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

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I don't think that HAL will ever make the HSC a mandatory fee. If we are to believe (as according to another poster) that approximately 95% of all passengers leave the HSC intact, then the current policy is obviously working.

 

When you also take into account all the chatter on CC that irregardless of a cruise line's tipping policy that some passengers provide additional tips, it would seem reasonable to me that this more than compensates for the 5% that do not tip above.

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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

 

Gerd,

 

In the US, the credit card issuing company (Visa, MasterCharge, etc,) holds your purchases until the end of the billing cycle and then sends you a bill. You have the option to pay the amount in full or to pay a portion of the amount billed. You pay the bill when you instruct your bank how much to pay the issuing company. In some cases, the bank and the issuing company may be the same. Normally, if you pay in full, you will avoid all interest charges. The issuing company will also charge the merchant a fee of a few percentage points for the convenience of handling the purchase.

 

It is possible to arrange for the issuing company to directly charge your checking account at the end of the billing cycle. You can also have your telephone, utilities, etc, charge to your credit card automatically.

 

A debit card is different. The easiest way to think of a debit card is too think of it as a check. When you make a purchase using your debit card, the issuing company immediately deducts (debits) your account for the amount. I'm not sure of the fees involved since I do not use debit cards.

 

There are other differences. For example, if you lose your debit card, you are legally liable for all charges. Most issuing companies will waive these charges but they are not legally bound to do so. If your credit card is lost or stolen, the legal maximum loss is $50.

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Bruce's comments are reinforced when you look at pricing thru Carnival Australia. (Carnival, Princess, P&O, etc)

 

Prices are much higher than US prices and there is no daily "gratuity" added. My take is that Carnival Australia has priced the gratuity into the cruise fare for Australian guests because tipping in Australia is NOT the custom.

 

The increase likely also covers the added taxes that would be assessed from the higher wages.

 

You have to pay the crew or you won't have a crew! :cool:

 

Do they pay the crew more in this case? My understanding is that the crew gets !00% of the tips so if the cruise line raises fares...it only benefits the cruise line. :confused:

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Do they pay the crew more in this case? My understanding is that the crew gets !00% of the tips so if the cruise line raises fares...it only benefits the cruise line. :confused:

 

You'd hope if they include the HSC in the basic fare then the crew is getting higher wages for those cruises. That's in theory so no telling how it actually works. There are non-tipping lines out there and unless the crew members I've talked to are only giving me the company line or lying then their wages are higher. We've run into several ex-HAL staff on Silversea and they consistently say, and mind you it's their word and it's all relative, that wages and working conditions are better than on HAL.

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While on the Amsterdam we sat with a woman who expressed disappointment with the service she had received and told everyone that she wanted to remove the tips and just tip her room stewards in cash.

 

I told her to check because I was pretty sure from reading here that if the tips were removed that her room stewards were required to turn in any cash they received from her. She said that wasn't so. I just left it at that not wanting to have a confrontation.

 

Was I correct? I am pretty sure I read it here on CC from someone who worked for HAL.

 

I hope she didn't do it, but I am sorry to say that a number of people we talked to were like minded and weren't ashamed to admit it.

 

Since we aren't allowed to post a question like this on an open forum I hope someone who knows can tell me by reading this.

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Yes.

 

Thanks Ruth. I thought I was right.

 

I wish I could post this on the main board and spread the word. As I said I tried to tell her, but she insisted she knew. It still boggles my mind that someone would even think of removing the tips from their onboard account, but I guess it takes all kinds to make a world.

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I spoke to a HAL representative the other day about a different matter, having to do with tipping on top of the SBP & she said that HAL discourages Pax to tip staff in cash because of several reasons:

 

• cash could fall out of their pockets & they could lose money whilst going about their work

• they don't always have time to go down to their cabin to stash the cash

• not having a lot of cash discourages petty theft among staff

• it's difficult for some staff to get off the boat at ports & exchange the cash for the currency of their home country

 

She recommended that if a Pax want to tip on TOP of the other tips (which I do like to do here & there for outstanding service) that it's best to get the HAL employee # and go to guest services where you can add the $ into their shipboard account.

 

According to her, this is good for staff because they can instantly wire transfer money home automatically without any delays or problems.

 

I would NEVER take off the automatic tips - all cruise line staff work very hard months at a time away from friends and family and deserve their tips! (IMHO)

 

This was all news to me! :cool:

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Thanks Ruth. I thought I was right.

 

I wish I could post this on the main board and spread the word. As I said I tried to tell her, but she insisted she knew. It still boggles my mind that someone would even think of removing the tips from their onboard account, but I guess it takes all kinds to make a world.

Print page 22 of THIS DOCUMENT and bring it with you on cruises. It states:

 

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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"• cash could fall out of their pockets & they could lose money whilst going about their work

• they don't always have time to go down to their cabin to stash the cash

• not having a lot of cash discourages petty theft among staff

• it's difficult for some staff to get off the boat at ports & exchange the cash for the currency of their home country"

 

What a load of hooey. How often does cash fall out of your pocket? It's easy as pie for crew to exchange currency in ports - look around at the next port your in for currency exchanges. As to not having time to go to their cabin - they do get to eat and sleep, don't they?

 

This has been noted here before, and the consensus thinking is that Seattle wants to track how much money each crew member is getting. No one has ever complained about a cash tip - in any currency.

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"• cash could fall out of their pockets & they could lose money whilst going about their work

• they don't always have time to go down to their cabin to stash the cash

• not having a lot of cash discourages petty theft among staff

• it's difficult for some staff to get off the boat at ports & exchange the cash for the currency of their home country"

 

What a load of hooey. How often does cash fall out of your pocket? It's easy as pie for crew to exchange currency in ports - look around at the next port your in for currency exchanges. As to not having time to go to their cabin - they do get to eat and sleep, don't they?

 

This has been noted here before, and the consensus thinking is that Seattle wants to track how much money each crew member is getting. No one has ever complained about a cash tip - in any currency.

 

Does seem like weak arguments to me as well. More like the person did not know what to say and made something up - happens all too often on HAL - in order not to seem clueless.

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What a load of hooey.
Exactly my thought too! :)

 

Page 5 of the "House Rules" document that I gave a link to in post 133 states:

 

CREW SAFES

The Crew Office has safes. A key can be obtained through

registration at the Crew Office.

 

So much for the petty theft problem! And even if they never get off the ship in ports there are some things they want cash for:

 

CREW SHOPPING

Once per month Crew Shopping is organized in the Shops

and Salon onboard. Crew can purchase items only in cash

at a discounted rate. The Crew Shopping Hours are posted

on the Crew Bulletin Boards.

 

Crew: As per a posted schedule, there is a Crew Bar located

in the Crew Mess room. Crew is required to pay cash for

items purchased.

 

Furthermore, that same page states:

PAYROLL

All staff/officers/crew are paid in cash or can make cash

draws towards their wages as follows:

 

so why in the world would they not want more of it?

.

Edited by jtl513

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• cash could fall out of their pockets & they could lose money whilst going about their work

• they don't always have time to go down to their cabin to stash the cash

• not having a lot of cash discourages petty theft among staff

• it's difficult for some staff to get off the boat at ports & exchange the cash for the currency of their home country

 

I very much appreciate your posting this and I believe you have done so accurately, I also believe that this is a very carefully crafted example of corporate doublespeak.

 

If the rep wasn't actually reading from a script then I seriously doubt that he/she has ever spent any time onboard a ship as an employee and certainly never as a waiter, cabin steward or other position that relies on tips as part of their income.

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Couldn't agree more with the above comments. I have also wondered what the fascination is about crew tips and wages. It seems to come up so often on these boards.

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My experience and much of what I read here leads me to believe that the HAL reps in Seattle have never actually set foot on a ship. I think the worst for me was the PCC who insisted that every balcony was the same size.

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I spoke to a HAL representative the other day about a different matter, having to do with tipping on top of the SBP & she said that HAL discourages Pax to tip staff in cash because of several reasons:

 

• cash could fall out of their pockets & they could lose money whilst going about their work

• they don't always have time to go down to their cabin to stash the cash

• not having a lot of cash discourages petty theft among staff

• it's difficult for some staff to get off the boat at ports & exchange the cash for the currency of their home country

 

It's amazing that HAL thinks that anyone would fall for this kind of used cow fodder. Some of the most desperate lame excuses I can imagine. This is an insult to everyone who's told this pile of lies, and most especially, to the working crew.

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Thanks Ruth. I thought I was right.

 

I wish I could post this on the main board and spread the word. As I said I tried to tell her, but she insisted she knew. It still boggles my mind that someone would even think of removing the tips from their onboard account, but I guess it takes all kinds to make a world.

 

According to you she said she had problems with service. I will give the benefit for the doubt and say HAL could not correct those issues. If that were the case there's nothing wrong with changing your automatic gratuity amount. She obviously had the right intention as she was going to give her steward cash.

 

the problem here is HAL is going to steal the cash from their hard working steward to put money into the pot for people that didn't provide good service. How come no one ever is able to identify the real issue here?

 

Should everyone be blindly compelled to pay the same for good and bad service? HAL says NO! They make the policies and allow it to be changed or removed because of service problems

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"• cash could fall out of their pockets & they could lose money whilst going about their work

• they don't always have time to go down to their cabin to stash the cash

• not having a lot of cash discourages petty theft among staff

• it's difficult for some staff to get off the boat at ports & exchange the cash for the currency of their home country"

 

What a load of hooey. How often does cash fall out of your pocket? It's easy as pie for crew to exchange currency in ports - look around at the next port your in for currency exchanges. As to not having time to go to their cabin - they do get to eat and sleep, don't they?

 

This has been noted here before, and the consensus thinking is that Seattle wants to track how much money each crew member is getting. No one has ever complained about a cash tip - in any currency.

 

Dave, we often see things through the same eyes. I still hand out envelopes with cash on our last day/evening, on top of the daily auto-gratuity, and it seems to make their day to have their individual efforts recognized. I single out those bartenders, servers, concierges, and of course our suite steward who have helped make our trip a little more enjoyable.

Edited by blizzardboy

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It's amazing that HAL thinks that anyone would fall for this kind of used cow fodder. Some of the most desperate lame excuses I can imagine. This is an insult to everyone who's told this pile of lies, and most especially, to the working crew.

 

Agree totally

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Just curious here. Usually I tip the room service waiter about $5. Does that sound about right? It seems like it's a different person every day so I try to make sure he/she gets rewarded. I usually tip around 20% but when you don't know pricing I just try to do something. I'm sure they get part of the HSC but just try to do more. Any thoughts?

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Just curious here. Usually I tip the room service waiter about $5. Does that sound about right? It seems like it's a different person every day so I try to make sure he/she gets rewarded. I usually tip around 20% but when you don't know pricing I just try to do something. I'm sure they get part of the HSC but just try to do more. Any thoughts?

 

sounds good

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According to you she said she had problems with service. I will give the benefit for the doubt and say HAL could not correct those issues. If that were the case there's nothing wrong with changing your automatic gratuity amount. She obviously had the right intention as she was going to give her steward cash.

 

the problem here is HAL is going to steal the cash from their hard working steward to put money into the pot for people that didn't provide good service. How come no one ever is able to identify the real issue here?

 

Should everyone be blindly compelled to pay the same for good and bad service? HAL says NO! They make the policies and allow it to be changed or removed because of service problems

 

My point to all of this is that by removing the service charge and giving her room stewards cash she was actually giving them less in the long run. I think your point of identifying the "real issue" is a valid one, but unless a customer documents, ie: on this night by this server I got bad service, because such and such happened and on this night I got good service because of such and such, there just isn't any way to say a person got good or bad service. But now your room stewards are different. You see them every day. It's much harder to say to the front office on such and such a day my room steward did this or didn't do this. It is much easier to cut the tips for people you don't know and most likely won't see again, but when you cut the tips of a room steward you will be facing that person the following morning, even if it the last morning.

 

I don't think she was "blindly" paying her service charge. She knew when she booked her cruise that there was a service charge daily. By waiting until the end of the cruise she is kind of saying "ok I got bad service from the other venues, but my room stewards gave me good service. (or I have to face them tomorrow) so I'll get the front desk to take off my service charges and I'll just tip the room stewards.

 

And who knows whether this is correct or not. When you have open dining it's hit or miss. Some nights you get better service than others.

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I very much appreciate your posting this and I believe you have done so accurately, I also believe that this is a very carefully crafted example of corporate doublespeak.

 

If the rep wasn't actually reading from a script then I seriously doubt that he/she has ever spent any time onboard a ship as an employee and certainly never as a waiter, cabin steward or other position that relies on tips as part of their income.

 

Thank you!

You know, I posted it because I was so surprised by it (it was also opposite of what I knew and have done previously) and it seemed a wee bit fishy to me & I knew I could rely on the experts on CC to suss it out!

 

The money & pocket situation was a bit laughable. [grins wryly] Cheers dears! :)

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[/b]

I bolded both of these statements because they are incorrect..

 

Even people who ARE NOT U.S. Citizens pay U.S. Income taxes if they work & get paid in the United States.. We had many NON U.S. Citizens working in our company who were paid here & lived here.. They all paid U. S. Income Taxes..

 

We deducted a percentage of their pay (payroll tax) & sent it to the Treasury Department, a branch of the U.S. Government on a quarterly basis.. At the end of the year each employee received a W2 form from our company...When they paid their U.S. Income taxes in April every year they sent this form with their tax return & paid any additional taxes which may be due depending on what their Income Bracket was..

 

Being a citizen does not make one bit of a difference..

 

For those said that HAL does not permit you to pre-pay your Gratuities that too is incorrect.. Anyone can purchase OBC in advance of your cruise & it will be put into your on board account.. Gratuities can be deducted from any OBC you purchase...

 

 

Quite correct, I worked in the USA as an alien,for several years on an H1B visa. I had no representation, could not vote, but got to pay taxes !! OK; the dual taxation agreement made sure I only paid one lot of "federal taxes" BUT, I got to pay dual taxes on State taxes, and I had to pay SS and Medicare, and am prohibited from ever receiving 1 cent of those. So' I'm a little tetchy about this and generally do NOT tip, unless there's exceptional service. I lost many thousands of dollars on this deal (to the exclusive benefit of the US taxpayer), and figure that the state bureaucrats could craft a way to get some of this money into the hands of the workers in the approximately 10 restaurants I visited and "stiffed" the wait staff. After all these bureaucrats give themselves great salaries, grand titles and lots of holidays!

 

And lets just add it into the fare and pay them a decent wage! Oh yes, I've read all the reasons why this "can't work" and its all horse manure. Gee, the world financial mandarins, can bring the world almost to a financial meltdown, and still walk away with obscene bonuses!!!!! Surely one of them could produce a workable system?

 

But anyway, I've sailed on several lines, and usually halve the tip/HSC/whatever, after 35 years in the miltary, I don't need my bed turned down with a chocolate, I keep my own bathroom clean, and usually eat at the buffet (just like the mess-hall) never buy drinks, non-alcoholic or alcoholic, and don't need pampering.

 

If there was a choice, I'd cruise on a ultra basic line, Like the EasyCruise one, but I'm not aware of these anymore.

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Quite correct, I worked in the USA as an alien,for several years on an H1B visa. I had no representation, could not vote, but got to pay taxes !! OK; the dual taxation agreement made sure I only paid one lot of "federal taxes" BUT, I got to pay dual taxes on State taxes, and I had to pay SS and Medicare, and am prohibited from ever receiving 1 cent of those. So' I'm a little tetchy about this and generally do NOT tip, unless there's exceptional service. I lost many thousands of dollars on this deal (to the exclusive benefit of the US taxpayer), and figure that the state bureaucrats could craft a way to get some of this money into the hands of the workers in the approximately 10 restaurants I visited and "stiffed" the wait staff. After all these bureaucrats give themselves great salaries, grand titles and lots of holidays!

 

And lets just add it into the fare and pay them a decent wage! Oh yes, I've read all the reasons why this "can't work" and its all horse manure. Gee, the world financial mandarins, can bring the world almost to a financial meltdown, and still walk away with obscene bonuses!!!!! Surely one of them could produce a workable system?

 

But anyway, I've sailed on several lines, and usually halve the tip/HSC/whatever, after 35 years in the miltary, I don't need my bed turned down with a chocolate, I keep my own bathroom clean, and usually eat at the buffet (just like the mess-hall) never buy drinks, non-alcoholic or alcoholic, and don't need pampering.

 

If there was a choice, I'd cruise on a ultra basic line, Like the EasyCruise one, but I'm not aware of these anymore.

 

Were you forced to work in the USA? Did you do it for a better income? Your logic is convoluted beyond my understanding. You choose to stiff servers and ship personnel because of where you chose to work. It truly takes all kinds.

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