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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 13th, 2002, 12:09 PM
Tos Tos is offline
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Default Auto Tipping on NCL

I have cruised on NCL for many years. I think the first time I was on one of their ships was back in 1978. When they went to auto tipping the service made a dramatic change for the worst! There is no incentive for waiters and room stewards to go out of their way anymore. The good waiters get the same split of the tip pool as the mediocre waiters. It was so bad on the Norweigian Sun this past November that I told them I would not return for my spring cruise. The room steward never said hello to me during the entire cruise. I've had better waiter service in a cheap restaurant chain that I did on board. (On the 3rd day of the cruise I got so fed up with the service I complained to the concierge that I had met on 2 previous cruises. He assigned one of the veteran waiteres to me and for the rest of the cruise I had a special table and service to match. He was the only one that I tipped the old fashion way. The rest got it via the auto tip method. In the past, I would pre-tip the steward, the waiter and the bus boy and tell them the balance would be determined by their service and be paid at the end of the trip. They knew me by name, they were anxious to take care of my needs and usually found little "extras" that they would do during the week. Those days seem to be gone.
I was told by an officer of NCL that the staff makes more with the auto tipping because those folks who typically "stiff" the staff are much more reluctant to go to the credit desk and have the tip removed from their bill.
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Old July 16th, 2002, 01:22 AM
DeniseToAlaska
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Default Re: Auto Tipping on NCL

I think all of your points are valid, including the stiffing remark. I'm sure some people knocked themselves out for jerks who left the envelopes empty at the end of the trip.

Although is sounds a little rude, I may discuss tipping with people in advance next time I cruise. My waiter was outstanding, although obviously overworked, which made his time talking to us even more special. My room steward, though, for a Penthouse Suite, was not great. Average. He said he performs silent service, the popular thing now, but he was outspoken two times when he returned my page to tell me that on on-duty hours he was 1. at dinner and 2. at a staff party.

They work very hard for very little money, so I would never remove an auto-tip unless one punched me. Seriously. I feel for them. But if you want special service, maybe a few bucks in the pocket the first night would help.

With how little they're paid, I think $9.50 or whatever a day for them to share is a pittance. I spent multiples of that on drinks each day. So, perhaps tossing a few more over in advance might get you the service you desire.

Denise
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Old September 16th, 2002, 01:41 AM
Bruce Chafkin
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Default Re: Auto Tipping on NCL

Tos,
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 hae 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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