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AppyAmmer

Why should I tip if pre paid gratuities?

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What a number of posters seem to overlook is the fact that auto-gratuities, prepaid or not, are intended to compensate the staff for their services.  You are able to reduce/remove auto-gratuities if you feel the service has been sub-standard, just st as you are able to tip extra if you feel individuals have gone above and beyond.

 

The daily rate is what you are believed to “owe” for reasonably expected services on board.

 

I do not understand the notion of pre-paying gratuities - any more than I can understand paying for anything before payment is due.  “To get it out of the way” seems a silly reason - do you pay your May rent in April “to get it out of the way”, or stop by your local grocer’s to put up funds for what you might want to buy next week?

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2 hours ago, misguy said:

A third thing that I always do is get the waiter, and the cabin steward to put their information on a comment card, keeps me from messing up the spelling, and then turn it in.  

 

 

What an excellent idea.  I've heard that comment cards can be more important than extra tips since these cards impact the crew member ratings and that impacts the payout from the tipping pool.  I've struggled in the past with trying to remember names.  I'll use that suggestion in the future.

 

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On 1/23/2018 at 2:34 PM, NurseMcKay said:

I forgot my luggage tag one cruise and tipped the Porter's well and not only had my bag delivered but in the first round!!!!

 

Sent from my XT1650 using Forums mobile app

 

Here’s the opposite from the Celebrity board a couple of years ago. A couple was on a cruise with another couple and the man removed all tips, had no intention of paying tips at end and stupidly was quite vocal about it. Coincidentally a couple of his suitcases would up in the water at the end of the cruise..

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13 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

What an excellent idea.  I've heard that comment cards can be more important than extra tips since these cards impact the crew member ratings and that impacts the payout from the tipping pool.  I've struggled in the past with trying to remember names.  I'll use that suggestion in the future.

 

 

Not criticizing but in these tipping threads there are a lot of I’ve heards  and rumors. I don’t think people really know what’s going on.

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6 minutes ago, dkjretired said:

 

Not criticizing but in these tipping threads there are a lot of I’ve heards  and rumors. I don’t think people really know what’s going on.

Perhaps I should have been more clear.  I never remove the auto's.  I always tip extra.   Still, I thought having the crew member put his name on a comment card was an excellent way to remember the crew members name when filling out the comment card.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

Perhaps I should have been more clear.  I never remove the auto's.  I always tip extra.   Still, I thought having the crew member put his name on a comment card was an excellent way to remember the crew members name when filling out the comment card.

 

I understand that

Edited by dkjretired

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I do not defend the cruise line's practice of auto-tips.  They put themselves into this position by moving away from an all-inclusive business model.  However, we do understand why the practice evolved.  At one time cruise line tips were given, by passengers, to specific crew members and this was normally done on the last night of the cruise.  The stewards would leave a group of envelopes in the cabin often labeled with Cabin Steward, Assistant Cabin Steward, Waiter, and Assistant Waiter.  Some lines left other envelopes for the Maitre'd'.  Other tipping was done directly such as slipping some cash to a favorite bar tender. This practice worked because there were no alternative restaurants and all passengers had assigned dining tables with their own waiters.  But when cruise lines started all the alternative dining options. open sitting, etc.  this no longer worked.  So auto-tips were born...for better or worse.  Some of the ultra-luxury lines do not encourage any tipping as the crew is appropriately compensated and does not expect tips.  But the mass market lines are all caught up in aggressive price marketing, and not including tips (or simply paying a reasonable compensation) allows them to advertise false low prices which do not actually reflect the cost of a cruise.  We are now seeing the same practice spreading across the hotel industry with so-called "resort fees" or some hidden extra fees (such as for a safe in your room).  

 

The even crazier part of this tipping culture is that we have been programmed (by a lifetime of propaganda) to feel guilty if we do not tip properly.  It is "our fault" that facilities and cruise lines do not adequately compensate employees.  They choose to hang the guilt around the passengers necks and it works to a great degree.  But then they have the problem of dealing with certain countries/cultures such as Australia where the folks do not believe in tipping and other countries where tipping is tryly considered optional and is often done at a far lower rate then the 18-20% we are now seeing in the USA.

 

What is even crazier about fellow Americans is they have such a deep seeded tipping guilt that they export the practice to places where it is not considered proper or we tip in amounts far above the norm.  While we (Americans) think we are being nice and generous, many of the folks who accept these tips thing we are complete idiots for doing it....but happily accept the money (and laugh behind our backs).  We have seen Americans leave large tips in European restaurants that already have it included as a service charge (we assume they do not notice).  In cultures like Japan, tipping is some venues is actually considered rude...but the "ugly" American still persists in this practice.  My personal pet peeve has to do with the folks who take our luggage at US ports.  These guys (and a few ladies) are all members of the Longshoreman Union and quite a few will make over $100,000 a year!  And yet, cruisers, many of whom save money for months or years for their "trip of a lifetime" gives these folks some of their hard earned money.  And those Longshoreman move the luggage less then 10 feet to a luggage cage.   My DW sure doesn't tip me when I drag our luggage over 50 feet to our car :(.

 

Hank

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, dkjretired said:

 

Not criticizing but in these tipping threads there are a lot of I’ve heards  and rumors. I don’t think people really know what’s going on.

 

Like the stories about the person who removed the grats and got his luggage dunked in the water??

Edited by Toofarfromthesea

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58 minutes ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

 

Like the stories about the person who removed the grats and got his luggage dunked in the water??

 

Never said I believed it, just passing on what was written on this board.

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Posted (edited)
On 1/31/2019 at 3:05 AM, dutchie6 said:

Having just returned on a HAL, and having paid US$203 compulsory gratuities, which at only AU62c to our dollar,so add another 38c to the dollar, is hardly a bargain! I felt it was enough tip for my 14 day cruise, and YET the cabin stewards still hung around on the evening before disembarkation for an additional tip. I felt very uncomfortable and ended up giving the 2 guys $10 each extra as well! As Aussies we don't like to pay tips, unless they have done some extraordinary thing for me! I felt annoyed. Other cruises I have always tipped the stewards and table guys at least $100 each and that should be enough! Pay the staff better wages or put it on our fare but do not expect a double tip from me!!

 

 

Since you had already paid your auto-gratuities of $203, there was absolutely no reason to give the cabin stewards any additional tips whatsoever.

 

I'm American, and pay my gratuities in advance, then don't tip anybody the entire cruise. So let's dispense with the myth that all Americans are lavish tippers who like to brag about how much they tip.

 

Those cabin stewards you gave $10 each to wouldn't have gotten a penny from me. You made the choice to give them additional tips, nobody forced you.

 

 

 

.

Edited by EndlessCruise

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2 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I do not defend the cruise line's practice of auto-tips.  They put themselves into this position by moving away from an all-inclusive business model.  However, we do understand why the practice evolved.  At one time cruise line tips were given, by passengers, to specific crew members and this was normally done on the last night of the cruise.  The stewards would leave a group of envelopes in the cabin often labeled with Cabin Steward, Assistant Cabin Steward, Waiter, and Assistant Waiter.  Some lines left other envelopes for the Maitre'd'.  Other tipping was done directly such as slipping some cash to a favorite bar tender. This practice worked because there were no alternative restaurants and all passengers had assigned dining tables with their own waiters.  But when cruise lines started all the alternative dining options. open sitting, etc.  this no longer worked.  So auto-tips were born...for better or worse.  Some of the ultra-luxury lines do not encourage any tipping as the crew is appropriately compensated and does not expect tips.  But the mass market lines are all caught up in aggressive price marketing, and not including tips (or simply paying a reasonable compensation) allows them to advertise false low prices which do not actually reflect the cost of a cruise.  We are now seeing the same practice spreading across the hotel industry with so-called "resort fees" or some hidden extra fees (such as for a safe in your room).  

 

The even crazier part of this tipping culture is that we have been programmed (by a lifetime of propaganda) to feel guilty if we do not tip properly.  It is "our fault" that facilities and cruise lines do not adequately compensate employees.  They choose to hang the guilt around the passengers necks and it works to a great degree.  But then they have the problem of dealing with certain countries/cultures such as Australia where the folks do not believe in tipping and other countries where tipping is tryly considered optional and is often done at a far lower rate then the 18-20% we are now seeing in the USA.

 

What is even crazier about fellow Americans is they have such a deep seeded tipping guilt that they export the practice to places where it is not considered proper or we tip in amounts far above the norm.  While we (Americans) think we are being nice and generous, many of the folks who accept these tips thing we are complete idiots for doing it....but happily accept the money (and laugh behind our backs).  We have seen Americans leave large tips in European restaurants that already have it included as a service charge (we assume they do not notice).  In cultures like Japan, tipping is some venues is actually considered rude...but the "ugly" American still persists in this practice.  My personal pet peeve has to do with the folks who take our luggage at US ports.  These guys (and a few ladies) are all members of the Longshoreman Union and quite a few will make over $100,000 a year!  And yet, cruisers, many of whom save money for months or years for their "trip of a lifetime" gives these folks some of their hard earned money.  And those Longshoreman move the luggage less then 10 feet to a luggage cage.   My DW sure doesn't tip me when I drag our luggage over 50 feet to our car :(.

 

Hank

Not every person who takes luggage at a cruise port is a long shoreman.On a recent cruise out of Baltimore I conversed with one of them because he saw that my car has a NY license plate.He told me that he was an unemployed resident of Queens,NY .He was a machinist. He moved to Baltimore because there was a training program to be a cruise port luggage handler. He said many guys who were in the program are working there.

 

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1 hour ago, lenquixote66 said:

Not every person who takes luggage at a cruise port is a long shoreman.On a recent cruise out of Baltimore I conversed with one of them because he saw that my car has a NY license plate.He told me that he was an unemployed resident of Queens,NY .He was a machinist. He moved to Baltimore because there was a training program to be a cruise port luggage handler. He said many guys who were in the program are working there.

 

 Think a lot of Americans who go to Europe or other places just don’t know what to do, I know we didn’t first time we went.

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5 hours ago, dkjretired said:

 

Never said I believed it, just passing on what was written on this board.

 

Sorry, I didn´t realize that when you wrote ¨Not criticizing but in these tipping threads there are a lot of I’ve heards  and rumors. I don’t think people really know what’s going on.¨ you meant it approvingly and were perpetuating the practice.  My bad.

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1 minute ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

 

Sorry, I didn´t realize that when you wrote ¨Not criticizing but in these tipping threads there are a lot of I’ve heards  and rumors. I don’t think people really know what’s going on.¨ you meant it approvingly and were perpetuating the practice.  My bad.

 

I was not perpetuating anything, there is a big difference between a rumor and an I’ve heard and an actual post on the Celebrity board reported by some one who was a traveling partner of the man. I stand behind what I said.

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8 hours ago, lenquixote66 said:

Not every person who takes luggage at a cruise port is a long shoreman.On a recent cruise out of Baltimore I conversed with one of them because he saw that my car has a NY license plate.He told me that he was an unemployed resident of Queens,NY .He was a machinist. He moved to Baltimore because there was a training program to be a cruise port luggage handler. He said many guys who were in the program are working there.

 

While I do not doubt you, Baltimore is in our neck of the woods.  The entire Port is Unionized and ruled by Local 333 of the International Longshoreman's Association.   While you may have been told a "longshoreman" tale, you can be pretty sure all those folks touching your luggage (until it reached the vessel) was a Union member in good standing.   Perhaps some of the professional sailors on the board can chime in on this topic.  But nothing moves in American ports unless it has the blessing of the Union.  Tugs, supplies, the folks that handle the lines to tie up a vessel, and even the harbor pilots (in some ports) are all part of Union game.  Cruise lines, just like all the container ships and freighters must go along..if they want to be serviced.

 

Our most interesting Longshoreman issue happened at the Port of NYC when we were boarding the Prinsendam on a long cruise to Europe.  Our cruise had actually started 3 days earlier in Port Everglades where a majority of the passengers embarked.  The ship continued up the East Coast and docked in NYC (at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal) for a port day and to take on about 80 additional passengers including moi.  We arrived at the port around 11:45 and I dropped off DW and our luggage while I went to return our rental car a few blocks from the port.  When I walked back to the Port, DW and another couple were sitting outside the Port entrance with all the luggage.  They explained that we all had to wait until 1PM, because the Longshoreman "gang" servicing our ship was on their 1 hour lunch break.  An hour later a couple of Longshoreman came out the building and took our luggage.  They told us that HAL had only hired one "gang"  (an entire crew with a foreman) to load the ship but did not pay extra for them to work their lunch hour!  If we had not given those guys a decent tip...we might still be looking for our luggage!  This is just the way of the Ports in the USA.  There have been some similar problems in Europe (with port Unions) which is one reason why Pireaus is not a popular embarkation port with many cruise lines.  They have a history of labor strikes which have left too many ships in the harbor without any support.  The cruise lines tend to use ports that have a much better track record (with labor) such as Civitavecchia and Barcelona.

 

Hank

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On 2/6/2019 at 5:29 PM, fyree39 said:

I figure if the steward (for example) gets $3 per day per passenger and that steward has gone from serving 17 rooms back in the day to 30+ rooms, then he's receiving a heck of a lot each day in tips. Think about it: If each of those 30 cabins has 2 people, that's 60 people.  Doing the math, that steward receives $5400 a month in tips alone. If each cabin tips an extra $20 a week, that's another $2400 a month.

 

That's quite a bit of untaxed income.

You're assuming the prepaid gratuities are truly going to the people we assume they are, in the amounts you're stating. The only gratuities you can guarantee go to the people you intend them to are the ones you hand directly to them yourself.

 

We just got off the Jade last week. Prepaid our gratuities, but left extra in an envelope on the bed for our cabin steward the last night before turn down service. He went above and beyond to help us when others didn't, and I wanted to ensure he personally got something for recognition of it.

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3 hours ago, Sailing12Away said:

You're assuming the prepaid gratuities are truly going to the people we assume they are, in the amounts you're stating. The only gratuities you can guarantee go to the people you intend them to are the ones you hand directly to them yourself.

 

How do you know that those you give money to directly are not required to turn those into a gratuity pool?

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18 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

How do you know that those you give money to directly are not required to turn those into a gratuity pool?

 

If the tips weren’t going to the people they’re supposed to go to, they would have a hard time finding workers.  Personally I have more important things to worry about.  Looks like a solution looking for a problem

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20 hours ago, Hlitner said:

While I do not doubt you, Baltimore is in our neck of the woods.  The entire Port is Unionized and ruled by Local 333 of the International Longshoreman's Association.   While you may have been told a "longshoreman" tale, you can be pretty sure all those folks touching your luggage (until it reached the vessel) was a Union member in good standing.   Perhaps some of the professional sailors on the board can chime in on this topic.  But nothing moves in American ports unless it has the blessing of the Union.  Tugs, supplies, the folks that handle the lines to tie up a vessel, and even the harbor pilots (in some ports) are all part of Union game.  Cruise lines, just like all the container ships and freighters must go along..if they want to be serviced.

 

Our most interesting Longshoreman issue happened at the Port of NYC when we were boarding the Prinsendam on a long cruise to Europe.  Our cruise had actually started 3 days earlier in Port Everglades where a majority of the passengers embarked.  The ship continued up the East Coast and docked in NYC (at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal) for a port day and to take on about 80 additional passengers including moi.  We arrived at the port around 11:45 and I dropped off DW and our luggage while I went to return our rental car a few blocks from the port.  When I walked back to the Port, DW and another couple were sitting outside the Port entrance with all the luggage.  They explained that we all had to wait until 1PM, because the Longshoreman "gang" servicing our ship was on their 1 hour lunch break.  An hour later a couple of Longshoreman came out the building and took our luggage.  They told us that HAL had only hired one "gang"  (an entire crew with a foreman) to load the ship but did not pay extra for them to work their lunch hour!  If we had not given those guys a decent tip...we might still be looking for our luggage!  This is just the way of the Ports in the USA.  There have been some similar problems in Europe (with port Unions) which is one reason why Pireaus is not a popular embarkation port with many cruise lines.  They have a history of labor strikes which have left too many ships in the harbor without any support.  The cruise lines tend to use ports that have a much better track record (with labor) such as Civitavecchia and Barcelona.

 

Hank

Try googling How to get a job as a baggage handler at a cruiseport . These people are paid $11 to $12 an hour and are not longshoremen.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/10/2019 at 10:00 PM, Hlitner said:

 

They told us that HAL had only hired one "gang"  (an entire crew with a foreman) to load the ship but did not pay extra for them to work their lunch hour!  If we had not given those guys a decent tip...we might still be looking for our luggage! 

 

 

Hlitner,   I'm just not following.  The crew took a lunch break.  Why did you feel a tip was required for your luggage to be handled?  Is it because you felt one gang is insufficient to handle all the luggage?  

 

PS: Not saying you shouldn't tip or are in any way wrong. I just don't understand.  

Edited by ldubs

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10 hours ago, ldubs said:

 

Hlitner,   I'm just not following.  The crew took a lunch break.  Why did you feel a tip was required for your luggage to be handled?  Is it because you felt one gang is insufficient to handle all the luggage?  

 

PS: Not saying you shouldn't tip or are in any way wrong. I just don't understand.  

I think you mis-understand.  There were several different issues with that particular embarkation.  1.  HAL only felt the need to hire a single gang (crew) to load the ship since there were few embarking passengers and there was no need for major resupplying of the vessel.  2.  HAL felt no need to pay the required extra compensation (apparently quite expensive) to have Longshoreman provide services during their union contracted lunch hour.  3.  After cooling our heels (and rear ends) sitting on luggage outside the main port entrance on 12th Ave, we felt it "wise" to tip the Longshoreman (who kept us waiting nearly an hour) to take our luggage in the building and get it to the ship.  Not tipping might not have been a "wise" move.  I should add that when we arrived at the port we were starting to roll our own luggage inside the port when we were advised by a Port Security guard that we could NOT take our own luggage inside the port facility and must wait for the Longshoreman.  Apparently this is a contractual issue (only Union folks could take luggage inside the building).

 

Since you asked about the issue there is a further amusing follow-up.  A few months later we were on a different cruise with Celebrity and were invited to the Captain's table for dinner.  The ship's Hotel Manager was also at the table and happened to be sitting next to me when we got into a discussion about shore operations.  I told him the story of that Prinsendam embarkation and both he and the Captain (who overheard) had a good laugh.  The Hotel Manager told us that he was familiar with the issue but it would never happen on his ship.  Why?  He explained that as soon as the ship docked he would have sought out the "gang boss" and quietly asked him what was required to prevent any "issues."  Perhaps it would have been a few cases of beer, some scotch, etc.  A deal would have been made.  He also explained to us that the alternative of hiring a 2nd gang (another crew) to provide seamless coverage throughout the day....would have been much more expensive then simply reaching an accommodation with the single working gang.

 

There are several folks here on the CC boards with extensive crew experience on cruise ships.  Would be nice to hear if they have been in similar situations.  

 

Hank

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8 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I think you mis-understand.  There were several different issues with that particular embarkation.  1.  HAL only felt the need to hire a single gang (crew) to load the ship since there were few embarking passengers and there was no need for major resupplying of the vessel.  2.  HAL felt no need to pay the required extra compensation (apparently quite expensive) to have Longshoreman provide services during their union contracted lunch hour.  3.  After cooling our heels (and rear ends) sitting on luggage outside the main port entrance on 12th Ave, we felt it "wise" to tip the Longshoreman (who kept us waiting nearly an hour) to take our luggage in the building and get it to the ship.  Not tipping might not have been a "wise" move.  I should add that when we arrived at the port we were starting to roll our own luggage inside the port when we were advised by a Port Security guard that we could NOT take our own luggage inside the port facility and must wait for the Longshoreman.  Apparently this is a contractual issue (only Union folks could take luggage inside the building).

 

Since you asked about the issue there is a further amusing follow-up.  A few months later we were on a different cruise with Celebrity and were invited to the Captain's table for dinner.  The ship's Hotel Manager was also at the table and happened to be sitting next to me when we got into a discussion about shore operations.  I told him the story of that Prinsendam embarkation and both he and the Captain (who overheard) had a good laugh.  The Hotel Manager told us that he was familiar with the issue but it would never happen on his ship.  Why?  He explained that as soon as the ship docked he would have sought out the "gang boss" and quietly asked him what was required to prevent any "issues."  Perhaps it would have been a few cases of beer, some scotch, etc.  A deal would have been made.  He also explained to us that the alternative of hiring a 2nd gang (another crew) to provide seamless coverage throughout the day....would have been much more expensive then simply reaching an accommodation with the single working gang.

 

There are several folks here on the CC boards with extensive crew experience on cruise ships.  Would be nice to hear if they have been in similar situations.  

 

Hank

 

Thanks.  Good to hear the good old greasing of the palms is still alive and well.  :classic_wink:

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Personally, The 18 or 20% gratuity is quite sufficient. A $10.00 tip shared between everyone is not worth anything much them. I always get excellent service from just about every crew member. The very best thing you can do for them is get there name, have them write it down for you so they know your are going to give them a review on your report about your cruise. So if you want to do an additional tip. Certainly up to you. But also give them a fabulous review to the cruise line. That they appreciate more than anything. That is how the get moved up and receive better pay. Example. Specialty dining on the EDGE $55.00 average pp. At 20% that is a $22.00 tip. Give more and it is still split between everyone.

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I tip extra for services above and beyond the norm, such as cleaning and replacing my ashtrays on the balcony, saving me a block of chairs at the pool, allowing me to wear my Daisy Duke dungaree shorts in the MDR, allowing my babies in the pools with diapers, and cleaning up after my service llama. 

 

Other than that, I see no need for additional tipping.

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