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Tipping Discuss policies, guidelines and protocol for tipping on ships here.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 17th, 2001, 10:27 AM
kcfoli
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Default Does the Staff Want This??

I would be surprised to hear that the staff is in agreement with this. Wouldn't this lower the main dining room servers take? Tipping has gone from in incentive to go above and beyond - to a "rate sheet", now this. The cruise lines should pay their employees. Tipping should be an option - not a guideline.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 17th, 2001, 12:48 PM
murry
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Default Re: Does the Staff Want This??

The writer is correct. Rather then having the cruiser pay their tips directly to the cruise and as stated that you would have to got to an ATM to get cash to leave a tipyou can always use your cruise card as with Princess you pay for nothing with cash it all goes on the cruise card & is charged to the passenger at the end of the cruise. I tip according to service received.
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Old January 18th, 2001, 12:35 PM
addicted2cruising
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Default Re: Does the Staff Want This??

Yes, if Carnival is collecting the tip up front to distribute it to the service staff that doesn't usually get tips, that is great for those guys, but it means less for the folks working the main dining room because they are having to share with a greater number of people.
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Old September 16th, 2002, 02:01 AM
Bruce Chafkin
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Default Re: Does the Staff Want This??

kcfloi,

Prepare to be surprised. Under the new auto-tipping system, many of the cheap-charlies who previously tipped nothing are being forced to pay up. Previously we had about a 10% no-show when it came to handing out envelopes. Now the number is down to abour 4%. That` s a lot of money on a large ship.

Please read my diatribe below. It may help you.

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.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 10:49 PM
sjones
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Default Re: Re: Does the Staff Want This??

Just curious, but last year I read about buying phone cards to give above a tip for people who had done an exceptional job. I did this and gave one to our waiter and one to our cabin steward who I believed went above and beyond the norm. When we do this, does that part of the tip have to be shared or are you able to keep it for yourself as it is meant? Is this something that is appreciated and what type of phone cards are the best for use in Mexico (Cozumel or Playa del Carmen)? Is there something else that might be suggested as a token of thanks for being so helpful?
Thanks for your help.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 10:51 PM
sjones
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Default Re: Re: Does the Staff Want This??

Just curious, but last year I read about buying phone cards to give above a tip for people who had done an exceptional job. I did this and gave one to our waiter and one to our cabin steward who I believed went above and beyond the norm. When we do this, does that part of the tip have to be shared or are you able to keep it for yourself as it is meant? Is this something that is appreciated and what type of phone cards are the best for use in Mexico (Cozumel or Playa del Carmen)? Is there something else that might be suggested as a token of thanks for being so helpful?
Thanks for your help.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old March 25th, 2003, 10:31 AM
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Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Palmer, Massachusetts
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Default Re: Re: Re: Does the Staff Want This??

the opinion seems to be split on the phone card thing. Some will say that the ship's personnel really like the phone cards, and some like myself will disagree with that. The crew sends most of their money home to support their familes, and any extra cash even if the tips are pooled is very helpful and appreciated.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old March 25th, 2003, 09:45 PM
Bruce Chafkin
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Does the Staff Want This??

Obviously any sort of compensation you give a service staff member will be appreciated. But please bear in mind that these are people - not dancing bears that get rewarded for doing some tricks for you. In far too many cases, these hard-working cruise line employees are better educated and better traveled than their guests.
Self-respect is very important to them.
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Old March 26th, 2003, 01:54 AM
Bruce Chafkin
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Default Re: Does the Staff Want This??

kcfoli,

Absolutely correct. Tipping went from incentive to salary - but it happened about 35 years ago at sea - and even earlier than that at your corner restaurant. You have just figured that out.

I agree with you - the cruise lines should add a few hundred dollars onto the price of your cruise for salary, taxes, and administrative costs. Then you wouldn`t need to worry about it. But then at those prices, you and many others probably wouldn`t cruise anyway.
But if salary is added into the price of the cruise, are you then prepared to tip the excellent performers on top of that? Otherwise, where is the incentive to do a superlative job?
Of course, if salaries on ships are paid without tips, then certain governments start taking taxes out. The crew actually loses money on the deal. So do we then increase the salary - and the price of your cruise again - or settle for substandard workers who are still willing to work for lower wages?

And in answer to your first question - the staff decidedly wants pooling and auto-tipping. This gives them much more control over where the money goes at the end of the cruise - and it also discourages that historical 10 to 15% of cruisers who are too cheap to tip. With auto-tipping it is more difficult and embarrassing to tip nothing.

Still, every week on my ship we have about 20 cabins who remove all auto tips and claim with a straight face that they never ate in any of our restaurants!!!
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