I saw some post that pretty much sum's it up. This new policy makes it no longer a tip. It is now a surcharge added to our statement to cover the wages of the serving staff. The staff has no real incentive to perform well for the tip, they will get pretty much the same as others in their same position regardless of how hard, or not so hard, they work at it.
Most of the sutomatic tipping that I know of allows you to alter the amount, hight or lower. There is a slight cock of head and raise of the eyelash when we gave a lower amount. The best was "would you repeat that?" I did and told them if there was any issue I could give nothing at all.
Tipping is voluntary....having it mandatory is a fee, very different obligations.
Just in case you think we are too cheap, we gave $9.00 a day pp the suggested tipping on the Renaissance Cruise is combined for room and waitstaff.
A waitstaff person that was leaving the ship when our cruise was over gave an interesting piece of info stating that the money received is trickled down through even more hands than they tell us, with people we never come in contact getting part of the action. This may or may not be true as I have no way to check it out, anyone know for sure????
It wouldn't surprise me a bit if there are MANY more hands, especially upper Carnival Management takeing a piece of the Tip Pool that is being collected. If you think that ALL monies are collected on behalf of the service staff, and every dime gets passed on to the service staff, I have some swamp land in Florida for sale, are you interested ;-)
Your comments are valid, but your logic is faulty. I agree that service on ships generally has gotten worse over the years.
But please read carefully: I have worked on 18 ships for 11 different cruise liines over the past 27 years. The internal tipping policies have been the same on every ship - ALL TIPS WERE POOLED. Please read that last sentence again. Its important.
When you gave me an envelope of some cash, it didn`t stay in my pocket very long. As soon as the last passengers disembarked the ship, all the service staff met at the Captain`s table in the diningroom. We all put ALL cash tips on the table for counting. Then the Maitre d` split and handed the money out to EVERYONE, based on a complicated point system administered by him. Today with auto-tipping, the smae system is in place. The only difference is that most of the cash comes from the Purser`s office. We still pool ALL the money in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. NOTHING HAS REALLY CHANGED. Please read those last two sentences again. They are important.
To repeat, we ALWAYS knew we would receive a tip regardless of service levels. We still do know today that we weill receive a tip regardless of service levels.
Now please explain to everyone how auto-tipping has damaged service levels.
Once again, I agree that service levels have generally deteriorated over the years (I also observe that the quality of guests has deteriorated at the same pace), bu tyoumay be blaming the wrong reasons for the problems that exist.