Lets talk about tipping

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#61
Enosburg Falls, VT
18,948 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Expat Cruise
Sorry but you can't get pass Gratuity
: something given voluntarily or beyond obligation...... given without claim or demand.If it is a gratuity it is the choice of the person to give or not give. And like others have said many workers in American work for minimum wages and no tips. Why are you not helping them?

Newsflash: even at the base pay the amount cruise lines pay is much more than the workers make in their home countries. I pay my cruise fare for the trip, I am not required to improve the lives of the workers over and above the contracted rate. And if I did pay these fees no proof that they go 100% to the workers. In fact you ( People paying auto service fees) are the one who is hurting the workers by pushing a system forward that does not belong in place.

The same workers you think are so underpaid can go to work in factories 12 hours a day 29 days a month for US$200 dollars or work on a cruise ship for 3 times that and have paid meals and lodging. Seems to me the cruise ship workers are overpaid compared to the factory workers.

Royal (RCCL) has a center here in Manila they are looking to hire 30,000 workers they have 10, 20, 30 people applying for every job posted. So don't think for a minute the current crews can't be replaced.

You said ""when in Rome, do as the Romans do"... so that means use salve labor and if they act out feed them to the lions for sport.... Sorry Some of us do not care about what the Romans did, besides didn't that system fail?
I also said that if I found something in the culture to be untenable I would avoid that culture in the future, so if I had an issue with the tipping on cruise ships I wouldn't be cruising because that really perpetuates any perceived injustice (and please remember you are the one with the issue with the current system, I have no issue with it). You say that at the base rate they still make out better than those folks at home and they might, but let me ask you this- if the base rate is $1000 per month and the crew would make $2000 per month if everyone left their tips in place which do you think the crew would prefer? And yes, the gratuity is voluntary, but it is expected. I would no more remove the gratuities without reason on a cruise ship than I would eat at a restaurant and not leave a tip.
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I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

It beats haze gray and underway any day!
#62
Philippines
486 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by Tatka
Expat, I am from Ukraine originally and yes, people make much less money there than they make during working on the cruise. This is why they sign up to work there.

Auto gratuities are not something really additional, but how cruise lines charging you to avoid additional taxes, including taxes to workers salary. It is optimal, but just because some or many people would use anything to save money it will be included into the fare.

I’ve heard an amazing explanation from one person... Why should I pay those people if I am making less.
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.

You also said "Auto gratuities are not something really additional...." by definition they are always optional if not they are service fees. Really doesn't matter what reason people give for not paying them, because no reason is needed or required.
#63
North Carolina
2,158 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Not going to get into the debate, I have no issue with the tipping practice as is and will continue to pay the auto grats. Just because one or the other disagrees it doesn't make you right, so don't insist that others are wrong.

Just want to pass along, I spoke quite a bit with one of the bar waiters just this week and contrary to what someone else said on here, they do not make more than 3 times what they can get at home. He stated they are paid a base of $50 a month and they make their living on the tips. The auto grat added to each bar bill goes to the server/bartender that made the sale and if someone adds a little more, that also goes to the individual that handles the transaction.
As for the steward, he also gets to keep any additional monies that may be given by the patron and does not need to turn them in. Our steward has been doing this job happily for 17 years so it certainly can't be anywhere near as bad as some want to make it out to be.
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#64
Enosburg Falls, VT
18,948 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
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.

You also said "Auto gratuities are not something really additional...." by definition they are always optional if not they are service fees. Really doesn't matter what reason people give for not paying them, because no reason is needed or required.
There are legal ways to avoid taxation. I personally don't pay one dime more in taxes than the law requires and if I can legally avoid a tax I will at every opportunity.
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NCL Sky Bahamas April 2010 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=66539
CCL Pride Bahamas October 2012 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=110323
NCL Gem Bahamas May 2014 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=255699
CCL Fascination S. Caribbean October 2016 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=551888
CCL Glory W. Caribbean November 2017 https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberr...EntryID=600224
CCL Pride Bahamas February 2018 https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberr...EntryID=612050

US Navy, too many to count but included 4 Med cruises (totaling 21 months) 1975-1992

I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

It beats haze gray and underway any day!
#65
Franklin, MA USA
7,836 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
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.



You also said "Auto gratuities are not something really additional...." by definition they are always optional if not they are service fees. Really doesn't matter what reason people give for not paying them, because no reason is needed or required.

Oh yes... this is another convenient argument “a conspiracy”
It is not a conspiracy. In many countries taxes on salary are less or non existent if salary is paid from tips/gratis.
It is better for workers. But you don’t really care do you? As long as you can save money.

This is a business constructed the way it suites everybody. 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. 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.
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#66
Enosburg Falls, VT
18,948 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Pyrate13
Not going to get into the debate, I have no issue with the tipping practice as is and will continue to pay the auto grats. Just because one or the other disagrees it doesn't make you right, so don't insist that others are wrong.

Just want to pass along, I spoke quite a bit with one of the bar waiters just this week and contrary to what someone else said on here, they do not make more than 3 times what they can get at home. He stated they are paid a base of $50 a month and they make their living on the tips. The auto grat added to each bar bill goes to the server/bartender that made the sale and if someone adds a little more, that also goes to the individual that handles the transaction.
As for the steward, he also gets to keep any additional monies that may be given by the patron and does not need to turn them in. Our steward has been doing this job happily for 17 years so it certainly can't be anywhere near as bad as some want to make it out to be.
Just to be clear when I say that they can make more than they can at home I am talking about their total income, which includes tips. (And from what I understand by the insiders that sometimes post on these threads the guaranteed amount is above that base $50 amount, but of course that is proprietary info so we won't ever find out what it is. But regardless that guarantee amount is very likely significantly less than what they would make if tips were left in place.)
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NCL Sky Bahamas April 2009 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=54257
NCL Sky Bahamas April 2010 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=66539
CCL Pride Bahamas October 2012 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=110323
NCL Gem Bahamas May 2014 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=255699
CCL Fascination S. Caribbean October 2016 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=551888
CCL Glory W. Caribbean November 2017 https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberr...EntryID=600224
CCL Pride Bahamas February 2018 https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberr...EntryID=612050

US Navy, too many to count but included 4 Med cruises (totaling 21 months) 1975-1992

I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

It beats haze gray and underway any day!
#67
174 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
I read all these posts in past and current about tips. Yes, I live in the US so its the norm to tip for good service. Whether its a restaurant, hairdresser, etc - 20% if its great service. When I first started cruising I hated the last night running around trying to find everyone that did anything for me and hand out the envelopes. I much prefer the cruise line taking that burden off of me - as I sometimes never saw the actual person in the background doing a lot of the work for the passengers. I cringe during the week when I see people at the desk asking their tips to be removed. Cheap is not the word I would use for those people. But I will keep this post "Clean". As someone else already said, when you book a cruise, you just figure in the amount of the tip in the cost of your cruise and go with it. We spend thousands of dollars for a nice vacation and then someone is worried about an extra $12 a day that will be split between numerous people that helped you have a good time. On my last cruise, the first day I asked my cabin attendant for a few things - extra pillows, towels - ice bucket to be filled everyday, etc. He quickly brought everything requested. I handed him $20 - and he actually tried to refuse it. He said no - its my job. And I insisted that he take the money as a show of appreciation that he went out of way to help me. I try to tip during the week whenever someone does something special for me. Its called common courtesy. But when people are so darn cheap they take off their automatic tips because they don't feel they got everything out of their trip they wanted then - well that is just sad. The only way around this is for the cruise companies to just up the total price of the trip for each passenger and give the staff a better salary. While I would be very happy for that to happen - it wouldn't stop me from tipping individuals who help make my vacation a good one.
#68
Philippines
486 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Not paying the daily auto gratuities have nothing to do with being cheap it has everything to do with doing the right thing. They are not gratuities, they are service fees but the company will never call them that because they want this money to be outside the system.

Post like "I cringe during the week when I see people at the desk asking their tips to be removed. Cheap is not the word I would use for those people. "


The word smart people have not fallen for the con.


And "....and then someone is worried about an extra $12 a day ..." It has nothing to do with the money everything to do with principle... something to may people lack today...... Better to die for principles than to submit with the crowd.


And "..... But when people are so darn cheap they take off their automatic tips because they don't feel they got everything out of their trip.... " Nothing to do with being cheap everything to do with doing the right thing. I'm sorry but until they make these fees mandatory no one has any right to pass any judgments. What it some passengers say people drinking is effecting the cruise should alcoholic drinks be removed from the ship? No one has any right to tell other passengers what they must do when it is voluntary.


I agree cruise lines should make it a service charge, if they want this fee "The only way around this is for the cruise companies to just up the total price of the trip for each passenger and give the staff a better salary." But it will never happen on the mainstay lines, the only reason they use this daily fee program is to save money. They could care less about the crew, the crews are just a labor supply to be used.


Do you want to know one of the reasons companies hire crews from the Philippines, any problems, crew members hurt or killed, even if the fault of the cruise company, under the Philippine Law the came is settle here in the PI maximum payment US$50,000 Dollars. A cruise line can cause the death of a crew member or loss a couple of legs, and a arm and just pay $50,000 and be done. That is the system all you do good guest are supporting. A system which treats the crews one level better than slaves... Sorry I will not help the cruise lines to keep this game going.....
#69
Enosburg Falls, VT
18,948 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Expat Cruise
Not paying the daily auto gratuities have nothing to do with being cheap it has everything to do with doing the right thing. They are not gratuities, they are service fees but the company will never call them that because they want this money to be outside the system.

Post like "I cringe during the week when I see people at the desk asking their tips to be removed. Cheap is not the word I would use for those people. "


The word smart people have not fallen for the con.


And "....and then someone is worried about an extra $12 a day ..." It has nothing to do with the money everything to do with principle... something to may people lack today...... Better to die for principles than to submit with the crowd.


And "..... But when people are so darn cheap they take off their automatic tips because they don't feel they got everything out of their trip.... " Nothing to do with being cheap everything to do with doing the right thing. I'm sorry but until they make these fees mandatory no one has any right to pass any judgments. What it some passengers say people drinking is effecting the cruise should alcoholic drinks be removed from the ship? No one has any right to tell other passengers what they must do when it is voluntary.


I agree cruise lines should make it a service charge, if they want this fee "The only way around this is for the cruise companies to just up the total price of the trip for each passenger and give the staff a better salary." But it will never happen on the mainstay lines, the only reason they use this daily fee program is to save money. They could care less about the crew, the crews are just a labor supply to be used.


Do you want to know one of the reasons companies hire crews from the Philippines, any problems, crew members hurt or killed, even if the fault of the cruise company, under the Philippine Law the came is settle here in the PI maximum payment US$50,000 Dollars. A cruise line can cause the death of a crew member or loss a couple of legs, and a arm and just pay $50,000 and be done. That is the system all you do good guest are supporting. A system which treats the crews one level better than slaves... Sorry I will not help the cruise lines to keep this game going.....
That's an application of Philippine law, and we have no control over that (and has nothing to do with tipping). You yourself are helping the cruise lines by your continued patronage. I'm sorry, you are trying to sell that there is an issue and it's a non-sell. As you said, there are 20 to 30 applicants for every job, which means that the crew is happy with the status quo. And they aren't slaves by any stretch of the imagination, they agree to the contracts that they work under.
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US Navy, too many to count but included 4 Med cruises (totaling 21 months) 1975-1992

I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

It beats haze gray and underway any day!
#70
Philippines
486 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by sparks1093
And they aren't slaves by any stretch of the imagination, they agree to the contracts that they work under.
And my contract as guest says the daily service fee are at my discretion . So you or no one else has any say over what other guest do when we are following the contract. We agree to the contract that clearly allows anyone to opt out.
#71
Enosburg Falls, VT
18,948 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Expat Cruise
And my contract as guest says the daily service fee are at my discretion . So you or no one else has any say over what other guest do when we are following the contract. We agree to the contract that clearly allows anyone to opt out.
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.
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NCL Sky Bahamas April 2010 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=66539
CCL Pride Bahamas October 2012 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=110323
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CCL Fascination S. Caribbean October 2016 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=551888
CCL Glory W. Caribbean November 2017 https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberr...EntryID=600224
CCL Pride Bahamas February 2018 https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberr...EntryID=612050

US Navy, too many to count but included 4 Med cruises (totaling 21 months) 1975-1992

I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

It beats haze gray and underway any day!
#72
Philippines
486 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
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.
Your opinion that removal will not improve the lot of the crew. But your opinion is just that, no better than any other opinion. I'm just very happy that your opinion has absolutely no effect on changing my opinion it just makes me want to fight harder to prove I'm right. Thank you Have a great day....
#73
Enosburg Falls, VT
18,948 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Expat Cruise
Your opinion that removal will not improve the lot of the crew. But your opinion is just that, no better than any other opinion. I'm just very happy that your opinion has absolutely no effect on changing my opinion it just makes me want to fight harder to prove I'm right. Thank you Have a great day....
Yes, opinions are like noses, everyone has one and they all smell. As you pointed out way back at the beginning your participate in these discussions to convince two people to remove the gratuities. I participate for the opposite reason, to convince people to leave them in place. And you continue overlook the fact that by removing the gratuities you are hurting the very people you profess to be trying to help, because it certainly doesn't impact the cruise line in any way.
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NCL Dream CTN May 2008
NCL Sky Bahamas April 2009 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=54257
NCL Sky Bahamas April 2010 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=66539
CCL Pride Bahamas October 2012 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=110323
NCL Gem Bahamas May 2014 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=255699
CCL Fascination S. Caribbean October 2016 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=551888
CCL Glory W. Caribbean November 2017 https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberr...EntryID=600224
CCL Pride Bahamas February 2018 https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberr...EntryID=612050

US Navy, too many to count but included 4 Med cruises (totaling 21 months) 1975-1992

I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

It beats haze gray and underway any day!
#74
Philippines
486 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by sparks1093
Yes, opinions are like noses, everyone has one and they all smell. As you pointed out way back at the beginning your participate in these discussions to convince two people to remove the gratuities. I participate for the opposite reason, to convince people to leave them in place. And you continue overlook the fact that by removing the gratuities you are hurting the very people you profess to be trying to help, because it certainly doesn't impact the cruise line in any way.
Removing is the best way to help the crews, the lines will not change the game as long as it works. So you keep trying to get people to leave in place and I will keep stating the truth.
#75
Enosburg Falls, VT
18,948 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Expat Cruise
Removing is the best way to help the crews, the lines will not change the game as long as it works. So you keep trying to get people to leave in place and I will keep stating the truth.
Will do.
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NCL Dream CTN May 2008
NCL Sky Bahamas April 2009 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=54257
NCL Sky Bahamas April 2010 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=66539
CCL Pride Bahamas October 2012 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=110323
NCL Gem Bahamas May 2014 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=255699
CCL Fascination S. Caribbean October 2016 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=551888
CCL Glory W. Caribbean November 2017 https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberr...EntryID=600224
CCL Pride Bahamas February 2018 https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberr...EntryID=612050

US Navy, too many to count but included 4 Med cruises (totaling 21 months) 1975-1992

I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

It beats haze gray and underway any day!
#76
North Carolina
2,158 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Removing is the best way to help the crews, the lines will not change the game as long as it works. So you keep trying to get people to leave in place and I will keep stating the truth.
Your opinion is not necessarily the truth, just sayin'. Must say, your ego is amazing though.

The end, I'm out.
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#77
SF Bay Area
1,517 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by Expat Cruise
Removing is the best way to help the crews, the lines will not change the game as long as it works. So you keep trying to get people to leave in place and I will keep stating the truth.
So, in your view, starving something will make it stronger?

The truth is that the system as it stands works for the staff and for the vast majority of cruise passengers who truly care about the staff's well being and not about their own financial gain in the guise of some imaginary altruistic endeavour.

Just because you don't like it doesn't make your opinion the truth. In one of your early posts you said you HATE the gratuity policies. If you were being honest about trying to help the staff, you wouldn't be using such a word to describe your intentions. Admit it. It is all about you and not about the staff at all.
#78
141 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Auto gratuities provide certain benefits. It relieves me of all tipping issues including when, to whom and how much. It also means no need to carry cash around on the ship. I've never been on a cruise where I'd considered the service substandard to the point I would cancel them.

I will tip over and above as an incentive to provide improved service. I've found a few dollars strategically placed early in the cruise (e.g. to bartenders) can result in priority service for the remainder of the cruise.
#79
Franklin, MA USA
7,836 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
What is really upsetting is that some people are like a system of good to great service that cruise lines are providing and they use all this nice service. Yet they feel that they don’t have to participate in paying for this. Nice logic.

To add additional tips for an exceptional service is a personal thing, but auto gratuities aren’t really unless service was really bad. Just because cruise lines offer this choice to remove auto gratuities they shouldn’t be removed.
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#80
NYC
3,966 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by Expat Cruise
...
I agree cruise lines should make it a service charge, if they want this fee "The only way around this is for the cruise companies to just up the total price of the trip for each passenger and give the staff a better salary." But it will never happen on the mainstay lines, the only reason they use this daily fee program is to save money. ...
Then you'll love what NCL did in the US last year. They call it a "service charge" and it cannot be removed on board. A passenger who claims that they should not have to pay it must request a form from the purser. They then fill it out and explain what was the specific service failure and how was in not resolved on board. The form is then imaged and emailed to a shoreside NCL office for a refund request. Absolutely brilliant. NCL now has a centralized, digitized file - in the passenger's own handwritting - of real and alleged service failures.


I'd like to see all cruise lines adopt that policy. Then the "smart people" who want to remove them will have to think of a new excuse each time they sail. If every sailing has "service failures" then they perhaps NCL can tell that customer they are sorry that they cannot fulfill their expectations and they will be happier sailing on another line.