Lets talk about tipping

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#81
SF Bay Area
1,709 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by Tatka
Just because cruise lines offer this choice to remove auto gratuities they shouldn’t be removed.
The cruise lines do not offer this option out of generosity. They do it because it is a legal requirement in order to keep separate staff gratuity income from company revenue. This was explained a while back by chengkp75, a cruise industry insider who has been a purser on cruise ships during his vast maritime career. While they are not legally able to prevent the paying customer from reducing or removing gratuities, they can, as in NCLs example, make it as inconvenient and burdensome as possible.

Kudos to NCL for making it harder for people to stiff the staff. I also wish all cruise lines would do something similar, minimizing this selfish money grab by certain passengers.
#82
CO
858 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by sparks1093
I don't think that I've ever disputed that. You think that your removal of gratuities will somehow, eventually improve the lot of the crew, but that's not the case at all.
But isn't it just wonderful that (s)he can take a principled stand against the Man, screw 3rd world workers, and put money in their own pocket all at the same time? You really have to admire the selflessness that makes these folks not only do it themselves, but try to convince other people to do it. Sadly for them, most people have this stupid integrity gene that prevents them from adopting such cynical behavior.
#83
Columbus,Ohio
6,438 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Lets talk about tipping


No. There are more than enough threads on here about tipping. I'd like to propose a new thread. I'm appalled that no one has ever brought this up. Why are there no Cocoa Puffs on the breakfast buffet?
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#84
Georgia
10,191 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by Expat Cruise
So let me see if we are clear here. First you say cruise lines are " charging you to avoid additional taxes,..." so you want to be part of a conspiracy to defraud the Government also know as tax evasion? Sorry I may push the edges of the law to the line but will not cross is.
Rest assured, this tax shelter is perfectly legal, in the same way tax loss harvesting is legal.

Originally posted by Expat Cruise
You also said "Auto gratuities are not something really additional...." by definition they are always optional if not they are service fees.
Again, you're choosing to give the dictionary more weight than it deserves. Other dictionaries recognize the definitional rupture inherent in M-W, and offer far more accurate definitions: "a gift of money, over and above payment..." and "something given without demand or claim". If you must slave yourself to dictionary definitions for "gratuity," you're better off doing so with regard to these definitions for it.

In practice, the word "discretionary" is more accurate than "optional" or "voluntary" when describing the control that the give-er has in these circumstances. It communicates the actual obligation of hospitality that applies: Service is given by a serve-er, and in return the recipient of the service applies discernment to determine how much to give. That "how much" might be nothing, if the quality of service given is so bad as to substantiate that determination, but there is nothing about gratuities in our society that make them something that patrons can morally decide to simply opt-out-of.

Originally posted by Expat Cruise
And my contract as guest says the daily service fee are at my discretion .
Precisely: Discretion. The question is how could discretion result in a determination of $0 for having received great service?

Originally posted by Expat Cruise
So you or no one else has any say over what other guest do when we are following the contract.
That goes without saying. What people are "having say over" is what is right and wrong - not what another guest actually does.


Originally posted by Pyrate13
Not going to get into the debate, ...
Well, actually, you did. <shrug>

Originally posted by Pyrate13
Just want to pass along, I spoke quite a bit with one of the bar waiters just this week and ....
Up-thread it was made clear why we cannot rely on this kind of information coming from someone who is hoping to spur-on your generosity. You need to get this kind of information either from someone more objective or someone for whom there is a big risk if misinformation is discovered, such as a company official who could bring a substantial amount of bad PR to the company were they to be caught in a lie. Having said that, I think you've misunderstood what people said earlier in the thread. You seem to think people were saying that the crew's base salary is substantially larger than what they could earn in their home country. That's not the case. People were talking about their total income, i.e., base salary plus the gratuities they do receive.

I'm not sure how much the Indonesian, Filipino, etc., crew members make in excess of what they could make at home, but from all I've read about it and from the logic of the situation it is surely a prodigious amount.

Originally posted by Tatka
This is a business constructed the way it suites everybody.
To be fair, while the arrangement is perfectly legal, it doesn't "suit everybody". There is actually a spectrum of perspective on this issue, with some passengers and cruise lines on one extreme saying that they should be able to service American ports, even one way journeys between two American ports, without having to comply with any American labor laws, much less such laws as they pertain to compensation. On the other extreme you'll find some people saying that the American market is so valuable that any ship that makes port at any American port should be compelled to comply with American labor laws, thereby fostering the opportunities Americans have to work in the industry without having to accept such heavily discounted wages.

Originally posted by Tatka
It works because of this structure. It still works if some (small %) removed tips. It will not work if everybody or even majority will do this. So this small percentage of cruisers is simply using this situation where majority is paying.
Subsidization is a big problem within pricing models, and we can see myriad examples of where, for one reason or another, sellers are working to remove such subsidization. All the surcharging we see is a reflection of this: We see premium-quality, fine-dining, full-service meals shifted into specialty restaurants with a surcharge, so that John and Jane who want that extra increment of quality bear the extra cost of it themselves, rather than having it subsidized by folks like Jim and Jan who would be satisfied with standard-quality, fine-dining, full-service meals in the main dining room.

Originally posted by Tatka
If percentage of smarty pants increases companies will be forced to make a change, because in some reason people who choose to use their services don’t agree with their business model.
I think many of those people would say that that's fine with them. Of course, when you point out how it would actually cost them more to have the cost of stateroom and dining service fully baked into the cruise fare, since the cost of the extra taxes the cruise line would have to pay would be passed along to passengers to keep the change revenue-neutral, they try to evade addressing that reality.

Originally posted by Toofarfromthesea
But isn't it just wonderful that (s)he can take a principled stand against the Man, screw 3rd world workers, and put money in their own pocket all at the same time? You really have to admire the selflessness that makes these folks not only do it themselves, but try to convince other people to do it.
I think that's really the thread underlying all these threads. It offends moral sensibilities to see people rationalize offensive behavior sometimes as much as it offends moral sensibilities to see people engage in offensive behavior.
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#85
I come from a land down under
26,222 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by beachbum53
Why are there no Cocoa Puffs on the breakfast buffet?

Ive seen them on some cruises.
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#86
northern ireland
14 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by wowzz
Not sure we need yet another tipping thread. If you look on the individual cruise line boards you will find thousands of posts already. Perhaps you could contribute to those instead.

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So why did you bother posting
#87
Sunderland England
9,183 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by bUU
Rest assured, this tax shelter is perfectly legal, in the same way tax loss harvesting is legal.

Again, you're choosing to give the dictionary more weight than it deserves. Other dictionaries recognize the definitional rupture inherent in M-W, and offer far more accurate definitions: "a gift of money, over and above payment..." and "something given without demand or claim". If you must slave yourself to dictionary definitions for "gratuity," you're better off doing so with regard to these definitions for it.

In practice, the word "discretionary" is more accurate than "optional" or "voluntary" when describing the control that the give-er has in these circumstances. It communicates the actual obligation of hospitality that applies: Service is given by a serve-er, and in return the recipient of the service applies discernment to determine how much to give. That "how much" might be nothing, if the quality of service given is so bad as to substantiate that determination, but there is nothing about gratuities in our society that make them something that patrons can morally decide to simply opt-out-of.

Precisely: Discretion. The question is how could discretion result in a determination of $0 for having received great service?

That goes without saying. What people are "having say over" is what is right and wrong - not what another guest actually does.


Well, actually, you did. <shrug>

Up-thread it was made clear why we cannot rely on this kind of information coming from someone who is hoping to spur-on your generosity. You need to get this kind of information either from someone more objective or someone for whom there is a big risk if misinformation is discovered, such as a company official who could bring a substantial amount of bad PR to the company were they to be caught in a lie. Having said that, I think you've misunderstood what people said earlier in the thread. You seem to think people were saying that the crew's base salary is substantially larger than what they could earn in their home country. That's not the case. People were talking about their total income, i.e., base salary plus the gratuities they do receive.

I'm not sure how much the Indonesian, Filipino, etc., crew members make in excess of what they could make at home, but from all I've read about it and from the logic of the situation it is surely a prodigious amount.

To be fair, while the arrangement is perfectly legal, it doesn't "suit everybody". There is actually a spectrum of perspective on this issue, with some passengers and cruise lines on one extreme saying that they should be able to service American ports, even one way journeys between two American ports, without having to comply with any American labor laws, much less such laws as they pertain to compensation. On the other extreme you'll find some people saying that the American market is so valuable that any ship that makes port at any American port should be compelled to comply with American labor laws, thereby fostering the opportunities Americans have to work in the industry without having to accept such heavily discounted wages.

Subsidization is a big problem within pricing models, and we can see myriad examples of where, for one reason or another, sellers are working to remove such subsidization. All the surcharging we see is a reflection of this: We see premium-quality, fine-dining, full-service meals shifted into specialty restaurants with a surcharge, so that John and Jane who want that extra increment of quality bear the extra cost of it themselves, rather than having it subsidized by folks like Jim and Jan who would be satisfied with standard-quality, fine-dining, full-service meals in the main dining room.

I think many of those people would say that that's fine with them. Of course, when you point out how it would actually cost them more to have the cost of stateroom and dining service fully baked into the cruise fare, since the cost of the extra taxes the cruise line would have to pay would be passed along to passengers to keep the change revenue-neutral, they try to evade addressing that reality.

I think that's really the thread underlying all these threads. It offends moral sensibilities to see people rationalize offensive behavior sometimes as much as it offends moral sensibilities to see people engage in offensive behavior.
Another very interesting post answering several questions from other posters eloquently.

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#88
1,492 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by shooie
So why did you bother posting
To try and stop yet another tipping thread developing, with the same arguments from both sides, that have been posted many times before in other long running threads.
Obviously I failed!

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#89
Philippines
764 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by grapau27
Another very interesting post answering several questions from other posters eloquently.

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But in the end after several hundred words posted nothing changes, the fees still can be removed or left in place because it is not a require fee and the option is 100% with the guest.

So

Those who want to remove and not tip at all will do that

Those who want to remove and tip in cash will do that

Those who want to leave in place and tip no more will

Those that want to leave in place and tip more will

Those who want to remove and say no ones business what we do as guest will.
#90
northern ireland
14 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
"Lets talk about tipping" was the title of my original post.
Well, we have certainly done that in the last few days.

Many points of view, eloquently expressed, informative and well considered (mostly), as one would expect from C.C. contributors.
Thank you for your comments.

If I may, I would broadly summarise your response thus; contributors fall broadly, into two main camps.

1. People who don't pre pay are cheap.
2. People who pre pay are gullible.

Just to stir the pot a little more, let me tell you why I fall into camp 2.

I think the truth of the matter lies in the curious amount of effort and expensive administration manhours which the Cruise companies devote to this issue.
Their dedication to their apparent crusade to get tips for their staff, is as far as I can see, unique as a business model.

As I see it we can look at this in one of two ways.

1. It is an admirable example of the altruism and dedication of these companies to the financial welfare of their employees.
and the fact they claim to give it all to the employees shows that, for the Cruise Companies, profit is not the bottom line.

2. This massive effort by the Cruise Companies to ensure pre paying is not altruistic, it is a great revenue earner. If any of the tips are paid out, they always have strings attached.

You may have noticed recently that when booking on line, if you do not tick "pre pay gratuities", then further on, you will find that you are blocked from "dinearound". So, they are pressurising even the customer to prepay! Why?, for the sake of the staff?.

Perhaps some of you will remember the scandal of the letter posted in the crews' quarters by Celebrity Splendour which listed those passengers who had not prepaid tips.
It's still available to see online.
Celebrity apologised humbly and blamed "administrative error"
Passengers later described it as the " spit in your food" list
#91
Point Richmond CA
6,940 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
You could always choose to cruise on premium/luxury lines that either cover gratuities or just add them to your bill at the end of the cruise (or receive them as a perk from your TA
#92
Columbus,Ohio
6,438 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
The horse is dead. You can stop beating it now.
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#93
Sunderland England
9,183 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by Expat Cruise
But in the end after several hundred words posted nothing changes, the fees still can be removed or left in place because it is not a require fee and the option is 100% with the guest.

So

Those who want to remove and not tip at all will do that

Those who want to remove and tip in cash will do that

Those who want to leave in place and tip no more will

Those that want to leave in place and tip more will

Those who want to remove and say no ones business what we do as guest will.
Thats true.

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#94
Tarzana (San Fernando Valley), CA
5,031 Posts
Joined May 2000
As with most tipping threads this one has veered significantly and completely off topic. It has been closed.
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