On Celebrity, tips in each department, (food service, housekeeping) are being "pooled". That is, the tips you hand out and/or put on your sea pass account are collected by management and divided up among employees, depending on thier job.
Is this happening on Royal Carribbean? Just dosen't seem right! Jimbo
It's pretty much the norm in the "mass market" cruise industry now. Put in place because "stiff rates" (people not paying any tips) was getting high, and they want the staff to have some idea of their income.
I was under the impression the "normal" tips were pooled but if you wanted to tip your waiter extra, you could be giving them a separate envelope with cash in it for them. Is this not true? Do they have to turn over their "extra" tips too or jus the "automatic" ones?
I had no idea the tips were pooled. So when ever I give out an extra tip they do not get to keep it. I understand that they pool the one on the sign and sail card, but I do not find it fare that the ones who put in a litle extra attention and do a great job have to share there hard work with the ones who are not as hard working. Anyway just my opinion.
It's not clear to me if any of the staff gets to keep the "extra" tips we hand them, but i suspect they have to hand it over to the "pool". I would call and ask RCCL but those people who answer the phones don't usually know any more then what we can see on the RCCL web site. They make even less money than waiters and housekeepers, and are trained to agree with whatever you say. Higher-up marketing people will tell you whatever you want to hear. Let's get to the truth! Maybe the cruise employee web board? Jimbo
The little secret is that all tips are pooled.. If you give extra money to one of the personel they are required to turn it in to the pool. Of course they will not tell you that because you would not give any extra..(maybe you would, but they don't want to chance that).. If they are caught keeping the money and not turning it in to the pool they will be in big trouble..(No, they can not just hide it and not tell anybody.. There are too many eyes and ears to tell on them).. So tip extra if you want, there is not harm in that. They can all use the money.. Anyway, when all of the ships go to the tips being put on your "sail card" it won't make any difference.. Also, when all of the tips are charged to your "sail card" it will cut down on the stiffs that don't tip because they will have to pay the tips in advance..OM..
We asked the waiter on a Princess ship how this worked. He agreed that tips are pooled but the extra they get to keep. They have to declare the extra tips but they keep them. Now that was what he told us. In April we went to the pursers desk and told them to take the automatic tipping off our bill. They did. We in turn tipped by envelope after the last dinner. We feel that the room steward truly deserves more that allotted and we were lucky to end up with a great waiter and asst. waiter. We feel that those who don't do a good job don't get a good tip. Those that do should be rewarded for their service.
I wonder who came up with this pooling idea??? Obviously it doesn't sit well with a lot of people. A tip is for good service and it should be the passengers choice how much and whom. Not to be told a certain amount and automatic. Just my two cents!!
Our waiter on the Grand Princess told us the same thing. He did say that if the automatic tips had been removed from the Sign and Sail card and given to him personally, then he would have to turn them in.
Doesn't that just stink???? We were under the impression that they get to keep what we give them but they have to declare they got them. What does one do if you want the person who gives exceptional service to get a good tip above and beyond what they say to tip?? The other couple we were with did the same thing and also a few others we spoke to said they were doing it also. This doesn't make sense to me. It sounds like you can be lax in your work ethic but still know your getting rewarded by the "pool".
Actually I believe it would be a mistake to believe the staff would take a "lax work ethic" because they know they are part of the pool.
I'm sure if someone isn't "carrying their load" and getting reduced tips or removed tips, (along with negative feedback on comment cards) there would be alot of pressure from both management and fellow staff to "get with the program".
They might be able to get away with it for a cruise or two, but not very long!
Also... just because there is a pool. Don't assume everyone gets an equal share. The better staff also get larger sections, and therefore a larger share.
That sure seems like a lot of hands in the kitty to me! Too many chances for favoritism. Isn't there something else we could give to make sure it went to that person whom was outstanding and above the rest? Why not a gift? Since they have to claim and be taxed on the little extra we do decide to give them.
Pooling of tips has it good points and bad points. But if someone does give exceptional service, one of the best thing to do is to write a letter to the cruise company and let them know. Also ask for the letter to be included in their personal file. When it comes to performance review - a positive letter has a lasting impact. We were on a cruise earlier this year with another company and had exceptional wait staff in the dinning room having to deal with some food allergies. We included positive comments on the shipboard comment card as well as letter to the company. My daughter and asst. waiter have exchanged a few Emails and the last one we got was thanking us and letting us know she was promoted (with a pay raise) due to positive comments from us and few others. This works for any person you come in contact with.
I can't remeber if it was on this board or not, but I read from a cruiseline employee that pooling of tips is done by choice. The staff like it because it assures a steady flow of income. (That way if a waiter gets a group of people who "vanish" on the last night, they aren't left working a week without pay.)
They also wrote that in most cases extra tips are pooled, however, it is very visiable to both other staff and management who are getting the extra tips. Staff that are consistantly bringing in more are given better assignments, staff who aren't pulling their weight are under enormous peer preasure from the other staff to shape up.
When you tip extra for better service, the staff you tip are rewarded, and it has the extra bonus of incenting other staff to go that extra mile to keep up. This is why I don't have a problem with pooled tipping.
There have been some very good posts on this subject... So in about 9 th10 months from now I will bet that all of the main ships will have manatory "sea and sail tipping" put on your card at the start of the trip. And you will not be able to remove it from the card. (the tipping that is).. NCL has this policy now in effect and they are happy with the way it works.. There are now no more stiffs on the NCL ships.. I have used both the NCL and RCCL "sea card" tipping and and I realy like it.. No more cash to get.. No more envelops to fill. No worrys on the the correct amount to put in to the envelops.. And the waiters and staff know that they are going to get their money.. Also they are the ones who get to decide who gets what amount... It works great.. I have not found any lowering of service with this system.. In fact the crew is happer because there are no more stiffs and so there is more money to go around to all of the crew.. OM
The mandatory prepaid tips are, IMO, absurd. If tipping is the same for everyone, why not just add it into the cruise price and pay it as salary?
The reform that is needed is better base pay for staff, built into the cruise price, and tipping guidlines that are lower and more flexible. This way "stiffers" do not cut into the staff's pay as much and those of us who like to tip according to service don't feel that the extra reward is wasted through pooling.
I always have tipped cash on RCI and my one Carnival cruise was prepaid automatic and I did not care for the service or lack thereof. I usually give my cabin steward $10-20 when I meet him the first day and then the regular amount at the end. I can't see how this cash the first day would not stay in his pocket.
Dave the Wave AKA- Diamond Dave
Song of America Dec '90
Starship Majestic May '89
Sovereign X 5
Majesty Jul '01
Enchantment X 4
Regal Empress Dec '02
Mariner May '07 April '08
Grandeur Feb '08
Inspiration Oct '08
Radiance of the Seas Oct '10
Talk all you want, it's going on your "sail" card anyway and that is the future.. Card money will be pooled and no more envelops.. The reason it's going on your card and not in the price of the cruise is because the cruise lines do not want to raise the advertised price of the cruise.. If they put the payment on the card the quoted price of the cruise can be lower.. That may not be fair, but It's all about money.. OM.