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About papaflamingo

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    3,000+ Club

About Me

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  • Interests
    Grandkids, sports, cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean, Regent Seven Seas
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. By all accounts, the was an OFFER. Nothing more. An opportunity to cruise for perhaps a better deal, perhaps not. It doesn't appear that anyone who has had a confirmed cabin will be denied boarding or randomly have a cabin downgrade. It's overbooked (spring break?) so they're offering a "deal." Take it if you like it or don't if you don't. But seems a lot of conspiracies are being wound here. At least at this point, it doesn't seem all that big a deal. Run the numbers and decide if it's something you're interested in, or don't. Try a "counter offer." You know, call them and agree to a downgrade for a certain price that's much more beneficial to you, and add in free Drink Package and free Ultimate Dining Package and see what they say. Could be a great deal!
  2. Actually the cruise lines used to have a list. Bartenders are tipped by bar bill tips. They used to specifically break it down, but don't anymore. Here is a post from 2018 CC thread. Believe it, don't believe it, again, why does it matter? I've never been to a restaurant where who gets what portion of the tip is posted or discussed. And no one seems to care. Yet everyone seems obsessed with which crew member might receive what percent of their tip. Why? What difference will it make? If you find out that Laundry Services receives a portion will it change anything for you? Here's a breakdown from 2018. I recognize the numbers don't add up, probably a misprint. Likely it's $3.05: "Total Standard Staterooms: $14.50 Previously $13.50 Stateroom Attendant: $6.20 Previously $6.10 Dining Room: $6.25 Previously $6.10 Other Hotel Services: $5.05 Previously $5.05 I asked also what was covered with the "Other Hotel Services." This is the breakdown I received. (Including the spelling) The other hotel services include the persons who wash the bed linings as well as whoever cleans balconies or restocks the mini bar. Other hotel services include any additional person other than the stateroom attendant that may attend to any stateroom need" By the way, "Let the luxury lines call call it what they want, the point is it’s included and all the workers on the ship know exactly what they will be paid," brings me to my entire point. The waiters in the MDR are assigned a set number of diners each cruise. They expect that they will receive whatever portion of the standard tip for each of those diners. When someone decides to not eat in the MDR and removes their tip, they lose that income. It's not replaced. During Traditional Dining those seats remain empty. Imagine working 7 days a week for 6 months and each week a small portion of your pay is lost because diners choose to dine in the Windjammer every night. So your comment "know exactly what they will be paid," applies to the MDR waiters on Royal Caribbean also. At least a reasonable expectation of the minimum they'll be paid.
  3. The bartender's tip is automatically added to the bar bill. But again, why do people obsess over who's sharing in the tip pool? Will it make a difference? If so, what difference will it make? By the way, the "luxury no tip cruise lines" market their cost as "gratuities are included," or "free gratuities." So they say you are still tipping, but you tip up front and have NO idea how much goes to "tips." And they request that you don't tip, as they're trying to avoid the "up tip" culture from arising. But on those threads, people are upset because they WANT to tip. So you see, here, where tips are normal, people ask for them to be included in the cruise cost so they don't have to worry about it. On the luxury lines, where tips are included, they ask to tip because they want to reward good service. Grass is always greener.
  4. The servers in the MDR's "salary" is their tips. If you want to cut their pay though no fault of them, then that's certainly your right. Go for it. But remember, these same waiters work in the Windjammer, Sorrento's, the Park Cafe, Wipe Out cafe, etc. So make sure you carry lot's of cash around to tip them when they serve you there. 😏
  5. You do use the service. The waiters also serve in other eating venues around the ship. But heck, I assume you work. I bet people pay for your salary and don't use your services. Maybe you should suggest that people at your company only get paid if they directly serve the customer.
  6. Waiters are assigned a certain number of tables each meal. They depend on your tips for their pay. If you remove them because you CHOOSE not to dine in the MDR, you are cutting their pay. They did nothing to deserve a pay cut. Why would you want to do that to them?
  7. Excellent. Thanks for the correction!!! I was unaware of this policy. We are on a New Year's Princess Cruise this year that includes the 3 perks. Good to know. And I agree that 15 alcoholic drinks a day is more than sufficient...but may test that theory New Year's Eve. 😜
  8. We booked Celebrity roundtrip from Vancouver. We also looked at Princess. Just a word about the "deal." OBC on Celebrity is $150 PER PERSON, so $300 per cabin. Also, and this might not factor in, Celebrity Drink Package is unlimited. And if you purchase a drink that's over the max price ($15), you only pay the difference plus tip. So if you order a $20 glass of wine you pay $5 plus tip. On Princess you are limited to 15 drinks per day, and that includes specialty coffee, water, sodas, as well as drinks. Plus if you order a drink over the max ($12), you pay the ENTIRE amount of the drink. So a $20 glass of wine will cost you $20 plus tip. Now, that may not be a factor at all. But for comparison pricing, Celebrity was a much better deal for us.
  9. Thanks! We'll likely do all things together anyway, so I doubt any. of us will be making a reservation separate from the other couple. But something to think about. The rate I qualify for will save $1000 per couple so it'll be worth it even if there are any inconveniences. I really appreciate the info.
  10. Thank you. I have only done this on Royal Caribbean and they simply re-key the cards. But they don't have medallions so that's a whole new issue. If we do this we'll get cabins next to each other so it shouldn't be an issue. I appreciate the answer.
  11. Darn, you're tough. Well, at great risk let me respond. I mean no disrespect. I find Regent policy quite clear. They are saying that tips are neither "expected nor accepted." Not muddled at all. I'm an adult. I can read their policy. So why would I offer a tip to someone who I've been told by policy, should not accept it? Why put him or her in that position. Maybe Regent HAS told the crew that accepting tips is a fireable offense, maybe not. But that isn't my concern, my concern is clearly understanding Regent's policy, which I do. How is Regent "misstating" their tip policy? It's one line, it's clear and concise. What "misstatement" do you see in it? Just because you decide to disregard the policy doesn't muddle it, it just means you have made a choice to disregard it. If a crewmember accepts a tip doesn't muddle the policy, it just means that the crew member has chosen to disregard it. I'm ok with the Spa calling it a Service Charge. And why would I care who gets the money? When I buy a product from your company, I don't care how that money is divided among employees either. Will "who gets the money" make a difference to you as to whether or not you'll use the Spa? Why are people so "hung up" on who gets what portions of tips, service charges, etc.? Why do we even consider it our business. All of these employees have chosen to take these positions. Their compensation is between them and Regent. I was a commercial airline pilot. My compensation was definitely none of your business. It was between me and my employer. So yeah, I'm ok with the term service charge and ok with not knowing who gets it. As for marketing. Well, I am under no delusion that calling gratuities "free" is a marketing scheme. I am educated enough to know that I pay that amount in my cruise fare. If that's problematic to you, maybe you should write Regent and demand a complete breakdown. I simply have no problem with it. I see a cruise, it's at a price I am willing to pay, I book it. Why should I obsess about anything else? Again, I mean no disrespect, just answering your comment.
  12. I apologize, tried to find the answer and couldn't. We are looking at booking Emerald Princess this fall. My wife and I are eligible for a discounted rate but our friends are not. Can we split the couples and put him with me and her with my wife and then swap on board to put us with our spouses? If so, how does this work with the Medallion? Thank you
  13. Not trying to be argumentative, but I disagree. I only began sailing Regent last year so I speak only from limited experience. But I didn't find Regent's policy "muddled." They quite clearly asked that any "appreciation" be shown by a donation to the Crew Welfare Fund. Seems clear to me. And the new policy is quite specific, tips are "neither expected nor accepted." How is that "muddled?" We are, presumably, relatively intelligent adults. Why is adhering to the policy of a cruise line difficult? I don't know how Regent pays their crew, nor do I care. Just like how I earned my pay (before I retired) was between my employer and me, so it is with cruise line employees. I never walked into a business and asked myself what each employee earns, what portion of my cost goes to whom. So why would I do that on a cruise ship? As for the Spa, I was in on that conversation regarding "service charge" vs. "tip." Maybe that's why they changed the term to "service charge." But who cares? Pay it or have it removed. And who cares who gets the money? Not my problem. As for "free prepaid gratuities," it's simply a marketing scheme. They aren't really gratuities at all as you can't have them removed. Why get hung up on semantics? Ironically, on other boards, people are clamoring for other cruise lines to include gratuities in the fare like Regent does. They hate the auto-tips and they hate having to pay at the end or to tip as they go. Seems the passenger's desire is to eliminate tipping on all cruise lines. Anyway, just my thoughts.
  14. is there anywhere that now suggest donations to the Crew Morale Fund or is that no longer in existence?
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