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Upset bar servers because of 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:)

 

 

Also just to add spacing drinks over a 16-18 hour period is not moderate drinking! That is drinking from waking up time to sleeping time and in the case of an 18 hour period its drinking during sleep deprivation and un sustainable for most cruisers even on a 7 night cruise.

 

I am not implying that the drinks package is not worth buying but was originally responding to a post that suggested cruise ship bar workers would not serve package purchasers promptly enough as to save RCI money by serving less drinks and because they wont get enough tips out of package purchaser which I believe in my experience to be un true.

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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.

 

This depends on where you cruise from!

 

Where I live a 7 night cruise is a very short cruise and the norm is 12 nights so 7 nights is less common and 5 nights non existent with the exception of very occasional 3 night sample cruises to Nowhere which are classed as Booze Cruises:)

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No where I have read advertised a low level of service if you have a package. Why is that acceptable to people? So you buy the package and then dole out even more cash in order to get normal service? Tipping extra for good service, friendly staff, a bar tender that remembers you, etc., I agree with that. Tipping more up front just to get the service you should receive by default DRIVES this bad behavior. It shows the staff you'll pay up for basic service, so now the old standard becomes the new "above and beyond".

 

Sounds a lot like many land establishments lately.

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This depends on where you cruise from!

 

Where I live a 7 night cruise is a very short cruise and the norm is 12 nights so 7 nights is less common and 5 nights non existent with the exception of very occasional 3 night sample cruises to Nowhere which are classed as Booze Cruises:)

 

Good point. I had not noticed your location until this last post.

 

Cheers!

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No where I have read advertised a low level of service if you have a package. Why is that acceptable to people? So you buy the package and then dole out even more cash in order to get normal service? Tipping extra for good service, friendly staff, a bar tender that remembers you, etc., I agree with that. Tipping more up front just to get the service you should receive by default DRIVES this bad behavior. It shows the staff you'll pay up for basic service, so now the old standard becomes the new "above and beyond".

 

Sounds a lot like many land establishments lately.

 

 

Excellent points. 15% service charge is ridiculous on bar service anyway. That's not a tip that a charge. How wonderful was the service to open that beer bottle.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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I think it's common knowledge that servers will remember those who tip above the automatic gratuity. I have seen it happen. I ususally tip those who serve me more than once. The first time or two, I don't ususally tip (unless they did something recognizable)...the service is average. However, after I tip, I see them looking for me after that. They want to be the one to take my order, not the other server who doesn't know me who is slowly making their way to me.

 

I think I asked this before and I believe the answer was 'sometimes'. When you order a drink from a drink package, do you receive a receipt so that you can tip extra if you want?

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My experience was that it totally depends on the ship (crew). Last February DH and I first went one week on Oasis, bought the Select Package and in every bar, every bartender was friendly, quick and in a good mood.

The following week, we went on Allure and we were actually quite shocked how rude some of the staff were. When DH got us our first drink at the Solarium Bar on embarkation day, he tipped the bartender lady extra and instead of "thank you" she said to him: "So you bought the Select Package, bad choice, you should upgrade that package to Premium, with this, you will be drinking very bad wine the whole week!" HEEEELLLOOOO?

He told her that we just spent one week on Oasis drinking bad wine and it's ok for us :D (we usually stick to bubbly and the one that was included in the package was really ok).

Then on our first evening in the MDR, we ordered some wine and showed our seapass with the sticker. The waiter said: "Those packages drive me crazy...", turned around and disappeared. :rolleyes:

 

So obviously, it depends on the ship/crew.

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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.

 

I agree wholeheartedly! It isn't our problem to determine pay/salaries of someone else. RCCL is like any other business. They'll price the product and set wages to make a profit. They'll pay the lowest wages possible in the marketplace. Sometimes they'll lower standards to save wages. When that happens, and the consumer leaves, they'll raise standards and wages to what they need for profitability. As service decreases we will seek other cruiselines. There are multiple threads on that very issue. Personally I thought RCCL service decreased late last decade, then I noticed a remarkable rising trend in service from about 2010 on up. Now, I find it's sliding again. Maybe because world economy is creating more jobs, so fewer are leaving their families for 6-9 months for low wages. Maybe it's because there are too many ships and only a certain number of employees. Who knows. But they will address the issue.

As for Drink Packages, I don't get them as I don't drink enough. I am D+ so I get free drinks during Happy Hour. That will be made even better by the 3 drink coupons. We like the Wine Package at dinner for selection and convenience. But even with the wine package our drink cost per 7 night cruise for 2 never exceeds $500 or so. So, I'd lose money.

But I do recognize the "tip" process on a ship. I know these servers work for tips. So, I tip well. And... guess what? I feel I get better service. Same with Luggage Porters, Cabs, restaurants, etc. If you tip well they will give you better service. If you "stiff" them they won't. Simple.

I am not suggesting you tip a barwaiter extra, that is up to you. But on my most recent cruise one of our friends had the Drink Package. On the first night at the MDR, he had to wait for wine refills. I suggested he slip the bar waiter $10 or $20 and tell him his desire for refills. He did so on night 2. He told me that from that point on, all he had to do was look in the bar waiter's direction and his wine or after dinner drink appeared. So, when you work for tips, tips work. They take care of those who take care of them. That's how it works.

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I agree wholeheartedly! It isn't our problem to determine pay/salaries of someone else. RCCL is like any other business. They'll price the product and set wages to make a profit. They'll pay the lowest wages possible in the marketplace. Sometimes they'll lower standards to save wages. When that happens, and the consumer leaves, they'll raise standards and wages to what they need for profitability. As service decreases we will seek other cruiselines. There are multiple threads on that very issue. Personally I thought RCCL service decreased late last decade, then I noticed a remarkable rising trend in service from about 2010 on up. Now, I find it's sliding again. Maybe because world economy is creating more jobs, so fewer are leaving their families for 6-9 months for low wages. Maybe it's because there are too many ships and only a certain number of employees. Who knows. But they will address the issue.

As for Drink Packages, I don't get them as I don't drink enough. I am D+ so I get free drinks during Happy Hour. That will be made even better by the 3 drink coupons. We like the Wine Package at dinner for selection and convenience. But even with the wine package our drink cost per 7 night cruise for 2 never exceeds $500 or so. So, I'd lose money.

But I do recognize the "tip" process on a ship. I know these servers work for tips. So, I tip well. And... guess what? I feel I get better service. Same with Luggage Porters, Cabs, restaurants, etc. If you tip well they will give you better service. If you "stiff" them they won't. Simple.

I am not suggesting you tip a barwaiter extra, that is up to you. But on my most recent cruise one of our friends had the Drink Package. On the first night at the MDR, he had to wait for wine refills. I suggested he slip the bar waiter $10 or $20 and tell him his desire for refills. He did so on night 2. He told me that from that point on, all he had to do was look in the bar waiter's direction and his wine or after dinner drink appeared. So, when you work for tips, tips work. They take care of those who take care of them. That's how it works.

 

Yes tips do grease the wheels!!!

I worked for tips all through 7 full time college years... I also tip well both while on the drink package and I tip for each round I order in the CL.

But I understand that not all cultures view tipping as Westerners do. This doesn't make other cultures wrong or cheap or anything other then different.

Many if not all of these griping, complaining and indifferent bartenders are from the countries that do not share Western notions of tipping.

I too love it when a barkeeper responds to my tipping and gives great service.

However tipping is still extra, as it is already added to the bill or plan. Good and attentive bar service should be a minimum.

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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

 

A relevant point I agree with. It is frequently worse if you have that souvengner (sp) cup in your hand, they will never even come over to you. I was buying a beer for a friend and refilling my cup while I was up, I finally had to go the other side of the bar and hide the cup to get waited on.

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My experience was that it totally depends on the ship (crew). Last February DH and I first went one week on Oasis, bought the Select Package and in every bar, every bartender was friendly, quick and in a good mood.

The following week, we went on Allure and we were actually quite shocked how rude some of the staff were. When DH got us our first drink at the Solarium Bar on embarkation day, he tipped the bartender lady extra and instead of "thank you" she said to him: "So you bought the Select Package, bad choice, you should upgrade that package to Premium, with this, you will be drinking very bad wine the whole week!" HEEEELLLOOOO?

He told her that we just spent one week on Oasis drinking bad wine and it's ok for us :D (we usually stick to bubbly and the one that was included in the package was really ok).

Then on our first evening in the MDR, we ordered some wine and showed our seapass with the sticker. The waiter said: "Those packages drive me crazy...", turned around and disappeared. :rolleyes:

 

So obviously, it depends on the ship/crew.

 

We experienced the same thing on Allure last summer and thought the exact same thing! The service was HORRIBLE!

 

Before the Drink Package, we always found "our guy"- bar staff who was friendly and nice and took care of us- we'd take care of them, too. On our first cruise we learned tip them extra and they'd bring you an extra beer in your bucket, etc.

 

On Allure last June, we had HORRIBLE service. You would think they'd be trained to give everyone the same service because every time you ordered they printed you a receipt for extra tip. We rarely had the same bartender twice at the pool- they'd always disappear.We found this to be the norm anywhere we were on the ship. We were horribly disappointed. We all filled out the comment sheet before we left and the email survey when we got home.

 

This year on Vision it was much better. We had a couple of very friendly bartenders who knew us and took care of us. Half the time the girl at the Schooner bar didn't even print a receipt until we were leaving. The one negative about Vision was we felt they didn't have enough people so service was slow. Sometimes there was only two people working in the Schooner bar when we would meet before dinner.

 

Its all management and how they are trained.

Edited by FSUPooh
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So, when you work for tips, tips work. They take care of those who take care of them. That's how it works.

 

As a former server, I see it differently. First I have to provide good service. And then the customer can tip. It shouldn't start with a bribe, which is a "tip" given ahead of time, before the good service has been proven.

 

if the bartenders are from countries where tipping was not the norm, what would they expect on the ship if they know the tipping prices is added on? do they know better? im sure they learn in time..just asking

 

When Americans are around, people from other countries learn QUICKLY.

 

When Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook got married, they went to Italy. That's not a tipping culture. He went to a restaurant with his wife, he did not tip. And there were complaints about it that made it to the US and UK gossip sites. A person doesn't have to tip just because they come from a tipping culture (or just because he's a billionaire), when you're in a country that doesn't tip. But it's certainly expected by some once you open your mouth and they hear that you're American!

 

(apparently my accent doesn't sound American to everyone, because people in England and Ireland last month kept thinking I was from Canada. So I didn't get that expectation put on me, and got amazing service from people with absolutely no expectation of a tip...it was lovely...that wasn't on a cruise, by the way)

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your kidding right? where is greasing the wheel such a crime...you can tip as much as you want whenever you want....ever tip the cabin steward when you first get on board if you need something? holy smokes..

 

It's called ethics, and greasing the wheel to get better service than your fellow cruisers is unethical. Try it with a government contract and you will quickly learn what the crime is.

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We experienced the same thing on Allure last summer and thought the exact same thing! The service was HORRIBLE!

 

Before the Drink Package, we always found "our guy"- bar staff who was friendly and nice and took care of us- we'd take care of them, too. On our first cruise we learned tip them extra and they'd bring you an extra beer in your bucket, etc.

 

On Allure last June, we had HORRIBLE service. You would think they'd be trained to give everyone the same service because every time you ordered they printed you a receipt for extra tip. We rarely had the same bartender twice at the pool- they'd always disappear.We found this to be the norm anywhere we were on the ship. We were horribly disappointed. We all filled out the comment sheet before we left and the email survey when we got home.

 

This year on Vision it was much better. We had a couple of very friendly bartenders who knew us and took care of us. Half the time the girl at the Schooner bar didn't even print a receipt until we were leaving. The one negative about Vision was we felt they didn't have enough people so service was slow. Sometimes there was only two people working in the Schooner bar when we would meet before dinner.

 

Its all management and how they are trained.

 

Your tipping practice,s were ultimately encouraging stealing even though you do not necessarily condone stealing!

 

By a cruise ship bar person giving you and extra beer in your bucket they were stealing that beer from their employer. this stealing would not have happened if you had not in some way encouraged the waitperson by tipping up front in hope they rewarded your monetary gift with goods?

 

This is though obvious as you say you always found "Your Guy"

 

Cruise bar staff do not get an allowance of Alcohol that they may give to favoured customers! and free pour alcohol is just that, some give more some give less but if a bartender on a cruise is free pouring more constantly to tippers than they would non tippers then they are also stealing.

 

A cruise ship bar is not a mainland USA Bar where almost every bar tender who is tipped well is the "Right Guy":).

Edited by fishtaco
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I tip every drink or every few drinks in the bars to my favorites due to cl and dl.

I would not call it greasing

I top regularly and treat the staff respectfully for what they do and who they are

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

I am curious as to why you do this when a 15% Gratuity is already added to each drink you buy to cover the tip:confused: I understand tipping for free drinks included through perks but why would you continue to tip extra for every or every other drink you purchased onboard that already included a tip?

 

Would you do the same in a land based bar if a 15% tip was actually taken out of your change by a bar person each time you bought a drink?

Edited by fishtaco
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Interesting thread ... somehow I think we've evolved though from a drink package tipping conversation to a general tipping question.

 

I don't purchase the drink package, BTW. My bar bill for an entire cruise has never even hit $100, but I generally add $1.00 onto each slip I sign. Now I'm sitting here wondering if the server is able to keep that entire dollar. REALLY? I'm worried that he only got a portion of that entire dollar ... I really need to find more important things to worry about.

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Tipping in advance or 'greasing the wheel' is just bribery and it's just as wrong as two people sharing a drink package.

 

I don't "tip in advance" hoping for favoritism, but that is one of the most absurd things I've read here in quite some time:rolleyes:

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It's called ethics, and greasing the wheel to get better service than your fellow cruisers is unethical. Try it with a government contract and you will quickly learn what the crime is.

 

Wow what a ridiculous analogy!!! You must really hate those "big tippers":D:rolleyes:

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one thing I noticed which is a plus is that our recent Allure cruise is that servers around the pool area were not as aggressive on selling us drinks as with other cruises. This was GREAT. One of my friend who took her first cruise with us a few years ago was so turned off by being constantly asked for drinks that she will probably never cruise again....or at least not with rcl. For those of us who cruise before we just ignore the constant request.

 

I think with the drink packages rcl might not want to have the servers out there asking for drink orders because they already have their money.

 

just my 2 cents

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Wow what a ridiculous analogy!!! You must really hate those "big tippers":D:rolleyes:

 

What I find amusing on these message boards (the other information found is indeed very useful) is the need of veteran and longtime cruisers to almost befriend and adopt the ship staff to the point that normal tipping that occurs in restaurants and hotels at home is taken to absurd degrees on ships. The constant praise of the staff's efforts and the recitation of the staff's lowly status and low pay and long hard working conditions. As if the goal of the cruise is as much raising the poor third world workers' income as enjoying ones self. And if it isnt clear by now, the US is becoming 10% 1st world country and and a 50% third world country.

By all means continue this outlook of overtipping and over compensating for poor labor relations, but might I suggest that if the cruise line doesn't pay their workers decent wages with decent working conditions that the consumer boycotts the cruiseline. Kathy Lee Gifford's clothing line and Nike have been subject to boycotts for poor working conditions in the third world.

 

I know what a bartender has to do to earn a tip over the 15% they've already charged me, but my wife wouldn't approve and the bartender's are never that cute. In addition to the 15% service charge on all drinks, we are charged nearly $24 dollars a day for the minimal service at the service Windjammer twice a day and minimal waiter service for my wife and I at dinner in the MDR. THere's not much added value to a waitstaff in the MDR on what is basically a prix fixe menu served banquet style.

 

All I require is to take my order correctly, serve it hot and spaced well. And bring some peanuts with my beer

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What I find amusing on these message boards (the other information found is indeed very useful) is the need of veteran and longtime cruisers to almost befriend and adopt the ship staff to the point that normal tipping that occurs in restaurants and hotels at home is taken to absurd degrees on ships. The constant praise of the staff's efforts and the recitation of the staff's lowly status and low pay and long hard working conditions. As if the goal of the cruise is as much raising the poor third world workers' income as enjoying ones self. And if it isnt clear by now, the US is becoming 10% 1st world country and and a 50% third world country.

By all means continue this outlook of overtipping and over compensating for poor labor relations, but might I suggest that if the cruise line doesn't pay their workers decent wages with decent working conditions that the consumer boycotts the cruiseline. Kathy Lee Gifford's clothing line and Nike have been subject to boycotts for poor working conditions in the third world.

 

I know what a bartender has to do to earn a tip over the 15% they've already charged me, but my wife wouldn't approve and the bartender's are never that cute. In addition to the 15% service charge on all drinks, we are charged nearly $24 dollars a day for the minimal service at the service Windjammer twice a day and minimal waiter service for my wife and I at dinner in the MDR. THere's not much added value to a waitstaff in the MDR on what is basically a prix fixe menu served banquet style.

 

All I require is to take my order correctly, serve it hot and spaced well. And bring some peanuts with my beer

 

Wow!:eek::rolleyes:

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