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Upset bar servers because of drink package!!


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I've been on Freedom 3 times with no problems at all. I was also asked to sign every receipt. On the Oasis, i think i might have signed about 5 receipts the entire time. Most of the time i just showed my card and was given a drink. So i think it is going to be different from ship to ship.

 

As far as additional tip, i have no problem giving out some more money. If I'm at the pool and someone brings me a drink, i will tip. But i walk up to the bar and order a beer, its not likely i will be giving out extra money.

 

However, i know when you buy the drink package online, it says that the gratuity is included. As with others, i'm not sure who gets it or how. But i will continue to purchase the package.

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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.

 

We had the premium drink package once. At first we found bar service to be slow and when showing your seapass with the sticker there "appeared" to be less enthusiasm on the server's face. Right away we started to think that maybe the tips included with the packages was not as good as when paying a la cart. So then we started tipping extra. When approached by a bar server we discretely handed them a $1 note with the seapass card as we ordered the drink and service improved a lot - faster and more frequent.

 

One evening in Boleros we were chatting with a bar server and the packages came up in conversation. Take this for what its worth (one bar server on one ship with an incentive to play the sympathy card if so inclined) - he said they don't get a fixed amount per drink but it averages out to about 25 cents per drink served.

 

This may not be true but if it is, that's not a lot of money. Also, as we were already extra tipping him before this conversation he didn't really have any incentive to play that sympathy card with us so I was inclined to believe him for the most part. YMMV.

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We just talked to a bar server about this. He said they are being assigned to bars differently now. It used to be that you earned your place at a certain bar; now they are randomly assigned and tips are pooled. Cash tips are for those who receive them, asfaik.

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Bartenders have rotated between bars for years now , as a rule every 2 weeks

They have pooled tips for years as do the ones in the cl/dl events

On the Navigator in March were told that the process had changed and they were assigned to the same bar for their entire contract. They wouldn't necessarily be assigned to he same place after they returned from vacation.

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The gratuity will be 15% of the package price. Once a passenger breaks even on drinks, the rest effectively have no gratuity on them. Of course, RCI don't miss out as they "give their staff the gratuity" so as a passenger isn't paying a gratuity once they have broken even, its the bar staff who miss out.

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How does the bartender know that you have a drink package until after the drink arrives with check? Except soda?

 

 

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My cruises they have put a sticker with a "PI" meaning you have the drink package. They usally just asked to see the card. Prior to this cruise this past May, they make the drink then you give them the card. But on the Oasis, they asked for your card upfront before making the drink. I imagine it so they don't use top shelf if your not paying for it or if you have the package that only allowed you to get up to a $10 drink.

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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 have great bartenders, average bartenders, and poor bartenders. The poor bartenders, get fired. I had the drink package, and have had only good service.

 

As far as the issue with tips, how they get them, or their personal issues with it, is none of my business. As long as they do their job, it's up to RCCL to figure out the rest.

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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. /QUOTE]

 

This is the reverse of what actually happens. The 15% is pooled for all barstaff for that cruise. Anything added for a particular bar person is theirs alone. I have seen cash tips shared by those working the same bar.

 

I don't buy the drink packages but have been affected while siting at the R-Bar on Vision. Those with drink packages were rude and pushed their way through those of us sitting at the bar to get their drinks. They didn't even try to use the bar folks working the Centrum seating areas.

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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?

 

No, they wouldn't receive a $1.50 tip on a $10 drink, but they would receive $9.75 a day pooled amongst them from every person with an ultimate package, every single day. The only way they don't make out on that would be if the grand total spent at the bar by all package holders would be greater if they DIDN'T have a package than the amount RCCL takes in on the packages. And if that was indeed the case, I don't think RCCL would offer the packages at this price.

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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.

 

I always thought tips were pooled among the service staff on cruise ships anyway. Perhaps I am incorrect. If they are, I don't see why this would be any different. If they're not, then I can see why a guy who hustles might be annoyed and a lazy server thrilled. At least until he gets fired.

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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?

 

This is the second time this week I am reading (on CC) about a bar staff speaking rudely to a passenger. The other post was a server that reportedly yelled at a customer (passenger) for not tipping when using the Diamond drink voucher.

 

I’ve been cruising for nearly 30 years and have never encountered such behavior. What is going on?

Thanks, M

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This is the second time this week I am reading (on CC) about a bar staff speaking rudely to a passenger. The other post was a server that reportedly yelled at a customer (passenger) for not tipping when using the Diamond drink voucher.

 

I’ve been cruising for nearly 30 years and have never encountered such behavior. What is going on?

Thanks, M

 

Dumbing down, general standards dropping and employing low money dregs.

Not a problem for us, we moved.

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If more pax are utilizing the programs and drinking more........... I'd think they'd need more staff, if anything, to cover demand.

 

On our last three cruises this year this has been the problem for us. Servers were great whenever they could get back to to us and take our order. No package, just order, give card get drink and sign with the appropriate tip added in by RCL policy. Each time this was at busy night events. The servers allocated were just overloaded with demand..pure and simple.

 

It happened multiple times on three different ships and was much more noticeable this year than in years past.

 

I regard this problem as a "supervisory" issue. If a venue is too busy to service a venue properly then it is supervisions responsibility to make adjustments so that the customer can be serviced properly..

 

I also regard it as a problem that is going to be dealt with as RCL learns that the changes it made to packages offered in the "Home Office" will require adjustments in the field (ship) and believe that in time these issues will be a thing of the past.

 

RCL has a good track record of making corrections even if it seems slow to react sometimes. Afterall, it is not a "speedboat" we are traveling on.

 

In no way do I believe that there is a "systemic trend" in the field by personnel to deliver poor service based on tipping. I don't go in expecting 100% great attitude from all employees all the time, that's absurd, but overall the %'s have all been high and remain high amongst the employee base we have encountered on RCL.

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We had the premium drink package once. At first we found bar service to be slow and when showing your seapass with the sticker there "appeared" to be less enthusiasm on the server's face. Right away we started to think that maybe the tips included with the packages was not as good as when paying a la cart. So then we started tipping extra. When approached by a bar server we discretely handed them a $1 note with the seapass card as we ordered the drink and service improved a lot - faster and more frequent.

 

One evening in Boleros we were chatting with a bar server and the packages came up in conversation. Take this for what its worth (one bar server on one ship with an incentive to play the sympathy card if so inclined) - he said they don't get a fixed amount per drink but it averages out to about 25 cents per drink served.

 

This may not be true but if it is, that's not a lot of money. Also, as we were already extra tipping him before this conversation he didn't really have any incentive to play that sympathy card with us so I was inclined to believe him for the most part. YMMV.

 

Really 25 cents per drink? That would be incredible incentive for me to make as many drinks as I could and be extra nice in the hopes of getting extra tips!

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If so many passengers are purchasing drink packages, there is no incentive to hire employees to serve prepaid drinks. The longer the wait for drinks the more profitable the drink packages are.

 

Only thing is drink package purchasers are in a minority not Majority of overall drink purchasers on a cruise:)

 

Not too many drink package purchasers go over the package cost price because the package is charged up front for the entire cruise length and not on a day to day basis.

 

I have had the Premium package on RCI and even heavy heavy drinkers hit a dry out point.or binge then bust during a cruise!

 

The package is used best by moderate drinkers wanting an all inclusive feel to the cruise and they dont usually over do it on any given day or night.

 

In my experience I would not say a server of drinks would decide to serve a pay per drink patron over an all paid for patron on RCI.

 

I have however experienced this on my travels to USA where a bar server will avoid you or make you wait if you didnt tip enough last drinks order then serve you very promptly when you tipped well! This is a problem in USA that needs addressing by paying bar servers a proper wage but doesnt exist in the rest of the world including Cruise ships!:)

 

The ones that serve you on cruise ships in the majority of instances come from non tipping cultures and in most cases adhere to a shared family income and responsibility that many in USA would not understand let alone agree to. This family sharing and responsibility extends to fellow cruiseship workers,and on a whole they do not understand personal gain or greed:) This fact becomes apparent when you have travelled South East Asia extensively and cruise staff are not an exception;)

Edited by fishtaco
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Only thing is drink package purchasers are in a minority not Majority of overall drink purchasers on a cruise:)

 

Not too many drink package purchasers go over the package cost price because the package is charged up front for the entire cruise length and not on a day to day basis.

 

I have had the Premium package on RCI and even heavy heavy drinkers hit a dry out point.or binge then bust during a cruise!

 

The package is used best by moderate drinkers wanting an all inclusive feel to the cruise and they dont usually over do it on any given day or night.

 

In my experience I would not say a server of drinks would decide to serve a pay per drink patron over an all paid for patron on RCI.

 

I have however experienced this on my travels to USA where a bar server will avoid you or make you wait if you didnt tip enough last drinks order then serve you very promptly when you tipped well! This is a problem in USA that needs addressing by paying bar servers a proper wage but doesnt exist in the rest of the world including Cruise ships!:)

 

The ones that serve you on cruise ships in the majority of instances come from non tipping cultures and in most cases adhere to a shared family income and responsibility that many in USA would not understand let alone agree to. This family sharing and responsibility extends to fellow cruiseship workers,and on a whole they do not understand personal gain or greed:) This fact becomes apparent when you have travelled South East Asia extensively and cruise staff are not an exception;)

 

Interesting points here.............

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Only thing is drink package purchasers are in a minority not Majority of overall drink purchasers on a cruise:)

 

Not too many drink package purchasers go over the package cost price because the package is charged up front for the entire cruise length and not on a day to day basis.

 

I have had the Premium package on RCI and even heavy heavy drinkers hit a dry out point.or binge then bust during a cruise!

 

The package is used best by moderate drinkers wanting an all inclusive feel to the cruise and they dont usually over do it on any given day or night.

 

In my experience I would not say a server of drinks would decide to serve a pay per drink patron over an all paid for patron on RCI.

 

I have however experienced this on my travels to USA where a bar server will avoid you or make you wait if you didnt tip enough last drinks order then serve you very promptly when you tipped well! This is a problem in USA that needs addressing by paying bar servers a proper wage but doesnt exist in the rest of the world including Cruise ships!:)

 

The ones that serve you on cruise ships in the majority of instances come from non tipping cultures and in most cases adhere to a shared family income and responsibility that many in USA would not understand let alone agree to. This family sharing and responsibility extends to fellow cruiseship workers,and on a whole they do not understand personal gain or greed:) This fact becomes apparent when you have travelled South East Asia extensively and cruise staff are not an exception;)

 

Interesting points, maybe, but really not an accurate picture.

 

From all of the threads I've read, many purchasers of the drink packages take full advantage of the opportunity. I would consider myself a moderate drinker, but knowing that I'm on a cruise allows me to not worry about a designated driver or several other responsibilities that would be a concern on land.

 

On our last cruise we (one male, one female) each purchased the $55 per day package. With the average price of a drink in the $9 range, plus a 15% gratuity on top of that, the 'break even' point to get your money's worth is about 5 to 6 drinks per day. Even a moderate drinker has no problems doing that on a cruise. Plus, the added flexibility of being able to try new drinks, mix and match, get a 'rum floater' on top of a frozen drink, or pour out a half-finished drink that got warm by the pool and get a free fresh, cold one makes it more than worth it. If we had bought that drink outside of the drink package, we may not have poured it out so easily.

 

Between the two of us we had 140 drinks on a 7-day cruise, an average of 10 a day even on the port days. Spaced out over 16-18 waking hours, this really wasn't all that excessive, and neither of us ever had the least bit of a hangover or any other 'after effects' the next morning.

 

I will always buy the drink package.

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Interesting points, maybe, but really not an accurate picture.

 

From all of the threads I've read, many purchasers of the drink packages take full advantage of the opportunity. I would consider myself a moderate drinker, but knowing that I'm on a cruise allows me to not worry about a designated driver or several other responsibilities that would be a concern on land.

 

On our last cruise we (one male, one female) each purchased the $55 per day package. With the average price of a drink in the $9 range, plus a 15% gratuity on top of that, the 'break even' point to get your money's worth is about 5 to 6 drinks per day. Even a moderate drinker has no problems doing that on a cruise. Plus, the added flexibility of being able to try new drinks, mix and match, get a 'rum floater' on top of a frozen drink, or pour out a half-finished drink that got warm by the pool and get a free fresh, cold one makes it more than worth it. If we had bought that drink outside of the drink package, we may not have poured it out so easily.

 

Between the two of us we had 140 drinks on a 7-day cruise, an average of 10 a day even on the port days. Spaced out over 16-18 waking hours, this really wasn't all that excessive, and neither of us ever had the least bit of a hangover or any other 'after effects' the next morning.

 

I will always buy the drink package.

 

But not all cruises are as short as 7 nights! My last drinks package was for a 14 night sailing and 10 a day alcoholic drinks each and everyday on longer cruises is for most un sustainable:)

 

Binge and bust was longer than 7 nights for you mine was 4 nights before I stopped drinking in excess:)

Edited by fishtaco
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But not all cruises are as short as 7 nights! My last drinks package was for a 14 night sailing and 10 a day alcoholic drinks each and everyday on longer cruises is for most un sustainable:)

 

Binge and bust was longer than 7 nights for you mine was 4 nights before I stopped drinking in excess:)

 

Yes, for a 14-night cruise it would be hard to keep up that pace! But 5 and 7-night cruises are much more common than 14 night cruises.

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