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towny44

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About towny44

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  1. HLM, are you being deliberately obtuse. I said that cancelling the auto tip but then tipping in cash IS PERFECTLY OK and does not affect me, however those who do not tip at all are freeloading on both of us.
  2. Cancelling the auto tip and then tipping in cash is perfectly OK, not tipping at all IMO is not. The disadvantage is that the more people that cancel tips altogether the greater the pressure for the cruise line to increase the auto tip, which leaves those of us that do pay it, paying more. Why you don't see that leaves us disadvantaged is also beyond me. After many years of cruising and reading various forums I tend to accept that the auto tips are not truly a gratuity but rather a way of topping up the wages of certain service staff, waiters and stewards, whose basic wage is set far lower than most other service staff, including all those in the galley, bar staff also benefit in a similar way as tips are either added to or included in drink prices. This appears to be a hangover from the period between the wars when stewards would actually pay the Maitre D' in order to secure a job, such was the reward from wealthy passenger's tips. As a result my own view is to take this into account as part of the overall cruise fare and leave the auto tip in place, so my answer would be, if you cannot afford the auto tip you should not consider a cruise holiday, because as more people refuse to pay tips the cruise lines need to increase the level to maintain staff wages leaving those of us who do pay them disadvantaged. Yes it would be fairer if all cruise lines included tips in the fare, but until they do I will continue to feel aggrieved every time the gratuity level increases. But this is only my opinion and I know there will be many who disagree with me, but possibly an increasing number who feel the same as I do.
  3. After many years of cruising and reading various forums I tend to accept that the auto tips are not truly a gratuity but rather a way of topping up the wages of certain service staff, waiters and stewards, whose basic wage is set far lower than most other service staff, including all those in the galley, bar staff also benefit in a similar way as tips are either added to or included in drink prices. This appears to be a hangover from the period between the wars when stewards would actually pay the Maitre D' in order to secure a job, such was the reward from wealthy passenger's tips. As a result my own view is to take this into account as part of the overall cruise fare and leave the auto tip in place, so my answer would be, if you cannot afford the auto tip you should not consider a cruise holiday, because as more people refuse to pay tips the cruise lines need to increase the level to maintain staff wages leaving those of us who do pay them disadvantaged. Yes it would be fairer if all cruise lines included tips in the fare, but until they do I will continue to feel aggrieved every time the gratuity level increases. But this is only my opinion and I know there will be many who disagree with me, but possibly an increasing number who feel the same as I do.
  4. On all our Celebrity and Royal Caribbean cruises one of the benefits is that they do not charge for credit card use, so there should be no change. However I can imagine those companies that do charge will be frantically thinking of ways to claw it back in some other way.
  5. Not sure I would want to do a QM2 north atlantic roundtrip, but we have done a Caribbean roundtrip and have 2 more booked with P&O, and I can advise that apart from the first and last 2 or 3 days the weather can be warm and sunny even in mid winter.
  6. We are on Navigator in 2 weeks, glad you enjoyed it, do you have any other tips or comments that might help us?
  7. Yes it did look good, I quite liked the roller coaster simulator, this seems something that P&O could include on the new ship without too much effort, and hidden down below it would not offend those who cringe at the water slides.
  8. Tally, As long as passengers are prepared to the premium prices that apply to Oriana, Aurora and Arcadia then I assume they will try to keep these refreshed, and I still believe they might build a new medium size ship to satisfy these aficionados.
  9. What you fail to appreciate Tally is that P&O tries to offer cruising to everyone in the UK as it attempts to remain a viable part of the Carnival fleet. That being so it needs to offer both traditional and modern cruising across its fleet as it tries to maintain its role in the UK. To this end its needs a floating theme park to attract those passengers who prefer the lively feel of RCCL and NCL and prevent them from jumping ship. I don't believe this means the end of them offering traditional cruising and maybe the higher profits produced might enable them to order a new medium sized ship to please the traditionalists, that would be a win win.
  10. A good idea from RCCL although I imagine that these staff will be mainly Florida based office staff and families, but there will likely be many W Indian hotel staff on board all their ships who will be worried about the safety of their families back home.
  11. Since 2011 we have needed to book on launch to secure an accessible cabin, which of course denies any opportunity to take advantage of special offers. However over the last 3 or 4 years the prices we paid at launch have never been bettered by any subsequent saver deals, even taking account of sometimes large OBC offers. As a consequence we are more than happy for this to continue, because from our Celebrity experience the addition of drinks packages, to bring the cruise up to an all inclusive standard, only leads to a massive increase in the drinks price menu, which for us as low volume drinkers results in a higher on board bill. So we would prefer that P&O continue to incentivise customers with extra OBC, which can be used to pay the bar bill, rather than introduce drinks packages, and have periodic free drinks offers.
  12. Our last Celebrity cruise was in 2016, booked in Sept 2015, and we had to pre pay grats to secure select dining on that; and our RCI cruise in Sept 2017, booked in April 2016, also required pre paid grats to get MTD. Mind you that was a steal when you compare today's rate of exchange.
  13. The only cruise line I know to offer a price match to UK cruisers is Princess, we enjoyed a substantial reduction a couple of years ago. But RCI were offering a one off price match for our September 2017 cruise when we booked in April last year, however the price is now well above what we paid so that's one offer I won't be taking. I did not know Celebrity had dropped pre payment of gratuities for their Select freedom dining, and we were also required to pre pay grats for the above mentioned RCI cruise which own Celebrity. However payment was only with the final balance, and the RCI group deposit is normally only 10%, or £150 if using a future cruise deposit.
  14. That would only apply if drinks were part of an all inclusive cruise price, at present most cruise lines offer this as an extra charge add on, which gives passengers the choice of buying one or not. My point is that in these circumstances those who drink little would not buy one, however my Celebrity experience is that all drinks packages do is drive up the bar prices so that only those with a "free" drinks package benefit; and even then they have probably paid for it with a higher cruise fare. I very much hope that P&O do not go down this route.
  15. Quite the opposite, if you have to pay for a drinks package at super inflated prices it's only going to encourage passengers to bring more on board, and to try and sneak it out with them, and not just drink it in their cabin.