Admin fee on tips

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#41
WA state
2,954 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by lcpagejr
Its amazing how the gratuity payment has evolved.... Early days you handed an envelope to cabin attendents, dining room servers, maitre'D. I prefered this as it was more personable and I found I actually received better service in those days. Of course, we then had the passengers who conveniently would not tip which did impact the staff who worked very hard all week.... Very sad. Other gratuitys for bar drinks, etc were added into the Point of sale purchase. That was it.

Fast forward some years and now all the ships are automatically adding and you have to go out of your way to adjust (if you need/want to). On top of this they are now adding in additional gratuity charges for other areas???? Of course the same still holds for point of sale purchases.

The additional monies added to the gratuity fees bothers me. Tipping is a choice and while I can live with auto billing tips for dining and cabin service... and I normally pay additional (cash), especially to cabin attendants, I feel the other admin/serv added on amount is another way of the cruise lines squeezing us. And I sometimes wonder if the dining/cabin staff get the full allocation as stated??

They say everything is for convenience..... Bull. Another way to sneak in additional amounts under gratuity money for services we have always expected and paid for in previous years!! I mean they did have guest services 30 years ago on ships!!

Things used to be so simple and proper....Now a days blurry and hidden!!
I suspect, however, that the actual cost of cruising "way back when" was probably more expensive than it is now. That is just supposition on my part, however, as I haven't been cruising for nearly as long as many have. I had always been of the mind that cruising was for the very wealthy and never expected to be able to indulge in such things. Of course there are some lines that are well above what I could or would pay still today but that's okay too. I'm just glad to be able to experience the things that I can and do enjoy!

Tom
#42
Hollywood, FL
336 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by Pierlesscruisers
I suspect, however, that the actual cost of cruising "way back when" was probably more expensive than it is now. That is just supposition on my part, however, as I haven't been cruising for nearly as long as many have. I had always been of the mind that cruising was for the very wealthy and never expected to be able to indulge in such things. Of course there are some lines that are well above what I could or would pay still today but that's okay too. I'm just glad to be able to experience the things that I can and do enjoy!

Tom
"Way Back When" ... there was the envelope system... passengers were assigned to a particular dining room table at a particular time. EVERY meal in a dining room was taken at that same table with the same service staff for the entire cruise-- including the midnight buffet.

Envelopes and gratuities were easy to manage: wait staff and cabin steward.

With Anytime Dining and a separate venue for the buffet, how would those waitstaff receive a gratuity if it weren't for the auto-gratuity?
#43
Minnesota
491 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
Does anyone know for sure if it is true that stewards, severs etc that are handed cash get to keep it on Princess or have to put it into a pool for everyone?

Also being a small business owner in the hospitality industry, I know how much harder the back of house staff work compared to the front of house and they do not receive tips unless the customer specifically states it. That is why I like the auto-pay.
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#44
Hollywood, FL
336 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by rccampbell
Does anyone know for sure if it is true that stewards, severs etc that are handed cash get to keep it on Princess or have to put it into a pool for everyone?

Also being a small business owner in the hospitality industry, I know how much harder the back of house staff work compared to the front of house and they do not receive tips unless the customer specifically states it. That is why I like the auto-pay.
With respect to your question, the "rumor" that has been told to me is that MDR waitstaff who receive envelopes must write the guest name and cabin number on the envelope. [From my first cruise on Princess I was asked this.] Then the envelope is turned in and held for determination as to who gets it:

-If the guest has removed the auto-gratuities, then the envelope is added to the auto-gratuity.

-If the guest left the auto-gratuity in tact, then this "additional gratuity" is given back to the waitstaff that the guest handed it to.

In a way that's fair. Consider the couple on a five day cruise that wipes out their $135 auto-gratuity because they plan to tip individually. They leave $20 to each of the two dinner waitstaff members and $25 to their cabin steward. The feel good about themselves and how generous they were. Meanwhile the personnel that cleaned up with them when they ate breakfast at the buffet and the MDR staff that served them lunch really don't feel so good, since they worked but were cut out.
#45
348 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by rbt001
With respect to your question, the "rumor" that has been told to me is that MDR waitstaff who receive envelopes must write the guest name and cabin number on the envelope. [From my first cruise on Princess I was asked this.] Then the envelope is turned in and held for determination as to who gets it.
We leave the auto tips on for all the stated "equality" reasons but I can't imagine the cabin steward turned in the $100 bill I slipped him in the hallway outside my door with a handshake and a "...thank you, great job...".
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#46
Hollywood, FL
336 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by GRAYTech
We leave the auto tips on for all the stated "equality" reasons but I can't imagine the cabin steward turned in the $100 bill I slipped him in the hallway outside my door with a handshake and a "...thank you, great job...".
I specifically stated MDR staff. Cabin stewards, "I heard," keep theirs.

The experience I have to support this relates to taking two cruises in a month on the same ship and having the same cabin steward. He was impeccable with his service, professional and with great attention to detail. Everything was always lined up to perfection.

I felt I was generous with my envelope. When I booked the second cruise and was in a room that was part of his compliment, he certainly remembered me. He was appreciative. So as to not get him in trouble, let's just say that my room received amenities not normally found in a balcony room.

So based on that experience, I believe room stewards keep what they receive.
#47
348 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by rbt001
I specifically stated MDR staff. Cabin stewards, "I heard," keep theirs.
True but why would they get to keep it and the MDR wait staff not? Why not the specialty restaurants? Gave the Crown Grill waiter $40 for the four of us, into his pocket it went.

I also gave a $50 to each of our MDR waiters the same way, folded $50, discrete handshake and a thank you. It went into their pockets. I know what you "heard" is they must turn it in. What I'm saying is I don't think there is a chance either of those 2 $50 bills went into an envelope for later determination by someone else who should benefit.
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#48
Hollywood, FL
336 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by GRAYTech
True but why would they get to keep it and the MDR wait staff not? Why not the specialty restaurants? Gave the Crown Grill waiter $40 for the four of us, into his pocket it went.

I also gave a $50 to each of our MDR waiters the same way, folded $50, discrete handshake and a thank you. It went into their pockets. I know what you "heard" is they must turn it in. What I'm saying is I don't think there is a chance either of those 2 $50 bills went into an envelope for later determination by someone else who should benefit.
While we have "Anytime Dining," and I covered --pretty thoroughly I thought-- the distinction and why MDR staff turn it in.....

We still don't have "Any Room Cabin" you get to sleep in a different room every night with a different steward to clean it. When we do, I'm sure those room stewards will turn theirs in too.

I won't even hypothesize as to why specialty restaurants keep theirs.

All I know and believe is that what I stated applies to MDR Traditional Dining Staff, supported by these statements:

-They always write the cabin number and guest name on envelope.
-They NEVER EVER seem APPRECIATIVE. At most there's a "thank you" that kind of moans out of the staff member. And it's always left me with the opinion that they don't believe that they get to keep it.
#49
WA state
2,954 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by rbt001
-They NEVER EVER seem APPRECIATIVE. At most there's a "thank you" that kind of moans out of the staff member. And it's always left me with the opinion that they don't believe that they get to keep it.
Odd, they've always been most appreciative when we've given them an envelope.

Tom
#50
Kennett Square, PA, USA
749 Posts
Joined Dec 2000
Originally posted by rbt001
"Way Back When" ... there was the envelope system... passengers were assigned to a particular dining room table at a particular time. EVERY meal in a dining room was taken at that same table with the same service staff for the entire cruise-- including the midnight buffet.

Envelopes and gratuities were easy to manage: wait staff and cabin steward.

With Anytime Dining and a separate venue for the buffet, how would those waitstaff receive a gratuity if it weren't for the auto-gratuity?
Point well taken!!! I need to take off my blinders!! We've always done traditional (early/late) dining with same wait staff....so completely overlooked this dilema
#51
2,959 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by CHPURSER
Sorry, but Princess and HAL both skim about 10% from the tip pool before it is paid to the crew. They use this money to pay credit card fees and to establish a "slush fund" to cover tip pool shortages on other ships when too many Brits and Aussies remove the auto-tips.
Just to be clear As I under stand it what you are saying is that the 10% does not go to corporate as revenue, but covers expenses related to tips (i.e. the credit card fees on the tip amounts) and is redistributed to crew members on other ships where the tip pool is below a minimum level.

The term skim implies that they take the money as corporate revenue.
#52
2,959 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by Bill B
So, Princess uses gratuity money to pay some of their operational costs; and, does not 'chip in' to meet guaranteed minimums when tips fall short - it's just 'redistributed' gratuity money?

That's interesting.
He did not say that they used gratuity money for operational costs. If the gratuities are paid with a credit card, then reducing the amount, by the credit card fee on the gratuity amount, actually makes sense. The company not funding the cc fee on tips, is quite a bit different from using gratuities for operational costs.
#53
Somewhere On Earth
2,005 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by RDC1
The company not funding the cc fee on tips, is quite a bit different from using gratuities for operational costs.
That makes sense. Here's a thought -
We could give the crew a 3% raise if we all cancelled the 'auto tip' and contributed the same amount in cash.
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#54
348 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by rbt001
We still don't have "Any Room Cabin" you get to sleep in a different room every night with a different steward to clean it. When we do, I'm sure those room stewards will turn theirs in too.
True but it seems your evidence is anecdotal at best. I have tipped at "anytime" breakfast and lunch and they seemed very appreciative to me as well.

I have tipped the "anytime" bartenders. The "anytime" waiters in Vines. The "anytime" waiters in the PES happy hour. Just about everything else but the MDR traditional staff and cabin steward are anytime anywhere. Are the cash tips from those areas pooled as well and with whom? (Not talking about the pooled auto grats)

I'm not looking for a kerfuffle here, trying to understand your logic. Do you tip with an envelope each night in anytime dining or do you wait until the end of the cruise to tip for the entire cruise and if so why?
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8 Princess, 2 RCCL, 1 HAL, 1 NCL (All Caribbean Itineraries)
#55
Mission, TX
3,532 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Always amazed at how concerned some people are about how a $100pppw gets dived up.
We pay much more in taxes and never concern ourselves with the garbage man getting his fair share.


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#56
Somewhere On Earth
2,005 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Where I'm from, the 'garbage men', oops! 'garbage persons', oops! 'sanitary engineers' don't work for tips. They're extremely well paid, and unionized with: full medical, full dental, unbelievable number of sick days ('bankable'), great vacation and pension benefits.
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#57
5,476 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Thorncroft
Based on Carnival's numbers and their known workload, their stewards should be making nearly $40,000 a year. If they're not, they're not getting all of the money, or it's going to other people, places or things.

That's $4 PPPD double occupancy X 35 cabins for a 9 month contract, split evenly with an assistant.

Obviously the house was sarcasm, but you knew that.
Actually, a bartender on Freedom of the Seas told me that he had worked two contracts and planned on working two more. After four contracts, he would have earned/saved enough money to build his house in Croatia.
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#58
Mission, TX
3,532 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Originally posted by Bill B
Where I'm from, the 'garbage men', oops! 'garbage persons', oops! 'sanitary engineers' don't work for tips. They're extremely well paid, and unionized with: full medical, full dental, unbelievable number of sick days ('bankable'), great vacation and pension benefits.


As I said, we should probably be more concerned where our big dollars go. Are there message boards in your town dedicated to how much the garbage men make (wether it’s through tips or salary?


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My Cruise Countdown | I'm sailing to the Caribbean on 11/19/2017 aboard the Carnival Breeze! Visit Carnival.com to see all Caribbean cruises.

Liberty OTS II 6/17, New Years Dream 2017 Carnival Dream,
Carnival Legend Alaska 7/16, Liberty OTS to PAYA BAY and other Fun Places! 6/16
Caribbean Princess-Christmas 2015 to Cozumel. Navigator Thanksgiving 2014 (So nice we did it Twice!),
Oasis OTS Western C 6/14(best cruise EVER!), Navigator OTS Western C Thanksgiving 2013,
Carnival Magic West 8/12,
Celebrity Summit to Bermuda - May, 2010,
Conquest III(The Search for Crackerjack)4/09, C ECSTASY B2B 11/08,
NCL Spirit-Central America 11/07, C Conquest II West C 1/07 - C Conquest 10/06 - West C, Voyager OTS 11/05 - Repo,
NCL Star - Mex 3/05, Mariner OTS II - West C (The Wrath of Ivan) 9/04, Mariner OTS East C 1/04, Inspiration West C 4/03,
C Pride East C 10/02, Century West C 1/02, Empress Bermuda 9/01,
Victory Canada - 9/00, NCL Crown West C -4/97, C Jubilee Mex - 2/94
#59
WA state
2,954 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by nealstuber
As I said, we should probably be more concerned where our big dollars go. Are there message boards in your town dedicated to how much the garbage men make (wether it’s through tips or salary?


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Probably would be if their garbagemen worked for the wages the waiters/stewards do!

Tom