditions and living conditions of many of the ships crew. to tem $50 a month plus room and board and the gratuities are several times more than could make living in their native countries, if they could even get work.
It seems that gratuities as they pertain to cruising are still vastly misunderstood by today's cruisers. This custom extends back to the beginning of cruising. It actually has a land based component as part of it's origin when nobles and/or the uppercrust of English society stayed at one another's homes for weekends etc. Gratuities were paid by the visitors to the staff of the host's home. As for those who "tip" for good service only, gratuities onboard are not about your expectations. A tip in this case is something over and above the base gratuity. We as passengers are expected to pay the gratuities. If you experience EXTREMELY RARE outright horrible service complain to the appropriate ship's officer-either the Hotel Mgr. or the Food & Beverage Mgr. You won't pay the gratuity and the service provider will be fired. Again, the cruise lines are going to fix this situation themselves (adding gratuities to the cost of the cruise) because so many modern cruisers have no idea about gratuities and the cruise lines have not done a good job of explaining them to modern cruisers. Only competitive influences have held them back but as we see by current pricing, the market is coming back. I think we will see it sooner rather than later. Way to many service providers are getting shafted.
The staff get no salary, they rely on their tips. Their wages are lodging and food and that is all. I think you will find for the most part that $ 3.50 per person per day for your cabin person and waitor is not even sufficent for the job that they do, we alway give them a little extra, if the service is above and beyond.
I had no idea exactly how bad it was. I am actually kinda upset to read this!
To think of all the money these cruise lines rake in!!! I know it cost money to run a ship full of passenger, but come on now. This is just crazy! How can one really survive.? People do need other things in life on a daily basis, besides a room and a hot meal. Do they even get medical coverage? I would hope they do!
You need to find out what the wages are before you make the statement about tipsYou may find out that the wages are almost non existant and the tips are the main source of income to those who are in the service end of your cruise.