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Old February 28th, 2006, 01:38 AM
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Default TIPS aka Gratuities

OK so I am a travel agent .
I hate the tipping policy onboard :evil: -as someone who spent many years as a server I never had my 'tips' demanded of my customers as do the cruiseline employees nor had the amounts pre-determined.

"For children sailing as third or fourth passenger in the stateroom, tipping is at the parents' discretion." This is a quote from a review on your site by your(Cruisemates)writer. YEAH RIGHT I wholeheartedly agree but try getting away with it. I at least think that the 3rd/4th should be lower, but if you pre-pay or add it to the room it's full amount for all 4 as they think it should be.

More and more I hear the question "this is all inclusive- but I pay for soda,juices,well brands,tips......
The all-inclusive land packages are growing in popularity because of that!
Cruiselines take note.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 02:33 AM
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When the cruise lines first instituted the automatic tipping policy my first reaction to it was negative.

However after looking at it for awhile, and experiencing it onboard ships, I've changed my mind.

Every passenger has the ability to tip just as they did they did before, without putting it on their shipboard account. The servers will know that you've removed the "automatic tips", but they'll appreciate it just as much if you had them an envelope.

Though it can be argued, the tips going on the shipboard card are a convenient tool for passengers. As well, they are effective for the crew.
Before automatic tipping was put in place the industry averaged an 18% stiff rate. That was nearly 1 -5 passengers who were either skipping the last night's dinner in the dining room, or simply walking out ---- without offering ANY gratuity to the staff.

Some people think that service levels have gone down since the inception, but I don't necessarily agree with that. Because of the high stiff rate before the staff didn't know if even superhuman effort would end up leaving them without a tip (and a substantial part of their income). Imagine how demoralizing it was to those staff when that happened.

With the present system the staff know pretty much that they've got an almost set income, and if they want to keep it, they have to produce happy passsengers. One negative comment from a passenger on their comment card can do more to hurt a staff member's career than any amount of gratuity offered.

So.. I think the automatic tipping - with the ability to remove them- seems like a very good compromise to take care of the staff and the passengers.

As to 3rd and 4th in the cabin. In most cases the exta work involved in cleaning those cabins isn't less than if they were in their own cabins. And of course dining room service would be equal no matter if they are sharing a cabin, or in double occupancy cabins. And even for the very young passengers, we've always seen the staff put in even greater effort to entertain, serve and even play with the kids.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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The cabin stewards generally deserve the tips. I'll probably tip them cash directly. The wait staff better impress the hell out of me, or they'll get nothing. They generally have the worst attitude and provide no where near the service of a real restuarant waitstaff.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 06:24 PM
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I've read several posts that said when they pre-tipped the room stewards they got exceptional service. I'm wondering if they know ahead of time if the tips have been pre-paid or it is better to do as I would in a hotel and leave $5.00 on the pillow every day? As for bartenders and waiters, I see that 18% is added to all bar bills so that is taken care of automatically, but is it better to pre-tip the waiters or in an envelope the last night? Thoughts? (I'm only going on a 3 night Monrach so it's not the money, but I want to make sure my tips are given in the best way)
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Old March 1st, 2006, 04:16 PM
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I don't know if staff knows when you have pre-paid tips on your account, but they sure do know if you hand them the cash!

I tend to be one of those who is always handing out money...."nice to meet you! I'm sure you'll take great care of us!" (while slipping them some amount of cash). I do this to cabin stewards, waitstaff, and MOST importantly, the bar staff.

Even though I do this all week long, will still put the "standard" amounts on the seapass and probably add even more cash to the envelopes. Anyone willing to give me nice service *deserves* ever penny, IMO. Sometimes they are even MORE willing when they know that you are the "fiscally grateful" type, which is why some guests like to tip in advance (or all along the way)

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Old March 6th, 2006, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain Crunch
The cabin stewards generally deserve the tips. I'll probably tip them cash directly. The wait staff better impress the hell out of me, or they'll get nothing. They generally have the worst attitude and provide no where near the service of a real restuarant waitstaff.
Are you cruising on the same ships as we are??? In 20+ years and even more cruises we have never experienced an "attitude" of any kind, let alone "the worst". The dining room staff works very hard. It's not an easy task dealing with pain in the neck passengers.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 07:00 PM
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Big tipping or little tipping usually has to do not with the level of service, but the tipper themselves.

The tip is directly related to the tippers belief's about who is entitled to their hard earned money rather than the level of service actually provided.

I bet the 18% of people that stiffed the staff usually always stiff the staff whether on a ship or not. There are those that dont believe anyone is deserving of a tip.

I always tip well. but I do feel that the attention to details and the service provided did drop some when they went to automatic tipping. As a result, I tip more like Tracy does when on board.

when I am on vacation, I dont want to work. If I could pay someone to press the elevator buttons for me I would : ). I just dont want cheap out when I am finally on the ship. It is such a small percentage of the total trip cost.

Lastly, there is nothing worse than being on a trip and listening to fellow passengers gripe and moan about how crappy the service is and how on the last cruise it was soooo much better.

19 cruises total on all different lines including RCCL, NCL, Celebrity, Princess, Holland America and Sea Dream. Our 20th Cruise is October 2007 on the Mariner of the Seas.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 07:42 PM
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Man I thought Brian was using me in his ventriliquist act, the thoughts were the exact words I was thinking, give or take a colorful couple. I side fully with his explanation/option and just wanted to agree.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 08:24 PM
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Janet, Brian, Swanny....bing bing bing!

I do believe that in life you get what you put out there....and I don't just mean money. People have generous appreciative spirits; people have needy critical spirits. I'd be dollars to donuts, that the staff on a cruise ship can pretty accurately gauge people one way or another within the first minute of interacting with them, whether they do it consciously or subconsciously.

We send out so many messages with both body language and verbal communications. The money, whether presented ahead of time or afterwards, isn't the only indicator of whether or not people are appreciative.

I do believe that some people receive better service going through life than others, but I also believe it results from the positive vibes they put out there. It has little to do with the actual amount of $$ you can afford to tip, although big $$ *can* sometimes compensate for a bad attitude.

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