I've been reading along, and I'm a little confused.
On the NCL Dream. Tips are added to your bill automatically. You can adjust that amount up or down. OK so far.
But.....what happens to those tips. Are they given to your steward? Are the steward tips pooled and split among the stewards evenly. Do they all meet and say "Joe's cabin 9004 left him nothing" so you all get less a result. Are the automatic tips public knowlegde among the crew? If you strip the charges from your bill, but tip in person, is the outcome different? I would like to reward good service, but if the steward, who went out of his/her way for me doesn't get the benefit, then I guess I just don't understand.
I can see a little different point with freestyle dining. How could you keep track of who to tip? And is the fee in the Bistro a tip or a charge, so how would that effect the balance?
What about all the other behind the scenes people?
Then what about tipping with gifts, phonecards, etc.
Just got off the Majesty. As far as I'm concerned, we had nothing special from anyone, although the dining room staff was very good. A bartender aboard (his name was Leslie) made every drink a fun experience, even if we had to pay for it big time. A second waiter, on the top deck, made my daughter his own , with
rummy, rummy in the tummy, good, good, good>
every time he took a drink order. Now that may have been his own PR game, but he did it well. And Leslie was even better.
They charged us $10/day to our room for tipping. And the essence of the whole thing doesn't promote exceptional service. I paid it. But I was unhappy, cause some of the folk didn't respond as well as others, and, alll and all, the cruise was a total disappointment I was at one point so angry, I would have taken the $70 off both accounts, if I didn't feel guilty. Like I said, the whole Majesty cruise was a disappointment to us.
I intend to write NCL, and to commend the waiter and bartender above, and then complain about the rest of the cruise. I'm told I can expect perhaps, just perhaps, a credit toward another cruise. We'll see.
Here is the breakdown of the $10.00 charge. $3.50 to the room steward, $3.50 to main waiter, $2.00 to junior waiter, $1.00 to maitre d.
I was on the NCL Sun and you can not give tips the traditional way but must go to the front desk and fill out a form to adjust your tips. You can add tips or remove them. Also on the bar bill when you sign it their was an additional space on most to add a tip. We rarely did this as the tip was already added at 15%. But occasionally it was warranted for exceptional service or drink order.
I too dislike the new way but dealt with. And I felt that service was fine, in some cases great.
I have worked on ships for many years.
Tips have always been polled amongst staff in each department or area.
Before, if an envelope was missing, we didn't know if the guest was dissatisfied, the waiter or cabin steward had stolen it, or the guest was cheap. With the automatic tipping, we now know exactly why a guest did not tip. If he chooses to remove the tips, we ask him to help us avoid this in future by giving us details as to why. If the service was bad, we now know who to get rid of so it doesn't happen again.
Since tips are pooled, if one cabin doesn't tip, everyone of us loses money. That's great incentive to do a great job.
You can still tip the traditional way on NCL if you want to. Just tell the Reception Desk to remve the auto tips, and ask them for some envelopes. They are happy to give them to you. Then tip the staff you want to tip. But remember that the cash goes back into the tipping pool and is shared- like it always has been done.
Incidentally, these tips are my salary. I need this money to pay my rent and feed my family back home. My landlord does not accept telephone cards for rent payments.
Would you like your boss to pay you with telephone cards?
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), but youmay be blaming the wrong reasons for the problems that exist.
So pooing tips sucks?? Is that for you or the staff who worked so hard to get those tips??
Are you feeding performing bears, or rewarding a service TEAM that works so hard and so well together ??
Almost every cruise ship on earth has pooled tips for the past 35 years or so. It probably will not change any time soon.
You may be equally surprised and disappointed to learn that many good restaurants in America also pool tips. This system encourages and rewards team work and team efforts - both essential to providing good service.
Your point Re. Rewarding Team effort is understood and accepted. However, how can a guest give to one crew member they feel has done significantly better than others? What if one crew member in the bar was (say) really bad? I would not want to reward a crew member who had actually underperformed (I know - you're not bears - but my 'performance' at work is judged!!!). It is not my position to go and tell each crew member how their collegues are doing, so should the 'good' crew member suffer as a result of what he may not know the bad one has done or not done?
Taking into consideration your statement that all cash tips are pooled for later division.
What's the chance that the odd $100 bill gets into sombody's pocket without going near the pool?
Bruce - what you've said about tipping has seriously dented my desire to tip individuals. From now on I'll tip the 'average'. ie. I'll not tip the best and I'll not tip the worst. I'll tip half way. Who loses? The crew.
I might as well just go and give the money to the Purser and say - 'just give to it to who you want'. No more letters for individuals thanking them for all they have done. No recognition in a monetary format. No personal gratitude. No relationship. It's turning crew into machines - not people.
That's my opinion as person who has until now tipped a lot. Bruce - You've killed that to a certain degree.
I have a question. Holland American states "Tipping not required". I understand that some or many peole do tip but I am almost certain that more than there is more than the normal 20% who stiff the staff. So how does Holland keep such good staff? I have always been told Holland pays a little better than oher lines.
I have asked almost every waiter, busby and cabin steward I have ever had if tips are pooled. And the only ones who told me so were the ones who worked on ships where tips were automatically charged to my sign and sail card. On all other ships they told me they got exactly what I gave them.
Are you telling me I have been lied to on at least 10 ocassions?
We, too, were very confused about tipping so went to the horse's mouth--we emailed the cruiseline! (By emailing, we got it in writing!)
We sailed Celebrity first time around. Loved it, but are not sure we want to sail them again for other reasons. We've been considering HAL, but did not realize they added tips automatically. Thanks for mentioning that as automatic tipping is something we're not at all comfortable with.
When did HAL begin putting tips on S&S card automatically?
Last time I sailed HAL they were "Tipping not required" even though I did tip like most of the passengers do on HAL.
I have copied this directly from the HAL website.
"Tipping Not Required" Policy
Exceptional service is part of the Holland America cruise experience. Because you are our guest, it is our goal to make sure you receive the finest service possible. Our "tipping not required" policy ensures that the professional and gracious service you receive on board is truly sincere; that we are dedicated to providing the most relaxed cruise vacation, not simply providing service in return for tips. You are free, however, to extend monetary recognition if you wish-it's entirely up to you. (Company policy prohibits us from suggesting how much.) "
If HAL now automatically put tips on S&S card then someone should tell them to change their website information.
NO!! Tips are not automatic on HAL, nor are they pooled. You actually have to go to the Front Desk to get some envelopes. HAL's wording is misused (misunderstood?) by some -- it does seem open to interpretation, but tipping IS ALLOWED, the line just doesn't get involved with suggesting amounts or putting envelopes in the rooms. HAL has a significant number of repeat passengers and there is no misunderstanding among the Mariners. I was so impressed with the service on the Veendam in April that I tipped everyone in sight and have moved up next year's cruise to next month in hopes that many of the same staff are on board.
Jim, thanks for the clarification. We have sailed Celebrity and loved it, but we've also heard wonderful things about HAL and thought we might try them next time. The tipping issue is an important one for us, so really appreciate your input.