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Old December 10th, 2010, 11:53 AM
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Default Tips increasing on Royal Caribbean

I see that the recommended tips will increase on July 1st 2011 to $11.65 a day on Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

I wonder how long until others follow. I know that on MSC it is already $12 a day.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 12:45 PM
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I don't have a problem with that.
I usually tip more than the suggested amount.

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Old December 10th, 2010, 12:52 PM
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I think this is the first increase in suggested tips in almost a decade. It's the only real way to get the crew a real increase in salary, because they could pay them double, and it stll wouldn't amount to much.

For those who say they should just pay them a decent wage to begin with, we/you would be paying that amount anyway in higher cruise fares.

This way you still do have "the option" to reduce or remove the gratuities if for some reason the service is really bad. You don't want to reduce those gratuities if there is a non service related issue onboard. That would be punishing the service people for something they can't do anything about.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 03:17 PM
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I have absolutely no problem with this. NCL has also been at $12 for over a year now.

The $10/pp/pd gratuity has been around for over ten years. Complaining about the increase really isn't too valid. Have you not had a raise in ten years? Is there just about anything that costs the same as it did ten years ago.

As Kuki pointed out, many people think that it should be included in the cruise fare. I also believe it should be. However, I do know that this will increase the price of the cruise and that, rock bottom, seven day, $349 cruise fare will now be a $433 fare.

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Old December 10th, 2010, 03:39 PM
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The crew deserves every dime...
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Old December 10th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
The crew deserves every dime...
But can you be sure that the crew does indeed benefit? or will the extra $ end up in the cruise lines pocket?
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Old December 10th, 2010, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
As Kuki pointed out, many people think that it should be included in the cruise fare. I also believe it should be. However, I do know that this will increase the price of the cruise and that, rock bottom, seven day, $349 cruise fare will now be a $433 fare.
Here in Sweden the gratuity is always included in the fare when booking from the RCI website. I am not sure if it is possible to remove it but I don't think so.
It's probably good for the crew, as we are not used to the tipping system over here.

/Erik
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Old December 10th, 2010, 06:39 PM
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I wouldn't think that if they stated gratuities were being raise,it would end up anywhere but in a crew paycheck....That would be a tough situation
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Old December 13th, 2010, 01:40 PM
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Playing devils advocate here I say why should we pay the crew more? Will their service level increase? My guess is no. They are not employees of the passengers, they are employees of the cruise lines. If cruise lines are nervous about losing long time employees to another line then increase their hourly wage. If you pass it on to the passenger in the form of higher fares so be it. There are choices out there for all of us. Ok, yes you can remove some or all of someones tips if their service is poor. I for one dont want to be on a list for all employees to see that I removed tips. Then the service level will really go down. Double edge sword. Does the staff generally warrant more money? Probably. But let the customer decide to add to their tips based on service rendered. Of course all lines will soon follow. Employees will want to jump ship to another cruise line if they know the pay is better. Dig deeper folks, its a reality of cruising these days.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briguy View Post
Playing devils advocate here I say why should we pay the crew more? Will their service level increase? My guess is no. They are not employees of the passengers, they are employees of the cruise lines. If cruise lines are nervous about losing long time employees to another line then increase their hourly wage. If you pass it on to the passenger in the form of higher fares so be it. There are choices out there for all of us. Ok, yes you can remove some or all of someones tips if their service is poor. I for one dont want to be on a list for all employees to see that I removed tips. Then the service level will really go down. Double edge sword. Does the staff generally warrant more money? Probably. But let the customer decide to add to their tips based on service rendered. Of course all lines will soon follow. Employees will want to jump ship to another cruise line if they know the pay is better. Dig deeper folks, its a reality of cruising these days.
There is no autotipping on Royal Caribbean so nothing to remove/reduce. Also Royal Caribbean currently has what I believe is the lowest recommended tipping amount ($9.75 per person/day) of any of the mainstream cruiselines. They are just moving up to be around the same amount that the the other lines currently recommend/charge ($10-$12+ per person/day mark). I don't see a $1.90 per person/day increase to be that big of a deal, especially since this is the first increase in 13 years.

And for those who keep saying that it should be added to the fare, that can easily be done by either ticking the box when you book online to have the tips prepaid; tell your TA you wish to prepay the tips or contact Royal Caribbean, if you booked directly, and ask to have the tips prepaid. This will include the amount in your final payment and you no longer need to worry about tipping your room steward/wait staff once on board. If you wish you can add extra, but it isn't required.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 12:30 PM
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If memory serves, previous poster is right. This is just a recommended amount. RCI does NOT auto charge this to your sea pass, although you can ask to have it charged to your account by visiting guest services, after which they give you a chit to put into your envelope. I believe that when we did this, we were told that if you charge to your sea pass, you MUST do the recommended amount (I don't recall if you could increase it). If you want to tip lesss than the recommended amount, then you must tip cash.


I kind of like the fact that some lines auto-charge this to your account so you don't have to really think about it. It still floors me that so many people skip dinner on the last night (presumably) so they don't have to tip.

I don't believe this is true, but on Carnival DReam, our waiter told us that he did not get the auto-tips, and that if we were pleased with his service, we should tip him cash. We checked with guest services and they said that was false and that he received his portion of the $10 per day. What bothered me with him, is that prior to getting into the tip discussion, he asked how much our house was worth ... that he wanted to move to Canada but he was not rich like us .... THAT really turned me off (together with his lie about not getting the auto-tips). Nobody wants to feel guilted on a holiday.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen of Oakville View Post
I don't believe this is true, but on Carnival DReam, our waiter told us that he did not get the auto-tips, and that if we were pleased with his service, we should tip him cash. We checked with guest services and they said that was false and that he received his portion of the $10 per day. What bothered me with him, is that prior to getting into the tip discussion, he asked how much our house was worth ... that he wanted to move to Canada but he was not rich like us .... THAT really turned me off (together with his lie about not getting the auto-tips). Nobody wants to feel guilted on a holiday.
Don't ever fall for the 'poor waiter' story.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Snoozeman View Post
Don't ever fall for the 'poor waiter' story.
No question the crew do work very hard, and earn their tips. But I do remember the waiter, who'd been at it for 12 years, and saved enough money to go home and open his own bar.

Before auto-tipping, there was the waiter who told us on "tip night" that it was his birthday. We assumed it was his birthday every week on that night
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Old December 14th, 2010, 01:59 PM
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There are a number of stewards and waiters who will give you the story that they don't receive their gratuities. This is B.S..

I have spoken about this with Hotel Managers and long time waiters and room stewards and all of them have said that they receive their tips.

One long time steward we had on HAL Statendam spoke to me about this when I asked him how he liked the automatic gratuity vs. the old system "Tipping is not required" policy. His answer was: "I love it". He went on to say that many people would think that "Tipping is not required" meant they didn't have to tip at all and he would receive nothing. He also told us about the people who remove their automatic gratuity and say they want to tip in person. The vast majority of these people never tipped "but" the people who did tip gave much more than the recommended amount.

About ten years ago NCL did a study about people who remove their tips and say that they prefer to tip in person. Their results were the same as what the HAL steward told me. Over 80% of them never tipped and used it as an excuse to stiff their service staff.

Regardless if you approve of tipping or not the fact of the matter is that this is how the system is set up and not tipping only hurts the people who serve you. If you don't like the system let the home office and senior staff know it. Don't do the passive/aggressive thing and just stiff the service staff.

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Old December 16th, 2010, 10:54 AM
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I'm lol at the 'poor waiter story' comment.

Most of my cruising was done between 99 and 02. We then resumed cruising this year. I've seen notable differences.

For the most part, I've found staff to really work for their tips, and until my 'poor waiter' I'd never heard ANY discussion of tips from the crew. THey just work really hard. This was the first time any crew member had engaged in a discussion of tipping. My guess - he's been stiffed in the past. Why, because he was a terrible waiter. I was offended by him several times throughout the week, but I chalked it up to a 'personality' thing. He was very abrupt and used to speaking in a certain way. For example, he lectured me EVERY night about how sharp the meat knives are and how the children should not touch them. I know he meant well, but I'm a mom, I know not to let my kids play with knives. IMHO, this guy doesn't have the rigth personality for being in an industry that is tip-dependant and he probably often gets ripped off, and is now asking for tips.

I know many of you have cruised more often than myself, so maybe this is a common 'poor waiter' story.

Personally, we like to ask the wait staff about where they are from, about their families and get to know them and were they have come from. But never before had we come accross a crew member who tried to make us feel guilty for being wealthy enough to travel.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacdenv24 View Post
But can you be sure that the crew does indeed benefit? or will the extra $ end up in the cruise lines pocket?
Do you know something the rest of us don't or are you just suspious (sp?) by nature?
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Old December 18th, 2010, 10:39 AM
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We would never hesitate to give a gratuity. However if I received a poor me story the gratuity would go elsewhere. The story Oakville Queen received would cause me to actually file a complaint. I hate liars.

However, we will never pre-pay gratuities. That is just our way and we will never change. To me a grautity is a thank you for a job well done. Yes, the room stewards and waiters and their assistants work hard for their gratuties. We don't get into personal conversations with them however. We base it on their services.

I've also observed over the last couple of years that the number of staff have gone down and they remaining have to do more with less.

Although this is for another thread, and I will post, we have just gotten off the Equinox. The food was awful. It will fine until salads. After that - the worst we've ever had. However that did not influence our gratuities for our waitstaff and that is where so many people go wrong. They equate the two and they shouldn't.

Anyway, I have no problem with the increase. We will also continue to pay in cash.
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