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We had 2 guys approach our cab when we pulled up. I made a few mistakes prior. I didn't attach our tags and I bought 2 cases of water to check in. They handled it like pros!! They were tipped liked pros.

 

So, once my luggage was lost after I tipped at the pier...it was a good tip. So, how good is good? I tipped $10 for 3 pieces...

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The last time this came up was several years ago and it was reported that scale was > $35/hour. The positions as porters are granted to senior longshoremen as it is an "easy" job and the tips are good.

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The transfer tip is for the shuttle driver and any support staff (if they use a luggage truck).

 

And no, most porters will not destroy luggage if you don't tip. But there are bad apples in every barrel. By the same token, not all damaged luggage is due to malfeasance.

 

Now, treat them like crud, and will your luggage tag mysteriously come unattached, yeah that happens.

 

 

What's union scale wages nowadays? And, do they really destroy luggage? Really?

 

My TA told me that the Princess transfer price includes tip....so, does that mean I tip on top of tip?

Edited by Loonbeam
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We have not tipped the stevedores for a few years if all they do is move our bags, and it's made no difference in our baggage handling. If we are moving from one ship to another, and they assist with luggage tags, of course we tip for that.

 

These are well-paid workers with union protection. We've seen them leaving their jobs at the end of the day. They're all driving $50-$60K pickup trucks. I will not allow myself or my luggage to be held hostage by them. Instead I'll tip my shuttle driver, who is probably making minimum wage, if that, or my hotel housekeeper or the crew on board.

Edited by PescadoAmarillo
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It isn't the tip, it's the openly displayed bad attitude the porters have and the fear that your luggage might go swimming. This has been going on for many years and I doubt it will change.

 

We did our first cruise in 1989, the porters got right in our space as we got off the bus, as I recall they were lined up just feet from the door of the bus so you couldn't get past them and were quite blunt asking if those were our bags, pointing at the luggage that the bus driver was unloading. It was so unexpected and so totally in-your-face that I actually felt threatened. Apparently I wasn't the only one who felt that way because it was talked about once onboard by a lot of people; there were a lot of first time cruisers who had not been expecting that.

 

BTW - we always tip and we have never lost a bag or had one go swimming.

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The last time this came up was several years ago and it was reported that scale was > $35/hour. The positions as porters are granted to senior longshoremen as it is an "easy" job and the tips are good.

 

I recall a year or so ago when the Baltimore Longshoreman were threatening strike, it was reported that they typically made $70-$120k per year. Very hard to compare this level of compensation with a cruise ship worker.

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We did our first cruise in 1989, the porters got right in our space as we got off the bus, as I recall they were lined up just feet from the door of the bus so you couldn't get past them and were quite blunt asking if those were our bags, pointing at the luggage that the bus driver was unloading. It was so unexpected and so totally in-your-face that I actually felt threatened. Apparently I wasn't the only one who felt that way because it was talked about once onboard by a lot of people; there were a lot of first time cruisers who had not been expecting that.

 

BTW - we always tip and we have never lost a bag or had one go swimming.

 

I started cruising in 1997 and, like you, we had to point to our luggage as we were handing a tip to the porter. I feel that those who claim they have never tipped and have never had a luggage problem, have just been lucky. It doesn't mean that the luggage will be damaged or lost, maybe it just arrives late to your cabin due to missing tags etc.

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A year or so ago we gave our luggage to the porter in San Pedro and tipped him $5 for 2 pieces. Luckily I kept my eye on it because 30 minutes later it was still sitting on the medium. I went over to get it and he saw me and said he forgot. needless to say, we always carry our luggage on now.

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We have been on 28 cruises, from November 2008 until end of January 2014, 26 on Princess Cruise Lines, one each on RCCL and Carnival. ;)

 

After spending a few thousand $’s on a cruise, I find any service that gets me out of doing any heavy lifting, at age 80 on a scooter, deserves a tip, after I give it, I don’t care how it’s spent, the receiver worked for, and earned his money, union or not, especially seeing the cruise lines, who you paid the thousand of $’s to, don’t touch your baggage until it’s on board, where you then tip the services of the cruise staff, one way or the other.

So if you’re so worried when 2 or 3 $’s per bag, just means one less drink at the bar. Then think, if the all inclusive drink program materialises, it doesn’t really make much difference. :confused::D

 

Cato. :)

 

Completed Cruises !

 

Pre-cruise Days - The Big Red Boat, 1993 ??

 

1st cruise - Coral Princess, 19 November 2008, 10 day Panama Canal, FLL to ACA

2nd cruise - Coral Princess, 15 May 2009, 3 day Repositioning, Los Angeles to Vancouver.

3rd cruise - Sapphire Princess, 25 November 2009? 7 day Mexican Riviera.

4th cruise - Golden Princes, 12 June 2010, 7 day Alaska. (Golden Anniversary Cruise)

5th Cruise - Island Princess, 04 October 2010, Vancouver - Los Angeles, Repositioning

6th cruise - Sapphire Princess, 05 January 2011, 10 day Mexican Riviera. LA to LA.

7th cruise - Golden Princess, 11 May 2011, 3 day, LA to Vancouver, Repositioning

8th cruise - Sapphire Princess, 14 May 2011, 1 day, Vancouver to Seattle, Repositioning

9th cruise - Coral Princess 19 May 2011 2 day, San Francisco to Vancouver, Repositioning

10th & 11th cruises - Coral Princess 02 July to 16 July 2011, round trip Vancouver - Whittier Alaska, B2B

12th & 13th cruises - Sapphire Princess, x2, Cabins, 18 Sep. 2011, 1 day, Seattle to Vancouver, Repositioning

14th & 15th cruises - Golden Princess, x2, Cabins, 24 Sep. 2011, 1 day, Seattle to Vancouver, Repositioning.

16th cruise - Oasis of the Seas, 26 Nov. 2011, 7 day, Western Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale, Ret.

17th & 18th cruises - Crown Princess B2B, 03 - 10 Dec & 10 - 17 Dec 2011, 14 Days, South & western Caribbean

19th cruise - Grand Princess, 31 Mar. - 07 April 2012, 7 Days, Eastern Caribbean, FLL - FLL

20th cruise - Island Princess, 06-16 June 2012, 10 day cruisetour Vancouver - Wittier

21th cruise - Emerald Princess, 16 day, 10 - 26 Sep. 2012, TA, Copenhagen - New York

22nd cruise - Carnival Ecstasy 10 - 14 January, 2013, 4 Day Bahamas, Port Canaveral Ret.

23rd cruise - Sapphire Princess 30 March - 06 April, 2013, 7 Day Coastal LA - LA

24th cruise - Coral Princess, 19 May - 22 May, 2013, 3 Day Repositioning Cruise, LA - Vancouver

25th cruise - Royal Princess 16 June - 05 July, 2013, 19 Day Inaugural cruise, Southampton - Venice.

26th cruise - Emerald Princess, 06 - 16 October, 2013, 10 Day Canada - New England, Quebexc city to New York

27th cruise - Royal Princess, 24 November - 01 December, 2013, 7 Day,Eastern Caribbean, Fort Lauderdale Ret.

28th cruise - Sapphire Princess, 20 - 24 Jan, 2014, 4 Days, California Coastal

 

Future & Hopeful Cruises !

( Already booked )

29th cruise - Golden Princess, 09 - 16 August, 2014, 7 Day, Alaska, Seattle Ret.

30th cruise - Royal Princess 19 - 29 Dec, 2014, 10 Day, Christmas, Fort Lauderdale Ret.

 

 

 

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A lot of folks seem concerned with what the luggage handlers make, whether they are unionized or not and even what they drive.:confused:

 

Should Princess base our cruise fare and daily gratuities charge on what we make and what we drive?

 

I don't understand why anyone's wages would matter when they provide a service for me.

 

Maybe we should ask at the pier next time about how much they make and how many days a week they work??

 

Not me.

 

Mike:)

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A lot of folks seem concerned with what the luggage handlers make, whether they are unionized or not and even what they drive.:confused:

 

Should Princess base our cruise fare and daily gratuities charge on what we make and what we drive?

 

I don't understand why anyone's wages would matter when they provide a service for me.

 

Maybe we should ask at the pier next time about how much they make and how many days a week they work??

 

Not me.

 

Mike:)

Your implication is that, regardless of demonstrated need, the stevedores deserve pay for providing a service. But there's the rub...they ARE paid, handsomely, via the Port Everglades port charges we all pay. The debate is whether they deserve extra. I maintain that, unless they provide an extra service, they do not. Handling luggage is what their job is. Most people don't collect a healthy wage and then get paid on top of that everytime they do something.

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Your implication is that, regardless of demonstrated need, the stevedores deserve pay for providing a service. But there's the rub...they ARE paid, handsomely, via the Port Everglades port charges we all pay. The debate is whether they deserve extra. I maintain that, unless they provide an extra service, they do not. Handling luggage is what their job is. Most people don't collect a healthy wage and then get paid on top of that everytime they do something.

 

Its all the unwritten rules of who to tip and who not to tip. If this is the case should we tip the check in agent so we can get on the ship, the captain so he does not sail to close to an island, the chef so he doesnt give us food poisoning. How about the porter so he doesnt trash our luggage, oh wait, we have to do that already. Very corrupt sytem they have going there.

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This is from an older article posted by Chris Pummer who is personal finance editor for CBS.MarketWatch.com in San Francisco. The article is titled:

 

Ten most overpaid jobs in America...No scientists on the list!

 

Look who comes in at number 8...

8) West Coast longshoremen

In early 2002, West Coast ports shut down as the longshoremen's union fought to preserve generous health-care benefits that would make most Americans drool. The union didn't demand much in wage hikes for good reason: Its members already were making a boatload of money.

 

Next year, West Coast dockworkers will earn an average of $112,000 for handling cargo, according to the Pacific Maritime Association, their employer. Office clerks who log shipping records into computers will earn $136,000. And unionized foremen who oversee the rank-and-file will pull down an average $177,000.

 

Unlike their East Coast union brethren who compete with non-union ports in the South and Gulf of Mexico, the West Coast stevedores have an ironfisted lock on Pacific ports. Given their rare monopoly, they can disrupt U.S. commerce -- as they did during the FDR years -- and command exorbitant wages, even though their work is more automated and less hazardous than in the days of "On the Waterfront."

 

Chris Pummer is personal finance editor for CBS.MarketWatch.com in San Francisco.

 

================

 

This article is from back in 2003 and is located here

 

I certainly can't imagine that wages have gone down since 2003...

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The hourly wage and annual earnings, do not tell the whole or complete story. Those that make the huge annual incomes are not the low level types you see on the wharf moving passenger's luggage. The high earners are those very unique and highly skilled operators of the massive container terminal cranes you see at big ports like Long Beach. They do not work out of a hiring hall, but are contracted to the actual terminals. Other high earners are specialized in handling hazardous cargoes, chemical and petroleum, precision handling movements and radioactive cargoes. Their wages reflect their additional training, certifications, and licences.

 

The low ranks that make that reported $35 per hours are in a vastly different league. They work maybe two days a week, the cruise ship days typically Saturday and Sunday, for 10 hours each day. 20 hours per week at $35 equates to $17.50 per hour for what is considered a normal work week which for most workers in North America 40 hours. In Alaska,Florida and California the cruise ship season is not year round either, with perhaps only 6 months of work at the passenger terminals. Yes there are some problem guys working the docks, but do not lump them all into the same catagory. Maybe a few get into expensive vehicles and drive away, but many are forced to use public transit, car pool or walk!

 

There is another side to those that work the docks.

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Let's suppose the above information is correct. However this thread was focused on Port Everglades for embarkation where they are paid to carry luggage somewhere between inches to a few feet to the luggage cages...I have a serious problem tipping those guys, I am quite prepared to do that myself but of course I am precluded from doing so. Now that same guy upon disembarkation with his cart takes you from the luggage hall through customs and to the taxi line....well inspite of his wage scale, I have no problem tipping.

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..snipped...

 

Should Princess base our cruise fare and daily gratuities charge on what we make and what we drive?

 

I don't understand why anyone's wages would matter when they provide a service for me.

 

 

Mike:)

 

In a way they do. There is different pricing based on where you live. If I booked with my local Swiss based travel agent I would be paying a lot more than someone booking in Spain.

 

Average salary (based over all reporting industries) in Switzerland is USD 6800. The same figure for USA is USD 3700. However the cost of living here is a lot higher than in USA but disposable income is also higher.

 

All businesses see the average wage of a country and adjust prices accordingly.

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I guess that I am missing something here.

 

Spending $1000-$7000 on a vacation and worrying about about a $5-$10 tip to ensure prompt delivery of my luggage is not the way I begin a week of relaxation.

 

Of course I'm not going to worry about a tip for the porters;

I am too busy worrying about whether there will be sales tax

on my sail-away drink.

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First of all, yes, we do tip for good service by the porters.

 

Now with that out of the way, everyone is pretty much speculating on what happens if you tip or not. If I were a longshoreman reading this thread, I'd be very insulted.

 

Nobody has posted any first-hand observations of angry porters/longshoremen cutting off luggage tags or throwing bags in the water. There aren't even any second- or third-hand reports. Everything has been based on circumstantial evidence. I'm not even sure there's a correlation between the amount of tip and the likelihood of an adverse event for your bags. Even if there is a measurable correlation, remember, correlation does not mean there is a causal relationship.

 

First, observe how this goes down at the port. You've got the porter who takes your bag, checks for tags and so on. This person also receives your tip.

 

The next stop for your bags is a cage which can be handled by forklift. These cages are labelled as to which loading door on the ship they should go. For simplicity's sake, lets just say it is aft, mid-ship and forward. This feature of loading makes it faster for the ship's crew to move your bags to your cabin. This feature works best when bags are placed in the correct cages, hence here is an opportunity for error, although it doesn't involve cutting off tags or dropping things in the water. That's the end of the interaction between your bags and the person you did or did not tip.

 

There are a minimum of two forklift journeys for the cage. The first will be from the loading area to the appropriate aft/mid-ship/forward staging area. There might be some intermediate cage moves at the staging area. The last shore-side cage journey will be from the staging area onto the ship. Here's an opportunity for your bags to get wet. However, it wouldn't be just your bags, but it would be all the bags in the cage. If you watch the process you will see there is a very small space between the dock and the ship. Even with large bumpers holding the ship away, it is very difficult to dump a cage off a lift and into the water. In fact, they way the cages are held with the forks, it's likely the forklift would end up in the water too. All this because someone didn't tip. I'd think losing your job (even with union rules in place) over dumping a forklift in the bay wouldn't be worth it.

 

Once on the ship, there's another fork-lift journey for the cage to internal staging areas where bags are removed, sorted and then sent up the freight elevators to appropriate decks for final delivery to your cabin. BTW, once on the ship, it is all Princess crew handling things.

 

Now with that understanding, if porter was angry over a poor or non-existent tip, the message would have to get passed on to several other people in the chain who would make sure "something bad" happened to your bag. Too many people getting involved ensures the "secret" gets out. It hasn't.

 

It seems to me that at most, a porter could slyly damage a bag, remove a tag on purpose as well as place the bag in the wrong cage. However, all those things could also happen with all the handling your bags get between the porter and your cabin.

 

I feel it is wrong to blame the porters for accidents that could happen anywhere in the process.

 

Finally, yes, I'm a retired engineer and amuse myself on B2Bs by carefully observing the loading process.

Edited by beg3yrs
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........................SNIP................................

It seems to me that at most, a porter could slyly damage a bag, remove a tag on purpose as well as place the bag in the wrong cage. However, all those things could also happen with all the handling your bags get between the porter and your cabin.

 

I feel it is wrong to blame the porters for accidents that could happen anywhere in the process.

 

Finally, yes, I'm a retired engineer and amuse myself on B2Bs by carefully observing the loading process.

 

Thanks for your observations of the physical handling of luggage. Some have already reported luggage that was "forgotten" etc. Your report did not address the intimidation some porters display. Why do you have to point out your luggage when handing them a tip? Why do they not thank you until they count the tip? Some have gone as far as saying the tip wasn't enough. Yes, they are not making the same wages as the heavy equipment cargo handlers, but they still make a good living by bullying people about tips.

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I have to agree with the above poster. If I were a longshoreman I'd also be peeved at the idea that people think I wouldn't do my job properly if I wasn't tipped. I've always done my job properly regardless of my wage scale/compensation. When I made $1.65 an hour - that's $13.20 per day or $66.00 per week - I did the best job I could. (Yes, I actually made that wage when I was first married. Times change.)

 

I make a significantly higher wage now (:)) and I still do my job properly. It's the way I was raised. I would guess the same applies to most of the longshoremen. I take pride in doing my job well and I'd guess that most of them do as well.

 

Note: I do tip the porters but not extravagantly.

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I have to agree with the above poster. If I were a longshoreman I'd also be peeved at the idea that people think I wouldn't do my job properly if I wasn't tipped. I've always done my job properly regardless of my wage scale/compensation. When I made $1.65 an hour - that's $13.20 per day or $66.00 per week - I did the best job I could. (Yes, I actually made that wage when I was first married. Times change.)

 

I make a significantly higher wage now (:)) and I still do my job properly. It's the way I was raised. I would guess the same applies to most of the longshoremen. I take pride in doing my job well and I'd guess that most of them do as well.

 

Note: I do tip the porters but not extravagantly.

 

I don't think they would be peeved at all....they don't care! And yes, this doesn't apply to all of them-but most of the porters in FLL use some kind of schtick to get tipped. If you have cruised frequently out of FLL, you must have seen the guy with the brown paper bag collecting money.

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This goes back to my prior statement. I suspect the vast majority of Longshorepersons are good, honest folk. But there are some bad apples out there, and a number of them seem to be concentrated in FL (I've personally observed some practices I would call at least 'aggressive on multiple occasions). It's a failure of management and the good quiet ones are being tainted by the bad ones.

 

Oddly enough, Orlando airports also seem to have the highest incidents with aggressive skycaps, etc. It's speculative, but I think there is a general bias against leisure travelers, because the assumption is you won't see them as often.

 

I have to agree with the above poster. If I were a longshoreman I'd also be peeved at the idea that people think I wouldn't do my job properly if I wasn't tipped. I've always done my job properly regardless of my wage scale/compensation. When I made $1.65 an hour - that's $13.20 per day or $66.00 per week - I did the best job I could. (Yes, I actually made that wage when I was first married. Times change.)

 

I make a significantly higher wage now (:)) and I still do my job properly. It's the way I was raised. I would guess the same applies to most of the longshoremen. I take pride in doing my job well and I'd guess that most of them do as well.

 

Note: I do tip the porters but not extravagantly.

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