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-   -   Room Service Tipping - Why???? (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/travel-gripes/387286-room-service-tipping-why.html)

Paul Motter January 24th, 2012 07:12 PM

Room Service Tipping - Why????
 
Okay - I remember when people started tipping for room service about 10 years ago. You would give the server a dollar or two because you figured he was not working a regular shift for which a passenger would hand him an envelope at the end of the cruise - like a waiter in a dining room.

However - tips are now collected automatically, and they are then doled out to all wait staff on an equal basis. So, tipping your room service attendant is now redundant, right?

Isn't it time for room service tipping to end?

I have to be honest and say it never felt to be in the spirit of the ship to have to tip actual cash money for anything onboard - and technically it is not allowed, and if they get a cash tip they have to just throw it into the big pool of tips anyway.

So - the reason to tip room service servers is now over. Shouldn't we stop room service tipping?

lulu48 January 24th, 2012 07:48 PM

Just raise the price of the cruise & just include the gratuities in the price of the cruise

Lakers Fan January 24th, 2012 07:52 PM

I've never had room service but if I did ,I would tip the server

snorklr45 January 24th, 2012 08:31 PM

I did not know they received a share of tips from elsewhere? I have always tipped room service wait staff in cash - figuring they don't get anything extra from anywhere else.

Manuel January 24th, 2012 08:38 PM

I have allways tipped room service staff and will continue to do so.

TM

anniegb January 25th, 2012 04:16 AM

I do too
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Manuel (Post 1411729)
I have allways tipped room service staff and will continue to do so.

TM

Agree 100% - it is so worth it - breakfast in cabin - means I avoid the hordes and noise levels in the buffet. :)

Annie

johnthed0g January 25th, 2012 11:15 AM

We have the occasional early breakfast delivered & if so we give a 2 coin.

Paul Motter January 25th, 2012 11:22 AM

BUt I remember the days when food and service were included in the cruise fare. I say cruise passengers are nickel & dimed enough.

And I just absolutely dislike the ida that I am expected to bring cash aboard for the purpose of tipping. I celebrated the initiation of charging tips to your shipboard account because I deplored the idea that I had to have cash ready to hand to my servers on the last day.

Tipping is an uncomfortable situation for me - if I undertip I feel stingy, if I overtip I feel like a sucker. I personally just feel much better letting the cruise handle it.

And if you think about it - putting the tips onto your shipboard acct. is functionally the same as adding them to the cruise fare. Except that you pay later, but you have an agreed upon amount and you don't have the awkward face to face tipping encounter.

Queen of Oakville January 25th, 2012 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lulu48 (Post 1411697)
Just raise the price of the cruise & just include the gratuities in the price of the cruise

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1411826)
BUt I remember the days when food and service were included in the cruise fare. I say cruise passengers are nickel & dimed enough.

And I just absolutely dislike the ida that I am expected to bring cash aboard for the purpose of tipping. I celebrated the initiation of charging tips to your shipboard account because I deplored the idea that I had to have cash ready to hand to my servers on the last day.

Tipping is an uncomfortable situation for me - if I undertip I feel stingy, if I overtip I feel like a sucker. I personally just feel much better letting the cruise handle it.

And if you think about it - putting the tips onto your shipboard acct. is functionally the same as adding them to the cruise fare. Except that you pay later, but you have an agreed upon amount and you don't have the awkward face to face tipping encounter.


Thank you Paul! I for one say put it in the cruise fare. Then there is nothing to collect or debate at the end of the cruise. Make me feel like I don't have give extra (which for me is the pay later part). Charge it to me upfront. I know I have the option to pre-pay gratuities ahead of time, but I'm still consciously forking out the extra cash. Same thing for "pop/soda". Really, what does it cost to give me free pop? Disney does it .... the other lines can too!

Golden1 January 25th, 2012 01:00 PM

On my last cruise, I ordered a bowl of soup from room service almost every night before I went to bed or sometimes in the middle of the night if I woke up and couldnt get back to sleep. I did tip a buck or two. I guess I did this first because it was the middle of the night and second because when someone delivers food to your door at home, you tip them. I know I wasnt at home, but the idea is just so ingrained!

anniegb January 25th, 2012 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1411826)
BUt I remember the days when food and service were included in the cruise fare. I say cruise passengers are nickel & dimed enough.

And I just absolutely dislike the ida that I am expected to bring cash aboard for the purpose of tipping. I celebrated the initiation of charging tips to your shipboard account because I deplored the idea that I had to have cash ready to hand to my servers on the last day.

Tipping is an uncomfortable situation for me - if I undertip I feel stingy, if I overtip I feel like a sucker. I personally just feel much better letting the cruise handle it.

And if you think about it - putting the tips onto your shipboard acct. is functionally the same as adding them to the cruise fare. Except that you pay later, but you have an agreed upon amount and you don't have the awkward face to face tipping encounter.

Paul

My initial reaction when I read your OP was surprise. I thought it was only the Brits who had issues with tipping :)

This subject was debated on another UK board and it is fair to say those who tipped received very good service and those who didn't tip - were kept waiting. :)

I know someone will say it shouldn't make a dfference whether you tip or not but it does.

Annie

johnthed0g January 25th, 2012 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1411826)
BUt I remember the days when food and service were included in the cruise fare. I say cruise passengers are nickel & dimed enough.

And I just absolutely dislike the ida that I am expected to bring cash aboard for the purpose of tipping. I celebrated the initiation of charging tips to your shipboard account because I deplored the idea that I had to have cash ready to hand to my servers on the last day.

Tipping is an uncomfortable situation for me - if I undertip I feel stingy, if I overtip I feel like a sucker. I personally just feel much better letting the cruise handle it.

And if you think about it - putting the tips onto your shipboard acct. is functionally the same as adding them to the cruise fare. Except that you pay later, but you have an agreed upon amount and you don't have the awkward face to face tipping encounter.

My feelings entirely!

Bruce Chafkin1 January 25th, 2012 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lulu48 (Post 1411697)
Just raise the price of the cruise & just include the gratuities in the price of the cruise

This answer makes no sense.
The cruise lines do not require, recommend, suggest, or even hint that anyone tip the room service waiters. Why would we include a gratuity in the price of a cruise when we never even recommended the gratuity to begin with?

Bruce Chafkin1 January 25th, 2012 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Queen of Oakville (Post 1411869)
Thank you Paul! I for one say put it in the cruise fare. Then there is nothing to collect or debate at the end of the cruise. Make me feel like I don't have give extra (which for me is the pay later part). Charge it to me upfront. I know I have the option to pre-pay gratuities ahead of time, but I'm still consciously forking out the extra cash. Same thing for "pop/soda". Really, what does it cost to give me free pop? Disney does it .... the other lines can too!

Giving you a free soda (or many free sodas for most North Americans) would cost my ship very little. But losing the revenue from the many thousands of sodas we currently sell every week would cost my ship about $30,000 per week, or $120,000 per month, or $1.44 million per year in lost revenues. If you add in the other 16 ships in the fleet, my employer would stand to lose $25,480,000 per year by giving away sodas on our ships.

We could just increase your cruise fare to pay for those losses, but we already tried that, and it didn't go over so well.
Why should people who do not drink sodas have to pay more for their cruise so that you can have free sodas on your cruise?

Why doesn't McDonalds give away sodas in their restaurants? Each one costs them only a few pennies to produce.
1. Because Mc Donalds is not a charity.
2. Because people addicted to artificially colored, artificially sweetened, artificially flavored, artificially carbonated tap water are perfectly willing and accustomed to paying for it.

Cruise lines have the same logic.

By the way, have you ever noticed that you almost never see a thin person drinking Diet Coke?

Could it be that:
1. Diet Coke actually allows fat people to lose weight, and they stop drinking it when they get thin?

or

2. Diet Coke only gives fat people an excuse to eat even more fattening food, and they never get thinner?

Golden1 January 25th, 2012 05:09 PM

A little harsh on over weight people???

Mike M January 25th, 2012 05:09 PM

I have to disagree with Paul on where the cash goes when you give it to the Room Service waiter. I have spoken with two Hotel Directors, one on Carnival and the other on Holland America, and both said that as long as you have not removed yourself from automatic tipping the person you give cash to can keep it. If you did remove yourself from the automatic tipping program then that person is required to put the cash in "the pool". It is quite possible that Royal Caribbean, and its cruise lines, have a different rule.

What irritates me is that since the introduction of automatic tipping people feel they are "required" to give extra tips in order to receive good service. This myth has been propagated by online message boards, even this one, untruths spoken by cruise personnel looking to get more money, the passenger's feeling that the person deserves more money and someone's wish to feel like a big shot.

Many people now feel they are doing the wrong thing or are "cheap" if they don't give extra money to their wait staff, steward or room service. This attitude is creating a second level of gratuities and additional compensation for the service staff. If I was the service staff I would like this "extra" to continue. :D If you don't give extra you are not at all cheap.

Having said all that I will say that I will give a room service waiter a couple of bucks if they lug a tray from the dining room, up a few decks, down a long corridor and deliver it to my door. I will also give a room steward extra if they do something, I request, that is outside the normal scope of their duties.

Take care,
Mike

green_rd January 26th, 2012 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 (Post 1411898)
This answer makes no sense.
The cruise lines do not require, recommend, suggest, or even hint that anyone tip the room service waiters. Why would we include a gratuity in the price of a cruise when we never even recommended the gratuity to begin with?

Excuse me?
Bruce, you never identify the line you work for and that is fine. My experience is limited but of the three lines we have cruised, Carnival, Princess and Celebrity, the cruise lines place tips automatically on passengers account and the passenger must go to the pursers desk to adjust the "gratuities". Our most recent cruise we did not have traditional "fixed" dining and were required to pre-pay gratuities.

green_rd January 26th, 2012 08:26 AM

Question about the "tip pool". Do all service staff draw from that pool equally? My uneducated assumption would be that the percentage allocated by person varies based on their position.

Mike M January 26th, 2012 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by green_rd (Post 1411995)
Excuse me?
Bruce, you never identify the line you work for and that is fine. My experience is limited but of the three lines we have cruised, Carnival, Princess and Celebrity, the cruise lines place tips automatically on passengers account and the passenger must go to the pursers desk to adjust the "gratuities". Our most recent cruise we did not have traditional "fixed" dining and were required to pre-pay gratuities.

Green,

I believe Bruce is referring to Tipping for Room Service. The automatic gratuity is allocated for the dining room staff, room steward and behind the scenes personnel such as cooks, cleaning people etc. I have never seen a cruise line ask or recommend a tip for room service.

Take care,
Mike

anniegb January 26th, 2012 11:10 AM

Me too
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike M (Post 1411909)

Having said all that I will say that I will give a room service waiter a couple of bucks if they lug a tray from the dining room, up a few decks, down a long corridor and deliver it to my door. I will also give a room steward extra if they do something, I request, that is outside the normal scope of their duties.

Take care,
Mike

That is how I view it too - an analogy - if a Taxi driver delivers all my packages to my front door w/o me having to carry them all - I tip them extra.

The room service waiter delivering my breakfast to my cabin in the moring saves me so much hassle - so I tip them extra too.

Annie

DonD January 26th, 2012 12:39 PM

I always tip the room service person. It makes ME feel better for some reason. Two or three dollars is the norm for me.

Bruce Chafkin1 January 26th, 2012 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by green_rd (Post 1411995)
Excuse me?
Bruce, you never identify the line you work for and that is fine. My experience is limited but of the three lines we have cruised, Carnival, Princess and Celebrity, the cruise lines place tips automatically on passengers account and the passenger must go to the pursers desk to adjust the "gratuities". Our most recent cruise we did not have traditional "fixed" dining and were required to pre-pay gratuities.

Bob,
You are absolutely correct. In fact EVERY mass market cruise line now has auto-tipping.
But that is not the subject of this thread.

If you read carefully, Paul was discussing the EXTRA CASH tips that some passengers feel compelled to give to waiters who deliver room service orders to their cabins. Someone then suggested that the cruise lines add that amount to the overall cruise price instead.
My response was - why add a non-recommended / non-required / not even expected tip to increase the price of your cruise?
That idea just doesn't make any sense.

Paul Motter January 26th, 2012 04:38 PM

Bruce, I am glad to see a cruise line worker understands what I am saying. I always appreciate your candor.

The price of soda thing you just wrote is "priceless" and obviously the truth. I NEVER order a drink at a restaurant. but my wife does and I have been subtley tryiing to break her of that habit for years.

There are so many little things a person can get "addicted to" and end up spending far more than they realize. You pointing out what your cruise line would lose points out how much people spend on things like soda.

I know people who buy three or four cokes a day (at $2.50 apiece or whatever). Its bad for you and expensive.

Look at cigarettes - in the U.S. our surgeon general curbed the American addiction to them (watched Mad Men lately?) - but now I wonder if in Europe how much the cruise lines make selling cigarettes?

If people didn't object more, they would probably let the whole ship smoke in hopes people would smoke and buy more cigarettes onboard.

Paul Motter January 26th, 2012 04:49 PM

Mike M ....

Thank you for the clarification on where tips go re "auto-tipping". Of course it only makes sense that if a person wants to tip as s/he please they should be allowed to give what they want and the recipient should be allowed to keep it.

However - I think the majority of cash tipping done onboard is done (as you said) by people who also auto-tip - and in that case the money is supposed to go into the pool.

And YES - the answer is that tips are divied up according the job title, not equally.

I recently read a blog by a waitress working on Carnival who said her "pay" per cruise was based on how many passengers were seated in her station, and that she got MORE seatings if her ratings were higher. (an interesting way to equalize service/compensation, since as the number goes up there is a greater chance her ratings will go down, right?)

But she was complaining that her ratings were tied to her head waiter (or co-worker, or something, maybe she was just an assistant waiter) - in any case they pooled the ratings of the people in her station and used that to decide how many guests she would get the next week.

So - she got paired with a bad waiter one cruise when they had a high number of guests, and his ratings were really bad, so the next cruise her number was cut by 1/3. That is a big cut in pay.

Cases like that argue for the "self tipping" concept, but I still prefer not to tip.

And to DonD who enjoys tipping. I understand that. I am often a generous tipper in regular life. What bothers me about tipping on cruise ships is (1) I don't like to be expected to keep cash on hand in what is supposed to be a cashless system and (2) in most cases the tips are pre-paid anyway, so you are just adding to something you already paid.

But if you enjoy tipping, by all means you should continue to do so. No harm done, I just don't enjoy it.

anniegb January 26th, 2012 06:30 PM

All the thin people I know drink Diet Coke
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 (Post 1411901)
By the way, have you ever noticed that you almost never see a thin person drinking Diet Coke?

Sorry but this side of the pond thin people, I know, drink diet coke or diet irn bru. :)

The latter, in terms of taste, is very close to the full sugar version.

Annie

PS Irn Bru outsells all the more famous American coke brands and they can't work out why. :)

Paul Motter January 26th, 2012 08:04 PM

I suggest we steer clear of that "thin people don't drink diet coke" topic, I have seen people get upset about such topics.

But what the heck is Irn Bru?

lulu48 January 26th, 2012 09:22 PM

silly
 
I wonder where you draw the line
Eating double portions is not good for you either but people do it

Maybe the cruises line should limit how much you eat
Let's weigh in on embarkation day Y disembarkation day & let the cruise line charge $$ for how much you gained

:D

I very seldom order room service but do tip extra when I do
It is a personal choice

Paul Motter January 27th, 2012 11:46 AM

I know this much - one cruise we had early dinner seating, and I found my self getting hungry every night about midnight - so I ordered room service. Usually a club sandwich, with chips, and of course ice cream.

I gained more on that cruise than most.

That brings up a completely off-topic question. I gain weight when I snack at night (I generally don't even eat all day). I wonder - if I waited longer for dinner would I have less time to snack at night - and hence lose weight.

In Spain restuarants don't even open until 8:00 pm (here in Phoenix we have restaurants that close at 8:00 :rolleyes:)

I was in Spain once for ship christening and we were not served dinner until literally 1:30 a.m.

anniegb January 27th, 2012 12:49 PM

Scotland's other National Drink
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1412108)
I suggest we steer clear of that "thin people don't drink diet coke" topic, I have seen people get upset about such topics.

But what the heck is Irn Bru?

Irn Bru is Scotland's other National Drink - it is the colour of whisky but it is a soft drink or beverage. The full sugar and low sugar varieties are almost indistinguishable in taste.

It outsells all the major Coke brands in Scotland.

It has one similarity to Coke - it tastes better when poured from a glass bottle. :)

Annie

anniegb January 27th, 2012 12:55 PM

Eating after 1800 is not good for the waistline
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1412220)
I know this much - one cruise we had early dinner seating, and I found my self getting hungry every night about midnight - so I ordered room service. Usually a club sandwich, with chips, and of course ice cream.

I gained more on that cruise than most.

That brings up a completely off-topic question. I gain weight when I snack at night (I generally don't even eat all day). I wonder - if I waited longer for dinner would I have less time to snack at night - and hence lose weight.

In Spain restuarants don't even open until 8:00 pm (here in Phoenix we have restaurants that close at 8:00 :rolleyes:)

I was in Spain once for ship christening and we were not served dinner until literally 1:30 a.m.



I don't know about the Spanish - they have siestas but it is said generally the later you eat, the more likely you will put on weight.

At home I don't generally eat after 1800 hrs. My two largest meals of the day are Breakfast and Lunch.

Dinner in MDR is wasted on me - I often just have a bowl of soup :) and I don't order room service in the evening unless I have come back very late from an excursion.

Annie


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