I don't think they had this policy when I went on one of their cruises:
"Reverse Gratuity Policy - gratuities are automatically added to Sail & Sign account at the end of the cruise
Pre-paid Gratuity Policy - gratuities are pre-arranged and paid prior to the cruise"
This is downright offensive. I'm sure you will get great service when the crew has recieved an automatic tip up front. I don't think this can even be called a "gratuity," -it is more like a service charge. Carnival has absolutely no class.
When I went on the cruise, I threw away the envelopes, and the tips that I did hand out, were given in cash, behind the scenes, to individuals who provided me with good service. This way, the cash isn't "pooled" with the other crew members (including the maitr d', who gets a bigger "cut").
I also noticed that Carnival was requiring people without credit cards to put up $500 in cash prior to disembarkment. No hotel on land would require this, and the Berlitz guide to cruises says you should tell them "no", or ask for a full refund.
I understand NCL is also doing this. They must be the Wal-Mart of cruise lines, and Carnival is the K-Mart.
I also noticed that Carnival was requiring people without credit cards to put up $500 in cash prior to disembarkment. No hotel on land would require this, and the Berlitz guide to cruises says you should tell them "no", or ask for a full refund
I believe the minimum amount you have to deposit is $250 in cash, if you don't have a credit card. At a land based hotel, they request a credit card for "incidental expenses". If you didn't have one, and didn't give them a cash deposit, you wouldn't have any charging priviledges on the property.
A ship is set up as a "cashless society" (other than the casino), so without the ability to charge drinks etc. you would have no access to buying drinks, booking shore excursions, spa services, etc.
As for the automatic tipping issues... when I first encountered it, I didn't think I'd care for it either, but I've since changed my mind. I find it actually takes care of me having to even deal with it, with the exception of tipping extra when I get service that warrants tips over the suggest minimums.
And certainly if the service was bad I wouldn't hesitate to visit the Purser's Desk to have the tips removed, and I wouldn't be shy about telling the servers I did so, and why.
Most of the cruiselines have now gone to adding the daily tip pp to your onboard account. This is not something new to just Carnival, and on most lines the tips are now pooled and if you do tip in person but had the daily tip amounts removed then the person you gave the cash tip too must turn it in.
That is the new sceme of things on most lines.
Even so I still tip my steward on the first day with promises for the end of cruise as well.
I was curious about the pooling issue on my last cruise (Fantasy) so I asked the bartender what the policy is and she told me the automatic 15% for drinks was pooled amongst all the bartenders but any cash tips given in person remains with the bartender. This helps the bartenders who are not in the prime spots on the ship. For instance, a bartender at the poolside bar on sea days will undoubtedly serve more drinks than the bartender in the sports bar.
And I agree with Kuki, at first I didn't like the automatic tipping because I was happy to personally hand the tip to the crewmember, but since it's been in effect I'm happy to know it's already taken care of.
Actually you have been able to "pre-pay" tips on all the lines I have been on for quite some time now and the "auto-tipping" is also on most of the line now as well so you cannot come down on CCL or NCL alone. People ny nature are lazy for the most part and this allows them toi 'tip' without any effort on their part. I still adhere to the old-fashioned way and tip in the personal manner. You do have this oftion. As for the minimum placed down on your S&S card it is $250 if I remember correctly and that is also pretty much what is done on all lines. I don;t understand why one would object to this as you get back what you don't use immediately at the end of the cruise and very few keep this account under $250 and you almost always have to add to it. As for the pooling of tips, the bar auto tips are pooled on almost all ships from what I have heard but the other tips for waiter, steward etc are usually not pooled and they keep what they earn. They do give a portion to their helpers just like in a regular land based dining facility here in the USA. Many people pride themselves on being good tippers and tipping over the 'suggested' 15-20% while in a restaurant but get upset when they are suggested they should tip thier waiters $3.50 per day. The meals they searve you would probably cost you on land anywhere from $100 a day up so you would tip what on land? $20? Face it, you are tipping about 5% overall at best. Sounds like a heck of a bargain to me.
In sure enjoyed what you posted. I was doing some mental math and figured about what a typical evening meal would cost if I dined out on land. A $3.50 tip for a lobster dinner? I don't think so. On land I would have tipped much moreI Next sailing I plan on taking care of my waiter a little better....
After reading several tipping posts - I think we may have overdone it a bit - but the service in the dining room on the Glory was super and absolutely made our trip - we left the suggested tips on the s&s card and gave both our wait staff an additional $25 each on the last night. They worked so hard and were just so great - Jennifer
I think you're being VERY harsh on a perfectly good line due to your opinions on a tipping policy that is in place almost everywhere.
I always leave the auto tip AND I tip cash in addition.
I personally find your statement that 'carnival has no class' offensive and downright ignorant. For your information they DO have class and you can always change orremove the autotip! Its not really up front unless you wait it to be.
Holiday 5-day Western Caribbean
Liberty 8 day Western
So? What is the bottom line for virgin cruisers? I was told by my TA that tips would be added at the end of my cruise, about $10 per day, per person. Now do I continue to tip over and above this amount? Will the staff know that this tipping at the end of cruise is happening so I don't look ungrateful and cheap????
What about kids??? Mine will be with me in the same cabin. Do they pay the full $10 per day?? I heard some lines charge half for kids in their "auto-tipping" policy. I'm new to cruising & just looking for advice. Thanks!!
Pegasys, the crew knows. If you feel moved to tip over and above the $10 per person/per day, then do so. Drinks already include a 15% tip, but you do need to tip for room service (couple of dollars).
Sunshine, it depends on the cruiseline. It's always safer to just call them (or your TA) and ask.
Carnival Elation March 11
Carnival Imagination Sept 07
Carniival Sensation Dec 06
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 06
Carnival Miracle Sept 05
Carnival Glory Sept 04
Carnival Fantasy Jan 04
As to the person who thought 15% was too much to tip on land, that's been the standard as far back as I can remember. At least 15%. With superior service we bump it up a bit from there. And if, say, we share one entree (we frequently do that at breakfast) we always leave at least 20%. S/he has done the same amount of work regardless of what we ate. And if the service is less than laudable, it can be as simple as reducing the tip to speaking with the manager. We are fair and that works in two directions.
"A penny for your thoughts", or should i say "15%"., my question is if you CHOOSE to eat in the main dining room 3 or 4 times during a 7 day cruise, do you still keep the automatic tip in place, or do you keep$10 pp/per day ($30-$40)? Give me your opinion. Thanks.
Some people will bash me for this but you should keep the automatic tip in place even though you may only eat in the dining room only 3 or 4 nights on a 7 day cruise. The reason being, though you are not dining there, you are dining some where and somebody from the wait staff is serving you. They may not be your personal waiters, but they are somebody's waiters. And realize this, your personal waiters are waiting in the dining room just in case you come in for dinner and are ready to serve you if you wish.
I once worked in a private dinner club as a gourmet waiter. The dinner club members all had their own personal waiter. When your member came in you were beckoned and it didn't matter if you had 20 other members in there, you had to wait on the one that just came in. The idea was, you knew his personal tastes and could better serve the customer. The problem was, some times your members never came in and you were standing in the kitchen all night with nothing to do when other waiters were running their butts off.
I thought the same, and are these auto tips pooled and equally divided?
Because if they are then the person serving you isn't really getting the full tip. Then it goes to reason that you would want to tip him on top of the auto tipping. Would that be correct to say? Paul
OK... so how bout this ? I have a vegetarian son who probably wont like anything on the dining menu... I imagine he will eat lots of cheese pizza.... do we tip the piza guys ? Can we have the pizza brought into the dining room so he can eat with us ? This is our first cruise.... I just want to do whats right ! thanks for your suggestions
"Gratuties" which are added to the cost of your goods (drinks) or services, without option of consent, and without regard to whether or not the "gratuity" is earned, is a TAX. Not a TIP.
People. People. People. The cruise lines have guilted you into subsidizing their payroll.
Do you tip the police officer who patrols your neighborhood to keep it safe? Of course not. That's his JOB. The same is true with cruise line employees - they have agreed to provide a certain service at a given wage. If that wage isn't sufficient, that's not my fault. I still expect them to provide that service in a competent and professional manner.
The cruise industry, as well as the restaurant industry, pay their people depressed wages because YOU let them get away with it by tipping on demand.
If you only tipped when outstanding service warranted, instead of automatically because they told you to, then the cruise lines would have to pay the going wage for those services. Just like every other industry.
So, next time you feel sorry for that waiter because of the wages he's being paid, it's your fault. Every dollar you tip is a dollar the restaurant owner saves on payroll.
Whether the industry did away with tipping altogether, they (the restaurant/cruiselines) would still hit the consumer in the pocketbook. If they upped the serice staff's pay to make up for no tips, they would simply pass that added payroll expense along to the consumer via higher menu prices. At least with tips, you have SOME control over the amount you pay. At any rate, we are going into our cruise knowing what costs we will have to incur (they seem to spell it all out right up front) If we couldn't afford it, we wouldn't be going in the first place.
At first we thought we'd opt NOT to go the automatic tip route, but after reading/thinking about it, we've decided it's probably the easiest route. Like many have said, we can always add to it for exemplary service, or if service the service is particularly bad, ask them to remove a portion of the automatic tip. If service is bad enough for me to request that , surely I would have complained early on and hopefully the problem would be remedied in time not to warrant deducting from the tip.
I just returned from a carnival cruise. They automatically took $ 30.00 of the top( $ 10.00 /day) I was on a cash basis not credit card so I put $ 100.00 on my sign and sail card. As the amounts ran out I added $ 100. Total sign and sail $ 170.00
I noticed alot of cruisemates.com members have probelms with tipping. Why is that?
As far as for carnival $ 10.00 a day is very reasonable. I tipped an addl. $ 20.00 to my room steward and $ 20.00 to maitre'd hotel. Cruiselines staff work very hard . They work very long hours and work several months without a day off. Every staff member I came in contact with provided me with incredible service.
June 4, 2004
A 20% tip is not standard, never has been, it is only for EXCEPTIONAL service. Of course with some of you who" pride yourself on being good tippers" ?? that may eventually skew the numbers so that the standard tip becomes 20 to 25 % . Nice going big tippers!
As for the cruiselines , the auto tipping works in their favour since now they now KNOW who gets what( except cash add on tips) and can enforce pooling so that they can now pay the service staff that does not come into public contact even less money since now they get a cut of the tips. On land at a restaurant here, the servers usaully get the lowest wage since it is presumed they get tips, the dishwasher gets a higher hourly wage since it is presumed he doesn't.
The cruise lines have not put auto tipping in to be "nice" to the staff, they put it in to have control of the money. That is my belief and I'm sticking with it!
BTW- I think many new cruisers object to the tipping policies not becasue they are cheap , if they tipped as they went I am sure many would tip more than 10$ a day, I just think it's the way they have no choice that they don't like. If I go to a hotel, I have yet to see a tip added onto my room charge for "tips for the maid".
Also , new cruisers are often sold on the cruise vacation as it being "all inclusive" except for liquor, so the extra 140 charge often catches them off guard. Personally why not just add( include) the 140 tip fee in the price , an extra 70 $ per person is not that much when added to a thousand dollar + bill, and then say NO TIPPING. Oh yeah, taxes, hmm, I wonder what taxes the cruiselines pay since they don't even register their ship under the American flag.?!!!
I AM SO LOST!!! When I booked my cruise, my travel agent gave me an option to prepay my tips. I choose not to do this because I will generally tip higher if I get good service, and would rather pay the tip in cash. I was under the impression that at the end of the cruise, there will be an envelope at your table the last night to tip your waiters for the entire week. Also, there will be an envelope in your room for your room steward. Then I read that they do not use the envelopes anymore. Then I read that tips are added to your sign & sail card. Somebody PLEASE help me so I dont look like an idiot. I am sailing Carnival for the first time in August. So:
Are their envelopes for waiters and room stewards on the last day?
Do they really add tips to the sign & sail card?
My 14 year old son and I share a cabin, will they add $20.00 a day per person for the room steward and the waiters, making it $40.00 a day?
Do I tip at the table each night at dinner?
Do I leave something in my room for the room steward every day?
When I go now , I tell the purser to take the automatic tip off. I like to pay them myself.
I tell the personnal that I will tip them at the end of the cruise. This way I get excellent service. try it , it does work.
Jeleja, it is 10 dollars a day per person. So you and your son would tip a total of 20 bucks a day for the cruise. That is 140 total. Pre payment is easier, but do which ever makes you most comfortable.( either is correct)