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AZURA

Gratuities, I Would Like Your Views On This Subject.

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We have just returned from a P&O cruise and left the automatic tips in place. Two points with this, our cabin steward told us that if we did not put 'excellent' on the questionnaire she would not get the full tips allowance, as she was excellent this was not a problem but i was concerned that if she did not get the tips we paid who would? secondly we were the only couple to pay automatic tipping on our table and when the three other couples on our table handed out tip envelopes they seemed to think we were trying to get out of tipping.  

I think that is a fair point Seawitch - we too have left the automatic tips in place, but have also given al little extra for outstanding service.

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Guest shilly3191

We have always liked to tip directly on P&O as we know that they have got it then, I dont like adding it on to the onboard account as how certain can you be that it will all reach the staff :/ though the suggested tips on P&O are very reasonable.

 You still have no certainty by tipping direct that they keep it on many cruise lines ,and possibly P&O, when given cash tips they have to hand them in and they are pooled as exactly the same as if they were added to your OBC account.

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I leave the automatic tip as it is but if I feel the staff have been fantastic (which is always) I also hand them an envelope on the last night with some additional money and a thank you card. I know I am not the only person who does this and it is not to show off but simply to show my appreciation for all the hard work they have done to make my holiday special.

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 You still have no certainty by tipping direct that they keep it on many cruise lines ,and possibly P&O, when given cash tips they have to hand them in and they are pooled as exactly the same as if they were added to your OBC account.

 

oh wow how do you know that?

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I do know that, when you tipped your cabin steward in person, he/she had to give some of the money to the person that worked with him so it is shared. Also the cabin steward that I have had in the past has said that excellent is required from a majority of his cabins for him to get the tip when it is added to the on board account. So he usually gets something in a thank you card.

 

I don't know whether it is because I am mainly a single traveller, I cannot say that I have experienced many exceptional touches particularly in the restaurant on club dining. The cabin stewards are different but not quite so with the waiters. 

 

Just my opinion. 

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Hello - I'm new to this forum and (fairly) new to cruising having nly done two previous cruises in 2011 and 2012.

 

My issue with "tips" or "gratuities" is that nobody tips me for the work that I do. It is said that we tip our steward and/or waiter for exceptional service, but isn't that what we should expect as normal? I feel that tips are just another way of the company extracting money from the passenger in order to supplement the staff wages. There is, to me, an unacceptable moral pressure put on folk to pay these tips or be branded as skinflints.

 

The staff agree to work for a set wage (and the rate is no concern of mine) and they know what they are agreeing to before they sign their contracts. They are employed to give excellent service and that is what I should expect when i pay my (to me) excessive fare. Those who say "if you can afford to cruise, you can afford to tip" are not, necessary right as some of us stretch ourselves to the limit to afford the cruise in the first place.

 

In my defense, I would say that on both my previous cruises I have, in fact, paid the requested amount of tips - although I have removed the auto tipping out of principle and given cash to both the steward and waiter (in freedom dining).

 

Sorry if this causes offence - non is intended. Please do not ostracize me for expressing my own, personal, views. :-)

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Hello - I'm new to this forum and (fairly) new to cruising having nly done two previous cruises in 2011 and 2012.

 

My issue with "tips" or "gratuities" is that nobody tips me for the work that I do. It is said that we tip our steward and/or waiter for exceptional service, but isn't that what we should expect as normal? I feel that tips are just another way of the company extracting money from the passenger in order to supplement the staff wages. There is, to me, an unacceptable moral pressure put on folk to pay these tips or be branded as skinflints.

 

The staff agree to work for a set wage (and the rate is no concern of mine) and they know what they are agreeing to before they sign their contracts. They are employed to give excellent service and that is what I should expect when i pay my (to me) excessive fare. Those who say "if you can afford to cruise, you can afford to tip" are not, necessary right as some of us stretch ourselves to the limit to afford the cruise in the first place.

 

In my defense, I would say that on both my previous cruises I have, in fact, paid the requested amount of tips - although I have removed the auto tipping out of principle and given cash to both the steward and waiter (in freedom dining).

 

Sorry if this causes offence - non is intended. Please do not ostracize me for expressing my own, personal, views. :-)

 

I don't think anyone should be offended by you expressing your opinion, although many will hold a different opinion.

 

I am happy with the gratuities system because it's part and parcel of cruising (or eating out etc) but can certainly understand where you're coming from.

 

Different industries work in different ways.  You might not get tips at work (nor do I) but I would bet that your base wage is significantly higher than theirs.  When they sign up, it's on the assumption that their salary comes from tips.  If it was accepted that nobody tipped, nobody would sign up to do the service roles on a ship.

 

Personally I don't see the automatic/pre-paid gratuities as tips for outstanding service (I'll give more on top for this).  instead I see them as a service charge for the service that I receive whilst on the ship.  That's basically how the system is set up.

 

I'd much rather they included this service charge in the cost of the cruise, although for those who stretch themselves to afford a cruise it would mean more stretching because I'd guarantee that the prices would go up.

 

Just my 2¢!

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this is a very very thorny subject .

theres folks who pay and folks who dont  . p&o,s are the best i,ve seen  .

princess,s are $11.50 a day .these folks work hard for the duration of the cruise , we budget the tips into our cruise cost .

maybe its time the companies built the tips into the cruise fare that way everyone pays

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We usually remove the automatic tips and pay staff in person.  We were fortunate and extremely lucky to complete a full world cruise earlier this year, we asked our cabin steward which method he preferred and the cash option was his preference.  We paid our tips at the end of each sector, a few people we met said they were going to pay at the very end of the cruise, we did wonder if they would hand over the full and very much deserved amount.  After 106 nights it would also be a very considerable amount.  For the very special occasion of a full world cruise, how we wish the tips had been "built" in to the headline price of the cruise as we believe is the case with Cunard.  We had of course budgeted for and allowed for the "extra tipping throughout the cruise. 

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Hi Azura

 

We prefer to tip our cabin steward, table stewards and wine steward independently , you can opt out of the automatic charge to your onboard account or as we have done in the past, reduce the amount automatically taken so that we are not leaving the rest of the staff out altogether.

As Lohengrin has pointed out, if you sail with Cunard, their "suggestion" is exactly twice the amount suggested by P&O, of course it is stated in US dollars so unless you convert the amount you dont realise what you are paying.  Again, you can opt out of the automatic deduction and tip independently.  I did query with Cunard why they charged twice the amount when they and P&O belong to the same parent group, the rather snobbish reply was  "we are Cunard and not P&O, we are the best" I think they should leave opinions like that to their passengers (sorry Guests if you sail Cunard)

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I have been reading the reviews on tipping, the comment this is the American culture and we should accept this way of tipping, gratuities added to the account., I for one being English prefer choice, I agree everyone works hard, so did i , and received the wage agreed, not receiving gratuities , I prefer the company to pay a reasonable wage, or include in the cost of the booking the gratuities. As with past cruises we tip the Cabin Steward, the Dining room staff and anyone who gives the service we expect.

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I have been reading the reviews on tipping, the comment this is the American culture and we should accept this way of tipping, gratuities added to the account., I for one being English prefer choice, I agree everyone works hard, so did i , and received the wage agreed, not receiving gratuities , I prefer the company to pay a reasonable wage, or include in the cost of the booking the gratuities. As with past cruises we tip the Cabin Steward, the Dining room staff and anyone who gives the service we expect.

What you have to remember is that when applying for jobs, gratuities are part of the remuneration package that's expected when applying for the job. It's just unfortunate that hard working and friendly staff have to sometimes rely on stingy guests to make a living.

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Hi The payment of tips along with the cruise line smoking policy seem to cause most responses from members on the forum.  I will not mention the latter subject but feel that t ips should be paid in the full recommended rate and the easiest method to do this is to them added to your OBC.  If you begrudge paying them just remember the hard working staff are on very little pay and the tips give them a living wage (would you or did work for very little pay and rely on tips for the majority of your salary?).  However, I would prefer cruise lines to include these payments in the boarding fare and all this fuss would be avoided.

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The only problem with including the tips in the fare, from what I can see, is that they will still expect tipping to be carried out. Subsequently  it will be done twice…

 

I think that the on board account is better then at least you don't have to worry about carrying wads of cash about.

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I think one should not  moan about tips but instead think of how little the staff receive and how hard they work often separated from their family. We are all privileged people and should behave accordingly. Its quite simple really. Always tip, always be generous and always be discrete when giving tips.   

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Having read through 3 pages of comments on tipping the majority of passengers would like tips to be included in the cruise price.  This would also prevent people opting out altogether or handing over empty envelopes as one steward told me happened to him.

 

I believe that P & O's suggested level for tipping is reasonable - is there a way of proportioning it?  i.e opting out a percentage which would then go to your own steward.and waiter.  

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BaLA,

          you can of course opt out if you wish by requesting to at reception on P&O ships don't know about other cruise lines.

then you can reward members of staff individually.

Just to say I do not go along with Admirals comments, these people choose to do this job they are not forced to do it. what about people who work on the oil rigs who are away from there families or members of the armed forces who can be away for months at a time and they are not the best paid, just my opinion. ;) Ron

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I suspect we shall very shortly be in a position where most lines charge an automatic daily service charge. In other words at the very least you will have to actively "opt-out" rather than actively "opt-in".

In some ways I find this sad as when we first cruised it was simply part of the etiquette of cruising to pay your tips at the recommended amount plus a bit more for particularly good service. It's difficult to know whether this is still the case today as contributors to internet fora may not reflect the general passenger.

Why do I find this sad?

Well I think it is always a shame if we can no longer rely upon etiquette or an unwritten convention for something but require specific rules to be written.

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I think this is a subject that should be put into context. The crew receive a low basic salary compared to what we would expect for the same job. However in their own country it is an acceptable wage. The gratuities they receive on top make it a very well paid job in their own country and this is why they are queuing up to get these jobs. In turn the wages received in the UK are small fry to those received in other countries so it is all relative.

Tipping has always been an accepted method of remuneration on ships going back to when members of my family worked as waiters on the original Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth and even well before that. To me personally the cost of gratuities are part of the holiday and my attitude is simple, if you don't like the system don't do the holiday. I agree it would be better if gratuities could be included in the price of all cruise lines as it would enable customers to compare the real 'bottom line' for the sake of comparison. As has been said, you can opt out of paying gratuities but some cruise lines have now got around this by calling it a 'service charge' and adding it to the bill. Over the years on many forums this has been an emotive subject and no doubt will remain so for some time to come. These of course are only my personal opinions and I am sure others will disagree.

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Well I think it is always a shame if we can no longer rely upon etiquette or an unwritten convention for something but require specific rules to be written.

 

As I'm quite young and relatively new to cruising, I had no idea what the etiquette was around tipping so the idea of a fixed amount that is deducted from your account or paid up front was wonderful as it took the worry away, and the hassle of having to get cash or envelopes on the last day and who to tip etc.  All more trouble than I want to go to on holiday!

 

I find it easiest to simply pay up front for service as recommended by the ship, then I know that the amount I'm paying is the right amount for my waiter and room staff.  Similarly, I'm quite happy for the 15% service charge to be added on to drinks prices, but will still add an additional $1 or $2 if they've been especially friendly and I enjoyed myself more because of it.

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No one tips me in my job or my wife,s job, however i do tip for good service.

You do have the option to go down to reception and fill out a form to opt out of the tipping system 

as many cruise goers do. 

I have done this and seen this on Cunard and P&O.

This is just another culture thing that we have gained from our American cousins.

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I agree, tips should reflect the personal service and experience you have.

Cruise companies should pay their  staff reasonalbe wages rather than blackmailing customers into this as an obligation.

 

 

 

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I agree, tips should reflect the personal service and experience you have.

Cruise companies should pay their  staff reasonalbe wages rather than blackmailing customers into this as an obligation.

 

Do you really think the price of your cruise will stay the same when cruise companies include the reasonably wages in the headline price?

 

If you do, then you're crazy.  If you don't, then what's the problem just coughing up - you're going to end up paying the same anyway!

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