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I know I can remove gratuities if I don’t want to leave them on my account, but will I be made to feel cheap if I do?

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1 hour ago, HLM said:

 

Re subsidising, I personally don't agree, as I said in an earlier post fluid pricing means some people pay hundreds of pounds more to cruise than others, I think that's unfair so if they decide to remove the gratuity in order to cruise that's fine by me, I certainly wouldn't feel that I'm subsidising them.

It will definitely be interesting to see what happens in May, I do wonder if the crew will expect an envelope on the last evening, even more interesting is will people give extra, I certainly wouldn't.

I truly believe the crew are going to be worse off with this arrangement, time will tell.

HLM.

Totally agree with you on fluid pricing, we booked on RCI at launch last year for this summer and, while my son and DIL thought about it overnight the price increased substantially, and I am now left wondering whether to recoup this by deleting the gratuity. I guess I will be labelled a cheapskate by some but as I outlined earlier I don't think payment of the gratuity has any effect on staff wages, only the cruise lines profits.

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16 minutes ago, HLM said:

But if the tip has already been built in to the headline price why would anyone want to give extra?

What actually justifies "above and beyond"? 

HLM.

Towny & HLM

Am I missing something here???

Re P & O; where or when have they said that their prices after May 2019 will increase to reflect/balance/ account for the scrapping of fixed 'discretionary'! gratuities?

I may well have not seen details of their cruise programme post May'19 but my initial understanding was that there  would be no price increase as a result of the changes they were proposing.

Although not a great fan of P&O, sailed only once (Azura 2012) which however, was pretty decent. Because P & O policy at that time was that all gratuities stayed on the ship, we were quite happy with that so we paid them in full, but also tipped our cabin steward and table waiters. I believe they changed their policy shortly after that. So now, yet more change, it would appear that P & O are still searching for a distinctive position in the very busy, competitive field of cruising.

P & O are presumably looking to gain a marketing advantage. They must feel that it is possible to achieve considerable growth to compensate for the loss brought about by dropping gratuities altogether. As it is such a hot and ongoing topic, this may well be a very popular and clever marketing strategy. Time will tell.

 It'll be interesting to hear in due course if regular P & O cruisers notice any significant change in staff attitudes, overall standards etc. Also, what effect, if any this has on their market share. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, hayseed said:

Towny & HLM

Am I missing something here???

 It'll be interesting to hear in due course if regular P & O cruisers notice any significant change in staff attitudes, overall standards etc. Also, what effect, if any this has on their market share. 

 

 

Hayseed, I don't think you'er missing anything, you seem to be in the confused position that the cruise lines would like you to be concerning tipping, that is not wanting to be seen as depriving the staff of a reasonable wage and therefore willing to continue paying the auto gratuity to bolster the cruise lines profits.

As regards P&O, yes they have said this would not affect prices, but since most cruise lines operate fluid pricing and change prices as demand varies, how would anyone know. However I suspect that the numbers still leaving the auto gratuities on their account had dropped to such a low level that  P&O were contributing the major amount to the service reward scheme, whilst staff were still getting full tips from some of those not paying auto grats; and if we are to believe P&O they were not asking the staff to pool these tips.  As HLM says some staff may well lose out significantly with the new system, so there could well be a decline in service standards.

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2 hours ago, towny44 said:

Totally agree with you on fluid pricing, we booked on RCI at launch last year for this summer and, while my son and DIL thought about it overnight the price increased substantially, and I am now left wondering whether to recoup this by deleting the gratuity. I guess I will be labelled a cheapskate by some but as I outlined earlier I don't think payment of the gratuity has any effect on staff wages, only the cruise lines profits.

I think this is why there will always be arguments about tipping. You and others believe the gratuities are to increase the profits of cruise companies and others such as myself believe we are rewarding the staff for their services. Until it's proved without a doubt that you are right I don't think my conscience would allow me to not pay the gratuities. I'm wondering if P&O will go back to the way it used to be and advise people of a recommended amount to give staff and in fact how many will be paying it. Or have they said the gratuities are now included in the price of the cruise? 

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6 minutes ago, Tally said:

I think this is why there will always be arguments about tipping. You and others believe the gratuities are to increase the profits of cruise companies and others such as myself believe we are rewarding the staff for their services. Until it's proved without a doubt that you are right I don't think my conscience would allow me to not pay the gratuities. I'm wondering if P&O will go back to the way it used to be and advise people of a recommended amount to give staff and in fact how many will be paying it. Or have they said the gratuities are now included in the price of the cruise? 

AFAIK P&O have said that gratuities are included.

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32 minutes ago, towny44 said:

Hayseed, I don't think you'er missing anything, you seem to be in the confused position that the cruise lines would like you to be concerning tipping, that is not wanting to be seen as depriving the staff of a reasonable wage and therefore willing to continue paying the auto gratuity to bolster the cruise lines profits.

As regards P&O, yes they have said this would not affect prices, but since most cruise lines operate fluid pricing and change prices as demand varies, how would anyone know. However I suspect that the numbers still leaving the auto gratuities on their account had dropped to such a low level that  P&O were contributing the major amount to the service reward scheme, whilst staff were still getting full tips from some of those not paying auto grats; and if we are to believe P&O they were not asking the staff to pool these tips.  As HLM says some staff may well lose out significantly with the new system, so there could well be a decline in service standards.

towny44; I don't feel at all confused by the cruise line strategy. On the contrary, I'm very clear on what they are about. My previous posts would tell you that with the exception of the one P&O cruise we did 6yrs ago I always stop the auto grats and tip where we consider appropriate.

My point was that some posts were suggesting that P&O, having taken off the £7 daily auto tip were or may try to re- coup it via increases on the base cost of the cruise and I had not seen that anywhere. (Subsequent posts seem to support this insofar as P&O do not plan any immediate increases)

 

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4 hours ago, hayseed said:

My point was that some posts were suggesting that P&O, having taken off the £7 daily auto tip were or may try to re- coup it via increases on the base cost of the cruise and I had not seen that anywhere

How would you know? P&O like most other cruiselines change their prices almost by the hour.

They know exactly what their doing, there is no way that P&O will potentially subsidise the loss of £7pppn, I guarantee they will make that money somehow and I'd bet that it will be by using the fluid pricing mechanism.

HLM.

Edited by HLM

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23 hours ago, HLM said:

How would you know? P&O like most other cruiselines change their prices almost by the hour.

They know exactly what their doing, there is no way that P&O will potentially subsidise the loss of £7pppn, I guarantee they will make that money somehow and I'd bet that it will be by using the fluid pricing mechanism.

HLM.

HLM

Well, I would agree if as you say, most cruise lines, including P&O change their prices almost ‘hourly but I am not familiar with what you describe.

Our cruise experience has mainly been with Princess and yes, I have seen price fluctuations but never, ever seen them vary in the manner you portray.

I also agree that P&O will want to make up any shortfall  but if they shift the burden and spread it over the basic cost of the cruise, isn’t that what many people are asking for on these forums? Namely, pay the staff a proper wage, not dependant on tips and to see a return to the old fashioned practice of tipping for good or exceptional service, (but only if they want to).

You ask ‘How would you know”

I'll wager that after this re-jigged P&O policy removing auto tips has been operating for six  months this forum will be flooded with people telling you precisely how they know and also what they think!

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12 hours ago, hayseed said:

HLM

Well, I would agree if as you say, most cruise lines, including P&O change their prices almost ‘hourly but I am not familiar with what you describe.

Our cruise experience has mainly been with Princess and yes, I have seen price fluctuations but never, ever seen them vary in the manner you portray.

I also agree that P&O will want to make up any shortfall  but if they shift the burden and spread it over the basic cost of the cruise, isn’t that what many people are asking for on these forums? Namely, pay the staff a proper wage, not dependant on tips and to see a return to the old fashioned practice of tipping for good or exceptional service, (but only if they want to).

You ask ‘How would you know”

I'll wager that after this re-jigged P&O policy removing auto tips has been operating for six  months this forum will be flooded with people telling you precisely how they know and also what they think!

Not being over familiar with Princess cruises I wouldn't want to overly comment on their pricing strategy, however I suspect they operate in a similar way to other mainstream cruise lines perhaps others could comment on that?

I agree that time will tell, I certainly remember the time before "autograts", gratuity discussions were pretty much non existent we all paid the headline price and tipped at our discretion "happy days" :)

HLM.

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3 hours ago, *Dancing Queen* said:

I don't know if it still applies but at one time if companies like Princess/RCI/Celebrity reduced their prices they would adjust the passenger price to the lower amount, it wasn't an automatic thing I believe you had to price watch yourself but I have certainly heard of this happening. 

Only ever had it happen on Princess and very worthwhile it was, on Celebrity and P&O we once cancelled, rebooked and lost the initial deposits but retained the same cabin both times, and of course saved money but generally this is not available for UK bookings.

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4 hours ago, towny44 said:

Only ever had it happen on Princess and very worthwhile it was, on Celebrity and P&O we once cancelled, rebooked and lost the initial deposits but retained the same cabin both times, and of course saved money but generally this is not available for UK bookings.

towny44 & Dancing Queen

As a follow up on that issue, when cruising with Princess we always take up the £75pp ‘Future Cruise Deposit’ option because they will credit your onboard spend with a varying bonus amount, this will range from $15 to $150 per cabin depending on your cabin status and length of cruise. This is returnable if not used within 2 yrs.

The £75 can also be used as a cruise deposit when booking with Bolsover.

We did this in June 2017 when on Crown Princess in Norway, booking a future cruise to re visit the Baltic 2018 on Sapphire Princess but this time taking our youngest son and his wife with us.

At that time, Princess were offering a £1 pp deposit deal so we reserved two staterooms on Sapphire for the princely sum of £4, (which turned out to be extremely fortuitous for us)!

I’ll cut to the main event; Some time early in 2018 (i.e. some 6 months after our original reservation ) we were sent a brochure by Bolsover and the Baltic cruise we had booked with Princess was featured at a mouth watering £150 pp cheaper!!!

Obviously wanting this price I contacted Bolsover, they got in touch with Princess who told them if we did cancel then we would forfeit our deposit. Now the deposit you pay can vary, it can sometimes be your future cruise deposit, or 10% of the price, OR, luckily for us, in this case, it was just £4. Maybe the moral of the story is that unless you really want or must have a particular cabin or stateroom, don’t jump in too early. Not straightforward if you are working and need to fix your holiday dates. Of course, you can lose out by waiting until the last minute, but it may be well worth the gamble.

As it happens, we do favour a particular type of stateroom so always book early to get it but we knew when we cancelled and re booked they were available. Bolsover were excellent, did the cancel and re book simultaneously to ensure we retained our original staterooms.

Like you, I have seen some cruise deals that say if you book and there is a subsequent price reduction you will be given it, but I cannot recall seeing an offer like that from Princess.

 

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