Tipping

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#41
Stoke on Trent, England
4,929 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by daiB
Sorry part of this is misinformation. It is quite clear who gets the tips and it is only those people you would have tipped before. Not any of the backroom staff.


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I agree - but a lot of us have been thinking that the behind the scenes staff were getting the tips, like the engineers etc and to remove auto tips would be unkind to them. Well, since we've learned that this is rubbish it has made us think again. We now know who gets these auto tips and it is the same people that we gave additional tips to at about £100 or more.

I really do not think that it is clear at all --- or it has not been clear.

Anyway, we will make sure that we take our auto gratuities in cash and give out as we go to those who deserve them.
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#42
London
609 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Just leave them on and be thankful that P&O are so cheap. We are doing 35 nights on QM2 next year and leaving auto tipping on is going to cost us around 900 dollars. That's a lot especially when all on board purchases get whacked with another 15% as well. P&O pax, thank your lucky stars and pay up. It's less than just about every other line.


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#43
1,252 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by daiB
Sorry part of this is misinformation. It is quite clear who gets the tips and it is only those people you would have tipped before. Not any of the backroom staff.


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So if P&O can properly pay backroom staff and some customer facing staff (reception, entertainment, etc), why select two groups (waiters and stewards) for the Victorian 'tips' treatment.

There is one reason; profit.

My objection is the hidden nature of P&O's service charge. It is not revealed at ANY point in the booking process. That is not the case with all Carnival companies where some do mention it on the final 'pay' screen.

Now I know people will respond with "everyone knows there are tips/service charges on cruise ships", to which I will respond - nonsense and irrelevant.

I expect companies I deal with to be honest and in this respect P&O fail miserably.

It is no wonder people respond to P&O's sneaky behaviour by removing this substantial hidden charge.
#44
Surrey, UK
1,425 Posts
Joined May 2006
We have decided since our last P&O cruise (where our cabin steward and waiters had no spark at all and were just going through the motions) that we are going to remove the autotip and tip ourselves in envelopes (the old way). The autotip is not a tipping system, it is a service charge and nothing to do with the level of service received. Just our opinion but I'm sure that others do the same.
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#45
West Yorkshire UK
3,155 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
I have always been an advocate for leaving the auto tip in place, because I felt this ensured that the hotel staff received a reasonable wage. However P&O continue to tell us that this is to reward the good service we get, but unfortunately quite often this is not the case.
Consequently I am coming round to the idea that P&O should increase fare prices to allow them to pay all staff a fair wage (not excessive) and then leave it to passengers to reward those that they believe have provided that extra special service, either in cash or even by just giving them a high rating on the end of cruise questionnaire; which would enable P&O to reward their high achievers. I feel sure that this would incentivise the hotel staff and lead to far higher overall service standards.
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#46
2,791 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
We always leave auto tips in place. We never tip on top. However I believe we make very little mess in the cabin, so the room steward does not have to do a lot to keep it spick and span. We are always polite and cheerful and chat to any staff ,who wish to. We use the final questionnaire to decide...we once had a lady that we were constantly have to chase up for towels etc...a pretty basic thing to replemish..however she would take them and not leave replacements. She did not get the highest scores.
We all wish they would include in the price..however they choose not to. Thing is if you are a new cruisers it is not always spelt out in single words. However it is less a shock on pando than it is on other lines.
I do not tie myself in knots over the whole thing. On our next cruise we will be on a table with others (usually have 2 tops) .Even if on the last night they are all waving envelopes about we will get up and leave, say goodnight and thank you..but will not feel obliged to press anything into their hands. Most of the time they are too busy running around anyway for me to even find them.
#47
UK
780 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by Presto2
I agree - but a lot of us have been thinking that the behind the scenes staff were getting the tips, like the engineers etc and to remove auto tips would be unkind to them. Well, since we've learned that this is rubbish it has made us think again. We now know who gets these auto tips and it is the same people that we gave additional tips to at about £100 or more.

I really do not think that it is clear at all --- or it has not been clear.

Anyway, we will make sure that we take our auto gratuities in cash and give out as we go to those who deserve them.
Yes but the back room crew, engineers etc, get paid on a different pay scale. We have been told that by many of our cabin stewards. The auto tips go to those on the lower pay scales, those that are assumed will get tips, so removing the auto tips and then also not giving them anything means they receive practically nothing.

Unfortunately this is the case on all cruise lines and I just wish like many others on here that they all got a decent wage even if this means our cruise will cost slightly more then you wouldn't have to worry about the whole tip debate and we wouldn't be subsidising those that don't tip at all. ( as is proved by the tips constantly going up)
#48
3,505 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by pisces14
I seem to remember you saying on another thread about tipping that the only time you left the auto tips on was when you had a lot of OBC. Why was that?


Anyhow like a lot of people I get sick of reading these threads because they just annoy me. However like the OP I’m also considering whether to remove the tips on our next cruise. I really wish they would just include them in the price of the cruise but I’m sure we all know why they won’t
Like Presto 2 the main reason I’m considering removing the auto tips is because a lot of people pay nothing.
Yes, the system is grossly unfair, the cruise lines refuse to make it fair, and most continue to encourage them by continuing to pay up. In a perfect world there would be a mass boycott of auto tips to force the issue.

David.
#49
London
7 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
I was on Britannia last Christmas for a 2 week cruise which can cater for up to 3647 people Charges at the time were £5 per day per passenger except children under 12. So for example take off 647 children which reached no where near that level but makes the maths easier. 3000 x 14 x 5 equals £210,000 per cruise. Usually about 1350 crew which means that each should get about £155 per 2 week cruise. If you look at what generally a cabin would pay about £140 per 2 week cruise than each cabin pays for 1 crew members gratuity.

Now forget the maths I would rather that each crew member was paid a reasonable wage and that cruise liners charge prices to match that ideal. If I should then wish to tip an individual I would do so, also for those forgotten people who do not always get any praise there should be a central place where you can contribute cash for sharing if you feel that inclination.
#50
1,194 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by Pennbank
Bar staff are paid a wage plus commission from each drink sold, that is why they pester you so much on P&O Ships.
I can't say I have ever been pestered to buy a drink on a P&O ship.
#51
Devon, UK
4,344 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Hear hear, we simply prefer to pay ours with envelopes. If they increase the fare and invoice it as a service charge, I would still tip for good service.
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Jean



#52
Scotland
491 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
So, I should have said "these are not tips, it is a service charge that weshould all pay". If people start removing the "discretionary" service charge of £6 per person per day, I will bet all my hard earned that there will be plenty of folk who don't give the equivalent amount in tips to those they feel do deserve it.
I do feel P&O are largely at fault for saying it is discretionary. Either have a mandatory service charge, or just go back to the old way of tipping for everybody.
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#53
Surrey, UK
1,425 Posts
Joined May 2006
Originally posted by Trevor Fountain
So, I should have said "these are not tips, it is a service charge that weshould all pay". If people start removing the "discretionary" service charge of £6 per person per day, I will bet all my hard earned that there will be plenty of folk who don't give the equivalent amount in tips to those they feel do deserve it.
I do feel P&O are largely at fault for saying it is discretionary. Either have a mandatory service charge, or just go back to the old way of tipping for everybody.
Even with the envelope system there have always been people who did not pay and some of the people who opt out of autotip do not pay. But that is not everyone and as you can see some on here would rather choose who or how much to tip. For 2 weeks in March on Britannia we had all our meals put in front of us with no word, smile or any eye contact and a cabin steward who was much the same. I must say that this is the first time it has happened to us. We didn't cancel the autotip but regretted it afterwards and vowed to choose who to tip and how much in future. Unless forced otherwise that is what we will do.
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#54
1,252 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by Trevor Fountain
So, I should have said "these are not tips, it is a service charge that we should all pay". If people start removing the "discretionary" service charge of £6 per person per day, I will bet all my hard earned that there will be plenty of folk who don't give the equivalent amount in tips to those they feel do deserve it.

I do feel P&O are largely at fault for saying it is discretionary. Either have a mandatory service charge, or just go back to the old way of tipping for everybody.
Now you are wishing for a system that doesn't exist and criticising people who don't comply with that imaginary system.

The system is what the system is, and the power to change that system is in P&O's hands.The system is there is a discretionary service charge.

Discretionary, meaning optional, non-compulsory, voluntary, at one's discretion, up to the individual, non-mandatory, elective, open to choice; open, unrestricted; permissive, etc.

So whether people do use their discretion to pay or remove the service charge is entirely up to them, and really nothing to do with you.

I can imagine that when some people remove the service charge and leave a 'tip' then it will be for a lower amount, as £12 per cabin per day is an absurd amount for a 'tip' for the waiter service / chamber maid element of the cruise. It is way beyond a 'tip' and is a substantial portion of a wage.
#55
Scotland
491 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Here is an interesting article on gratuities, taken from The Daily Telegraph, back in 2013. There is a table for comparison, obviously it is four years out of date, but it shows how P&O compared then, and I doubt too much has changed now.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/cr...ties-and-tips/
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1973 British India - SS Nevasa - Nth. Africa/Canary Is * 1991 P&O - SS Canberra - Mediterranean * 1992 P&O - SS Canberra - Canary Is. * 1993 P&O - SS Canberra - Mediterranean * 1993 Cunard - Queen Elizabeth II - Ireland/France * 1994 CTC - Azerbajan - British Isles/France * 1994 P&O - SS Canbera - Adriatic * 1995 Fred Olsen - Black Watch - Western Europe * 1997 Fred Olsen - Black Watch - Western Europe * 1998 P&O - Arcadia - France/Britain * 1999 P&O - Arcadia - France/Britain * 2001 Festival CL - Flamenco - Mediterranean * 2002 NCL - Norwegian Dawn - Transatlantic * 2003 P&O - Oriana - Mediterranean * 2006 NCL - Norwegian Spirit - Caribbean * 2015 NCL - Norwegian Spirit - Adriatic/Mediterranean
#56
UK
315 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
According to the p&o website buffet staff also benefit from the service charge.

I'd imagine that those who use the envelope system might not be aware of that (I know I never did when I used to use the envelope system). There is a risk that tips overall are reduced for them and more 'invisible'* bar and lounge staff (less in the service charge pot and no individual tips) while more forward facing bar and restaurant staff benefit both from those who leave the service charge on and the individual tips.

(*by invisible I mean the person behind the bar who I never speak to rather than the person who brings my drink; the junior waiter or bus boy I'm less likely to have direct contact with versus the main waiter who serves my actual meal etc.

It seems junior waiters etc get 75p an hour for a minimum 11 hours a day, 7 days a week for months on end. I guess buffet staff get the same amount or even less. The service charge (or tips, or gratuities etc) is there for people earning literally peanuts.

We passengers must seem incredibly wealthy to them. Well, we are in actual fact.

https://www.theguardian.com/business...e-bonuses-tips


Knowing who to tip individually is a minefield. Singling out a few just doesn't seem as fair to me as the automatic service charge. If there is someone you don't think deserves it there is always the option to mark them down on the satisfaction survey in which case it's withheld.

I also used to find it a bit overwhelming trying to choose which bar staff to tip so that's another reason we prefer autotips. We get served by dozens of different people in the bars and lounges and we found that on the last night we might not see the staff we had planned on tipping (not to mention there is the overall issue of whether it's fair to single out bar and lounge staff just because I took a shine to them, or we recognised some faces better than others etc - what about the person who spent an evening serving us in one lounge that we didn't see again, they don't get the tip under the envelope system. When they are earning so pitiably little, allowing a measly £6 a day out of a cruise that has so far cost us close to £5k seems just a little odd to me.

As the service generally is very good, it would be easier to single out one or two who didn't provide good service than a few who did. It's difficult to imagine walking around with 30 odd different envelopes for all the different staff though if people say they do then I will believe them.


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#57
UK
4,591 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by claudiniusmaximus
According to the p&o website buffet staff also benefit from the service charge.

I'd imagine that those who use the envelope system might not be aware of that (I know I never did when I used to use the envelope system). There is a risk that tips overall are reduced for them and more 'invisible'* bar and lounge staff (less in the service charge pot and no individual tips) while more forward facing bar and restaurant staff benefit both from those who leave the service charge on and the individual tips.

(*by invisible I mean the person behind the bar who I never speak to rather than the person who brings my drink; the junior waiter or bus boy I'm less likely to have direct contact with versus the main waiter who serves my actual meal etc.

It seems junior waiters etc get 75p an hour for a minimum 11 hours a day, 7 days a week for months on end. I guess buffet staff get the same amount or even less. The service charge (or tips, or gratuities etc) is there for people earning literally peanuts.

We passengers must seem incredibly wealthy to them. Well, we are in actual fact.

https://www.theguardian.com/business...e-bonuses-tips


Knowing who to tip individually is a minefield. Singling out a few just doesn't seem as fair to me as the automatic service charge. If there is someone you don't think deserves it there is always the option to mark them down on the satisfaction survey in which case it's withheld.

I also used to find it a bit overwhelming trying to choose which bar staff to tip so that's another reason we prefer autotips. We get served by dozens of different people in the bars and lounges and we found that on the last night we might not see the staff we had planned on tipping (not to mention there is the overall issue of whether it's fair to single out bar and lounge staff just because I took a shine to them, or we recognised some faces better than others etc - what about the person who spent an evening serving us in one lounge that we didn't see again, they don't get the tip under the envelope system.

As the service generally is very good, it would be easier to single out one or two who didn't provide good service than a few who did. It's difficult to imagine walking around with 30 odd different envelopes for all the different staff though if people say they do then I will believe them.


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A good explanation why we should leave the autotips on and give extra to crew who give us outstanding service.

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#59
UK
315 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Thanks Grapau - I just worked out that the £5k total we've paid on this cruise is equivalent to nearly two years salary for a junior waiter on a p&o cruise ship (20 months) without tips.

It's equivalent to over a years salary when bonuses are included.

For me, that puts it into perspective.


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#60
England
786 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Excellent post Claudiniusmaximus. To the average member of Indian or Philippine crew we are all the equivalent of millionaires. The fact that we would spend several thousands, or even tens of thousands, just on a holiday and then deprive them of a wage (most of which is sent back to their families) that I suggest few Brits would even be prepared to get of bed for must upset them deeply. On two of our eleven P&O cruises, where we'd received poor service, I did remove the auto charge and tipped the same amount to the staff who we had received good service from. Now I always pay it as my conscience won't let me stop it. Like most people, I feel that it should be incorporated into the fare, but until then I'm the sucker who pays the auto charge and still feels the need to tip the steward!
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674(A) Oriana 14/5/96. Southampton to Istanbul (Fly back). 8 nights. Outside Cabin.
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