I have to say that I can relate to both sides of the story. I have been on several cruises myself, and I can honestly say that i also do not appreciate being told what to tip and who to tip. Although I do not have a problem with tipping per say, I like for that option to be left up to the person carrying money: ME! I remember a cruise I took last year with Carnival where like RCCL, they charge the tips on you sail and sign card. When i found out that they had charged $45.00 for tips for my 2 YEAR OLD SON as well as for each person, I was outraged! The cruise was a 5 night/6 day cruise. Explain to me what in the world does a 2 year old do that requires a $45.00 tip??????????? He certainly doesn't drink alcohol, he doesn't request services, and he's not ordering large amounts of food at the dinner table. Call me cheap, but I feel that spending $135.00 for tips for the three of us, and for my brother's family of 6, $270.00, is a little redundant in the tip department.
I read a posting from someone else (forgive me for not rememberig your name) in this thread stating that these people get paid REGARDLESS of whether we tip them or not. The cruise lines have to provide a decent salary and or incentives in order to keep the turnover to a minimum. They can't afford to keep training new people every other week b/c they are unhappy with the job or the pay. As it was said before, it is all apart of PROFITING AND MARKETING STRATEGY. To all of who who are "hating" on people who choose to pinch pennies, I say WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT REALLY MAKE? That is their perogative. Believe me, the cruise lines aren't hurting one bit because a person besides to bring on a coke. The turnover of thousands of guests per week makes up for the miniscule lost. If they want to bring on a coke, so what? Is it taking anything away from you? For those of you who tip generously, then that's also great, and it is also your business as well. I am neutral. I don't mind tipping, but I DO mind being told what to tip. Just my opinion like the rest! I am cruising RCCL in August, so happy sailing to everyone
I think that the tips the cruise lines have the nerve to place on our cards are a tad bit exaggerated.
On our recent Celebrity Cruise, everyone in our party ended up tipping the wait staff who took care of our children (ages 2-10) the full "adult" amount. We had 3 waiters (there were 18 in our group) and one waiter (Venu on the Horizon) positively doted on the kids. Seems that he had a child of about 8 back home in India, and he treated our kids the way he wants to treat his kid. If he found that they had a favorite side dish, he would see to it that they had a heaping portion every night. He'd bring one of each dessert for the kids to try to see which one they wanted. My daughter was timid about asking for something. When he noticed that she was having a tough time finding anything to her liking on either the childs or adults menu, he asked her "What's your favorite food in the world". She told him steak. He simply asked how she liked it cooked and she told him. And then he brought her a perfectly cooked steak for her. Lorenzo, the assistant maitre 'd was spoke to the kids and entertained them with "napkin animals", and if he saw them in the buffet line (not the Starlight Restaurant), he'd ask them what exciting things they had planned that day. Let me tell you, these guys made the kids feel like kings and queens.
FWIW, the folks on most cruise ships are not governed by the US minimum wage laws. If you saw what their "base salary" was, you would be apalled. And if you are referring to the "splitting" of tips, I respectfully suggest that the smaller the pool for all staff, the smaller the tip that went to the person that I wanted to tip a little more to, since someone else who felt "they're being paid anyway" decided to stiff them on the tip.
It is not mandatory with Royal Caribbean to put your tips on your on board account, it has always been offered to us as an option.
There are several cruise lines where tipping is included. Radisson Seven Seas, Seabourn, Silverseas and several other lines include gratuities in their rates.
You suggest that all cuise lines do this at their present cruise rates. Simple arithemtic will tell you that this is not possible.
Competition in the cruise industry is fierce and prices have never been better than right now. Be realistic, we can't have it both ways, low prices and all inclusive don't add up.
You object to tipping for your 2 year old. Does he sleep in a bed that has to be made up? Does he use a washcloth and towel and uses the bathroom facilities? Does the waiter not serve him his food, milk etc. in the dining room, and maybe even cut up his meat and entertain him?
We cruise with our children and grandchilddren once a year on Royal Caribbean, and our youngest grandchild has had the dining room staff make "smiley faces" on her pancakes to entertain her, as an example. The cabin steward would make a special "towel animal" for her at night, and the staff in general is very child friendly.
We have never felt that all this and more didn't deserve a tip.
Airfare, transfers, cruise, drinks, shore excursions and gratuities are your TOTAL expense on a cruise, you MUST look at it this way, or choose an other form of vacation.
Cruising today is a far better value than it was 30 years ago. You will have to take my word for this, as we have been cruising since 1974.
Happy Cruising, Ginnie
I saw MANY MANY MANY people at the Pursor's desk taking all their tips off.I did the same. I tipped whom I wished to tip by hand.I found our cabin steward the only 1 deserving of a tip and he got 1,and was happy to say the least.Its 100% what u feel and how u feel u were treated and the service u received.I had FELIX on the Triumph last week.I am not sure how much of the $136.50 would have gone to him,but he sure was Happy with what we gave him,hehe.
Our first cruise is coming up soon and I find this thread on tipping quite amusing because I have never ever tipped anyone in my life, for any service.
I do not tip my hairdresser, the fee is all inclusive. Have never tipped a porter, taxi driver, bus driver, waiter, Maitre 'D, or barman!
Why you ask? I am Australian and this is NOT the custom for us, we pay a fee up front and that is it. It is only a North American custom to tip and remember it is DISCRETIONARY which means you do not have to do it but because you grow up with it, you get accustomed to it and feel guilty if you don't. US companies pray on this so, you, the customer end up paying their staff.
I have read a lot of info on tipping on the cruise, whether to do it or not and how much and there are a lot of you out there that are not happy with this, I'm still not sure what I will do, tip or not to tip, will just have to wait and see when I get there (for the cruise that is). I do know that taxi drivers and porters etc will have to be tipped and for me it is just a novel thing to do because when I get home I will not have to do it.
I will not however, tip anyone for poor service! (Do you reward your chilren for bad behaviour?)
When we booked our cruise there was nothing to say that we would have to tip, we found out about it when we received our documents and they had suggested amounts for tipping. We also recieved a seperate notice about having the automatic tipping cancelled when we get on the ship if we want, do others get this notice too..?? I'm not sure if Australian/UK citizens pay extra for their cruises because they don't tip in their own countries and so it is added to the overall price to counter this, does anyone out there know if this is the case??
As for drinks, I will buy them on the ship, as I would when I go out to dinner at home.
There is one service personnel I would implore you to tip. That is the baggage porter at the pier. If you want your luggage to arrive on the ship you BETTER tip him at least a $1 per bag.
I went on one cruise where I showed up at the pier with only $3 cash in my pocket after paying for the parking. The rest of my cash was with Mrs. Thomas in the terminal building. He unloaded 5 bags from the trunk and when I gave him $3 he looked at it rather angrily. In one bag, in an outside mesh sleeve, held my sandals. When the bags got to the cabin one sandal was missing. Now if he wanted to steal a pair of sandals he would've taken both. NO, he wanted to send a message that he screwed me because I screwed him.
I'm not an Aussie, but have several friends who are. You are correct when you say there is no tipping in that country. But, in OZ, there is a higher minimum wage than in the US, and employeers are not allowed to reduce it by "expected tips", as they do in restaurants in the US. Most cruise lines, while distancing themselves from the parts of US law and tradition they dislike, adopt the tradition of paying waiters and stewards almost nothing, so they are working for tips. In fact, the lines take it one step further by paying the service staff even less (guaranteed) than they could get in the US on land. So if you go on a cruise and fail to tip your waiter, assistant waiter, busboy, and room steward, they have effectively been serving you for free while making a guarantee of only $50 or so per month!
This is hard for my Aussie friends to understand. Heck, it's hard for me to understand how we came to such an employee-unfriendly situation in this supposedly enlightened age. But tips are how a lot of things are done in the US, and the cruise lines have gone even further by making the guaranteed part of these employees pay even less. Frankly, this is one of the reasons I switched cruise lines to one who paid it's service personnel a decent salary, and has a policy of "no tipping, tips included in fare". I like it better that way. But when I go on a line where there is tipping, I merely take the suggested tips in the brochure, add a bit to it, and add it in to the total cost when planning my trip.
Were you at a land resort in Austalia, you service personnel would be making a decent salary (plus 30 days paid vacation per year), and you therefore don't tip. Great. That's the system I prefer. But on most cruise ships, if you fail to tip, your service personnel will effectively have been working for you for free. And the Aussies I know don't think that would be fair either.