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P&O from May this year increase their gratuities to £5 per day per person, an increase of over 25%. Is this justified? If it is true that crew rely on the gratuities to make up their wages then they should be smiling all the way to the bank with that sort of increase. What do you think?

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 Hi  I have always said that tips should be incorporated into the boarding fare.  I, like the rest of us, will not know why P&O has increased the recommended rate but I wouldn't be surprised if it was to make up the short fall for those who "forget" to reward the hard working staff.

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to be totally honest my last experince of p&o staff were that they were rude, ignorant and down right lazy! the 'thats not my job attitude' shame really as all the other sailings i have been on with P&O have been spot on! i hope it was just a blip as if they are asking for £5 pppd i think this is far too much for the service i last recieved which was basically non existant!

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You certainly don't get much in the way of service in the restaurant these days, I think I put on another thread that once they have served you your food you are lucky to see your waiter again until they come and clear the table. At the end of the day if you are not happy with the £5 per day it is still possible to reduce the tips if you want to.

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I have just noticed this thread. Is it just me or should the increase be announced in advance before people have booked their cruise? It is like issuing a price increase even if is is relatively small in comparison to the price of the cruise.I wouldn't have any issue if when you went to book they told you the gratuities would be £5 pppn but to state £3.95 pppn when you book and increase it afterwards seems a little underhand.

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I have just noticed this thread. Is it just me or should the increase be announced in advance before people have booked their cruise? It is like issuing a price increase even if is is relatively small in comparison to the price of the cruise.I wouldn't have any issue if when you went to book they told you the gratuities would be £5 pppn but to state £3.95 pppn when you book and increase it afterwards seems a little underhand.

 

it will be in thier t&cs that they can change, they cover everything now adays lol, plus its not compulsary

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I suppose P&O have to announce in advance their intention to increase the tipping charge, I could just imagine the uproar if they implemented this by stealth and didnt advise everyone, I can see it will certainly raise a few eyebrows about the size of the increase but I dont have a problem paying this as having spoken to various staff and customers alike they work really hard and deserve a bit extra (as with all companies though its never the profits that suffer and as I suppose a lot of P&O passengers are also shareholders they surely wont moan at the company making more money)

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For me it's not an issue. I look at the P&O gratuity charges in comparison to certain other cruise lines and still find them very reasonable. Plus I try and put it into perspective. If I was going away for a land-based holiday, I would expect to pay more than that amount a day in tips when dining at different restaurants so I still think it is a fair amount and in no way would it discourage me from booking a cruise with them.

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You can always exercise your option to go to reception and ask for the gratuities to be removed from your account, then you can reward in the old fashioned way. This will then ensure that the staff you want to reward receive the amount that you consider appropriate to the service you have received.. 

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You can always exercise your option to go to reception and ask for the gratuities to be removed from your account, then you can reward in the old fashioned way. This will then ensure that the staff you want to reward receive the amount that you consider appropriate to the service you have received.. 

 

Even if you reward in the 'old fashioned way' those gratuities still have to be declared and handed in. 

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Guest Solent Richard

For me it's not an issue. I look at the P&O gratuity charges in comparison to certain other cruise lines and still find them very reasonable. Plus I try and put it into perspective. If I was going away for a land-based holiday, I would expect to pay more than that amount a day in tips when dining at different restaurants so I still think it is a fair amount and in no way would it discourage me from booking a cruise with them.

 

You're spot on Sammy Sun.

 

Indeed, on our recent journey through Vietnam and Cambodia all the decent establishments we used had a non-negotiable 10% Service Charge.

 

The same actually applied for the hotel accommodation though we didn't actually  see it because it was included in the package price.

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I have cruised with at least six different companies and always paid the recommended gratuities. However, the whole issue irritates. A gratuity is a thanks for special service and provided by one individual to another to acknowledge that service. It should never be an anticipated sum or near compulsory demand.

I've sailed with Saga where gratuities are sensibly included in the price of the cruise, but I sense that most if not all passengers still "tip" those who have been especially kind. A much better system.

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I have cruised with at least six different companies and always paid the recommended gratuities. However, the whole issue irritates. A gratuity is a thanks for special service and provided by one individual to another to acknowledge that service. It should never be an anticipated sum or near compulsory demand.

I've sailed with Saga where gratuities are sensibly included in the price of the cruise, but I sense that most if not all passengers still "tip" those who have been especially kind. A much better system.

Actually if you look in the OED you will find that a gratuity or tip is simply a payment for service to somebody who is employed by another. It makes no reference to superior or special service. Many cruise lines also now use the term service charge which I think makes it even clearer.

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Actually if you look in the OED you will find that a gratuity or tip is simply a payment for service to somebody who is employed by another. It makes no reference to superior or special service. Many cruise lines also now use the term service charge which I think makes it even clearer.

Whilst I bow to the knowledge of the OED I do query the 'employed by another' as sometimes you tip a self employed person such as a cab driver. I prefer the Wikipedia answer "gratuity (also called a tip) is a sum of money customarily tendered, in addition to the basic price, to certain service sector workers for a service performed or anticipated. I also prefer 'service charge' which is automatically added to your vacation invoice. 

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Whilst I bow to the knowledge of the OED I do query the 'employed by another' as sometimes you tip a self employed person such as a cab driver. I prefer the Wikipedia answer "gratuity (also called a tip) is a sum of money customarily tendered, in addition to the basic price, to certain service sector workers for a service performed or anticipated. I also prefer 'service charge' which is automatically added to your vacation invoice. 

To be fair OWT I have checked the definition and it is a payment especially to another's employee.

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We have always preferred to give cash to the cabin steward and waiters. Normally it will be the recommended amount but sometimes if we have had extra service we give more. We have been fortunate we have never had to give less. P & O do allow you to opt out of the automatic tipping and I guess some people do that and do not tip at all or if they do they give very little. Perhaps it would be better if it was included in the cost of the cruise and if exceptional service is provided you can always give a little cash tip.

The crew do rely on their tips and at the moment there does not seem to be a fair way of ensuring they get them.

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Thanks for your responses. I accept the staff welcome and probably need the gratuities, but can anyone confirm that Cruise Lines pay the "living wage"? What would anger me is if gratuities were simply expected by Companies to make up for the niggardly wages they might pay.

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Guest shilly3191

The staff get well rewarded in wages compared to others in their home country that is why they leave their families for up to 9 months dont think "living wage" has anything to do with it.

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Average payroll cost for cruise ships is 11% of total costs, the same as fuel costs, and tells you everything you need to know about wages.

If everyone queued to cancel gratuities the average cost of a cruise would rise, but cruise companies currently choose to pretend that gratuities are optional allowing them to market their product at a false low price.

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I don't have problem with tipping and at least this way the people behind the scenes and the staff in places like the buffet service all get a share,but 25% is a little steep but I'll pay it.

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Guest Solent Richard

I don't have problem with tipping and at least this way the people behind the scenes and the staff in places like the buffet service all get a share,but 25% is a little steep but I'll pay it.

 

Likewise,Bigbri. I'm happy to pay and accept it as part of the 'tradition' of cruising.

 

I have to admit my face dropped when I saw your figure of 25%: before I realised that 25% of a reasonably small amount is not really large.

 

Apart from leaving gratuities on my account i always leave a little extra for the Cabin/Suite steward.

 

It's a joy to see their faces when you hand it over, particularly when they know you have already paid via your account.

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We set sail on our third cruise in a week's time - all 3 with P&O. on the first 2 we chose Freedom Dining, but this time on Adonia, that is not an option. My inclination is to opt out of the automatic payment in order to be able to reward those who best serve me. However, with Freedom dining it is rare to have the same waiter(s). 

 

The cabin steward, on the other hand, is a constant.

 

There is one further point, which increases the dilemma. Surely (hopefully) a proportion of the automatic levy goes to those members of the service team that we rarely see - the cooks, launderers, etc. who, by their role on board are not in a position to be "tipped" by those who opt out. 

 

Decisions, decisions!

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We set sail on our third cruise in a week's time - all 3 with P&O. on the first 2 we chose Freedom Dining, but this time on Adonia, that is not an option. My inclination is to opt out of the automatic payment in order to be able to reward those who best serve me. However, with Freedom dining it is rare to have the same waiter(s). 

 

The cabin steward, on the other hand, is a constant.

 

There is one further point, which increases the dilemma. Surely (hopefully) a proportion of the automatic levy goes to those members of the service team that we rarely see - the cooks, launderers, etc. who, by their role on board are not in a position to be "tipped" by those who opt out. 

 

Decisions, decisions!

Easy peasy, no dilemma. Just leave the auto gratuities in place, tip extra to those that deserve it and go and enjoy your cruise. With just one week to your cruise there are more important things to be thinking about such as where to have that first beer!

Have a great cruise!

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