Removing gratiuities - when to do it

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#1
Petersfield, UK
33 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
I'm sailing on QM2 across the pond tomorrow, and want to remove the auto gratuities from my account.

Do I have to do this straight away or can it be done at any time before the last night?

( That's not to say I won't tip individual crew members, I just prefer it to be my choice of amount and who to tip ) ( Although being British I find the whole concept of tipping uncomfortable )
#2
Riding the Ocean Waves
1,312 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by Frontera2
I'm sailing on QM2 across the pond tomorrow, and want to remove the auto gratuities from my account.

Do I have to do this straight away or can it be done at any time before the last night?

( That's not to say I won't tip individual crew members, I just prefer it to be my choice of amount and who to tip ) ( Although being British I find the whole concept of tipping uncomfortable )
The "Automatic Gratuities" are now called a "Service Charge",
This is usually applied to your on board account around the 2nd or 3rd Day.
It is obviously best for you attend the Pursers Desk on The First sea day so that you can arrange for the "Service Charge" not to be put on in the first place, or if already on to be taken off and you could verify this has been done further on in your crossing
I would advise not to leave it until the last sea day as if a mistake is made there will be extremely large queues at the Pursers Desk.
.
#3
At Sea
5,286 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by Frontera2
I'm sailing on QM2 across the pond tomorrow, and want to remove the auto gratuities from my account. Do I have to do this straight away or can it be done at any time before the last night? ( That's not to say I won't tip individual crew members, I just prefer it to be my choice of amount and who to tip ) ( Although being British I find the whole concept of tipping uncomfortable )
Hi Frontera2 ,

It can still be your "choice of amount and who to tip" if you leave the "auto-tip" in place, as I do, and then tip on top only where you think it is deserved (so on some short cruises I've tipped nothing extra, merely leaving the auto-tip, the service was nothing out of the ordinary).

Simply reward, in person, those members of the crew who do that little bit extra, that are esp good.

When I hand over any tips I do so very discreetly, so that hardly anyone else knows that I have done so. I adopted this after seeing some passengers handing over envelopes with a flourish. They'd produce them like rabbits out of a hat, and then distribute them like Lady Bountiful.

Hope this helps, have the most wonderful crossing

Yours,
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Pepper........... (Cunard & QM2; "It is not the only way to cross, but it is the only way to cross")
QM2 - QE - QV - QE2 - interiors. QM2 cabin photos & ship tour. Crossings & Cruises - photographs here . . .
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...over 3.5 million visits, thank you.
Sailed: QM2, QE, QV, QE2. Booked: QE, ...
#4
Chester, UK
1,406 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by pepperrn
I adopted this after seeing some passengers handing over envelopes with a flourish. They'd produce them like rabbits out of a hat, and then distribute them like Lady Bountiful.
I've seen that; 'tis highly comical !
#5
Chester, UK
1,406 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by Pennbank
This is usually applied to your on board account around the 2nd or 3rd Day.
And if you see your account after 2 or 3 days the you will fall off your pew because they have added them all on.

So on our recent cruise (16 nights), after about 5 nights we received an interim account under the door. When I looked at the bottom line (so it included 16 x 2 x $11.50, i.e. $386) I almost fainted.
#6
At Sea
5,286 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by ToadOfToadHall
I've seen that; 'tis highly comical !
Yes! All that was missing was a roll on the drums and a "TaDa"!

(And when the envelopes were handed over, all that was missing then was a tug on the forelock from the grateful recipient to complete the scene...)
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Pepper........... (Cunard & QM2; "It is not the only way to cross, but it is the only way to cross")
QM2 - QE - QV - QE2 - interiors. QM2 cabin photos & ship tour. Crossings & Cruises - photographs here . . .
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pepperrn/sets/
...over 3.5 million visits, thank you.
Sailed: QM2, QE, QV, QE2. Booked: QE, ...
#7
Chester, UK
1,406 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by pepperrn
(And when the envelopes were handed over, all that was missing then was a tug on the forelock from the grateful recipient to complete the scene...)
One might even observe a touch of "Downton Abbey". But I would not suggest such a thing !
#8
At Sea
5,286 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by ToadOfToadHall
One might even observe a touch of "Downton Abbey". But I would not suggest such a thing !
"Like"
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Pepper........... (Cunard & QM2; "It is not the only way to cross, but it is the only way to cross")
QM2 - QE - QV - QE2 - interiors. QM2 cabin photos & ship tour. Crossings & Cruises - photographs here . . .
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pepperrn/sets/
...over 3.5 million visits, thank you.
Sailed: QM2, QE, QV, QE2. Booked: QE, ...
#9
3,505 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by pepperrn
Yes! All that was missing was a roll on the drums and a "TaDa"!

(And when the envelopes were handed over, all that was missing then was a tug on the forelock from the grateful recipient to complete the scene...)
Which sums up vey well this whole charade. That this practice with it's master and servant connotation still exists in this day and age is beyond me.

Hey Ho, the Americans will be awake soon.

David
#10
Chester, UK
1,406 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by balf
Which sums up vey well this whole charade. That this practice with it's master and servant connotation still exists in this day and age is beyond me.

Hey Ho, the Americans will be awake soon.

David
I don't agree with your view, so I want this thread closed down.
#11
Riding the Ocean Waves
1,312 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by ToadOfToadHall
I don't agree with your view, so I want this thread closed down.
Like
#12
NYC
3,800 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
One thing that I like about the autotip / gratuities / service charge is that crew members don't have their hands out or hover about after each and every little service - a practice that I'm told is common on some ships.


While you are clearly not in any way attempting to stiff the crew there are some who indeed will end up having that happen to them. How do you tip your waiter if he has to be reassigned somewhere else the last night? The Chef's Galley cook who might make you the perfect burger specially for you each day? The King's Court beverage server who knows that you want coffee as soon as you sit down? The pool and deck attendants? Therefore I always leave the autotip and tip extra individually if I feel that I got extra service. There are many crew members who serve us beyond the waiters and steward.


Tipping in cash in envelopes doesn't have to be a show. I find the small "#6" envelopes convenient. I can discretely vary the amount to each crew member and not have to handle a wad of bills. They can be folded and discretely passed during a handshake. It doesn't have to be a flashy public display unless one wants to make it so.
#13
At Sea
5,286 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by BlueRiband
... While you are clearly not in any way attempting to stiff the crew there are some who indeed will end up having that happen to them. How do you tip your waiter if he has to be reassigned somewhere else the last night? The Chef's Galley cook who might make you the perfect burger specially for you each day? The King's Court beverage server who knows that you want coffee as soon as you sit down? The pool and deck attendants? Therefore I always leave the autotip and tip extra individually if I feel that I got extra service. There are many crew members who serve us beyond the waiters and steward.
Very well said BlueRiband, "LIKE"
Originally posted by BlueRiband
Tipping in cash in envelopes doesn't have to be a show. I find the small "#6" envelopes convenient. I can discretely vary the amount to each crew member and not have to handle a wad of bills. They can be folded and discretely passed during a handshake. It doesn't have to be a flashy public display unless one wants to make it so.
Sadly, as I indicated above, in my experience, many seem want to "put on a flashy public display"; not on every trip I've been on, but I've noted it on at least half of them (sometimes on an adjoining table, sometimes a table-mate). Whether it is to make the giver feel good, or thinking they impress their fellow passengers with an obvious show of wealth, or to bolster a sense of superiority over the hard-working crew, I don't know.
I do as you suggest (in bold above).

Thank you BlueRiband,

Yours,
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Pepper........... (Cunard & QM2; "It is not the only way to cross, but it is the only way to cross")
QM2 - QE - QV - QE2 - interiors. QM2 cabin photos & ship tour. Crossings & Cruises - photographs here . . .
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pepperrn/sets/
...over 3.5 million visits, thank you.
Sailed: QM2, QE, QV, QE2. Booked: QE, ...
#14
Chicago
264 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by balf
Hey Ho, the Americans will be awake soon.

David
This American will only note that (1) the tip envelopes were the preferred method when I took my first cruise 20 years ago, though mercifully I was too young to consider how humiliating it must've been for our waiter and anyone else who received a tip envelope and (2) given the numerous studies that have shown that increased compensation does not necessarily lead to better performance by employees, it's high time we did away with tipping in bars and restaurants and replaced it with a mandatory service charge or higher prices for food and drink (hotels are another story, given that it's entirely possible for me to stay in a hotel and not require the services of a bellman, doorman, or room service waiter).
#15
Staffordshire
1,927 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Out comes out the usual arguments "stiffing the crew" nobody is stiffing the crew only Carnival plc and even then it is in their contracts that all staff who are part of the "gratuity/service charge programme" sign before cruising that if a minimum guaranteed wage is not achieved through gratuities that Carnival plc make good the difference so it is in there interests to get as many cruisers to pay gratuities so that they do not have to pay this. How many go on a 14nt holiday in a land based hotel and would accept the management putting an amount on their hotel bill on a daily basis irrespective of how good the service is or at end of holiday would give a gratuity of £300approx not many so why should a cruise line be any different. The waiters serve you meals as they do in hotels and cabin stewards service you room just the same as those that do in hotels.
#16
Chicago
264 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by majortom10
How many go on a 14nt holiday in a land based hotel and would accept the management putting an amount on their hotel bill on a daily basis irrespective of how good the service is or at end of holiday would give a gratuity of £300approx not many
You're describing a mandatory service charge that many hotels are now charging on top of the daily rate. So the answer to your question is "many."
#17
3,505 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by pepperrn
Very well said BlueRiband, "LIKE"
Sadly, as I indicated above, in my experience, many seem want to "put on a flashy public display"; not on every trip I've been on, but I've noted it on at least half of them (sometimes on an adjoining table, sometimes a table-mate). Whether it is to make the giver feel good, or thinking they impress their fellow passengers with an obvious show of wealth, or to bolster a sense of superiority over the hard-working crew, I don't know.
I do as you suggest (in bold above).

Thank you BlueRiband,

Yours,
To me the offered envelopes of whatever colour or size all seem to be a bit shifty, and the discrete cash loaded handshake worse. The Lady Dowager would definitely not have approved.

David.
#18
Chester, UK
1,406 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by abefroman329
You're describing a mandatory service charge that many hotels are now charging on top of the daily rate. So the answer to your question is "many."
We certainly do not have such a thing in UK hotels.

However, I suspect someone will now post a link to a hotel in the UK that does to prove me wrong.

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.
#19
Chicago
264 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by balf
To me the offered envelopes of whatever colour or size all seem to be a bit shifty, and the discrete cash loaded handshake worse. The Lady Dowager would definitely not have approved.

David.
Yeah, that just stinks of noblesse oblige. At least the auto-gratuity on the shipboard account doesn't require the recipient to grovel at your feet.
#20
450 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Keeping the service charges on and also passing on personal thanks by way of folded notes in a goodbye handshake has been a practice carried out for years by those who wish to do so. When done correctly, i.e. with total discretion, no one should notice you doing it. No grovelling expected or given.