SINGLE HSC/TIPPING THREAD (Previously "Why are gratuities not included in Fares?")

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 12:57 PM.
Ottawa Canada
165 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
Just so you are aware, in the event you are not paying with credit card, you need to provide cash equivalent of daily hold upon arrival onboard.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Coral Princess - Alaska Cruise - 09/2009
Costa Fortuna - Eastern Caribbean - 03/2009
Costa Fortuna - Western Caribbean - 02/2008
Strand Cruises S.S. Ithaca (Ulysses Line) - Mediterranean - 05/1977
Ontario
3,367 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
We travel as a family of 4 so pay 4 HSCs. When doing the electronic check in we register a CC for DH and I but mark cash for DD and DS. We also specify that the children have no ability to charge anything to their room cards. Then we buy enough OBC to cover the total HSC for the voyage. We have never been asked to show the $120/day for the children.
Southwest Florida
10,352 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Understand that the HSC went up last December.. Is it now $12.50 per person per day for Balcony cabins?

Thanks
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
email_me

For Meet & Greet Info. Pls. put Cruise Critic in Subject line.. Betty
Cruises: '70 Hellenic "Orion" Greek Isles; '83 Norwegian Carib. "Southwind" East. Carib. ; '96 NCL "Dreamward" East. Carib; '98 HAL "Ryndam" South. Carib.; '99 NCL "Majesty" Panama Canal-Mexico; '01 HAL "Volendam" Trinidad/Martinique; '02 NCL "Dream" Trans-Atlantic MIA-ROM; '03 HAL "Maasdam" West. Carib.; '03 HAL "Amsterdam" South Amer. RIO-SCL; '04 HAL "Westerdam" Trans-Atlantic BCN-FLL; '05 NCL "Crown" SCL-MIA via Canal; '06 HAL "Prinsendam" FLL-Amazon via Carib.; '06 HAL "Ryndam" Carib-Isla de Margarita; '07 Oceania "Regatta" Amazon via Carib. '08 HAL "Veendam"-Alaska; '08 HAL "Maasdam" Southern Carib.: '09 HAL "Statendam" RT FLL-SAN via Panama Canal; '10 HAL "Veendam" Bermuda '10 HAL "Noordam" B2B Carib.; '11 Oceania "Regatta" U.S. Coastal, Bermuda & Carib.; '12 HAL "Nieuw Amsterdam" B2B Carib.; '12 HAL "Noordam " B2B Carib.; '13 HAL "Prinsendam" South Amer. Antartica, & Amazon via Panama Canal & Carib.
Space Coast FL
25,087 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by serendipity1499
Understand that the HSC went up last December.. Is it now $12.50 per person per day for Balcony cabins?
On the newest 7 ships, yes. On the oldest 7 all balconies are Suites, and the HSC is $13.50/p/d
Space Coast FL
25,087 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by serendipity1499
Understand that the HSC went up last December.. Is it now $12.50 per person per day for Balcony cabins?
On the newest 7 ships, yes. Also $12.50/p/d for OV and Insides. On the oldest 7 ships all balconies are Suites, and the HSC is $13.50/p/d
Encinitas, California
2,558 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
To me it should be included, I would pay what ever for the wonderful smiles even if they are having a bad day !!!!
Denise
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Deeniencinitas
Southwest Florida
10,352 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by jtl513
On the newest 7 ships, yes. On the oldest 7 all balconies are Suites, and the HSC is $13.50/p/d
We're on the Zuiderdam...Is that new or old..IMO it's old so is a VF Balcony considered a suite? Now I'm really
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
email_me

For Meet & Greet Info. Pls. put Cruise Critic in Subject line.. Betty
Cruises: '70 Hellenic "Orion" Greek Isles; '83 Norwegian Carib. "Southwind" East. Carib. ; '96 NCL "Dreamward" East. Carib; '98 HAL "Ryndam" South. Carib.; '99 NCL "Majesty" Panama Canal-Mexico; '01 HAL "Volendam" Trinidad/Martinique; '02 NCL "Dream" Trans-Atlantic MIA-ROM; '03 HAL "Maasdam" West. Carib.; '03 HAL "Amsterdam" South Amer. RIO-SCL; '04 HAL "Westerdam" Trans-Atlantic BCN-FLL; '05 NCL "Crown" SCL-MIA via Canal; '06 HAL "Prinsendam" FLL-Amazon via Carib.; '06 HAL "Ryndam" Carib-Isla de Margarita; '07 Oceania "Regatta" Amazon via Carib. '08 HAL "Veendam"-Alaska; '08 HAL "Maasdam" Southern Carib.: '09 HAL "Statendam" RT FLL-SAN via Panama Canal; '10 HAL "Veendam" Bermuda '10 HAL "Noordam" B2B Carib.; '11 Oceania "Regatta" U.S. Coastal, Bermuda & Carib.; '12 HAL "Nieuw Amsterdam" B2B Carib.; '12 HAL "Noordam " B2B Carib.; '13 HAL "Prinsendam" South Amer. Antartica, & Amazon via Panama Canal & Carib.
Columbus,Ohio
1,550 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Originally posted by serendipity1499
We're on the Zuiderdam...Is that new or old..IMO it's old so is a VF Balcony considered a suite? Now I'm really


Vista and below would be $12.50, Sig's and above $13.50!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature



Southwest Florida
10,352 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by mllewis48
Now that's funny, I commented sometime back during a similar thread that I carried TC's for the same reason and got criticized because they are outdated? We take some cash, CC's, and TC's.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Originally posted by RuthC
I carry Travelers' Cheques all the time. Never know when they will come in handy, and they have for me. They are easily cashed at the ship's Front Desk---never a problem or a strange look.
We also take Travelers Checks & cash them at the front desk.. Never had a problem or strange look either..
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
email_me

For Meet & Greet Info. Pls. put Cruise Critic in Subject line.. Betty
Cruises: '70 Hellenic "Orion" Greek Isles; '83 Norwegian Carib. "Southwind" East. Carib. ; '96 NCL "Dreamward" East. Carib; '98 HAL "Ryndam" South. Carib.; '99 NCL "Majesty" Panama Canal-Mexico; '01 HAL "Volendam" Trinidad/Martinique; '02 NCL "Dream" Trans-Atlantic MIA-ROM; '03 HAL "Maasdam" West. Carib.; '03 HAL "Amsterdam" South Amer. RIO-SCL; '04 HAL "Westerdam" Trans-Atlantic BCN-FLL; '05 NCL "Crown" SCL-MIA via Canal; '06 HAL "Prinsendam" FLL-Amazon via Carib.; '06 HAL "Ryndam" Carib-Isla de Margarita; '07 Oceania "Regatta" Amazon via Carib. '08 HAL "Veendam"-Alaska; '08 HAL "Maasdam" Southern Carib.: '09 HAL "Statendam" RT FLL-SAN via Panama Canal; '10 HAL "Veendam" Bermuda '10 HAL "Noordam" B2B Carib.; '11 Oceania "Regatta" U.S. Coastal, Bermuda & Carib.; '12 HAL "Nieuw Amsterdam" B2B Carib.; '12 HAL "Noordam " B2B Carib.; '13 HAL "Prinsendam" South Amer. Antartica, & Amazon via Panama Canal & Carib.
Space Coast FL
25,087 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by serendipity1499
We're on the Zuiderdam...Is that new or old..IMO it's old so is a VF Balcony considered a suite? Now I'm really
Any VF cabin is a not a suite and has a $12.50/p/d HSC.

Zuiderdam is the 7th newest ship. In order, Koningsdam, Nieuw A, Eurodam, Noordam, Westerdam, Oosterdam, and Zuiderdam. The 7 oldest are the 4 R class, the 2 S class, and the Prinsendam.
Southwest Florida
10,352 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by mllewis48
Vista and below would be $12.50, Sig's and above $13.50!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Originally posted by jtl513
Any VF cabin is a not a suite and has a $12.50/p/d HSC.

Zuiderdam is the 7th newest ship. In order, Koningsdam, Nieuw A, Eurodam, Noordam, Westerdam, Oosterdam, and Zuiderdam. The 7 oldest are the 4 R class, the 2 S class, and the Prinsendam.[/size]
OK Thanks for the info.. Have a nice day..
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
email_me

For Meet & Greet Info. Pls. put Cruise Critic in Subject line.. Betty
Cruises: '70 Hellenic "Orion" Greek Isles; '83 Norwegian Carib. "Southwind" East. Carib. ; '96 NCL "Dreamward" East. Carib; '98 HAL "Ryndam" South. Carib.; '99 NCL "Majesty" Panama Canal-Mexico; '01 HAL "Volendam" Trinidad/Martinique; '02 NCL "Dream" Trans-Atlantic MIA-ROM; '03 HAL "Maasdam" West. Carib.; '03 HAL "Amsterdam" South Amer. RIO-SCL; '04 HAL "Westerdam" Trans-Atlantic BCN-FLL; '05 NCL "Crown" SCL-MIA via Canal; '06 HAL "Prinsendam" FLL-Amazon via Carib.; '06 HAL "Ryndam" Carib-Isla de Margarita; '07 Oceania "Regatta" Amazon via Carib. '08 HAL "Veendam"-Alaska; '08 HAL "Maasdam" Southern Carib.: '09 HAL "Statendam" RT FLL-SAN via Panama Canal; '10 HAL "Veendam" Bermuda '10 HAL "Noordam" B2B Carib.; '11 Oceania "Regatta" U.S. Coastal, Bermuda & Carib.; '12 HAL "Nieuw Amsterdam" B2B Carib.; '12 HAL "Noordam " B2B Carib.; '13 HAL "Prinsendam" South Amer. Antartica, & Amazon via Panama Canal & Carib.
California
303 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
I'm cramming before we leave for our first cruise and I'm reading Rick Steve's Mediterranean Cruise port book. He states because "US labor laws don't apply to sailing vessels, cruise crew members who receive tips are paid an average base salary (before tips) of about $1 each day."

Average monthly salaries for cabin stewards and bartenders are $2000 after tips.

Is this true? This is nuts! I understand they get room and board (6 people in a small room), but that still doesn't seem like enough for what they do. I know we have automatic tips, and I just took out $100 in $1 bills, but now I'm thinking of going back to get more.

Before people jump all over me about a guilt trip, I'm not guilting anyone, I'm just surprised that it's legal to pay people so little and have their salaries so dependent on tipping. I would prefer to pay more in my cruise cost.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app
Indianapolis, IN USA
1,352 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Originally posted by SLOTheta
I'm cramming before we leave for our first cruise and I'm reading Rick Steve's Mediterranean Cruise port book. He states because "US labor laws don't apply to sailing vessels, cruise crew members who receive tips are paid an average base salary (before tips) of about $1 each day."

Average monthly salaries for cabin stewards and bartenders are $2000 after tips.

Is this true? This is nuts! I understand they get room and board (6 people in a small room), but that still doesn't seem like enough for what they do. I know we have automatic tips, and I just took out $100 in $1 bills, but now I'm thinking of going back to get more.

Before people jump all over me about a guilt trip, I'm not guilting anyone, I'm just surprised that it's legal to pay people so little and have their salaries so dependent on tipping. I would prefer to pay more in my cruise cost.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app
It's more like $1500/mo plus tips while they're under contract. They don't get paid for time off between contracts if they choose to take it. I still tip those that take good care of me. Since I frequented the same bars, I usually struck up a friendship with $5 or $10, then whatever I thought appropriate at cruise end.
1,811 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Yes, it is legal. I would suggest that you research the cruise industry some more and you will find lots of criticisms of its employment and labor practices (cruise ships are called sweat shops of the seas for a reason) and environmental practices.

I recently saw an ad for Disney Cruises in which it stated that a crew member would not work more than 91 hours a week. Imagine putting that in the ad - 91/7 = 13 hours a day, every day for 6 months.

It's great that you are thinking about tipping. I hope though that you understand that an extra dollar here or there isn't going to really solve any problems, and may actually simply add to them.
California
303 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
Originally posted by blizzardboy
It's more like $1500/mo plus tips while they're under contract. They don't get paid for time off between contracts if they choose to take it.

$1500 plus tips sounds a lot better than $30 a month plus tips. Hopefully, it's the former.

Thanks.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app
California
303 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
Originally posted by cbr663
Yes, it is legal. I would suggest that you research the cruise industry some more and you will find lots of criticisms of its employment and labor practices (cruise ships are called sweat shops of the seas for a reason) and environmental practices.

I recently saw an ad for Disney Cruises in which it stated that a crew member would not work more than 91 hours a week. Imagine putting that in the ad - 91/7 = 13 hours a day, every day for 6 months.

It's great that you are thinking about tipping. I hope though that you understand that an extra dollar here or there isn't going to really solve any problems, and may actually simply add to them.

I work 80+ hours a week, but I'm fairly compensated. If 90hrs a week is average on that base salary, that's rough.

How does adding a dollar here and there adds to problems? What problems would tipping above the auto gratuities cause? I'm a tipper, I tip for just about everything. I'm new to all of this and we leave for our first cruise on Saturday!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app
Indianapolis, IN USA
1,352 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Originally posted by SLOTheta
I work 80+ hours a week, but I'm fairly compensated. If 90hrs a week is average on that base salary, that's rough.

How does adding a dollar here and there adds to problems? What problems would tipping above the auto gratuities cause? I'm a tipper, I tip for just about everything. I'm new to all of this and we leave for our first cruise on Saturday!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app
They wouldn't do it if it didn't beat the daylights out of what they could make at home. I've spent a lot of time in frank discussions with HAL crews, and other than missing their families, they've been quite happy and said that HAL treats them very well. I was in the automobile business, and in my younger days as a manager trying to work my way up, averaged at least 60 hours/wk and 80/wk happened a couple times a year. I was well compensated, but it sure makes me respect the crew. I only wish I could have had lower rung employees that had the crews' work ethic.
Point of Rocks, MD
9,521 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Stats like those overlook the training that the crew gets - in all departments - which, for many, leads to well paying jobs in private industry. The crew, in fact, do better than many so-called "interns" in many US industries.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
- dave
Ottawa Canada
165 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
Originally posted by SLOTheta
I work 80+ hours a week, but I'm fairly compensated. If 90hrs a week is average on that base salary, that's rough.

How does adding a dollar here and there adds to problems? What problems would tipping above the auto gratuities cause? I'm a tipper, I tip for just about everything. I'm new to all of this and we leave for our first cruise on Saturday!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app
I know safaris and Africa better than cruise crew wages, but I do know the problem of big (sorry, have to say it) American tippers on an industry with low wages and long hours. Safari guides/drivers sometimes get no wages or live in a country where the average wage is $2 a day. Tips have become a big thing on the safari circuit. My driver/guide worked every day for the 31 days of my travel. We had the same hours which were often up to 12 hours a day. He never had a full day off and though I know he didn't sleep in the vehicle, not all sleeping/food arrangements on the road are pleasant. At least on a ship you tend to have a bed and actual plumbing.
If you tip big, then there is an expectation that all tourists will tip big. Also, the employer knows people tip - so why should they fairly compensate when employee earnings can come from your pocket instead of theirs? This may be the reason people see it as adding to the problem. Tipping is not the same globally and when non tipping cultures are forced to tip, there is resentment and often that resentment trickles down to the poor average Joe/Jane who is trying to do their job. I heard this frequently around the campfires or meal tables in Africa and could see the way they sometimes treated the staff. Suspicion and resentment can develop on both sides - traveller and staff. Tipping is not the answer in my opinion; neither is measuring a wage by our personal yardstick. In many countries, $1500 is more than than an annual wage for a person - not necessarily 'right' but not uncommon.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Coral Princess - Alaska Cruise - 09/2009
Costa Fortuna - Eastern Caribbean - 03/2009
Costa Fortuna - Western Caribbean - 02/2008
Strand Cruises S.S. Ithaca (Ulysses Line) - Mediterranean - 05/1977
California
303 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
Originally posted by mef_57

My driver/guide worked every day for the 31 days of my travel. We had the same hours which were often up to 12 hours a day. He never had a full day off and though I know he didn't sleep in the vehicle, not all sleeping/food arrangements on the road are pleasant. At least on a ship you tend to have a bed and actual plumbing.
If you tip big, then there is an expectation that all tourists will tip big. Also, the employer knows people tip - so why should they fairly compensate when employee earnings can come from your pocket instead of theirs? This may be the reason people see it as adding to the problem. Tipping is not the same globally and when non tipping cultures are forced to tip, there is resentment and often that resentment trickles down to the poor average Joe/Jane who is trying to do their job. I heard this frequently around the campfires or meal tables in Africa and could see the way they sometimes treated the staff. Suspicion and resentment can develop on both sides - traveller and staff. Tipping is not the answer in my opinion; neither is measuring a wage by our personal yardstick. In many countries, $1500 is more than than an annual wage for a person - not necessarily 'right' but not uncommon.

Thank you for the insight. I never thought about it this way. For someone to work extremely hard, and not get paid by their employer, is a travesty. Just because some people are accustomed to tipping and others are not, working and hoping you get a tip to actually compensate you is not the way I would conduct business. Even the tips alone is probably more than these employees would typically get in their home countries, it's still truly sad their their employers, who are making quite a decent profit, can't take care of their employees.

Since I can't control what others do or not do, it's hard for me not to tip someone who has helped me in some way.

I appreciate the perspective.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app