I generally never tip due to the fact that they have tip sharing in place on many cruise lines and because you are charged an automatic tip anyway. I really do not feel the need to give any extra tips since I have no choice to begin with, and it is not always fair because I have gotten some bad service at times.
Do not feel bad about tipping and you are not the odd person out. There are plenty of people that do not tip. Just assuming that you are the odd person out is not always correct.
I end up in the ridiculous position of adding $5 to a bar bill of $2 for a pot of tea...... and feel outraged at 'giving' the bar man $4.50 for measuring out a measure of brandy (in about 20 seconds) costing $30.00.
The 15% is already on that bar tab. I tip NOTHING extra. Then, at the end of my cruise ... if there has been a particular bar person who has really been good to me, or a server that went out of his way to be nice ... maybe I will slip them a five for their extra efforts. But as far as when I receive each drink during the cruise, I tip NOTHING extra. And, it's funny ... because cruise lines like Cunard actually have the guts to label the bar tip as a "service charge," and then have an extra line drawn on the receipt labeled "gratuity" so you can write in the amount you wish added as a tip. Cute. I'd bet a lot of people throw a dollar or two on that line without realizing that the line directly above it, labeled "service charge" or some such thing is actually an additional gratuity. Not me.
I think the auto tip came into play when the ships started having buffets. It would be impossible to tip everyone that helps you in the buffet so by going to the auto tip everyone is suppose to be tipped. I think it is ridiculous to tip a bar tender that just opens a beer or pours a soda for you. They aren't doing anything to deserve a tip.
Gator, when you buy a drink on a cruise ship, a 15% tip is automatically added to the price of your drink.
I believe the automatic tipping was added by the cruise lines because too many waiters and stewards were being stiffed.
You can't honestly tell me that someone that opens a bottle of beer for you or pours you a coke or a draft beer deserves a 15% tip?? I will never think that but I do pay it. I also think that the only way to tip the buffet people is to have auto tip.
LET ME SAY I ALWAYS TIP.,EVEN ITS GOOD OR BAD SERVICE
WHY BECUSE THERE COMPANY IS TOO CHEAP TO PAY THEM A
GOOD WAGE.,.DO PEOPLE TIP ME .,WHEN I DO MY JOB.,HELL NO
THE CRUISE LINES ARE GETTING TO BE LIKE THE REST OF THE
COMPINES HERE IN THE USA,.,SCEW THE WORKING MAN
THE BIG SHOTS ,.GET ALL THE MONEY.,.,WONDER HOW MUCH
THE CEO OF A CRUISE LINE MAKES.,.SORRY TO SAY THIS
BUT THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING IN THE USA,.,THIS COUNTY
IS GOING DOWN THE TUBES.,.,HELL THE GOVT CAN NOT EVEN
KEEP UP WITH ALL THE PASSPORTS REQUESTS.,.BY THE WAY
I USED TO LOVE THIS COUNTY(20 YRS IN THE US NAVY)
Interesting conversation here... I will tell you what I know about tipping. I have worked on a cruise ship about 7-8 years ago. I was an assistant stewardess in the dining room. I did not have any salary. They used to pay me about $50 every 3 months or so... besides that I depended entirely on the tip. I had to work 12-13 hours a day, sometimes up to 14-15 hours, carrying trays and bus pans that most of the girls my age would not be able to lift. This was for 8-9 months with no day off. There were wonderful and generous guests, but there were also many who were giving me a lot of hard time and/or not tipping at all. There were others who came and gave me the envelop with just a dollar or few... ( that is pretty good if you don't want the rest of the guests sitting on the table to know that you are actually not tipping...) They were guests that would only go to the buffet lunch so that they do not have to tip. I guess they did not know that most assistants worked there 2/3 of the time (without being payed for that.) Having said that... it is your decision whether or not and how much to tip; the cruse lines only suggest or recommend that you do that.
I personally believe that the way this hole thing work is unfair to both the stewards and the guests, but when I cruise I'd rather tip.
I never dispute the amount asked of passengers on the ship, because I have never, not one time, had bad service.
At the end of the cruise, the head waiter, team waiter, and cabin steward always receive extra from me. They work too hard and get paid too little, and they NEVER show it.
The crew also gets rave reviews on those comment cards at the end of the cruise-I make sure I write down the names of the people I thought were exceptional. That's how they get promoted. The guy who made the omelettes by the pool on my last cruise, Theodore, knew my name by the second day and never had to ask twice what I wanted!
These people amaze me and deserve so much more than they get credit for...
What a great discussion! I usually go with the recommendation of the cruise line, but there is good food for thought here. I especially liked the post from 'Crewmember' from Dubrovnik. Having lived in several countries whose citizens commonly staff the cruise industry (Indonesia, for one), I have a soft spot for the crew.
Consider the 'big picture', indeed, as 'Lulu48' suggests. In all the travelling I've done and my considerable experience in the '3rd world', I am no sucker, but I've never regretted doing the right thing by someone who is working hard just to get by. Peace on Earth and Happy Cruising!
Norwegian Star, Pacific Coastal, October, 2010
Azamara Journey, South America, Nov/Dec.'07
Ryndam, Inside Passage Alaska, Sept. '06
Celebration, Western Caribbean, Feb. '99
Island Explorer, Spice Islands Indonesia, July '97
Dolphin IV, Bahamas, '91/'92
I am so confused!!! Carnival adds this $10 per day thing....actually, I think its already added on my papers.....I can look again. I tip at least minimum, usually a bit more, my sons are both servers, and I have had some "good talking too's", but anyway, is there any tipping done, and i mean cash in hand, on a day to day basis? All I read is for additional amounts in envelopes? My sister insists on cash cash cash, and I am such a plastic person, I am thinking she is overdoing her insistence, but perhaps I am wrong. How and when is cash tipping done on a day to day, person by person, event?
i am from the u.k. and here we tip, (subject to good service) about 10% of the cost of a meal.
what i do not like about cruise lines "tipping" policies is that they are not "transparent"
take "Princess" as we are booked with them for our wedding in jan 2009
the daily charge for everyone on board (yes you can opt out) is $10 per day. say 3000 passengers booked, if everyone pays that is $210,000.00 per week in "tips" there are around 1200 staff on board some of which do not benefit from the tip fund so lets knock that down to say 1100. so for that week each person will get around $190 in "tips"
hmmmm, well it seems obvious to me that these are in fact not tips but part of their wages, however why, when you have paid your fare, should you then be expected to pay the staffs wages,
i do not have a problem with tipping as i think you should aknowledge good service but i definately have a problem with subsidising wages, it is high time that cruise lines were more honest and sorted their fares and wages out so that tipping became more like tipping.
lastly should your child or even infant be expected to pay $70 per week in "tips" i have read much about insulting staff by not tipping how about insulting you as a customer by levying extra charges in the form of tips.
can anyone give me a cast iron guarantee that if these tips do actually end up in the staff's pocket. all food for thought?????
I'm really confused, so do you tip in addition to the auto tip that they put on your bill? When we tried to tip at the bar they said they couldn't accept it because they already added 15% gratutity. We did leave money in an envelope at end of cruise. We ate at buffet. So who else and what else would we need to tip. I've only been on 1 cruise and that was years ago. Please help clear this up. I want to be fair to all!
05/01/10 Sapphire Princess
09/14/09 Enchantment of the Seas
10/19/08 Crown Princess
03/04/04 Majesty of the Seas
It's my feeling that I can't hold the employee responsible for the insufficent wages the cruise line pays its staff. I tip.
Actually, I make a portion of my total tip at the beginning of the cruise to my waiter and cabin steward, letting them know that more will be coming at the end of the cruise. The service, which is nomally quite good, proves to be even better and my full tip is then calculated based on the true level of service provided by the cruise employee.
I'm on vacation and the last thing I want to stress over is the amount I am tipping the cruise staff. I'd rather be sitting by the pool with a drink in my hand or checking out one of the great ports.
The only day to day tipping that we do on board is for room service. All others, we decide at the end of the cruise whether the $10/day added to our credit card feels right for the level of service we received. If not, we either adjust it accordingly by going to the pursers office or just hand them some cash and a personal thank you.
The whole thing about tipping with cash is not as relevant on a cruise ship as on land. They are not dealing with the IRS, so they don't seem to care what form the money is as long as they get it! And, they also don't need to worry about waiting to get it. Here, adding a tip to the credit card may mean that the employee doesn't get the tip until their employer gets their money.
You can also adjust the auto amount by person. It normally gets divied up, but you can insist that more or less goes to individuals. Did that on our last cruise.
Hope this helps answer your questions.
Thank you Marty. I think that pretty well clears things up. I rather like tipping.....to an extent it is a personal reflection of your opinion of the service you recieved.....an ego thing if you can look at iot that way. And of course, if service is awful, leaving no tip, or a very small one, is also a statement of personal opinion. I enjoy eating at moderately priced restaurants, and I am sure would love pricier ones...sigh....and tip about average, but I can be extravagant if I am treated well. It really doesnt take much, when you think about it, but if servers are very busy, etc, etc, keeping a smile on their face, and your water full, may be more than they can manage. I will be be hyper aware of everything on the trip, and hope I can reward above average service with a little more....and as you say....cash in hand is most appreciated.
I too have opted out of the mentality of feeling that I must tip everyone who "serves" me. An employee's compensation is a matter between the employee and the employer. I refuse to feel obligated to add to someone's compensation because that's "just the way it is". I do not tip just because I am "expected" to tip, and that goes for cruise staff as well. However, I will tip for exceptional service. But I refuse to tip for service that just meets expectations.
Tipping onboard is a matter of choice. One should not be guilted into tipping. If you feel the service was good or excellent then tip. If the week goes by without a hitch, then tip. At hotels all over the world chambermaids receive tips from the people who stay in their hotels. Today, the average hotel tip is 2-3 per day. Most business men and woman who travel every week recognize the maid who cleans their rooms everyday of the week. Those maids recieve a salary from the hotel. Onboard ship the room attendants usually clean the room twice a day, refill the ice bucket once a day, and for this they should receive tips. The room attendants make towel monkeys, and fix the room. The dining room waiters normally work two or three meals a day. I have seen my dinner waiter working breakfast in the dining room. Tell me working two split shifts in one day doesn't deserve some sort of compansaton. They get a minimal salary, they are paid in us dollars, so if they are working in Europe they have lost half their salary due to the devalued dollar. Bottom line, it's a personal choice, if you read the cruise guideline it states: "recommend", it does not say mandatory. You make the call, did you have fun on your cruise, did the room attendant clean your room, did your dining room waiter or waitress, get your food every night, pour your drinks, bring you dessert? If the answer is yes to any of the above, then maybe you should think about leaving a tip.
Freedom of the Seas Dec 11
Allure of the Seas: Jan 11
Voyager of the Seas: May 09
Splendour of the Seas: May 07
Explorer of the Seas: Jan 04
Majesty of the Seas Jan 99
OP is the reason we now have mandatory tipping policies. Americans are so sensitive to sticker price but never think about the total cost. Why do you think we are one of the only nations on earth to add sales tax on top of prices instead of building it in. We add fee upon tax upon charge. Americans will generally pick the item with the lowest price without ever factoring in all of the hidden fees. Does not matter that perhaps a higher priced item has less hidden fees for an overall lower cost. If the lines added tipping in the fare, most customers would balk at the high prices. This is why they did not add the fuel surcharges in the prices. We see " 7 day cruise only $599!!! The total cost of that cruise with tax, surcharges, tips and everything else will really be about $1000. No one is going to see "7 day cruise $1000" and be impressed.
Next question: do you work for free? didn't think so, why should the crew?
I don't understand what part of this some people don't get. those non tippers constantly say it is the cruiselines job to pay the people a decent wage. OK, assuming that is the case how much should the service personnel be paid for a 6 day a week 15 hour a day job?
Now do you like your $899. pp for a week's cruise balcony cabin? or do you think you should pay $2000.pp so the cruiseline pays the staff what they should be paying?
You are going to pay the wages just like you are going to pay the food bill and you are going to pay the oil bill etc.
I am totally in favor of the lines now adding unremovable service charges. and leaving anything over that to the individual.
As long as you are charged that sevice charge then I agree with the OP tip or don't tip. your descrestion but don't even think about trying to remove those charges, fortunately it is getting harder to remove them with out real good cause.
and you know it is the non tippers that are usually, generally speaking the most demanding people on the ship, and the biggest complainers as well.
The Opposite of Love is not Hate, But Indifference
Am i the only person that never tips on cruises? I thought after a recent trip I was considered the odd one out on our voyage, I chose not to tip, as I consider it insulting, to the employee in question. Like taking scraps from a table.
Anyone else feel the same?
I don't fully understand what you mean. Are you saying that you never tip beyond the auto-tip ... what the cruise line already takes out per day as a gratuity? If that is what you mean, then no ... you are most definitely not the only person who does not tip extra. I don't either UNLESS one person's service truly stood out. On my last cruise, a 35-day sailing on Holland America's Statendam, the only people I tipped extra were my cabin steward (an absolute gem!) and one Lido steward who really made my day on several occasions. Other than that, I let my auto-tips ride and that was it.
When the cruise lines instituted the concept of the "auto-tip" ... a set amount per person per day that they automatically charge to your onboard account ... they in effect said "this is the amount that we feel appropriate for staff tips each day. Therefore, since they were the ones who set the amount, and so conveniently charge that amount to my onboard account each day, then it stands to reason, at least according to my logic, that said amount is fair. Even if I choose to tip not one cent to anyone onboard, I feel that my auto-tips are adequate, and I've done my part to reward the staff. Now, if ... and only if ... I feel someone worthy of extra compensation because they did something for me that truly stands out ... I will give them a bit extra ... more as a way of saying thank you than as a tip. Even more importantly, I will mention them by name on my comment card, or will write a quick note to the hotel manager or whomever, singing their praises. Believe me, these notes are far more appreciated than extra tips, because these notes go into their personnel files and count very strongly when their names come up for promotion. Those promotions will be far more financially beneficial than a measly ten or twenty bucks I might hand them at the end of the cruise.
So, no ... you are not alone ... assuming you have paid your regular auto-tips. Now, if you mean you take them off too ... well, I hate to say it, but yes ... you are probably quite alone. A cruise ship is just like a restaurant or a hotel. The service staff depends on the customers for a part of their living wage. Custom dictates that you should provide a gratuity and they would certainly not consider it an insult, but rather would look upon it with appreciation.
We owned a restaurant in a cottage town for a number of years, and our kids had the opportunity to be trained as wait staff. It has served them well. They earn significantly more - by hundreds of dollars a week - than their schoolmates in other summer jobs. It meant we hardly had to pay them anything since they earned so dang much in tips (we trained them well!)
I tip the accepted norm, not be an asshat. I seriously don't really care if the worker on a luxury cruise ship makes a good wage or not except in a general way as a fellow human. Tip income. especially from Americans who are unconsionably generous as a rule, provides a very generous income to service workers unless they are being seriously ripped off by the employer.
Yes, I did spell my name wrong.
Not only is it insulting not to tip the staff, it is socially rude. I don't even see how people get away with not tipping when going to pick up a take out order in a pizza place, chinese/japanese place, or mexican place either, or any other non-fast food take out resteraunt. You are supposed to tip when you pick up from those places as well. Those cheapa**es that refuse to tip are really asking for bad things to happen to them. After all, isn't the golden rule do unto others as you would have done unto you.
Tipping should be optional, but I actually like the fact they add 15% gratuity to my bar tab because it generally saves me money. I will never tip a bar tender in a bar less than a dollar even if I only buy a jack and coke. If I run a tab I generally tip at least 20% so this actually saves me money.
As for tipping at the end of the cruise the lines should allow you to pick how much you want to tip each person that served you throughout the week. If you have any time dining or go to a alternative restaurant they should give you a slip that you can feel in how much your waiter deserves as a tip. The whole purpose of a tip is to insure proper service so having a service charge included in the fare to cover staff salaries would reduce the level of service you get, because the waiters, cabin stewards, etc. would make the same amount of money for giving bad service as they would for giving good service. Paying poor wages and then letting the customers decide how much a person should make for his/ her work is the BEST way to ensure we continue to get good service on our cruise vacation.
Human nature is to work harder when there is a direct reward for your hard work and to slack if you don't see a reward for hard work.
Make everything in life fun. You make the experience fun not those around you.
On a note, I have come to find out that on Seabourn, tipping is pretty much neither required or expected, but they are a luxury line that uses megayachts instead of a standard cruise ship. This may have something to do with the policy. The line wanting to impart a feeling of luxury. As far as I am aware this is the only exception(that coincidentally proves the rule).
We do tip on HAL but your comment about removing the auto tip is incorrect. If you remove your auto tip and then tip your cabin steward only they do NOT turn in their tip to the tip pool but most of them do not. I know because we have some friends that have worked as cabin stewards on HAL and all customer has to say is "This is for you, do nost sahre this tip". I have know people to write that on the envelope when they hand it to be cabin steward.
We just findit easier to use the auto tip. But, the auto tip has its disadvantages. The cabin seteard knows he is getting the tip at the end and sometimes is less responsive. It has only happened to us once.