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Bolsover Cruise Club

To Tip Or Not To Tip, That Is The Question...

16 posts in this topic

Excellent blog, wish I had of read something like that when I first started to cruise.

I have always include Tips as part of my holiday budget, its more convenient to leave them on the “On Board Account” or pre pay them, I did this with NCL.  The main point to remember is the choice is yours!

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Excellent blog, wish I had of read something like that when I first started to cruise.

I have always include Tips as part of my holiday budget, its more convenient to leave them on the “On Board Account” or pre pay them, I did this with NCL.  The main point to remember is the choice is yours!

Exactly River Song The most sensible comment to be posted IMO  if we all thought and did the same things life would be very bland.wink.png

RiverSong likes this

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I agree with RiverSong this is a great blog and perfect for first time cruisers who are looking to find out more about gratuities. I also couldn't have said it any better, we all just need to remember that the choice is yours.

RiverSong likes this

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Whether people pay or not, RiverSong is absolutely correct it's up to the individual to choose whether their expectations have been met or not, unless it's Costa, I believe their grats are mandatory with no option to remove or reduce.

HLM.

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On our recent 35 night cruise to the Caribbean & USA we were told by a member of staff that unless all the passengers that he was responsible for gave him an excellent score in the end of cruise survey then the tips were withheld from that member of staff. He also told us that the waiters in the Freedom dining restaurant did not get any tips at all and that was why they had to rotate between the 2 restaurants.

We always prefer to pay direct with the envelope provided in your cabin, at least that way you know that the person you intended the tip to go to got it

Oldworldtraveller likes this

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The many posts on the many forums on the subject would suggest that we appear to have a minority view on the subject - or is it that many subscribers don't wish to admit they remove Gratuities from their onboard account? We've cruised for many years and always have, and always will, remove pre-assigned gratuities from our onboard account within a couple of days of boarding the ship.

 

We will not Cruise with any Cruise line that refuses to allow Gratuities to be removed from the onboard account - However, we have found that even those Cruise Lines that claim to insist on Gratuities remaining on the Account if Freedom Dining is selected, 'are prepared' to remove them if they believe this would mean you are unlikely to book.

 

We wouldn't trust Cruise Companies to correctly share the accrued Tip value appropriately amongst their crew - having heard, for example, that some Cruise Companies will take a handling fee from accrued gratituties prior to handing them out to their staff.

 

Our policy is to 'choose' to give tips personally to those members of the Ships crew that have served us beyond what which would have been reasonably expected during our cruise. The amount of tip offered being commensurate with the level of service received.

 

One of the principle reasons proposed for suggesting Gratuities be left on the onboard account is that the staff are poorly paid. Cruise Lines should not rely on the generosity (or otherwise) of Guests to provide 'their' staff with a decent wage for the work they do. If the wellbeing of their staff is such a concern, they should pay a decent wage and add that cost to the Cruise prices - then potential guests can decide if the cost of the cruise remains good value or choose not to cruise. I would suggest this is not done as it would result in a reduced Guest count on many Cruises.

 

We have never come across Hotels that add 'gratuities to the Customer account prior to their stay - leaving it to the Guest to offer tips where they feel appropriate, usually for exceptional service. Why should Cruise lines be any different?

 

 

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I agree with icyseas,we always have gratuities removed from our on board account.The story of staff not receiving tips if excellent is not ticked on the end of cruise surveys is one I have been told many times.I agree that bad service should receive no reward.What happens when passengers just cannot be bothered to fill in the survey,it must happen.My tips go directly to the staff,that way I know who has it.Sorry,but no cruise line is going to reap extra profit from me.

Oldworldtraveller and ron like this

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Well said IcySeas and what a great first contribution. Unfortunately I usually feel sorry for the crew even though it is their choice to work on the ships so leave gratuties on the account. I do wonder what happens to the amount paid if a crew member is not given their share ddue to the lack of an excellent being given. Does everyone else get more or is it just held by the cruise company. I think we, as passengers, need more transparency on this subject to be able to make proper decisions.

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I can only speak for Celebrity, but they are transparent regarding how tips are distributed.  On their web site it states exactly how much goes to cabin stewards, waiters, Maitre d' etc.  I asked our cabin steward if he preferred the auto gratuities and he said he did - straight out of your account into mine  - was his response.  He told us that if auto gratuities were removed, any cash he was given had to be handed in to be shared.  Everyone knows which passengers have removed gratuities and if they didn't hand in cash they risked losing their job.  We were also told that excellent ratings did not affect tips, but gave them extra time off or a choice of the best locations to work.  I know this is a controversial topic, but my feeling is that is tips were incorporated into the fare, fares would rise.  Americans would continue to tip on top of the fare, and pretty soon tips would be expected again.

 

I reiterate that my experience is with Celebrity, other lines may have different systems.

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I would love to read the blog in to tip or not to tip as it will be my first cruise at Christmas. However when I click in the link to read full blog it just comes up blank?

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I would love to read the blog in to tip or not to tip as it will be my first cruise at Christmas. However when I click in the link to read full blog it just comes up blank?

Try this Poppyjan.

Tip Or Not To Tip, That Is The Question

Posted on Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Nothing incites a heated discussion quite like the subject of cruise gratuities. Should you really have to pay them? Are those who have them removed just being tight as a ducks proverbial or are you well within your rights not to reward poor service? It is a subject that has divided the Cruise Club Forum, so we thought we’d address it on the blog too. Although, when it comes to right vs. wrong, we’ll leave it up to you to decide for yourself!

What are gratuities?

Just like the tips you leave in restaurants at land-based resorts and at home, gratuities serve as a ‘thank you’ for the service you have received throughout your cruise holiday. The gratuities you pay are distributed to the crew members who have served you in the restaurants and bars, and also you cabin stewards and butler.

Breakfast on the verandah

How much will I pay in gratuities?

The way you pay gratuities varies depending on which cruise line you are travelling with and often which cabin grade you are travelling in. Luxury cruise lines, including Regent Seven Seas, Silversea and Azamara Club Cruises, include gratuities within your overall cruise fare. Others allocate a set amount per person, per day; P&O Cruises, for example, recently (controversially!) raised their gratuities to £5.50 per person, per day. Gratuities are often in the region of £3-£5 with cruise lines who operate in Sterling on board or $5-$10 with American cruise lines.

Guests may choose to increase or decrease the amount of gratuities paid, though you must speak to the ship’s purser or reception if you wish to have them removed completely.

To tip or not to tip?

How do I pay my gratuities?

There are various ways through which to pay your cruise gratuities.

For many years, passengers would be provided with envelopes address to various members of staff, along with some extra envelopes to be used at your discretion. Tips would be placed in these envelopes and would go directly to that person, whether they were your cabin steward or waiter at dinner, for example. Whilst a handful of cruise lines do still operate this system, most have converted to a system of charging gratuities on a per person/per day basis, with them being automatically charged to your on board account. Automatic gratuities mean the guest needn’t worry about remembering to tip in envelopes or deciding how much to tip, whilst also ensuring that gratuities are spread evenly across all crew members.

Some cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, also allow guests to pre-pay their gratuities up front at the time of booking. Doing this is great for those who are working to a budget, as your gratuities are paid and forgotten about before you even step on the ship, rather than bumping up your on board spend. Paying your cruise gratuities up front can also be beneficial from an exchange rate point of view. Many operators charge gratuities in US Dollars, however when paying them in advance you will pay Bolsover Cruise Club in Pounds Sterling. Doing this means that you can avoid fluctuating exchange rates on board.

Finally, many cruise lines will still provide envelopes in your stateroom, for passengers who wish to tip certain members of staff personally at the end of a cruise.

Gratuities Tips

Why would I want to remove gratuities from my account?

The service experienced on a cruise holiday is almost always exceptional. However, in the rare event that the service received falls short of their expectations, some guests may feel that the automatic gratuities on their account are not justified. If this is the case, the ship’s purser or reception can see that the charges are removed for your account.

The process is also the same if you wish to remove gratuities from your account because you would rather use the traditional envelope system. Cruise lines including P&O Cruises will allow you to remove automatic gratuities from your account for this purpose.

What’s your view on gratuities?

HLM.

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Thanks very much that's really helpful

You're most welcome, and enjoy the forum, don't be afraid to ask if you have any questions, there are a lot of knowledgeable people on here.

HLM.

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The whole tipping 'problem' is, in my opinion (but it's true :) ), is due to the fact that most cruiselines are American and as we know Americans will tip anything that moves and think that we should too.  For them it's not an issue - in fact on many forums they like to brag about how much they tip over and above the fixed gratuities. They even try to outdo each other by their pre-cruise tips to 'get good service'. How much better it would be if cruiselines were Japanese owned as their premise is that 'you pay for good service, why pay more?'.

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