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jkgourmet

What our cabin attendant did. . . and it's not good

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I DO NOT WANT YO TURN THIS INTO A BATTLE ABOUT DSC OR DIRECT TIPPING.  There is another current thread well established for that - "DIY Tips."  THIS is about the conduct of our cabin steward.

 

25+ cruises on 7 different mass market cruise lines.  We've never experienced ANYTHING like this.

 

Our cabin attendant has been one of the best we've ever had - but we're very low maintenance.

 

Last night as we were about to leave for dinner, he asked if he could come in for a minute to speak with us.  We thought that was odd, but certainly agreed.  He partially closed the door and asked us if we had ever sailed MSC before?  Yes, once about 5 years ago.  He then told us that MSC kept the DSC themselves and he wouldn't get any of it.  He directly asked us to tip him ourselves if we wanted him to get any of it. He LITERALLY told us how to remove the DSC from our bill (and he knew the EXACT amount in USD).  He told us the deadline for having it removed.  He told us the best times to go to guest relations to avoid the lines.  He said he tried to give this information to the guests in his cabins, but was "sad" that he couldn't always find them

 

We were shocked at this behaviour.  We resented being put in this situation. At the least, it's pretty ballsy and rude.  If reported, I'm pretty sure he'd be booted and on his way home.  It's completely inappropriate IMP.

 

We won't report it, of course.  But the additional tip we intended to leave is up in the air.

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Sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience. Passengers did not have to listen to these kind of complaints and requests from a cabin attendant. His action is against MSC policies and he need to accept the consequences. He clearly crossed the line. The only way to prevent this happen in the future is to report the cabin attendant and have MSC take over from here. 

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Luckily this hasn't happened to us.  I personally don't believe what he said is true.  I'm sure he doesn't get all of the DSC as it is shared among many crew and some probably is "kept" going to MSC crew programs.  I feel when this happens it's an attempt by the crew member to get a larger share of any money going to the DSC than they are entitled to.  He's basically trying to steal from other crew, I would report him.

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Definitely an awkward situation. Is the CS telling the truth? The DSC is supposed to get divided between the service staff so how much did he expect to receive from you in USD? 

 

 

 

 

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I appreciate both of your comments.

 

Under nearly any other situation, I would definitely have reported this.  In this case, my hesitation is because I honestly don't KNOW exactly what MSC (or any cruise line) does with those DSC charges.  Or the guartuity's automatically added to drinks in the lounge.  

 

So maybe it's true and MSC and other cruise lines is keeping this money and not distributing it as we are led to believe.  Maybe It's just another income source like the basic cruise fare  from which salaries are paid.

 

Because of this lack of transparency, I don't want the bad karma of reporting him.  

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6 minutes ago, cruisingnewtoit said:

Definitely an awkward situation. Is the CS telling the truth? The DSC is supposed to get divided between the service staff so how much did he expect to receive from you in USD? 

 

 

 

 

EXACTLY my reason for not reporting (see above).  And EXACTLY our reason for reevaluating our intended extra tip.

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1 minute ago, jkgourmet said:

EXACTLY my reason for not reporting (see above).  And EXACTLY our reason for reevaluating our intended extra tip.

For what it's worth I wouldn't report him. Enjoy Ocean Cay tomorrow

 

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I find this shocking, and I can't give any advice because I honestly don't know what I would do in this situation. I just wanted to say I'm sorry you've been put in such an incredibly uncomfortable position on your vacation.

Edited by eastoftheboston

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@jkgourmet

The cabin attendant made a wrong decision by talking to you. He presented something as fact which you can not proof right or wrong. It’s not up to us to judge how DSC is split among crew since we don’t know how it’s done.

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19 minutes ago, eastoftheboston said:

I find this shocking, and I can't give any advice because I honestly don't know what I would do in this situation. I just wanted to say I'm sorry you've been put in such an incredibly uncomfortable position on your vacation.


First all that I can say is wow but I agree with the above poster. Not sure what I would do in this situation. IMHO the room steward should not have discussed this with you. Totally crossed the line. The worst thing that has happened to me in over 30 years of cruising was on RCI, Celebrity and Carnival where the dining room wait staff begged for perfect scores on the survey sheet or they would suffer negative consequences for low marks.  That became a normal conversation on most cruises. 
 

I will say this, no person is going to work for free. If this person was not receiving some type of compensation then he would quit. I think it was nothing more than trying to strong arm you into giving him more money. I’m sorry that you were put into this situation.  

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13 minutes ago, SirWolf said:

@jkgourmet

The cabin attendant made a wrong decision by talking to you. He presented something as fact which you can not proof right or wrong. It’s not up to us to judge how DSC is split among crew since we don’t know how it’s done.

SirWolf you're right, he passed a line, but: it is not very transparant how MSC splits the DSC once they have the money on their account. 

Meraviglia can handle 5700 passengers. Lets say 4000 of them are to pay the daily 12,50$ then MSC receives 350.000$ for a week cruise...I don't know how you feel about that amount of money, but for me that's a lot of DSC for one week to split by 1500 crew. Plus the 15% service charge on everything they sell us...

And that's only meraviglia. They have 19 ships sailing. So I still feel we, the passengers, may judge how our extra money is spent.

If MSC would be more transparent about the DSC that would help.

Best regards and happy sailings, C

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I mentioned this before, but when we asked our cabin steward on one MSC cruise and our waiter on another if they had a preference as to whether to tip them directly or leave the DSC, they both said they very much would rather receive cash directly given to them. I tend to believe what your cabin steward is telling you about MSC, but I don't agree with the closed door, somewhat confrontational discussion that he had with you. I think, if asked, he should explain his preference but otherwise he should not discuss it. He went out of his way to try and convince you to do something that is a personal decision of the customer. That puts you in an uncomfortable situation that you didn't ask to be in and, actually, is not really in his best interests if he wants to keep his job. No doubt he would be immediately fired. But, I wouldn't report him. You're there to enjoy your cruise and not police compensation of employees of the ship. 

Edited by Reds4life

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I remember the “old” days where envelopes were given to us at then end of the cruise to add the gratuities and hand directly to the crew. Then things changed where the cruise lines started adding the gratuities to our onboard accounts. There were several reasons given by the lines on why they moved to this system. I never questioned where the money went and to date I know of no cruise line that divulges this information. I trust that the correct crew members benefit for this. Again no one that I know works for free.
 

Now with that said even after paying the standard service charge we usually give extra to people like the room steward, butler, etc if they have gone above and beyond. This will be the first cruise line that we have sailed where the butler is included in the gratuities. On Celebrity and NCL we tipped them separately. Also we tip the bartenders as we go. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that with just about any cruise line we do not know how the gratuities are distributed. We hear different versions so I guess that it’s all in who you believe. 

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47 minutes ago, cruisingator2 said:


 

Now with that said even after paying the standard service charge we usually give extra to people like the room steward, butler, etc if they have gone above and beyond. This will be the first cruise line that we have sailed where the butler is included in the gratuities. On Celebrity and NCL we tipped them separately. 

 

 

We give extra also.

It's true the butler on NCL is not included in the gratuities, however, they are on Celebrity.  Currently it's $4 per person/per day.

 

This guy is really taking a chance.  The OP  said he's asking his other guests too.  It stands to reason that if he keeps this up cruise after cruise someone is bound to report him.

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10 minutes ago, mafig said:

 

 

We give extra also.

It's true the butler on NCL is not included in the gratuities, however, they are on Celebrity.  Currently it's $4 per person/per day.

 

This guy is really taking a chance.  The OP  said he's asking his other guests too.  It stands to reason that if he keeps this up cruise after cruise someone is bound to report him.


Maybe it’s changed since we last cruised on X as I recall tipping the butler and concierge separately. Still, four bucks a day is not much at all for what they do on X. We have always had top notch service. 

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Imagine if a waitress told you "..I have to share my tips with the bartender, the dishwasher, the washroom attendant, etc. You should not add a tip to the bill and meet me out back to tip me directly..." At the end of the night, the tips are pooled and split as per usual and the waitress takes her share of the pool.

 

The room steward wants to double dip. He wants his contracted pay, whatever amount (if any) of the DSC he gets just like the other stewards plus whatever cash you give. In other words, if the steward next door doesn't give the same speech to his guests, does your steward deserve more?

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There isn't a member among us that can state AS A FACT, how DSC is distributed. No one knows for sure. No matter how much people claim they KNOW how automatic dsc is distributed, I have yet to see any evidence supporting such claims. Cruise lines are anything but transparent in terms of how the dsc is distributed. The lack of transparency is deliberate. 

 

This goes for all cruise lines, not just MSC. I think that Disney is pretty transparent, but I don't recall specifics off hand. At one point, NCL tried to be transparent by publishing a sheet outlining how the dsc was distributed and this sheet included a portion of your dsc put into an 'emergency fund' in case crew needed to fly home. A portion of the dsc was also distributed by the cruise line to the employee of the month and a portion was saved to pay for what ncl categorized as 'crew parties'.

 

What the MSC steward did put the OP in a strange place. It's not right. No excuses, but this scenario isn't unique to MSC.  I'm not cheer-leading for MSC (again, no excuses), but  I've had stewards say similar things to me on both RCL and Celebrity. Not exactly the same, but very strong hints.  I have also been badgered for perfect "5" scores on exit surveys. It's all part of crew life.

 

I am not making any statement about those of you who elect to keep the dsc, those who elect to tip in cash, or those who don't tip. I stopped participating in those threads long ago. Do what you feel is right and live with the karma.

 

I do challenge those of you who claim that they KNOW how the dsc is distributed to provide some solid evidence. This person 'told' me so, or "i read on CC",  just doesn't cut the mustard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by BermudaBound2014

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Ironically, we're happier with the auto gratuity system.  No guilt or concern over how much to tip.  No cash to bring with us.  No running around on the last day to find the people who have served us.

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18 minutes ago, Two Wheels Only said:

Imagine if a waitress told you "..I have to share my tips with the bartender, the dishwasher, the washroom attendant, etc. You should not add a tip to the bill and meet me out back to tip me directly..." At the end of the night, the tips are pooled and split as per usual and the waitress takes her share of the pool.

 

The room steward wants to double dip. He wants his contracted pay, whatever amount (if any) of the DSC he gets just like the other stewards plus whatever cash you give. In other words, if the steward next door doesn't give the same speech to his guests, does your steward deserve more?

 

Two Wheels:  Thank you.  You've stated this situation better than I did.  You're SPOT ON.

 

And thanks to everyone who responded in a way that was consistent with my original request that this thread not get into a discussion about eliminating or keeping the DSC.  

 

For my part, I will try VERY hard to eliminate this experience from my final review of this cruise.

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BB ... On our Xmas cruise on Meraviglia the CD Gene Young came into the Panama dining room and urged guests via the P.A system to give the dining room staff 10 out of 10 ! Red tag to a Bull comes to mind.

It is one thing for the staff themselves to ask but the CD coming begging whilst people are eating is beyond a joke, this is not the MSC way but more imported nonsense from the other cruise lines.

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I understand how some folks would be offended and consider the attendant’s behavior brazen.  Obviously he thought he had established a rapport with you to approach and didn’t think you would jeopardize his job.

 

If you are offended by his behavior I suggest that you stay with the DSC and not leave an additional gratuity.

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I would suggest this isn't the first time this guy has done this. If that's the case....he wouldn't have done it to you if the last person he tried it with REPORTED HIM!!!!!

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Totally unacceptable and dishonest. I suggest you file a report with MSC and save other passengers the grief. Disloyal employees like him should be fired on the spot and sent packing.

Edited by sfaaa

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Think your cabin steward definitely crossed the line here but this really makes me wonder now. We always prepay our DSC and then give additional cash to those that deserve more. On the Mera last month, we gave an additional $20 to our cabin steward and at the time I also told him that we had already prepaid our DSC. He said thank you but you could tell he was just kind of ticked off a bit. Gone was our friendly cabin steward for the rest of the cruise.

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10 minutes ago, jdvmd said:

Think your cabin steward definitely crossed the line here but this really makes me wonder now. We always prepay our DSC and then give additional cash to those that deserve more. On the Mera last month, we gave an additional $20 to our cabin steward and at the time I also told him that we had already prepaid our DSC. He said thank you but you could tell he was just kind of ticked off a bit. Gone was our friendly cabin steward for the rest of the cruise.

I think that crew members are acting in response to having more cruises where majority of passengers are Americans. Seems like they expect additional tips from Americans.

Meraviglia come to mind.

When we were on her last year in Europe , we were in the minority as Americans. Tips we gave to stewards and butler were greatly appreciated and definitely not expected. They tried to hand them back to us.

when we travel to countries where tipping is not done, it is interesting that the expectation is that Americans always tip. Sometimes going as far as asking, “ are you Americans?”

 I say, stick with your gut. Those who have cruised a lot -do what you  are comfortable with.  And remember,  enjoy your cruise.  Don’t let this stuff ruin a great vacation.

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