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.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!
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!!