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Josy1953

Rise in Gratuities

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This is exactly why it is so difficult for passengers to decide whether to remain ‘obedient customers’ or to kick back and remove voluntary contributions.

 

I have written to ask P&O whether any staff who have served me during my holiday will lose remuneration if I remove gratuities. I asked very clearly and requested a clear, simple, answer.

 

I’m not holding my breath

 

I have also asked P&O for a clear and simple answer to the question 'If a passenger removes the service charge, do staff that they decide to reward personally have to hand in any gratuities given to them directly by these passengers'?

 

Like you, I'm not holding my breath, but I did ask them last year whether any gratuities that we gave over and above the service charge had to be handed in and I received a very clear answer in writing. They do NOT have to hand them in.

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That would have been (still may be) my follow-up question, Selbourne, but I wanted to keep all interactions very simple. One question at a time; no wriggle room

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I have also asked P&O for a clear and simple answer to the question 'If a passenger removes the service charge, do staff that they decide to reward personally have to hand in any gratuities given to them directly by these passengers'?

 

Like you, I'm not holding my breath, but I did ask them last year whether any gratuities that we gave over and above the service charge had to be handed in and I received a very clear answer in writing. They do NOT have to hand them in.

 

The problem with asking P&O anything is that you are liable to get different answers depending on who answers you !!

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If P&O listen to what people are saying they could make a PR coup by making tips included in the cruise fare and using that as an advertising slogan.

If necessary they could look at reducing the amount of obc given.We have booked a 2 night cruise on Oceana in a suite and without even asking we were given £100obc.

Why would that be a PR coup, Saga have done it for ages.

https://travel.saga.co.uk/cruises/ocean/the-saga-experience/inclusions.aspx

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Could someone cleverer than me should set up a poll to ask 'how, as a result of the latest increase, posters intend to tip on their next P&O Cruise'. May be interesting to see the results.

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This is exactly why it is so difficult for passengers to decide whether to remain ‘obedient customers’ or to kick back and remove voluntary contributions.

 

I have written to ask P&O whether any staff who have served me during my holiday will lose remuneration if I remove gratuities. I asked very clearly and requested a clear, simple, answer.

 

I’m not holding my breath

 

 

 

If you are on freedom dining certainly unless you are going to tip every night after your meal.

 

 

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Could someone cleverer than me should set up a poll to ask 'how, as a result of the latest increase, posters intend to tip on their next P&O Cruise'. May be interesting to see the results.

 

Regarding a ponential of a poll, one has to ask what percentage of those stating they would tip, will be economical with the truth?

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You are welcome, but I fear that you may have misunderstood my answer. So, to be clear, the crew DO miss out, because P&O does NOT make up the shortfall. Forget the ones who have some withheld due to poor scores, the rest get a proportion of what is in the pot. So, the more people that remove the service charge, the smaller the pot becomes and the smaller each persons share is.[/quote

 

Oops:o ...I did totally misunderstand your reply...thank you for your clarification.

 

I honestly thought that I had read on a previous post that the cruise company did make up the shortfall....but of course I could have misread that too! :D

I'm sure I read this too janny444 and was told by 2 different crew members (butlers) that P&O make up the shortfall. They get paid the same each pay packet so I'm not sure what's true [emoji85]

 

As we're usually away over Xmas we give extra in a Xmas card as a present and leave the autotips on not sure If we would do the same an other time if year though!

 

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This is the problem, there is a lot of supposition, somebody knows somebody who...., or I have spoken to my friend the cabin steward. Everybody thinks they know what happens, but nobody is sure. P and o expect us to make up their staffs wages, in whatever form. While I am not against tipping, it’s the people who feel they are doing a civic duty by ensuring the staff are paid. It would be very interesting to hear directly from the staff their own feelings.

 

 

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This is the problem, there is a lot of supposition, somebody knows somebody who...., or I have spoken to my friend the cabin steward. Everybody thinks they know what happens, but nobody is sure. P and o expect us to make up their staffs wages, in whatever form. While I am not against tipping, it’s the people who feel they are doing a civic duty by ensuring the staff are paid. It would be very interesting to hear directly from the staff their own feelings.

 

 

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The crew are either happy with their salary or have signed to say they will not discuss salary to passengers.

The thing that puzzles me is after crew leave their employment we never hear any of them speaking on social media about their salaries which means they are either very loyal or more likely the cruise lines look after them well.

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I agree that none of us know for certain and two different people asking the same question of P&O can get two different answers, but I simply cannot accept that P&O makes up the full value of all the service charges, regardless of how many people don’t pay. That would make no sense whatsoever and defies all logic.

 

 

If you think about it, if that were the case, then effectively that is a guaranteed salary and no different to them being paid a much higher basic wage. And if that were true, the whole concept of service charges is debunked as there would be no need for them.

 

 

I just cannot see any way in which that could possibly be true, but if someone can provide hard evidence (other than heresay) that P&O is telling blatant lies as to how their service programme works then I will stop paying the service charge in a heartbeat.

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I wonder how many on here would go on Saga,not us.

You may or may not want to use any particular cruise line, but I was pointing out the fallacy that you tried to create, probably from ignorance, that if P&O incorporated grats into the cruise cost, they would be first. They would not, just to dispel that myth you were trying to create.

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I agree that none of us know for certain and two different people asking the same question of P&O can get two different answers, but I simply cannot accept that P&O makes up the full value of all the service charges, regardless of how many people don’t pay. That would make no sense whatsoever and defies all logic.

 

 

If you think about it, if that were the case, then effectively that is a guaranteed salary and no different to them being paid a much higher basic wage. And if that were true, the whole concept of service charges is debunked as there would be no need for them.

 

 

I just cannot see any way in which that could possibly be true, but if someone can provide hard evidence (other than heresay) that P&O is telling blatant lies as to how their service programme works then I will stop paying the service charge in a heartbeat.

I can believe that P&O do pay a regular pay packet, despite grats. The point of having them is that it looks like the cruise is cheaper than it really is and so P&O squeeze a bit more out of the punter, probably on a sympathy vote that the staff will be short without the autograts.

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You may or may not want to use any particular cruise line, but I was pointing out the fallacy that you tried to create, probably from ignorance, that if P&O incorporated grats into the cruise cost, they would be first. They would not, just to dispel that myth you were trying to create.

You can't really compare P&O with Saga.

A lot of people on here now agree incorporating tips into the cruise price would be a good thing.

For P&O to do that would be very proactive and show they are listening to what people want and no one would begrudge them highlighting the fact.

Some of P&Os best customers are posting here and I'm sure they like me are not ignorant.

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I belueve it would be impossible for P&O to incorporate gratuities into their fares, because Carnival HO would not allow such a decision to be made, because of the ramifications it would have on the rest of their brands operating out of Europe.

Everyone writing on here about contacting P&O management need to realise that P&O is, in effect, just a sub-brand of an American conglomerate. It's like complaining to Cadbury's that their chocolate isn't the same anymore - in the global market place, individual national preferences don't count.

 

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You can't really compare P&O with Saga.

A lot of people on here now agree incorporating tips into the cruise price would be a good thing.

For P&O to do that would be very proactive and show they are listening to what people want and no one would begrudge them highlighting the fact.

Some of P&Os best customers are posting here and I'm sure they like me are not ignorant.

Never tried to compare them, just pointing out the fallacy you tried to create, obviously through ignorance that at least one other company got there first, that P&O would be market leaders by introducing this idea.

 

Though I am sure many posters on here use or will use Saga. Have you tried it or are you just surmising this as you imagined that no cruise line offered integrated grats?

 

Just for interest Silversea also include grats in their prices. But I guess you might think people on here would not be able to afford them and so that is not comparable either. Perhaps the only cruise line one can compare with P&O is P&O.

Edited by AnOnymously

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I belueve it would be impossible for P&O to incorporate gratuities into their fares, because Carnival HO would not allow such a decision to be made, because of the ramifications it would have on the rest of their brands operating out of Europe.

Everyone writing on here about contacting P&O management need to realise that P&O is, in effect, just a sub-brand of an American conglomerate. It's like complaining to Cadbury's that their chocolate isn't the same anymore - in the global market place, individual national preferences don't count.

 

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I understand that they include them in the price on P&O Australia because tipping is defiantly not part of their culture and so they just won't be forced into doing it.

 

Genuine question - is P&O Australia a stand alone or part of the Carnival group?

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Thanks, so it can be done then.

 

It is done, P&O Australia and Princess Australia ships all have gratuities included in the cost somewhere. Not removable, amount not disclosed, all in the total fare structure. and advice is no further tipping required, but many do give cash as well as paying a high fare. So service crew are happy, a cut from the gratuity pool and cash as well.:')

 

It was done I believe as many Aussie pax lined up to remove gratuities.

 

So there is no reason why P&O UK could not do the same, in fact all the Carnival brands, including Cunard, Princess, HAL, Costa etc could do it. That would cause a revolution on here.:o

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The auto tip scheme adds about £50 a week to the cost per person. I really don’t understand why they don’t just include it in the price. Saves all the hassle. P&O go on about being a luxury brand, but the real luxury lines include gratuities in the price. Including Seabourn , also owned by Carnival.

 

 

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I have never understood the term "service charge". If you buy something whether it's a cruise, a meal in a restaurant, a newspaper, or whatever, you are buying a product or a service. Why is it felt necessary to add something called a "service charge" when you are already paying for your purchase. Methinks it's tantamount to fraudulent.

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It is done, P&O Australia and Princess Australia ships all have gratuities included in the cost somewhere. Not removable, amount not disclosed, all in the total fare structure. and advice is no further tipping required, but many do give cash as well as paying a high fare. So service crew are happy, a cut from the gratuity pool and cash as well.:')

 

It was done I believe as many Aussie pax lined up to remove gratuities.

 

So there is no reason why P&O UK could not do the same, in fact all the Carnival brands, including Cunard, Princess, HAL, Costa etc could do it. That would cause a revolution on here.:o

 

Australian culture is that people do not give tips to people. This does not make them better or worse people individually or as a society. Their society has simply evolved differently over the years. They may well have queued up in large numbers to remove autogratuities but only because "this is the right thing to do."

 

This would have had a big effect on staff so the cruise line would think up a countermeasure to restore the status quo. Some lines have an "Australian Edition" brochure which has inflated fares and small print explaining that tips or service charge are included in the fare. It may also include the phrase advising that you may tip extra in cash if you wish which in the European market may well be taken as a clause that you can overlook as you hide behind the basic tips included regime.

 

The cruise pricing structure for the UK seems to be: fluid pricing which I think is going to be sensitive to any gratuity loading. People these days are very price sensitive in my experience and often do not look at quality. This is in my view a more likely cause of dropping standards on board. Overall newcomers, even those booking through a travel agent, look at number of nights divided by the price whether subconsciously or just comparing two cruises from different cruise lines of the same number of days. Travel agents will quite likely switch sell customers onto a cheaper, lower quality cruise line and P&O lose the booking. I think the reason P&O have it organised as it is believe this maximises revenue and maintain booking levels .

 

I have no real political view on tipping I just do nothing in general as the major part of my strategy.

 

Regards John

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The auto tip scheme adds about £50 a week to the cost per person. I really don’t understand why they don’t just include it in the price. Saves all the hassle. P&O go on about being a luxury brand, but the real luxury lines include gratuities in the price. Including Seabourn , also owned by Carnival.

 

 

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Completely agree re the tips, but I don’t believe that P&O markets themselves as a ‘Luxury’ brand do they? I like P&O but certainly don’t consider them to be a luxury brand myself. I see them as a mid-market, rapidly becoming mass-market brand.

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Never tried to compare them, just pointing out the fallacy you tried to create, obviously through ignorance that at least one other company got there first, that P&O would be market leaders by introducing this idea.

 

Though I am sure many posters on here use or will use Saga. Have you tried it or are you just surmising this as you imagined that no cruise line offered integrated grats?

 

Just for interest Silversea also include grats in their prices. But I guess you might think people on here would not be able to afford them and so that is not comparable either. Perhaps the only cruise line one can compare with P&O is P&O.

We have had 45 cruises to date on P&O,RCI,Princess,NCL and Sun cruises so i can honestly say i have some experience of cruise lines.

I'm not saying P&O would be first to offer Free gratuitys just like RCI who are filling their ships through their free drinks promotion which has been funded by adding a minimum of £200pp onto the pre drinks package price.

P&O are predominantly for the British market and after reading several tip threads on different forums the conclusion is we would like tips included.

Saga who are aimed at the older market and have small older ships does not appeal to us.

Please refrain from using the word ignorance because most of us are well cruised and travelled individuals.

Regards Graham.

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Thanks, so it can be done then.

 

NCL include gratuities and a drinks package as does Azamara (sister company to Celebrity). Admittedly NCL's prices have increased and Azamara is more expensive as you would expect when more is included. It is not just Brits using Azamara as many passengers are American/Canadian/Australian.

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I understand that they include them in the price on P&O Australia because tipping is defiantly not part of their culture and so they just won't be forced into doing it.

 

Genuine question - is P&O Australia a stand alone or part of the Carnival group?

Very valid point and shows it can be done.

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There would be no bragging rights then

 

 

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Our only reason to tip extra is because someone has made our cruise even more special and we would like to thank them by word,praise in the cruise survey and financially.

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Completely agree re the tips, but I don’t believe that P&O markets themselves as a ‘Luxury’ brand do they? I like P&O but certainly don’t consider them to be a luxury brand myself. I see them as a mid-market, rapidly becoming mass-market brand.

I agree with you.

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So the question is given that the majority of people on here which is an example of customer opinion (if not a balanced or statistically valid one) want tips added into the fare how do we achieve this without adversely affecting the staff?

 

Someone out there must be bright enough to come up with a strategy.

 

Do we all email them on the same day about it

 

Do we all reduce our tips by one penny on every cruise and make the comment that this is a protest to get tips included so that it draws attention to it.

 

Anything else that is legal and moral that we could do?

 

Unfortunately I do think that eventually the problem will be resolved by just one cruise where there are a lot of pax who remove the auto gratuity and the staff get really upset again, someone mentioned that it had happened before in a post above. If I remember correctly that did not end well for the poor staff involved so not something Inwould advocate.

 

The problem is that even if P&O were to include the tips/ service charge/ gratuity/ wage subsidy/ auto gratuity (choose you preferred title) it would not kick in for quite some time as they sell cruises so far ahead.

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So the question is given that the majority of people on here which is an example of customer opinion (if not a balanced or statistically valid one) want tips added into the fare how do we achieve this without adversely affecting the staff?

 

Someone out there must be bright enough to come up with a strategy.

 

Do we all email them on the same day about it

 

Do we all reduce our tips by one penny on every cruise and make the comment that this is a protest to get tips included so that it draws attention to it.

 

Anything else that is legal and moral that we could do?

 

Unfortunately I do think that eventually the problem will be resolved by just one cruise where there are a lot of pax who remove the auto gratuity and the staff get really upset again, someone mentioned that it had happened before in a post above. If I remember correctly that did not end well for the poor staff involved so not something Inwould advocate.

 

The problem is that even if P&O were to include the tips/ service charge/ gratuity/ wage subsidy/ auto gratuity (choose you preferred title) it would not kick in for quite some time as they sell cruises so far ahead.

Maybe they could start with making the service charge unremovable.

Some of these marketing people are paid big salaries so maybe they should earn it by coming up with some solutions.

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First thing is to flood P&O with questions, like can I just reduce this cost onboard, what happens if I remove it altogether, object to the price rise etc etc etc.

 

Let them know that customers are unhappy with the rise and do it from their website as a complaint.

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Having been involved over the years with a number of group forums I have seen how people who post on the forums know & care what they are talking about or believe they are helping others but can tend to forget that they are,probably,a very small percentage of the people who,in this case,take cruises.

By that I mean the same names are appearing time & again on a topic which the majority of believe themselves to be knowledgeable & because mainly of their cruise experience feel strongly about this item,if you take to number of people who actually take the cruises(whether that be Worldwide or just from the UK) surely the number involved in this discussion would be a very small percentage,the rest probably don't care/know enough about the topic to take the time to post on forums.

In that case do the numbers on these forums represent a big enough percentage of the travelling public to worry/pressure the cruise lines into doing anything?

Some assumptions are being made about why people choose certain cruises or cruise lines,for many I suspect that they just choose a cruise,perhaps by destinations,maybe price or maybe the time being convenient to suit their needs,I notice a lot of cruises being advertised at present with low deposits,maybe that is tempting some,or even just a travel agents recomendation,if you see what I am getting at I doubt that the majority of people that take a cruise this year will have taken the finer points that are discussed here into consideration.

I would imagine for many the first they know about the 'service charge' will be just before they sail or even later!

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Having been involved over the years with a number of group forums I have seen how people who post on the forums know & care what they are talking about or believe they are helping others but can tend to forget that they are,probably,a very small percentage of the people who,in this case,take cruises.

By that I mean the same names are appearing time & again on a topic which the majority of believe themselves to be knowledgeable & because mainly of their cruise experience feel strongly about this item,if you take to number of people who actually take the cruises(whether that be Worldwide or just from the UK) surely the number involved in this discussion would be a very small percentage,the rest probably don't care/know enough about the topic to take the time to post on forums.

In that case do the numbers on these forums represent a big enough percentage of the travelling public to worry/pressure the cruise lines into doing anything?

Some assumptions are being made about why people choose certain cruises or cruise lines,for many I suspect that they just choose a cruise,perhaps by destinations,maybe price or maybe the time being convenient to suit their needs,I notice a lot of cruises being advertised at present with low deposits,maybe that is tempting some,or even just a travel agents recomendation,if you see what I am getting at I doubt that the majority of people that take a cruise this year will have taken the finer points that are discussed here into consideration.

I would imagine for many the first they know about the 'service charge' will be just before they sail or even later!

 

I suspect you are right about pax only finding out about the service charge very late in the day.

 

You are also absolutely right about the numbers, as I said above we are not a balanced or statistically valid group and probably not representative of the newer demographic of cruisers.

 

That said we still have an opinion and try to voice it.

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I think they probably would take more notice if the same opinion is posted by many on Facebook. Personally I don't think anything will change though, they won't add it to the fares. They will just keep putting the autotip up as more and more cancel them.

We are only a very small group but the current poll is showing more people on here want to stop the autotip and tip ourselves than want to continue with the autotip. I think this trend will continue throughout the ships in the future.

My view is simple I will pay £7 per day if the service is good but less if it is not. I couldn't care really what happens to the money in the envelopes after I have given it

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First thing is to flood P&O with questions, like can I just reduce this cost onboard, what happens if I remove it altogether, object to the price rise etc etc etc.

Let them know that customers are unhappy with the rise and do it from their website as a complaint.

 

P&Os service reward programme as always been discretionary and clearly states on their website that you can give more, less or remove it altogether. This was confirmed by P&O when I e-mailed them on receiving the e-mail about increase in charge for my future cruise. They confirmed that I can leave auto gratuity on and if wanted give extra in cash, reduce price to £6pppd or any price I want to or I am free to remove the auto gratuity completely. All of this can be done onboard during your cruise by visiting reception.

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P&Os service reward programme as always been discretionary and clearly states on their website that you can give more, less or remove it altogether. This was confirmed by P&O when I e-mailed them on receiving the e-mail about increase in charge for my future cruise. They confirmed that I can leave auto gratuity on and if wanted give extra in cash, reduce price to £6pppd or any price I want to or I am free to remove the auto gratuity completely. All of this can be done onboard during your cruise by visiting reception.

I am sure you can, but we were looking at ways that we could get a voice heard and sending complaints etc is just one way, but I think would be effective if enough do it.

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Yes, although I remove the autograts and tip with an envelope, I would much prefer the £7 pppd to be included in the fare with nothing else required. Then I could tip as I wanted to people that had served me well. That's how it used to be.

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