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wannagonow123

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

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Autogratuity is 'dreaded' by a lot of folks (not including us BTW). All one has to do is read a few threads here on the subject to come to that obvious conclusion.

 

Or I'm sure you have seen the long lines at the guest services desk waiting for their opportunity to remove those dreaded autogratuities.

 

The only thing one can conclude from the HSC threads is that there is a rather small number of people who want to avoid paying the HSC. JMHO, but it appears to me that the majority who want to incorporate the HSC within the fare believe the cruise lines can do this without increasing the fare.

 

quote=KroozNut;53231118]Obviously nobody can know what the increase in fare would be, we can only extrapolate from the starting point of current $13.50 HSC. The potential increase in fare would reasonably need to be in line with this... which is minimal.

 

Since "nobody can know what the increase would be" you have no basis for calling it "minimal".

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The only thing one can conclude from the HSC threads is that there is a rather small number of people who want to avoid paying the HSC.

Your assertion would likely be more accurate if you added at the end of the sentence ... "and are willing to identify themselves as such on Cruise Critic". ;)

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The only thing one can conclude from the HSC threads is that there is a rather small number of people who want to avoid paying the HSC. JMHO, but it appears to me that the majority who want to incorporate the HSC within the fare believe the cruise lines can do this without increasing the fare.

 

I can't speak for others who would support including the HSC in the basis fare but I do and personally I'd expect they'd increase the fare accordingly. I could live with that as I already see the HSC as "fixed" cost of my cruises. Quite frankly I view cruise lines keeping auto gratuities/tips/service charges as just playing a shell game that allows them to make their cruises look less expensive than they are in fact. Sure, there may be some income tax considerations for the crew but I won't even venture to guess how many nationalities are involved and how their income tax laws are dealt with. Lines that don't have separate charges for auto gratuities/tips/service charges have apparently found a way to deal with that so it can be done.

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The only thing one can conclude from the HSC threads is that there is a rather small number of people who want to avoid paying the HSC.

 

'Relatively small' is probably an underestimate. Just do a search here on the subject and see what you come up with (a lot of dread).

 

JMHO, but it appears to me that the majority who want to incorporate the HSC within the fare believe the cruise lines can do this without increasing the fare.

 

Not true.. the discussion involves incorporating the HSC into the fare understanding the resulting increase in the base fare before taxes and fees.

 

quote=KroozNut;53231118]Obviously nobody can know what the increase in fare would be, we can only extrapolate from the starting point of current $13.50 HSC. The potential increase in fare would reasonably need to be in line with this... which is minimal.

 

Since "nobody can know what the increase would be" you have no basis for calling it "minimal".

 

No empirical basis sure, but one can offer an estimate of what the increase might be based on data that is available; such as the current HSC of $13.50.

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Your assertion would likely be more accurate if you added at the end of the sentence ... "and are willing to identify themselves as such on Cruise Critic". ;)

Well if you really want to worry about accuracy what matters is not how people self identify but rather what behavior they actually exhibit given specific circumstances. I think most travelers would say very very clearly that they would prefer if there wasn't a fee for checked luggage on airplanes for example. However, we can tell from the disclosures from the airlines that what they say does not match what's best for the airlines in that regard.

 

This message may have been entered using voice recognition. Please excuse any typos.

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It's always been my contention that those who are opposed to tipping have never had a job where they had to clean up someone else's mess. :mad:

 

Roz

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'Relatively small' is probably an underestimate. Just do a search here on the subject and see what you come up with (a lot of dread).

 

You're confusing CC posters with the general cruising public. Only a very small percentage of cruisers even know of cruise critic.

 

Not true.. the discussion involves incorporating the HSC into the fare understanding the resulting increase in the base fare before taxes and fees.

 

There have also been posters who state that the cruise lines are making enough profit to raise crew salaries without raising fares.

 

quote=KroozNut;53231118]Obviously nobody can know what the increase in fare would be, we can only extrapolate from the starting point of current $13.50 HSC. The potential increase in fare would reasonably need to be in line with this... which is minimal.

 

No empirical basis sure, but one can offer an estimate of what the increase might be based on data that is available; such as the current HSC of $13.50.

 

So, go ahead and provide an estimate based upon the available data.

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It's always been my contention that those who are opposed to tipping have never had a job where they had to clean up someone else's mess. :mad:

 

Roz

Well there are people in every country who work in service jobs, but it is our system that organized their compensation in a form of tips. In most of countries they are salaried or paid by an hour by their employers. There is nothing wrong with either of systems it is just that cruising has become very international and not all cruisers are used to our system.

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Point taken, Tatka. My remark was directed at those who are familiar with the American system, where it's customary to tip waiters, porters, doormen, hotel maids, etc.

 

Roz

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You're confusing CC posters with the general cruising public. Only a very small percentage of cruisers even know of cruise critic.

 

Actually, I'd think CC posters are more likely than the general cruising public to leave the HSC charge in place, as (presumably) they understand the reasons for it. It's often said that anecdotal data isn't evidence, but I've run into a great many people on their first or even second cruise who simply remove the charge because they really don't understand it.

Someone recently posted on this same thread that the Front desk informed her about 20% of passengers on any given cruise remove the HSC. And I'm 100% sure that a sizeable chunk of them are not compensating their servers and stewards an equivalent amount on their own initiative.

There have also been posters who state that the cruise lines are making enough profit to raise crew salaries without raising fares.

 

I hope you are not referring to me, because that is not at all what I suggested. My thought was that cruise lines could manage to pay for a majority of whatever "extra" expense is incurred due to tax obligations or administrative burden by making the HSC mandatory (like port taxes) and not discretionary. Given that the charge would be collected from everyone, not just those who do not "opt out", seems to me that they'd probably collect enough to make a substantial dent in whatever extra burdens might exist.

 

So, go ahead and provide an estimate based upon the available data.

 

It's not our job to provide an estimate. No one knows except the cruise lines themselves. But my guess is that, while the extra cost is not insubstantial, it's also not nearly as high as some seem to think.

 

If it were so ruinous to do this, then how is it that:

 

A) a number of cruiselines already offer prepaid gratuities as a perk. They have to manage that financially somehow -- it's not coming from the customer. And if it was financially onerous, they wouldn't offer it.

 

B) some lines that do not market primarily to US customers already do this (and they are not necessarily luxury lines).

 

My guess is that the reason for not doing this is based much more on the imperative to advertise lowest possible cost than on the difficulty and expense of carrying it out....

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You may be right about Cruise Critic members being less likely to remove gratuities but you're missing the point that they may be more vocal about removing gratuities perhaps even more vocal about doing so then they will actually do so in reality. Regardless I think Rocketman's point is that you can't use any measurement of Cruise Critic posts for any illuminating purposes whatsoever.

 

And remarkably this may be one of the matters that cruise lines themselves don't even have a means of determining the reality. In order to know the reality you need to know with assurance how many passengers are giving cash tips to crew members and that to be a valid metric that cannot be allowed to be compromised by failure of the crew member to inform the cruise line that they have been given a cash tip. This is one of those things for which the answer really is "no one knows".

 

I'd have to scroll back to find out who raised the matter of the cruise lines making enough profit to raise crew salaries without raising fares. It was a nonsensical claim that has no significance. With regard to your perspective on it, the only one who makes out financially by making the HSC mandatory are various taxing authorities. Is it worth it to passengers to pay more so the cruise line can fully cover the tax obligations and administrative burden of making the HSC mandatory just to not have to worry about the auto gratuity? If so I don't see how unless you're somebody who is very conscientious about the tax authorities getting their due. It's a very noble and valid perspective but I don't see anybody putting it forward in this thread.

 

I agree that it's not our job to provide an estimate and the the cruise line itself is the only entity in the position to know. Reflexively our best insight into what they know is that how they offer the service to us.

 

This message may have been entered using voice recognition. Please excuse any typos.

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It's not our job to provide an estimate. No one knows except the cruise lines themselves. But my guess is that, while the extra cost is not insubstantial, it's also not nearly as high as some seem to think.

 

If it were so ruinous to do this, then how is it that:

 

A) a number of cruiselines already offer prepaid gratuities as a perk. They have to manage that financially somehow -- it's not coming from the customer. And if it was financially onerous, they wouldn't offer it.

 

B) some lines that do not market primarily to US customers already do this (and they are not necessarily luxury lines).

 

My guess is that the reason for not doing this is based much more on the imperative to advertise lowest possible cost than on the difficulty and expense of carrying it out....

 

If one cannot make a credible estimate (guess) of the effects of incorporating the HSC into the fare, then one has no basis for making claims that such incorporation would have minimal effect. Just because it isn't "onerous", doesn't mean it is "minimal".

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So, go ahead and provide an estimate based upon the available data.

 

An increase of somewhere between $13.50 and say $25.00 pp/pd; again, only an estimate.

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An increase of somewhere between $13.50 and say $25.00 pp/pd; again, only an estimate.

 

seems to me that $25 pp was exactly what RuthC suggested a while back.

 

And that, makes the cruise more expensive than just paying the $13.50 or $15.00 (if you are in a suite).

 

I think that's the reason they have been kept separate.

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An increase of somewhere between $13.50 and say $25.00 pp/pd; again, only an estimate.

 

$25 probably is in the ball park.

Currently, the HSC is $13.50.

An overhead rate of 100% would be understandable.

That would make the HSC $27. Which raises the question "Is this minimal"?

 

Consider a seven day Caribbean cruise. (Current HSC)

$800 PP for an inside.

$140 PP Port Fees

$95 HSC

1035 PP Total.

 

$800 PP for an inside. (100% HSC increase)

$140 PP Port Fees

$190 HSC

1130 PP Total.

 

1130/1035 is a 10 percent increase.

Total price of the cruise increases by $95 PP.

The cruise price would increase by $190 for two people

A family of four would see an increase in their cruise fare of $378.

 

Are those numbers "minimal"? That is in the eye of the beholder.

 

We book suites so it's not even a consideration but I can see for those very price conscious persons, the ones most likely to book inside guarantees might think otherwise. After all, think of the complains on cruise critic of HSC increases that were fractions of that amount. And, consider the impact of $378 fare increase on a family. You could well be pricing some families out of the cruising business.

 

 

What have we accomplished?

- If done properly, the crew will be paid the same.

- The only ones who benefit are the government tax collectors and employment agencies.

 

 

The cruising public are the ones harmed since they're the ones whose bills go up by $95 PP.

 

Families will be hardest hit.

 

Is that worth it to dispel the "dreaded" HSC?

 

Not in my opinion but then I don't "dread" paying gratuities.

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Total price of the cruise increases by $95 PP.

The cruise price would increase by $190 for two people

The cruise price will also increase by $190 for solo travelers, except those in a single cabin (currently only a few, and only on two ships).

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Not sure I see the need for "100% overhead" and don't see that as reasonable or necessary. The $13.50 pp/day could be raised to say to $15.00-$17.00 pp/day to cover potential tax concerns. Over a 7-day cruise that would be something like $11 to $25 more than now, hardly more than a drink or two.

Edited by Randyk47

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Over a 7-day cruise that would be something like $11 to $25 more than now, hardly more than a drink or two.

I don't care to pay anything that will only benefit some tax authority in a faraway country---even the "$11 to $25 more" you quoted.

 

I also believe that there would be new HAL administrative expenses that they would be justified in passing along to the passenger. This would increase their cost of doing business by some amount.

If the total weren't the $27, or $25, per day that's been guestimated, it would still be something out of our pockets, while not going into staff pockets. I cannot agree with the poster who thinks people would think that's all right.

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Not sure I see the need for "100% overhead" and don't see that as reasonable or necessary. The $13.50 pp/day could be raised to say to $15.00-$17.00 pp/day to cover potential tax concerns. Over a 7-day cruise that would be something like $11 to $25 more than now, hardly more than a drink or two.

 

That over head is consistent with the overheads I've seen on major contracts.

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Not in my opinion but then I don't "dread" paying gratuities.

 

And as I've already said at least a couple times in this thread, we don't dread paying gratuities either, but the debate has been lively. ;):)

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The cruise price would increase by $190 for two people

 

Are those numbers "minimal"? That is in the eye of the beholder.

 

They're minimal in the sense that DW and I will be paying $189 HSC autogratuity for our upcoming 7-night cruise on O'Dam in September. So unless I'm missing something in your calculations, it works out to be essentially a 'wash'.

 

That being said, I think the autogratuity haters would rather pay the HSC as part of their base fare, as opposed to having it added as a separate charge after the fact.

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They're minimal in the sense that DW and I will be paying $189 HSC autogratuity for our upcoming 7-night cruise on O'Dam in September. So unless I'm missing something in your calculations, it works out to be essentially a 'wash'.

 

That being said, I think the autogratuity haters would rather pay the HSC as part of their base fare, as opposed to having it added as a separate charge after the fact.

 

The simplest thing for the "auto gratuity haters" would be to leave the HSC in place. Why pay double the HSC only to benefit the tax collectors in foreign countries?

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The simplest thing for the "auto gratuity haters" would be to leave the HSC in place. Why pay double the HSC only to benefit the tax collectors in foreign countries?

I suspect that even the staunchest "auto gratuity hater" is smart enough to figure that out.

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It's not our job to provide an estimate. No one knows except the cruise lines themselves. But my guess is that, while the extra cost is not insubstantial, it's also not nearly as high as some seem to think.

 

If it were so ruinous to do this, then how is it that:

 

A) a number of cruiselines already offer prepaid gratuities as a perk. They have to manage that financially somehow -- it's not coming from the customer. And if it was financially onerous, they wouldn't offer it.

 

B) some lines that do not market primarily to US customers already do this (and they are not necessarily luxury lines).

 

My guess is that the reason for not doing this is based much more on the imperative to advertise lowest possible cost than on the difficulty and expense of carrying it out....

 

Hello Cruisemom42,

I really enjoy reading your posts. They are smart and unbiased.

Unfortunately, I can not say the same about a lot of HAL Cruisecritic members who spend A LOT of time bashing people who dare saying anything "against" HAL. I know I will get a lot of bad responses but I can take it... I know HAL has a great quality/price product but I also know it is not the best cruiseline out there... It's just a fact as it is not a luxury cruise line. Also, compared to Celebrity, Celebrity is superior but HAL has a better/quality price. This is why we purchase usually HAL cruises...

 

Okay, let's get back to the topic. We are just trying to find a way for cruisers to pay the same for gratuities per room category. You might not believe a percentage of cruisers opt out of paying their gratuities but unfortunately, it does happen. So this is maybe why HAL had to increase their gratuities from $12.50 to $13.50. We are now paying more for the "cheap skate" or the people who do not believe in tipping. This is why I can not understand why cruisers are against including the gratuities in the fare. I understand why HAL does not want to as it would increase the cost of the cruise and people might/would purchase another cruise from another cruise line. The losers in this story are the employees. HAL doesn't really care if about 20% of the cruisers opt out of paying gratuities but the crew does...

 

HAL should set up and explain they care for their employees so they have taken a huge decision by changing their fare and showing a final price before port taxes... The cruisers who do not believe in tipping or the "cheap skate" would look at the price of the cruise and if they fell it's too expensive, they would purchase another cruise line. Let's see how long the employees for the other cruise lines will want to work for them over HAL...

 

Service would stay the same or even improve as no crew would want to lose their position with innovator HAL...

 

Just my impartial opinion as I can say out loud what HAL do right AND do WRONG. Sorry die-hard HAL fan.

 

The Canadians!:cool:

Edited by cashmeremypuppydog
grammatical mistake.

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