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I had the e-mail today informing me about the rise to £6 on March 27th but  they are no longer calling it gratuity payment but "Service Reward Programme" whatever that means.

Not wishing to appear bad, but I would have thought I have already paid for service in the price of my cruise but it would appear P&O expect me to now pay extra to award staff for service. clearly they no longer believe it should come as standard. 

 

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7 hours ago, Jaczs said:

I had the e-mail today informing me about the rise to £6 on March 27th but  they are no longer calling it gratuity payment but "Service Reward Programme" whatever that means.

Not wishing to appear bad, but I would have thought I have already paid for service in the price of my cruise but it would appear P&O expect me to now pay extra to award staff for service. clearly they no longer believe it should come as standard. 

 

My sentiments exactly Jaczs, service is part of the holiday fee, gratuities are additional and should be at the individuals discretion.

I know people will argue that £6 a day is nothing compared to other lines, however this is another 10% increase added to the 35% about a year ago, now that takes some justifying in my book, especially with the experiences I've had with P&O in the past, fortunately it won't affect me as I pay individually nowadays and I'll never sail P&O again because of those previous experiences.

HLM.

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It's quite a while since I last ventured on P&O so cannot comment on the service, it does seem that increases in the newly named 'service reward programme' has been landing at more regular intervals than planes into Heathrow, I know they didnt raise them for some time and must now feel compelled to catch up with their rivals but this doesnt sit well with passengers and record profit announcements.

As Captain Kidd mentioned well above inflation rises when both public & private sector pay is not increasing at the same rate will only see a rise in complaints and people asking for the charge to be removed

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The whole thing is a massive con, £42pppw x by lets say 3,000 passengers = £126,000 divide by 700ish crew = £180, plus their basic wage on top.

Not bad when you think their accommodation and meals are included, and the cost of living in their home countries is a fraction of ours here in the UK.

Unless of course they don't get it all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:o

Forgive me if my maths are wrong, it's not my strong point.

HLM.

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1 hour ago, HLM said:

The whole thing is a massive con, £42pppw x by lets say 3,000 passengers = £126,000 divide by 700ish crew = £180, plus their basic wage on top.

Not bad when you think their accommodation and meals are included, and the cost of living in their home countries is a fraction of ours here in the UK.

Unless of course they don't get it all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:o

Forgive me if my maths are wrong, it's not my strong point.

HLM.

And it begs the Question would you work for that pay ,for that amount of time away from home including Christmas .

I expect the usual answer "nobody makes them do it" ....Davybe  

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At the end of the day everyone still has the choice to remove them and pay as and when and to whom you wish. Just reduce or increase them to an amount you are happy with personally.

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 I'm sure this will lead to more and more people removing the auto-tips and I really think it time P&O simply included them into the price of the cruise.:rolleyes:

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I can never understand why the Head Waiter is included in the gratuties list as, even if the restaurant is well run, they are only doing the job they are supposed to do. Like many, I will now be going back to a cash payment system for those who I believe deserves it. 

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I also got the e-mail about the increase in gratuities. I am by no means tight with my money as I usually pay up and give extra to the cabin steward & waiters but my thoughts on this is that  perhaps P&O have raised the amount because more people are having them removed from their on board account. I am going on the Britannia later this year and I will think about how I pay gratuities, would I pay £84 tips if I stayed in a hotel for 2 weeks?  Perhaps its time for P&O to have a rethink.

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56 minutes ago, Silverlady52 said:

I also got the e-mail about the increase in gratuities. I am by no means tight with my money as I usually pay up and give extra to the cabin steward & waiters but my thoughts on this is that  perhaps P&O have raised the amount because more people are having them removed from their on board account. I am going on the Britannia later this year and I will think about how I pay gratuities, would I pay £84 tips if I stayed in a hotel for 2 weeks?  Perhaps its time for P&O to have a rethink.

Just to put things in perspective on my future cruise with Princess my gratuities at current exchange rate for a 14nt holiday will be approx  £154pp and they also charge an extra 15% on drinks {which P&O do not} that are already higher than P&O so there could be a belief that P&O is a bargain even at the new rate.

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I too could give a perspective on a future cruise on a different cruise line that is costing me less than P&O, and includes drinks and gratuities but it's irrelevant to this topic, it won't be too long before P&O fall in line with the rest of the Carnival group.

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10 hours ago, Davybe said:

And it begs the Question would you work for that pay ,for that amount of time away from home including Christmas .

I expect the usual answer "nobody makes them do it" ....Davybe  

You bet I would, £180, plus whatever P&O pay them in wages, also food and accommodation on top of that it's a no brainier. 

I don't buy into that being away from home nonsence either, during my career I regularly stayed away from home for long periods, it was the sacrifice I made to provide for my family. Why should ships crew be any different, and I'd has it a guess they are considerably better off in their home Country than I am here.

HLM.

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13 hours ago, HLM said:

You bet I would, £180, plus whatever P&O pay them in wages, also food and accommodation on top of that it's a no brainier. 

I don't buy into that being away from home nonsence either, during my career I regularly stayed away from home for long periods, it was the sacrifice I made to provide for my family. Why should ships crew be any different, and I'd has it a guess they are considerably better off in their home Country than I am here.

HLM.

Perhaps we should pay our Doctors and Nurses the going rate for there Country not UK rates .

And I bet like most on here you got a lot more than  they earn for doing less...Davybe

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8 minutes ago, Davybe said:

Perhaps we should pay our Doctors and Nurses the going rate for there Country not UK rates .

And I bet like most on here you got a lot more than  they earn for doing less...Davybe

I think we are getting off topic with "red herrings" like the above. Why do uk rates come into the equation? In the majority of instances, these days, cruises start out of the uk and end out if the uk. The vessel is probably not uk registered so to compare uk rates us pointless. If you stay in a hotel abroad, say Spain, would you tip to the extent of £168 for a fortnight stay in an all inclusive resort? If the answer is "yes" then fine, if not remove auto tips and pay what you feel is right for you and to whom you wish to reward - simple!

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On a recent cruise we wrongly had our gratuities refunded to our account. When I enquired at reception, they said that I must have completed a form to indicate that I did not want the tips to be automatically deducted. When I informed them that we had not completed such a form, they insisted that it must be the case and immediately started to search through a very large file of signed forms. I queried how many people had made such a request and they said in excess of 400. After some considerable time of searching through the forms, they finally admitted that a mistake had been made. I then requested that the automatic tips be reinstated, but was told that this could not be reversed because of their accounting system. At the end of the cruise I therefor gave the staff who served us the full equivalent amount. To say that they were delighted would be an understatement,

The point of relating this is that if so many people are stopping the automatic tips, are P&O constantly increasing the amount to compensate for those passengers who cancel them, since P&O have no way of knowing how many passengers have actually rewarded the staff themselves? Would the actual amount per person per day be lower if the tips were compulsory? Personally we would prefer the gratuities to be part of the inclusive cruise price.

Jacks

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10 hours ago, Davybe said:

Perhaps we should pay our Doctors and Nurses the going rate for there Country not UK rates .

And I bet like most on here you got a lot more than  they earn for doing less...Davybe

Doctors and Nurses has gone totally off topic Davybe.

But £ for £ and taking the average earnings from the UK against those of the Philippines for instance, they are far better off than I am, I guarantee you that.

HLM.

 

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20 hours ago, Captain Kidd II said:

I think we are getting off topic with "red herrings" like the above. Why do uk rates come into the equation? In the majority of instances, these days, cruises start out of the uk and end out if the uk. The vessel is probably not uk registered so to compare uk rates us pointless. If you stay in a hotel abroad, say Spain, would you tip to the extent of £168 for a fortnight stay in an all inclusive resort? If the answer is "yes" then fine, if not remove auto tips and pay what you feel is right for you and to whom you wish to reward - simple!

Why quote what they would earn at in their homeland (Red Herring for tightwads) They are not working at home ? They are not working in Spain where they have a minimum wage (Another Herring)   They are working in  very competitive market ,where the service levels do matter ,and those who pay the best get the best, hence the better service we get on Celebrity compared to P&O.

"Love the tradition of good service that i get on Cruises Just hate the tradition of tipping" ???

Wonder how many of the "I tip who I want "take cash into the MDR every night when there on Freedom Dining and tip the waiter every night , None that I have ever seen or heard of...Davybe

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3 hours ago, Davybe said:

Why quote what they would earn at in their homeland (Red Herring for tightwads) They are not working at home ? They are not working in Spain where they have a minimum wage (Another Herring)   They are working in  very competitive market ,where the service levels do matter ,and those who pay the best get the best, hence the better service we get on Celebrity compared to P&O.

"Love the tradition of good service that i get on Cruises Just hate the tradition of tipping" ???

Wonder how many of the "I tip who I want "take cash into the MDR every night when there on Freedom Dining and tip the waiter every night , None that I have ever seen or heard of...Davybe

What a load of nonsense and I would be very annoyed if you assumed without knowing me that you called me a tightwad. Many people pay gratuities and are pushed by P&O because they think that staff are paid a poor wage in comparison to people working in the UK. That suits P&O because as part of waiters/cabin stewards contract is a guaranteed minimum wage and if it is not reached with gratuities then the difference is made up by P&O. Therefore it is in P&Os interest that the more cruisers pay in gratuities means they might not have to pay that guarantee so more profit for them. The waiters/cabin stewards come from very poor countries  and that is why they are happy to work away from home for 10 months of the year to get in their standards a very good wage in comparison to home. It has nothing to do with minimum wage or what is expected in the UK because they have no connection with the UK. If you chat to waiters they will also that it is the normal for them to leave home and work in what they see as countries where they can achieve a higher wage whether it be on land or sea. We spoke to one waiter and he said he was the only member of his family working at sea the rest lived and worked in Australia/ New Zealand which they have done to give them  decent earnings. So it does have a lot to do with comparison to other countries even the UK because even though they might still be earning poor pay in our eyes to them they are very well off and many support extended families and open their own restaurants when they finish working on cruises. You only have to Google average earnings in their countries and you will see that staff are very well paid while cruising and do not need to pay for food/accommodation and many other things.

 

Edited by sinbad10

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I wholeheartedly do not understand the cry for P&O to incorporate the cost of gratuities into the overall cruise price. Why would they do that? And personally, I don't see the issue I really don't.  Take a look at P&O's gratuity figures in comparison to many other cruise lines. They are substantially lower and in my book, incredibly fair. I saw a comment above saying would I pay £84 in tips if I were staying in a hotel for 2 weeks? Of course you would, or I would think so anyway. Imagine the dining you would do over two weeks in different restaurants or at the hotels restaurants. I find it amazing to believe that you wouldn't pay that amount in tips over a two week period. For just the hotel no but this isn't just the hotel we're talking about is it? It's all that comes with it.

As for including it in the cost of the cruise, that instantaneously removes the freedom of choice for passengers. Keeping it this way allows each passenger the choice of how they wish to tip. Stay with auto gratuities or take them off and tip yourself using the envelope system, simple!

I really cannot understand the uproar about it. There's so much negativity around the word "gratuity" but nobody's holding a gun to your head. If you don't want to pay it don't. It couldn't be simpler if it tried. It's like the word is some evil implication of a terrible situation when in reality it's the way of the world. In comparison to so many other cruise lines, they are remarkably fair with their gratuities so why all the negativity like they're a criminal organisation? Madness if you ask me. 

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8 hours ago, Davybe said:

Why quote what they would earn at in their homeland (Red Herring for tightwads) They are not working at home ? They are not working in Spain where they have a minimum wage (Another Herring)   They are working in  very competitive market ,where the service levels do matter ,and those who pay the best get the best, hence the better service we get on Celebrity compared to P&O.

"Love the tradition of good service that i get on Cruises Just hate the tradition of tipping" ???

Wonder how many of the "I tip who I want "take cash into the MDR every night when there on Freedom Dining and tip the waiter every night , None that I have ever seen or heard of...Davybe

For information I do not consider myself a tightwad and have always paid the full amount of gratuities plus more beside. The cruise industry is a very competative market and P&O s attitude towards auto gratuities is not helpful as, in my opinion, the service levels on their ships has reduced since this was introduced as has the quality of many other aspects such as food. They are working to a budget which is now getting so tight that passengers will rebel in several different ways ranging from switching companies to cutting back on gratuity payments as they coukd well be considered excessive for the service given. There have been many comments on this site about the reduction in service levels and I have certainly seen it over the last 6 years. As SammySun has said - it is up to the individual to decide how to approach this. Calling names is just unhelpful.

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The reference to Tightwads is regarding the poor excuses made by people NOT to pay there gratuities,Not aimed at anyone in particular?

IMO the attitude some have that "they are better paid than they are at home"harks back to the "Empire days and slave labour" They live and work in some very expensive areas of the world.

We all have the right to pay the Grats ,adjust those grats up or down ,or cancel as we see fit .

But please save us the pathetic  excuses (Reasoning) for doing it  ....Davybe

Edited by Davybe

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1 hour ago, Davybe said:

The reference to Tightwads is regarding the poor excuses made by people NOT to pay there gratuities,Not aimed at anyone in particular?

IMO the attitude some have that "they are better paid than they are at home"harks back to the "Empire days and slave labour" They live and work in some very expensive areas of the world.

We all have the right to pay the Grats ,adjust those grats up or down ,or cancel as we see fit .

But please save us the pathetic  excuses (Reasoning) for doing it  ....Davybe

How do you know they are excuses Davybe? My particular reason for removing my grats on a previous P&O cruise were more than justified, I didn't discuss gratuities with anyone other than reception onboard or my reasoning for removing them (only reception) does that make me a "tightwad"? If so please explain your reasoning.

Unless you go round questioning people there really is no way of knowing who's removed them or not, therefore you shouldn't be labelling anyone a "tightwad" without evidence.

Some people simply choose not to pay them, some pay them and some alter them, I don't go round worrying about it, nor should anyone else.

As for going back to the "Empire day's and slave labour" what a load of nonsense.

In the Philippines average annual earnings is around $3,000, these boys and girls are earning that in 3 months, so for a 9 month contract they are earning 3 times the national average earnings, "slave labour" really?

Be nice to get that here wouldn't it?

HLM.

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We always ask the cabin steward and waiters if they would prefer us to give them their tips in cash. They are reluctant to reply so we say will you be happy if we give you cash. Answer is always yes. On the last night if the cruise we give them an envelope (obtained from reception) with their cash in.

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