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View Full Version : How much to tip baggage handlers at cruise terminal?


Sandy R
September 13th, 2007, 06:45 PM
We'll be sailing from San Pedro, CA. I know we can't completely insure that our luggage will arrive safely and in a timely manner to our cabin but I would like to tip generously so perhaps our 2 large pieces of luggage will be handled with care.

How much do you normally tip the baggage handlers at the cruise terminal?

Sandy

Calvin
September 13th, 2007, 06:57 PM
FWIW,

I don't know if I'm an over tipper or under tipper, but I tip ~$2 per bag. I have been fortunate enough to not have any missing or absurdly late bags in 20 cruises.

At one particular terminal, I tipped the usual amount only to watch him drag the 4 bags about 15 feet into a cage!

beth4652
September 13th, 2007, 07:03 PM
We $1 per bag for a weekender size; $1.50 or $2 for the big, heavy ones.

docksider21
September 13th, 2007, 07:20 PM
Hi

As you may already known, but may not be common knowledge, the "porters" at the cruise terminal are longshoremen. They are not necessarily cruise employees.

A great tip might not insure speedy delivery to your room, because if the crate with your bags goes in first, although it is aboard ship, it may be "stuck" behind all the over crates and the last to be unloaded. The longshoremen merely get the stuff aboard ship. It is the ship's crew who get it from steerage to your room. So as far as "handled with care," the tip to the longshoremen has nothing to do with how your bags are handled aboard ship.

However, while the longshoremen may only move your bags 15 feet to that crate, that is the essential last step. Two thoughts-

1. Its probably the LACK of a tip that will do you more damage than the exact amount of tip will do you good.

2. What if you "over-tip" by a dollar, two, or even five. That is NOTHING compared to the lovely time you would have in your bags spent the whole cruise in the terminal.

Good luck

septrack
September 13th, 2007, 07:48 PM
Most ports have "Tipping not required" signs. however its not worth taking a chance on ruining your cruiser. We always tip $2/bag.

ARRTrain
September 13th, 2007, 07:51 PM
The longshoremen are making $25-$45 an hour. Your bags will get to your room if you tip or not. It just may take longer if you don't tip.

Desert Cruisers
September 13th, 2007, 08:07 PM
We have never tipped the longshoremen and have noticed no difference in how the bags are handled and when they get to our cabin. The longshoremen have no control over the delivery of bags on the ship. As the previous poster mentioned, these workers are well paid and not working for tips as those in the service industry must do.:)

vmom
September 13th, 2007, 09:04 PM
Interesting discussion. I always like to tip well just to make sure my bags get on the ship. My DH believes that as longshoremen, they are paid well and although he is willing to tip, doesn not like to give alot since he feels they are paid for their work and are only moving the bags some times as little as 5 feet.

Well a couple of cruises ago, at DH's request, we tipped, but not that well. We were literally next to the metal carrier that the luggage was being placed in and for that matter, could have put it in ourselves. Well one bag, my husbands came to us on the ship with a large deep cut, about 10", essentially ruining the bag. Looked like a sharp box cutter or something had been used on it. To this day, I still wonder if it happened on accident or if the porter did it. When we dropped this luggage off with him, he seemed quite threatening, saying something like I'm the one that makes sure you get you luggage and that's in one piece. Kind of felt like a shake down.

I Wonder???

Anyway, the last cruise we tipped according to how much I wanted to tip and the porter seemed surprised and thanked us very politely for the tip. Huge contrast from the previous porter.

B40 Tha Cruisa
September 13th, 2007, 09:12 PM
I dont know if a tip is required, but it is good for peace of mind. :)

Christapie
September 13th, 2007, 09:19 PM
I tip also very nicely. As a vent here, do we all need to live in fear if we do not tip?

phillipahain
September 13th, 2007, 09:21 PM
San Pedro is one of the few Ports that has a large sign

Do Not Tip

Tipping is Definitely not required or even expected if you sail out of a UK Port like Dover or Southampton

ck53
September 13th, 2007, 09:24 PM
We also tip $2 per bag but it is to ensure the luggage makes it onto the ship. On our last cruise, we actually saw the Princess employee who delivered one bag. We did tip him too(it was heavy!) and the next thing we know there is a knock and it is the same guy w/ the rest of our luggage. ;)

chasetf
September 14th, 2007, 01:07 AM
.............2. What if you "over-tip" by a dollar, two, or even five. That is NOTHING compared to the lovely time you would have in your bags spent the whole cruise in the terminal.
Most ports have "Tipping not required" signs. however its not worth taking a chance on ruining your cruiser. We always tip $2/bag.
Anyway, the last cruise we tipped according to how much I wanted to tip and the porter seemed surprised and thanked us very politely for the tip. Huge contrast from the previous porter.
I dont know if a tip is required, but it is good for peace of mind.
I tip also very nicely. As a vent here, do we all need to live in fear if we do not tip? We also tip $2 per bag but it is to ensure the luggage makes it onto the ship. On our last cruise, we actually saw the Princess employee who delivered one bag. We did tip him too(it was heavy!) and the next thing we know there is a knock and it is the same guy w/ the rest of our luggage. ;)
Sorry to say...... Looks like the extortion continues to work. Tipping should be for service rendered...... not for fear of retaliation.

If my bag got trashed (like the poster who's was sliced with a boxcutter)..... Princess would know and I would expect them to make it good.

But then.... I personnally make sure mine get into the bin (sometimes putting them in myself, and then I watch others get loaded on top before I leave.

thisislou
September 14th, 2007, 06:22 AM
The longshoremen are making $25-$45 an hour. Your bags will get to your room if you tip or not. It just may take longer if you don't tip.

Sorry to disagree but ....

2 cruises ago - I tipped very little and one bag had it's tag ripped off and I found it while I was going to dinner in front on the purser's desk.

They do get pissed off and can cause problems.

maldito
September 14th, 2007, 06:37 AM
But then.... I personnally make sure mine get into the bin (sometimes putting them in myself, and then I watch others get loaded on top before I leave.

Can I put our bags in the luggage bin myself? It sounds absurd that I have to tip someone to move something 15' that I have been schleping across country myself. Especially when they make more money than I do as a nurse.

I was watching Cruise Do's and Dont's on the travel chanell last night and they said that they take your bag at the terminal then scan it before it goes on board ship. Do they scan it after you drop it off or as you drop it off? (we are sailing out of SF on tuesday:) We can hardly wait)

maldito
September 14th, 2007, 06:38 AM
But then.... I personnally make sure mine get into the bin (sometimes putting them in myself, and then I watch others get loaded on top before I leave.

Can I put our bags in the luggage bin myself? It sounds absurd that I have to tip someone to move something 15' that I have been schleping across country myself. Especially when they make more money than I do as a nurse.

I was watching Cruise Do's and Dont's on the travel chanell last night and they said that they take your bag at the terminal then scan it before it goes on board ship. Do they scan it after you drop it off or as you drop it off? (we are sailing out of SF on tuesday:) We can hardly wait)

hill6
September 14th, 2007, 06:55 AM
If I have two bags (usually large and fairly heavy) I do $5. I can't see having four singles for two bags. $5 is nice and "round". One bag would get $2.

custompcsys
September 14th, 2007, 07:21 AM
Sorry to say...... Looks like the extortion continues to work. Tipping should be for service rendered...... not for fear of retaliation.

If my bag got trashed (like the poster who's was sliced with a boxcutter)..... Princess would know and I would expect them to make it good.

But then.... I personnally make sure mine get into the bin (sometimes putting them in myself, and then I watch others get loaded on top before I leave.

While it may not be right, its an unfortunate fact. And unless your going to watch the bin until they finish filling it and forklift it onto the ship, you're going to have to leave it sometime while its on the dock.

Its the same reason you never tick off your waitstaff at a restaurant or you will end up with extra "presents" in your food you don't even know about. (have seen this happen!)

BND
September 14th, 2007, 08:10 AM
Port Canaveral also has signs saying not to tip. These longshoremen are union and very well paid, probably most make more than your average cruiser. I have a real issue with someone who basically demands a tip from you. These guys are paid to load your luggage. That is their job. We usually tip them but only because I'm not sure I want to find out what might happen if we don't. Although last cruise we gave them $5 for 4 bags and one bag had the whole tag torn off and the other was missing part of the tag. The one with the whole tag missing wasn't found for us by our steward until about 7:30 pm. We got our other 3 bags before 5. The guys onboard who deliver (and pickup) the luggage to your cabins are the ones that do the most work.

5fathom
September 14th, 2007, 08:30 AM
Trust me, in San Pedro offer some kind of tip ! We speak from experience. We arrived in a van and in the confusion we failed to tip the handler. We found our bags several hours later in the baggage area of the ship with all the luggage tags torn off. There were several other bags there also. Even if it's only a couple of dollars it will be worth it in the long run. :confused:

spongerob
September 14th, 2007, 08:31 AM
Sorry to say...... Looks like the extortion continues to work. Tipping should be for service rendered...... not for fear of retaliation.

If my bag got trashed (like the poster who's was sliced with a boxcutter)..... Princess would know and I would expect them to make it good.

But then.... I personnally make sure mine get into the bin (sometimes putting them in myself, and then I watch others get loaded on top before I leave.This is one of my pet peeves. The people who work dockside, filling the bins and running the forklifts, definitely earn the "living wage" (and then some) that gets discussed in all the other tipping thredas, plus have all the benefits they can ask for. We already pay for these things with our port fees. It's not just extortion, it's highway robbery, and I'm willing to bet that none of this extra income is reported so that taxes can be assessed. It boils down to the fact that these people are making us pay twice for a service, then stiffing our schools and health care and all those wonderful social things that unions demand in their contracts. :mad:

Why don't the dock managers do anything? My guess is that they get a cut of all that money people give. It wouldn't surprise me to found out that upwards of $10K is gathered from this practice. There oughta be a law!

agabbymama
September 14th, 2007, 08:44 AM
I don't know as I believe it is done in retaliation. I think they just don't care if the tags get torn off or the luggage damaged. It's just a job to them, and it isn't their luggage or vacation, so no extra care is taken at all whether you tip or not.

My friend and I both tipped $5 for two bags (1 large and 1 small). Both pieces of my luggage arrived intact to the cabin. Her carry-on bag arrived at the same time. NO sign of her large suitcase. We waited until about 8:00 pm then finally asked the cabin steward. He suggested we go down to the lobby to look at the luggage that had no tags. Sure enough, her suitcase was there minus all tags (her personal nametag and the cruiseline tags). The only thing still on the suitcase was her identifying ribbons on the handle. Just the luck of the draw that it was her suitcase and not mine, as the same porter took them both at the same time on the same cart.

Ethel5
September 14th, 2007, 10:06 AM
This is one of my pet peeves. The people who work dockside, filling the bins and running the forklifts, definitely earn the "living wage" (and then some) that gets discussed in all the other tipping thredas, plus have all the benefits they can ask for. We already pay for these things with our port fees. It's not just extortion, it's highway robbery, and I'm willing to bet that none of this extra income is reported so that taxes can be assessed. It boils down to the fact that these people are making us pay twice for a service, then stiffing our schools and health care and all those wonderful social things that unions demand in their contracts. :mad:

Why don't the dock managers do anything? My guess is that they get a cut of all that money people give. It wouldn't surprise me to found out that upwards of $10K is gathered from this practice. There oughta be a law!

While I happily leave on the auto tips and always give extra, it really kills me to tip these dock porters. It's extortion! We actully had one tell us the tip wasn't enough-he didn't see the other bill folded inside. :mad:

custompcsys
September 14th, 2007, 10:10 AM
Back in the day, the docks were almost totally mob controlled. Kinda makes you wonder if the mentalilty might still be there :confused:

vmom
September 14th, 2007, 10:24 AM
Can I put our bags in the luggage bin myself? It sounds absurd that I have to tip someone to move something 15' that I have been schleping across country myself. Especially when they make more money than I do as a nurse.

I was watching Cruise Do's and Dont's on the travel chanell last night and they said that they take your bag at the terminal then scan it before it goes on board ship. Do they scan it after you drop it off or as you drop it off? (we are sailing out of SF on tuesday:) We can hardly wait)

In my experience, it isn't even 15 feet. I find it frustrating also, but if you try to load it on yourself, they will likely stop you. It depends on who the porter is. We were going to just toss our stuff in the bin, but the ported came up and stood between us and the bin and took the luggage. Since we were standing next to the bin, he moved it maybe 3 feet. Seems absurd.

custompcsys
September 14th, 2007, 11:48 AM
If anyone has ever been an exhibitor at a conference or exposition in a large exhibition hall, its a very similar situation with carrying cargo into the exhibition hall or doing anything electrical inside the hall. Because there are union workers involved, you are not, under any circumstances, allowed to carry anything into the hall on your own, or even so much as plug a power strip into an outlet. Cargo must be left at the loading dock for it to be delivered to your booth, no matter how small, and a union electrician has to be called even just to plug in a power strip....all at a charge of course. Things get very ugly if you try and get around the rules and do it yourself.

In the case of the longshoremen, if you put your luggage in the bin yourself you are doing a union member's work, and they really, really don't like that. I guess they also feel they are entitled to a bit of extra compensation from you in the form of a tip as well. The bottom line is that the union controls the dock. If you wanna go play, you gotta pay. Is it fair? Of course not. Is it reality? Unfortunately yes.

prarie cruiser
September 14th, 2007, 12:32 PM
It's always been interesting to me that some persons get tipped and some do not, partially depending upon the particular job. For instance, we tip wait staff in restaurants, and the wage laws have them very poorly paid per hour and ensure they have to work hard for their money which comes in tips. Most do not belong to a union.

Hotel housekeeping staff are in a similar situation, but may be unionized. The guy who only flags a taxi gets tipped a lot, and may be unionized. We regularly tip other service providers such as the paper deliverer, pizza delivery, etc. They may or may not be in a union, but not usually.

We do not tip store clerks, nurses, cable tv installers, teachers, athletic coaches, day care providers, etc. who may or may not be unionized, but do provide needed services. But, we do tip taxi drivers and longshoremen who load our luggage, who actually provide less service and may be better paid than many of the individuals above. So, is tipping outside of food service and housekeeping, primarily male dominated workers? Or, does this even have anything to do with it?

There really is not a point to this post by me, except that it is interesting our cultural rules about tipping. Personally, I like to see my luggage arrive on time so I usually tip between 5 and 10 dollars for the service at the dock.

marne001
September 14th, 2007, 12:34 PM
Hi All,

I sail through FFL frequently and have gathered some info over the years. I am not saying I have first hand verified, so it is observations and things I have been told by CCL/Princess, TAs, other frequent cruise passengers.

At the FFL terminals, signs are posted saying no need to tip the porters.

A porter will walk around LOUDLY stating, "Remember to tip your porters if you want your luggage to show up in your cabin tonight". I had heard this from fellow cruises, but heard it first hand MARCH 8, 2007. I started to video the porter and get the sign in the background...but was afraid I would sail without my luggage.

Cruise staff, specfically officers and purser office employees have repeatedly over many many cruises, said there is no need to tip the porters, unless you are asking for assistance, e.g., lotsa luggage or getting it your luggage to the bus, cab or car.

I have only first hand experience with misdirected luggage on a cruise and it cannot be blamed on the porter. Years ago Celebrity would pick up your luggage from the baggage pickup area at the airport. A tag [must have been innocently removed] was missing from a bag, which the airline delivered to us in St. Maarten three days later.

What do I do at the terminal? I begrudingly give the harker, err, I meant porter a $1 bill for each piece of luggage. Enroute to the terminal I try to share this story with any other traveler who might benefit. After all this is the one form of vacation, where I have never meet an a__hole! Every since fellow passenger has been pleasant to me.

Marne, the Cruisin' Fool

vkramer
September 14th, 2007, 02:19 PM
I don't know about you guys, but the porters at Miami port are scary......They just about threaten you into giving them a tip.

Vicki

Ethel5
September 14th, 2007, 02:41 PM
I don't know about you guys, but the porters at Miami port are scary......They just about threaten you into giving them a tip.

Vicki

Pretty much the same in FLL.

Doug R.
September 14th, 2007, 02:58 PM
Pretty much the same in FLL.

Don't see any of our anti-tipping friends saying that they are brave enough to tell the longshoremen that they don't believe in tipping :D . I agree with all who bemoan it as extortion, but then again $5 bucks is not too unreasonable a price to pay for "protection" (but what do I know? I am from the state that spawned the Sopranos :D ).

Yeah the guys at the Everglades and Miami are pretty scary. :eek:

custompcsys
September 14th, 2007, 03:18 PM
Don't see any of our anti-tipping friends saying that they are brave enough to tell the longshoremen that they don't believe in tipping :D . I agree with all who bemoan it as extortion, but then again $5 bucks is not too unreasonable a price to pay for "protection" (but what do I know? I am from the state that spawned the Sopranos :D ).

Yeah the guys at the Everglades and Miami are pretty scary.

I'm with you Doug! Lived in Essex County NJ all my life until 5 years ago. Let's just say I wouldn't not tip, no matter where the dock is.

fti
September 14th, 2007, 03:25 PM
Don't see any of our anti-tipping friends saying that they are brave enough to tell the longshoremen that they don't believe in tipping :D . I agree with all who bemoan it as extortion, but then again $5 bucks is not too unreasonable a price to pay for "protection" (but what do I know? I am from the state that spawned the Sopranos :D ).

Yeah the guys at the Everglades and Miami are pretty scary. :eek:

I am not anti-tipping but I will chime in anyway :D .

In Alaska last month, no need to tip - I checked my luggage in at the Alaska RR station in Anchorage, the luggage was checked to my ship. Actually the luggage did not go on the train - Celebrity picked it up with a truck from the AKRR and drove it to Seward. No one ahead of me was tipping the AKRR employees so neither did I.

In Alaska last year in Whittier we dropped our luggage off before a Princess cruise but honestly I don't remember if we tipped or not. In any case it didn't seem blatantly obvious that they were looking for a tip, as appears to be the case in FLL or MIA.

We will see what happens in San Juan in two months. I have never been there. If a tip is looked at as a bribe though, I would be less likely to tip (but would probably tip anyway - just less than I might have otherwise).

chasetf
September 14th, 2007, 03:27 PM
While it may not be right, its an unfortunate fact. And unless your going to watch the bin until they finish filling it and forklift it onto the ship, you're going to have to leave it sometime while its on the dock.
I find if I just wait until someone else's bags are stacked on top on mine then they are not going to dig into the pile to retaliate. They are too busy collecting from the next "victims".

chasetf
September 14th, 2007, 03:36 PM
Can I put our bags in the luggage bin myself? It sounds absurd that I have to tip someone to move something 15' that I have been schleping across country myself. Especially when they make more money than I do as a nurse.

I was watching Cruise Do's and Dont's on the travel chanell last night and they said that they take your bag at the terminal then scan it before it goes on board ship. Do they scan it after you drop it off or as you drop it off? (we are sailing out of SF on tuesday:) We can hardly wait)
Let me say there are different procedures port to port. Here are some of our experiences.

In Australia we rolled out bags up to trucks outside the terminal entrance and handed our bags to the guys on the trucks (we did not tip).

At Fort Lauderdale we always rolled up in a taxi, the driver unloaded the bags from the taxi's trunk and we rolled them over to the bin where sometimes I threw then in or the longshoreman threw them in (we did not tip).

In San Francisco we drove up to the port entrance, a porter met us with a cart, we loaded them on the cart and he disappeared into the terminal with our luggage (we tipped).

In San Diego we were met at the airport by a Princess rep outside the air terminal. They were collecting bags on the sidewalk. We put our bags in the pile and left to get to the port independently (no transfer). My brother, who was going with us and picked us up (and who did not fly in), unloaded his luggage from his car's trunk and put it in the pile too. They had a truck haul the luggage to the dock for us (we did not tip).

luvnorway
September 14th, 2007, 04:19 PM
Like many posters, we strongly resent the intimidation either overt or implied that the baggage handlers use to get tips at some ports in the US, especially when the distance they may actually move the luggage is (as been stated frequently), only a few feet.

We have found the baggage handlers in Tampa to be particularly offensive.

When embarking on a Transatlantic cruise from Tampa, I stay with the luggage and my husband goes to line up for check-in. We do it this way because my experience has been that the baggage handlers are more rude and demanding when dealing with males than with females. (Or perhaps they are more willing to believe a female is dumb - you'll see what I mean when you read my strategy!)

When the baggage handler takes our luggage to load into the container to be put on the ship, I thank him politely and turn away.
If he hassles me for a tip, I tell him that, since I am Canadian, we just arrived from the airport and are cruising to Europe, the only money I have is Canadian $ and Euro
-> then I politely ask him which he would prefer, Canadian $ or Euro?

Each of the 3 or 4 times I've done this in Tampa, the baggage handler has just looked at me like I'm crazy - guess they can't comprehend why someone wouldn't feel a need to have US $. - Then they walk away from me - Puts the shoe on the other foot = he declines the tip.
BTW I've never had any problems with missing luggage as a result.

Obviously this wouldn't work unless you're on a cruise to Europe - I wouldn't try it if I was just going to the Caribbean.

I realize some will feel I'm trying to "stiff" the baggage handlers, but, I'm one of those who feels they are well paid and don't deserve a tip for just doing their job.

sultan_sfo
September 14th, 2007, 05:40 PM
In 2003, the porter just looked at us surprised when we tipped $5 for 4 bags. He was not expecting any tip! In May 2007, we were doing a 2-day coastal. Most of the pax had just carry-ons and were wheeling it. We decided to give our 2 carry-ons to the porter and I placed it on his cart and gave him $2. The porter gave us the look without saying it -- only $2? I told him just those carry-ons were our total luggage -- he said Oh! it is OK. /Sultan


...
In San Francisco we drove up to the port entrance, a porter met us with a cart, we loaded them on the cart and he disappeared into the terminal with our luggage (we tipped).
...

Desert Cruisers
September 14th, 2007, 08:33 PM
I'm really enjoying this discussion.

We have sailed twice from San Pedro. We carried our own bags to the drop off area and did not feel intimidated by the longshoremen.

As for damaged bags, I find it interesting that a number of the posters autmatically assume that any bag damage is caused by the longshoremen. Damage can just as easily occur during security screening and bag distribution on board.:)

spongerob
September 14th, 2007, 08:49 PM
If he hassles me for a tip, I tell him that, since I am Canadian, we just arrived from the airport and are cruising to Europe, the only money I have is Canadian $ and Euro
-> then I politely ask him which he would prefer, Canadian $ or Euro?
ROFL...now I've got use for all those Loonies! What a great idea.

vmom
September 14th, 2007, 09:33 PM
Hey I've got some Mexican pesos...do you think that would work?

mjayem@aol.com
September 14th, 2007, 10:59 PM
In Aug. I went on the crown, in the pouring rain! I had heard from the sailing before us that some people's bags were sitting out in the rain for over 2 hours before they got on the ship, I did not want this to happen. So, my hubby and I carried as much as we could on, and had 3 bags to check. We gave the porter $20 (which we made sure he saw the amount) and begged him to please make sure they stayed dry under the overhang. I must say we did go back and check, and they were right next to him the whole time. Well, we got on the ship, found our room, and went to eat. We went back to our room about 1 hr. after we had just got on, and there were our bags with not one single rain drop on them. To me, it was worth that $20!

Whimsy
September 14th, 2007, 11:01 PM
We tip because we feel it is well worth a few extra dollars for the piece of mind. After reading these boards if I didn't tip I would spend all afternoon wondering if my bags were going to make it and if so, would they arrive damaged because we didn't tip. Just not worth saving a few $$ to have that in the back of my mind all afternoon.

custompcsys
September 15th, 2007, 02:16 AM
In Aug. I went on the crown, in the pouring rain! I had heard from the sailing before us that some people's bags were sitting out in the rain for over 2 hours before they got on the ship, I did not want this to happen. So, my hubby and I carried as much as we could on, and had 3 bags to check. We gave the porter $20 (which we made sure he saw the amount) and begged him to please make sure they stayed dry under the overhang. I must say we did go back and check, and they were right next to him the whole time. Well, we got on the ship, found our room, and went to eat. We went back to our room about 1 hr. after we had just got on, and there were our bags with not one single rain drop on them. To me, it was worth that $20!

Despite my earlier posts, I don't mind tipping in return for service, I just resent the assumption of a tip to move my bag 6 feet into a bin. When we left from Seattle on the Diamond in 2005, we had a group of 6 of us, including my SO and her parents - 3 total cabins. My SO's mom is one of those folks that can't go away for a week without taking a month's worth of stuff, so needless to say we had a LOT of bags to check. The porter pulled his cart right up to the back of the van we had rented, and he literally filled his cart with the our luggage alone. When he put the last bag on his cart I handed him $25. He then said "follow me" and walked me and our bags right past the huge line waiting to check bags without a porter. Showed our documents to the Princess rep and off went the bags, no waiting.

That was a service worth tipping for. Trying to deal with 10-12 bags on our own would have been a huge pain - probably literally :)

docksider21
September 15th, 2007, 10:55 AM
Hi

This discussion is really helpful.

So far, it looks like one of the favorite "sabotages" is to rip off luggage tags. Makes sense to me. No incriminating box cutters to carry. Delays delivery to the passenger without an incriminating piece of luggage laying around at the port, or being "caught" put it in the dumpster, etc. And, those tags, they can come off "accidentally," and how is anyone going to prove that those silly passengers are put the name tags or the cruise tags on their luggage in the first place.

Which is yet another reason to put your name, address, etc. on the inside of your bag. Also, if those luggage has a little pocket window on the side to slide a name and address into, do it, and also put a name tag on the handle. It is hard to get the little paper out of that window, they won't see it, won't have time, and with the "decoy" name tag on the handle, they won't go looking for other identifiers.

Good Luck

MikeTheActuary
September 15th, 2007, 11:14 AM
A couple of additional data points from my recent experience on the Crown

At the Brooklyn terminal at embarkation, the crew unloading our bus (move bag from under-bus storage area to a cart 3 feet away) was lead by a guy who was not shy about encouraging us "to show a little appreciation for me and my men on this hot summer's day".

At disembarkation, at least when we got off, longshoremen were few and far between, at least until I grabbed a cart, at which point they weren't shy about telling me the carts were for union workers only, after which none could be found to help us out. My wife uses a walker, so she was limited in what she could do luggage-wise, but I'm told I made quite a sight rolling three suitcases, and carrying a garment bag and a computer bag on my shoulders, as we made our way over to customs.

Once we were outside, and away from the scene of my education about longshoremen and their carts, I was able to attract the attention of someone returning, to help get us the rest of the way back to our bus.

Tina G
September 15th, 2007, 01:32 PM
Don't mess wit' da union!

bubbadog
September 15th, 2007, 02:03 PM
longshoremen dont handle luggage,might tie up the ship or load unload cargo,but luggage detail would be for lowest man on the totempole:)))

@home@sea
September 15th, 2007, 03:03 PM
I tip $5 for a large bag. Several cruises ago I handed the baggage handler $10 for 2 large bags. He thanked me for my generosity and stated that someone had given him $1 for 5 bags. The next day at sea an announcement was made that a fellow passenger was missing all 5 bags of luggage, and for all passengers to check for any bag that wasn't theirs. Coincidence? maybe..

Stacycee
September 15th, 2007, 06:29 PM
As a wife of a longeshoreman and an avid cruiser, I can tell you that yes, longshoremen are paid well, but if they take a porter job, they are only paid for hours worked. For example, if it only takes 4 hours to load the ship, they are only paid for half a day. Yes, some stay until the ship sails, but a lot are sent home as the crowds go down. Therefore, your tips are always appreciated. It makes me laugh that people spend hundreds of dollars (most of the time more) on a cruise, and they will not tip someone $5? Just my thoughts. :)

custompcsys
September 15th, 2007, 07:02 PM
Don't mess wit' da union!

There, in a nutshell, is the main crux of the problem.

@home@sea
September 15th, 2007, 07:09 PM
I agree! It's VACATION. People that think nothing of spending $8 on a cocktail, who knows how much in the one arm bandits have to think that $1 or $2 a bag are being taken advantage of. It's all part of the excitment and anticipation of a great cruise.

CrusinElf
September 15th, 2007, 07:17 PM
Quote by custompcsys "If anyone has ever been an exhibitor at a conference or exposition in a large exhibition hall, its a very similar situation with carrying cargo into the exhibition hall or doing anything electrical inside the hall. Because there are union workers involved, you are not, under any circumstances, allowed to carry anything into the hall on your own, or even so much as plug a power strip into an outlet. Cargo must be left at the loading dock for it to be delivered to your booth, no matter how small, and a union electrician has to be called even just to plug in a power strip....all at a charge of course. Things get very ugly if you try and get around the rules and do it yourself"

As a now retired Convention Director for a major (US) medical association, I know exactly what you're talking about. Unfortunately, it's the way of the world, I guess.

For the sake of this discussion, I personally tip and most likely over tip. So far, my luggage has arrived in a timely manner and in good condition. Coincidence...HUMMMM?

Elf

ottergal
September 15th, 2007, 07:24 PM
As a wife of a longeshoreman and an avid cruiser, I can tell you that yes, longshoremen are paid well, but if they take a porter job, they are only paid for hours worked. For example, if it only takes 4 hours to load the ship, they are only paid for half a day. Yes, some stay until the ship sails, but a lot are sent home as the crowds go down. Therefore, your tips are always appreciated. It makes me laugh that people spend hundreds of dollars (most of the time more) on a cruise, and they will not tip someone $5? Just my thoughts. :)


I don't think that most people have an opposition to tipping someone for a service, but I know that I personally have a problem with feeling "threatened" into tipping. You shouldn't have to tip someone so they don't mess with/break/lose your things, and if someone is moving my bag the 6 feet I could have done it, I don't know why that should cost me $5. I don't have an issue tipping $1 or $2 for that although, again, I should be able to do it myself if I want to.

To me it's not a matter of money, it's a matter of feeling scared not to tip. I think that's really wrong.

chasetf
September 15th, 2007, 08:12 PM
I agree! It's VACATION. People that think nothing of spending $8 on a cocktail, who knows how much in the one arm bandits have to think that $1 or $2 a bag are being taken advantage of. It's all part of the excitment and anticipation of a great cruise.
I think we would all agree...... if it wasn't extorted from me. There can be no other word for it when you get confronted by the biggest guy in the crew with his hand out in essence demanding a tip.

I tip and tip well. But I will be in appreciation and not from fear.

chasetf
September 15th, 2007, 08:19 PM
As a wife of a longeshoreman and an avid cruiser, I can tell you that yes, longshoremen are paid well, but if they take a porter job, they are only paid for hours worked. For example, if it only takes 4 hours to load the ship, they are only paid for half a day. Yes, some stay until the ship sails, but a lot are sent home as the crowds go down. Therefore, your tips are always appreciated. It makes me laugh that people spend hundreds of dollars (most of the time more) on a cruise, and they will not tip someone $5? Just my thoughts. :)
So for the "hours worked" you confirm they are paid their union scale. So tell us all.... don't they cherish those "porter" jobs because they maximize their pay with those tips.

I bet they make more in those 4hrs than they would in a regular 8hr day. Arithmetic tells me so. With 2600 passengers at 2 bags each at $1 average a bag that is over $5,000 in tips for them to split.

One of the most "desired" jobs in Vegas is the taxi door opener at front door of those strip hotels. Those guys make serious 6 figure incomes opening taxi doors.

BND
September 15th, 2007, 08:22 PM
I agree! It's VACATION. People that think nothing of spending $8 on a cocktail, who knows how much in the one arm bandits have to think that $1 or $2 a bag are being taken advantage of. It's all part of the excitment and anticipation of a great cruise.

People voluntarily buy drinks and gamble. What choice is there in extortion?

Stacycee
September 15th, 2007, 08:57 PM
I agree that you shouldn't be forced into giving a tip. I am saying that if someone moves your bags, then tip them and go on and enjoy your cruise. Yes, there are a few "bad seeds" at the ports, but most of them are just trying to do their jobs. Don't hold a grudge against all the longshoremen because you had a bad experience in the past, or have read reviews on here.

Diamondring
September 15th, 2007, 09:51 PM
Last January, we traveled with another couple. When we got to the pier, and handed over our luggage, Our friends were in a hurry and didn't tip, whereas I gave him $5. Our luggage is distinctly marked, so no question about which luggage belongs to whom! Our luggage was in our room before dinner, and they didn't get all of theirs until morning the next day. The bags were all loaded on the same cart and we were in side by side rooms. While it's unfortunate that we feel the need to tip ahead for good service, I'm not ready to be an army of one to risk loss or damage. :(

Spender Nui
September 15th, 2007, 09:53 PM
For 2 heavy bags I'd thank the porter profusely for his help and give him at least $5. I'd also keep my eye on the bags until they were on the cart ... just to be sure.

Too may stories about luggage arriving/not arriving/ damaged/fallen off the basket and fell in the water, etc. Why take a chance to save a dollar?

Last cruise we checked only 1 bag and still gave $5.

BND
September 15th, 2007, 09:55 PM
I agree that you shouldn't be forced into giving a tip. I am saying that if someone moves your bags, then tip them and go on and enjoy your cruise. Yes, there are a few "bad seeds" at the ports, but most of them are just trying to do their jobs. Don't hold a grudge against all the longshoremen because you had a bad experience in the past, or have read reviews on here.

Yes, jobs they are already being well paid for. So, the demand, outstretched hands, missing luggage, damaged luggage is totally wrong. Money is not handed over gladly or because of a job over and above, but because of fear that you may end up cruising with no clothes. There are more than a "few bad seeds". That's not what this is about. It's about the blatant demand, comments, etc. that have been experienced by a lot of cruisers.

The fact also is that most ports have signs saying tipping isn't required or do not tip or something along those lines, yet it is demanded/expected. That to me is not doing their jobs in the manner that would even warrant a tip. You get paid a salary to do a job, then do it, but don't expect something on top of it. Think about it, 3000 cruisers, approximately 2 bags/person (some have a lot more). At $1 per bag, that is $6,000 in tips split between what, 10 or so people. Pretty good haul for a few hours of work on top of the probably $15-25/hour these guys already make. How is that in any way appropriate? This isn't about grudges on the passengers part, but we do see it on the luggage handlers parts when bags are damaged, lost, etc.

chasetf
September 16th, 2007, 07:42 PM
......Pretty good haul for a few hours of work on top of the probably $15-25/hour these guys already make.
This I found out of the NY Times which was published in Nov 2002. As you can see it is not uncommon for them to make 100K plus 5 years ago. My quess is they are probably pushing towards $40 a hour now.

Nooooooo. I am not saying they don't deserve it.... just putting the facts on the table.

"The wage increases in the package are more modest than the pension increases. The longshoremen's basic wage, $27.50 an hour, will rise by $3 an hour, or almost 11 percent, over six years. With premiums, night differentials and overtime added, longshoremen now earn nearly $100,000 a year on average."

Murphey
September 16th, 2007, 10:24 PM
Last January, we traveled with another couple. When we got to the pier, and handed over our luggage, Our friends were in a hurry and didn't tip, whereas I gave him $5. Our luggage is distinctly marked, so no question about which luggage belongs to whom! Our luggage was in our room before dinner, and they didn't get all of theirs until morning the next day. The bags were all loaded on the same cart and we were in side by side rooms. While it's unfortunate that we feel the need to tip ahead for good service, I'm not ready to be an army of one to risk loss or damage. :(

What am I missing??? So you tipped the porter, they didn't....the ship sailed and all the luggage is on the ship. Did the porter put a note on your friend's luggage not to deliver to the cabin until the next day??

Tina G
September 16th, 2007, 10:37 PM
Speaking of extortion tips: DH was returning from a Princess excursion in the eastern Caribbean. Seas had become unexpectedly rough, and when he tried to jump from the excursion boat to the dock, he missed and fell in. A large black arm appeared from nowhere and lifted him effortlessly out of the water. DH thanked the man, but was astonished to hear "OK, man. You give me 5 dollars, now. Yes?" The huge man followed him, demanding payment for his "act of kindness".:(

jckvpa0
September 16th, 2007, 11:02 PM
Sorry to say...... Looks like the extortion continues to work. Tipping should be for service rendered...... not for fear of retaliation.

If my bag got trashed (like the poster who's was sliced with a boxcutter)..... Princess would know and I would expect them to make it good.

But then.... I personnally make sure mine get into the bin (sometimes putting them in myself, and then I watch others get loaded on top before I leave.


This couldn't be anymore off topic but if you don't mind, how the heck do I quote more than one person in a reply ?

Sorry all :o !!!

spongerob
September 17th, 2007, 09:09 AM
As a wife of a longeshoreman and an avid cruiser, I can tell you that yes, longshoremen are paid well, but if they take a porter job, they are only paid for hours worked. For example, if it only takes 4 hours to load the ship, they are only paid for half a day. Yes, some stay until the ship sails, but a lot are sent home as the crowds go down. Therefore, your tips are always appreciated. It makes me laugh that people spend hundreds of dollars (most of the time more) on a cruise, and they will not tip someone $5? Just my thoughts. :)I don't think most of us mind paying the casual or day labourers who help with the luggage carts. The people who are working the heavy equipment, though, have to be considered skill labor and are getting the wages and benefits they have negotiated. You know, the "living wage" and all that stuff that have already been paid for by each and every passenger in their port charges. It's nothing but extortion to demand that passengers pay even more for a service they've already purchased.

WeBeGone
September 17th, 2007, 10:04 AM
So in Foreign ports - do you tip in local currancy or American dollars?

Princess Chatterer
September 17th, 2007, 02:52 PM
And unless your going to watch the bin until they finish filling it and forklift it onto the ship, you're going to have to leave it sometime while its on the dock.

I've heard way way way too many horror stories about bags lost and broken into at Princess docks and Princess hotels. I follow Ronald Reagan's rule as much as possible - "Trust but Verify"

That means where possible I never take my eye off my bags until I see them loaded into the big metal carts. When the bags arrive at the hotel I get them directly from the bus and take them myself to the room. If the room's not ready I stay with my bags.

Princess transfer fees already include tips. End of discussion on that topic for me.

Frugalist
September 17th, 2007, 03:33 PM
As a wife of a longeshoreman and an avid cruiser, I can tell you that yes, longshoremen are paid well, but if they take a porter job, they are only paid for hours worked.

Oh, no! Now I've heard everything! Complaining that your well-paid husband will only get paid for the hours worked (don't forget to figure in all the tips [untaxed?] voluntarily given by hundreds of happy cruisers) if he takes a porter job. The inhumanity of it all!

So, by implication, longshoremen who do not take a porter job get paid for hours over and above the hours they work. How do I get me one of them jobs?

Stacycee
September 17th, 2007, 04:35 PM
I can not believe how much everyone is complaining about tipping. When you go to a restaurant, you tip a server who is already paid a salary. What is the difference? Are people really that cheap that they won't spend the $1-$2 a bag?

BTW, longshoremen who do not take porter jobs are paid for their 8-10 hours that they work. Not "over and above"

Oh, no! Now I've heard everything! Complaining that your well-paid husband will only get paid for the hours worked (don't forget to figure in all the tips [untaxed?] voluntarily given by hundreds of happy cruisers) if he takes a porter job. The inhumanity of it all!

So, by implication, longshoremen who do not take a porter job get paid for hours over and above the hours they work. How do I get me one of them jobs?

dobiemom
September 17th, 2007, 04:46 PM
This couldn't be anymore off topic but if you don't mind, how the heck do I quote more than one person in a reply ?

Sorry all :o !!!

After clicking the “quote” button, it gives you the quote in the reply screen. I copy this, go back, click the “quote” button in the next quote I want to use, paste the first quote and then type my reply. Usually do all this in Word so I can spell check, but not always.

Trey
September 17th, 2007, 09:15 PM
I travel frequently out of San Pedro. I always tip. The porters are always polite and friendly. Of some 20+ trips out of the port, never any incident. They have always been helpful and courteous. So, what's another $5-10 to add to your trip? I appreciate their help and they appreciate the gratitude. This also goes when you return. These are the same folks who help you when you debark. Any difference upon leaving the ship? I always tip more and they are more than happy to accomodate.

jckvpa0
September 17th, 2007, 09:29 PM
After clicking the “quote” button, it gives you the quote in the reply screen. I copy this, go back, click the “quote” button in the next quote I want to use, paste the first quote and then type my reply. Usually do all this in Word so I can spell check, but not always.

Thanks for the info !!! But I think there is an easier way on here also the is a spell check.

Doug R.
September 18th, 2007, 06:48 AM
Thanks for the info !!! But I think there is an easier way on here also the is a spell check.

Hucked on fonix werks fer mi. :D

BND
September 18th, 2007, 07:06 AM
I can not believe how much everyone is complaining about tipping. When you go to a restaurant, you tip a server who is already paid a salary. What is the difference? Are people really that cheap that they won't spend the $1-$2 a bag?

BTW, longshoremen who do not take porter jobs are paid for their 8-10 hours that they work. Not "over and above"

Have you ever been a waiter/waitress? Obviously not. They do not even make minimum wage and tips are expected to make up that gap. How is that even remotely similar? They also do not stand there with outstretched hands or dump your food on the floor if you don't pay them for delivering it to the table. Your comparison makes no sense.

Also, I don't know anyone who tips well no matter what level of service they receive. Waitstaff do not take your order, grab a tip and leave, never to be seen again. They return to your table multiple times, bring your food, refill your drinks, clear the table, etc all for a very low wage with no guarantee they are going to get any more. Some people don't tip in restaurants for the same belief you have, that they make a salary anyway. No, not a salary, but a very low hourly wage, plus tips are split with the entire kitchen staff and the hostess all who provide a service of more that you voluntarily pay for.

Your issue has to do with this affecting your bottom line since your husband is a longshoreman. Sorry, but what they are doing is extortion and the fact that tips are basically demanded by people who control your belongings temporarily.

Stacycee
September 18th, 2007, 01:27 PM
Seriously I think you need to lighten up. Try enjoying life and not worry about how longshoremen are trying to "extort" money from you.
Have you ever been a waiter/waitress? Obviously not. They do not even make minimum wage and tips are expected to make up that gap. How is that even remotely similar? They also do not stand there with outstretched hands or dump your food on the floor if you don't pay them for delivering it to the table. Your comparison makes no sense.

Also, I don't know anyone who tips well no matter what level of service they receive. Waitstaff do not take your order, grab a tip and leave, never to be seen again. They return to your table multiple times, bring your food, refill your drinks, clear the table, etc all for a very low wage with no guarantee they are going to get any more. Some people don't tip in restaurants for the same belief you have, that they make a salary anyway. No, not a salary, but a very low hourly wage, plus tips are split with the entire kitchen staff and the hostess all who provide a service of more that you voluntarily pay for.

Your issue has to do with this affecting your bottom line since your husband is a longshoreman. Sorry, but what they are doing is extortion and the fact that tips are basically demanded by people who control your belongings temporarily.

Doug R.
September 18th, 2007, 02:31 PM
Seriously I think you need to lighten up. Try enjoying life and not worry about how longshoremen are trying to "extort" money from you.

Staycee, I can appreciate that you are not objective here, but the fact remains that it is galling when someone bullies you into an action. I hand over my five bucks anyway, but no one can make me like it. Sad thing is many people would do the tip without intimidation, but I guess the longshoremen have a reputation to uphold.

Stacycee
September 18th, 2007, 03:37 PM
I have said before that I agree that someone should not be forced into giving a tip. Basically I was saying that if someone does a service for you, then you should tip them. Staycee, I can appreciate that you are not objective here, but the fact remains that it is galling when someone bullies you into an action. I hand over my five bucks anyway, but no one can make me like it. Sad thing is many people would do the tip without intimidation, but I guess the longshoremen have a reputation to uphold.

spongerob
September 18th, 2007, 03:48 PM
I have said before that I agree that someone should not be forced into giving a tip. Basically I was saying that if someone does a service for you, then you should tip them.
Since we've already paid for that service, a tip should be unnecessary.

babybeluga005
September 18th, 2007, 03:56 PM
we never had a problem but always tip. but sailing out of miami on carnival, we were warned to to tip or there could be problems. we were also told to take the porters name and number. we tipped and our luggage arrived with no problems.

ottergal
September 18th, 2007, 04:44 PM
I was thinking about this in the context of people that should be tipped and those I feel should not be tipped... and I have a hard time with tipping these people (although I will because I'm frankly scared not to).

I tip servers in bars and restaurants. I tip the person at the coffee shop my change. I tip the taxi driver. These make sense to me - they are providing me a service.

If I choose to have someone take my bags to my room in a hotel or do a curbside plane check in, then I tip those people. I am paying for a service that is elective and I can do myself... I just choose not to. This is a choice that I make and I show my appreciation through a tip.

When I go to check in at the airport counter and they take my bags from me and put the through to the airplane, I don't tip them. Nobody would think to. It's part of the fare. I also don't tip the people who unload the planes or load the baggage carousel. Again, this is part of the cost of the transportation (airline) that I have chosen.

How, really, are the people who take my bag from me when I check into my vacation form of transportation (cruise ship) any different from the lady at the Alaska Airlines gate who took my bag first? It's a process that we have to go through, we've already paid for it... I don't really see it as a service. I can cart my own bags onto the boat, but I'm sure as heck not going to be allowed to.

I know people say "what's another $5", and you may have a point. Will that $5 kill me? Nope, not in the least. But tips are meant to show appreciation, and if I'm worried that you're going to "lose", "damage", or otherwise mess with my belongings then it's not a tip at all, it's a payoff to make sure that you do a job you're already being paid for.

That's what bothers me. I am a very good tipper and have a great appreciation for those in the service industry. I don't like being threatened, and that's what this sure feels like.

BND
September 18th, 2007, 05:32 PM
Stacee, I think you need to attempt to understand where we are all coming from. You totally ignored my response to your incorrect statement about restaurant workers and instead told me to "lighten up". Stating something that is not true in an attempt to defend your point isn't the way to make people see your side. You cannot be objective about this and just because your husband is a longshoreman doesn't mean what others have posted doesn't happen. You really don't seem to understand what a tip is. Also, please do not ever tell me to lighten up again. It is patronizing.

fti
September 18th, 2007, 05:40 PM
Since we've already paid for that service, a tip should be unnecessary.

That is a surprising post with regard to tips!

MattOsprey
September 18th, 2007, 06:32 PM
This is a great thread.

How do you think we feel, from the UK. We don't live in a tipping culture (minimum wage etc....). We tip in restaurants and taxi cabs, and thats about it.

When we come to the States, we are so confused. They have guides in the magazines on UK flights, just to tell us how much to tip!

The guys at the port are intimidating, a bit like the shop people in Ochos Rios (very scary). We ask the Americans wherever we are to advise us (so far we haven't met any CC jokers, saying give him a fifty!). When it comes to our bags, my wife keeps an eye on them until they move the cage normally. She is a red haired Irish woman and a police officer. I pity the fool who threatens me in front of her. I might be a big coward, but she will eat them alive.