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-   -   Welcome to the Tipping Message Board (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/tipping/299924-welcome-tipping-message-board.html)

Paul Motter January 16th, 2001 12:41 PM

Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
Welcome to the Tipping Message Boards:

PRE-PAID TIPPING

Among cruise-related topics, tipping is almost as controversial as smoking. Here's a new situation guaranteed to raise the hackles for some of us. As part of Carnival Cruise Lines' "Total Choice Dining" program, which gives its passengers a choice of four dining periods in its main restaurants (5:45 p.m.; 6:30 p.m.; 8 p.m. and 8:45 p.m), the cruise line is also inaugurating a pre-paid gratuity system fleetwide -- the amount of $9.75 per person, per day is automatically posted to passengers' shipboard charge accounts when they embark.

Sure, you can go back during the cruise and ask that the amount be raised or lowered. And, if you don't want to participate at all you can ask the front desk to take the charges off. But as Carnival explains it, the new policy is "better for guests given the Team Service concept", which means that each table gets two waiters and an assistant waiter, replacing the traditional tipping system of one waiter and bus boy. Plus, more passengers are dining in the alternative restaurant, Seaview Bistro (the buffet area transformed to table service); so staff in these restaurants also get tips from the pre-paid gratuity pile. They do have a point that pre-paying tips eliminates the need to run to a local ATM for cash at the end of the voyage.

CruiseMates wants to know what you think. Is Carnival going too far by taking the ultimate tipping decisions away from the passenger? Or, is it eliminating confusion and one more troublesome chore that passengers have to take care of before they disembark. We've set up a new message board just for this topic --

Kathy January 16th, 2001 05:02 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
I think this new policy stinks! Tipping is at our discretion and I don't like the idea of the cruise lines adding it automatically to my account. I enjoy handing out my tips at the end of the cruise. If I ever sail Carnival again (and I am not sure that I will) I will immediately go to the pursers desk and have the charges taken off my account.

I also feel that the waiters will suffer from this policy. Most people who would normally adjust their tips for good service will not even think to do this - i.e. tipping will be completely out of the passengers mind as they have already taken care of this. I also feel service may not be up to the standards the same way as when you have dinner out at and tipping is already included - wait staff tend to be less attentive.

Jake Summers January 16th, 2001 05:05 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
Prepaid tipping is not in the best interest of the consumer. The consumer should decide what and how much to tip not the cruise line. Under these circumstances
the host can provide lousy service and still be paid

Rogers January 16th, 2001 05:06 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
Tipping should be paid only for the service and not automatically given ....service will definitely not be as good...as they know they will receive their tip at any service ...good or bad...very unacceptable to bill passenger automatically

Graydonl January 16th, 2001 05:12 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
Tipping has now become part of the cost of the cruise, like the airline fare, and should simply be included in the total cost of the cruise. The cruise line can then do away with the whole issue of tipping along with the administaration costs.

Tipping no longer has any meaning and neds to be eliminated. Everyone will be happier.

Linda Carter January 16th, 2001 05:17 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
I think it's wonderful and the best part is that you can decrease or cancel the tips if service is bad.

I've been on several cruises where passengers didn't tip at all. Passengers must realize that the cabin steward, busboy, and waiters only salary are the tips passengers provide at the end of the cruise.

Sure I've been on several cruises that the service was substandard and I tipped what I felt was right, but I have to admit I always give something. If the service is bad I tip much less and I feel that lets the employee know that his/her service could have been better.

Grant January 16th, 2001 05:21 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
I look forward to anything that removes problems and worries from my vacation. Automatic tipping to my way of thinking is great. I no longer have to worry about getting the correct amount of cash in the proper denominations, finding the envelopes, and making small talk with the service staff. Holidays are for a care free relaxing time, and this service removes 1 contant headache for me. PROVIDING that I have the method and right to go to the purser's office and change my mind should I suffer poor or indifferent service. A positive thing for me! I sail with Carnival on Sunday, and will let you know if there is a problem or if I change my mind.

carol seres January 16th, 2001 05:24 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
I recently went on the Disney 7 day cruise at a special travel agent rate. Tipping was included in our fare. At first we thought this was a good idea,as it was paid for up front, but found ourselves with more hassle as we had to adjust the amounts. A tip was given to someone we didnt even know. Had to find out how to change it, etc. and caused more problems in the long run. I personally feel that when I make a reservation for myself that I will stress then that I dont want this done.

As others have stated, tipping is personal. After a lot of running around, etc. we finally got it taken care of and gave the extra money to our cabin steward, as he truly deserved it.

eeinusa January 16th, 2001 05:31 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
I agree with the majority that pre-tipping is not the way to go. Not only is it a hassle to remove it or change it, but it makes the assumption on my behalf that I am going to tip -- why would I do that if I did not receive good service? I would prefer to tip directly to those who provided service, and in the dollar amounts I think the service was worth. I find the guidelines provided for tipping useful, but that does not mean I am going to tip exactly in those amounts. Under this scenatio, I have no idea if those who provided service to me will even see the tip due them.

Beckie January 16th, 2001 05:31 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
If something is added to my bill and I have to request it be removed, I consider that a "fee". A "tip" implies that giving it at all is at my sole discretion. I consider automatic tipping another fee and as such should be added to the cost of the cruise, as Graydon said.
I agree that it's a hassle to carry the cash, but why not let the passenger decide how much to put on their acct.? The tips will be split up. What happens if you do not use a service? It becomes a hassle to remove or lower a charge that shouldn't be there to begin with? For example, on Sea Princess we ate at the buffet once. I'd much rather tip my waiters in the dining room and/or room service more than the buffet staff.
We went to Sandals, Montego Bay, where even tips are inc. in your package price. In fact, employees can be dismissed if they accept tips. Service was fine and it didn't feel like a "fee" was being charged, probably because of the wording and also because a dollar amount wasn't mentioned (ie, $9.75/person/per day).
I, too, doubt we'll sail with Carnival for other reasons. While I really had the automatic tipping and will not like the personal choice dining, it appears that most lines are heading this way. (Why in heavens name would I want to make a reservation or possibly wait for my table? I can do that at home.)
It's a pity we won't truly have a choice.

Ernie January 16th, 2001 05:33 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
I am certain there are two reasons for adding the charge. First there are more cheap passengers who pay nothing or little for good service. The second are some of the jerks I have had who give lousy service and still want a nice tip. I have also found that the "suggested" tips per day are on some lines are unusually high. I usually check with people who are around me on how they are going to tip and often it does not come to the suggested amount. I enjoy rewarding fine service and I have developed ways to send unspoken messages to staff that if they take care of me I will take care of them. The bottom line is that I would have the charge removed from my bill without hesitation and and would not hesitate to let the staff know that i will take care of them based on service with individual envelopes. I know I will get better than average service using this system. And if not, they will be unrewarded at the end of the voyage.

Michael Patterson January 16th, 2001 05:33 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
I disagree with the cruiselines automatically adding the tips to your shipboard accounts. First how do we know that the staff is actually receiving all of these tips? Second, service will most definitely suffer. If I receive great service, which I almost always do I like to tip accordingly and can be assured that the right people are getting this money. Furthermore, if service is not up to my expectation I can reduce my tip, without the hastle of going to the front desk to have it reduced. I never cruise Carnival & do not anticipate cruising with them in the future!

Gerd Wilmer January 16th, 2001 05:34 PM

Re:Tipping Mess
 
Coming from a culture where tipping is a reward for exeptional service, I find this whole tipping issue quite appalling and degrading.

Wouldn't we all be better off, if the cruise companies paid their staff a decent wage, reducing their reliance on tips and giving us or our clients the opportunity to reward somebody in a dignified and gracious way.

Tipping is something personal and should never be compulsory.

SIR DON GEORGE January 16th, 2001 05:38 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
CRUISES ARE COSTLY ENOUGH! I BELIEVE A TIP IS EARNED FOR SERVICES ABOVE AND BEYOND THE STANDARDS! AND IT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE THAT I WILL BE HAPPY TO GIVE A GOOD TIP AT THE TIME OF DEPARTURE! Ah-Men

WM McDaniel January 16th, 2001 05:49 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
This new policy is not in the best interest of the customer. My wife and I have cruised over 24 times and have had all levels of service....Like everybody we tip extra for excellent service and at times tipped very little for awful service...We leave for Europe next month on Renaissance and they have installed this also...I will be at the front desk to cancel this charge before we sail...We leave on the Carnival Spirit in October and I will cancel the charge as well...We will continue to tip as a reward for good service..We see on every cruise the ships are making up the difference by charging for every little item to off set the great deals on cruises we can sometimes get..

MisterEd January 16th, 2001 06:09 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
Like everything else, there are pros and cons.
1. Putting the tips on my sign and sail account bills them to my Carnival credit card, so I get my 4% rebate for another cruise, and don't actually pay the amount until my bill arrives in another month or so.
2. Our waiter last week on Inspiration says they get stiffed totally by about 25% of the passengers. I didn't think it would be that high a percentage. If someone needs to stand in front of a Purser and say "I'm not tipping", some of those passengers would either not cruise, or go along with it.
3. We generally give bonus tips for excellence, and have been known to reduce a tip and enclose a note with the reason why, when there has been significant under-performance. With automatic tipping, I agree that mediocrity will crop up more than it does now.

The best of both worlds would be a card in your cabin that you fill out and turn in at the purser's desk about 48 hours before the end of the cruise, indicating your wishes with regard to tipping, by recipient. Like a bar receipt, you should get a copy of it for your records that you can match up with your other receipts. For those who don't care to change the recommended amounts, a "default" value seems reasonable. There's a definite advantage to having it on your credit card.

Larry K January 16th, 2001 06:10 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
I agree with the majority that tipping is the sole discretion of the cruiser. I have always tipped what is required and more depending on quality of service and have always tipped for added/extra service given my wife or myself at the time service was given. So in essence I am tipping above and beyond what is reccommended.
If the quality of service given is poor it will be reflected.
Do we tip the waiter at the restaurant before we have our meal, I don't think so.
We all know what is required regarding tipping and it usually is more.
If Carnival feels that they have to do this then, I will make sure that it is taken off my shipboard charges.
Carnival SHOULD NOT add tipping in the cost.

Cheryl January 16th, 2001 06:14 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
I am an older female who travels land see and air. I crused last year and tipped according to how I was treated. I have found that up front tipping has made
the female travelers end up with poorer service.

I have found a generous tip at the begining of the trip, often gets better service, and even giving extra at the end for outstanding help. But when you place the tip in a pool and then divided service people lose that insentive to give out standing service.

I cruise again this year and am anxious to see just how well this is going to work and compair the service.

Cheryl January 16th, 2001 06:14 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
I am an older female who travels land see and air. I crused last year and tipped according to how I was treated. I have found that up front tipping has made
the female travelers end up with poorer service.

I have found a generous tip at the begining of the trip, often gets better service, and even giving extra at the end for outstanding help. But when you place the tip in a pool and then divided service people lose that insentive to give out standing service.

I cruise again this year and am anxious to see just how well this is going to work and compair the service.

Rogers January 16th, 2001 06:18 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
How do I get deleted from this e-mailing...I am being swamped with e-mails ....Please delete my e-mail address...Thank you

Babette January 16th, 2001 06:22 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
T.I.P.S. - stands for To Insure Prompt Service. So what do I do??

I pre-pay half the suggested amount... and then see what develops. I normally do tip over the "suggested" amounts.

However, I do not like the cruiseline having control over who gets what tip. And I shall gladly and willingly tip my servers and stewards(esses) accordingly. These folks work too hard for their money.

On land, though I charge my meals, I leave cash for a gratuity. I've seen too many wait staff get stiffed by the "front of the house" manager.

john h January 16th, 2001 06:30 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
this is not going to fly with repeat cruisers.This is right up there with " port charges not included "

L.Patrick Stiven January 16th, 2001 06:44 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
Tipping is personal, and, for myself, I want to be in charge of who I tip. I do not want to abandon this decision to some other person.
When do the personnel get the tip under the new scheme?
At the end of the voyage I'm on, or at some other time, perhaps after the cruise line has some use of the money.
I like to put the money into the hand of the person who has provided the sevice.
Under the "new" arrangement, "personal service" it appears will be removed, so that it's Hobson's Choice as to who will get a tip.
There'll precious little rapport between passenger and service personnel.
But, perhaps that's the objective.

Claudia January 16th, 2001 06:46 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
Prepaid tips is not tips...it is another surcharge.
How can one be certain that the individual that deserves the TIP will then receive it? You can't. I think that it would be best to have a no tipping policy & include that surcharge into the price, so that we can just forget about it. Many lines do this & it is really one less hassle.
We are taking Renaissance cruise line next month & they have also started this automatic tip deal, which one may adjust as they see fit. I am sure that it won't last. Repeat customers & new customers won't put up with it.

Donna January 16th, 2001 07:00 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
Why do we have to pay the staff's wages? This is so obvious!

If I want to tip someone I should be able to do it. It's not voluntary when Carnival
decides the amount and bills my credit card.

Ann January 16th, 2001 07:02 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
Since the cruise staff personnel (waitstaff,bar personnel and housekeeping staff) rely on tips entirely for their wages then a wiser approach for the cruise lines might be to pay a more realistic wage and not expect the guests to subsidize the cruise companies use of indentured servants. There is a limit to which you can "nickel and dime" us. I insist on doing my own tipping and will refuse to cruise any line that puts this policy in place. Carnival Cruise Lines is a publically held company and has seen it"s profits rise even in difficult times. You tell me who should be shelling out more money.

Sandie Clarkson January 16th, 2001 07:03 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
As an Australian (where tipping is neither the norm nor the rule), having travelled a little on this earth I'm aways amazed at the tipping culture displayed in some of the more affluent countries of the world. It can be quite disturbing to travellers when some personnel in the service industry employed and compensated for their position, have now taken it for granted as their right to expect, and receive a tip. Therefore, I find Carnival's adopting of their new policy abhorent. Gratuities should be an entirely individual response for each and everyone of us.

addicted2cruising January 16th, 2001 07:05 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
As so many have stated above, a mandatory tip, is not a tip at all. They way Carnival is doing it, it takes all the personal satisfaction of rewarded someone for a good week of service away from the passengers. I suppose bottom line, the crew probably doesn't care because they may get more money over all because this will make it harder for those who don't usually tip to get out of it. It just ruin's what has traditionally (for us anyways) been an important part of the last night's festivities away from us, so we can't hand them the tip, shake their hand, and thank them for a great cruise!!!

Richard Vydra January 16th, 2001 07:09 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
I am a little confused - does this "prepaid tipping policy" JUST include the dining room staff, or does it cover ALL tips for the cruise (including cabin staff). Thanks.

MIKE January 16th, 2001 07:34 PM

Re: Welcome to the Tipping Message Board
 
My wife and I love to cruise and have done our share of it. When NCL announced this policy, we decided that they would be our last choice for future cruises. We strongly believe that this system will completely destroy the high level of service we have come to expect while cruising. We probably tip in excess of the amount the NCL and Carnival have announced as the basis of their "automatic tipping". Other than eliminating the small amount of bother while people approach the desk for change, I'm uncertain of what they hope to gain. If this spreads tp all of the other cruise lines, we will have to find other ways to travel.


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