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  #1 (permalink)  
Old April 1st, 2001, 11:45 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
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Default Tipping, what happens if...

<BGSOUND balance=0 loop=1 src="http://www.netunlimited.net/~mcnairb/loveboat2.mid" volume=-500>
On the Grand Princess, I understand that they charge your cruise account $6.50 per person per day... or in terms of real money $91.00 for a couple... to cover the dining room staff. I also have been advised that you have the option of adding to or removing these charges.

My questions are...
<ul>[*]Since we have elected traditional dining, does our waiter and assistant get our specific charged tip or do they get a cut from the pot of all the passengers?[*]If we remove the charged tip from our account in order to tip our wait staff directly as we prefer to do, will they still get a cut from the pot? We could be talking about some serious double dipping here.[/list]
I realize that something has to be done to insure that the wait staffs are adequately compensated, particularly with the new alternative dining, but I do not think that this pre-charged method of tipping is the answer for a number of reasons. A possible solution may be... anyone who elects alternative dining could be charged a cover charge of $3.50 per person at the time they enter the dining room... just as they used to do at Sabatini's and the Painted Desert. That way, the people using traditional dining could tip as they have before and if they use any alternative dining options, those waiters would be compensated as well.

I've always tipped appropriately for individual service and do not like being forced put my gratuities into a pool to be divided. I'm also not very keen on the forced 15% beverage tip.

Bob "MacTarheel"
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old April 5th, 2001, 12:01 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 355
Default Re: Tipping, what happens if...

Princess Cruises customer service actually called me today in response to a letter faxed through my TA which was essentially identical to the above message.

The representative was very polite in explaining their new automatic gratuity policy. She listened and noted my concerns and possible solutions. The bottom line is they claim it is new and so far they are getting positive responses. She also explained the necessity of implementing the program with the conversion to Personal Choice Dining. They will be implementing it soon on the Sun Class ships to Alaska. They will be continually evaluating the response and the level of service from the wait staff to determine its effectiveness.

In response to my question:
"If we remove the charged tip from our account in order to tip our wait staff directly as we prefer to do, will they still get a cut from the pot? We could be talking about some serious double dipping here."

She indicated that in traditional dining, the passengers are matched up to their individual waiter by table assignment, so that those who elect out of auto-tipping are reduced from that waiter's cut of the pool since he is will be receiving his tip directly from that passenger. The waiter will not know exactly who has opted out, but he will know how many. If for example, a waiter has 20 passengers at a seating, he will know if 6 have opted out of auto-tipping and that 14 have elected auto-tipping. Therefore, he will be expecting direct tips from 6 passengers. She indicated that anyone could opt out, even those on Personal Choice Dining. That would mean that the waiters in those dining rooms would be getting a smaller cut of their pool

Whew... this is WAY to complicate... but inquiring minds want to know.

Bob "MacTarheel"
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old May 5th, 2001, 08:53 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 836
Default Re: Tipping, what happens if...

We are going on Norwegian Majesty on June 3. I understand the tipping is $10.00 per person per day. It will be 4 of us, 2 are under the age of 5. It would be $40.00 times 8 days for a total of $320.00, this seems like alot to me. Or is this customery? If we tip separately what is a customery tip to give to each.

Just looking for some advice. Thanks.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old September 16th, 2002, 09:10 AM
Bruce Chafkin
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Default Re: Tipping, what happens if...

This may help.

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.
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