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This seems to be a point of discussion on most cruises we go on.  Next month we are on CMV and they charge £5 per person per day.  Our solution is to cancel one automatic tip and then give the other amount direct to the waiters and room staff.

This is one of those areas where there is no real answer.  At least the cruise companies do still give us the choice.

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There are a number of arguments regarding tipping, one being the back room staff wont get anything if you tip individually but on most restaurants on land you only tip the waitress but I acknowledge some do share the tips out.

I do have a issue with P&O applying the automatic charge to under 18's (but over 16) which  having 17 year old twins works out and a hefty total over a 17 day cruise for 4 we are about to go on which will be £408 in tips.

P&O wouldn't allow my kids on a adult only cruise when they were 16 but they will class them as adults at that age when it comes to tips. Looks like double standards to me. 

Methinks i will half the automatic charge on embarkation and give a few individuals a personalized tip at the end.

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On 2017-6-18 at 11:31 AM, graphostar said:

You could always reduce the auto tipping amount to a lesser amount and tip individually as well. It depends on what your budget for tipping is really. 

Graphostar

 

I pay the upfront charge of £4 a day then add on token amounts for certain members of staff. This amount is nothing for your Waiter and his assistant, Cabin Steward and their helper. 4 people. there are other members of the  Staff whom one might become friendly with, especially when one cruises frequently. A few years ago it was more than this on P&O and the American ships but I stick to Fred Olsen now. 

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We've only done 1 cruise but it helps to remember the word TIP originates in the old days of upper class largesse to aiters, drivers etc. and it actually means 'To Insure Promptness' so unless you intend to go back and hope your generosity is remembered, I think it is best to tip at the beginning  of the cruise, a few, say minimum £20 or $50, to ensure good service going forward.

We used Azamara where tipping is included in the overall cost ( obviously it's in there somewhere) but can avoid embarrassment and you do get taken care of.

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On 18 June 2017 at 8:05 PM, captaintel123 said:

If as you suggest and by the way I agree,that the cruise lines should pay the staff more then the fare would increase and you would have to pay if you wish to travel,then in reality there would be little or no difference to what younow pay if you include tips.To me its a no brainer ,leave them on unless the idea is to pay less than the recommended amount.People should at least be honest about this.

I've thought a lot about this, and don't see why the cruise fare should increase.

The concept of auto gratuities was originally sold by the cruiselines for them to distribute the optional gratuity on YOUR behalf, this to take away the hassle of envelopes etc.

If as they often claimed it's simply an additional payment by us as an appreciation of services rendered and doesn't form part of crew wages, why would the cruise fare need to increase?

However if they are using them to boost crews wages and intern lessening the burden on themselves, I'm glad I now opt out.

HLM.

 

 

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P&O apply an automatic (optional) 'service charge' of £84 to each account at the start of the cruise. So, if you are travelling as a couple, that's a huge £168 chunk of your on board spending gone before you even get started. Not on, in my book. We, as customers, can't be certain that the full amount is passed on to those who deserve it. Reward good service as and when you receive it, directly to the crew member who has provided that service, in cash. That way you know for certain that the right person has been rewarded for the service that you have received and they are aware that you appreciate their efforts. What better motivation could there be for them to 'go the extra mile'?

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On ‎6‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 11:54 AM, HLM said:

The best advice is to go with your gut feeling Janiem.

Me personally now tip individually, I am a strong believer that the cruiseline should pay a decent wage rather than rely on us guests to bolster crews income, which appears to becoming the norm across the board at present.

Some Carnival brands (not P&O as yet) also add a 15% service charge on top of the gratuity, pure greed in my opinion.

HLM.

Correction,, the 15 % gratuity is for drinks only on majority of lines, it is snot added on to your daily cabin charge ,,, Bar staff who do not serve you in the MDR get their tips only from the 15 % , course a second line is added as blank if you wish to add more :) 

As to cruise lines paying a decent wage, your fight is with the cruise line not the staff especially the one you do not directly interact with but are part of your service.

All inclusive lines have no gratuities but of course it is in your fare

 

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1 hour ago, RobBar said:

 

 

1 hour ago, RobBar said:

Correction,, the 15 % gratuity is for drinks only on majority of lines, it is snot added on to your daily cabin charge ,,, Bar staff who do not serve you in the MDR get their tips only from the 15 % , course a second line is added as blank if you wish to add more :) 

As to cruise lines paying a decent wage, your fight is with the cruise line not the staff especially the one you do not directly interact with but are part of your service.

All inclusive lines have no gratuities but of course it is in your fare

My fight is with no one RobBar, I pay my cruise fare then let them pay their staff.

I 'opt out' of gratuities and give additional tip to those who serve me well, if I'm not happy with the service I pay no one, simple as that.

You are correct regarding "bar staff" but that's why I believe it's a total rip off, £84 per couple in grats, then an additional compulsory 15% on all drinks ( not on P&O yet), another reason to remove grats.

HLM.

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7 hours ago, HLM said:

 

My fight is with no one RobBar, I pay my cruise fare then let them pay their staff.

I 'opt out' of gratuities and give additional tip to those who serve me well, if I'm not happy with the service I pay no one, simple as that.

You are correct regarding "bar staff" but that's why I believe it's a total rip off, £84 per couple in grats, then an additional compulsory 15% on all drinks ( not on P&O yet), another reason to remove grats.

HLM.

$140 in my monies for two of you for I assume a week, sounds fine to my mind. I can remember the days of monies and envelopes, felt like  a banker or the foreman counting out pay on the plantation at end of week  . In our case we always had to exchange for ships currency prior to boarding . So I appreciate the auto gratuity system ( in fact one day the ATM ran out of monies on the last day leaving a bunch or folks upset)  and I still ask for envelopes for rewarding those I directly interact with who have helped us. The current system will not o away for a long time and if it did people would still question why the increased price. As you and I know this topic will always surface ...

Have a great day ,.,,, least mine just started   

Edited by RobBar

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1 hour ago, RobBar said:

$140 in my monies for two of you for I assume a week, sounds fine to my mind. I can remember the days of monies and envelopes, felt like  a banker or the foreman counting out pay on the plantation at end of week  . In our case we always had to exchange for ships currency prior to boarding . So I appreciate the auto gratuity system ( in fact one day the ATM ran out of monies on the last day leaving a bunch or folks upset)  and I still ask for envelopes for rewarding those I directly interact with who have helped us. The current system will not o away for a long time and if it did people would still question why the increased price. As you and I know this topic will always surface ...

Have a great day ,.,,, least mine just started   

I suppose it is really each to their own RobBar, I much prefer the old envelope type system which incendently cost me more than the suggested amount, but it is at least on my terms.

A discrete passing of a gift to show my appreciation of services rendered to those who served me well, it couldn't be any simpler, that was until the cruiseline interfered and took it upon themselves to introduce auto grats to allegedly make it easier for me!!!

I truly believe it was to lessen their wage bill, and by all accounts it has worked.

Always a contentious subject and always will be until such time they remove the word gratuity completely and we just pay a cruise fare which includes everything just like a land based holiday.

HLM.

 

 

 

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Even if they include it in the price they will still want their tips. Why should they be included anyway, it's as bad as having them put onto your account and it still wouldn't guarantee good service. 

People mention extra for going above and beyond but how would you describe that if the person was doing their job properly in the first place and let's face it, not all do.

i went into a cabin on the first day once and the bathroom stunk with a filthy shower curtain, there was stuff left from the previous occupants and it didn't even look as if they had changed the quilt cover. All reported straight away and thankfully rectified... it doesn't give a good impression for auto tips.

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1 hour ago, The Pesky Pirate said:

 

Even if they include it in the price they will still want their tips. Why should they be included anyway, it's as bad as having them put onto your account and it still wouldn't guarantee good service. 

 

This is why I believe they should just do away with the word gratuity all together and simply give a price for the cruise just like a land based holiday, we then decide if we take it or leave it.

Then just like any hospitality service etc, if we feel a tip is warranted we can opt to give a little extra.

HLM.

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The concept of auto-gratuity deduction has a ring of fairness to it. In this way staff are paid and the 'free loaders' also pay, thus spreading the charge across all passengers and ensuring that the staff are not short changed. From a security aspect it saves passengers having on longer cruises a sizeable cash hoard and in turn loads of cash floating about (I hope not) in the crews' quarters. From their families' aspect it can help to prevent the week willed from rash spending or even gambling. A win - win situation. By the way, I will not go into details how the money is distributed it is not simple, enough to say your 'Satisfaction  Questionaire ' plays a part, as well as where and how frequently you dine for the waiters' allocation.

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In reply to Joro-44 he is entitled to his opinion but sadly with regards to his comments on "TIPPING" he is virtually on his own. 

This reply is written by a good tipper in my opinion who gives good tips for the good service received. Therefore if no service - NO TIP.

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Having just come off a Cunard cruise I feel that I have to add some of the things that I found out. I asked our cabin steward and the waiters in the Britannia restaurant plus some of the staff we know from past cruises, if they receive any of the automatic tips. The answer was NO and that a lot of passengers ask this. Therefore we had it removed. Also they add 15% to all drinks but the bar staff and wine waiters do not get any of this. We tipped all the staff that had given us good service. One wondered why I was giving him an envelope, I told him there was a tip inside he remarked that no one had given him one before. 

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If this is 'fact' terrierian then can I suggest you post it on Cunards FB page and give them the opportunity to respond to it.

It isn't a question I have ever asked but we are quite well known by some of the crew and purely by the way we are treated I assume the auto gratuities we have left in place have gone to them, I also had a conversation with one of the wine waiters on our last cruise .. we were on a triple B to B with a 4 nighter in the middle, it was a pretty general conversation but he said he loved the short cruises as he would earn more in tips on that one than he would on the ones either side of it .. I hadn't asked it was information volunteered so I have no reason to disbelieve it. 

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18 minutes ago, *Dancing Queen* said:

If this is 'fact' terrierian then can I suggest you post it on Cunards FB page and give them the opportunity to respond to it.

It isn't a question I have ever asked but we are quite well known by some of the crew and purely by the way we are treated I assume the auto gratuities we have left in place have gone to them, I also had a conversation with one of the wine waiters on our last cruise .. we were on a triple B to B with a 4 nighter in the middle, it was a pretty general conversation but he said he loved the short cruises as he would earn more in tips on that one than he would on the ones either side of it .. I hadn't asked it was information volunteered so I have no reason to disbelieve it. 

But in there lies the problem DQ no one really seems to be able to establish the truth.

Cruiselines say one thing, some crew say another not least that they receive very little of the gratuity if they don't hit a customer satisfaction minimum, I then wonder where those grats go if not paid to the crew???

For that reason I no longer pay auto grats because I can't be 100% certain where or who they are going to, I now choose to reward those who serve me well, if they choose to poll them it's their decision, but at least I am satisfied that I've paid for the service received, if justified!!.

HLM.

 

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8 hours ago, *Dancing Queen* said:

If this is 'fact' terrierian then can I suggest you post it on Cunards FB page and give them the opportunity to respond to it.

It isn't a question I have ever asked but we are quite well known by some of the crew and purely by the way we are treated I assume the auto gratuities we have left in place have gone to them, I also had a conversation with one of the wine waiters on our last cruise .. we were on a triple B to B with a 4 nighter in the middle, it was a pretty general conversation but he said he loved the short cruises as he would earn more in tips on that one than he would on the ones either side of it .. I hadn't asked it was information volunteered so I have no reason to disbelieve it. 

We came off the QV in April and all was as you say plus we gave envelopes at end to main folks and they were pleased. I always added an extra $1 or so to the drinks 15 % andI was remembered for sure...   Per link Cunard states all goes to crew as such

https://ask.cunard.com/help/life-on-board/gratuity

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As I understand, even when you pay the gratuities unless the the stewards, waiters, etc gei excerlant on the questionnaire you fill in they don't get the money, which is why we pay our tips, and take off the auto payments. We have quite a few friends who work for Cunard and P&O, they say the same thing

We disembarked the Aurora on Sunday, we saw our waiter, getting the coach into Southampton heading for Poundland, he laughed at us, and said with our tip he could buy up the shop, nothing said about any othe tips.

just a thought

 

 

 

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On 18/06/2017 at 1:20 PM, lampards@tiscali.co.uk said:

Tipping is for good service,so why should you tip before you receive it?

In a perfect world, cruise lines would pay realistic wages - and would not expect passengers to pay tips, which supplement the crew's wages.  But this is not a perfect world.  Furthermore, it is not a hidden charge because passengers know (or should know) they will be expected to pay gratuities, when they book a cruise.

Turning to the procedures, many cruise lines take the gratuities by instalments from your cabin account every night.  Passengers can opt out of auto-tipping retrospectively - and would be justified in doing so, if the service was sub-standard.  Otherwise, it is more convenient to pay gratuities automatically, which ensures that the money will be shared between all service staff, including people that you might never see.

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I still fail to see why passengers who pay a huge amount to go on a cruise should be expected to supplement the crews wages. If they provide a good service then they deserve the tips, if service is bad then a reduction may be in order. They know their wages prior to taking on a contact and x amount of pounds should not be included in that amount although it could state that by doing a good job then you may earn x amount in tips.

Its up to passengers to say if they have earned it not the cruise lines, whose profit margins are so high, and who can't be bothered to pay a decent wage in the first place.

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16 minutes ago, Pesky Pirate said:

I still fail to see why passengers who pay a huge amount to go on a cruise should be expected to supplement the crews wages. If they provide a good service then they deserve the tips, if service is bad then a reduction may be in order. They know their wages prior to taking on a contact and x amount of pounds should not be included in that amount although it could state that by doing a good job then you may earn x amount in tips.

Its up to passengers to say if they have earned it not the cruise lines, whose profit margins are so high, and who can't be bothered to pay a decent wage in the first place.

I do believe that crew contracts did/do state a salary + what they can expect to receive in tips.

This is a subject which is just going to go around and around until the cruise lines include the gratuities in the cost of the cruise, regardless of which side of the fence we sit on or what we think should or shouldn't happen it doesn't alter the fact that the crew ensure we all have a lovely holiday so personally I don't care how they get paid as long as they are paid a decent wage, one things for sure it won't be hitting the cruise lines 'bottom line' so one way or another we the passenger will pay and the sooner there is a level playing field for all the better imo.

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