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


wannagonow123
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We have seen trays on the floor outside of cabins on every cruise we have taken. I have been known to stick a post-it on the door asking them not to do so any more as this presents a hazard.

 

I hope that you signed these notes. If I were to find such a note on my door, it would never occur to me that it was from a fellow passenger. I would assume that it was from a crew member and I would think that it was a very unprofessional way in which to communicate with me.

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It was nice, however to read that Room Service Waiters take on the duty during their off hours to earn extra cash. My most recent cruise on the KDam over Christmas, one of the waiters told me that not everyone tips. That makes me sad.
We customarily tip a couple of dollars for room service, but it's not required nor expected that passengers should do so.
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Ok – recently, I read on a thread that when an HAL pax reverses the automatically charged gratuities, they may be thinking they will individually reward their stewards, waiters, etc. Having just completed my 9th HAL cruise, I have been in the Front Desk line right before debarkation and have seen passengers requesting gratuities removed from their account, so I know it must happen a lot fleet wide.

 

But I did not know that if the pax does decide to individually tip, say their steward, that the steward must turn over the tip or risk being fired. Not only are the ship’s personnel behind the scenes being robbed,the person being individually tipped has also been cheated. That really has me bothered. I know, I keep reminding myself that tipping is subjective.

 

It was nice, however to read that Room Service Waiters take on the duty during their off hours to earn extra cash. My most recent cruise on the KDam over Christmas, one of the waiters told me that not everyone tips. That makes me sad.

 

Oh, and before I get off my soap box, why do passengers insist on leaving their used Room Service trays outside their doors. Don’t they realize that everyone needs to walk in the halls? In my 9 cruises, the KDam pax seemed to be the worst offenders.

 

Everyone knows that.

 

DON

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It's pretty much common knowledge that the crew cannot keep their cash tips if auto grats are removed. It happens all too often. This topic has been discussed here for a very long time and it can become a very heated conversation.

Copied from HAL's employee handbook:

 

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.

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Copied from HAL's employee handbook:

 

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.

Thank you for reiterating what I, and others, have been saying throughout this thread. Nice to see it in HAL's words/print.
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Everyone knows that.

 

DON

 

Problem is that not “everybody knows that”. Not everybody participates on Cruise Critic where tipping is discussed frequently on almost every cruise line section here. Just was playing trivia at my favorite sports bar and a group of us got in a discussion about cruising. One of fellows said he’d just discovered the greatest thing and that was after 12+ cruises on HAL he could remove the HSC and tip out of pocket. He went in to say he preferred that because he knew who got the money and enjoyed tipping the staff face-to-face. He was “shocked” when I told him about the requirement to turn the money in. He’d never heard such a thing and even after I showed him this thread on my iPhone he questioned whether it was true or not. I didn’t get the impression he was trying to stiff the staff, more that he liked handing tips to them directly.

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Thank you for reiterating what I, and others, have been saying throughout this thread. Nice to see it in HAL's words/print.

You're welcome ... and sorry the text appeared so huge:) At first it appeared too small but when I posted "POOF" it grew and I couldn't find a way to edit it smaller.

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You're welcome ... and sorry the text appeared so huge:) At first it appeared too small but when I posted "POOF" it grew and I couldn't find a way to edit it smaller.
No problem at all, it was easy on the eyes.....didn't need to squint to see the small print!
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JMO, for what it is worth on tipping/HSC. When I go to an upscale hotel, usually a "Resort Fee" or the like is imposed daily, usually around $20-$25. They also tack on a "Parking Fee" if you brought your car, sometimes included in the "Resort Fee". These fees are not negotiable. You pay them whether you like it or not. Whether you used all the facilities there or not. Makes no difference, you pay it if you want to stay at that hotel. I, for one, wish the HSC on the cruise line was "not negotiable/not removable". If you want to tip more, fine, but the base line HSC stays on the bill. This is for the crew and they deserve every penny. The other alternative would be to bake the fee into the cruise fare. That would eliminate the "I'm from XYZ country, and we don't tip" or the "I stayed in my room all cruise and only ate in the Lido" excuses. Even if you eat in the Lido, someone has prepared and delivered the food to the buffet. I guess it is just me, but I never have resented tipping those who help/serve. I have worked for tips several times early in my life and I know how important tips are. Anyone else who ever worked in a restaurant or other service industry knows too. The only "cheap tippers" or "non-tippers" I have ever known never worked in a job where they received tips!! If they did, they would think differently. If anyone wants to flame me for this, go ahead, but it is how I feel about it.

And PS, I always leave a small tip in the hotel room for the maids. I feel good about doing that......they work hard and their work is appreciated.

Edited by Irish Eyes Are Sailing
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I agree with your overall message, in other words to leave the HSC intact, but that last bit is quite debatable. Yes housekeepers work very hard but set of plumbers so do custodians so do Engineer's assistants... An argument can be made for tipping a whole bunch of people who you don't see, and that there's an inherent problem in a system that provides that kind of generosity only to people that you do see.

 

While I personally would like to see the HSC baked into the cruise fare that runs directly against standard American consumer purchasing behaviors. Everything that we learn about consumers today tells us that we need to unbundle. We need to present to the consumer the absolute lowest base fare and separate out from it as much as we can in the form of add-ons and surcharges. Consumers complain very loudly about the nickel-and-diming but remarkably nickel-and-diming has very little adverse effect on their purchasing behaviors. Their complaints are effectively just empty venting.

 

This post may have been entered by voice recognition. Please excuse any typographical errors.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am going on a 7 day music charter on HAL next week. All the gratuities were included in the amount charged by the charter company, however I know my roommate, who grew up very poor, will insist on tipping well. While of course there's no set guidelines, what seems like a good amount to tip the room attendant? Because of all the concerts happening we'll only do a few MDR meals and will likely not have the same waitstaff. Should we still tip a few bucks after each MDR meal?

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For 7 nights $40-50 to the room steward isn't out of the question. Any lesser amount, including zero, is acceptable if the daily gratuities are kept on the account.

 

If you have "traditional" dining any dinners in the MDR will have the same wait staff. We don't eat My Time but I think it would be unusual to tip every night. Specialty dining has a gratuity as part of the upcharge.

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For 7 nights $40-50 to the room steward isn't out of the question. Any lesser amount, including zero, is acceptable if the daily gratuities are kept on the account.

 

If you have "traditional" dining any dinners in the MDR will have the same wait staff. We don't eat My Time but I think it would be unusual to tip every night. Specialty dining has a gratuity as part of the upcharge.

 

Do you tip that per room steward or is that combined for the two? I ask because that would be very generous per room steward.

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I don't think I had 2 stewards the last 2 HAL cruises I took. Did I? hmmm

 

Interesting, we've had 2 room stewards (I forget the right term but the second was called an assistant I think) for our number of cruises over the years - even on the Prinsendam.

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