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Old November 28th, 2004, 09:23 AM
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Default why so many tipping issues??

We have never been on a cruise, first one is almost here. When I tell friends and family about the tipping etiquette, they get all bent out of shape. I guess they also have the "big bucks for the cruise syndrome."

This is how we look at it, without knowing exactly what we are talking about.

We are expecting the time of our lifes. Our three children are expecting an awesome trip, loving memories, and an experience to last a life time. We are expecting the staff to become our friends. We are expecting first class service. To think of not giving these wonderful people a little tip is absurd!

We are even creating a special Christmas ornament from our family to any/all the "exceptional" staff. We have prepared our Christmas cards, tip included for each of the intended/expected receivers. We are taking along extra cards and gifts for those not expected. We have different denominations in each envelope so as to give a little extra to those who go the extra mile and the recommended amount to those who did only their jobs.

We look at it as a whole experience. If you want to break it down to money, then do it. With the price of the cabin + airfare from Washington State + 1 day hotel prior to sailing + fun money + tipping = a fantastic family vacation! What is a family adventure worth to you? Find your price for the whole excursion and stick to it. If the tipping puts you past your comfort zone, find a better deal.

Our thoughts anyway....

Happy Holidays!! Happy Sailing!
We are sailing Century Eastern Caribbean, Dec 11-18.. anyone else?

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Old November 28th, 2004, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

please be aware that many of the crew on ships are not christians -they may be muslims- and giving of a gift with ties to christmas may not be appreciated----imo the best thing you can do is give cash---these people support famillies back in their countries. the giving of gifts to the staff is really not practical for them--they live in small cramped quarters and then they would have to pay to ship or carry these gifts back home when they go on leave --they have access to a crew store where they can buy personal stuff at discounted prices

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Old November 28th, 2004, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

Many Hindus as well; our head waiter was Hindu, I believe.

Practicality is a good point, but thinking about this earlier today I was reminded of a discussion I had with a remote co-worker a week or two ago. Half of my company's employees are remote, and for the first time (at least since I've been with the company), our management is flying them all in to come to the company holiday party. On the surface, this seems like a generous gesture. It wasn't how it was perceived though, at least by some of the remote folks. One said to me, "Why don't they just give us the money instead of incurring that cost? I could use the cash more than the party." This is from someone who is, almost surely, for more affluent than the typical cabin steward.

Folks surely recognize generosity, but it seems to me that they'd consider it misdirected if directed in a manner to make the giver feel good, rather than in the best personal interest of the givee.

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Old November 28th, 2004, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

Thank you for your thoughts. I must admit it did not occur to me about their space issue.

Though, I am a tad worried you missed my actual point, which was why all the anger and resistance to tipping? I have read of so many people that won't tip due to their cost of the vacation.

I would in no way give a Santa Clause to someone whom doesn't celebrate Christmas. I am very aware of differences in culture and faith. Our children love giving and creating for our family and friends.
They thought it would be nice to create something for the people they see giving so much to us during the cruise. Money is of course top priority for most, this goes without saying. Thus the reason they will all receive their tip.

But to say the giving is for the giver... this though true to a point is how we have become such a sad society. To give for giving is the sin. To give from your heart, especially something you created, is a gift worth giving and I find this lacking in so many these days. My children will feel good tis true, maybe the receiver will think kindly of their 2-inch snowman and the thought, then toss it in the first wastebasket they come to. This is also the reality of giving. The reason to give for my children is to share themselves with those touching their lives. Who knows, once we experience our first cruise and get a feel for life at sea, maybe the little snowmen will come back home with us. After all, you can break everything down to money, isn't that the american way....

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Old November 28th, 2004, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Re: why so many tipping issues??

Regarding your question, "Why all the anger and resistance to tipping?" I've read a lot of messages from folks who feel that way and have a really good understanding of their rationale. As someone who doesn't agree with them, but have taken the time to try to understand them, I feel well-positioned to answer your question if you really are interested. However, I have to admit that I read you original message as rhetorical. Was I mistaken?

Regarding gifts: I think everyone would agree that giving should be for the best interest of the givee. Family and friends have an obligation to accept gifts, that (simply put) make your children feel good to have given, graciously, but please understand that in doing so your friends and family are in actuality giving a true gift to your children, as well they should. It is not appropriate to place that obligation onto servers and other strangers.

However, I don't think small gifts of that sort are the issue, really, anyway. I think the concern is that some folks will give gifts of significant value instead of giving a larger gratuity.

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Old November 28th, 2004, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

About the gifts. Gifts are one thing, a Christmas ornament is quite another. If you weren't Christian, what would one DO with an ornament? I'm Jewish and have been given tree ornaments a number of times. I just pass them on to a Christian friend.

About tipping. As you have observed, there are lots of folks that are wound up about the tipping issue. Tipping, for some, is seen as something being forced upon them, particularly when many cruiselines now automatically put them on your card when you board (of course they can be taken off).

It sounds as though you are going with a good attitude and will have a wonderful cruise.

dorothy

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Old November 28th, 2004, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Re: why so many tipping issues??

That's a good point, Dorothy. I'm pretty immune to it, but I could imagine some other non-Christian taking a gift of an ornament as a sign that the giver doesn't respect the person he's trying to reward to respect that person's religious beliefs.

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Old November 30th, 2004, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

Thank you for your thoughts. I agree with all you say, it is hard to understand the "written" intent of someone and sometimes hairs get raised for no reason. Especially when you do not know the writer personally. I say this with an open heart and mind, it is nice to have other thoughts brought into the open. Without ever being on a cruise, one has a tendency to not think outside their box. I have many non-christian friends whom still decorate with winter fun. The "ornament" was but a name for the little clay snowmen our children molded. Size being the reason. I will definately "feel" out our crew before bestowing any sort of gift rest asured.

Tipping, I can understand some of the reasoning behind the anger, as I stated my family is very bent over the issue. Thanx!

Thank you again. No matter your religion, enjoy the beauty of the changing weather!

Happy Sailing!

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Old November 30th, 2004, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

There is no religious significance to trees and ornaments - that is just part of Northern European custom. Since the whole Christmas thing was invented by the Catholic Church as a means of replacing the secular (some say pagan) Saturnalia festival, one could argue that attaching any religious significance to December 25 and the Winter Solstice is artificial. Therefore, there should be no offense attached to an offer of a small gift associated with the season, nor an invitation to participate in festivities that do not include overt religious expression. Anyone choosing to be offended by an act rooted in kindness probably needs a dose of Christmas spirit.

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Old November 30th, 2004, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Re: why so many tipping issues??

Doses of Christmas spirit are only applicable to Christians. It is unreasonable to expect non-Christians to interpret symbols that are traditionally associated with a Christian holiday as anything but religious symbols. If you want to give a gift for the season, and wish it be perceived by a non-Christian as a sensitive gesture, ensure it is truly of the season, not of the holiday.

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Old November 30th, 2004, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

You missed the point entirely, Bicker. Perhaps a dose needs to be sent your way?
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Old December 1st, 2004, 05:43 AM
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Default Re: Re: why so many tipping issues??

I didn't miss the point. I understood you, disagree with your point, and consider the casual manner in which you exhibit disrespect to non-Christian offensive.

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Old December 1st, 2004, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

Sorry. No offense is intended. I'm agnostic, by the way. I guess the solution is to distribute such gifts on Boxing Day, and remove any connection with Christian ritual, if that will satisfy politically correct sensitivities.

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Old December 1st, 2004, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Re: why so many tipping issues??

There is no religious significance to trees and ornaments - that is just part of Northern European custom>>>>

if fthere is no religious significance to trees then why arent they selling small oaks or birch trees- and why do so many homes and churches put a manger scene under the tree---------------------its part of northern european tradition for the christians but not for anyone else

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Old December 2nd, 2004, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

Simple - pine trees remain green during winter, so trees or boughs were used as decoration. Putting a manger scene under a tree doesn't make the tree a religious symbol, anymore than putting one on the entertainment center gives the tellie and DVD player any religious significance.

I remember that one of the traditional Christmas treats when I was growing up was dates - which are also served during Ramadan and the Eid-al-Fitr feast. Was this an attempt to turn Christmas into an Islamic festival?

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Old December 2nd, 2004, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

Okie, you must live in a totally different world that I do....Christmas is a Christian holiday - period. You can't walk into a store without the clerk wishing you a "Merry Christmas". Christmas takes over the US in December and there is no escaping it.
We non-Christians spend a good deal of time during the holidays just trying to not be totally overwhelmed by the machine that Christmas has become.

Oddly enough, most of my Christian friends agree with me and are trying to put the Christian meaning back into Christmas.

On a personal note, I love all the lights and the beautiful music that comes with Christmas. Even though I can't celebrate from a religious point of view, it's a beautiful holiday with obvious deep meaning for a lot of people. I don't envy Christians their holiday, but I can certainly be happy they can enjoy it! I have a Christian friend who begs to come to my Hannukah party and I always go to her Christmas party. It broadens both our horizons and our kids have always enjoyed seeing how the "other" religion celebrates.

On Christmas Day we go to serve food at the local homeless Christmas dinner. They have plenty of folks that will cook ahead of time, but not so many that want to come and serve on Christmas.

dorothy

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Old December 3rd, 2004, 02:45 AM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

Since when is a snowman a religous symbol. Many of the workers come from countries with no snow, have the kids tell them about snow, maybe bring a photo a your hometown covered in snow. It doesn't have to be a " christian " thing if you don't want it to.


I must say though your OP was a bit too sweet, it made my teeth hurt. I have read these boards exstensively for the last two years and I have seen only a very few posters( actually two that I can recall) who actually objected to tipping in any way. Many posters have said they don't like the control being taken away from them ( the choice of how much to tip and to whom) and some have said they don't think they should have to tip the amounts they do when they are ( for instance) eating in the buffet all the time, etc.

I do think that some people do go on and on about how much they tip " we always give more, at least an extra 50 if they keep our ice buket full" and they sound like braggards to me when they do that. It is very tacky where I am from to brag about being a big tipper. No one wants to be a cheapo , but it really is a bit much the way some go on about how great they are and how they feel they must " make up for others, by tipping double the required amount"

Back on topic, I think the little snowman thing is fine. I also think you should may be cool it a bit with the " the staff are our best friends" they are staff, be polite, be friendly, and be respectful, but don't kid yourself , they are employees, and you are a client. I would remind the young children in your party that a staff member is still a " stranger" and not to go with one anywhere. Call me paranoid , but you and your family just sound to "Polly Anna" to me ( meaning to trusting) .

Have fun,it is great to have all the family going.
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Old December 4th, 2004, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

I'm not sure I agree, Dorothy. "Merry Christmas," is just a salutation. Kind of like people saying, "Bless you," if you sneeze. After a while, it becomes meaningless.
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Old December 4th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Re: why so many tipping issues??

Again, you're mistaken Okie. The term means a great deal to many Christians, and wishing non-Christians a "Merry Christmas" is an act that reflects significant disrespect. You may be insensitive to it, and indeed many non-Christians work to ignore the disrespect, as minorities are often forced to do in an imperfect society.

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Old December 4th, 2004, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

I think "Happy Holidays" is a salutation that works a little better, Okie. It includes a few more religions that celebrate around Christmas.

dorothy

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Old December 5th, 2004, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

I understand that some might find the religious connotations offensive, but is not equally offensive that others cannot exercise Constitutional Freedoms simply because such exercise makes others uncomfortable? Freedom of religion and expression are guaranteed, freedom from offense are not. That's where tolerance comes in.

How do I know if "Happy Holidays" will be acceptable to you, but might be considered offensive by someone else who has a different view? Should we all wear warning labels?

I guess I'm just less sensitive, it doesn't offend me. In the same way, the "Sa'alam's" I was greeted with overseas never offended me. It's a pointless discussion anyway, and so far off topic I'm surprised it's still up. Just about the only thing that does offend me is wilfull intent to cause offense.
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Old December 5th, 2004, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

Bicker,,,, " significate disrespect" ... what baloney. It may offend one or two, but the bulk of non christians do not consider it a " significant " sign of disrespect when wished Merry Christmas, most would be understanding enough to realize that Christmas is celebrated by many many non christians as a secular gift giving holiday.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

boy did we get waaay off topic on this one. The original poster expressed their point of view on tipping and small token gift giving and it turned into a religious discussion.
I think that a small clay snowman has no religious connotations to it. Especially when give by a child with "I made it for you" I think that most people regardless of their religious beliefs would acccept this gift from a child graciously.
I also think that most of crew members are well informed that the majority of the passengers traveling over the Christmas holiday will probably be Christians and will be in the "holiday spirit" If that openly offends any of the crew, then i think that their job would be short-lived and they are in the wrong profession. Being in the service industry requires a high level of tolerance on all levels.
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Old December 10th, 2004, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: Re: why so many tipping issues??

Agreed this is well off post, but

What worries me is why some Christians get so wound about trying to include everyone else in their religion! Christmas is a Christian holiday, live it for what it is.

I would not expect to be included in rosh hashanah or yom kippur, but if my Jewish friends asked me to join in their celebration I would, and I will celebrate for and with them

Same goes with Muharram or Rabi'ul awwal, as they are some of my Muslim friends holidays.

As friends, they dont apologies to me or try to be PC for celebrating their religious holidays,,,so why do Christians feel they have to do this turning Merry "Christ"mas into Happy Holidays

No one else would do that with their holy times of year, apart from some so called Christians who see it only as a commercial time of year. ie Santa, and massive commercialism re gift giving with the real meaning forgotten.

No other religion has that or would allow it.

Dont want a response, just asking for some people to feel free to celebrate your own religious belief, without worrying who you could be offending by doing so.

Actually no-one. But Christmas is a Christians time of year and I think everyone else understands that,,apart from the so called Christians that missed the point

Post Edited (12-10-04 17:18)
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Old December 14th, 2004, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

>>I think that a small clay snowman has no religious connotations to it.>>

Well, I would agree, except that the orginal poster stated:

>>We are even creating a special Christmas ornament from our family to any/all the "exceptional" staff. We have prepared our Christmas cards, tip included for each of the intended/expected receivers>>

Christmas ornament, Christmas cards.....sounds like someone celebrating Christmas to me. I was just pointing out that *assuming* someone celebrates Christmas, especially with all the different nationalities on a cruise ship, is risky.

I think David is on to something - I don't go around wishing anyone a Happy Hanukkah because I wouldn't assume they are Jewish. I *do* wish people happy holidays this time of year, because it includes most everyone.

I got so caught up in the religious element of this post that I forget to say what I really was thinking.....that the best tips are cash. If you want to reward the staff for a job well done, give them cash - then you don't have to worry about their religious affiliation, family situation, etc.

dorothy



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Old December 15th, 2004, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

I totally agree with Dorothy and I am not Jewish! I no longer say Merry Christmas, instead I wish everyone a happy holiday season. Even my Christmas cards now say "seasons greetings with all good wishes for a happy new year." This one card "covers all."

Happy Holidays,

Carol
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Old December 15th, 2004, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

Tipping:

I cant tell you how many of my waiters have passed on stories to me about how cruisers dont show up for dinner on the last night of their cruise to AVOID tipping the waiter and bus boy.

I think that is tragic and that is why the cruise lines have incorporated the tipping into the shipboard account. This new way prevents the cheapskates from dodging out on tipping their appropriate service providers.

just my 2 cents
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Old December 15th, 2004, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: why so many tipping issues??

Idssms, that is the one that gets me everytime.

We have been on some cruises that for dining we have been seated at a 10 or 12 dining table. For 99% of evening dining, we loved "most" company, nice people, good chat etc.

That last night on one occassion we had 4 out 12 on last night cruise and dining together, so I agree.

I cant see it anyother way as people being cheap and disrespectful to those guys and girls who helped make their vacation in the dining room
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