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Old February 28th, 2007, 09:30 AM
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Default Tipping the "porters" at the port.

As a long-time cruiser (going on my 17th this Sunday), my gripe is about tipping the porter (longshoremen) at the port who take my luggage, put in a bin and put the bin on a ship. They really do not perform any special service normally. Why is it they "deserve" a tip other than the fact that they actually see/talk to us?

Of course, I tip them anyway so that my luggage actually makes it to the ship and is not dumped into the water, though I am not sure whether or not that is really an urban legend. I don't see how they could remember anyone's specific luggage to do harm to it for someone who stiffed them.

What is interesting to me is that the people who actually do us a service and deliver the luggage on the ship are really not available to tip. Also, depending on how the luggage is put on the carts, you could actually have a different person deliver each piece of your luggage.

Barry
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Old March 6th, 2007, 03:23 AM
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In Galveston, using the porters as one returns from the cruise, actually, and I underscore actually, cuts about 45 minutes off of your wait time to get through customs. To me, that alone is worth the tip.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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I don't know if it helped but I tipped him nicely to make sure my few bottles of rum got on the ship without getting inspected. Threw him a $20 and said "make sure this makes it to my room" he said "it'll be waiting for you" and winked. I took that as a non verbal aggreement.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 11:32 AM
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With security being what it is nowadays I'm sure your bag was inspected.
The 20.00 probably helped to grease the x-ray operator.
*wink*
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Old March 6th, 2007, 12:27 PM
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If the porters actually got the luggage to the cabins, a big tip might help. But, they load the bags on a pallet or conveyor, where it then goes through the xray, then onto the ship, reorganized, and delivered to cabins by ship's staff. But, I'm sure that orter was happy!
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Old March 6th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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I'll tip em $20 for sure!
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Old March 6th, 2007, 09:45 PM
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Since they xray the bags and know what liquor bottles and 12 packs of beer look like do they really care that much? I mean 2000 people on board. At least half have to be smuggling right! imagine the hold up if they have to find all these people and open their bags. I only brought enough to enjoy in my cabin and spent $800 on the ship. So let's be honest how do they decide who's to check and who's not to. And if they do want it checked or opened, after I board then they have to search the ship for me right.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 11:58 PM
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Old March 7th, 2007, 08:56 AM
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I have only cruised once and am planning another cruise next winter. I have no problems with tipping the porter. The recommended tip is only $1 a bag, and they are actually doing physical work of carrying the bags to the bins that will get loaded onto the ship. It's no different from tipping the bell boy at a hotel or tipping a tour operator for a tour that you've already paid for--which really, they're already making their money off of you, and then you decide to give them even more money, too?
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Old March 7th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Just FYI, the porters who take your luggage at the beginning and end of your cruise do not work for the cruise lines. They are contracted for by the port authority where the ships pay for docking privileges. So, the porters (stevedores) do not get anything out of what you pay for the cruise, except very indirectly.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 12:51 PM
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The stevedores around here are Teamsters and they make BANK.
They are not porters, though so I doubt it is apples to apples.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 11:28 AM
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On a cruise several years ago the wife dropped me and the luggage at the luggage drop and drove the car to the parking area. She had all the cash and after the porter had loaded the luggage in the bin I handed him all the cash I had, which was $3.

One piece of my luggage had that elastic fish net outer sleeve which had a pair of high dollar sandals in it. When the luggage arrived at my cabin only one sandal made it. It was a message from the porter for sure. Nobody steals one sandal. It never showed up in the lost and found on the ship either.

I've never made that mistake since.

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Thomas
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Old March 9th, 2007, 11:41 PM
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Hmm, we always tip the porters pretty good, but Thomas! I think you should report your experience to the local news station or paper and have them do an undercover sting!!!!

No one's gonna steal MY one sandal on a cruise!!! :o
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Old March 13th, 2007, 12:18 PM
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Default Tipping the "porter" at the port - back from our c

We are now back from our cruise last week on the Carnival Miracle out of Tampa. I am happy to report that all our luggage (there were four of us) made it safely on the ship (we did tip the "porter"). It also made it safely off the ship and to our car (another tip to the "porter"). The porter at first did not want to take the luggage all the way to the car in the garage, but he did and he was tipped accordingly.

Barry
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Old March 13th, 2007, 02:47 PM
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Default $1.00 per bag

We tip $1.00 - $2.00 per bag. That is what most "experts" recommend. We only pack two roll away suit cases, I tip $5.00. Never had any trouble with our bags going or coming.

We will have 3 kids with us on this next trip. I will tip about $10-15 this time.

I'm not cheap, just thrifty!
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Old March 15th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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Actually the porters at the US piers are all longshoreman ( or stevadores) who are contracted through their union ( not teamsters as someone else said, they have their own union ILWU ) by the cruiselines. the longshoremen are the only ones allowed to work on any US docks. That said they are still working as porters and should be tipped accordingly.
Yes my husband is one of them!
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Old March 15th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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I was the one that referenced Teamsters, my bad.
Here in Portland and Vancouver the stevedores are paid substantially more than I THINK "porters" are paid.
I never meant to imply that porters should not be tipped.

However, if they are paid what a longshoreman journeyman( I'm talking TTU movers and such) earns...I will rethink that position. Those guys hourly wages are in the 38.00 to 52.00 range with very liberal overtime allowances.

I think we may not be talking apples to apples.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 04:40 PM
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You are right. That is what they make per hour. It is a very good union. the porter jobs come up very rarely. the longshoreman get their daily job assignments from the union hall each morning. In Seattle for example there are just a few jobs per week and only in the summer. So of course they are very desirable positions as they receive tips on top of their wages. My husband has never worked that position but we always tip the porters the same on a dock before we cruise or at a hotel. I would never think to ask their salary before tipping them. It is customary to tip $1-$2 per bag to a porter. You are not required to of course but that is the general rule of thumb.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 05:05 AM
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Ut oh, I think I goofed. In June we are taking our first "family" cruise, 5 adults, 5 grandkids. Soooo, me being the terrific grandma that I am, I decided we are going to the port with a little class (mainly, doing it for the g/kids) and hired a Lincoln stretch limo for a roundtrip. I guess the porters will expect a nicer, fatter tip when we all pile out or else there will be more than a sandal missing.....
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 10:42 AM
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I agree with househunter, in that the porter's hourly wage has nothing to do with their tip for handling my luggage. I usually tip close to $2 per bag. I appreciate being able to let someone else handle all that luggage, but the time I get to the pier!
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 12:40 PM
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I remember seeing a sign at the port in Fort Lauderdale saying they were paid and tipping is not necessary BUT we tipped anyway, taking no changes!
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rescuedad
Since they xray the bags and know what liquor bottles and 12 packs of beer look like do they really care that much? I mean 2000 people on board. At least half have to be smuggling right! imagine the hold up if they have to find all these people and open their bags. I only brought enough to enjoy in my cabin and spent $800 on the ship. So let's be honest how do they decide who's to check and who's not to. And if they do want it checked or opened, after I board then they have to search the ship for me right.
The tipping was a nice idea. It seems that Carnival cracks down on the smuggled liquor during spring break and then relaxes their rules again. Face it, grownups bring liquor on board to enjoy. College students bring liquor on board to get "falling off the ship" drunk There is a difference and Carnival know this.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 11:14 PM
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In Galveston, the porters work the ships, but they also work to unload the cargo ships. They are paid union wages, but I agree with Darlene. It makes me happy to tip someone to take those bags away, so that we don't have to worry about it.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Tipping the "porters" at the port.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcooper
As a long-time cruiser (going on my 17th this Sunday), my gripe is about tipping the porter (longshoremen) at the port who take my luggage, put in a bin and put the bin on a ship. They really do not perform any special service normally. Why is it they "deserve" a tip other than the fact that they actually see/talk to us?

Of course, I tip them anyway so that my luggage actually makes it to the ship and is not dumped into the water, though I am not sure whether or not that is really an urban legend. I don't see how they could remember anyone's specific luggage to do harm to it for someone who stiffed them.

What is interesting to me is that the people who actually do us a service and deliver the luggage on the ship are really not available to tip. Also, depending on how the luggage is put on the carts, you could actually have a different person deliver each piece of your luggage.

Barry
Let me get this straight, you're spending big money on vacation and can't part with $1 to $2 per bag for a porter? :evil:
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Old May 6th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Funny...

As I recall, the porters got in big trouble in Miami a few years ago for hustling tips. They would stand there with your bags on a cart and stick their hands out, usually saying "A tip is appreciated, sir." Now, these were big, muscular guys and they were staring you down when they said that. I personally found pretty offensive.

As someone remarked, these are not the people who get your bags onto the ship, they get them to the x-ray machine (a very short walk, they probably do a batch/minute).

Carnival's web site says this:

Quote:
Arrival at the Cruise Terminal:
Upon arrival at the terminal, guests will debark the motor coach and claim their luggage. Guests will then give the luggage to the Porter; the customary tip for this service is $1.00 per bag.
Holland America's site (in reference Ft Lauderdale, Tampa & San Diego) says this:

Quote:
There are porters available, but individual carts are not available. Please exit the building with all family members and luggage, once you leave you cannot re-enter.

The Porters are salaried employees and tipping is not required.
The Ft Lauderdale Port Guide even says:

Quote:
Passengers arriving by private car, limousine or taxi will turnover their baggage to porters at each terminal for delivery tostaterooms (don’t forget to fill out and attach the tagprovided by the cruise line). Tipping is optional.
I do not know why Miami would be different than other FL ports, but they are different counties. In any case, it does appear the porters in Miami are again expecting tips, but I personally would not give more than $1.00/bag and never more than $5.00 - sorry, but as far as i am concerned they are banking on the misperception that they gets the bags on the ship when they do not.

I have even ogten heard them say "we'll make sure your bags get on the ship," when they have no control over that. I wish I could find the article because I know there was a dispute about it, but if Carnival is now saying $1/bag then I assume they reached a settlement.

I did find a document about a Port of Miami roundtable where they planned to discuss whether Miami porters should be tipped. FLL & Tampa already say know - what do you think?
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Old May 6th, 2007, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mehawk
In Galveston, using the porters as one returns from the cruise, actually, and I underscore actually, cuts about 45 minutes off of your wait time to get through customs. To me, that alone is worth the tip.
When I cruised in Galveston, they had special lanes marked off just for the porters. I agree the $20 probably saved an hour.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 07:11 PM
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I just think they are probably getting paid squatt so the tips I'm sure are definitely appreciated.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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[img]gallery/galleries/3421/thumb63321.jpg[/img]

Sign at Miami Terminal, too. Tipping is NOT requied at port of Miami. By the way, my suitcase was opened to look inside of bathroom kit - not sure why. nothing was missing, but it dit appear to have been opned.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
[img]gallery/galleries/3421/thumb63321.jpg[/img]

Sign at Miami Terminal, too. Tipping is NOT requied at port of Miami. By the way, my suitcase was opened to look inside of bathroom kit - not sure why. nothing was missing, but it dit appear to have been opned.
You know if you go by that sign the porters will have a field day with your bags!
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Old May 15th, 2007, 03:25 PM
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we agree if uou give your bag to someone bill they will hold it to ransom, we experienced this on a cruise from the balkans good advice and remember everyone do not leave your bag with anyone as he says.
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