Tipping stevedores at embarkation?

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#1
Maryland
8 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
I have cruised from many ports, drive up and take the bags out of the trunk and the stevedores take care of getting the luggage on the ship. I understand that they are employed by the port, so no tipping necessary, they are union jobs. In San Juan PR, we could not tell if the stevedores were employees or street hustlers and hesitated in giving up the bags, they were so anxious to grab. Most of them had fists full of dollars and were hustling for tips. My question is, do you tip the stevedores or not?
#2
SoCal
10,013 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Inside Cabin Cruiser
I have cruised from many ports, drive up and take the bags out of the trunk and the stevedores take care of getting the luggage on the ship. I understand that they are employed by the port, so no tipping necessary, they are union jobs. In San Juan PR, we could not tell if the stevedores were employees or street hustlers and hesitated in giving up the bags, they were so anxious to grab. Most of them had fists full of dollars and were hustling for tips. My question is, do you tip the stevedores or not?
We tip the baggage handlers at the port. I've read stories of luggage mysteriously losing their tags, falling into the water, and plain just go missing, when tips haven't been offered.
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#4
Oklahoma City, OK
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Even when they're union, we tip a couple of bucks per bag.
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#6
southern NM desert
11,509 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by Inside Cabin Cruiser
I have cruised from many ports, drive up and take the bags out of the trunk and the stevedores take care of getting the luggage on the ship. I understand that they are employed by the port, so no tipping necessary, they are union jobs. In San Juan PR, we could not tell if the stevedores were employees or street hustlers and hesitated in giving up the bags, they were so anxious to grab. Most of them had fists full of dollars and were hustling for tips. My question is, do you tip the stevedores or not?
We always tip the baggage handlers.
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#7
82,487 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
We always tip everyone who handles our luggage.
If they are lugging it, that means we don't have to and we are happy to tip them for the service.

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#8
The Big Tomato; i.e. Sacramento CA
7,412 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
I give them $5 for my two bags. As was posted, if they're schlepping my bags, I don't have to.
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#9
Michigan
2,674 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by Inside Cabin Cruiser
I have cruised from many ports, drive up and take the bags out of the trunk and the stevedores take care of getting the luggage on the ship. I understand that they are employed by the port, so no tipping necessary, they are union jobs. In San Juan PR, we could not tell if the stevedores were employees or street hustlers and hesitated in giving up the bags, they were so anxious to grab. Most of them had fists full of dollars and were hustling for tips. My question is, do you tip the stevedores or not?
That is incorrect. The porters provide a personal service for you and are tipped $1-2 a bag. From Carnival:
Alternatively, curbside porters are available at the pier to take luggage to the vessel for delivery to your stateroom by shipboard personnel. Customary tip is $1 per bag. Please be sure each piece of luggage is unlocked and has a tag listing your name and stateroom number. Curbside porters are not employees of Carnival; therefore, if you experience any problems, please report them to porter management on site. Any luggage left at the pier will be forwarded at your expense. Claims for luggage loss or damage must be made in writing to the debarkation personnel prior to leaving the pier.
#10
San Francisco
455 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by Inside Cabin Cruiser
.... In San Juan PR, we could not tell if the stevedores were employees or street hustlers and hesitated in giving up the bags, they were so anxious to grab. Most of them had fists full of dollars and were hustling for tips. My question is, do you tip the stevedores or not?
We had the same experience in San Juan, and consequently that is the one time we did NOT tip the porters. Their aggressive solicitations for tips coupled with their fistfuls of cash was off-putting; we had not seen that level of solicitation even at the NYC port.

We delivered our luggage to the front of the line and could see that the porters' job was to move bags about 4 feet by placing the bags onto a cart. After we surrendered our luggage we stood off to the side to make sure our bags were indeed placed onto the cart.
#11
Virginia
21,882 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
I appreciate anybody who will take care of my bags and I won't have to carry/drag/push them. A few bucks is well worth it.
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#12
Las Vegas
11,035 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
You will get lots of responses alleging that if you do not tip, your luggage will end up in the water. My philosophy is that I pay them what it is worth for them to carry my luggage about 5 feet from the vehicle to the luggage cart - nothing. I feel that the porters are overpaid hoodlums who practice a protection racket.

Just think of the economics. Everybody feels that it is only 4 or 5 dollars so who cares. However from the viewpoint of the protection racket hoodlums, it is maybe 30 transactions per hour. Do the math. Five dollars per transaction times 30 transactions per hour equals a salary of $150 per hour. I will bet that you would like a job like that. Even at $2 per transaction and nobody tips less than that is $60 per hour which is a pretty good salary for an uneducated dock worker.

Do you also want to bet that they do not pay income taxes on the tips or maybe minimal taxes.

One other thing - the dockside people are only responsible for putting the luggage into the dockside luggage bins. The ship is responsible after that. If you insist at giving tips, give them to the hard working crew that gets your luggage to your cabin. They make less and work harder than the dockside crew.

DON
#14
107,621 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by Inside Cabin Cruiser
I have cruised from many ports, drive up and take the bags out of the trunk and the stevedores take care of getting the luggage on the ship. I understand that they are employed by the port, so no tipping necessary, they are union jobs. In San Juan PR, we could not tell if the stevedores were employees or street hustlers and hesitated in giving up the bags, they were so anxious to grab. Most of them had fists full of dollars and were hustling for tips. My question is, do you tip the stevedores or not?

We tip them in all embarkation ports.
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#15
We live on a small lake in rural Nebr.
7,322 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
We do tip, a dollar or two a bag. Once in San Diego, though, the porters were really fast and definitely not waiting for a tip, which was a nice change.

I do think it is kind of a racket, at least in US ports as I have heard that these union jobs are extremely well paid anyway.
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SciFi
#16
82,487 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by donaldsc

<snip>



Do you also want to bet that they do not pay income taxes on the tips or maybe minimal taxes.

One other thing - the dockside people are only responsible for putting the luggage into the dockside luggage bins. The ship is responsible after that. If you insist at giving tips, give them to the hard working crew that gets your luggage to your cabin. They make less and work harder than the dockside crew.

DON


Shoreside/dockside luggage handlers (stevedores) are responsible for lilfting the luggage crates to the cut in the ship where the ship crew loads it aboard. Ship crew cannot touch a piece of luggage until it is at the ship's opening.

We disembarked a cruise early in Boston due to a hurricane forecast to come up the coast and we had three ports cancelled, the ship hurried back to Boston to tie up during the storm and most guests stayed aboard but we chose to leave as soon as the ship was cleared.

DH and I were likely the only two or maybe a few more who left so special arrangements were made to assist us.

Our cabin stewards brought our suitcases to the gangway with us and they were forced to stop right at the entrance to the ship. At that point a dock worker (stevedore) took our luggage for us and put it into the trunk of a taxi waiting for us right at the bottom of the gangway.

How's that for service!!!! Wonderful.

But my point is, the stevedores are responsible for loading and unloading that mountain of luggage, all those luggage crates, and placing it in those neat piles we find in the terminals at the end of our cruises.

Does that change your opinion as to how much work they do with the luggage?

That is NOT to say they are not well paid for it but that is not the subject, IMO. Their pay is not my business. It is only my business how much we choose to tip.

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#17
more or less in TX
10,419 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
We tip about $2 per bag at the point of giving up our bags to the proper person. I agree that San Juan is a mess and it is hard to tell who is the person actually hired to take baggage from passengers.
#19
San Mateo, California
5,542 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Inside Cabin Cruiser
I have cruised from many ports, drive up and take the bags out of the trunk and the stevedores take care of getting the luggage on the ship. I understand that they are employed by the port, so no tipping necessary, they are union jobs. In San Juan PR, we could not tell if the stevedores were employees or street hustlers and hesitated in giving up the bags, they were so anxious to grab. Most of them had fists full of dollars and were hustling for tips. My question is, do you tip the stevedores or not?
Always, like you we have cruised from many ports. Union job or not, a tip for service is appropriate and besides they are handling your luggage. Respect for the folks providing service goes a long ways. We usually tip between $5 - 10 depending on our luggage.
#20
Lancashire
2,916 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
I've never quite understood the idea that a tip for service is deemed appropriate - pretty much everyone you meet in the course of spending money is providing you with a service. Waiters, dock baggage handlers, shop assistants, taxi/bus/train drivers, accountants, doctors/nurses, congressmen/senators/MPs. They all get a salary, I've never understood why some get tips as well, except in that they are low paid by thweir employer and need more; or as a sort of blackmail, viz. the implied threat of dropping luggage into the water.

Happily P&O (Southampton, England) are a little better organised - the suitcase is loaded onto the bus at Preston by the bus driver, and you don't see it again till it reaches your cabin. No-one to tip.

(Must be pricey for the people who arrive by car. Two men taking suitcases, one man directing your car, one man parking it. Four tips, if you're that way inclined. But UK is much less tip-happy, so I don't think it's normal to tip them. Unless, of course, someone else knows different?)