Removing gratiuities - when to do it

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#41
318 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Originally posted by BlueRiband
The fares charged by Regent, Seabourn, and Crystal reflect the "real" price of operating a ship and paying a crew. Though it's not a direct comparison to price a QM2 Caribbean out of New York vs. a Regent Caribbean out of Miami they are both 10 nights. At $14Kpp for the cheapest Regent cabin that's a good indication of what Cunard would have to charge.

So for a 7 night crossing it's a charge of $80.50pp ($94.50 if you are in the Grills). Anybody who finds this a budget-blowing hit on their finances really cannot afford international travel.
Do you tip the stewardess on the airplane too? The real beneficiaries here are Carnival shareholders if truth be told, because the profits are fatter when the tipping myth is in play.
#42
RESIST USA
9,449 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Originally posted by resistk
The whole thing is a farce especially when some packages include prepaid gratuities and some don't. As my father in law, a former colonel in the Red Army always said - "no one tipped me, where's my tip?"
So now we are comparing gratuities to crew members on Cunard ships with tips to a Colonel in the Red Army?

Frankly, I don't care what anyone does or doesn't do in regard to tipping crew members or anybody else at sea or on land. Keep you purse zippered. Remove the auto charge! See what happens when the crew isn't making the money they once made...will they transfer to another Carnival Corp ship where tipping is the norm? - That's what the casino workers do when the opportunity arises.

Red Army indeed.

Salacia
#43
NYC
3,654 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by resistk
Do you tip the stewardess on the airplane too? The real beneficiaries here are Carnival shareholders if truth be told, because the profits are fatter when the tipping myth is in play.
You certainly know that airline crews are not tipped. As flight attendants often tell us, "We're here for your safety."


Whenever a tipping thread comes up I make an attempt to give the history of tips accounting for a large portion of crew compensation (going back to White Star days) and taxing in different jurisdictions as a huge reason that gratuities are not rolled into the fare. Yes, there was expected tipping in the liner days and when only the wealthy were cruising. As cruise ships grew and mass marketing began too many passengers would "forget" to leave anything. By the early 1990s all major lines had introduced the autotip in some form to combat this.


The arguments always takes a turn with somebody demanding that the cruise line pay the wages and roll everything into the fare. One way or another it's going to be paid. Where there is a "free gratuities" promotion then the base fare is going to be adjusted. Either that, or the profitability will be diminished to the point where a cruise line will pull out of that market.


Which is a corundum. Once Cunard rolls everything into the fare they immediately look more expensive than their competitors. What grabs attention first? $1299 plus gratuities or $1380 gratuities included? When people will cancel and re-book over $20 ("Hey, that's two drinks!") then it's the $1299.


I like what NCL in the US has done. It's now called a "service charge" and cannot be removed on board. One has to get a form from their purser and describe the specific service failure and how it was not addressed during the voyage. The form is then imaged and emailed to a shore side office for a reimbursement request. Brilliant. Shore side has a digitized record, in the passenger's own handwriting, on why they want to remove gratuities.
#44
Ireland
417 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by BlueRiband
You certainly know that airline crews are not tipped. As flight attendants often tell us, "We're here for your safety."





Whenever a tipping thread comes up I make an attempt to give the history of tips accounting for a large portion of crew compensation (going back to White Star days) and taxing in different jurisdictions as a huge reason that gratuities are not rolled into the fare. Yes, there was expected tipping in the liner days and when only the wealthy were cruising. As cruise ships grew and mass marketing began too many passengers would "forget" to leave anything. By the early 1990s all major lines had introduced the autotip in some form to combat this.





The arguments always takes a turn with somebody demanding that the cruise line pay the wages and roll everything into the fare. One way or another it's going to be paid. Where there is a "free gratuities" promotion then the base fare is going to be adjusted. Either that, or the profitability will be diminished to the point where a cruise line will pull out of that market.





Which is a corundum. Once Cunard rolls everything into the fare they immediately look more expensive than their competitors. What grabs attention first? $1299 plus gratuities or $1380 gratuities included? When people will cancel and re-book over $20 ("Hey, that's two drinks!") then it's the $1299.





I like what NCL in the US has done. It's now called a "service charge" and cannot be removed on board. One has to get a form from their purser and describe the specific service failure and how it was not addressed during the voyage. The form is then imaged and emailed to a shore side office for a reimbursement request. Brilliant. Shore side has a digitized record, in the passenger's own handwriting, on why they want to remove gratuities.


What NCL has done would, in EU law, require the line to roll up that charge into the fare they advertise. Which I would have no problem with.

When pricing a cruise I factor in the service charge and the drink prices.
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#45
Scotland
480 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by abefroman329
No, they're saying that you should either pay the service charge or hand out envelopes of your hard-earned cash.

Or do neither, but get used to the taste of saliva in your food.

And whatever it is you do to earn your cash, it isn't as "hard-earned" as the cash earned by the people on the ship who scrub your toilet and deliver your breakfast.
Plenty of people scrub toilets for a living. They don't get tips, at least very few of them.
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#46
1,190 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by keithm
We pay our employees generally over $15/hr. That's pretty generous for servers in the food industry. When we do a large wedding, for example, we usually add a 20% service charge to the bill. This fee is then divided up among the staff who worked on that job from the pot scrubber to the wait staff.
So why don't you charge the customer the real price for the service you are providing, rather than let your low paid staff take the risk someone won't pay the service charge?

It doesn't seem fair you make a profit irrespective, but your staff may suffer because of your business decisions.


Originally posted by Pavovsky
What NCL has done would, in EU law, require the line to roll up that charge into the fare they advertise. Which I would have no problem with.
And that is exactly what NCL have done in the EU since earlier this year. A straightforward fare that does not rely on a voluntary surcharge and the prices they are changing are not substantially different from the prices they charged previously, and certainly not in the scale quoted earlier.
#48
430 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by Pavovsky
Are people saying that on top of the service charge I am expected to hand out envelopes of my hard earned cash irrespective of a service that I have already paid for twice?
If you keep the service charge on, that's entirely between you and your wallet. If you remove it, that is also between you and your wallet. The same goes for any passenger who decides to give extra, as a personal thanks. A personal decision and nothing to do with anyone else.

None of your fellow passengers will know what path you take unless you tell them, and here I am not including the reports of those who apparently, rather tackily flourish envelopes for all to see, in a display of largess at the end of their holiday.
#49
Market Harborough, UK
758 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by ToadOfToadHall

But an interesting idea, all the same. In essence, what does a hotel provide ? A service, since it clearly does not provide you with any goods. So adding a "service charge" onto a product which is already a service is quite bemusing.
Absolutely!
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#50
3,460 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by abefroman329

And whatever it is you do to earn your cash, it isn't as "hard-earned" as the cash earned by the people on the ship who scrub your toilet and deliver your breakfast.
So the assumption is that no Cunard passenger can possibly earn a living working as hard as a Cunard worker and of course all passengers have their hands inspected at embarkation to detect evidence of manual work.

Shock horror, you could well be dining with a bricklayer.

David
#51
Muscat/Oman and Sydney/Australia
728 Posts
Joined May 2011
Ok, I have at some stage asked a tip / gratuities question myself.
Nevertheless and henceforth, whenever anybody types "tips" or "gratuities ", their computer shall crash. ��
#52
Lincolnshire
1,288 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
So, an A4 envelope, padded with the daily newsletter , and TIP written in big block letters is not acceptable?
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#53
Vale of Glamorgan
3,244 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by Pennbank
Its outrageous, that you keep the "Service charge on" then the "Cunarders" on this forum expect you to re tip by envelopes.
Be very interesting to be a fly on the wall!

What people say here differs a huge amount to what they do on board.

We all know, that yes, the Gratuities do go to the staff. however removing the gratuities, then Cunard Pay the difference !
So remove the gratuities, tick all the Magnificent boxes regarding staff and pay them in $ cash in hand. Everybody including the staff, except Cunard and the Die hard Cunarders are happy.
Therefore the sticky on this this thread is misleading and should be removed. Because it really makes no sense, as access to the post it refers to does not appear in context .

It really bears nothing to the Gratuities thread.

Cunard appear at the present time since the refurbishment of QV to also be "Stifing" the customer even more.
Sorry, I am not sure I understand your concern about the sticky. I was asked to make the comments a sticky after a previous gratuities discussion where what happens on other cruiselines was being applied to Cunard.
Please contact me via email if you would like to discuss it further.
If the general consensus is that it's not helpful I will remove it.
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#54
essex uk and calabria italy
650 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by Salacia
So now we are comparing gratuities to crew members on Cunard ships with tips to a Colonel in the Red Army?

Frankly, I don't care what anyone does or doesn't do in regard to tipping crew members or anybody else at sea or on land. Keep you purse zippered. Remove the auto charge! See what happens when the crew isn't making the money they once made...will they transfer to another Carnival Corp ship where tipping is the norm? - That's what the casino workers do when the opportunity arises.

Red Army indeed.

Salacia
Its common knowledge that all those peeps in the ghulags used to have a whip round every week for their guards,lol.
#55
Staffordshire
1,803 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by BlueRiband
The fares charged by Regent, Seabourn, and Crystal reflect the "real" price of operating a ship and paying a crew. Though it's not a direct comparison to price a QM2 Caribbean out of New York vs. a Regent Caribbean out of Miami they are both 10 nights. At $14Kpp for the cheapest Regent cabin that's a good indication of what Cunard would have to charge.

So for a 7 night crossing it's a charge of $80.50pp ($94.50 if you are in the Grills). Anybody who finds this a budget-blowing hit on their finances really cannot afford international travel.
Your comment is a load of bunkum.
#56
Lancashire, UK
35 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
Originally posted by Host Hattie
Sorry, I am not sure I understand your concern about the sticky. I was asked to make the comments a sticky after a previous gratuities discussion where what happens on other cruiselines was being applied to Cunard.
Please contact me via email if you would like to discuss it further.
If the general consensus is that it's not helpful I will remove it but this is the first complaint I have seen.
I am not sure of the issue either as the sticky seems to really cover two points. 1 that the staff aren't informed which passengers have removed the service charge and 2 that staff don't have to share cash tips from people who have turned off service charge.

Nothing I have seen indicates either of these things is inaccurate.
#57
essex uk and calabria italy
650 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by balf
So the assumption is that no Cunard passenger can possibly earn a living working as hard as a Cunard worker and of course all passengers have their hands inspected at embarkation to detect evidence of manual work.

Shock horror, you could well be dining with a bricklayer.

David
Well,I'm a retired plumber and spent half my life on my knees.I will be sailing next year.Put me next to the bricklayer,lol.
#58
Lancashire, UK
35 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
Originally posted by brian1
Its common knowledge that all those peeps in the ghulags used to have a whip round every week for their guards,lol.
What size envelope is appropriate for tipping a ghulag guard? I imagine that isn't the sort of thing you want to get wrong.
#59
Riding the Ocean Waves
1,251 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by Host Hattie
Sorry, I am not sure I understand your concern about the sticky. I was asked to make the comments a sticky after a previous gratuities discussion where what happens on other cruiselines was being applied to Cunard.
Please contact me via email if you would like to discuss it further.
If the general consensus is that it's not helpful I will remove it.
Hattie, with apologies after re reading it, It discuses about extra tips and lists of non payers
Not the Actual Service charge, which when paid goes towards the staff wages, however remove the service charge and Presumably Cunard will then pay it, to meet the sum required to pay the crews wages.
It is strange that Cunard are not transparent about this. They word the answers so that it appears that the crew will receive extra on top of their wages if you leave the service charge on, when in reality I am sure they do not.
#60
Vale of Glamorgan
3,244 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by Pennbank
Hattie, with apologies after re reading it, It discuses about extra tips and lists of non payers
Not the Actual Service charge, which when paid goes towards the staff wages, however remove the service charge and Presumably Cunard will then pay it, to meet the sum required to pay the crews wages.
It is strange that Cunard are not transparent about this. They word the answers so that it appears that the crew will receive extra on top of their wages if you leave the service charge on, when in reality I am sure they do not.
No worries, thanks for clarifying.
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