I'm always bemused by the comments from those who suggest that cruise lines should pay their employees a fair wage, and eliminate the need to tip except for extraordinary service. Has anyone considered how much would be added to cruise fares if all cruise lines went to a wage-based system?
A typical Carnival or RC ship has a 2.5:1 passenger to crew ratio. If the average crew member was given a wage of $75 dollars per day, that would be equivalent to an hourly wage of $4.95 per hour, assuming 12 hour days 7 days per week with overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 hours.
The costs would be passed on to each passenger (the consumer always pays!) at the rate of $30 per day. That's $210 per person for a 7-day cruise, or $420 per couple. Kind of makes tipping look like quite a bargain, doesn't it?