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Viscount,

 

I believe your post is contradictory: on the one hand you wish to tip those that serve you but by definition those behind the scenes cannot be tipped in that first scenario.

 

Best leave the auto tipping on IMHO so those behind the scenes get their share and tip extra for those that you deem worthy.

 

RayO

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Why do we tip? Yes, everybody on board works very hard. But who gets the tips? Is it evenly distributed around the ship - I doubt it. If I tip I will do it on my terms and will not be dictated to. Why are we selective on this those who we should tip? When we go out for a meal we are expected to tip, but we wouldn't dream of tipping the shop girl in the shoe shop who has worked hard to get what the client wanted. Tipping shouldn't be a right - it should be earned, regardless of their basic salary. Another Americanism. I will now sit back and wait for the flack.

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It is not surprising. I have recently booked a cruise for Xmas 2016 and it was less than we paid for the identical cruise Xmas 2011. I would prefer tips to be included but have not experienced particularly good service on the cruise lines who have included them with the exception of Thomson and Seaborn.

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The old tipping thing again, why oh why don't P&O simply increase the cost of your holiday and pay a wage to their staff, I guess it's a tax avoidance thing. Over the last 15 years of cruising we have noticed a drop in service in many areas, yet we are expected to pay more out. I have no wish to appear as a grumpy old git, but good service is rewarded but we (the customer) should have the choice.

I'm just off to ask my boss for a 25% pay rise. Wish me luck!!!!  

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I would always argue for clean pay. No one in this day and age should rely on gratuities to make up a living wage. Employees should provide an excellent service for a good days wage ... If they don't then the issue should be resolved by management not by an antiquated system of leaving tips. It's about time P & O charged passengers a fair rate, enabling the company to pay a fair wage and management enforced quality service at all times.

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The old tipping thing again, why oh why don't P&O simply increase the cost of your holiday and pay a wage to their staff, I guess it's a tax avoidance thing. Over the last 15 years of cruising we have noticed a drop in service in many areas, yet we are expected to pay more out. I have no wish to appear as a grumpy old git, but good service is rewarded but we (the customer) should have the choice.

I'm just off to ask my boss for a 25% pay rise. Wish me luck!!!!

I suppose that those who envy the stewards their increase in tips could always apply to join them!

I also understand that tipping originated in English taverns and was not exported to the US until the 19th century.

Personally I have always found service to warrant the tips; maybe I have been lucky but I would probably not cruise with a line whose service I thought did not warrant £5 per day!

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I will not pay the 25% increase, I will choose how much tips I give and to whom, otherwise it adds another £180 to our bill and we have already paid another £392 for 6 shore excursions, a definite no!!!

 

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I was realiably informed several cruises ago by a member of staff that the new method of gratuity sharing was 'performance related' and not automatically dished out. There are a lot of people watching their backs. It makes some of the boxes on the questionaire particularly important to the recipients of gratuities. You might think the box you tick is fair critism but you might end up denying a tip to those you wish to receive it.

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About 3 years ago when Carol Marlow was Managing Director of P & O, she let it be known to the Press that the rate of pay for cabin stewards/waiters was 75p per hour.  Bearing in mind that these people who in my opinion are never less than helpful and polite sign up for either a 6 month or 9 month contract with NO days off (just an occasional few hours when convenient to management on port days) I have no objecion to paying £5.00 per day to help reward them for the generally excellent service they provide.  What really annoys me are those guests who book a last minute deal at a favourable price (and we all like bargains - don't we?) and then ask for the gratuities to be taken off their on-board account.  I usually give a little extra to those who have served me well and was assured by a cabin steward last year that they are now allowed to keep the extra and do not have to pool any personal tips.

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In the next year we have 3 cruises booked two on Aurora and one on Oriana. The total days for the 3 cruises is 72 nights which tells me that if I pay the gratuities at £10 per night that's £720 just for me and my other half helping P & O pay the wages.. Then you look at the wider picture and see that I believe both ships hold 1800 passengers and you multiply this number by 72 and then by the £5 per night and we as passengers are paying £648,000 towards their wages bill and that is for only 3 cruises. I for one will opt out of this payment. 

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In the next year we have 3 cruises booked two on Aurora and one on Oriana. The total days for the 3 cruises is 72 nights which tells me that if I pay the gratuities at £10 per night that's £720 just for me and my other half helping P & O pay the wages.. Then you look at the wider picture and see that I believe both ships hold 1800 passengers and you multiply this number by 72 and then by the £5 per night and we as passengers are paying £648,000 towards their wages bill and that is for only 3 cruises. I for one will opt out of this payment.

Maybe I'm missing something but surely the passengers are the only ones who can pay the staff's wages, the fuel cost, and every other cost?

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You are of course correct Shetlander but the 'running' costs come from the cruise fare. What I believe roncyn is talking about are the 'gratuities' that come on top of the cruise fare and although I always pay the required amount I do think roncyn has a valid point. I once tried to calculate how much certain cruise lines had sitting in their accounts which were pre paid gratuities that often are paid 2-3 months in advance of the sailing date. It runs into millions.

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You are of course correct Shetlander but the 'running' costs come from the cruise fare. What I believe roncyn is talking about are the 'gratuities' that come on top of the cruise fare and although I always pay the required amount I do think roncyn has a valid point. I once tried to calculate how much certain cruise lines had sitting in their accounts which were pre paid gratuities that often are paid 2-3 months in advance of the sailing date. It runs into millions.

As I'm sure you realise OWT my point is a simple one - all costs are ultimately borne by the passengers. If cruise lines were to abandon the gratuity system (or as it us increasingly called the service charge) then there would simply be a corresponding increase in cruise fares. Of course how that extra charge is split between passengers may be different than under the current system, but the total amount raised would be the same. So regardless of how it's raised staff recompense (in whatever form) will always be paid by the passengers.

Personally I think some folk simply find it difficult to pay an amount that they can avoid! I have always understood that gratuities are part of cruising and have always received service that is worth the recommended charge, even though there are now four if us!

My perception is that cruise fares are somewhat lower than they were when we took our first cruise (as young people!) in 1999; as a result gratuities are probably a higher percentage of the total cost than they used to be. This may help explain why this is such a hot topic nowadays. As I say this is just my perception on fares and I nay, of course, be wrong.

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There is a lot of talk about how poor the staff are paid- I thought I would do a little research. We have a friend who was our waiter several years ago and we keep in touch. He is a university graduate his wife does not work, he has four children, two of which he currently putting through university. On his last leave they had several family holidays including a break at Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Is this a poorly paid worker?  There are reasons that many staff come back year after year. several have told us that 20 years on a cruise ship and they can return to their own countries and be considered well off. I just checked on salaries in Goa, a qualified accountant in Goa earns around £1,600 a year(£32 a week approx) . If a cabin steward receives £1 a day from each of their passengers tips that is £40 (£280 a week just in tips) and food and accommodation paid. They work long hours and are away from home long periods of time but the rewards are worth it for those who can cope with this. 

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The staff on all cruise ships are good with some better than others. I always find staff from the Philippines and Far East to be extra friendly and accommodating.

I often wondered why gratuities were not included in all the fares and have come to the conclusion that it may have something to do with the tax situation of where the company is registered. In other words if it is included in the fare then it becomes part of the companies turnover and therefore liable to tax, especially the interest earned from the gratuities that are pre paid and sit in an account for several months before being paid out. As we all know different countries have different tax systems. Just a thought.

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The staff on all cruise ships are good with some better than others. I always find staff from the Philippines and Far East to be extra friendly and accommodating.

I often wondered why gratuities were not included in all the fares and have come to the conclusion that it may have something to do with the tax situation of where the company is registered. In other words if it is included in the fare then it becomes part of the companies turnover and therefore liable to tax, especially the interest earned from the gratuities that are pre paid and sit in an account for several months before being paid out. As we all know different countries have different tax systems. Just a thought.

I don't think it would be affected by the tax position of the cruise lines. Businesses generally pay corporation tax on profit rather than turnover; assuming the money received is paid out to staff it will have no effect on profit.

I've got no idea how the staff are taxed or how they pay social security contributions, but it might be the case that it affects their position.

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Further to The Pesky Pirate's remark about getting our money for the excursions. P & O also have our full fare for the cruise 90 days

before sailing from 60 days. The interest on this must run into a tidy sum.

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The staff on all cruise ships are good with some better than others. I always find staff from the Philippines and Far East to be extra friendly and accommodating.

I often wondered why gratuities were not included in all the fares and have come to the conclusion that it may have something to do with the tax situation of where the company is registered. In other words if it is included in the fare then it becomes part of the companies turnover and therefore liable to tax, especially the interest earned from the gratuities that are pre paid and sit in an account for several months before being paid out. As we all know different countries have different tax systems. Just a thought.

Interesting thought about tax, though the lower headline price has to be a marketing help to them.

I wonder how many people would have to opt out before they changed the system.

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Further to The Pesky Pirate's remark about getting our money for the excursions. P & O also have our full fare for the cruise 90 days

before sailing from 60 days. The interest on this must run into a tidy sum.

It becomes part of their working capital, and is typical of other businesses but not necessarily as obvious.

A supermarket has your cash when you buy a tin of beans months before they pay the supplier.

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In relation to income tax, I believe that after you have spent a certain time employed at sea then you don't get taxed on your earnings.

 

When you buy a tin of beans, even though the supermarket may not have paid their suppliers, at least you eat them virtually straight away, although hoarders will probably keep them for 90 days… 

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Back to the tipping/gratuities, P & O change things without informing passengers first, not only tipping but other things as well. They don't answer your complaints either. Although we do tip certain staff who give us a good service, we do remove the automatic charge, like other members on here I do not like being dictated to. where do people get all there background information because some contradicts others. Why do people keep referring to a living wage, although I don't know how much the cabin steward and waiters earn, it must be a good comparison to what they would earn at home and probably on board ship have better working conditions, food and uniform supplied. My daughter works for a travel company on contract as a Manager and is on call 24/7 and gets a 2 week paid holiday back to UK annually. Her pay is nothing like a living wage of the UK but works in comparison with the country she is in. any travel company rep will also tell you the wages are extremely poor but if you can't get a job at home you go abroad to work. So I reckon the staff on board cruise liners are well off by comparison with their low wage and many tips. They must be they all have the latest phones, iPad etc. one way P & O could sort all this tipping grievance out, stop giving onboard credit, free parking, free coach travel, have one pricing system not 3 (like the last time we booked a cruise), and use this cash to pay the lower paid cruise staff. No more gratuities necessary.

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