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Shirleygibbs

Tipping on ocean cruise

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Yes, from what I have learned here, Australia, New Zealand and UK are usually "Gratuities included."

 

Also, another thing to remember about gratuities, there is already a 15% gratuity included in the price of all spa services and drinks.

 

In our experience, all cruises from Australia & NZ had gratuities included, but in UK (P&O & CMV) they added the daily gratuities.

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Lucky you - that's great! I understand that for you, that's the norm. On our next cruise the tips are included, but for safety's sake we will double check after embarkation, and again just prior to the end of the cruise.

 

It's pretty much akin to the way we think; additional tipping is at our discretion - which makes good sense.

 

 

 

We once went on an excursion where the tour guide obviously didn't know what he was talking about (which included World War ll and the D Day landings), in which we were told with gravitas and authority that the Battle of the Atlantic was fought in the sea! On another separate excursion an old ship was pointed out to us, which allegedly had taken part in the Battle of Rutland! Both of these tour guides stood outside the coach at the end of the tour expecting tips! From me each tour guide had a tip from me - which was to learn your stuff before you start the tour!

 

 

 

I think that mainly some people who make such a fuss about giving a tip think that either they are part of the landed gentry or the nouveau riche - which they patently usually aren't.

 

 

 

Battle of the Atlantic was fought on the Atlantic

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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We were very disappointed with the service on our Viking Ocean Cruise. We expressed our displeasure, asked that our gratuity level be significantly reduced, and it was done as we requested.

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We thought initially that we had been unlucky, but over time it has made us more aware of when service isn't up to the required standard. It's as simple as this: provide the service or go without. It's not an excuse, we're not going to be persuaded to pay in advance for a level of service which we haven't yet received.

If we're content with the way we are treated on the cruise then we reward, if not - well then that's their fault, and without compunction we feel no regret.

People, don't be so hard on Parsley Cruises! He has raised many valid points and i have to say for myself, being on countless number of cruises (4-5 stars), there are MANY rude staff onboard and being required to tip does not site well with me neither! I have endured the guess services line many times to have them take OFF the daily charges, and tip in cash to the staff that was nice!

One thing that is for certain, cruise lines needs to re-evaluate their staff pay policy!!! We have ALL heard how horrible they can be!

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I will gladly pay the suggested daily tip. Always have on all cruises.

 

My question is about Room Service on Viking Ocean.

 

What is the proper tip each time Room Service is delivered to cabin?

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We keep the tips on and at the end of the cruise tip extra to special people. We gave each of our cabin stewards 150 euros apiece. We gave the Manfredi's maitre'd $25. Each night in Manfredi's we gave our server and the bus person $5 each. We also gave extra to a special busperson in the World Cafe. They all work so hard, and deserve every penny that they get.

 

Stretchcruz, very glad to hear this. We tip extra and not everyone does, but we sincerely appreciate everyone...bus drivers and tour guides as well. We also try to tip in the local currency when going ashore, but notice lots of people use USD.

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I wish Viking would add tips into the fare as well!

Has anyone ever tried to compare Austailia/NZ/ England's cruise cost to what is charged in the US. I wonder if they end up paying more?

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On a recent Viking River Cruise we switched ships due to a river obstruction We were told the tips would be pooled between both crews, furthermore, the pool included most if not all onboard staff. They passed out two tip envelopes one for the crew and a separate one for the tour director on the last day. Our final bill did not include daily tipping charges and when discussing this with our new ship friends, those from the UK and Australia said the included or the daily tip were illegal in their countries and never appear on the statements. Some from the US said there was a promo from Viking that included the tips thus they did not appear. I asked at the reception desk and got a vague answer from someone that did not want to discuss it. Very confusing for our first river cruise.

 

Our first VO Cruise a few years ago was one of the first West Indies cruises and due to a snow storm in NYC it turned into a logistics nightmare for Viking. Delayed, changed and missed flights with staffing and bus issues at the airport and luggage and passengers arriving after the ship sailed led to some disgruntled cruisers blaming Viking for everything including the weather. It was announced through the grapevine that Viking was going to waive, and they did, the service charge. Rumor mill stated up that Viking would rather stiff the crew then another form of compensation. I am sure the crew got what they deserved from Viking and a lot more from some of us that felt they did an extraordinary job under very difficult conditions.

 

My point is... pay everyone a competitive wage and like many restaurants, pool the tips that the front line receives so they flow down to the others. This eliminates the negativity and confusion that is being created. I recently read an article that the average crew member, on another line, takes home less now then they did three years go and the cruise line takes in excess of 20% off the top of the included tips as a "handling fee". Not sure of the accuracy of this nor what was attributed to others.

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People, don't be so hard on Parsley Cruises! He has raised many valid points and i have to say for myself, being on countless number of cruises (4-5 stars), there are MANY rude staff onboard and being required to tip does not site well with me neither! I have endured the guess services line many times to have them take OFF the daily charges, and tip in cash to the staff that was nice!

One thing that is for certain, cruise lines needs to re-evaluate their staff pay policy!!! We have ALL heard how horrible they can be!

 

The problem with your strategy of tipping only the people who "are nice" is that by declining to pay the recommended gratuity you stiff so many people who depend on those tips that you never see: the line cooks, the dishwashers, the laundry staff, the people who clean the public areas, etc. They work very hard to make your cruise enjoyable. To tip only your favorites seems grossly unfair to me. The staff on a cruise ship did not invent this system, they only try to earn a living working in that system.

 

I have yet to encounter even one rude staff member on a Viking ship. Even if I did, I would rather deal with knowing that that one rare bad employee got a tip they didn't earn than to know how many other good employees were deprived of their deserved pay because I canceled my gratuities.

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Well, our feelings which lead us to cancelling the auto-tipping on previous cruises (which were nothing to do with Viking) included huge disappointment with food (veggies being virtually raw, persistent wrong orders being brought to table, and a very rude comment from a waiter!), plentiful mould on bathroom grouting, unacceptable poor level of statement cleaning, poor replenishment of stuff in stateroom - and that's just the tip of the iceberg. We tend to tip quietly when it's deserved.

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The problem with your strategy of tipping only the people who "are nice" is that by declining to pay the recommended gratuity you stiff so many people who depend on those tips that you never see: the line cooks, the dishwashers, the laundry staff, the people who clean the public areas, etc. They work very hard to make your cruise enjoyable. To tip only your favorites seems grossly unfair to me. The staff on a cruise ship did not invent this system, they only try to earn a living working in that system.

 

I have yet to encounter even one rude staff member on a Viking ship. Even if I did, I would rather deal with knowing that that one rare bad employee got a tip they didn't earn than to know how many other good employees were deprived of their deserved pay because I canceled my gratuities.

 

THIS!!! (y)

 

Admittedly I have never been treated poorly by Viking employees on several Viking cruises.

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I wish Viking would add tips into the fare as well!

Has anyone ever tried to compare Austailia/NZ/ England's cruise cost to what is charged in the US. I wonder if they end up paying more?

 

In 2015 we compared the 2 WC's that Princess offered - old R-Class ship with R/T from Los Angeles and the Sun Princess R/T from Sydney. When we compared prices in CAN $, once you added the tips to the L/A cruise they were fairly close.

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Having had some experience in a tourist related business in the U.S., I realize that some visitors from other countries do not have the same tipping policies in their countries as here in the U.S. That is no excuse to not be familiar with the tipping norm of the country or the cruise ship one books. . . and to follow accordingly. Personally I feel the tipping policies on Viking cruises are entirely in line with services given and in keeping with what one would expect to pay on a cruise of this caliber. Certainly, anyone is entitled to reward exceptional service with additional tips, but the recommended amount should be the minimum.

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Having had some experience in a tourist related business in the U.S., I realize that some visitors from other countries do not have the same tipping policies in their countries as here in the U.S. That is no excuse to not be familiar with the tipping norm of the country or the cruise ship one books. . . and to follow accordingly. Personally I feel the tipping policies on Viking cruises are entirely in line with services given and in keeping with what one would expect to pay on a cruise of this caliber. Certainly, anyone is entitled to reward exceptional service with additional tips, but the recommended amount should be the minimuntm.

 

As an American taking a cruise around the UK on a ship registered in the Bahamas with a primarily Filipino crew what is your tipping policy?

 

Never worked in the tourism industry but I don't think the tip left in the resort room is used to subsidize the salary of the maintenance man or front desk people. They are paid a competitive wage and may have a performance based instinctive. Some resorts may have a service charge but it is not in lieu of wages.

 

The "tips in lieu of wages" surcharge and the way it is presented in some countries may be deemed illegal and because the actual sale is governed by where it is being booked, the cruise line has to include it in the base price; just a guess.

 

Viking probably treats its employees better then most. I found most of the crew to have worked on other lines and were probably top performers. This usually means they are here because of salary and or work conditions. Other lines, much of the crew is fresh out of the parent company training school and have little to say where they work.

 

Back to my previous post... Viking has little to gain with the opt out service charge. Just include the wages in the base price and have fair policy for the true tips.

 

The current policy is not compatible with the "no nickle and dime" and "most everything included" image which attracts many new cruisers.

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After 38 posts, someone has realised that "some visitors from other countries do not have the same tipping policies in their countries as here in the U.S". We do not understand the need for US citizens to thrust money at service personnel who are doing their job. Unfortunately, some service personnel now expect extra money for not doing their job as well as they might, but this does not apply to Viking in my experience.

The non-US fare normally includes "gratuities", which is much appreciated by most passengers. Presumably,

pay + included gratuity/surcharge = acceptable reimbursement

for an employee doing the job fully and well, in the view of "the management", in a tipping environment. Based on what I have read in this and other threads, there are few posters who would not welcome a change to include a service charge/surcharge (not a "gratuity" surely) in the published fare and bring the cost of the cruise transparently to the appropriate level, and not publish a low fare for marketing reasons, hoping that passengers will top up individual staff income voluntarily. Thereafter, it would be up to individual passengers to further reward staff for service over and above the norm if wished.

The comment that gratuities "are entirely in line with services given and in keeping with what one would expect to pay on a cruise of this calibre" is based on a US perception, and may not align with practices elsewhere in the world and on non-US shipping lines.

Azdrydock hits the nail squarely on the head.

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Having had some experience in a tourist related business in the U.S., I realize that some visitors from other countries do not have the same tipping policies in their countries as here in the U.S. That is no excuse to not be familiar with the tipping norm of the country or the cruise ship one books. . . and to follow accordingly. Personally I feel the tipping policies on Viking cruises are entirely in line with services given and in keeping with what one would expect to pay on a cruise of this caliber. Certainly, anyone is entitled to reward exceptional service with additional tips, but the recommended amount should be the minimum.

I agree with you fully!!! Unfortunately there are some passengers who as a matter of course, remove the gratuities either because they don't want to pay "up front" or they don't believe in gratuities. They are usually fully armed with excuses as to why the crew should be stiffed! They may hand out a few "discrete" gratuities, but you may be very sure they do not equal the suggested $15/day. You may review their reasoning in the preceding passages!

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Time for a different thought.

 

I once met a buffet food server, young and Russian, on another cruise line who had been very kind and efficient, although shy and probably on her first cruise. I, in turn, tried to smile and use her first name.

 

On the last full day, I tried to give her the plain white envelope with a $10.00 US inside. Being new, she opened it immediately. To my surprise, she looked, said "this is too much" and literally tried to push the bill back to me. I said it was well deserved and probably too little and pushed it back.

 

I later did the right thing and mentioned her by name in my end of cruise comments and noted why she was a good employee. Since I was on a back-to-back, I noted that she was promoted first to a "take the food to the table" waitress and later to a waiter assistant in the Italian specialty restaurant.

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I agree with you fully!!! Unfortunately there are some passengers who as a matter of course, remove the gratuities either because they don't want to pay "up front" or they don't believe in gratuities. They are usually fully armed with excuses as to why the crew should be stiffed! They may hand out a few "discrete" gratuities, but you may be very sure they do not equal the suggested $15/day. You may review their reasoning in the preceding passages!

 

Doesn't it make more`sense to just add the $200 or $300 to the base cost of the cruise so it is not discretionary and still encourage passengers to tip for exceptional service? I don't believe this is a competitive disadvantage in the Viking market segment.

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Rawmac, I totally agree with you. I am an American and find our tipping culture to be onerous and not supportive of a "living wage" for people in the service industries. There are a few restaurants in the US that have pioneered a no tipping policy. At the same time, they have upped wages for their staff markedly.

 

We sail Seabourn and one of the many reasons we choose them is that there is no tipping required or expected---of anyone to anyone. I hope that Viking will eventually decide to do the same.

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I read some time ago on CC that some countries tax their citizens working on cruise ships for the salary they receive but do not tax the tips received. if this is true, then eliminating tips and increasing salaries would increase the taxes paid by cruise employees who are often not highly paid to start with. Can anyone confirm if what i read is correct?

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I read some time ago on CC that some countries tax their citizens working on cruise ships for the salary they receive but do not tax the tips received. if this is true, then eliminating tips and increasing salaries would increase the taxes paid by cruise employees who are often not highly paid to start with. Can anyone confirm if what i read is correct?

 

Can't comment on the countries that supply most of the hotel department crew, but Canada does require anybody in receipt of tips to declare them as income. In UK, mariners have a good deal, as if you are out of the country for more than 6 months, you can claim all taxes back.

 

With respect to service crew remuneration, while the wages may be low, when compared to western standards, but when compared to wages in their home countries, they are making significantly more than the average worker.

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Can't comment on the countries that supply most of the hotel department crew, but Canada does require anybody in receipt of tips to declare them as income. In UK, mariners have a good deal, as if you are out of the country for more than 6 months, you can claim all taxes back.

 

With respect to service crew remuneration, while the wages may be low, when compared to western standards, but when compared to wages in their home countries, they are making significantly more than the average worker.

Right. On the World Cruise, a barman we got to know quite well, told us he was making 8 times (!) what he could make back home in Macedonia.

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While I totally understand that many of the crew are making a lot more than they could make in their own countries, it does not follow (at least for me) that a cruise line should give them low pay by Western standards. If the cruise line is a U. S. company, the crew should be paid by U. S. Standards, or, if a UK company, by UK pay standards and so on.

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Right. On the World Cruise, a barman we got to know quite well, told us he was making 8 times (!) what he could make back home in Macedonia.

 

I don't doubt that is true, but of course it comes at a cost. They are away from their families for months on end. I have read that Viking, unlike many other cruise lines, does provide free wi-fi for the crew. I hope that is correct, and it may be one reason that the Viking crew seems to be a particularly happy group!

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I don't doubt that is true, but of course it comes at a cost. They are away from their families for months on end. I have read that Viking, unlike many other cruise lines, does provide free wi-fi for the crew. I hope that is correct, and it may be one reason that the Viking crew seems to be a particularly happy group!

I understand. I worked at sea for 15+ years. Crew are not forced to work at sea, they work because they feel the pay is worth it. Just as any job. I do not think at all that Viking is taking advantage of workers anymore than I felt "taken advantage of" in my own sea career. The only thing I have left to add is that as much as Viking touts all the included extras, it is a bit annoying to have the gratuities tacked on daily. Just as wi-fi, etc. is included, so should tipping. Now on a recent Seabourn voyage we were not charged for tipping but they did add in extra charges for "Port Taxes/Fees" which is included in your Viking fare.

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