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

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Maybe they were settling account charges, but people do remove auto gratuities :( and some don't even bother to give cash tips. Saving money. :(

 

That's too bad. I consider myself a very over-generous cash tipper, so I would never ask for the HSC removal unless I was certain that I took care of everyone generously during the week prior.

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We'll probably leave HSC as is, but I wonder if the HAL checkout staff gives you a hard time at the end if you say "I tipped during the week, so please adjust that amount to Zero"??

 

This might all change, but my wife and I plan to use the included eateries and buffet for the duration. We're not drinkers either, so I can't see how we can possibly rack up $60 per day in charges. But I know it can happen.

 

If you remove the SCH you have to fill in paperwork and explain why you want to remove it.

 

If you remove it, all that cash you may have tipped MUST be turned in by those you tipped and it goes into the same pool, so you don;t accomplish much.

 

Leave the HSC in place and you don't have to worry about any other tipping during the cruise. It's so simple and easy.

 

They do not charge you $60 per person per day; it is a hold against your credit limit on the card you register. They only charge you at the end of the cruise for all balance on your ship account.

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I'd like to think the 95% was true....but in Alaska this summer on the last afternoon and night the line of people at the desk never diminished. Maybe they were not all removing the gratuities but that was what it seemed like to me.

If the service had been poor people should address it at the time.

That line might be people with cash accounts or account queries and hopefully not wanting to stop autogratuities on the last day which i think is unfair on the hard working crew.

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The last night on our last cruise there was a long line up of people sorting out errors in the charges to their account. I knew this because I was sitting close to the desk, and almost everyone had that issue. I didn't hear anyone ask to remove the gratuities, but they could possibly have, or may have done it previously.

 

I believe that this is the most likely explanation. Our cruising history has taught us that billing errors on HAL are the norm, not the exception. I was really surprised with our recent cruise on the K earlier this month that there were no billing errors and no mishaps or misunderstandings at all. I am hoping that this is a sign of things to come, and not just a one off.

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If you remove the SCH you have to fill in paperwork and explain why you want to remove it.

 

If you remove it, all that cash you may have tipped MUST be turned in by those you tipped and it goes into the same pool, so you don;t accomplish much.

 

Leave the HSC in place and you don't have to worry about any other tipping during the cruise. It's so simple and easy.

 

They do not charge you $60 per person per day; it is a hold against your credit limit on the card you register. They only charge you at the end of the cruise for all balance on your ship account.

 

Not sure why you would have to explain anything. Its your tip, you can do what you want. Do they actually give you a hard time if you ask to adjust the HSC? Very unprofessional if they do.

 

How does anybody you tip know if you have adjusted the HSC? Sometimes they would not even know who you are (other than your first name) or what cabin you are in. Does HAL send out lists of HSC adjusters to all staff?? I doubt it (perhaps I am naive).

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CBR, thank you so much. Extremely helpful. I studied the link you sent, and it does state that we can "adjust that amount ($13.50) and the end." We'll probably leave HSC as is, but I wonder if the HAL checkout staff gives you a hard time at the end if you say "I tipped during the week, so please adjust that amount to Zero"??

 

...

 

You are very welcomed. We have been sailing on HAL now for nearly 15 years and can tell you in all that time and after many, many cruises and meeting many wonderful folks on the ship, the topic of tipping while on a cruise has never come up while on a cruise.

 

I would be very surprised if the folks at Guest Services gave you a hard time for removing the gratuities at the end of the voyage. Of course, each of us have our own interpretation of what a hard time is.

 

We did have one cruise in which the experience was less than ideal. I won't get into details now as it was some years ago. My decision at the time was to pay the HSC and I wrote to HAL head office to share my experience and disappointments with the cruise. As part of the apology and settlement of my issues, HAL offered us OBC to be used on a future cruise that exceeded the amount of HSC that we paid on the cruise. I felt that there was no need for me to feel that I was paying for unsatisfactory service as HAL essentially refunded the HSC and then some. Others may view this differently.

 

 

I offer this experience only as another option should you ever find yourself on a poorly managed ship. In my example, I was further ahead financially bringing my concerns to HAL corporate than to Guest Services on the ship.

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I believe that this is the most likely explanation. Our cruising history has taught us that billing errors on HAL are the norm, not the exception. I was really surprised with our recent cruise on the K earlier this month that there were no billing errors and no mishaps or misunderstandings at all. I am hoping that this is a sign of things to come, and not just a one off.

I wait until I get home and go over it a few days later. They'll still gladly correct any errors. I don't need the hassle at cruise-end.

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Not sure why you would have to explain anything. Its your tip, you can do what you want. Do they actually give you a hard time if you ask to adjust the HSC? Very unprofessional if they do.

 

How does anybody you tip know if you have adjusted the HSC? Sometimes they would not even know who you are (other than your first name) or what cabin you are in. Does HAL send out lists of HSC adjusters to all staff?? I doubt it (perhaps I am naive).

Probably just a call your bluff threat to make you leave autogratuities alone.

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You are very welcomed. We have been sailing on HAL now for nearly 15 years and can tell you in all that time and after many, many cruises and meeting many wonderful folks on the ship, the topic of tipping while on a cruise has never come up while on a cruise.

 

I would be very surprised if the folks at Guest Services gave you a hard time for removing the gratuities at the end of the voyage. Of course, each of us have our own interpretation of what a hard time is.

 

We did have one cruise in which the experience was less than ideal. I won't get into details now as it was some years ago. My decision at the time was to pay the HSC and I wrote to HAL head office to share my experience and disappointments with the cruise. As part of the apology and settlement of my issues, HAL offered us OBC to be used on a future cruise that exceeded the amount of HSC that we paid on the cruise. I felt that there was no need for me to feel that I was paying for unsatisfactory service as HAL essentially refunded the HSC and then some. Others may view this differently.

 

 

I offer this experience only as another option should you ever find yourself on a poorly managed ship. In my example, I was further ahead financially bringing my concerns to HAL corporate than to Guest Services on the ship.

Your experience is helpful to anyone who cruises on HAL.

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How does anybody you tip know if you have adjusted the HSC? Sometimes they would not even know who you are (other than your first name) or what cabin you are in. Does HAL send out lists of HSC adjusters to all staff?? I doubt it (perhaps I am naive).

They actually do.

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To avoid all future discussions and arguments about the removal of the HSC from your account and whether or not crew get to keep their cash tips - could everyone please read the section on Tipping in the Crew Handbook that can be found here.

 

http://www.hollandamerica.com/assets/welcometohal/HAL_Crew_Service_Directories_080116.pdf

 

I live in a country that doesn't usually tip. If we have had excellent over the top service we would round the bill up to the next $5.

 

To read the angst that tipping causes amongst residents in a country that tips for just about everything, can you imagine what it is like to visit the US or cruise on a US ship.

 

I am reposting this entry from last year. I believe the expectations of cabin crew and tipping is on Page 22.

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Page 25, but surely there can't be any more confusion about tipping cash and cancelling HSC after reading this. Thanks Stratheden.

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I wait until I get home and go over it a few days later. They'll still gladly correct any errors. I don't need the hassle at cruise-end.

 

I was wondering if you could do that. No way do I want to stand in a line for hours on the last day of the cruise. Thanks.

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Not sure why you would have to explain anything. Its your tip, you can do what you want. Do they actually give you a hard time if you ask to adjust the HSC? Very unprofessional if they do.

 

How does anybody you tip know if you have adjusted the HSC? Sometimes they would not even know who you are (other than your first name) or what cabin you are in. Does HAL send out lists of HSC adjusters to all staff?? I doubt it (perhaps I am naive).

 

I have, by accident, seen a list of passengers with their cabin numbers that have removed or adjusted their HSC. There was a reminder that any cash tips received from these passengers would have to be turned in. The reminder was in English and two other languages. I was looking for somebody to get us ice for sodas we wanted to drink while we were doing final day packing. Couldn't find anybody but the service area door was ajar and I knew the ice machine was in there so I was helping myself. The list had been taped to the top of the ice machine in the cabin steward/attendant area. For me it was one of those "I ought not to be reading this" moments so I got my ice and left the area as quickly as I could.

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I have, by accident, seen a list of passengers with their cabin numbers that have removed or adjusted their HSC. There was a reminder that any cash tips received from these passengers would have to be turned in. The reminder was in English and two other languages. I was looking for somebody to get us ice for sodas we wanted to drink while we were doing final day packing. Couldn't find anybody but the service area door was ajar and I knew the ice machine was in there so I was helping myself. The list had been taped to the top of the ice machine in the cabin steward/attendant area. For me it was one of those "I ought not to be reading this" moments so I got my ice and left the area as quickly as I could.

Wow hot information that all the cruise lines try to deny.

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Have we actually read an official denial that staff are informed which passengers' cash gratuities must be turned into the pool (which is what Randy reported)?

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Have we actually read an official denial that staff are informed which passengers' cash gratuities must be turned into the pool (which is what Randy reported)?

 

I am unaware of any denial that impacted crew/staff are provided a list. Rather than outright denial maybe it's one of those "we'd rather not talk about it" internal policy and procedure issues that might make some passengers uncomfortable if they knew there was such a list. The staff manual obviously and clearly lays out the policy so it makes sense that the staff/crew have to be informed. Holding them accountable with no information (i.e., a list) makes no sense in light of the clear guidance. That aside I wonder how they handle lists provided to dining venue staff since not all passengers have set dining times and tables. ?????

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I am reposting this entry from last year. I believe the expectations of cabin crew and tipping is on Page 22.

 

The Tipping Not Required Policy is on Page 25 of the Crew Handbook & it states-

Quote

TIPPING NOT REQUIRED POLICY

 

 

All ships have the Rewards for Excellence (RfE) Plan which consists of Hotel Service Charges and Beverage Service Charges. If a guest chooses to adjust out of the RfE Plan and instead provide cash tips to an employee, the employee is required to turn in this cash to their Department Head so the money can be added to the RfE plan. Any “tips” received above and beyond the guests standard

amount may be kept by the crewmember.

Unquote

 

 

It can't be any clearer! :cool:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Have we actually read an official denial that staff are informed which passengers' cash gratuities must be turned into the pool (which is what Randy reported)?

 

See my post above & if you don't believe it you can read the Crew Handbook..It can't be any clearer!

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I am unaware of any denial that impacted crew/staff are provided a list. Rather than outright denial maybe it's one of those "we'd rather not talk about it" internal policy and procedure issues that might make some passengers uncomfortable if they knew there was such a list. The staff manual obviously and clearly lays out the policy so it makes sense that the staff/crew have to be informed. Holding them accountable with no information (i.e., a list) makes no sense in light of the clear guidance. That aside I wonder how they handle lists provided to dining venue staff since not all passengers have set dining times and tables. ?????

 

Cabin attendants are easily handled. Traditional dining is easily handled. I suspect that few, if any, ATD leave extra tips on the last night. The cruise line might require stewards to turn in any tips received in ATD and they cruise line compares the cabin number with the lists.

 

There is a more difficult issue and that is how does the cruise line handle passengers that remove/reduce on the last night? I suspect there is a second list provided after debarkation.

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We cruised on the Koningsdam a few months ago and, for the first time ever, when we handed our wait staff their additional tip envelopes, they asked for our room number and wrote it on the envelope. I assume they are keeping close track of these extra tips and matching against master lists of cruisers cancelling their hotel charges. As the service was outstanding, we hope they are able to keep this for themselves.

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Cabin attendants are easily handled. Traditional dining is easily handled. I suspect that few, if any, ATD leave extra tips on the last night. The cruise line might require stewards to turn in any tips received in ATD and they cruise line compares the cabin number with the lists.

 

There is a more difficult issue and that is how does the cruise line handle passengers that remove/reduce on the last night? I suspect there is a second list provided after debarkation.

 

I'm sure HAL has experienced all sorts of complications with what could be an awkward situation. If the're really serious about enforcing the policy then they must have some checks and balances in place. You're going to have staff who honestly don't get the information or message that a specific passenger /cabin has removed the HSC to probably a few who try to hide they've knowingly received and kept cash tips from a passenger/cabin on the list. The relatively easy answer is trust in the honesty of the staff while the more difficult is the self-policing by fellow staff. It isn't a great system but it is what it is and they have to deal with it somehow.

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I'm sure HAL has experienced all sorts of complications with what could be an awkward situation. If the're really serious about enforcing the policy then they must have some checks and balances in place. You're going to have staff who honestly don't get the information or message that a specific passenger /cabin has removed the HSC to probably a few who try to hide they've knowingly received and kept cash tips from a passenger/cabin on the list. The relatively easy answer is trust in the honesty of the staff while the more difficult is the self-policing by fellow staff. It isn't a great system but it is what it is and they have to deal with it somehow.

Unless they are randomly searched i can't see how it could be enforced.

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A crew member who receives significantly less in gratuities than others according to the records is either worth firing for poor performance or worth firing due to failing to follow the policy regarding turning cash tips in.

 

It simply isn't worth the risk.

 

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

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A crew member who receives significantly less in gratuities than others according to the records is either worth firing for poor performance or worth firing due to failing to follow the policy regarding turning cash tips in.

 

It simply isn't worth the risk.

 

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

Interesting points.

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