What are your expectations for service?
I jsut read through the tipping extra thread .... and it surprised me how many of you extra-tip your cabin steward.
Here is one area, where bad service won't particularly affect my holiday. As long as the beds are made daily (won't kill me if its not) and I have fresh towels (or you bring me extra towels when I call for them) .... I will be a pretty happy camper. I don't need ice or fancy towel sculptures, nor do I need turn down service. A tidy bathroom and fresh towels is pretty much all I need.
The only service baramoter which affects my holiday is in the dining room. I expect the ordres to be taken promptly and for your to "learn" our preferences .... chocolate milks waiting for the kids etc, and a diet coke for my DH and a lemonade/iced tea waiting for me.
If I coyly can't decide between two appetizers (that is my code for you to bring me both). The sooner you learn that the happier we will be. If my daughter wants sliced apples for dessert, but it is not on the menu, you will earn extra points for slicing an apple for her. And if you bring the roving magician to our table EVERY night (and let us know you arranged for it) ... extra bonus points for you.
If I was going to extra-tip anyone it would be the wait staff. I find a good wait team has a measurable effect on how much I enjoy our holiday. This would be the only area that I would consider extra-tipping.
We did not extra tip anyone .However ,in reflecting on this we probably should have tipped the Maitre'D .
The cabin steward is just as important to me as the waitstaff. If I have my cabin serviced twice a day, clean towels as needed, the needed information placed in my cabin and the ice replenished I am happy and I find that an acceptable level of service.
If I ask for something out of the ordinary such as: "Putting a lounge chair on a regular balcony" or keeping the door to the cabinet door open for the fridge and the steward complied then I may tip extra.
In the dining room I expect the waitstaff to take my order and do so without errors, professionally and expeditiously. I also expect a somewhat positive attitude but I don't want Mr/Ms. Smiley. I do like to have some chit-chat with the waitstaff but I don't want or expect them to read my mind or become my best friend for the week.
If they do anticipate my needs and do learn my likes and dislikes then I may give them additional.
There have been cruises where I have tipped additional but there have been just as many that I have given no more than the standard gratuity.
I do agree that too many people tip additional to the staff for doing no more than what they are supposed to do. Many people do so because they know how hard they work (but that is their job) and others do so to make themselves feel important.
There is no need to tip additional. Additional tips are for additional effort.
We never got ice
We did not have enough towels till the last day
The hairdryer was not working .We called the front desk at 7AM and were told the steward comes on duty at 7:30.At 8:30 my BDW went to look for him and found him in the hallway .
We opted not to extra tip
So,, here is a question .... do you remove gratuities for bad service?
In the normal world, if a server does a good job, they will get the normal gratuity which to me is 15%. If a server goes above and beyond, I will tip extra, up to 20%. However, if a server is terrible, I would not hesitate to remove all gratuity.
Would I do this on a cruise ship? Probably not. I have issue with the fact that the cruiseline pays low wages, and we have to be responsible for part of the remuneration. On the other hand, I also appreciate my low cruising fares. So, I sit on the fence. What concerns me is that while I may do my part to tip responsibly - others do not. I think I might prefer paying an extra couple of hundred dollars for my fare, so that everyone tips equally and those funds go directly to wages - ... a perfect world.
So, back to my original question ..... I have never removed gratuities in their entirety for bad service. However, I've been fortunate enough to never encounter bad service. The worst service was probably my wait team on the Carnival DReam ... but that had more to do with a personality clash. I coudln't stand the guy - he rubbed me the wrong way from the very beginning. He blew it at the end when he lied and told me he did not get the auto-gratuities and if we were happy with his service we should pay him cash. He also attempted to make me feel very guilty by trying to engage me in a conversation of how much my house was worth, and how he could never afford to live in CAnada. We reduced the auto-tips, and then cash-tipped his partner the busboy who we were very happy with.
Since our tips are pooled it would be unfair to reduce them because of one person
We always found if you speak up it get fixed quickly ...not wait until you get home & post on the internet;)
On the Zuiderdam in November, we requested fresh ice every day at 5PM. It did not happen at first, but after we contacted the front desk, it arrived on time each day. I wish they had ice machines available to the guests so that we would not have to beg for ice. We enjoy our afternoon cocktails and the AM ice was water by 5PM and regularly they would not supply ice until the evening turn-down service which was after we left for dinner (late seating).
On embarkation, we discovered that our hair dryer was in pieces in the cabinet. Our steward supplied a brand new dryer before the end of the first day.
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