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grinningimm

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About grinningimm

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Florida
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    Travel, SCUBA, reading, football

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  1. Oh cool, another tipping thread!!! Just what I said I wanted in my OP!! Not. This is the first time I've checked the thread since @Host Clarea was kind enough to provide me with what I asked for. Thank you, kind sir, for the info. If the internet had been remotely consistent on the boat, I would have asked for the thread to be closed immediately after his reply. Instead, I had to read the post he linked to, and then start asking questions to see if what I was attempting was actually achievable and fair. Getting enough info to make that determination took several hours, as every officer I checked with gave me a different answer. More on that below. For those folks that don't want to learn anything, here is the short version of what we did: we left the autotips on AND tipped additional to those we felt went above and beyond. For those of you who responded with comments about me being cheap, I will take the high road here, and just say you are so very wrong. I have worked in hospitality since retiring, because I enjoy bartending. I know first hand how tough the work is so I tip very well when I am out. But I thank you for your judgmental attitude, because clearly you have not been thanked enough in your daily lives. For those still reading, here is the rest of the story. Remember that this all started because we only ate in the MDR once. I was concerned that the MDR staff would be disproportionally compensated over the Windjammer staff (who by the way were magnificent). So I went to guest services, and explained, in detail, my desire to avoid that very situation, and asked how to proceed. Did the rep say "just leave it alone, we have a formula that accounts for where you ate"? No he gave me an envelope preprinted with "Additional Gratuity". Hmm, not what I needed. So, I went to the Windjammer, spoke to my favorite server, explaining my dilemma. She understood my desire to be fair, but pointed out that whether you get a share of tips is specified by your contract. Her example was that the folks running fresh food from the WJ galley to the serving stations did not share in tips. At that point I suspected there were many aspects of the situation that were going to complicate things, so I asked to speak to a supervisor in the WJ. I explained to the supervisor what my concern was. Did she say "just leave the tips in place, we have a formula that makes everything fair, based on how many times you ate in the MDR"? No, she said I should bring whatever tips I wanted the WJ staff to have to her, and she would put it in the pool for the WJ. So I thought, OK, that might be an option. Then I went back to my cabin to see if Cruise Critic had come through for me. I read the material that Bob linked to, where RCI gave the daily breakdown of who gets what. It was helpful, as it pointed out an immediate problem with my plan - it would have stiffed the folks that fell into the "other" category. Those are the folks (I assume) that are cleaning windows, sweeping and mopping and vacuuming the common areas, emptying trash, etc. There is a LOT of that on a ship, and in the end there was no way to factor them into the resolution of my concerns about dining staff. The RCI language also suggested that dining staff portion of my daily tip would be spread fairly among anyone involved in the MDR or WJ service. Perhaps that is why, when walking up to the Front-of-House for our My Time Dining experience, they wanted my cabin number. I hope that is why they ask. But I am a scientist by training, and I didn't feel comfortable with the "data" I had been given, so I went back to the WJ, and spoke with an officer in the food and beverage department. (I say officer because this guy had stripes on his sleeves, while the previous "supervisor" had not.) I once again explained my dilemma. Did he say "just leave the tips in place, we have a formula that is fair, and takes into account where you eat"? No, he did not, nor did he give me any other ideas on how to proceed. So in the end, I spent a lot of time trying to solve a "problem" that, if it exists, is not really solvable. If I had cancelled the autotips, I had no way to pay the "other" guys (which was as important to me as not stiffing the WJ staff relative to the MDR folks). So we left them on, and I gave a few folks extra (including the woman that was perpetually at the Park Cafe in the Solarium. I don't know when she slept.) I did find it very interesting that everyone I spoke with (that was in a position to know) either did not have a deep enough understanding of what goes on to assuage my concerns, or chose not to enlighten me. I just have to trust that RCI does what it says it does. Which is not comforting given that they say they have the fastest internet at sea. But that is another issue...
  2. This is the last day of the TA. We have not eaten in the MDR but once in 14 days. We want to be fair to the Windjammer staff, so for the first time ever, we are cancelling the autogratuities and distributing money manually. Somewhere I saw the formula that RC uses to divide our $14.50 pp per day into 3 buckets: cabin steward, MDR team, and "other". Can someone give me those numbers? I need them on a per person per day basis. @Host Clarea perhaps you can help? Your answers are succinct, and I don't want to start a tipping thread. I just need numbers, and need them quickly.
  3. Doing the TA on Rhapsody in 5 days. The RC site offers us internet packages, but we would only need that if project work becomes available. However, we would not know work is available without having email. Is there a way to quickly check email without committing to $10/day for 14 days? If we do get work, can I buy internet once onboard, for the remaining days of the cruise? ( I recognize the cost would then be at higher "onboard" prices.)
  4. Thanks! I'll read it first, to save other folks' time. Edit: 45 pages covering the whole fleet, I don't like my odds. What can anyone tell us about cabin 2014 on Rhapsody? We are particularly interested in noise issues. We know there are cabins above us, but what lies below? What about water noise?
  5. Can anyone point me to the thread that answers questions about specific cabins on Rhapsody? I'd like to ask about ours, now that we have an assignment.
  6. One could argue that they already told the judge to take a hike, by violating their probation. It sort of says "hey we paid the 40 million, and kept on keeping on". So the judge could say "ok, you just keep going. But not here in the US. And say goodbye to the associated revenue stream".
  7. It wouldn't kill the US cruise industry. There are too many other lines. But it would cause a hike in fares (that's just supply and demand). And it could well kill Carnival (as we know it anyway - the follow-on corporate entity would have a different name).
  8. Ease is relative. Spinning off subsidiaries from one holding company to another is very common, and starting new companies is just a matter of paperwork and fees. The lawyers are already on staff, so away you go. It's an alternative to giving up the huge US market. What else would CCL do if actually prevented from entering the US? Move every HAL, Princess, Carnival, etc ship to the med and Asia?
  9. A total ban would be the equivalent of a pretty hefty fine, maybe big enough to make a difference in future CCL operations in other areas of the world. The first fine (was it $40 million?), combined with probation, apparently wasn't enough of a message. However, the workaround (which you can be sure the lawyers are already examining) would be to transfer the assets of CCL to another corporate entity or entities. "Your Honor, these ships no longer belong to CCL (or Holland, Princess, etc), so your order is not being violated". It would cost money to transfer assets and/or rebrand, but hey, a fine costs money.
  10. I recently sent the customer service folks a question about Rhapsody using the "contact us" email form. It took them about 9 days to answer. However, the opening line was "we apologize for the delay in getting back to you". But 5 months seems like a long time.
  11. Does anyone know if Rhapsody has pickleball? I have emailed Customer Service at RCI, and got a confirmation reply, but no actual answer, and it has been a week.
  12. Based on where they put the A, it is also towards the front of the ship. So I don't think we can be sure of anything.
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