What's going on with P&O UK with TIPPING


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#1
22 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
What’s going on with P&O tips/Gratuities? After being away from P&O UK (been living in Australasia for 12 years) Just returned froma Britannia Christmas cruise. Asked the cabin steward how many cabins he cleans, response NOT allowed to discuss this with any passenger. What why? Not allowed to discuss anything about gratuities or work load. Do you receive all of the gratuities (your share) of the tips taken from my on-board account?Cannot say, was the reply. Asked others staff about this and all were sworn to secrecy, although some did indicate that the company did not share tips equally or fairly. I’m shocked to find this as we always previously in the days of the envelopes and guidance note left in stateroom about tipping gave the tip + some. It seems that they now have to pay for board and lodgings, is this correct? Why has P&O terrified the cabin stewards and waiters not to disclose how they receive their tips if paid for on the ships accounting system? I believe in tipping the waiters and all staff that serve me on a cruise ship but for P&O to terrify the staff not to disclose what their portion is or indeed if they receive any at all, is beyond belief. The bar staff informed me that they receive only 7% of the 15% added to my drinks bill. Have you noticed that P&O now do not disclose the 15% added to any bar bill, just the price you pay, they now hide this 15% in the price.Which is fair enough but if the bar staff are only now receiving 7% and P&O is keeping the 8% is that fair? What’s going on at P&O.
#2
Fredericksburg, va. USA
87,903 Posts
Joined May 2001
Does YOUR employer allow you to discuss your salary? Listen, if these folks weren't making sufficient money, they would find another job. They are not "slave labor"....

If you pay the suggested tips, you've done your duty. It's what the staff agrees to.
#3
Newport, South Wales, UK
2,767 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by Calpespain
What’s going on with P&O tips/Gratuities? After being away from P&O UK (been living in Australasia for 12 years) Just returned froma Britannia Christmas cruise. Asked the cabin steward how many cabins he cleans, response NOT allowed to discuss this with any passenger. What why? Not allowed to discuss anything about gratuities or work load. Do you receive all of the gratuities (your share) of the tips taken from my on-board account?Cannot say, was the reply. Asked others staff about this and all were sworn to secrecy, although some did indicate that the company did not share tips equally or fairly. I’m shocked to find this as we always previously in the days of the envelopes and guidance note left in stateroom about tipping gave the tip + some. It seems that they now have to pay for board and lodgings, is this correct? Why has P&O terrified the cabin stewards and waiters not to disclose how they receive their tips if paid for on the ships accounting system? I believe in tipping the waiters and all staff that serve me on a cruise ship but for P&O to terrify the staff not to disclose what their portion is or indeed if they receive any at all, is beyond belief. The bar staff informed me that they receive only 7% of the 15% added to my drinks bill. Have you noticed that P&O now do not disclose the 15% added to any bar bill, just the price you pay, they now hide this 15% in the price.Which is fair enough but if the bar staff are only now receiving 7% and P&O is keeping the 8% is that fair? What’s going on at P&O.
As far as I'm aware P&O have never charged 15% on drinks prices. I know they didn't back in 2011 when we last sailed. And I've not seen any mention on the P&O UK forum saying they've started, if they had, there would literally be a mutiny..
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#4
North Carolina Coast!, USA
6,138 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Have you thought of canceling your automatic tips and just giving whomever you want a cash tip? We did that once because of our room steward. I tried to just lower her tip but was told I couldn't lower any tip. So, we canceled all our tips. We had a fantastic waitress& assistant so we gave each their tips each night and a $30 thank you tip at the end of the cruises. We did leave a smaller tip for our steward but not what she would get automatically.

Once we asked our room steward how much he got paid and he said $85 a MONTH! We also asked our waiter on a different cruise and he also said $85a MONTH!. A;ll the crew more than deserve their tips for all the work they do, 7 days a week for 6-8 months before they go home on vacation!
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#5
norwich uk
238 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
I think some staff are quite adept at the old sob story, just saying...(and before anyone has a go yes we leave the auto tips on )
#6
Solihull
2,263 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
It is because the staff are so terrified of being sent home and their contracts ended that I never post what I hear on any forum now - but use my knowledge to decide what to do with tips.
I think on the numerous threads and bun-fights it has already been determined that this forum will never reach any consensus on the topic, nor can we change the things we may not like, so best thing is to each make our personal decisions and say no more.


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#7
1,542 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by Calpespain
What’s going on at P&O.
P&O want to make a profit, that is what is going on.

In the old system of cash tips P&O did not have the control over their staff they do now.

Previously if management didn't think a steward was doing their job they would have to go through a difficult HR process with the only real threat of sending them home.

Now they simply reduce the payments to the steward funded by the gratuities until they do comply.

As for paying in your gratuities in cash, my understanding is the staff members have to hand them in (otherwise they would receive two payments) but out of self-interest will tell you otherwise and pocket it.

Don't like it, then two choices. Pay up and live with it or don't pay up. Take your pick.
#8
UK
913 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by Bonnie J.
Have you thought of canceling your automatic tips and just giving whomever you want a cash tip? We did that once because of our room steward. I tried to just lower her tip but was told I couldn't lower any tip. So, we canceled all our tips. We had a fantastic waitress& assistant so we gave each their tips each night and a $30 thank you tip at the end of the cruises. We did leave a smaller tip for our steward but not what she would get automatically.

Once we asked our room steward how much he got paid and he said $85 a MONTH! We also asked our waiter on a different cruise and he also said $85a MONTH!. A;ll the crew more than deserve their tips for all the work they do, 7 days a week for 6-8 months before they go home on vacation!
You can certainly lower the amount of the tip that comes off your account on P & O. Quite a few people on our table on our last cruise said they reduced their’s from £6 to £3 so they could then tip some crew seperately. I did ask at reception about this and they showed me a form where you can put the amount you want to come off every day. We just left our’s as it was but we could have changed if we wanted.
#9
In the kamloops in the dry and hottest part of BC
12,717 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
If you remove tips or lower them your hurting crew that serve you daily that don't see. The base rate before tips is a lot more than what they make at home.Tips usually aren't taxable in the crew's home countries.
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#10
Leeds
175 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
We've been cruising with P&O since 2004 and I don't ever recall seeing a service charge on drinks purchases. Perhaps you are thinking of another cruise line regards that, Princess maybe?
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#12
32 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Originally posted by Florry
It is because the staff are so terrified of being sent home and their contracts ended that I never post what I hear on any forum now - but use my knowledge to decide what to do with tips.
I think on the numerous threads and bun-fights it has already been determined that this forum will never reach any consensus on the topic, nor can we change the things we may not like, so best thing is to each make our personal decisions and say no more.

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Completely agree Florry. You have the option there of removing auto grats if you do not feel you can trust the system and paying the people who serve you directly if you wish - cabin steward, waiters, wine waiter etc....

We have always paid tips and used both methods, but we now prefer to remove auto gratuities and tip directly to the same amount (plus some extra if other members of crew have served us elsewhere).
#13
1,542 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by CarlaMarie
Completely agree Florry. You have the option there of removing auto grats if you do not feel you can trust the system and paying the people who serve you directly if you wish - cabin steward, waiters, wine waiter etc....
But as the staff have to hand in those cash tips to be included in the tip pool distributed across the whole ship at P&O's whim, what do you achieve.
#14
Teignmouth
426 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by newport dave
As far as I'm aware P&O have never charged 15% on drinks prices. I know they didn't back in 2011 when we last sailed. And I've not seen any mention on the P&O UK forum saying they've started, if they had, there would literally be a mutiny..

I seem to recall a tipping discussion on the old P&O website forum (now defunct) where it was stated that drinks waiters received a small percentage from each drink served and that the price included that. I thought it was 10% but I may be wrong. Perhaps that is what the OP is referring to, and that the percentage has been reduced.
#15
Maine
13,539 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
And to address one small point from the OP, no, they do not have to pay for room and board. That is against international law, and UK law (since they are signatory to the Manila Labor Convention), and any crew member who feels his rights under the MLC are being violated can report to any agency in the UK government who will then point them to the proper agency (Maritime and Coast Guard Agency) who have the right to detain the ship until the allegation is investigated and resolved.
#16
32 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Originally posted by insanemagnet
But as the staff have to hand in those cash tips to be included in the tip pool distributed across the whole ship at P&O's whim, what do you achieve.
From what I have read on here, P&O confirmed who your auto grats went to some months ago, I also think it tells you on the website FAQs. I haven't heard that it goes into a 'tip pool'.

At the end of the day, we just like to pay all of our tips in person and give them each a thank you card also. We probably don't achieve anything, it is just what we like to do.
#17
1,542 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by CarlaMarie
I haven't heard that it goes into a 'tip pool'.
The gratuities (and cash tips when gratuities are reduced) all go into a pool which is distributed by P&O to waiters and stewards at their whim.

It would be impossible to do anything else with Freedom dining and would also restrict P&O's ability to move staff to different services on board (e.g. from MDR to buffet).

The gratuity is just a way of reducing the headline price and at the same time gives the benefit of significant power over the staff.
#18
Vancouver, BC
19,004 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
OP I suggest if you're trying to find your nose, it will be over in someone else's business. It's nothing to do with you how much someone makes or what their workload is
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#19
Cambridgeshire
3,132 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
I asked a lady on a P&O cruise how old she was and she refused to answer. I assume it's because P&O do not allow passengers to give out this sort of information.

Just saying.

John
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#20
193 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Originally posted by insanemagnet
P&O want to make a profit, that is what is going on.

In the old system of cash tips P&O did not have the control over their staff they do now.

Previously if management didn't think a steward was doing their job they would have to go through a difficult HR process with the only real threat of sending them home.

Now they simply reduce the payments to the steward funded by the gratuities until they do comply.

As for paying in your gratuities in cash, my understanding is the staff members have to hand them in (otherwise they would receive two payments) but out of self-interest will tell you otherwise and pocket it.

Don't like it, then two choices. Pay up and live with it or don't pay up. Take your pick.
Or don't go on a cruise with pando!