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Old October 12th, 2010, 11:37 PM
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Default Is RCCL Abandoning The US Market For Europe?

I have been reading more and more about RCCL moving to the European cruise market because of the stronger Euro or the expected European cruise market. Well, RCCL consider this. . .Americans have been your most lucrative cruise market over the years and are the most liberal tippers when it come to tipping for services rendered. Consider your crew members when they compare tips from the European cruisers compared to the US cruise tipping market. I and perhaps many others have cruised with passengers from the European market. . .and from personal conversations with a few European passengers, I found they do not hold the same "value" of services rendered in regards to tipping.

Maybe this will open the eyes of RCCL and other cruise companies to the European and Australian value system of service and tipping. Cruise companies are looking to the European market as a new venue and a market with more available euros $$$$ to purchase cruises. . .but let's not forget the open pockets of the American cruiser when it comes to tipping. American people are the most giving in the world. Thank you Congress for all your giving on our behalf to the world. :-) I have read some articles . . .RCCL, CCL see European cruise market as strong and growing. So they are projecting this as the emerging strong cruise market. Hey guys. . .don't forget us Americans who made you what you are today! We'll be back. . .and maybe find other venues of vacations that does not include cruise industry. Some of you vacated Miami and Los Angeles. . .Don't forget Americans have options. Don't rule American travelers options. Just my humble option . my real board name Texaspepper. . .living in Texas

If it comes down to "where the money is" compared to "where the loyalties are" in the cruise industry. . .then so be it. Don't know about other folks but the cruise bargains are dwelling in the US. Is just me or is there some truth to this?

RCCL abandoned the entire west coast. Moved the Mariner of the Seas out of Los Angeles to Barcelona and then will come to Galveston, TX for only 5 months at a time starting in Dec 2011

Here is my final line. . .does RCCL project the American economy is so weak in coming months that they will move to Europe? RCCL. . .don't give up on America and put all your coins in Europe and the East coast of America with Oasis and Allure only on the East coast.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 12:39 PM
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My goodness - you are just a bit angry arn't you.

RCL along with all the cruiselines are a business. As such they will go where the business is most brisk and where their earnings can be bettered. That does seem to be Europe these days. Good for them.

They are abviously not making it on the West Coast so they are doing what they have to do.

American's really arn't the have all be all. It's about time Americans' spread their wings a bit and visited other areas of the world. That certainly seems to be the way the cruiselines are looking at it.

As for the tipping, give me a break. People who give gratuities in the manner in which they see fit. Just because American's have choosen to pay their service people a lowly wage, doesn't mean every other country in the world has.

As for your remarks about cruise bargains being in the U.S. - well for Canadians and Europeans - they have to get there first. With your airlines charging rates including all the nickel an diming with luggage etc perhaps it's time American's found out what it really costs for the rest of the world. There is not such thing as a cheap holiday for anyone outside of port cities.

The cruiselines, RCL included, will do whatever it is they have to do to stay afloat. Obviously the $199 Miami sailings arn't going to make them any money so they are going where they can.

I invite you and all other Americans to learn about the world and start to really travel.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 05:18 PM
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Well said Felix.
If you visit any of the UK Cruise Enthusiast sites you will find lots of objections to the tipping system, they are used to much better conditions for employees and find it shoddy that the employees of RCCL etc are left dependent upon the largesse of their passengers for their income. Tips as recognition for good service are one thing, but they are completely reliant on gratuities. In Europe people are used to much better terms of employment, liberal vacations, unlimited sick pay and they do NOT like the system. I foresee the cruise lines incorporating the tips into the cruise price for Europe before long.
As far as where RCCL sails, common sense tells me that supply and demand rules, as in most things. All things being equal that is how I select where I will work.
As for all Americans being generous tippers- have you seen the lines at Guest Services on the last night of the cruise , of people withdrawing their tips?
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Old October 13th, 2010, 06:05 PM
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Default Understand

Quote:
Originally Posted by felix_the_cat View Post
My goodness - you are just a bit angry arn't you.

RCL along with all the cruiselines are a business. As such they will go where the business is most brisk and where their earnings can be bettered. That does seem to be Europe these days. Good for them.

They are abviously not making it on the West Coast so they are doing what they have to do.

American's really arn't the have all be all. It's about time Americans' spread their wings a bit and visited other areas of the world. That certainly seems to be the way the cruiselines are looking at it.

As for the tipping, give me a break. People who give gratuities in the manner in which they see fit. Just because American's have choosen to pay their service people a lowly wage, doesn't mean every other country in the world has.

As for your remarks about cruise bargains being in the U.S. - well for Canadians and Europeans - they have to get there first. With your airlines charging rates including all the nickel an diming with luggage etc perhaps it's time American's found out what it really costs for the rest of the world. There is not such thing as a cheap holiday for anyone outside of port cities.

The cruiselines, RCL included, will do whatever it is they have to do to stay afloat. Obviously the $199 Miami sailings arn't going to make them any money so they are going where they can.

I invite you and all other Americans to learn about the world and start to really travel.
Thank you Felix for your comments and views. Well taken and speaking for myself, I do have a fairly good grasp on the American- from other nations view.

I lived in New Zealand for a couple of years, then a year in Australia and have spent a considerable amount of time across Western and Eastern Canada as well as ten tours/trips/stays in Israel, Egypt, Europe, eastern Europe lived in Indonesia and through out Asia. No, I was not in the military. That said, it was an eye opener to me as how the American is viewed by other countries; both in person and via media.

It goes without saying, RCCL is a business and they make business decisions for what is best for RCCL. That is good. . .especially for those of us who are stock holders.

I'll be very interested in 2012-2013 how this turns of for RCCL and others who are turning toward the European market.

We have looked at doing another T/A RCCL that is bringing Mariner of the Seas to Galveston from Barcelona in Oct 2011, but with the value of the Euro so strong and the air and hotel plus the luggage. . we'll be cruising out of the USA. We did RCCL VOTS T/A in 11/2008

Don't know what part of Canada you reside, I really loved my many travels around Canada.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 06:59 PM
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I'm in Niagara - I guess about the most well known tourist area of Canada.

I'm glad you understand what I'm saying then as far as the size of the world. We love ta's. At the end of the month we are heading to Greece to pick up the Azamara Journey to do the middle east. In the spring we will be going on our first River Cruise through Holland where the excursions are daily and included. We love the idea.

As for the Caribbean, it will never go away. We will continue to go there once in awhile simply to get away from the cold.

My biggest argument with your remarks is about gratuities. Those are so personal and have nothing to do with where the ship sails. As I said, if the businesses in the U.S. paid a decent wage we wouldn't be having this discussion. As it is, Australia, New Zealand and most European countries do pay a decent wage so when a person leaves a gratuity that is exactly what it is.

I am English by birth. I know from both sides. I just don't believe your definition of American's being big tippers is cause to keep ships in the U.S.

If you left that part out of your postings, especially on the other site, you would see better discussions.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texaspepper View Post
I have been reading more and more about RCCL moving to the European cruise market because of the stronger Euro or the expected European cruise market. Well, RCCL consider this. . .Americans have been your most lucrative cruise market over the years and are the most liberal tippers when it come to tipping for services rendered. ( ... ) Cruise companies are looking to the European market as a new venue and a market with more available euros $$$$ to purchase cruises. . .but let's not forget the open pockets of the American cruiser when it comes to tipping. American people are the most giving in the world.
As an American I can freely respond to this charge from a subjective standpoint. Personally, I whince every time I read or hear someone capitulating that canard that Americans are somehow more generous than other people on the planet. The truth is we're just not. Just from a tipping standpoint alone, we're some of the stingiest, pennywise people you can ever run into. Does America have generosity? Of course. Are there great tippers who are American? Sure enough. But to make a broad statement that we somehow could stand up to scrutiny about wether we treat lower labor better, the biggest consumers on the planet, famous for our current every-man-for-himself attitude ... I just don't see that with my own eyes. When I travel, I see the opposite. I see big American butts jumping ahead of people in line for the best rolls, slamming elevator doors in peoples faces and then standing up and crowing about how we Saved France.

We really do need to stop it. Just tip as well as you can because someone's family may be depending on it. But, you fellow Americans, stop bragging as this OP does about what great tippers we are. It's not a supportable statement, and there would be as much counter anecdotal evidence as there would be to support it. And the net result is just more American blustering. That's not what we need right now. What we need is to be kind, and then be silent about it.

As to whether RCCL is moving its entire fleet away from the US because we don't tip enough ... I think someone can make a more serious argument than that. Value of the US dollar comes to mind. The fact that Americans have been spooked into not spending until we figure out whether banks are ripping us off blind is a possibliity. I highly doubt its because a RCCL forgot to include the "millions" they're making in tip money for their employees.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 07:40 PM
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Default RCCL is facing a challenge about tipping.

An article from
Royal Caribbean International to review tipping policy - www.travelweekly.co.uk
indicates that RCCL is facing a challenge about tipping. The point I am making is, and Felix said it well, in the US and Canada, we assume the server is living on the tips when ever we get service and in UK and Europe they as not used to this level of a server's low wage and "tips to live."

Another interesting article from Frommers indicates what we know. . .cruise ships pay very low salaries and expect the passengers to subsidize through tipping. Will Europeans accept this in the way the North American cruisers have come to accept?
A Gratuitous Article About Cruise Ship Tipping | Frommers.com
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Old October 16th, 2010, 10:38 PM
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Sadly, we in the USA have no choice when comes to tipping. We were birthed with the concept that servers "expect tips" based on their wages.

Too all who have commented on my opening post, your comments were informative and very understandable. Yes I was "in your face" and if sounding rude, not met to be, only willing to open a discussion with a challenge of traditions.

I have traveled in Europe, Eastern Europe, Mediterranean, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the UK countless numbers of times as well as 25 other Austral Asian countries and know culture some what, and do understand in the US were trained (be it good or bad) to understand tipping is expected.

Allow me to recall a experience on one of my trips in Germany in the late 1970's when I was driving from Frankfort in to Eastern Europe in a MB I had bought in Belgium. . .I only say that to explain the manner in which I was commuting. I stopped in a restaurant in Frankfort and enjoyed a most delicious German lunch with a wonderful German beer. When presented the tab, I calculated the bill and added 20% for the tip. To my amazement the waiter thanked me for the kindness but said the tip was not expected and he gave it back to me. Yes he did! I then spoke with him and asked the tipping expectation and he said "If it was for some special over and beyond service and quality of food and service. . .OK, but he said he was paid a reasonable salary for his job and felt he did nothing over and beyond his expected service."

I have had the privilege of living outside of the USA and do understand the image of the other countries of the "American." Not playing the Devils advocate, but as I was stating in my original post, now the cruise lines staff will experience a comparison and it will require a balanced comparison of the difference in "tipping of different cultures."

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Old October 17th, 2010, 09:48 AM
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I understand about the different tipping cultures but I do believe when in Rome etc. In other words, it' up to the cruiseline to see that their staff is paid by the standards of the country/countries they are working in.

Americans are so well trained that they give tips to anyone and everyone. One of the problems that goes with that is attitude. American's want the rest of the world to know what big "tippers" they are and make a point of letting all others know it.

American's are so well trained by business it is flommaxing the cruiselines when other cultures refuse to tip because the expectation is they are paying their staff properly.

American's even tip for bad service - something that I find especially dumb.

Anyway, this is not what this is suppose to be about. RCCL is moving ships to Europe because the money is there........................sinmple.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 09:40 PM
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Default Good points

Yes. . .a company as larges as RCCL and projecting the needed growth for 2011-2012 I am sure more discussion and planning has gone in Miami than we'll ever know about. I for one, do hope, and I do mean hope, that European markets will succeed for them. Perhaps some of you are stock holders as I am, who seeing the future of RCCL in 2008, I choose to purchase a substantial quantity of RCCL stock when it was at it's lowest. This proved to be a positive investment to the tune of 180% growth to date. Now the concern is will the European commitment prove positive or not so positive. We shall all soon see. No matter what happens. . .we should all support the crew with generous compensation on each cruise.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 12:08 AM
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No matter what, there are plenty of ships in the US ports, and with more new ships coming out there are probably than we can fill.

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Old November 17th, 2010, 09:00 PM
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Hello Everyone, Last winter we cruised on the Carnival Liberty,I believe we paid $140.00 in tips for the week & they were added to our sail & sign card.We live in Nova Scotia and the airfare to get there was more than the actual cruise, so in the end with airfare/Cruise/hotel overnight in Miami the total was around $3800.00 not including spending money. Our cabin steward did an excellent job & looked after us very well. I asked him how much the cruise line paid him for the position he held.I was shocked and saddened when he told me that he recieves around $75.00 per month. In the end we paid alot for a vacation but i woundn't have the heart not to tip.
We are booked again this winter and look forward to cruising again.


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Old November 17th, 2010, 10:25 PM
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OK, just my 'twopennorth' as a 'Brit' (living in Spain) who sailed on 'Brilliance' in September 2010. RCI 'may' be aiming at the European market, but the top two nationalities by a large margin were 1. American and 2. Canadian. Most of these passengers had spent several days in Barcelona before sailing too. In my opinion the American cruise market is strong because you have ... a) massive amounts of Coastline and b) Air fares are extremely cheap. As far as tipping goes I am happy to pay for good service, however I resent being 'told' how much, and whom I should tip. We saw/spoke to the Maitre De only about 4 times on our 12 night cruise and the last occasion was when he was collecting his envelope! In addition I was appalled at the 12/15% service charge applied to each and every drinks round - am I to believe that these charges are split as tips amongst the waiting staff? If so why were we encouraged to increase the tip on each signed bill?
That's my little rant over :-) We Europeans are happy to tip at our discretion (not yours)
In conclusion ... An interesting fact we learnt (from the Captain) at Kusadasi (Turkey) the cruise terminal there was developed by RCI and as such they do not have to pay any fees for something like 10 years! I suspect that RCI may well have done, or will do this at other ports in Europe too, perhaps they'd like to contribute to Alicante (Costa Blanca Spain) too!!
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Old November 18th, 2010, 09:39 PM
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Default Fenclare, some good insights.

You have posted some very valid insights to this thread. As I stated in a previous posting, the European tipping value system is not the same as the North American. In NA we are "trained" to apply a 10 to 20% gratuity for any place we get food or service. The European community assumes the waiter or server is well compensated in wages and a tip is not what they live on. In America, restaurants, bars they expect this tip, but not perhaps in a hotel for maid service. The drink service % on a cruise ship has always amazed me. We do not have a choice with this, but a Maitre whom I frankly never meet on a cruise ship, and I have have not tipped more than once is a puzzle to me.

This is why I wonder why the American Cruise Ship companies are moving to Europe. I understand the European thinking since I have have traveled over 30 countries of plant earth, but perhaps the average cruiser has not had the opportunity to do so.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 11:18 PM
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Default Two Comments!

RCCL has it's two largest ships in the USA--sounds like a commitment to me.

Just got off the MSC Poesia. Tips were $12 a day, surprised me considering that they were a European company
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Old November 19th, 2010, 09:53 AM
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Feclare - I agree with you, the autotip on drinks annoys the heck out of me, therefore I never (I know never say never) put any additional gratuity on the bar bill.

Snoozeman - we saw the Poisa at some point during our Azamara cruise. Just can't remember which port. How did you like it?

With the Allure and Oasis now operating out of Fort Lauderdale, there are plenty of berths in the Caribbean from RCL. The problem is those berths are much higher in price.

I have just returned from the Azamara Journey. I spoke to many people who were asking about and talking about the two monster ships. Now, the people I was talking to are paying a lot more to sail on the Azamara ships but...............they are getting much more for their money.

I loved the fact no one had their hand out all the time. I could order a pop anytime I wanted - no charge, wine with lunch and dinner, included, gratuities, included. Smiles - automatic.

I'm not sure if I'm rambling a bit here, but the RCL companies have plenty of choices in the U.S. from New York to Fort Lauderdale. I'm afraid it's the people who live in Florida who are the most upset. They choices are just not there for them anymore - but they are for the rest of us.
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Old November 19th, 2010, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix_the_cat View Post
Snoozeman - we saw the Poisa at some point during our Azamara cruise. Just can't remember which port. How did you like it?
Loved it, but it may not be for everyone. I have my review on my blog (link below). I'd love to try Azamara. Maybe someday.
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Old November 19th, 2010, 11:31 AM
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Well I was wrong about one thing - we didn't see the Poisa. We were in europe. We saw a number of other ships and I thought that was one.
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44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

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NCL
HAL
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Celebrity
and some unknown tub

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Old November 19th, 2010, 11:38 AM
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Yes MSC has quite a few ships now.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 03:24 PM
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Default RCCL an International Brand

My next cruise is on the Vision of the Seas, Santos--Lisbon and a prior RCCL cruise had ended in Colon Panama. I think Royal is doing the right thing to expand its international presents and market to different groups. Hispanics could be a very large market for Latin & South America. Plus I should state, how many Caribbean cruises do we really want??

I like to see new places and wish RCCL would go as many interesting places as Costa. Asia & Africa would be fun as well as other places.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 06:27 PM
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The cruising season is quite a lot shorter, they can't do all year Med Cruises the way they do Caribbean.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen of Diamonds View Post
The cruising season is quite a lot shorter, they can't do all year Med Cruises the way they do Caribbean.

Not totally true. They can do southern Med in the winter months as they do now with the Brilliance and Independence.
__________________
Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22

44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
Reply With Quote
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