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Old January 24th, 2012, 08:12 PM
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Thumbs down 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?
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Old January 24th, 2012, 08:48 PM
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Just raise the price of the cruise & just include the gratuities in the price of the cruise
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Old January 24th, 2012, 08:52 PM
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I've never had room service but if I did ,I would tip the server
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Old January 24th, 2012, 09:31 PM
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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.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 09:38 PM
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I have allways tipped room service staff and will continue to do so.

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Old January 25th, 2012, 05:16 AM
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Default I do too

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Originally Posted by Manuel View Post
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
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Old January 25th, 2012, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lulu48 View Post
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?
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Old January 25th, 2012, 06:09 PM
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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. 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.

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Mike
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Old January 26th, 2012, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike M View Post

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
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Old January 26th, 2012, 01:39 PM
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I always tip the room service person. It makes ME feel better for some reason. Two or three dollars is the norm for me.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
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?
Quote:
Originally Posted by green_rd View Post
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.

Bruce, interesting numbers to say the least. But you cannot compare a cruise line to MacDonald's nor can you compare it to a restaurant. And to use your analogy that someone should not have to pay extra for their cruise fares, because they don't drink soda's ... you can use that anology for just about everything. Why should someone's fare subsidize the kid's programs if they don't have kids? Why should my fare, subsidize the buffet, if I never eat there. Why should someone subsidize the shows, if they do not partake in the entertainment. One fare covers all, makes sense to me.

Again, I don't know line you work for .... but Royal or Carnival, charging me %50 bucks for a coke card ... makes me feel nickel and dimed. Add 50 bucks to my fare and I'm a happy camper.


And yes, the cruiselines do advocate tipping, although not necessarily for room service. Most lines scream, at every opportunity (usually the CD: tip, tip, tip.... as do a minority of the ship's personnel (ex. a waiter at dinner) If tips were not requried, I would not see gratuity envolopes in my cabin.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
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.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 09:26 AM
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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.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_rd View Post
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
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Old January 26th, 2012, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_rd View Post
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.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 05:38 PM
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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.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
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.
One correction...Royal Caribbean does not have autotipping. If you book their anytime dining you have to prepay. Otherwise tips are by cash. However, if you wish to have the tips added to your account the passenger must request it by filling out a form.

I have read that some cruiselines, tipping for room service is included in the autotip/service charge, but not all. I guess it depends on who brings the room service order...is it someone who is a tipped crew member or someone not included in the tip pool (eg. another crew member who agrees to do this for extra money over and above their regular duties).
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Old June 13th, 2014, 04:28 AM
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I agree. Since tips, in general are automatically collected, room service tipping on a cruise gets to be a case of double-tipping.
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Old July 14th, 2014, 03:54 AM
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I had the same dilemma when getting room service at the Disneyland Hotel, but wound up giving the server a few dollars anyway. That was the only time I wasn't sure on tipping, the rest of the time it was usually pretty clear the times you should tip. I always leave a couple of dollars each morning for the maids too.
So basically service is included, but should I still tip the waiter or is that unnecessary? I would hate to appear rude!!
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Old July 14th, 2014, 10:55 AM
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I have no problem with tipping extra, when someone does extra for you. Dannyboy's post is a good example of that.

If the cabin steward cleans the room twice a day, leaves clean towels and fills the ice bucket (I guess that's now "extra" on Carnival) I don't tip extra. If I want an extra chair for the balcony, extra towels each day, extra glassware..etc. and they do it, then I tip extra.

I have tipped room service, on cruise ships, since I first started cruising. I've worked the service side of the hotel and restaurant business and I believe some body carrying a tray of food and plates up a number of decks and delivering it to the room is worth a couple of bucks. Especially since there is no charge for the food.

Hotel room service is the rip-off. You pay a higher cost for the food, they add a 18%, or more, service charge and then expect a tip. Now, that's a rip off and one that I hope cruise lines do not follow.

I have always left a tip for the cleaning people at hotels. I know people who are cleaning staff at hotels and they work their "butts" off and are treated like dirt by most people. You would not believe some of the literal "crap" they have to clean up.

I never tip for a bad job or when someone does not deliver. I rarely pre-tip unless I have a number of specific requests.

Over the years I've read the postings of people who slip a $20 - $50 or $100 to the cabin steward when they first meet them and then brag about how great their service was. Well, I didn't and I still got great service. A lot of pre-tipping is stroking the ego of the person giving the tip and not for the benefit of service or the staff member. Some people like to feel like a big shot and, if they do, that's fine. It's their money and if it makes them feel good then go for it but don't expect everyone else to.

Tipping is a personal thing and it's up to you how you want to do it. The thing I do have an issue with are people removing their gratuities from their account for no reason other than they don't believe in tipping. Well, that is also their decision but they are still cheap. Write a nasty letter to the President of the cruise line, post your displeasure of tipping on every board but don't take the salary away from the person who is going to be working, very hard, for you. BTW: They know if you removed your gratuities.

Take care,
Mike
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Old July 14th, 2014, 03:08 PM
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So - tipping is a more touchy subject than I thought.

I always tip what I am expected to tip in almost every situation (the exception being when I tip extra), and I don't often ask for anything special, but if I do I certainly tip extra for it.

I do try to leave something for a maid - depending on how long I have stayed and what she has done for us. I have also handed cash over to certain people in hotels and cruise ships discretely when they gave me special service.

This is just my personal opinion, but having worked with cruise crewmembers I think many of them would rather not have the tip than to have to fulfill some of the special requests I just read about here. But the better cruise lines WILL do anything to make sure the guest is happy.

By the same token, I have been on some "supposedly" top-notch cruise lines where gratuities are included and had what I would consider worse service than I have received on mainstream cruise lines. So, tipping does have its role to play.

I agree with Mike M in a big way about people who take tips off just because they can. Even if the service was "terrible" I would not do that, because you can't always put the blame on the person providing that service directly to you.
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