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SINGLE HSC/TIPPING THREAD (Previously "Why are gratuities not included in Fares?")

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Then you're back to the old argument in how to offer incentive for good performance if the crew member gets paid the same regardless of how well or poorly they do their job.
No problem ... just pay the better performers more than the slackers. Give bonuses. Give benefits like more shore leave time. Give better assignments, like suites where extra cash tips are likely to be larger. In other words, use the same kinds of incentives given in most businesses in the world.

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Did you not know about Hotel Service Charge being posted to your On Board Account when you booked? Did you not see it on their website? Did you research any information about your cruise/cruise line?

If you used a TA, did they not mention it? Did you ask about tipping?

 

I don't mean this as an attack on you but a generic set of questions for all who live in a country where tipping is not common but book HAL cruises. Surely world travelers 'learn along the way', don't they?

 

 

Tipping is not done as a matter of course in Australia because employees are generally paid a wage they can live on, although we do tip in restaurants for example where the service has been at least reasonable and it is of course appreciated, but not necessarily expected.

 

When cruising, we know that crew depend on tipping and we pay without fussing about it. You just do whatever is done in the country you are visiting or the ship you're on. Just a shame for them that their wages are so low.

 

I saw this morning on Facebook that HAL gratuities are going up to $12.50 and higher for the high end suites.

 

Ozcruizer (sailing next Saturday from Honolulu to Sydney)

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No problem ... just pay the better performers more than the slackers. Give bonuses. Give benefits like more shore leave time. Give better assignments, like suites where extra cash tips are likely to be larger. In other words, use the same kinds of incentives given in most businesses in the world.

 

I agree - it is called Job Performance Bonus. Surely those crew members mentioned in the Survey that we receive when we get home or in the cards that are in our cabins would get more than those who never get mentioned.

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Maybe we should have a single thread for all HSC/tipping discussion like the one for smoking! :D

Sound like a good idea. This will be that thread. Here are some rules.

 

1. The Cruise Critic guidelines all apply to this discussion.

2. Stay on topic. No topic drift please.

3. Stick to HAL policies. Comparisons and thoughts pertaining to policies of other lines are OK, provided they are discussed in relation to HAL's policies.

4. There are no identification of members as being cheapskates, tightwads, meanies or other negative characterizations permitted. Be nice to your fellow Cruise Critic members.

5. This thread will encompass all discussions about tipping policies and the HSC so please don't start another thread or get into a discussion about tipping on an existing thread.

 

Have at it ladies and gentlemen.

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To simplify the HAL Forum and to provide a ready reference for all tipping questions and issues, we have established a SINGLE THREAD.

 

Click HERE to go to that thread: SINGLE HSC/TIPPING THREAD (Previously "Why are gratuities not included in Fares?")

Basic rules:

 

1. The Cruise Critic guidelines all apply to this discussion.

2. Stay on topic. No topic drift please.

3. Stick to HAL policies. Comparisons and thoughts pertaining to policies of other lines are OK, provided they are discussed in relation to HAL's policies.

4. There are no identification of members as being cheapskates, tightwads, meanies or other negative characterizations permitted. Be nice to your fellow Cruise Critic members.

5. This thread will encompass all discussions about tipping policies and the HSC so please don't start another thread or get into a discussion about tipping on an existing thread.

 

Have at it ladies and gentlemen.

Edited by Host Walt

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.

 

Hello "BlueRiband"

 

The problem is not only a with Australians and New Zealanders, but also with European.:confused:

 

Please refer to my post ….

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2256328&page=4

 

…. Number 64

 

The main tenor of my answer is; That mostly any statement is a mis-interpretation between TIP = salary, and gratuity = consumer acceptance of a well-done job ….

 

-> The 11.50 US-dollar Hotel Service Charge money, who is taken by default, is its passenger quote part to the crew salary - !!

 

-> But the 15 % Bar Service Charge for drinks etc. would possibly be indeed gratuity

 

So there is a fine and distinguish difference !!

=> Because the first should be logically (for me) calculated into the over-all cruise-fare such like fuel, food and …..

 

 

 

Dear "Topsham"

 

You did forgot to mention "Phoenix Reisen - Germany"

 

This Line does not at all add a hotel service charge –> not on 37 river boats – and also not on 3 ocean going vessel (including my soon starting Grand 140 Days World Voyage ..…:)

 

 

 

And what is "the best way" how cruise lines operates the vessels is not really my concern, and I surely do not care about !;)

And the money "saved" on my cruise ticket is a bamboozle by myself.:rolleyes:

Because on the end of the cruise I must pay it anyway !!:o

 

 

=> But I indeed care about a adequate and correct payment of the crew.:)

And that’s why I always give quite a nice amount, supplementary to HSC & BSC to the marvelous crew !!!

 

-> Like I do on Land in Hotels, Restaurants and so on.

 

 

 

Happy cruising

 

G E R D

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Hello Gerd, I specifically mentioned that over 90% of Australians and New Zealanders remove all gratuities because the OP had mentioned a deck conversation with an Australian. I'm aware that in Europe there are different standards on when tips are expected.

 

Tip, gratuity, service charge - whatever one calls it - is in addition to base fare on most mass market lines. As long as it can technically be stated as "discretionary" it changes the tax liability for the crew member and reporting requirements for the cruise line. What is very bad however is that some will parse these words to mean "optional". They therefore want to remove it just for that reason.

 

Quite frankly I don't see how any person intelligent enough to use the internet cannot figure out the all-in price of their voyage. All cruise line advertising in the US as the "fine print" that outlines service charges, port taxes, etc. Computers also have a handy calculator app.

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Tipping is not done as a matter of course in Australia because employees are generally paid a wage they can live on, although we do tip in restaurants for example where the service has been at least reasonable and it is of course appreciated, but not necessarily expected.

 

When cruising, we know that crew depend on tipping and we pay without fussing about it. You just do whatever is done in the country you are visiting or the ship you're on. Just a shame for them that their wages are so low.

 

I saw this morning on Facebook that HAL gratuities are going up to $12.50 and higher for the high end suites.

 

Ozcruizer (sailing next Saturday from Honolulu to Sydney)

 

 

 

I have been making visits to Australia and New Zealand... since.. 1972. Spent two weeks in Geelong as a 19 y.o. cadet on a grain ship. First evening a group of us went ashore naturally to a bar. First thing.... none of us had ever been to Australia... not like the P&O or Shaw Savill. We were all dressed... jacket and ties. Stood out like a sire thumb! We looked at schooners, middies, and jugs. Hmmm so..... six of us six glasses and SIX JUGS! :D

 

Everyone knows how the system works. I would never think of not giving a tip to a waiter, bar tender, taxi etc etc. Thankfully I have never experienced anything less than perfect service... even better than that!

 

 

 

Please don't assume that wages for seafarers are 'so low'. Their wages are approved by their unions and with the ITF... International Transportation Federation and the wages are closely monitored. Seafarers wages are higher than what most people earn in jobs ashore. Not princely perhaps, but the wage is considered to be 'good'.

 

Personally I would like to see crews get higher pay. If it went to $25 per day... wow.... you would have a riot at the Front Desk! Worse... HAL would go out of business.

 

The problem is not the ystem with HAL and other cruise lines... with HSC, tips, grats etc etc. That is not the problem. It is that a very few of passengers either don't understand or don't want to understand. Then the other 'group'... just hell bent on stiffing hard working crewmembers.

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Hello Gerd, I specifically mentioned that over 90% of Australians and New Zealanders remove all gratuities because the OP had mentioned a deck conversation with an Australian. I'm aware that in Europe there are different standards on when tips are expected.

 

Tip, gratuity, service charge - whatever one calls it - is in addition to base fare on most mass market lines. As long as it can technically be stated as "discretionary" it changes the tax liability for the crew member and reporting requirements for the cruise line. What is very bad however is that some will parse these words to mean "optional". They therefore want to remove it just for that reason.

 

Quite frankly I don't see how any person intelligent enough to use the internet cannot figure out the all-in price of their voyage. All cruise line advertising in the US as the "fine print" that outlines service charges, port taxes, etc. Computers also have a handy calculator app.

 

I've been guilty of using the term optional because you do indeed have the option to increase, decrease, or remove the service charge. I am not in favor of removing the SC, but one does have that option. In fact, after handing out envelopes on the last cruise day and evening, my additional gratuities probably quadruples it.

Definition of optional: possible but not compulsory; left to personal choice.

Edited by blizzardboy

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<snip>

 

Quite frankly I don't see how any person intelligent enough to use the internet cannot figure out the all-in price of their voyage. All cruise line advertising in the US as the "fine print" that outlines service charges, port taxes, etc. Computers also have a handy calculator app.

 

A rather sweeping statement and you apparently are not aware that there are still many, many people who do not book their cruise online, indeed do not surf the net to find out any additional info that they have no idea they need - they still rely on a travel agent or a HAL agent to book for them and take care of all those details.

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A rather sweeping statement and you apparently are not aware that there are still many, many people who do not book their cruise online, indeed do not surf the net to find out any additional info that they have no idea they need - they still rely on a travel agent or a HAL agent to book for them and take care of all those details.

 

I rather doubt that those who are so unfamiliar with the internet that they rely upon some kind of a TA to book their cruises are sufficiently internet proficient to find their way to this site to complain about being surprised by the HSC.

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I rather doubt that those who are so unfamiliar with the internet that they rely upon some kind of a TA to book their cruises are sufficiently internet proficient to find their way to this site to complain about being surprised by the HSC.

 

Indeed!:rolleyes: And it should be remembered that CC makes up a very, very small percentage of cruisers. Why would you think that they all find their way here?

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Indeed!:rolleyes: And it should be remembered that CC makes up a very, very small percentage of cruisers. Why would you think that they all find their way here?

 

Furthermore, those that post on cruise critic are very familiar with cruising, yet somehow, we are to believe they are unaware of HSC?

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I don't blame new cruisers for not knowing about a lot of aspects of cruising. I certainly was a "green horn" 22 years and knew virtually nothing. I don't remember what I didn't know and found surprising once I first took a cruise. I'm sure there were numerous things and, quite frankly, I'm still learning or correcting what I think I know. Even though I was aware of the AOL predecessor to Cruise Critic back in the early 90's I can't say I was an active participant back then and really didn't even get involved here until 2003 or so. My point is that it is easy to forget Cruise Critic, as popular and as great of source of information as it is, really only attracts a very small percentage of the total number of cruisers, even experienced cruisers.

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Furthermore, those that post on cruise critic are very familiar with cruising, yet somehow, we are to believe they are unaware of HSC?

It's selective blindness. The answer would seem to be higher fares for people from certain countries. It certainly wouldn't be unfair, since those people are used to paying higher wages without service charges or tips. People from those countries couldn't really complain. They're playing by their own local rules, after all. ;)

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Furthermore, those that post on cruise critic are very familiar with cruising, yet somehow, we are to believe they are unaware of HSC?

 

People who post on CC have no excuse for not knowing. That goes without saying. I was responding to Blueriband's post asserting that everyone uses the internet......

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I don't blame new cruisers for not knowing about a lot of aspects of cruising. I certainly was a "green horn" 22 years and knew virtually nothing. I don't remember what I didn't know and found surprising once I first took a cruise. I'm sure there were numerous things and, quite frankly, I'm still learning or correcting what I think I know. Even though I was aware of the AOL predecessor to Cruise Critic back in the early 90's I can't say I was an active participant back then and really didn't even get involved here until 2003 or so. My point is that it is easy to forget Cruise Critic, as popular and as great of source of information as it is, really only attracts a very small percentage of the total number of cruisers, even experienced cruisers.

 

I so agree. I remember my first cruise was on a HAL ship. I didn't know anything about the company or the ship. We won the cruise on an auction as part of a cruise/land vacation put together by a travel agent. All our dealings were with the travel agent. Not once did I visit HAL's website. I didn't know anything about cruising then. And I just went with it and enjoyed it.

 

I didn't know anything about the ship. Didn't know anything about the HSC. Didn't know anything about set dining. Didn't know what the muster drill was. Port and stern - what the heck was that?

 

I'll tell you one thing that I will never forget from that voyage. Us walking into the Neptune Lounge and being told that we weren't welcomed there. We laughed at it so much. We didn't even know that there were Neptune cabins on the ship.

 

When you don't know what you don't know, it can sometimes still be fun to cruise.

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I don't blame new cruisers for not knowing about a lot of aspects of cruising. I certainly was a "green horn" 22 years and knew virtually nothing. I don't remember what I didn't know and found surprising once I first took a cruise. I'm sure there were numerous things and, quite frankly, I'm still learning or correcting what I think I know. Even though I was aware of the AOL predecessor to Cruise Critic back in the early 90's I can't say I was an active participant back then and really didn't even get involved here until 2003 or so. My point is that it is easy to forget Cruise Critic, as popular and as great of source of information as it is, really only attracts a very small percentage of the total number of cruisers, even experienced cruisers.

 

Great post - I agree 100%.

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Methinks Princess, sister company to Holland America, may have created a serious problem. Princess is currently running a promotion that includes, among other things, "complimentary gratuities." The material says if you sign up, Princess pays the full amount of your gratuities.

 

Let's say you didn't feel obligated to tip the staff, can you opt out when Princess provides the gratuity? A Princess CS rep told me no, you cannot.

 

So I guess that means the gratuity becomes just another name for a pay subsidy, doesn't it?

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Methinks Princess, sister company to Holland America, may have created a serious problem. Princess is currently running a promotion that includes, among other things, "complimentary gratuities." The material says if you sign up, Princess pays the full amount of your gratuities.

 

Let's say you didn't feel obligated to tip the staff, can you opt out when Princess provides the gratuity? A Princess CS rep told me no, you cannot.

 

So I guess that means the gratuity becomes just another name for a pay subsidy, doesn't it?

 

I can understand why the policy is that way. Did the rep specify if opting out of "complimentary gratuities" means your money doesn't go into the tip pool, or you get the money back? If the latter, the money wasn't yours to begin with, so it shouldn't go to you, and if not to you and not to the tip pool, then where?

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Tipping is not done as a matter of course in Australia because employees are generally paid a wage they can live on, although we do tip in restaurants for example where the service has been at least reasonable and it is of course appreciated, but not necessarily expected.

 

When cruising, we know that crew depend on tipping and we pay without fussing about it. You just do whatever is done in the country you are visiting or the ship you're on. Just a shame for them that their wages are so low.

 

I saw this morning on Facebook that HAL gratuities are going up to $12.50 and higher for the high end suites.

 

Ozcruizer (sailing next Saturday from Honolulu to Sydney)

 

 

It's been explained many times in this thread and oh so many others why not all cruise line include the HSC in the fare. We may not like the reason, may not agree with it but when we book HAL cruises, we agree to abide by it. To cancel HSC from on board accounts is disrespectful to the crew and IMO a violation of our agreement of our booking.

 

 

 

 

It's selective blindness. The answer would seem to be higher fares for people from certain countries. It certainly wouldn't be unfair, since those people are used to paying higher wages without service charges or tips. People from those countries couldn't really complain. They're playing by their own local rules, after all. ;)

 

 

 

Perfect.

 

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Methinks Princess, sister company to Holland America, may have created a serious problem. Princess is currently running a promotion that includes, among other things, "complimentary gratuities." The material says if you sign up, Princess pays the full amount of your gratuities.

 

Let's say you didn't feel obligated to tip the staff, can you opt out when Princess provides the gratuity? A Princess CS rep told me no, you cannot.

 

So I guess that means the gratuity becomes just another name for a pay subsidy, doesn't it?

 

I can understand why the policy is that way. Did the rep specify if opting out of "complimentary gratuities" means your money doesn't go into the tip pool, or you get the money back? If the latter, the money wasn't yours to begin with, so it shouldn't go to you, and if not to you and not to the tip pool, then where?

There are a number of lines that offer pre-paid gratuities a part of a promo. Celebrity frequently offers a choice between one or more of a beverage package, OBC or gratuities. Like the beverage package, once you've made your choice, you can't cash it in for it's face value, and I've personally never read about anyone dissatisfied with the service getting any type of rebate.

 

Celebrity also charges the gratuities at the time of your final payment if you choose anytime dining, but fixed seating customers are charged daily. I don't know how these variations are handled from an accounting perspective, but it does seem that there are alternatives that HAL could explore.

 

I for one would support an increased fare with everyone getting "free gratuities" in the amount of the increase. The crew members would get their money, those who don't usually give gratuities wouldn't have to because they'd be "free", and those who demand their gratuities back would be out of luck. I know, very transparent, but the crew and the majority of passengers would be happy! :)

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I for one would support an increased fare with everyone getting "free gratuities" in the amount of the increase. The crew members would get their money, those who don't usually give gratuities wouldn't have to because they'd be "free", and those who demand their gratuities back would be out of luck. I know, very transparent, but the crew and the majority of passengers would be happy! :)

 

Do you have any idea of the numbers who would criticize this idea? Personally, I don't have any issues with your concept and it does have several attractive features.

 

The point is, regardless of the issue, any change will produce as many who like the change as it will produce that do not.

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