Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips
,

Upset bar servers because of drink package!!


Recommended Posts

Question.. Has anyone else seemed to have bad bar service and/or having to wait longer because of the drink package Royal is offering?

 

On the Oasis, this past May, I actually had a bartender get upset and start saying "what is this company doing, they aren't even thinking about us" when he saw my drink package. He was very upset the entire time, so i completely avoidided him. However, even standing in line at different bars on that ship, it almost felt like, since we already paid, and they aren't making anymore money, we stood in line longer.

 

Any one else had problems like that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Question.. Has anyone else seemed to have bad bar service and/or having to wait longer because of the drink package Royal is offering?

 

On the Oasis, this past May, I actually had a bartender get upset and start saying "what is this company doing, they aren't even thinking about us" when he saw my drink package. He was very upset the entire time, so i completely avoidided him. However, even standing in line at different bars on that ship, it almost felt like, since we already paid, and they aren't making anymore money, we stood in line longer.

 

Any one else had problems like that?

 

I think you were dealing with a disgruntled employee. Gratuities are included in the drink package:

 

• Package prices already include gratuity. Any additional gratuities are at your discretion.

 

http://media.royalcaribbean.com/content/shared_assets/pdf/menus/beverage_packages.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't imagine RCCL would have these packages if they weren't making money on them. In aggregate, they likely bring in a significantly higher amount of money than they do by people drinking a la carte. Since gratuity is automatically added to every dollar spent in the bars, the bartenders theoretically should be making MORE money than before, even if no one adds a single penny on top of the auto-grat. Any added tips are icing on the cake.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were on the radiance last summer. I thought the service seemed quite slow throughout the cruise but the servers all seemed friendly. The bars were not really busy, just slow. This year on the Navigator, if the service was slow it was because the servers were being extremely friendly. Quite often we would hold up a server just having a friendly conversation

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not a drinker so I cannot speak to the premium drink packages, but I have always gotten a soda package. The only time I ever experienced bad service that seemed to be attributed to the soda package was on everyone's [well almost everyone's favorite ship Jewel. Waiter in the Schooner bar took my order ["diet coke please"] and never returned. It took a couple of times by the same waiter before I put 2 and 2 together and decided he was stiffing me because of the soda card. By that time, he was gone and it hadn't even occurred to me to get his name.

 

By far the worst service we have ever had on a RCI ship was on that cruise. I laugh a bit when I see the frequent posts gushing about how great Jewel is with such wonderful service. Even had a waiter in the MDR verbally assault a member of our group at dinner for eating a dish he had served her by mistake. Given that the standard response to a service complaint seemed to be chocolate covered strawberries, lets just say we ate a lot of chocolate covered strawberries that cruise. But given the people we were with and the places we went it is still one of my favorite cruises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since gratuity is automatically added to every dollar spent in the bars, the bartenders theoretically should be making MORE money than before, even if no one adds a single penny on top of the auto-grat. Any added tips are icing on the cake.

 

Right, but with the drink package they aren't spending any money at the bar.

 

That's a good question. Your post seems to imply - correct me if I am wrong - that the servers would still receive a $1.50 tip from the sale of a $10 drink, even if the drink was included in the drink package. I didn't think it worked that way. My thoughts were that there is a gratuity included in the $65/day price, which gets pooled and distributed to all bartenders. Anyone know?

Edited by Host Jacquelyn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right, but with the drink package they aren't spending any money at the bar.

 

That's a good question. Your post seems to imply - correct me if I am wrong - that the servers would still receive a $1.50 tip from the sale of a $10 drink, even if the drink was included in the drink package. I didn't think it worked that way. My thoughts were that there is a gratuity included in the $65/day price, which gets pooled and distributed to all bartenders. Anyone know?

 

The bartenders only get the 15% or other amount left on a receipt that they themselves have printed from the point of sale machine and have you sign.

 

All other gratuities are pooled and are even shared with some staff you would not expect.

 

You can always add additional gratuity to any check or even a zero check, if you wish to tip a specific bartender and it goes to the individual who prepares the receipt and is not pooled.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've come across disgruntled employees on both RC and Celebrity ships on account of the drinks packages - not had bad service from them but a few have told us about how it's affected their tips.

 

It's true that the tips from drinks packages get pooled so they don't get the tip from a drink they serve but all bar staff get a proportion of the total tip pool.

 

Everyone on here must have had an exceptional server/bartender and likewise a poor disinterested one and this is where it can prove unfair. If you find a really great bartender you are likely to visit his/her bar again and buy a drink from that person, likewise a good bar server (say, on deck) will always check that you're OK for drinks and in the past we've waited to order our drinks from a particularly good server. They go the extra mile and consequently accrue extra tips - or they did.

 

Now those crew are getting the same tips as any disinterested and/or lazy people they work with and they think it's unfair.

Edited by Bobal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are exactly right Jacquelyn. The tip is paid on the total price of what ever package is purchased. The amount of gratuity is thrown into the kitty and split amongst all those in that particular job category (bartenders).

 

Because of this, I have been very vocal in suggesting to other cruisers what really happens to tips/gratuities when A) a drink package is purchased B) you book your cruise and select the pre-paid gratuities and C) what really happens to those cute little envelopes given to you at the end of the cruise, you write the name of a recipient on the envelope, and deposit into that funky mailbox by the customer service desk on Deck 5. ( in all these cases those funds don't go to a specific individual but rather to the community tip jar for each occupation. Your specified room attendant, waiter, or someone who WOW'd you DO NOT receive all of those funds as you've intended) So therefore I encourage everyone to tip in cash, from your hand to theirs; to all those that are deserving of something extra.

 

I can exactly see the situation of a poolside bartender doing an excessive amount of work for very little pay on a bright sunny sea day when a particular cruise has sold a lot of inclusive drink packages.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well nobody is worried about my salary..............nor should they be. And I certainly do not tell my employer's customers that I am unhappy with my wages. (btw.... yes I too feel underpaid for what I do, I suspect most of us do.)

The bartender has no right to treat anyone adversely because of a pay agreement they have with their employer. The bartender's wages are his/her business. Not at all of my concern.

The customer should not be burdened with how much an employer chooses to pay the servers.

If the bartender is that unhappy about his/her wages.......seek other employment............as we would.

RC offers the drink package to its customers for a handsome price and we pay it............Bartender's wages are not my business and I (the customer) need not be burdened.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't imagine RCCL would have these packages if they weren't making money on them. In aggregate, they likely bring in a significantly higher amount of money than they do by people drinking a la carte. Since gratuity is automatically added to every dollar spent in the bars, the bartenders theoretically should be making MORE money than before, even if no one adds a single penny on top of the auto-grat. Any added tips are icing on the cake.

 

 

Undoubtedly RCI is making money on this, but the waiters get the same amount out of it, whether they wait on you once or ten times during the cruise. I wouldn't doubt either that some servers just figure, why hustle to take care of the passenger using the drink package when serving the fellow at the next table or lounge chair, will get him more tips. And (if they are anything like some people I've worked with), they may just ignore those package holders as long as they can, in hopes of leaving them for other servers to take care of. There are workers like that, wherever you go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MADflyer, I am under the impression that when you buy a drink from a RCL bar and add an additional tip on that convenient line, that additional tip goes into the pooled community tip jar and the person you've intended it to go to DEOS NOT receive all of the funds.

 

A good way to think about it is: if your additional gratuity is left or enclosed by anything with the Royal Caribbean logo on it, it's going to the community tip jar.

 

BTW, apparently we adjoining one another on yet another cruise. I've come across your name several times in the past. See you at the meet and mingle?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only time I noticed anyone slightly annoyed on the Oasis were the guys in the Globe & Atlas, and that was only because they were losing money during the World Cup, as people would come in to watch the games, but wouldn't order anything to drink.

 

That being said, the guys in there were probably the best bartenders I've ever experienced, and not just in cruising.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MADflyer, I am under the impression that when you buy a drink from a RCL bar and add an additional tip on that convenient line, that additional tip goes into the pooled community tip jar and the person you've intended it to go to DEOS NOT receive all of the funds.

 

A good way to think about it is: if your additional gratuity is left or enclosed by anything with the Royal Caribbean logo on it, it's going to the community tip jar.

 

 

And we've been told the exact opposite by servers onboard, that they DO receive the extra tip individually. This has been discussed here for years and it seems no one knows for sure how those tips are distributed. It may even vary by ship venue according to some previous discussions - depending on whether they tend bar, serve at MDR, etc etc. Regardless, there will be people who post here who claim they KNOW EXACTLY how it works and those opinions will vary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MADflyer, I am under the impression that when you buy a drink from a RCL bar and add an additional tip on that convenient line, that additional tip goes into the pooled community tip jar and the person you've intended it to go to DEOS NOT receive all of the funds.

 

 

I've seen it both ways, into a jar and into a pocket ! Cash tip repays itself very well IMHO:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just assume that RCCL gives them all some tip money from package price and consider it "low" and then tip in addition to make up for it and keep service good and it's a win/win that isn't going to break the bank. Add 50 cents for being served and maybe they will notice you quicker next time. Have great service with a smile, add $1 tip.

 

If you are getting "value" from having purchased the program, savings from RCCL, most who purchase plan on just that, a few bucks more in tips isn't going to set anyone back. Who wants disgruntled workers? Perhaps soon they will tag on an extra 15% to purchase price b/c the "optional" tipping is low and bar staff are upset.

 

I think service would be better if they had an incentive to be tipped based on their performance with an individual instead of the aggregate method. RCCL must be trying to encourage it on their part by requiring swipes and printouts. If few people tip extra b/c of the "included" gratuity reference and servers making less and showing less hustle, something will need to change. RCCL cares about profit, sure, but customer satisfaction matters too.

 

If more pax are utilizing the programs and drinking more........... I'd think they'd need more staff, if anything, to cover demand. Waiting for drinks is going to encourage smuggling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had the drink package on the Explorer back in June.

 

We had no problem with bar service at any of the bars, and I believe we hit them all! :rolleyes:

 

We did occasionally ad extra tips if we felt they were warranted - like if the bar was busy and the bartender at least acknowledged us, or if we were getting an unusual drink or something like that.....

 

My son added a tip every time he got a drink when he was in the chamber .. after day 3 we reviewed our charges and noticed this. We applauded him for tipping but he didn't have to every time..... it was included - a fact he wasn't sure about.....No wonder he liked going there though - they treated him like a king!!!

 

Some times we put $1-$2 cash in there......

 

We definitely gave our dining room bar tender extra money at the end on top of our prepaid gratuity - Claudio was wonderful about having drinks brought out to us quickly every night!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't say for sure, but I have to believe that the tips a server receives from anyone on the drink packages HAS to be less than if they were buying each drink individually...there's no way I can see RCL (or any line) alotting/pooling the 'actual' tip amount on the price of an individual drink that is purchased on the package. They would be losing money for sure that way.

 

I can tell you that while I have never used any of the drink packages, its the 'extra' tip that I feel gets one the best service. My husband and I regularly tip extra...in cash...every time we sit down at a bar. We bring extra singles for individual drinks, extra $5's to put on the bar if we intend to stay for a while. Cash goes straight into their pockets, not in any pool or 'credited' to their account.

 

To us, 20% is our starting point for a tip so the 15% added to the receipt is already too low by our practice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And we've been told the exact opposite by servers onboard, that they DO receive the extra tip individually. This has been discussed here for years and it seems no one knows for sure how those tips are distributed. It may even vary by ship venue according to some previous discussions - depending on whether they tend bar, serve at MDR, etc etc. Regardless, there will be people who post here who claim they KNOW EXACTLY how it works and those opinions will vary

 

This is what we were told. Drinks package tips are pooled between all people working on all bars on that cruise, 15% (or extra) service on a served drink which signed for is pooled by all people working on bars on the shift on which the transaction took place, only way to ensure just one person gets a specific tip is to hand over cash to that person.

 

Whether that's exactly how it works on every ship I don't know

Edited by Bobal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Question.. Has anyone else seemed to have bad bar service and/or having to wait longer because of the drink package Royal is offering? Any one else had problems like that?

 

The short answer for us is no, not in our limited experience.

 

We bought the Premium package on the Allure last November, and the experience we had with our bartenders ranged from good to fantastic, and that was visiting almost every bar. 'Good' service around the pool areas to 'Fantastic' service in the Schooner Bar. Our bartenders in the Schooner (Garth and Digno were their names) treated us superbly, and took their time to fully explain the package to us (it was the first cruise that we had bought the package and first bar we stopped at after boarding on Day 1).

 

Other posters have mentioned this earlier, but we tipped in cash at the Schooner that first day, and that helps. At that time I alluded, probably rather awkwardly, that we would be tipping them again on the last night, which we followed through on. They were great every time we were served by them, even though we didn't tip after each drink or even each day. It was all at the beginng and end of the cruise.

 

For the other bars we visited less frequently, I tipped each time according to service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband and I regularly tip extra...in cash...every time we sit down at a bar. We bring extra singles for individual drinks, extra $5's to put on the bar if we intend to stay for a while. Cash goes straight into their pockets, not in any pool or 'credited' to their account.

 

 

Cash is king. I'm going to advise my friends getting the program to consider cash and using the tip line when they run out of cash. (They were wait staff and will always tip well.) I think going up to a bar with visable dollars and seapass card may get one quicker service b/c it shows an intent to tip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...