Removing gratiuities - when to do it

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Nottingham,United kingdom
982 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
The cruising industry aside from the all inclusive luxury end has based its model on pax paying a gratuity, this is not new, it has always been the case, why if everything meets expectations do people then want to go and reinvent the wheel? This thread makes just about as much sense as those passengers who come to Cunard and expect the dress code to change because it doesn't suit them. If you dont like it then find a holiday that suits.
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Honiton, Devon, England
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Wonder no more Keith, my wife and I being Brits always pay over and above what's suggested to our table and cabin steward, in envelopes, on another note we don't really mind what others may think on board if they see the envelopes on the last night, not so much a flourish but just a straight outward hand motion to hand them over, and a discreet folded note on the penultimate day to anyone else on board who went over and above what was generally expected. But then I guess we feel a bit old fashioned so maybe we haven't noticed that tip etiquette may have changed.
Staffordshire
1,927 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by keithm
Never said it's right. Just the way it is. Considering the tax structure over there: a Gallon of petrol $8+. A VAT on everything, I think I'll stay here, thank you.I do really wonder how many of your fellow citizens over there actually DO pay tips for outstanding services. From what I've seen on these forums, not too many.
Never seen petrol at $8+ in the UK even allowing for currency exchange rate anomaly except for perhaps on service station motorways which are far higher than in towns and only to be used in emergencies. Luckily our gallons are bigger than in the US so an unfair comparative being 4.54 litres to UK gallon where US gallon is only 3.78 litres. With regards VAT there are many items that have a zero rate and some lower than the normal 20% VAT rate. But you cannot moan about price of petrol or VAT rates in the UK and then say its a US practice to tip often and highly and cruisers from the UK must do the same saying " when in Rome do as the Romans do" then surely you must do the same when you are in the UK and purchasing petrol and paying VAT. The saying " when in Rome and do as the Romans do" applies both ways.
Edinburgh, Scotland
1,630 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by ToadOfToadHall
Keith

You just don't get it, do you ?

If the hospitality industry did not have such a flawed business model then you would not have to survive on tips.

It's really not hard to grasp so let me give you an example; Next week I'm having some work done on my house as it happens. I've been given a price and I've accepted it. The work will be done and I will be paying the person that agreed amount. That's what we have agreed and that is the figure. There's no if, no buts, no tips. They are doing a job of work and I will be paying them what they quoted for the job.

No one is going to "get stiffed".

Why ? because it's all been agreed. It really is THAT SIMPLE.
I think it is you who "doesn't get it"! So, using your analogy above, you have booked a cruise and entered into a contract. Part of that contract is the expectation that you will pay gratuities...that is what you have "agreed" by entering such contract. No ifs, no buts, and yes to the gratuity! Really simple, and I suspect you know you ought to pay up instead of being cheap.
Nottingham,United kingdom
982 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by hamrag
I think it is you who "doesn't get it"! So, using your analogy above, you have booked a cruise and entered into a contract. Part of that contract is the expectation that you will pay gratuities...that is what you have "agreed" by entering such contract. No ifs, no buts, and yes to the gratuity! Really simple, and I suspect you know you ought to pay up instead of being cheap.
Absolutely, my thoughts exactly.
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Originally posted by hamrag
I think it is you who "doesn't get it"! So, using your analogy above, you have booked a cruise and entered into a contract. Part of that contract is the expectation that you will pay gratuities...that is what you have "agreed" by entering such contract. No ifs, no buts, and yes to the gratuity! Really simple, and I suspect you know you ought to pay up instead of being cheap.
Agreed! I don't understand why anyone would NOT pay gratuities. If it is in response to perceived bad service, take the problem up with a supervisor or the Hotel Director so that or can be corrected.

Even with all inclusive we reward excellent service with additional gratuities.

Would you walk out of a restaurant, in a country where it is customary to tip, without tipping? What about a taxi driver? Hairdresser or barber?

The crew works so hard!!

Ricki
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Chester, UK
1,406 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by ricki
The crew works so hard!!
Yep. Lashed to the mast and whipped to within an inch of their lives.

Oh hang on a minute, oh yes, that's right, no they are not.

This is 2017, not 1917.
I come from a land down under
22,904 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by hamrag
I think it is you who "doesn't get it"! So, using your analogy above, you have booked a cruise and entered into a contract. Part of that contract is the expectation that you will pay gratuities...that is what you have "agreed" by entering such contract. No ifs, no buts, and yes to the gratuity! Really simple, and I suspect you know you ought to pay up instead of being cheap.

Well actually no.

As long as the line lets people remove them, there is no contractual obligation to pay them.

Now is there amoral obligation may be a totally different answer. But a contractual obligation, nope.
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Edinburgh, Scotland
1,630 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by GUT2407
Well actually no.

As long as the line lets people remove them, there is no contractual obligation to pay them.

Now is there amoral obligation may be a totally different answer. But a contractual obligation, nope.
Fair comment, that is why I did not actually state there is a contractual obligation, what I wrote was:
Part of that contract is the expectation that you will pay gratuities...that is what you have "agreed" by entering such contract.


The alternative, as I also wrote, is to be cheap.....!!
New Jersey
8,985 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by Tillylovesseabourn
The cruising industry aside from the all inclusive luxury end has based its model on pax paying a gratuity, this is not new, it has always been the case, why if everything meets expectations do people then want to go and reinvent the wheel? This thread makes just about as much sense as those passengers who come to Cunard and expect the dress code to change because it doesn't suit them. If you dont like it then find a holiday that suits.
I agree! It is what it is. You may not like it, but it's how the system works. If you don't like it, write to Cunard or Carnival and complain. Or "vote with your feet."


Originally posted by hamrag
Fair comment, that is why I did not actually state there is a contractual obligation, what I wrote was:
Part of that contract is the expectation that you will pay gratuities...that is what you have "agreed" by entering such contract.


The alternative, as I also wrote, is to be cheap.....!!
(bold is mine) I am NOT saying that anyone on this thread is trying to be cheap, but I'm willing to bet that a lot of people who take off the service charge and "tip the people who serve me" are not tipping as much as the full service charge. I'm pretty sure the couple we met at breakfast fall into that category.

On our penultimate morning on QM2, at the end of breakfast a very pleasant first timer asked if he needed to queue up to settle his account. We and the other couple at the table assured him that if he'd registered a credit card, it was all taken care of. He did not ask about tipping, but the other couple started in on the service charge, hoping to "educate" a newbie. They trotted out all the excuses I've heard over the years. First was fraud. He had worked for the Navy. He didn't SERVE in the Navy, he "worked for them," so I have no idea where he got his info.But he said whenever there was a charitable contribution on board,the officers skimmed from it, and he didn't trust any pooled tips because of that. (I was offended on behalf of my retired Navy BIL, but said nothing rather than start an argument) He was quite certain that half of the service charge went to Cunard and the crew never got it. Then he went to say they only tip the people who actually serve them. They had picked up envelopes for their steward and their dining room waiters. When they doubled down on the excuses, I had to say something. Since I did not work for the navy, but am a veteran of lots of cruises, I went after Excuse #2. I asked them if they ate at the buffet? And what about breakfast? Were we at their usual table, were those their usual waiters? How were those crew members going to be tipped for the service they gave? The couple had no answer for that and left shortly afterward. The first-timer was quite put off by their diatribe, and we reassured him that nobody was stealing from the service charge.

My point in this story is that if tipping is expected (and it's how the system works), the service charge is easy, discrete, and fair. Does anyone else remember the days before the buffet? When you went to the dining room at your appointed time and sat at your table? Back then, the same servers took care of you all the time. Direct tipping was appropriate. And there was the trickle-down system of sharing tips, so everyone was taken care of. But now, with open seating in Britannia at breakfast and lunch, and the buffet, you aren't served by the same people every day. Surely nobody wants to walk around tipping everyone who hands them a plate of something, so the fairest way to do the tipping is in the form of a "service charge."
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Kathy
The THIRD generation in my family to sail on a Cunarder
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Chester, UK
1,406 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by 3rdGenCunarder
(bold is mine) I am NOT saying that anyone on this thread is trying to be cheap, but I'm willing to bet that a lot of people who take off the service charge and "tip the people who serve me" are not tipping as much as the full service charge.
I suspect you are correct. The thing is, it's $11.50 a day, so it does not seem that much (1 G&T now !). But when you multiply that up by maybe 14 or more, and then double it (since the vast majority of accounts will be for a couple), the figure becomes large; often several hundred dollars. For example, my 16 day cruise last month or so, the service charge came to the thick end of $400. Having just been bent over and shafted on my bar bill, it was very tempting to remove it. I didn't, but it was tempting.

Originally posted by 3rdGenCunarder
He had worked for the Navy. He didn't SERVE in the Navy, he "worked for them," so I have no idea where he got his info.
That's perfectly possible. A chap I know worked for the Army, but he wasn't enlisted in the Army.

Originally posted by 3rdGenCunarder
Surely nobody wants to walk around tipping everyone who hands them a plate of something, so the fairest way to do the tipping is in the form of a "service charge."
The fairest way is for the cruise lines to pay their staff properly.
New Jersey
8,985 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by ToadOfToadHall

That's perfectly possible. A chap I know worked for the Army, but he wasn't enlisted in the Army.
I know that there are a lot of civilian employees. I wasn't doubting that, I was doubting his story about the officers stealing from charitable collections.

The fairest way is for the cruise lines to pay their staff properly.
Yes, you're right. That would be the ideal situation, but that isn't the way it is. And then your fare would be more, so you'd pay it one way or the other.
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Kathy
The THIRD generation in my family to sail on a Cunarder
28 QE2 - including 2 Midnight Sun, 2 Panama Canal, 6 TAs, 4 Canada/New England, and various Caribbean, Bermuda, Europe itineraries
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I don't see how you can claim that the system is fair when you pay it and others don't. I would call that grossly unfair.

David.
Nottingham,United kingdom
982 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
The fairest way would be for everyone who is against tipping to find a line that they don't have to tip on. End of.
However, that would be far too simple and not provide them with anything to whinge about.
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Ireland
438 Posts
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Just include in the fare. Simples. No one can stiff or be called cheap. Service is included.
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Cunard next
London, UK
555 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
We will shortly be sailing on Queen Elizabeth, our first cruise with Cunard. We have sailed a lot on Regent, Seabourn and Silversea, and find the concept of gratuities or service charges very bizarre. When will Cunard join the other upmarket lines and include gratuities in the initial cost? This would not preclude anyone from giving a special gratuity to a member of staff who provided a special service.
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Nottingham,United kingdom
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Joined Sep 2008
Cunard is a mass market line, and as with other mass market lines gratuities are always extra. The other lines you mention are categorised as luxury all inclusive lines, which per head are substantially more. As Cunard is neither classified as a luxury line or all inclusive, a gratuity will not be included as this would affect their headline pricing and put this out of kilter with it's competitors ie Celebrity etc.
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London, UK
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Originally posted by Tillylovesseabourn
Cunard is a mass market line, and as with other mass market lines gratuities are always extra. The other lines you mention are categorised as luxury all inclusive lines, which per head are substantially more. As Cunard is neither classified as a luxury line or all inclusive, a gratuity will not be included as this would affect their headline pricing and put this out of kilter with it's competitors ie Celebrity etc.
I take your point. Do gratuities and service charges on drinks etc. go to the staff or do Cunard get a cut? Presumably many passengers 'tip' there suite steward and those that wait on them regularly and some might deduct this from the Cunard suggested overall gratuity.
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Nottingham,United kingdom
982 Posts
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Originally posted by eliana
I take your point. Do gratuities and service charges on drinks etc. go to the staff or do Cunard get a cut? Presumably many passengers 'tip' there suite steward and those that wait on them regularly and some might deduct this from the Cunard suggested overall gratuity.
Some do remove auto tips altogether, but I think it is very poor practice. The mass market lines have always had a charged separate gratuity per person at the end of a cruise, and this is shared equally between all staff, customer facing and those Behind the scenes, so by removing auto tip you don't allow this practice.

However, some people do give tips to individuals in addition to autotip if they have given exemplary service.
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New Hampshire
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Originally posted by robbie_3
Wonder no more Keith, my wife and I being Brits always pay over and above what's suggested to our table and cabin steward, in envelopes, on another note we don't really mind what others may think on board if they see the envelopes on the last night, not so much a flourish but just a straight outward hand motion to hand them over, and a discreet folded note on the penultimate day to anyone else on board who went over and above what was generally expected. But then I guess we feel a bit old fashioned so maybe we haven't noticed that tip etiquette may have changed.
Thank you! It's nice to see you're a couple of "good eggs" as my late mother used to say. I've never had an issue with those who don't choose to tip over the daily gratuity. That's a total personal choice. My issue are with those who like to remove the charge & then pocket it. I know in most of Europe the wage scales are considerably higher than in the US. Unfortunately most cruise lines are US companies. & pax should abide by the rules, whether they are fair or not. Removing part of the income that these hard working people receive, simply because they don't like how Carnival corp. & cruise companies do their pay scales, is in my eye,and some others as well,is rather despicable. You'll see the same few who do this chime in at any moment.