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KennyFla

DIY Gratuities

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6 hours ago, KennyFla said:

They are already well paid, according to you guys.  The service charge does not go to the employees, goes back to the main company.  

 

5 hours ago, KennyFla said:

MSC seems to be one of the lower paying lines


Totally not true.

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Usually bar bills include a percentage tip. They are not included in daily service charges.... it is head waiter, maitre de, waiter, assistant waiter, cabin steward and his assistants  which include the laundry people.  
 

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7 hours ago, Cruising_Gals said:

You can remove them if you feel you didn't receive good services- but you can't modify them like on other lines.

This certainly depends on the nationality again. While there are maybe some nationalities that cannot modify, most can of cause. For example it is quite common for families travelling together in two cabins, that the DSC is deleted for one cabin and doubled on the other, so that the person with the highest amount of Voyager points can reach Gold or Black faster. Cutting down 50 percent is certainly also not uncommon. 

 

6 hours ago, camofwilliamsburg said:

Bar staff are not included in the daily service charge. Tipping bar staff is customary and added to bills.

 Who told you this? Maybe bar staff lurging for tips? 😉

 

Either it is a lie, very new or only on specific sailings. Certainly on European or Asian sailings it would be a desaster for bar staff if they would been removed from the DSC with almost zero tips for them. But certainly it is possible that MSC realized that on US sailings the bar stuff gets tips, so they reduced there other earnings for fairness reasons. 

 

10 hours ago, sidari said:

Mickey ... Since the DSC has been included in UK pricing as of June 23rd 2019 my understanding is that it cannot be removed

Very simple rule in many countries, what is included in the final price cannot be removed, what is not, that cannot be collected by force, no matter it is a service charge or port fees or whatever. 

 

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9 hours ago, camofwilliamsburg said:

Bar staff are not included in the daily service charge. Tipping bar staff is customary and added to bills. If you have a package, tip a dollar and they do remember you. If you are trying to figure out what to give people then just leave the automatic ones in place , then you do not need to worry. Its done for you.

 

Bar staff share in the gratuity automatically added to individual drink prices already, and generally the bar gratuities are included in drink packages.  So either way you have already tipped, albeit through a different means than the DSC.  If you want to tip beyond that you certainly can, but you should understand that you have already tipped, and that extra cash tipping constitutes double tipping.  If that is your intention, that's fine.

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10 hours ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

 


Totally not true.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but if you have information on how the DSC is applied please share.  Some on here say it is definitely shared among the employees on board, some say it is definitely not.  I really want to know so I can decide what I will do.  I am not trying to persuade people to do one way or the other.  As they say in the commercial, "It's your money, do what you want."

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14 minutes ago, KennyFla said:

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but if you have information on how the DSC is applied please share.  Some on here say it is definitely shared among the employees on board, some say it is definitely not.  I really want to know so I can decide what I will do.  I am not trying to persuade people to do one way or the other.  As they say in the commercial, "It's your money, do what you want."


Thank you for clarifying Kenny.
 

There has always been a certain amount of skepticism with the DSC.  I have had many conversations with Hotel Directors, etc.  They are reluctant to say exactly how the DSC is divided...but always insist that it is.  The crew is guaranteed a base salary when they sign a contract.  The DSC is used to supplement and exceed the base salary and continuing education.  

If you think about it...you will see that if a company withheld the monies it would be a monumental scandal and nobody would work for the company.  These dedicated crews are not showing up for work and expecting no pay.  Remember...a lot of these workers are with their respective companies for years.  
 

The DSC also covers the wages for all the people in the background.  The food prep, Kitchen workers, deck hands, cleaners, etc. etc.  If you decide not to pay the DSC then all the background people only receive their base salary.  
 

We always pay the DSC and then reward excellence as we see fit.
 

BTW...when a steward tells you that he/she never receives the DSC you might wonder...are they saying that because they do not understand how it is handled or perhaps they are hoping for a bigger tip??  Just wondering...

 

 

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Excellent post, GTNormandie!

 

If the employees did not receive their portion of the service charge, why would they continue to renew their contracts?

 

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7 hours ago, KennyFla said:

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but if you have information on how the DSC is applied please share.  Some on here say it is definitely shared among the employees on board, some say it is definitely not.  I really want to know so I can decide what I will do.  I am not trying to persuade people to do one way or the other.  As they say in the commercial, "It's your money, do what you want."

 

The people who claim it goes to the cruiseline are generally looking for a pretext to stiff the crew.

 

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On 2/13/2020 at 8:23 PM, camofwilliamsburg said:

Usually bar bills include a percentage tip. They are not included in daily service charges.... it is head waiter, maitre de, waiter, assistant waiter, cabin steward and his assistants  which include the laundry people.  
 

Correct.  This from MSC website:  "Onboard bar purchases will incur a 15% bar service charge, automatically added to your final bill."  Now, if you buy a drinks package onboard, they add the service charge, if you pre-book, the "discount" is not getting charged 15% service charge.  So you get a discounted price, just as with the pre-booking of internet, excursions, internet, etc.  Not sure if this then means the bar staff don't get a tip, that's what it sounds like, otherwise they would just say discounted 15%, right?  Sigh...

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15 hours ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

 

The people who claim it goes to the cruiseline are generally looking for a pretext to stiff the crew.

 

......stiff MSC, give your tip in CASH, don't be conned it's another revenue stream for the cruiseline.

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8 hours ago, Cruising_Gals said:

Correct.  This from MSC website:  "Onboard bar purchases will incur a 15% bar service charge, automatically added to your final bill."  Now, if you buy a drinks package onboard, they add the service charge, if you pre-book, the "discount" is not getting charged 15% service charge.  So you get a discounted price, just as with the pre-booking of internet, excursions, internet, etc.  Not sure if this then means the bar staff don't get a tip, that's what it sounds like, otherwise they would just say discounted 15%, right?  Sigh...

I am not giving up, even it is so tough 😄

The Daily Service Charge goes (in some not published way) to the staff, the 15% on board service charge goes to the company. So for the staff it is totally umimportant if you pre book your drinks or buy on boards.

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A few years back I had a conversation with a manager on the Divina regarding the DSC. He said that it was split between corporate and employees. I can’t remember the specific split but to the best of my recollection, it was something like 1/3 kept by MSC and 2/3 distributed to employees. This made sense to me at the time as there probably needs to be a financial incentive for MSC to encourage people to pay the DSC. Otherwise why would MSC put so much effort into trying to make people pay it? Well... Because there is something in it for the company... I am guessing the same applies to the 15% gratuity added on to bar drinks, but I don’t know.

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Several passengers in the YC  had this discussion onboard the Davina in January.  I decided to ask the concierge.  She said that they DO receive all of the DSC.  Having been on another cruise line, where a crew member asked if we had taken off the DSC, after we gave him an additional tip, we knew he asked because he would have been forced to put our tip in a kitty, if we had removed the DSC.  I was curious as to MSC's policy.  Currently on MSC, if you tip extra, the individual gets to keep the total tip.  The concierge told me that she had worked on other lines where the crew's pay was reduced when the DSC was removed by passengers.  She said it was devastating for crew members who counted on the DSC as they received a paycheck that was lower than expected which meant that they have less money to send home.  She also indicated that was a reason she was no longer with that cruise line. There were passengers in the YC that opted to remove the DSC from their accounts so that they might just tip individuals.  We opted to keep the DSC on our account and tipped the outstanding crew members who served us so well.  It was nice to know that the crew members who we did not individually tip also received a reward.  

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44 minutes ago, Nashna said:

Several passengers in the YC  had this discussion onboard the Davina in January.  I decided to ask the concierge.  She said that they DO receive all of the DSC.  Having been on another cruise line, where a crew member asked if we had taken off the DSC, after we gave him an additional tip, we knew he asked because he would have been forced to put our tip in a kitty, if we had removed the DSC.  I was curious as to MSC's policy.  Currently on MSC, if you tip extra, the individual gets to keep the total tip.  The concierge told me that she had worked on other lines where the crew's pay was reduced when the DSC was removed by passengers.  She said it was devastating for crew members who counted on the DSC as they received a paycheck that was lower than expected which meant that they have less money to send home.  She also indicated that was a reason she was no longer with that cruise line. There were passengers in the YC that opted to remove the DSC from their accounts so that they might just tip individuals.  We opted to keep the DSC on our account and tipped the outstanding crew members who served us so well.  It was nice to know that the crew members who we did not individually tip also received a reward.  

Great information.  Thank you

So I will keep the DSC added to my account and tip our cabin steward and waiter extra.  Is it bad etiquette to tip the waiter at the beginning of the cruise?  My wife is gluten free, that will require an extra effort on his /her part.

 

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Some folks do tip in advance.  My husband has Celiac Disease and we were really impressed with the MDR.  Their special GF menu was fantastic.  Their is a special kitchen just for GF.  I had several items off the MDR GF menu and they were  really good.

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1 hour ago, KennyFla said:

Great information.  Thank you

So I will keep the DSC added to my account and tip our cabin steward and waiter extra.  Is it bad etiquette to tip the waiter at the beginning of the cruise?  My wife is gluten free, that will require an extra effort on his /her part.

 

Absolutely, my wife had a stroke and I ask them to cut up her food in advance so it is not an issue when it comes out at the table, I advise them at the start of the trip and tip them accordingly.

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2 hours ago, KennyFla said:

Great information.  Thank you

So I will keep the DSC added to my account and tip our cabin steward and waiter extra.  Is it bad etiquette to tip the waiter at the beginning of the cruise?  My wife is gluten free, that will require an extra effort on his /her part.

 


Normally you would not tip at the outset.  GF is quite common and is not a problem.  There are special situations, as stated above, whereby a bit of cash upfront is a good idea.  The reason for tipping should always be for the purpose of rewarding excellence.  There are times when you might want to tip a bartender upfront in order to assure excellent service...no problem.  I think tipping a Dollar per drink is a bit low brow unless you are constantly changing bartenders.  It seems that an occasional $5 tip is more impressive than a Dollar per drink.  Your bartender will be sure to remember you.  


I once tipped a meat carver on the buffet because she was so nice and eager to please.  Again...she was rewarded for excellence.  
 

 

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On 2/16/2020 at 3:30 PM, Carribean Cruiser George said:

A few years back I had a conversation with a manager on the Divina regarding the DSC. He said that it was split between corporate and employees. I can’t remember the specific split but to the best of my recollection, it was something like 1/3 kept by MSC and 2/3 distributed to employees. This made sense to me at the time as there probably needs to be a financial incentive for MSC to encourage people to pay the DSC. Otherwise why would MSC put so much effort into trying to make people pay it? Well... Because there is something in it for the company... I am guessing the same applies to the 15% gratuity added on to bar drinks, but I don’t know.

 

I do not believe this.

 

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On 2/14/2020 at 2:08 AM, CGTNORMANDIE said:


Thank you for clarifying Kenny.
 

There has always been a certain amount of skepticism with the DSC.  I have had many conversations with Hotel Directors, etc.  They are reluctant to say exactly how the DSC is divided...but always insist that it is.  The crew is guaranteed a base salary when they sign a contract.  The DSC is used to supplement and exceed the base salary and continuing education.  

If you think about it...you will see that if a company withheld the monies it would be a monumental scandal and nobody would work for the company.  These dedicated crews are not showing up for work and expecting no pay.  Remember...a lot of these workers are with their respective companies for years.  
 

The DSC also covers the wages for all the people in the background.  The food prep, Kitchen workers, deck hands, cleaners, etc. etc.  If you decide not to pay the DSC then all the background people only receive their base salary.  
 

We always pay the DSC and then reward excellence as we see fit.
 

BTW...when a steward tells you that he/she never receives the DSC you might wonder...are they saying that because they do not understand how it is handled or perhaps they are hoping for a bigger tip??  Just wondering...

 

 

I pay the DSC and tip extra to those who have given great service to me.  Works for me and makes sure those that are behind the scenes get theirs.

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3 hours ago, frank808 said:

I pay the DSC and tip extra to those who have given great service to me.  Works for me and makes sure those that are behind the scenes get theirs.

Sounds right to me.  Spending too much time obsessing about the cut won't change anything, and if they all get something for giving me service to provide me with a great cruise experience, that's great, and the extra is for personal service.

 

If anyone is leery about it and decides to cancel the DSC, how does that help the staff that cleans the toilets you use by the pool?  Are you going to track them down and give them a personal tip to ensure they get one to supplement their pay?  Or the staff in the laundry that provide you with fresh towels?  Giving them zero is worse than IF the corporation takes a cut.

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Many years ago, I dated the First Officer for Princess.  Over that 1.5 years, 'Pillow talk, of course occurred. 

 

I suspect very strongly that What he explained to me then is still accurate:  Staff members at ALL levels are ordered not to disclose the financial details of their contacts.  Consequences to staff who didn't follow that rule ranged from probation, demotion and possibly not getting another contract.

 

Frankly, I think it's rude to discuss personal financial details with anyone, most especially a stranger.  With VERY rare exceptions, as close as you all think you are to a crew member at best you're an aquatance to them.  Most passengers are regarded as simply nice people.  Some passengers are regarded as a PITA (and yes, they do talk between themselves.)

 

Sorry folks, we're not special.  We're one of 5000+ passengers on a ship for a week for crew to deal with.  And next week, there's another 5000.

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14 minutes ago, jkgourmet said:

Many years ago, I dated the First Officer for Princess.  Over that 1.5 years, 'Pillow talk, of course occurred. 

 

I suspect very strongly that What he explained to me then is still accurate:  Staff members at ALL levels are ordered not to disclose the financial details of their contacts.  Consequences to staff who didn't follow that rule ranged from probation, demotion and possibly not getting another contract.

 

Frankly, I think it's rude to discuss personal financial details with anyone, most especially a stranger.  With VERY rare exceptions, as close as you all think you are to a crew member at best you're an aquatance to them.  Most passengers are regarded as simply nice people.  Some passengers are regarded as a PITA (and yes, they do talk between themselves.)

 

Sorry folks, we're not special.  We're one of 5000+ passengers on a ship for a week for crew to deal with.  And next week, there's another 5000.


 

So true...thank you for sharing.

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4 hours ago, jkgourmet said:

Many years ago, I dated the First Officer for Princess.  Over that 1.5 years, 'Pillow talk, of course occurred. 

 

I suspect very strongly that What he explained to me then is still accurate:  Staff members at ALL levels are ordered not to disclose the financial details of their contacts.  Consequences to staff who didn't follow that rule ranged from probation, demotion and possibly not getting another contract.

 

Frankly, I think it's rude to discuss personal financial details with anyone, most especially a stranger.  With VERY rare exceptions, as close as you all think you are to a crew member at best you're an aquatance to them.  Most passengers are regarded as simply nice people.  Some passengers are regarded as a PITA (and yes, they do talk between themselves.)

 

Sorry folks, we're not special.  We're one of 5000+ passengers on a ship for a week for crew to deal with.  And next week, there's another 5000.

Well said. 

 

This is actually one of the weirder threads I have been on; not wanting to give the corps more money is one thing, but to devote so much time...interesting, I keep coming back.   I never thought about it until you mentioned it, but yes it is rude to talk to people/strangers about finances, I certainly would feel uncomfortable if they asked me.  Why would it be Ok to ask them?  Because they are serving you?  You wouldn't ask a stranger at a party so it may be that you feel they don't qualify for that privacy/respect.  Not saying you actively feel that way but that does not negate the fact that seems to be what you are doing under the guise of being "helpful" to someone you feel needs your help or commiseration, ie, lesser. 

 

Yes, it sucks they make so little but face it, that's because we want to pay so little and cruise lines want to be competitive, otherwise everyone would only go on the cruises that already include DSC in the total, which more seem to be moving to because of this issue/controversy/bad publicity.

 

Spirit is a crappy airline but they are increasing their base because people will fly it for the price in spite of that.  I doubt their staff get paid as well, but people want jobs and they will always have staffing.  Crews join the ships because it is the best thing for them at that time, I doubt the ships will lack for staffing.

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Several passengers in the YC  had this discussion onboard the Davina in January.  I decided to ask the concierge.  She said that they DO receive all of the DSC.  Having been on another cruise line, where a crew member asked if we had taken off the DSC, after we gave him an additional tip, we knew he asked because he would have been forced to put our tip in a kitty, if we had removed the DSC.  I was curious as to MSC's policy.  Currently on MSC, if you tip extra, the individual gets to keep the total tip.  The concierge told me that she had worked on other lines where the crew's pay was reduced when the DSC was removed by passengers.  She said it was devastating for crew members who counted on the DSC as they received a paycheck that was lower than expected which meant that they have less money to send home.  She also indicated that was a reason she was no longer with that cruise line. There were passengers in the YC that opted to remove the DSC from their accounts so that they might just tip individuals.  We opted to keep the DSC on our account and tipped the outstanding crew members who served us so well.  It was nice to know that the crew members who we did not individually tip also received a reward.  

___________________________

 

I do not believe that my question to the concierge regarding tipping was out of line.  I did not ask about her financial situation, I asked about MSC policy.  The concierge position in the YC is different than a room steward or a waiter.   

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16 minutes ago, Nashna said:

_________________

I do not believe that my question to the concierge regarding tipping was out of line.  I did not ask about her financial situation, I asked about MSC policy.  The concierge position in the YC is different than a room steward or a waiter.   

From what I have seen on this thread, I think everyone is honestly trying to do what is right.  I don't believe people that are removing the DSC are trying to short change the workers on the boat, I think they want to deliver them personally for several reasons.  

In trying to decide what to do, I appreciate the information you provided.  I don't think it was out of line.

Thank You

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