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  #1 (permalink)  
Old September 3rd, 2000, 02:21 PM
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Default Why tip the maitre d'?

Okay...

I believe in everyone getting a fair wage, and I am actually a pretty generous tipper. But is it fair for the cruise lines to ask us to tip the maitre d'? Or for that matter, the head housekeeper? ESPECIALLY if you didn't ask for anything special?

Assuming you never even spoke to them, aren't they just doing their jobs as expected? Why should you owe them anything special?
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Old September 3rd, 2000, 03:20 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

Hi Paul,
I normally don't tip the head house keeper or the maitre D unless they do something special, out of the ordinary for me. In those cases, yes a tip is a good idea, but if you've never even spoken to them, no tip is necessary in my option.
As for tipping the room stewart and waiter, etc, we always start with the recommended guidelines and go from there depending on the service we received.

Donnassei/Sealover
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Old September 3rd, 2000, 08:36 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

Paul and Donna. I agree entirely. I did tip headwaiter once when he gave me a set of Grandeur's menues. On request.
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Old September 4th, 2000, 12:25 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

Hi Hd,
Now for that too, I'd tip him, that was beyond the call of duty and a nice thing for him to di,

Donnassei/SEalover
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Old September 4th, 2000, 11:14 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

But Donna, almost a year later, where have I put them? I guess with all that other cruise stuff, wherever that is. ;-)
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Old September 5th, 2000, 04:22 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

Hd,
So, you don't even know where all the other cruise stuff is?? Actually that sounds like me. I pick up all this reading material while cruising, lug it home and put it someplace where years later I come across it and then just toss it?? Does this make sense? At the time, the information looks like something I will need in the future, NOT.

Donnassei/Sealover
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Old September 20th, 2000, 02:51 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

Thanks for making me feel better. i just returned from a cruise with some first timers with me. I advised them not to tip the Maitre'D as I never have. Execpt for the one time when he prepared a special meal my for vegetarian brother. So the Maitre' D comes by, the people we were seated with hands him an envelope and he acts like it was Christmas. Which I thought confirmed that it didn't happen too often. The adult son of our dinner companions looked over at us and said "forget your envelopes?". we felt like they thought we were just the typical hicks form the country. We are from a Southern state that people make jokes about not wearing shoes and keeping our appliances on the front porch. My friend's husband thought I must be mistaken and the tip guidelines were mandatory.

Kimberly
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Old September 20th, 2000, 11:03 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

I agree with you. At the end I saw all the envelopes on the bed after the room steward made beds for us. I saw waiter, assistant waiter, room steward and ,maitre d. I was thinking in my head why in the heck would I need to tip the maitre d because he didn't do anything special for me. He came by the table maybe twice and asked if eveything was ok, but that was it. That does not constitute for a tip for me. The other guys worked thier butts off to bend over backwards for us. This guy didn't do anything for me. All I saw him do was stand around. We tipped him $10.00 anyway. We were supposed to tip more, but he didn't need more. I have to say the other guys really earned thier money.
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Old September 23rd, 2000, 08:36 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

I read through this thread with interest and thought I'd share something. When we disembarked from the Norwegian Crown in April, it was the last voyage for that vessel under that name. The ship was then en route to Europe for dry dock and then induction into the fleet of Orient Cruise Lines. About 90 percent of the crew were not staying with the ship, so they disembarked several hours after we did.

As we waited in San Juan for our flight home, we sat alongside one of the maitre 'ds. I asked him point blank about tipping and how he made out and what he faced. He said that passengers simply don't understand the duties of a maitre 'd and most often stiff him. He explained that he had to see to it that the entire wait staff and busing staff was there on time and had their tables set up perfectly. If things were missing _ silverware, small plates for rolls, etc. because the kitchen staff hadn't gotten them washed and dried in time _ it was his job to seek out the needed things and get them to the wait staff.

He had to check on the chef and kitchen help to make sure all foods mentioned in that meal's menu were available and properly prepared. If garnishes weren't to be found, he had to find them and make them available to be added to plates.

He had to be johnny-on-the-spot if their were any problems of any kind in the dining room _ passengers getting sick, complaints about a food item, drunk and disorderly passengers, complaints about a waiter or busboy.

He had to assume the role of good host by being there well in advance of the meal and then make it look as though it were easy as pie.

If a luncheon buffet were being served and they were running out of dinner plates and nobody seemed to be around to replace them, he had to dash to the kitchen and find somebody on the double to bring out more.

He had to oversee, oversee and oversee. And most of it was behind the scenes. There was more, of course. He barely touched on all his duties.

He told me that the thing he minded most was the dirty looks he received when he would stop at tables to ask if everything was all right. He knew they thought he was just looking for a tip when actually he was trying to determine if everything was all right. If it wasn't, then tipping would be stingy for the waiter and busboy too.

Anyhow, it made us more determined than ever to pay at least the suggested tip to the maitre 'd. We always had before. We'll be even more sure to do so in the future.
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Old September 24th, 2000, 11:16 AM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

Harriet,
Thanks for your response to this thread, I for one had no idea their job entailed so much. Glad you could clear that up.

Donnassei/SEalover
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Old September 24th, 2000, 11:59 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

I am sure that the Maitre' D does work hard and has much responsibility, but he is one of the more behind the scenes employees IMHO. The guy that keeps the engines running works hard and has much responsibility but I don't see his envelope waiting for us on the last night. The Cruise Director works hard and always talks to us but we don't tip him at the end of the cruise. We have always tipped the Maitre' D, but always ask why we are doing this. I guess I feel that this is one of the jobs that should be paid by the cruise line - which will probably raise prices a few dollars, so I guess either way we will be paying him.
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Old September 25th, 2000, 02:34 AM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

When we go to a land based restaurant which employes a Maitre d' we are not expected to tip them unless they do something special for us (a special table perhaps, or fill a special request). I take the same approach with the Maitre d' on the ships.
If he fulfills a special request, or assists directly in some manner, I'm happy to tip him. Even if he stops by regularily to check if everything is alright I think it's reasonable to offer a gratuity. However, when he only stops by the second last night of the cruise the motives seem pretty obvious.
Then when he asks if everything is alright I'd like to ask why he didn't ask that question every other night. If he had, he'd probably be getting a tip from me.

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Old September 29th, 2000, 06:13 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

When we were on the Tropicale last year, the Maitre d' stopped by our table every night to make sure that our staff was giving good service and that the food was well prepared. The Head Waiter for our section also stopped by at least twice during the evening to check on things.

On the first night, the Maitre d' had a clipboard with him and asked if anyone at the table was celebrating anything special. Nobody was, but on the last night, the waiters came over with a cake that said "We're glad you came". Every table had a least one celebration during the 5 day cruise.

The Maitre d' always greeted everybody as they entered the dining room and then wished them a pleasant evening as they left. This personalized service made our Tropicale cruise even more wonderful.

You bet I cruised the Maitre 'd and the Head Waiter on that cruise.

Sharon
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Old October 10th, 2000, 08:50 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

did he tell you that he gets a salary and the lower workers get a minimal salary , if any??? I do not tip the maitre'd unless I have a special request.... all the workers complain about their horrible working conditions but they keep coming back... the least time served that I have heard of is 3 yrs... in about 6 mos contracts....I'm sure that everyone works hard but the waiters make more money than I do and I have to pay taxes on my money
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Old October 13th, 2000, 05:42 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

Where does it all end? how many of us do a job and not get tipped? I agree if a special service has been rendered that tipping may be a nice thing to do.i'm not cheap, I give more than the recommended if the service is great. But I do agree with the two above comments.
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Old October 14th, 2000, 06:29 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

I tiped the Head Waiter because one nite at the buffet he just stopped at our table and talked, and talked....like a normal human...not a person wanting a tip....it was fun and REFRESHING!!

I think that Maitre'd's whether by land or sea should be tipped ONLY for special services......like get me out of this table by the kitchen door!
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Old October 25th, 2000, 05:22 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

I tipped the maiter'd on the Sky Princess this year. The first night out he came by and asked us all our names. I saw him many times after that and he always called my by name. Even when not at dinner he would ask how I was doing and if I was having a nice time. A real down to earth guy.
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Old November 2nd, 2000, 06:33 AM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

ok..can we do some math here..$10 a cpl on a 1100pax ship lets say 1/2 gives him something that 400-500 a weekx 4 weeks a month= 2k times 50 weeks ok wait some take off for 2 months 40 weeksx2k=$$80k a yr besides free room and bd ..yes he has a big responsibilty but he worked his way up to the job..in some big ships they have a head maitre for each dining room so lets say thats 40 k a yr and yes tax free...40k-80k .amazing for saying hello..ps we have had good[wonderful personable italians,so professional] and bad maitr'd on dif ships the creepiest was a vietnam guy on H.A.L..he forced u to say it was the best everything u ever had or he wont leave the table..he thought nothing of interuputing any conversations too..of course my husband took him aside by the 3rd day and asked him to skip our table for entire cruise..he did.....lol..i agree with someone who said why tip the ones u dont see ..heck next we will have to tip the capt..arghhhhhh..
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Old November 8th, 2000, 07:12 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

AMEN !!!
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Old December 4th, 2000, 10:05 AM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

We have always tipped generously on our cruises. But on the EOS our cabin steward was horribblw. She started off trying to dissuade my husbnad and i to put the twins togeather(so easy to do, just slide them) to make it into a queen! She would not empy the mini-bar for us when we asked. Told us to make sure to keep the room tidy for her, told us to be up and out by noon.With 2 teens that stayed out until 3-4am this was impossible. She actually asked my husband "Don't you know how to use the telephone" when we approached her in the hall asking for our always empty icebucket to be filled. Then an the last night at sea she stood by the door waiting for my daughter and I to leave, she knocked and said we were the last ones on the floor and we had 10 minutes! We did not tip her, she was rude and nasty to my family the whole week. We were even a little nervous to run into her in the hallway because she made us feel so uneasy. I addressed this with RCCL upon leaving and have yet to hear. If I don't get a response within a week or som I will write again!
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Old December 10th, 2000, 11:42 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

Rose, you must have had the absolutely worst steward in the world. In 40+ cruises I have never even heard of this one this bad. On your next cruise, if anything like this occurs, do not wait until you are ready to leave the ship or til you get home - go DIRECTLY to the Pursers Desk and report the situation and do not allow it to continue. Bring it to the attention of those who can fix it IMMEDIATELY.
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Old January 3rd, 2001, 09:13 AM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

Just back from the Destiny and we didn't tip the Maitre D since we hadn't seen him all week except for the day of tipping while he stood at the entrance to the dining room. We are a family of 5 and tipped all the other people assigned an envelope and provided more than the suggested tip to those we felt went 150%. We also decided to tip our drink person, who always had drinks ready for the teens before we even sat down.
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Old February 3rd, 2001, 01:35 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

I don't tip any one person if they are not directly helping me. I did tip the maitre d' once when we wanted to change our seating to the late dinner and he was very helpful. I have tipped the head waiter on specials occasions when he came by our table every night with a joke and spoke to me personally.
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Old February 11th, 2001, 06:29 PM
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Default RE: Why tip the maitre d'?

On Sovereign of the Seas, our headwaiter was friendly and went out of his way to ensure we were enjoying our meals. He was seen every night, he made eye contact with everyone walking through his side of the dining room, and he occasionally visited tables to say hello.
Our waiter, Nigel, and assistant waiter, Manoj, were both superb -- but it was good to know the headwaiter was keeping an eye on things, nevertheless. I credit the man with managing a top-rate operation ... and it was a pleasaure to tip all three of them well above the RCI-recommended rates.

On Grandeur, the headwaiter ignored our table for virtually the entire cruise ... and the one time he did stop by, he made clear it was only a perfunctory and meaningless gesture.
Worse yet, the service itself had some problems (a novice assistant waiter who was always late and overwhelmed by the work). There was no way the maitre d was going to help, becuase he chose to make himself absent night after night.
At the end of the cruise, we tipped our waiter above the recommended level, and gave the slow (but earnest and well-meaning) assistant waiter a tip slightly above what's recommended. But we were also very happy to provide the maitre d with a tip exactly paralleling the value of service he gave us --- nothing.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 01:51 PM
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Hi Paul,, , You said this seven years past, do you still feel the same?

The reason I raise it again is because I don’t feel things have changed that much, and there are certain people on a ship that you are left feeling,,,why am I tipping this person?

Dont know about others on here, but I will not be line blackmailed into I should give "to whoever" is on their list as you first thought.

Which is why I hate what has happened since in the auto tip, I give to those that gave me service and that I met in the experience.

Has your opinion changed over the years from that post?
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Old January 5th, 2008, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Why tip the maitre d'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
Okay...

I believe in everyone getting a fair wage, and I am actually a pretty generous tipper. But is it fair for the cruise lines to ask us to tip the maitre d'? Or for that matter, the head housekeeper? ESPECIALLY if you didn't ask for anything special?

Assuming you never even spoke to them, aren't they just doing their jobs as expected? Why should you owe them anything special?
Well they could just charge us higher prices and give all their employees a decent wage. I wish they did do that.
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Old January 6th, 2008, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Why tip the maitre d'?

[quote="momofmeg
Well they could just charge us higher prices and give all their employees a decent wage. I wish they did do that.[/quote]

Some cruise lines do. I haven't left a tip on my last twelve cruises. The employees still work just as hard or even harder. They know that this could be their last contract, or, even worse, could be let go prior to the end of their contract. Here in Japan, there is no tipping at restaurants or hotels yet service is fantastic. I don't know what the big deal is about other cruise lines adding the tips into the fare; just make it non-commissionable and it all would work out the same.
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Old January 6th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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I have only felt compelled to tip a Matre d one time and that was George the Greek; not only did he accommodate a table change and did so in the most fun and jovial manner - he made it a point to check on our table every night - in all my past cruises I never spoke to a matre d once nor did one ever come to my table to see if we needed anything.

I feel the same as Kuki and others, I will tip the matre d when he accommodates a request (I will even tip him if he couldn't accommodate, but tried) but if I haven't made a special request I would not tip him/her
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Old January 11th, 2008, 04:12 AM
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The Maitre'd does work hard getting everything on YOUR cruise during YOUR meals correct. Sure he works behind the scenes most of the time, but if he did not do his job, you would certainly know. Also, when it comes right down to facts, the 10 bucks you're stiffing the maitre'd for is not much out of your pocket, but means quite a bit to him. Come on, your on vacation spending several times that amount on rum and cokes. Is ten bucks going to break the bank? All this talk sounds like a bunch of cheapskates trying to find a reason not to tip someone, IM not so humble O.

I always tip at least the suggested amount. Why not? I'm not rich by any means. I am a blue collar worker doing the nine to five with two kids, one in college. I can't afford to cruise as often as many of the people on this web site, but I can afford 10 lousy dollars. Geez people.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 09:10 PM
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Amen to that. And someone said that they haven't tipped for the last 12 cruises! I would feel like a shoplifter. We have found the assistant maitre d's in our recent cruises to be very personnable and friendly. They have gone the extra mile. One even made tall cold glasses of buttermilk when my husband said he would love some. Yes, he actually cultured it himself with yogurt for a few days and served it himself. Another took us on a galley tour when I requested. Just because he's not serving your soup doesn't mean he's not working. Like Thasic said, we are rich by almost any crew member's standards. Throw the ten bucks in the envelope and have one less drink at dinner!
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