Removing gratiuities - when to do it

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#21
At Sea
5,286 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by Victoria2
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. When done correctly, i.e. with total discretion, no one should notice you doing it. No grovelling expected or given.
Thank you Victoria2, very well said
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#22
New Hampshire
5,569 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Being in the food industry, we usually add a 20% service charge to our customers. We've done very high end & difficult client weddings/affairs. Nothing worse than busting your butt & getting stiffed. We pay our staff well above the standard food service wage. When cruising on Cunard
(or any line)we choose to put additional $$ in an envelope. We kind of like taking good care of our "own". We then quietly hand the envelopes to the staff, saying: "This is a token of our appreciation for all the hard work you've done to make our voyage a more enjoyable experience, Thank You!"
#23
NYC
3,800 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by keithm
... Check the prices of the "all inclusive" lines. You'll find them quite pricey!
Just for comparison sake I pulled up the all inclusive Seven Seas Explorer for a 10 night Caribbean cruise. Cheapest stateroom has a brochure price of $13,998pp. And even at that price one doesn't get concierge amenities or a butler unless one upgrades to those categories.
#24
Ireland
438 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Are people saying that on top of the service charge I am expected to hand out envelopes of my hard earned cash irrespective of a service that I have already paid for twice?
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#25
Chester, UK
1,406 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by Pavovsky
Are people saying that on top of the service charge I am expected to hand out envelopes of my hard earned cash irrespective of a service that I have already paid for twice?
For the avoidance of doubt: No.
#26
Ireland
438 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by ToadOfToadHall
For the avoidance of doubt: No.


Thanks.
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#27
Chicago
269 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by Pavovsky
Are people saying that on top of the service charge I am expected to hand out envelopes of my hard earned cash irrespective of a service that I have already paid for twice?
No, they're saying that you should either pay the service charge or hand out envelopes of your hard-earned cash.

Or do neither, but get used to the taste of saliva in your food.

And whatever it is you do to earn your cash, it isn't as "hard-earned" as the cash earned by the people on the ship who scrub your toilet and deliver your breakfast.
#28
Harrogate
124 Posts
Joined May 2012
My cruise days go back to the days when the envelopes were left for us and an advisory note given as to how much to tip. Now it is so complicated - we leave the auto tips/service charges on and then give a bit extra with a thank you card stating why the individual made our trip so special - I am sure they would have preferred more money but, as a nurse, whilst many patients and their families gave us chocolate or donations, it was the people who wrote a personal note who left a lasting memory.
#29
1,258 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by keithm
Being in the food industry, we usually add a 20% service charge to our customers. We've done very high end & difficult client weddings/affairs. Nothing worse than busting your butt & getting stiffed.
So remove the possibility of "getting stiffed" and simply charge the real price, rather than a fake price with a 'voluntary' service charge.
#30
Leicestershire, UK
1,206 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by insanemagnet
So remove the possibility of "getting stiffed" and simply charge the real price, rather than a fake price with a 'voluntary' service charge.
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Glenndale
#31
Riding the Ocean Waves
1,314 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by Pavovsky
Are people saying that on top of the service charge I am expected to hand out envelopes of my hard earned cash irrespective of a service that I have already paid for twice?
Its outrageous, that you keep the "Service charge on" then the "Cunarders" on this forum expect you to re tip by envelopes.
Be very interesting to be a fly on the wall!

What people say here differs a huge amount to what they do on board.

We all know, that yes, the Gratuities do go to the staff. however removing the gratuities, then Cunard Pay the difference !
So remove the gratuities, tick all the Magnificent boxes regarding staff and pay them in $ cash in hand. Everybody including the staff, except Cunard and the Die hard Cunarders are happy.
Therefore the sticky on this this thread is misleading and should be removed. Because it really makes no sense, as access to the post it refers to does not appear in context .

It really bears nothing to the Gratuities thread.

Cunard appear at the present time since the refurbishment of QV to also be "Stifing" the customer even more.
#32
NYC
3,800 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by insanemagnet
So remove the possibility of "getting stiffed" and simply charge the real price, rather than a fake price with a 'voluntary' service charge.
The fares charged by Regent, Seabourn, and Crystal reflect the "real" price of operating a ship and paying a crew. Though it's not a direct comparison to price a QM2 Caribbean out of New York vs. a Regent Caribbean out of Miami they are both 10 nights. At $14Kpp for the cheapest Regent cabin that's a good indication of what Cunard would have to charge.

So for a 7 night crossing it's a charge of $80.50pp ($94.50 if you are in the Grills). Anybody who finds this a budget-blowing hit on their finances really cannot afford international travel.
#33
New Hampshire
5,569 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by Pavovsky
Are people saying that on top of the service charge I am expected to hand out envelopes of my hard earned cash irrespective of a service that I have already paid for twice?
NO WHERE did it say that! Some(myself included)wish to give a little "extra" to those who made our trips so enjoyable. It's up to you if you wish to give a little extra.
#34
New Hampshire
5,569 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by insanemagnet
So remove the possibility of "getting stiffed" and simply charge the real price, rather than a fake price with a 'voluntary' service charge.
We pay our employees generally over $15/hr. That's pretty generous for servers in the food industry. When we do a large wedding, for example, we usually add a 20% service charge to the bill. This fee is then divided up among the staff who worked on that job from the pot scrubber to the wait staff.
#35
Riding the Ocean Waves
1,314 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by keithm
I guess a lot of pax acquired their money from being cheapskates all their lives.
Thats possibly how they acquired the Money.
Cheapskates or Inheritance, then brag about how wealthy they are. Very Sad.
I have worked for my Money and also been on the inheritance line so very fortunate . But I never look down on those unfortunate not to have done so. Neither do I brag about my Wealth,
Those that really have it do not flaunt it!
#36
Scotland
79 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
From past threads on tipping/gratuities/service charge (call it what you will) I thought posters said that if you remove the daily charge the steward is advised of this and so must hand over any tip he gets in cash from that passenger so it can be divided among the staff as the daily charge would be. If you leave the daily charge on your account and make an additional tip to the steward then he/she is able to retain that to themselves.

Is this the case or not.

Have to say this subject gets a bit tiresome. When you book you know there is a daily charge and how much and that there is a service charge on drinks. If you don't like it don't book. If you want to give extra for a good service then do that, no one else needs to know.
#37
Riding the Ocean Waves
1,314 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by goodsailors
From past threads on tipping/gratuities/service charge (call it what you will) I thought posters said that if you remove the daily charge the steward is advised of this and so must hand over any tip he gets in cash from that passenger so it can be divided among the staff as the daily charge would be. If you leave the daily charge on your account and make an additional tip to the steward then he/she is able to retain that to themselves.

Is this the case or not.

Have to say this subject gets a bit tiresome. When you book you know there is a daily charge and how much and that there is a service charge on drinks. If you don't like it don't book. If you want to give extra for a good service then do that, no one else needs to know.
Impossible to Police,
Remove the Gratuities, Cunard Pay the difference if the Gratuities do not make up the total Wage Bill.
Give the Gratuities "Service charge" you would have paid that would have been on your account to the staff in $ , Their happy, Your Happy because you have saved your self some dosh in extra tips. Cunard have paid. Cunard apparently Guarantee to make up the difference in their wages from Auto Tips. now Called Service Charge.
#38
Scotland
79 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by Pennbank
Impossible to Police,
Remove the Gratuities, Cunard Pay. Give the Gratuties that would have been on your account to the staff in $ , Their happy, Your Happy because you have saved your self some dosh in extra tips. Cunard have paid. Cunard apparently Guarantee to make up the difference in their wages from Auto Tips. now Called Service Charge.

Cunard are not a charity so would assume that they will have estimated (based on past experience) how many will remove the Service Charge and add that on to the cost to the cruise for everyone. So we all pay so a few can, in your words, save some dosh in extra tips.

Why does removing the Service Charge sound such a cheapskate thing to do. Overheard some people talking on a cruise stating they had spent more than they had intended so would have the Auto Gratuity (as it was then) removed to lower the bill to an acceptable level.
#39
Lancashire, UK
51 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
Originally posted by Pennbank
Impossible to Police,
Remove the Gratuities, Cunard Pay the difference if the Gratuities do not make up the total Wage Bill.
Give the Gratuities "Service charge" you would have paid that would have been on your account to the staff in $ , Their happy, Your Happy because you have saved your self some dosh in extra tips. Cunard have paid. Cunard apparently Guarantee to make up the difference in their wages from Auto Tips. now Called Service Charge.
Not sure this is entirely correct. Yes Cunard promise a minimum wage and if enough people removed tips to bring the staffs pay below the guaranteed minimum Cunard would indeed have to make up the difference. However I believe the minimum levels offered are fairly low and in reality the staff earn a fair bit more than the guaranteed minimum.
If some people remove tips this will reduce what the staff take home and unless enough do so that it takes pay below the minimum it wont cost Cunard anything.


I have always left the auto tips on as I think it is an easy way of making sure everyone gets rewarded, I can then choose if I think anyone deserves anything extra. If someone wants to remove the auto tips then that is up to them but I don't think it should be assumed it costs the staff nothing. It is a personal matter and views on tipping vary greatly.
#40
319 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
The whole thing is a farce especially when some packages include prepaid gratuities and some don't. As my father in law, a former colonel in the Red Army always said - "no one tipped me, where's my tip?"