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  #21  
Old January 26th, 2008, 08:23 PM
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Sorry, but I disagree. With all due respect, when someone shells out several thousand dollars for a cruise, why do they feel the need to withhold a few dollars because they didn't partake in every activity every day?

I empathize with not wanting to eat in the restaurant every day. That is your choosing. However, if you decide not to get your cabin serviced, would you withhold the gratuities for those days?
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  #22  
Old January 26th, 2008, 08:42 PM
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OK... here goes...

On average, a Waiter on X can make upwards towards $3300+ (give or take) per month. This is strictly based on 16 guests per seating, two seating's, $3.50pp/pd, 30 days per month. During my time on board, most servers had an average of 12 to 16 guests per section per voyage. Some evening all guests would come in, and other evenings just a handful. My best guess from working with them and having personal conversations with them during off time is that they make about $3000/month.

Waiter's have a monthly stipend of approximately $50. They get paid bi-monthly in USD (cash), and then can have the cash direct deposited into their bank accounts, or wired to specific persons.

Celebrity pays for all hotel/travel arrangements to and from the ship (some cruise lines do not). Prior to be hired, the individual must pay for their Pre-Employment Physical, which ran me about $200 (in my home city of Miami).

Food and accommodation is included. I am not too sure about their uniforms. As a member of the Management Team, I did not have to pay for my uniforms.

As far as expenditures once on board, it was virtually nil. Internet Cards were $30, pre-paid, and gave us a lot of time - something to the effect of $0.08/minute... the $20 card gave you $0.12/minute... Calling Cards were $10... not sure how much time would be on it as I had my Blackberry Pearl (AT&T) with me on board...

A drink at the crew bar would run $1/beer and $2/mixed drink. Bottled water ran $1, as well as Red Bulls, Gatorade, and snacks.

Un-tipped Management made more or less wages that would be comparable to land based hotels... My salary as an Assistant Food Manager was a little less than what I was making on land. The bonus on my end (As an American) was that I had NO living costs whatsoever, no gas to pay (we know how expensive it is right now), food, laundry, the list goes on... that was great when I was single... but now with a family, it does not benefit me to be onboard...

As far as hours are concerned, Celebrity has a ZERO TOLERANCE Policy on overtime hours - this included line staff and Management. I was confused when I board about this... even though we ALL had a monthly Salary, we ALL (Captain on down to Dishwasher) had to keep Time Cards. Time Cards would be checked daily to ensure we were not working more than 12 hours/day... if by chance we did work a little over, we would get compensated for it (there was some kind of formula for how much one would get). It actually did boost my salary just a tad, but not by much.

The other form of compensation was additional time off. I had one full day off per cruise... Waiters would have breakfast and lunches off... Additionally, being that X does not open Dining Rooms in Port, Waiters would rotate weekly working in the Buffet during breakfast and lunch.

I don't know if this sums it up... if you have any other questions, let me know! ;>)
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  #23  
Old January 26th, 2008, 10:13 PM
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Guaranteed at least $890 per month at least on RCI, per this scan:

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...01560587hmZjoT
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  #24  
Old January 26th, 2008, 10:23 PM
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Rdelpapa, thanks for that explanation. The only thing I can think of that you didn't touch on was the pooling of tips...Yes or No?
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  #25  
Old January 26th, 2008, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flagger View Post
Guaranteed at least $890 per month at least on RCI, per this scan:

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...01560587hmZjoT
I have a spreadsheet with specific figures.

The spreadsheet I have guarantees:

For Royal Caribbean International: $1074 (in grats) per month... this runs from the Asst Maitre D' to the Assistant Waiter... There is an area that states Cat "C" is guaranteed $890/month. I do not know what Cat "C" would be.

For Celebrity Cruises: $1083 (in grats) per month for Waiter and Asst Waiter... I do not have Asst Maitre D' info...
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  #26  
Old January 26th, 2008, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Desertbelle View Post
Rdelpapa, thanks for that explanation. The only thing I can think of that you didn't touch on was the pooling of tips...Yes or No?
As far as I knew, they were not pooled... One (of the several) incentives was to get positive guest comments, therefore the Restaurant Manager would allocate the Waiters into a larger and/or guest filled section of the Dining Room. Those Waiters that had mediocre guest comments, would have the smaller sections, in less desirable areas of the Dining Room; this was the case most times, but some waiters would opt as to what sections they wanted. Some wanted to the smaller section, regardless of the money or how good they were.

Other F&B Staff had higher monthly stipends ($700/month) such as the Snack Stewards - also known as Buffet Attendants (they wore the Green Aprons/Green Hats in the Buffet). These individuals had a goal of working hard and getting positive guest comments, as well as good Management Evaluations in order to move on to the next step, which is Asst Waiter...
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  #27  
Old January 26th, 2008, 11:11 PM
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RDelpapa, you are being such a good sport about sharing all this first-person information with us. So much nicer than the normal "hearsay" we normally get around here! Thanks!
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  #28  
Old January 27th, 2008, 02:40 AM
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R,

Yes, thanks for some very enlightening information. In truth, the salaries are about what I expected. But to us, the work day seems long. When you see the same faces in the buffet, then in the dining room all day long, it says to us, you guys work hard for your money.
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  #29  
Old January 27th, 2008, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Bobocasey View Post
I just returned from a cruise with X and was interested to find out that your wait staff as well as your cabin attendent and assistant DO NOT RECIEVE ANY HOURLY WAGES FOR THEIR HOURS WORKED!!!!! THeir only source of income is from the tips we give them at the end of the cruise. It seems as though the staff sometime works 16 to 17 hours a day for tips only. I also found out that this is the same on all of the cruise ships. I think that this is forced slave labor. So if you stiff the wait staff they might not get any money for the entire cruise. My husband
being a former math teacher figured it out that if everyone tip according to the recommended guide lines that the staff might make about $550 for 11 days work at 16 to 17 hours a day . That figures out to about $2.00 an hour. If they are lucky. So if you don't tip they get nothing for all their hard work. Now I don't believe in tippng for tippng sake but if they do a good job they deserve to be paid a good wage.

However I have also cruised on NCL that automatically charges you bill a set amount for tips and sometimes NOT always in every case have felt that the wait staff was not up to X standards.

BOBCASEY

It IS true. And the cheapskates who look for any reason to screw one of these people out of a tip are lower than a snakes belly in my book. And we all know the kind of person I am talking about...they look for a reason to justify not paying a tip. If you can't afford to tip the wait staff and the cabin attendants, please...stay home.
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  #30  
Old January 27th, 2008, 05:11 AM
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Yes, thanks for giving us an interesting glimpse into crew life. As far as I am concerned, the great majority of waitstaff and cabin stewards bust their humps and deserve all the tips they can get !
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  #31  
Old January 27th, 2008, 08:28 AM
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While I inderstand wy folks are interested in what the crew makes and might be surprised by the base pay, I'm never sure what the point of the wondering is. If the salary was raised to be comensurate with North American standards, many posters would no longer be able to afford to sail, or sail so often.

I also agree with the poster who said why do we not wonder what folks make locally. A mom working at a McDonalds in a city like NY or San Francisco is likely having a much rougher life than someone from Romania or India who is making gratuities onboard while receiving free room, board and medical care.
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  #32  
Old January 27th, 2008, 09:03 AM
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I have two points about this subject:

1. Tip the recommended amount, even if it is mediocre service. Don't punish staff over foolish things like my pants weren't folded properly or there was a hair on my toilet seat. These people work hard, and....

2. Always say please and thank you and be polite. I can't tell you how many times I witnessed people bark orders out without a please or thank you. Being polite to workers is appreciated by them and can make their hard working day a bit nicer.
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  #33  
Old January 27th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by RDelpapa View Post

Other F&B Staff had higher monthly stipends ($700/month) such as the Snack Stewards - also known as Buffet Attendants (they wore the Green Aprons/Green Hats in the Buffet). These individuals had a goal of working hard and getting positive guest comments, as well as good Management Evaluations in order to move on to the next step, which is Asst Waiter...
RDelpapa: What interesting information you have provided in your posts as to the conditions for staff on the ships. It is nice to read facts rather than hearsay.

I always write the company after each cruise, and mention our waiter and assistant, wine steward, and cabin attendant by name if we have received the normally excellent service that Celebrity provides. (We have only ever had one weak assistant waiter, so I did not mention his name.) And I will comment favorably about staff in general. But I never think to mention the people in the buffet specifically (next time I will be more pro-active in this regard) as I do not get their names. I am always polite to them and they are always very accommodating and friendly. (There will always be boors on board who will treat staff as servants, so I believe that the least that most of us can do is to smile, and use "please" and "thank you" to counteract these jerks.) Thanks for the heads-up.
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  #34  
Old January 27th, 2008, 09:42 AM
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Default Hi Spearmint

It's so nice to see that you also write to RCCL after your cruises. I make it a practice. I focus strictly on letting them know which of the staff has gone out of their way in terms of service.

One of the butlers I had once said this to me (he was very sincere, though as I type this, it won't come across that way): Tips are always so much appreciated, but the best thing that happens is when someone writes our names as doing something special. It was something to that effect. He told me that they are very much rewarded when that happens.
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  #35  
Old January 27th, 2008, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by nps001 View Post
It's so nice to see that you also write to RCCL after your cruises. I make it a practice. I focus strictly on letting them know which of the staff has gone out of their way in terms of service.

One of the butlers I had once said this to me (he was very sincere, though as I type this, it won't come across that way): Tips are always so much appreciated, but the best thing that happens is when someone writes our names as doing something special. It was something to that effect. He told me that they are very much rewarded when that happens.
Now that I think about...

Yes, an "extra" tip is great... one can do a lot with the extra money - send it home, buy something for their kids, or splurge it on themselves...

BUT...

A personalized, written note or letter at times goes beyond the "extra" tip... On NCL/NCL America we had STYLE cards... a guest had the opportunity to fill out a brief STYLE card and leave it with the respective Department Head or Reception Desk. The Hotel Director sort through them and tallies up on a spreadsheet how many each crew member gets. He then makes a photocopy, puts it in the crew members file, and attaches a personalized letter to the original and routes it to the respective Manager for distribution.

The Manager then either gives it out publicly or privately. When I was managing Grand Pacific and Papa's Italian Kitchen on the Pride of Hawai'i and Lazy J and East Meets West on the Pride of America, I made it a point to read all STYLE cards and congratulate the staff for their hard work (during my pre and/or post dinner meetings). I would then tally (like the HD would) the cards and do giveaway, such as shifts off, drink coupons, Internet cards, etc.

More or less the same on Celebrity, called Celebrity STAR...

Also, in reflection, I have always found it to be a great feeling when someone personally write a note or letter about you... it boosts your morale, and shows that your hard work and dedication is paying off... Unfortunately, there are Managers out there who don't see it that way, and don't really care about your dedication (I unfortunately had Managers like that on both NCL and Celebrity), and make it even more impossible for you to complete your daily tasks... more on that (the downsides) later on... ;>)
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  #36  
Old January 27th, 2008, 05:09 PM
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N

A personalized, written note or letter at times goes beyond the "extra" tip...
I forgot to mention: although I have left notes for some of our wonderful staff, I do not always do that. But, I do, always, thank them and tell them personally that I will be writing to the company (the President, Dan Hanrahan, actually) and that I will be including their names in my letter.
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  #37  
Old January 27th, 2008, 09:04 PM
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[quote=Acey;13151146]I have two points about this subject:

1. Tip the recommended amount, even if it is mediocre service. Don't punish staff over foolish things like my pants weren't folded properly or there was a hair on my toilet seat. These people work hard, and...."

If I tip the rec. amount for "mediocre" service, then how is it a tip? That sounds like communism, I understand tips to be for exemplary service, certainly not mediocre, and, if I never eat in the main dining room, but instead use the specialty restaurant each night, you can bet I'm tipping in the specialty restaurant, not the main dining... I know some of you say I should tip main dining even if I never use it, however I do get massages each day, and tip for them, is everyone who does not use the spa willing to tip the spa employees too? Just something to think about...
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  #38  
Old January 27th, 2008, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruise kitty View Post
...if I never eat in the main dining room, but instead use the specialty restaurant each night, you can bet I'm tipping in the specialty restaurant, not the main dining... I know some of you say I should tip main dining even if I never use it, however I do get massages each day, and tip for them, is everyone who does not use the spa willing to tip the spa employees too? Just something to think about...
Do you ever eat in the buffet? Breakfast or lunch or a mid day snack? How about a late night snack? Did you ever notice the waiters and asst. waiters from the dining room are serving meals in the buffet, clearing the tables, cleaning the area late at night, serving gourmet bites in the lounges, sorbet by the pool, etc. etc. etc. They don't just serve you in the main dining room - they work all day in various food service areas and in the dining room during dinner hours (some work the open seating breakfast and lunch as well).
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  #39  
Old January 28th, 2008, 06:08 AM
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Pontius Navigator Pontius Navigator is offline
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I don't know the exact ins and outs but we talked with our white South African waiter. As far as I can gather Celebrity originally required that they travelled, at their own expense, to FL (?) for interview. Now, if I am right, the company pays their expenses to travel to interview and home after the cruise but there is a deduction from wages to cover this.

Now I also believe some cruise lines do NOT require tips. Tips are included at the outset. In UK we are highly tip conscious and to some extent resenr tipping people who are potentially more well off than we are (not talking cruises here but culture).

We believe in the ethos of the labourer being worthy of his hire and being paid a proper wage.

Interestingly, on P&O, the recommended tipping rate is half that of Celebrity. If the wages are the same then the staff get very little. I doubt it.

Also there is talk of a tipping pool - really? Why do we pay individuals if it goes into the pool? Remember your drinks bill is inflated by 15% (?) so the bar staff and waiters have that tip pot.

If you have your tips added automatically to your bill are you sure that it gets to the right people? I suspect it does as they certainly put envelopes in your cabin if you don't pay automatically.

For my money - pay the staff, charge the fare, and tip for real service and complain for poor service.
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  #40  
Old January 28th, 2008, 10:05 AM
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however I do get massages each day, and tip for them, is everyone who does not use the spa willing to tip the spa employees too? Just something to think about...[/quote]

Please, if you can afford a daily massage, you can certainly afford to properly tip the wait staff.
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