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Calpespain

What's going on with P&O UK with TIPPING

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What’s going on with P&O tips/Gratuities? After being away from P&O UK (been living in Australasia for 12 years) Just returned froma Britannia Christmas cruise. Asked the cabin steward how many cabins he cleans, response NOT allowed to discuss this with any passenger. What why? Not allowed to discuss anything about gratuities or work load. Do you receive all of the gratuities (your share) of the tips taken from my on-board account?Cannot say, was the reply. Asked others staff about this and all were sworn to secrecy, although some did indicate that the company did not share tips equally or fairly. I’m shocked to find this as we always previously in the days of the envelopes and guidance note left in stateroom about tipping gave the tip + some. It seems that they now have to pay for board and lodgings, is this correct? Why has P&O terrified the cabin stewards and waiters not to disclose how they receive their tips if paid for on the ships accounting system? I believe in tipping the waiters and all staff that serve me on a cruise ship but for P&O to terrify the staff not to disclose what their portion is or indeed if they receive any at all, is beyond belief. The bar staff informed me that they receive only 7% of the 15% added to my drinks bill. Have you noticed that P&O now do not disclose the 15% added to any bar bill, just the price you pay, they now hide this 15% in the price.Which is fair enough but if the bar staff are only now receiving 7% and P&O is keeping the 8% is that fair? What’s going on at P&O.

Edited by Calpespain
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Does YOUR employer allow you to discuss your salary? Listen, if these folks weren't making sufficient money, they would find another job. They are not "slave labor"....

 

If you pay the suggested tips, you've done your duty. It's what the staff agrees to.

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What’s going on with P&O tips/Gratuities? After being away from P&O UK (been living in Australasia for 12 years) Just returned froma Britannia Christmas cruise. Asked the cabin steward how many cabins he cleans, response NOT allowed to discuss this with any passenger. What why? Not allowed to discuss anything about gratuities or work load. Do you receive all of the gratuities (your share) of the tips taken from my on-board account?Cannot say, was the reply. Asked others staff about this and all were sworn to secrecy, although some did indicate that the company did not share tips equally or fairly. I’m shocked to find this as we always previously in the days of the envelopes and guidance note left in stateroom about tipping gave the tip + some. It seems that they now have to pay for board and lodgings, is this correct? Why has P&O terrified the cabin stewards and waiters not to disclose how they receive their tips if paid for on the ships accounting system? I believe in tipping the waiters and all staff that serve me on a cruise ship but for P&O to terrify the staff not to disclose what their portion is or indeed if they receive any at all, is beyond belief. The bar staff informed me that they receive only 7% of the 15% added to my drinks bill. Have you noticed that P&O now do not disclose the 15% added to any bar bill, just the price you pay, they now hide this 15% in the price.Which is fair enough but if the bar staff are only now receiving 7% and P&O is keeping the 8% is that fair? What’s going on at P&O.

 

As far as I'm aware P&O have never charged 15% on drinks prices. I know they didn't back in 2011 when we last sailed. And I've not seen any mention on the P&O UK forum saying they've started, if they had, there would literally be a mutiny..

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Have you thought of canceling your automatic tips and just giving whomever you want a cash tip? We did that once because of our room steward. I tried to just lower her tip but was told I couldn't lower any tip. So, we canceled all our tips. We had a fantastic waitress& assistant so we gave each their tips each night and a $30 thank you tip at the end of the cruises. We did leave a smaller tip for our steward but not what she would get automatically.

 

Once we asked our room steward how much he got paid and he said $85 a MONTH! We also asked our waiter on a different cruise and he also said $85a MONTH!. A;ll the crew more than deserve their tips for all the work they do, 7 days a week for 6-8 months before they go home on vacation!

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I think some staff are quite adept at the old sob story, just saying...(and before anyone has a go yes we leave the auto tips on )

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It is because the staff are so terrified of being sent home and their contracts ended that I never post what I hear on any forum now - but use my knowledge to decide what to do with tips.

I think on the numerous threads and bun-fights it has already been determined that this forum will never reach any consensus on the topic, nor can we change the things we may not like, so best thing is to each make our personal decisions and say no more.

 

 

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What’s going on at P&O.

 

P&O want to make a profit, that is what is going on.

 

In the old system of cash tips P&O did not have the control over their staff they do now.

 

Previously if management didn't think a steward was doing their job they would have to go through a difficult HR process with the only real threat of sending them home.

 

Now they simply reduce the payments to the steward funded by the gratuities until they do comply.

 

As for paying in your gratuities in cash, my understanding is the staff members have to hand them in (otherwise they would receive two payments) but out of self-interest will tell you otherwise and pocket it.

 

Don't like it, then two choices. Pay up and live with it or don't pay up. Take your pick.

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Have you thought of canceling your automatic tips and just giving whomever you want a cash tip? We did that once because of our room steward. I tried to just lower her tip but was told I couldn't lower any tip. So, we canceled all our tips. We had a fantastic waitress& assistant so we gave each their tips each night and a $30 thank you tip at the end of the cruises. We did leave a smaller tip for our steward but not what she would get automatically.

 

Once we asked our room steward how much he got paid and he said $85 a MONTH! We also asked our waiter on a different cruise and he also said $85a MONTH!. A;ll the crew more than deserve their tips for all the work they do, 7 days a week for 6-8 months before they go home on vacation!

 

You can certainly lower the amount of the tip that comes off your account on P & O. Quite a few people on our table on our last cruise said they reduced their’s from £6 to £3 so they could then tip some crew seperately. I did ask at reception about this and they showed me a form where you can put the amount you want to come off every day. We just left our’s as it was but we could have changed if we wanted.

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If you remove tips or lower them your hurting crew that serve you daily that don't see. The base rate before tips is a lot more than what they make at home.Tips usually aren't taxable in the crew's home countries.

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We've been cruising with P&O since 2004 and I don't ever recall seeing a service charge on drinks purchases. Perhaps you are thinking of another cruise line regards that, Princess maybe?

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We treat tips/gratuities as part of cruise fare. We just.hope the crew gets their fair share.

 

 

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It is because the staff are so terrified of being sent home and their contracts ended that I never post what I hear on any forum now - but use my knowledge to decide what to do with tips.

I think on the numerous threads and bun-fights it has already been determined that this forum will never reach any consensus on the topic, nor can we change the things we may not like, so best thing is to each make our personal decisions and say no more.

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Completely agree Florry. You have the option there of removing auto grats if you do not feel you can trust the system and paying the people who serve you directly if you wish - cabin steward, waiters, wine waiter etc....

 

We have always paid tips and used both methods, but we now prefer to remove auto gratuities and tip directly to the same amount (plus some extra if other members of crew have served us elsewhere).

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Completely agree Florry. You have the option there of removing auto grats if you do not feel you can trust the system and paying the people who serve you directly if you wish - cabin steward, waiters, wine waiter etc....

 

But as the staff have to hand in those cash tips to be included in the tip pool distributed across the whole ship at P&O's whim, what do you achieve.

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As far as I'm aware P&O have never charged 15% on drinks prices. I know they didn't back in 2011 when we last sailed. And I've not seen any mention on the P&O UK forum saying they've started, if they had, there would literally be a mutiny..

 

 

I seem to recall a tipping discussion on the old P&O website forum (now defunct) where it was stated that drinks waiters received a small percentage from each drink served and that the price included that. I thought it was 10% but I may be wrong. Perhaps that is what the OP is referring to, and that the percentage has been reduced.

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And to address one small point from the OP, no, they do not have to pay for room and board. That is against international law, and UK law (since they are signatory to the Manila Labor Convention), and any crew member who feels his rights under the MLC are being violated can report to any agency in the UK government who will then point them to the proper agency (Maritime and Coast Guard Agency) who have the right to detain the ship until the allegation is investigated and resolved.

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But as the staff have to hand in those cash tips to be included in the tip pool distributed across the whole ship at P&O's whim, what do you achieve.

 

From what I have read on here, P&O confirmed who your auto grats went to some months ago, I also think it tells you on the website FAQs. I haven't heard that it goes into a 'tip pool'.

 

At the end of the day, we just like to pay all of our tips in person and give them each a thank you card also. We probably don't achieve anything, it is just what we like to do.

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I haven't heard that it goes into a 'tip pool'.

 

The gratuities (and cash tips when gratuities are reduced) all go into a pool which is distributed by P&O to waiters and stewards at their whim.

 

It would be impossible to do anything else with Freedom dining and would also restrict P&O's ability to move staff to different services on board (e.g. from MDR to buffet).

 

The gratuity is just a way of reducing the headline price and at the same time gives the benefit of significant power over the staff.

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OP I suggest if you're trying to find your nose, it will be over in someone else's business. It's nothing to do with you how much someone makes or what their workload is

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I asked a lady on a P&O cruise how old she was and she refused to answer. I assume it's because P&O do not allow passengers to give out this sort of information.

 

Just saying.

 

John

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P&O want to make a profit, that is what is going on.

 

In the old system of cash tips P&O did not have the control over their staff they do now.

 

Previously if management didn't think a steward was doing their job they would have to go through a difficult HR process with the only real threat of sending them home.

 

Now they simply reduce the payments to the steward funded by the gratuities until they do comply.

 

As for paying in your gratuities in cash, my understanding is the staff members have to hand them in (otherwise they would receive two payments) but out of self-interest will tell you otherwise and pocket it.

 

Don't like it, then two choices. Pay up and live with it or don't pay up. Take your pick.

Or don't go on a cruise with pando!

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What’s going on with P&O tips/Gratuities? After being away from P&O UK (been living in Australasia for 12 years) Just returned froma Britannia Christmas cruise. Asked the cabin steward how many cabins he cleans, response NOT allowed to discuss this with any passenger. What why? Not allowed to discuss anything about gratuities or work load. Do you receive all of the gratuities (your share) of the tips taken from my on-board account?Cannot say, was the reply. Asked others staff about this and all were sworn to secrecy, although some did indicate that the company did not share tips equally or fairly. I’m shocked to find this as we always previously in the days of the envelopes and guidance note left in stateroom about tipping gave the tip + some. It seems that they now have to pay for board and lodgings, is this correct? Why has P&O terrified the cabin stewards and waiters not to disclose how they receive their tips if paid for on the ships accounting system? I believe in tipping the waiters and all staff that serve me on a cruise ship but for P&O to terrify the staff not to disclose what their portion is or indeed if they receive any at all, is beyond belief. The bar staff informed me that they receive only 7% of the 15% added to my drinks bill. Have you noticed that P&O now do not disclose the 15% added to any bar bill, just the price you pay, they now hide this 15% in the price.Which is fair enough but if the bar staff are only now receiving 7% and P&O is keeping the 8% is that fair? What’s going on at P&O.

I prefer the one bill with everything included rather than having add ons. As for what they are paid or how tips are arranged. why should you care. Just pay what you think they are worth and you would be happy. If that means having the tips already included and you tipping a bit more than so be it.

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As far as I'm aware P&O have never charged 15% on drinks prices. I know they didn't back in 2011 when we last sailed. And I've not seen any mention on the P&O UK forum saying they've started, if they had, there would literally be a mutiny..

They are just included in the advertised price.

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I asked a lady on a P&O cruise how old she was and she refused to answer. I assume it's because P&O do not allow passengers to give out this sort of information.

 

Just saying.

 

John

LOL, best post here.

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If you remove tips or lower them your hurting crew that serve you daily that don't see. The base rate before tips is a lot more than what they make at home.Tips usually aren't taxable in the crew's home countries.

Tips are only for stewards and waiters, and you see them.

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Do you receive all of the gratuities (your share) of the tips taken from my on-board account?Cannot say, was the reply. Asked others staff about this and all were sworn to secrecy, although some did indicate that the company did not share tips equally or fairly.

I should be very surprised if this was true, because if it was, it would be a fraud against the passenger. If you give P&O money specifically for the purpose of handing on to your steward, and they don't hand it on to your steward, then they are committing a criminal offence - tort, fraud, theft, conversion, I don't know exactly. But definitely illegal and definitely very expensive to sort out. Can they be both that dishonest AND that stupid? I doubt it.

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Please P&O include tips in the price so no more debates on who gets what and how much. In my opinion the most staff do a wonderful job. We have had great conversations with the cabin stewards over the years, but I would not ask them about tips. I have no problem paying the tips and giving extra where someone has earned it. The staff are frightened to admit to anything regarding tips although on our last cruise the cabin steward mentioned several times about the questionnaire at the end of the cruise, marks had to be excellent or else they would not get their bonus.

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And to address one small point from the OP, no, they do not have to pay for room and board. That is against international law, and UK law (since they are signatory to the Manila Labor Convention), and any crew member who feels his rights under the MLC are being violated can report to any agency in the UK government who will then point them to the proper agency (Maritime and Coast Guard Agency) who have the right to detain the ship until the allegation is investigated and resolved.

 

Great to know and thank you for the info.clear.png?emoji-grin-1677

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Please P&O include tips in the price so no more debates on who gets what and how much. In my opinion the most staff do a wonderful job. We have had great conversations with the cabin stewards over the years, but I would not ask them about tips. I have no problem paying the tips and giving extra where someone has earned it. The staff are frightened to admit to anything regarding tips although on our last cruise the cabin steward mentioned several times about the questionnaire at the end of the cruise, marks had to be excellent or else they would not get their bonus.

 

IMHO opinion this is the problem: if P&O treated its cabin stewards fairly and did not make their share of the auto tips dependent on performance, the stewards would not mention it to passengers and there would be no need to speculate. On every P&O cruise we have been on (4 in the last 6 years) the steward has asked us to grade him (we've only had male stewards) as excellent at the end of the cruise, otherwise he won't get the tips. In our experience almost every P&O steward takes great pride in his work, so is this carrot and stick approach really necessary?

From talking to our stewards they have all joined the company because they want to better themselves/earn more money than they would at home/save up money to set up their own business etc. They are on short contracts that are not automatically renewed, so they know if they don't do a good job their time with the company will be short-lived.

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We have had the occasional steward who has mentioned the end of cruise questionnaire, but not a regular occurrence.

This was an e-mail response from P&O in March last year explaining how their Service reward scheme worked in relation to auto grats.

If I may explain a little in relation to the gratuities, I can confirm that 5 ranks of staff are included within the Service Reward programme, these include Waiters, Assistant Waiters, Head Waiters, Cabin Stewards and Butlers. Members of staff are rewarded for their individual behaviour and service, along with Team work. Scores that they receive from the end of cruise questionnaires plus comments from their peers and leaders are all taken into consideration and I cannot therefore confirm what specific share they receive, as this would differ depending on individual circumstances. This being said, all staff members are rewarded in the same way regardless of the fact that some passengers within their care may choose to remove the automatic gratuities.

 

Any tips which you pay to a member of staff directly are theirs to keep and do not need to be declared or pooled with other members of staff.

Clearly it would make far more sense for P&O to include the auto grats in the basic price, they can then do what the heck they want as regards bonus's for excellent service, within any constraints of employment laws.

Edited by terrierjohn

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We have also just returned from the Britannia "Christmas" Cruise. Our cabin steward had no hesitation in telling us that he had worked for P&O for 17 years and he cleaned 18 cabins one of which was a suite. Basically he did the minimum required and did nothing extra for us. We had asked if he could empty the fridge - No. We asked if he could remove the spare life jackets - No. He was quick to tell us that he needed the top mark on the Questionaire so he could receive his share of the tips.

Incidentally he managed to clean a cabin for new passengers in about 20 minutes, no wonder that viral infections were rife around the ship.

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We have had the occasional steward who has mentioned the end of cruise questionnaire, but not a regular occurrence.

This was an e-mail response from P&O in March last year explaining how their Service reward scheme worked in relation to auto grats.

If I may explain a little in relation to the gratuities, I can confirm that 5 ranks of staff are included within the Service Reward programme, these include Waiters, Assistant Waiters, Head Waiters, Cabin Stewards and Butlers. Members of staff are rewarded for their individual behaviour and service, along with Team work. Scores that they receive from the end of cruise questionnaires plus comments from their peers and leaders are all taken into consideration and I cannot therefore confirm what specific share they receive, as this would differ depending on individual circumstances. This being said, all staff members are rewarded in the same way regardless of the fact that some passengers within their care may choose to remove the automatic gratuities.

 

Any tips which you pay to a member of staff directly are theirs to keep and do not need to be declared or pooled with other members of staff.

 

Clearly it would make far more sense for P&O to include the auto grats in the basic price, they can then do what the heck they want as regards bonus's for excellent service, within any constraints of employment laws.

 

So, if the auto tips are shared equally and each individual member of staff can keep whatever is paid to them, can someone help me get my head round the following.

 

2000 people on the ship. 1500 keep the auto tip and 500 choose to give to the individual staff member. Is the money from the 1500 shared among all the staff so a member of staff could get that share plus direct tips - meaning that they would get more than someone who does not get any direct tips?

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I asked a lady on a P&O cruise how old she was and she refused to answer. I assume it's because P&O do not allow passengers to give out this sort of information.

 

Just saying.

 

John

I like it. She probably would take 10 years off anyway lol.

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We have also just returned from the Britannia "Christmas" Cruise. Our cabin steward had no hesitation in telling us that he had worked for P&O for 17 years and he cleaned 18 cabins one of which was a suite. Basically he did the minimum required and did nothing extra for us. We had asked if he could empty the fridge - No. We asked if he could remove the spare life jackets - No. He was quick to tell us that he needed the top mark on the Questionaire so he could receive his share of the tips.

Incidentally he managed to clean a cabin for new passengers in about 20 minutes, no wonder that viral infections were rife around the ship.

Very good post.

99% of our CS have been male and my wife and i agree they never seem to hoover the cabin especially under the bed because we have noticed things that a hoover would have removed and i end up picking the bits up myself.

The occasion we had a Chinese lady CS on Harmony of the seas we saw her several times hoovering and once she had moved the bed and was busy hoovering underneath when we walked into the cabin

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So, if the auto tips are shared equally and each individual member of staff can keep whatever is paid to them, can someone help me get my head round the following.

 

2000 people on the ship. 1500 keep the auto tip and 500 choose to give to the individual staff member. Is the money from the 1500 shared among all the staff so a member of staff could get that share plus direct tips - meaning that they would get more than someone who does not get any direct tips?

The money from the 1500 will be shared among all the eligible crew. why should a steward have his share reduced when he has no control over the passengers removing the autotip. However all the shares will be smaller. If more and more passengers remove the auto tip it increases in price to compensate for the fall in revenue.

 

Among your 500 who remove the auto tip I thing significant numbers don't tip anything. This is why I think it should be included in the fare so EVERYONE pays it.

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The money from the 1500 will be shared among all the eligible crew. why should a steward have his share reduced when he has no control over the passengers removing the autotip. However all the shares will be smaller. If more and more passengers remove the auto tip it increases in price to compensate for the fall in revenue.

 

Among your 500 who remove the auto tip I thing significant numbers don't tip anything. This is why I think it should be included in the fare so EVERYONE pays it.

My sentiments too.

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The money from the 1500 will be shared among all the eligible crew. why should a steward have his share reduced when he has no control over the passengers removing the autotip. However all the shares will be smaller. If more and more passengers remove the auto tip it increases in price to compensate for the fall in revenue.

 

Among your 500 who remove the auto tip I thing significant numbers don't tip anything. This is why I think it should be included in the fare so EVERYONE pays it.

 

 

Thank you for your response. So it looks like we are creating inequality all round. Some crew get a percentage of the auto tips, whilst others get that same percentage plus direct tips.

Cruisers, some just pay auto tip, some pay auto tip and extra if they think worthwhile, some pay direct which could be more or less than the auto tip and others pay nothing. This does not seem fair to me. I do not mind paying the tips and additional where appropriate but I do object to subsidising my fellow traveller who has withdrawn their tips.

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Not sure there is anything you can do about it. You are quite right, some pay auto, some auto plus, some in envelopes and some don't tip.

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