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

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Stephen, Please re-read my posts.. I am well aware that the crew does not live or work in the U.S. & are not paid in the U.S..

 

All I'm doing is disputing two posts who state that ONLY persons who are U.S. citizens pay U.S. Income taxes & that is completely untrue!

 

There are plenty of people who work & live in the U.S. & are paid in the U.S. & those people are required by law to pay Income taxes to the U.S. Government..

 

Those are the only two statements I'm disputing!

 

 

 

The points are regarding CREWMEMBERS.... as in those that take part in the HSC. I cannot think of a single crewmember who would be a foreign crew member working on a HAL ship. None. You might well find a waiter or bar tender from Indonesia or Philippines who LIVES in the US and has a Green Card... then yes, he would pay US taxes. Again.... you won't find any on board.

 

Yes there are quite a lot of staff on board..... foreign nationals that have a Green Card and live in the USA... but work on foreign flag vessels. Yes, they do pay taxes to US. Like Captains, Cruise Directors etc. Waiter, stewards, cooks etc... No.... UNLESS THEY LIVE IN THE USA.

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A few days ago I sent a private e-mail to a fellow friend Cruise Critic. Here is partly what I said as far as HSC etc.

 

"I agree, I am fed up with this nonsense. How HAL does their business and how they pay their crew is not business for passengers! People on CC don't want to know.... they are just looking as a cheap shot as an excuse to getting away for not paying HSC. And the people that want to add it to ticket... well, you either pay the ticket ALL up front... which few want to do.... or pay the 'balance' at the end of the cruise. I cannot understand all the fluff!

 

Worse... how a bit of respect for the crew? How the crew get their money from HAL is for their WAGES. How it works and how they negotiate with the maritime union... all agreed.. is no business of the passengers. I wish were would just leave it alone."

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I figure ... if HAL has figured this out and come up with an amount they consider reasonable, I'm going with it. I'm certainly not capable of figuring out which behind-the-scenes person is more worthy than another. The auto-tip policy just makes it easier.

 

Also if they are kind enough to add a 15% service charge onto a bar bill for walking a drink a few feet over from a bar, I will go with that, too ... in spite of any hints like little blank lines on the ticket that could be filled in with more.

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A gratuity is defined as:

 

noun, plural gratuities. 1. a gift of money, over and above payment due for service, as to a waiter or bellhop; tip.

2.something given without claim or demand.

 

The charge at HAL is called a Hotel Service Charge.

 

That means the HSC is, definitionally, a payment to HAL for services rendered and not a gratuity.

 

This means we're now in an era of an all inclusive fare (almost) by the (almost) mandatory HSC.

 

I don't understand how there's any reason to consider the taxation of pay to crew has any bearing at all on the HSC.

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A few days ago I sent a private e-mail to a fellow friend Cruise Critic. Here is partly what I said as far as HSC etc.

 

"I agree, I am fed up with this nonsense. How HAL does their business and how they pay their crew is not business for passengers! People on CC don't want to know.... they are just looking as a cheap shot as an excuse to getting away for not paying HSC. And the people that want to add it to ticket... well, you either pay the ticket ALL up front... which few want to do.... or pay the 'balance' at the end of the cruise. I cannot understand all the fluff!

 

Worse... how a bit of respect for the crew? How the crew get their money from HAL is for their WAGES. How it works and how they negotiate with the maritime union... all agreed.. is no business of the passengers. I wish were would just leave it alone."

 

I can't find a thumbs up so a smilie will have to do.:):)

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I can't find a thumbs up so a smilie will have to do.:):)

 

 

 

Thanks. Smilie of the day!

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I can't find a thumbs up so a smilie will have to do.:):)

 

I Agree!! :):)

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A few days ago I sent a private e-mail to a fellow friend Cruise Critic. Here is partly what I said as far as HSC etc.

 

"I agree, I am fed up with this nonsense. How HAL does their business and how they pay their crew is not business for passengers! People on CC don't want to know.... they are just looking as a cheap shot as an excuse to getting away for not paying HSC. And the people that want to add it to ticket... well, you either pay the ticket ALL up front... which few want to do.... or pay the 'balance' at the end of the cruise. I cannot understand all the fluff!

 

Worse... how a bit of respect for the crew? How the crew get their money from HAL is for their WAGES. How it works and how they negotiate with the maritime union... all agreed.. is no business of the passengers. I wish were would just leave it alone."

 

 

Two thumbs up and hopefully another smile. :)

 

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A few days ago I sent a private e-mail to a fellow friend Cruise Critic. Here is partly what I said as far as HSC etc.

 

"I agree, I am fed up with this nonsense. How HAL does their business and how they pay their crew is not business for passengers! People on CC don't want to know.... they are just looking as a cheap shot as an excuse to getting away for not paying HSC. And the people that want to add it to ticket... well, you either pay the ticket ALL up front... which few want to do.... or pay the 'balance' at the end of the cruise. I cannot understand all the fluff!

 

Worse... how a bit of respect for the crew? How the crew get their money from HAL is for their WAGES. How it works and how they negotiate with the maritime union... all agreed.. is no business of the passengers. I wish were would just leave it alone."

 

I also agree!!!:):)

 

I can't think of any reason to pay it at the same time as the cruise as opposed to paying it when we disembark & pay our final bill..

 

By paying it later we get to keep the interest on that amount for a longer time, especially when we book a long cruise six months to a year before departure...

 

Anyone who wishes to pay for it in advance can purchase enough OBC to cover their gratuities when they book..

 

Agree with Stephen that it's really not any Psgrs business how HAL decides it's crew should be paid..

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I think that if you research this issue on the internet, you'll find that my statement is accurate. The example you cite of foreign employees living and working in the USA is very different from that of employees aboard foreign-flagged ships working in international waters.

 

Purchasing OBC is a work around that achieves the same end, but you are simply establish a credit, not directing payment to any one area. Minor difference, but those who made the statement that you can't prepay gratuities were in fact correct.

 

The only reason I quoted you was your statement which said:

Quote The majority of cruise ship employees are neither American citizens nor taxable in the USA. The IRS has no jurisdiction.

 

Being an American Citizen has nothing to do with it! The IRS has complete jurisdiction over anyone living & being paid in the U.S. All I'm correcting is posters who state the crew are not U.S. Citizens which has no bearing on the subject..

 

/SIZE]

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The only reason I quoted you was your statement which said:

Quote The majority of cruise ship employees are neither American citizens nor taxable in the USA. The IRS has no jurisdiction.

 

Being an American Citizen has nothing to do with it! The IRS has complete jurisdiction over anyone living & being paid in the U.S. All I'm correcting is posters who state the crew are not U.S. Citizens which has no bearing on the subject.

Sorry, Serendipity, but you are wrong on this one, as citizenship has everything to do with it. While the "IRS has complete jurisdiction over anyone living & being paid in the U.S.", this thread isn't about people living and working in the US, it's about people working around the globe as crew members aboard foreign flagged HAL ships.

 

American citizens fall under the jurisdiction of the IRS no matter where they work, but as I've said repeatedly, the vast majority of crew members are not American citizens. Consequently, neither being American citizens nor living and working in the US, the majority of crew members do not pay taxes to the US.

 

In any event, Serendipity, I have great respect for you and your posts on Cruise Critic, but I think that on this issue you simply have it wrong.

Edited by Fouremco

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The only reason I quoted you was your statement which said:

Quote The majority of cruise ship employees are neither American citizens nor taxable in the USA. The IRS has no jurisdiction.

 

Being an American Citizen has nothing to do with it! The IRS has complete jurisdiction over anyone living & being paid in the U.S. All I'm correcting is posters who state the crew are not U.S. Citizens which has no bearing on the subject..

 

/SIZE]

 

I have to agree you are wrong. The crew is not living or working in the US, and being paid in USD does not require them to pay taxes to the IRS. Now, if you were a US citizen living and working elsewhere, that's another matter. The IRS comes after a share of your earnings. But the IRS has no claim whatsoever to the crew earnings.

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I have to agree you are wrong. The crew is not living or working in the US, and being paid in USD does not require them to pay taxes to the IRS. Now, if you were a US citizen living and working elsewhere, that's another matter. The IRS comes after a share of your earnings. But the IRS has no claim whatsoever to the crew earnings.

 

 

Sad that Americans have to pay taxes.... even if live, work and pay.... abroad.

 

But we are getting past all that nasty tax business again.

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.

 

Hello "Sow There"

 

you did the first non-European statement about the Hotel Service Charge – for which I would indeed undersign :)

 

Almost anywhere people do mix-up with a mandatory salary - or name it 'TIP' - what the HSC indeed is :o

 

And between the sometimes even from a cash-register auto-added, but still is a consumer appreciation – or name it 'GRATUITY'

Or 'cumshaw' as Leo.org also mention ;)

 

 

Happy cruising

 

G E R D

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Sad that Americans have to pay taxes.... even if live, work and pay.... abroad.

 

But we are getting past all that nasty tax business again.

 

Since 2008 the IRS has gone after every US national permanently living and working elsewhere for a share of their income. But we digress.:D The crew's income is safe as long as they are not US citizens or paid in the US.

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I also agree!!!:):)

 

I can't think of any reason to pay it at the same time as the cruise as opposed to paying it when we disembark & pay our final bill..

 

By paying it later we get to keep the interest on that amount for a longer time, especially when we book a long cruise six months to a year before departure...

 

Anyone who wishes to pay for it in advance can purchase enough OBC to cover their gratuities when they book..

 

Agree with Stephen that it's really not any Psgrs business how HAL decides it's crew should be paid..

 

 

 

Get to keep the interest. :) What interest?? If you have some great source for earning interest these days, kindly share with the rest of us.

 

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Get to keep the interest. :) What interest?? If you have some great source for earning interest these days, kindly share with the rest of us.

 

The vast majority use credit cards to pay their shipboard charges. Credit cards charge interest, sometimes as much as 29.9%, if the previous balance is not paid in full. I understand there are some cards that now charge interest even if the previous balance is paid in full.

 

So paying the HSC on the last day of a cruise will probably reduce the amount of interest someone will pay on their credit card.

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Ahha, Thanks, Host Walt.

I hadn't thought of it in those terms.

I thought the poster meant leave the cash in your bank account and collect interest but I find that interest is woefully low. Sure wish banks paid even half the interest they charge. :)

 

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A gratuity is defined as:

 

noun, plural gratuities. 1. a gift of money, over and above payment due for service, as to a waiter or bellhop; tip.

2.something given without claim or demand.

 

The charge at HAL is called a Hotel Service Charge.

 

That means the HSC is, definitionally, a payment to HAL for services rendered and not a gratuity.

 

This means we're now in an era of an all inclusive fare (almost) by the (almost) mandatory HSC.

 

I don't understand how there's any reason to consider the taxation of pay to crew has any bearing at all on the HSC.

 

I appreciate that you consider a gratuity to be separate from the HSC. I don't think that HAL sees it that way though. On its website, HAL has the HSC under the heading Tips. Under this heading, HAL specifically writes, "Is there a Hotel Service Charge (Gratuity/Tip)?" The use of the parentheses is to clarify or to provide explanation. In this context, HAL appears to be denoting that the HSC, gratuity and tip are all one and the same.

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I appreciate that you consider a gratuity to be separate from the HSC. I don't think that HAL sees it that way though. On its website, HAL has the HSC under the heading Tips. Under this heading, HAL specifically writes, "Is there a Hotel Service Charge (Gratuity/Tip)?" The use of the parentheses is to clarify or to provide explanation. In this context, HAL appears to be denoting that the HSC, gratuity and tip are all one and the same.

I understand and, for now, I hope that interpretation stands.

 

But it may also be just the next step in the transition from the former "Tipping Not Required" policy where HAL said the staff works for the pleasure of serving the public to now with an almost mandatory HSC which will shortly become mandatory like a "resort fee" and will be a mandatory extra charge loaded on every passenger's bill.

 

Then many people will start to feel uncomfortable not tipping the cabin steward and the dining room people directly so they will start leaving tips for them. That may well be followed in 4 or 5 years with HAL reinstating the "Tipping Not Required" policy statement without any reference to the HSC so we'll be starting yet another "tradition."

 

Then out will come the dictionary definition of tip/gratuity to establish the distinction between the HSC and tips.

 

In other words, my cynicism gene is alive and well.

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In other words, my cynicism gene is alive and well.

 

with some good reason me thinks.

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In this context, HAL appears to be denoting that the HSC, gratuity and tip are all one and the same.
I disagree that this is the intent.

 

The line you quote is in the FAQ section. An FAQ listing would not be of much help if it did not include the key words Tip and Gratuity that someone could be looking for. The only other place in the FAQ where either of those words are used is in the last sentence under HSC:

"In terminals, airports, ports of call and on shore excursions, we suggest that you extend gratuities consistent with customary local practices."

Edited by jtl513

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Get to keep the interest. :) What interest?? If you have some great source for earning interest these days, kindly share with the rest of us.

 

 

As I mentioned previously, we normally take the longer cruises.. Our HSC was over $1500 for our 68 day cruise on the Prinsendam.. Keeping $1500 in our LOW interest bearing Money Market or Credit Union account for the entire year prior to our departure, I agree is peanuts, but bought us an extra dinner in the Pinnacle.. Our next cruise is short but we normally take 21 to 30 day cruises & the HSC for a 30 day would be over $700.. We'll take any small amount of interest & pay our final HSC at the end of our cruise...:D

 

The vast majority use credit cards to pay their shipboard charges. Credit cards charge interest, sometimes as much as 29.9%, if the previous balance is not paid in full. I understand there are some cards that now charge interest even if the previous balance is paid in full.

 

So paying the HSC on the last day of a cruise will probably reduce the amount of interest someone will pay on their credit card.

 

Walt agree with you...We charge everything & pay our credit cards in full every month.. Fortunately we don't have to pay interest on any thing..

 

When we took our 68 day cruise the card we used only paid back 1% but has now been upgraded to a Capital One "Quicksilver" Credit card which pays us 1 & 1/2 percent back on every purchase.. We'll use that card to pay our final HAL bill.. We actually have three credit cards which we alternate every quarter as they will return 5% to us on certain purchases.. I check every quarter & use the one which returns the most amount.. Even a small amount is nice to have in our pockets.:D

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.

 

Hello host "Walt"

 

I looks like a difference of the usage of a Credit Card here in Europe.

 

My understanding is, that the word ‘Credit’ only stands for, that they do sent your over-all monthly usage of your Card, hence your bill, only on the end of every month.

Which create for the issuing card company indeed a kind of short-term credit. But they do charge your banc-account on the spot.

 

So there is not really something like a bank account credit automatically open / related with the CC company, and you could later-on pay the bill.

 

This amount is directly debited from your related real bank account.

=> Where could have indeed a overdraft agreement with the bank.

 

 

Happy cruising

 

G E R D

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