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Upset bar servers because of drink package!!


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Wow!:eek::rolleyes:

 

 

Maybe be apples and oranges, but who else leaves a couple of bucks on the table at Chick fil a ? Who puts an extra 5 in the sushi chef glass in addition to the waitress' tip? Do you leave 3-5 dollars for the hotel made each day? Everybody leave 15% at Starbucks, Rita's, DunkinDonuts, Maggie Moos, McDonalds?

 

 

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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.

 

Just a question...does the majority of your salary depend on tips? Theirs does.

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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 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.

Glad to know some traditions are being upheld. Jewel was the worst service we've gotten on a Royal Ship. Jimmy was so slow in the dining room, always served way after everyone else.

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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

 

Classy...... really really classy :( :rolleyes:

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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.

 

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.

 

Well this thread went to the doghouse pretty quickly. These two posts are absurd:eek: There is nothing wrong with tipping whenever or however people choose. Just because you don't agree with it does not make it bribery or unethical- sheesh!

 

We have not tried the drink package but the bar service on the Allure was awful last year. Bartenders told us they rotate every week, that way no one gets stuck in a slower bar. General concensus from most bartenders I've talked to over the years are the Schooner, casino, and pool bars are where the money is.

Edited by Wilda
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Why is the majority of their income dependent on tips?

 

 

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I really can't answer "why" that is the case, but it is. They work for their tips - what they actually get paid by the cruiseline is not that much. They bring in money for themselves on tips, how many drinks they sell, and how good they are at it.

 

Not excusing poor service and/or nasty behavior - that's not acceptable at all. But the majority of the crew work very hard - and again, tips are their bread and butter.

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Just a question...does the majority of your salary depend on tips? Theirs does.

 

No but customers/clients/tax payers pay my employer who in turn pays my salary.

Matters not at all that they work for tips............Their wages are not mine or yours or anybody's business but the worker and the employer. Period

If the bartender's tips are my business it is only during the brief encounter I have with him/her when they make my drink order.. Then it comes my business if I choose to leave an extra tip. This concern should last just a few minutes.

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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?

 

Come now do you think Royal would stiff the crew. :eek: :)

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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.

 

Not all westerners agree with the tipping culture.I'm sure Goldstein does. :)

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Not all westerners agree with the tipping culture.I'm sure Goldstein does. :)

 

 

The sign of a successful business model, cut costs wherever possible and shift costs that can't be cut.

Royal has done a marvelous job of acquiring the best ships in the industry. They have set reasonable price points and expanded their demographic. The variable costs: food, drink and labor have been reduced by cutting the quality of the food, making what was formerly included a premium addition and seemingly shifting labor costs to the passengers in terms of automatic service charges and still inferring and suggesting additional gratuities are appropriate. The cruise industry business model is successful because they can get away with this. You can choose to participate by additional tipping. And that's fine. What is equally fine is living by terms of the contract, gratuities are not required. Si if over tipping is ok. No tipping is ok.

 

I'm personally in the middle, but criticism of those who will not tip is wrong

 

 

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Well this thread went to the doghouse pretty quickly. These two posts are absurd:eek: There is nothing wrong with tipping whenever or however people choose. Just because you don't agree with it does not make it bribery or unethical- sheesh!

 

We have not tried the drink package but the bar service on the Allure was awful last year. Bartenders told us they rotate every week, that way no one gets stuck in a slower bar. General concensus from most bartenders I've talked to over the years are the Schooner, casino, and pool bars are where the money is.

 

So it's not okay to steal your kid a bottle of water from your drink package but it is okay to tipthe bar staff to steal extra nips or add an extra bottle to a bucket?

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I haven't read all the post in this thread but I wanted to share some info we found out this past week. My dh went to guest services to asked how the tips were distributed. He also asked our concierge and got the same info. The 15% gratuity from drink packages is all pooled together and divided among all the bar staff. Even the drink guy in the CL gets part of this. If only a few people buy the drink package, it really doesn't add up to a lot of tip money for the staff. If everyone got the drink package, they would make out pretty good. We always tipped a buck or two extra each drink because that goes directly to the staff who served you. Because we were in the CL often, we tipped the bar staff guy in there quite a bit. He was the only one all week. Since he doesn't give you a paper to sign, we put cash in an envelope for him at the end of the cruise.

 

Just another side note to share. We cancelled my youngest sons royal replenish package on the 2nd day. We realized he was just not going to use it. He doesn't drink soda or sweet drinks. RC credited us the entire amount. Very pleased. We ended up with a small credit at the end of the cruise. Most of that money went for tips to the bar staff :D yes, we drank a lot!

 

Cucumber Fizz for the win!!

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So it's not okay to steal your kid a bottle of water from your drink package but it is okay to tipthe bar staff to steal extra nips or add an extra bottle to a bucket?

 

Nice post.

 

I often read the threads on tipping but rarely contribute. I also read the drinks package threads in recent times because I will be taking my first cruise in which I have a drink in the near future.

 

The main reason I read the tipping thread is to try to have a better understanding of how/why things work in different cultures.

 

I respect that it is the USA way that tips are based on service and are used to reward great service and supplement low base wages. So staff performance may equate to higher wages in this case. It also may be a result of the relative wealth of the customer.

 

In Australia we do not have this type of tipping culture. We have a minimum wage that is reasonable. I worked for a large part of my life on a low end wage doing manual work and supplemented my base wage by large amounts of overtime (in which we currently receive penalty rates for). In our culture performance is managed by the employer and reward such as higher wages or a more enjoyable role are gained by promotion, a better job at a higher paying company etc. Most businesses, particularly government departments are built on a foundation of ethical behaviour. Our culture also looks down on queue jumpers. Of course this happens but the majority look upon it poorly, particularly when it involves giving money under the table to move ahead of the line. This is entirely different to paying upfront for the privilege or better perk because that system is fair/open to all.

 

I hope I sort of got this right.

 

I also understand as a worker that most people will try to maximise their income and as a result will gravitate toward the generous, wealthy or big noter who offers the biggest tip. This will still happen even if workers were paid a much higher wage. When the worker is on a decent living wage and offers "better" service to those who tip (and I don't mean just leaving the change on the bar) it is approaching bribery (small b) and is certainly queue jumping.

 

If it entails extra nips or free drinks from property that is not the workers then it is theft (small t but theft nonetheless). I find it very hard to reconcile the almost universal condemnation of people who state that they may get a drink from their package for a family member with the high amount number of people who champion the system that gets them extra pours or free drinks by "greasing the wheel" of bar staff.

 

 

By having an auto gratuity I feel that the cruise lines have now made life easier for all. They have determined what is a fair amount for gratuity. The crew have a regular income that is fair to them and is upfront (give or take a little). As a result I can now deal with the service issues as I would in most places.

 

1) By genuinely thanking and being polite to those who are working.

2) By letting their supervisors or management know when they go the extra yard.

3)By waiting patiently for "my turn"

4)By giving return business to companies that provide great service and a value product.

5) By discreetly and politely talking to the worker if I am unhappy.

6) By escalating unresolved issues to management.

 

I will also say that if I was being almost totally ignored while a big shot who was tipping $$$$ was getting all the attention of staff I would be pushing points 4 & 5 all the way to resolution.

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The sign of a successful business model, cut costs wherever possible and shift costs that can't be cut.

Royal has done a marvelous job of acquiring the best ships in the industry. They have set reasonable price points and expanded their demographic. The variable costs: food, drink and labor have been reduced by cutting the quality of the food, making what was formerly included a premium addition and seemingly shifting labor costs to the passengers in terms of automatic service charges and still inferring and suggesting additional gratuities are appropriate. The cruise industry business model is successful because they can get away with this. You can choose to participate by additional tipping. And that's fine. What is equally fine is living by terms of the contract, gratuities are not required. Si if over tipping is ok. No tipping is ok.

Quote

 

 

 

 

 

I'm personally in the middle, but criticism of those who will not tip is wrong

 

Yes I so much agree with you....RCI is so good as they have somehow convinced certain people that they are responsible for the housekeeper's, server's and bartender's salary beyond the included tips.

 

We used to tip crazy and well above the suggested amounts.. atleast double. Now that it is added, the pressure is off to tip extra. We tip extra for exemplary housekeeping service and DR service only.

 

 

:)

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Just a question...does the majority of your salary depend on tips? Theirs does.

 

 

How do you know this:confused:

 

Tips and gratuities may be part of their expected earnings same as any bonus based salary!

 

Do some research into the expected/actual earnings of these same cruise staff nationalities while working the same industry position at home! you may get a shock as to just how well they are doing comparably:)

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I have no clue how the tips are disbursed on a cruise, and never asked. Our cruise in March on the Allure I had the drink package and I never received a receipt to add an additional tip, however I brought a lot of dollar bills with me and each time my husband (who also had the drink package) and I ordered a drink we gave the bartender a dollar bill. We frequented many different bars and always received excellent service. Yes, it seems busier then normal with the availability of the drink package, but I haven't seen much difference in the service. What I'm saying is even though your tip is included in the package, passing an additional dollar may get you remembered and when they see you again, they may remember you and your generosity and want to get to you quicker.

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

 

 

Hmmm... not exactly sure how you managed such an absurd opinion, but so be it. Curious though, if you have MTD and your tips are prepaid, the servers know it. They have a list of those who prepaid. So are you not, in your odd interpretation, now guilty if bribery? Go ahead and wander through life looking at tipping as bribery. I'm sure those who work for tips to make your cruise experience great really appreciate your "generous" opinion of them. Me, I'll continue to show my appreciation for their hard work in a monetary fashion. If it gets me better service than your "appreciative attitude" gets, so be it.

 

 

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Tips are definitely a gratuity whenever given. What turns them into bribery is when the server who receives the tips gives service within or above that which is expected to the tipper or serves them out of turn while neglecting to serve the non tipper at the required level. It is also bribery when the tipper expects and accepts this as a practice.

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How do you know this:confused:

 

Tips and gratuities may be part of their expected earnings same as any bonus based salary!

 

Do some research into the expected/actual earnings of these same cruise staff nationalities while working the same industry position at home! you may get a shock as to just how well they are doing comparably:)

 

I'm well-educated on this subject. I am well aware that most, if not all, crew members do very well for themselves. That does not change the fact that they work for their tips and that it adds a very large sum to their earnings. Let's put it this way - without the tips, they wouldn't be there, trust me. I have a few close friends who are RCI crew members.

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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

 

 

Found the same thing on our cruise. Even with the package we always give a little extra for good service.

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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.

 

What would the cost of a "top shelf" drink be? Something like a Bacardi and Coke? Or a drink made with a premium vodka? I like vodka and cranberry juice. If I order one with Grey Goose or Belvedere, is that going to bump me over $10??

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What would the cost of a "top shelf" drink be? Something like a Bacardi and Coke? Or a drink made with a premium vodka? I like vodka and cranberry juice. If I order one with Grey Goose or Belvedere, is that going to bump me over $10??

 

It didn't as of June. Grey Goose and Vodka was a little over $9.00.

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I have a few different views on this thread... As someone who grew up in the service industry where everyone in my family owned restaurants or bars, I learned at an early age that tips can make or break your level of service. I know many a bartender who will bend over backwards to give a good tipper a drink all while giving average service to someone who tips less. I think it is human nature to be honest. Think about it like this, if you do a great job at work and you have given your boss all you can with outstanding results (at any job), would you not expect a raise or a promotion? I don't know how service staff on a ship are paid, but in the United States, servers and bartenders are paid a tiny salary and everything else is tips....so a server with bills to pay and family's to provide for will naturally try to maximize their income by gravitating towards a better tipper.

 

I do however believe that service will go down when a server knows they have nothing to gain by giving you extra special service. Ask Disney World how that went for them when they tried to implement an automatic tip system, service went down, people complained and they pulled the plug on it. When your tips are automatically included in everything you serve I do believe that the servers will tend to be less willing to go the extra mile. Having said that tho, there shouldn't be a difference between the service to people with a drink package and people who order as they go, according to that logic, as the tip is supposedly included in either option.

 

Quick point, I remember my 1st cruise I was having such a great time that I didn't realize that the tip was included in every drink I purchased. I was tipping very well not knowing.....needless to say my wife and I kept saying man they bring your drinks quick here. Wasn't till day 3 while sitting at the pool, a server was bringing our drinks one after another when the guy next to me jokingly said "how do you rate, I can't get this guy's attention". When the server came back I told him that they guy next to my wife would like to order a drink, his response was "show him how to tip"...needless to say 1) we couldn't believe he said that and 2) they guy heard him say that and was lets just say a little upset. That is when the guy told us that the tip is included in each drink you purchase...

 

I think in the service industry that if you provide your best to everyone, good things will happen and it will all work out...provide crud to some and excellent to others....not so much. Good Karma to all

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