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AZURA

Gratuities, What Are Your Views On This Subject.

44 posts in this topic

This is quite a thorny one and I have mixed feelings about it.

 

We've always paid gratuities, sometimes aided by in-cabin credit and I've always said I would never cancel them because, like it or not, these payments do make-up pay for the crew, who work so hard with little time off.

 

However, I've just got back from a 14-day cruise which we treated our son and daughter-in-law to and I was quite shocked at how much the gratuities for four adults were.

 

I did see lots of people having the gratuities removed from their accounts on the first day, and I can understand why people do that. I'd be interested in knowing whether people give the same amount of money as they would if they just left the grats on the bill, but just to their cabin attendant and waiters, or whether they give a reduced amount. Also whether the staff are allowed to keep the tips or whether they have to put them into a pool?

 

I'd much prefer to pay more upfront in the price of the holiday than have to pay gratuities. I doubt that will ever happen though because it will make the cruise look too expensive.

Liz

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yes I agree it is a sticky point.  But on my last cruise I had such good service from our waiter and cabin steward and we also saw a waiter from a previous cruise who, looked out for us and gave us a brilliant service at breakfast times.  so we got the tips removed and handed them ourselves in an envelope.  We ended up giving alot more than we otherwise would have paid but they truly deserve it.

Cruiseada, JOHN CAIN and covcity0 like this

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i dont mind paying the tips on board although i dont agree paying full for my 11 year old daughter as i tip the kids club and she does not use the dinning room much so for children i do feel it is alot to pay.

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Hi  I pay the tips in full usually via my OBC system.  The staff are paid very little by the cruise lines most of their pay is that given by the passengers and they deserve every penny they work vey hard.   However, I would much prefer tips to be included in the boarding fare as do a few lines (Thomson, Azamara, Silversea etc).  I suspect that the cruise lines which do not includes tips inflate the cost of those who do pay to make up the difference for those who don't.

Oldworldtraveller likes this

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If you think the P&O gratuity rate is high Azura don't travel on any of the US based cruise lines.

As Liz-Harrogate said, this is a thorny one. Along with smoking threads it probably is one of the most contentious threads on all forums. It is all fuelled on supposition, what someone has been told, what someone has read or someone who knows someone etc. I have searched many of the cruise employment sites but can find no actual details of wages. It is accepted by us all that cruise staff receive low wages but as yet I have never seen any proof of what they receive. The only ones listed are the ships officers. I do know it is a requirement that if you remove the gratuities from your on-board account and tip the personnel in cash they still have to hand it in which they do as they of course do not know who their customer may really be. Could be someone in the know. 

The reason I believe in most cases gratuities are not included in the fare is it would make some of the cruise lines uncompetitive with others. Having said that I believe the cruise lines operating cruises out of Australia all include the gratuities in the base fare.

ron and JOHN CAIN like this

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I always pay the amount recommended by P&O but why does everybody insist and get concerned that they are on low wages by comparing to what we are used too in the UK. The wages they get from the cruise line plus gratuities from passengers make the majority very wealthy in their eyes because of the wages in their countries that is why they suffer being away for 9 months at a time. In India and majority of countries that the staff live, and they have no connection with the UK, there wages would be probably about the £50-£100 a month.

ron likes this

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I think OWT and shilly 3191 have both in there own ways hit the nail on the head.

Nobody has ever come up with proof of wages for the crew and why should anybody be so interested in what someone earns?

 

Would you divulge what you earned if asked by a stranger ? and what has been said by shilly is more than not right whatever they earn working on cruise ships would be more than what they would possibly earn at home.

 

In my eyes if you tip through your onboard account or tip personnel individually that is your choice, nobody else's ;) Ron

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My understanding is that some cruise lines require payment of the gratuity before departure, so on that basis I am pleased that with P&O you don't have to pay until you are on board and know what the service is like.  Having said that, I have never had bad service, and had never considered not paying the suggested amount.   I prefer the amount being added to the on board account as well as it means we don't have to think about getting the cash.

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I think OWT and shilly 3191 have both in there own ways hit the nail on the head.

Nobody has ever come up with proof of wages for the crew and why should anybody be so interested in what someone earns?

 

Would you divulge what you earned if asked by a stranger ? and what has been said by shilly is more than not right whatever they earn working on cruise ships would be more than what they would possibly earn at home.

 

In my eyes if you tip through your onboard account or tip personnel individually that is your choice, nobody else's ;) Ron

Hi  It may be difficult to find out the rates of pay to the lower crew members but Panorama once quizzed NCL's CEO about rates of pay and after much avoidance he admitted that many newly acquired staff were on a $1 a day contracts.. 

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Hi  It may be difficult to find out the rates of pay to the lower crew members but Panorama once quizzed NCL's CEO about rates of pay and after much avoidance he admitted that many newly acquired staff were on a $1 a day contracts.. 

Yes and then add on the gratuities it works out as a very decent wage seeing that they dont have to pay for accomodation and food. On a recent tv documentary about lives of  people living in Asia one Indian taxi driver worked 18hrs a day for an end result of £10 and even then he had to pay for the car out of that because he didnt own it and a local doctor was on £50 a week which was very good he said. We tend to forget there standard of living costs in other parts of the world.

ron likes this

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I personally feel that if crews were paid the proper wage there would be no need for tips unless you wanted to, (i know there is'nt now) Could you see a British AB working for what the cruise companies pay the pakistanis, no i doubt it. Would an English steward work for the pay and hours the Indians do no way, but having said that if they (the cruise companies) paid what i call proper wages then the cost of cruising would no doubt go up!!!!

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Journeyman,

                    Considering you were a seaman you must know why there are so few British crew apart from officers ! and very few British registered ships of any type commercial and cruise ;) Ron

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What do you define as proper wages why should cruise lines pay UK minimum wages like some suggest when there is only generally P&O that has connections with the UK. £6-£7 per hour is an astronomically high wage to some people in parts of the world. If cruiselines decided on a set wage for their waiters/cabin stewards whatever it may be and then said there would be no need for gratuities some people would still pay and call others mean for not doing so and its plainly obvious more payout by cruise companies would mean higher fares. I really dont understand the arguments about gratuities you either pay it in full or part or not at all that is down to personal preference and nothing to do with anybody else. If the staff were not getting the right pay they wouldnt apply for the jobs and lets be honest most cruise lines have staff that have been working with them for a great number of years so they must be happy or else they wouldnt do it.

ron and 5nuresmic like this

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Yes and then add on the gratuities it works out as a very decent wage seeing that they dont have to pay for accomodation and food. On a recent tv documentary about lives of  people living in Asia one Indian taxi driver worked 18hrs a day for an end result of £10 and even then he had to pay for the car out of that because he didnt own it and a local doctor was on £50 a week which was very good he said. We tend to forget there standard of living costs in other parts of the world.

Hi  We all have different opinions and I will not disagree with your aurguement but I don't think most UK workers would like to depend upon tips for most of their wage that is why I said I would like them to be incorporated into the boarding as all the best cruise lines do.   I also suspect many people who don't pay tips for a variety reasons (meanness being one of them or even not caring about what the staff earn as long as they are being well served) many will use the same reasons for with holding payment that they don't need the money.

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Hi  We all have different opinions and I will not disagree with your aurguement but I don't think most UK workers would like to depend upon tips for most of their wage that is why I said I would like them to be incorporated into the boarding as all the best cruise lines do.   I also suspect many people who don't pay tips for a variety reasons (meanness being one of them or even not caring about what the staff earn as long as they are being well served) many will use the same reasons for with holding payment that they don't need the money.

I agree completely but fail to see what the purpose of whether people in th UK would work on cruise ships that I do not see as a problem or even worry about it because the cruislines dont seem to have trouble filling the jobs on ships already. With reference to including the price it makes no difference to me because having always paid gratuities but obviously if they included it in the price then the price of the cruise would have to increase the same amount.

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I agree completely but fail to see what the purpose of whether people in th UK would work on cruise ships that I do not see as a problem or even worry about it because the cruislines dont seem to have trouble filling the jobs on ships already. With reference to including the price it makes no difference to me because having always paid gratuities but obviously if they included it in the price then the price of the cruise would have to increase the same amount.

 Hi  I don't disagree with your comments but I doubt whether many Europeans from the richer nations would accept most jobs on a cruise they are only full because of rampamt povertry in many parts of the world.  I agree that boarding fares would increase but as some members on this forum have stated Australiams don't pay tips - yes they do, they are already added to the boarding fare.  What I do object to is that because some cruisers are too greedy and/or selfish to pay tips the rest of us who do have to pay a supplement to cover those that don't.  The only reason many cruise lines do not add tips to the fares is that some passengers just look at the headline figure and not the "total" fare, however, short sighted that is.

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When you discuss tips/gratuities and whatever the waiters, cabins stewards etc get paid…. consider the photographers who are mainly British. From my understanding they get no wage at all and any money earned comes from commission on what they sell. They also do not get tips or gratuities from passengers, only board and travel.

ron likes this

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I have only used Princess and Holland America, but I have noted that their tipping rates are much higher than say P&O.  Generally I halve the amount on the OBC and give cash direct to certain members of staff.  I do find it interesting that the 'American' brands charge so much compared to others and that is why I halve the amount.

 

I did once speak long and hard with a crew member about pay, and whilst the actual pay can appear low you have to take into account board and lodging, which is worth a great deal.  As one European waiter said to me, there is little for them to spend their money on, so if they are careful, at the end of the season they are left with a substantial amount of money.

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I have always just paid the tips plus left a bit if service has been over and above. However, I would prefer just to pay the whole lot in the fare and forget about it before the holiday

Tally and Sandpiper like this

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I have always just paid the tips plus left a bit if service has been over and above. However, I would prefer just to pay the whole lot in the fare and forget about it before the holiday

We do the same. I think it would be good if the gratuities were added to the price of the cruise. That would also prevent people taking them off, personally I don't think anyone should be able to do that without a very good reason.

Sandpiper likes this

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Anyone who has been on a Princess Cruise will know that not only is there daily rate of 25 dollars per couple you also pay a 15% service charge on all drinks & wine. If you work out the true cost of tips and compere the cruise price with companies who provide a 6 star service all inclusive you get more for your outlay. Having said that in my experience all the crew work extremely hard to ensure we passengers get the best experience from our holiday. 

 

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