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duquephart

Viking Ocean Cruise Automatic Gratuity

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We are told that we will be billed an automatic gratuity on an upcoming cruise. I have a problem with this and view it as a thinly veiled forced fee. Viking says we can opt out of this program or make amends by visiting the front desk on the ship. Are there statistics or even guesses as to the percentage of cruisers who take advantage of the opt out option? I would prefer to tip as I please and, assuming great service, the crew would probably be better off that way.

 

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If you search in this forum you can find many posts about this policy. It is pretty standard policy for cruise lines to either include gratuities in your fare or to automatically add them to your account. Please remember that a tip pool is shared by more than just the people that are customer facing. Dishwashers, cleaning staff etc. 

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A quick search of this forum will reveal that this is a hot button topic.  To put is simply, you may opt out, change the amount, or tip individually at your discretion.  Tipping is a personal matter and opinions cover the spectrum.  You should let your conscience be your guide.  No one will know what you did and you will not know what others do, as it should be.

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44 minutes ago, TruJeffie said:

If you search in this forum you can find many posts about this policy. It is pretty standard policy for cruise lines to either include gratuities in your fare or to automatically add them to your account. Please remember that a tip pool is shared by more than just the people that are customer facing. Dishwashers, cleaning staff etc. 

 

I suppose that answers some question, but not the one I asked.

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43 minutes ago, ropomo said:

A quick search of this forum will reveal that this is a hot button topic.  To put is simply, you may opt out, change the amount, or tip individually at your discretion.  Tipping is a personal matter and opinions cover the spectrum.  You should let your conscience be your guide.  No one will know what you did and you will not know what others do, as it should be.

 

I suppose that answers some question, but not the one I asked.

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Because it appears that you are wanting statistics to help with your view of tips, may I suggest you google.  Many of us here believe in the tipping the staff and you seem not interested in the answers that you are getting.

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1 minute ago, jiminyC_fan said:

Because it appears that you are wanting statistics to help with your view of tips, may I suggest you google.  Many of us here believe in the tipping the staff and you seem not interested in the answers that you are getting.

 

I too believe in tipping the staff, that's not the issue. I am not interested in the "answers" I am getting because they do not address the question I asked. Is this difficult to understand?

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You can tip as you please, so why seek data on what others do??

My sense is you don’t much care about others to begin with.

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No, not at all difficult for us; it's simple.  Follow recommended tips automatically placed on your charge ; give more to favorites, ie,  those who go beyond.  Wait,  what is the problem?

 

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There are no statistics on what % of people opt-out of the automatic gratuities on Viking Ocean Cruises.

That is why folks recommended you try google---we simply can't answer your question.

 

I HAVE read of many Viking customers who add additional, individual tips on top of the automatic gratuity (i.e.. room service, room steward, maitre d'). 

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1 minute ago, broker1217 said:

There are no statistics on what % of people opt-out of the automatic gratuities on Viking Ocean Cruises.

That is why folks recommended you try google---we simply can't answer your question.

 

I HAVE read of many Viking customers who add additional, individual tips on top of the automatic gratuity (i.e.. room service, room steward, maitre d'). 

 

Fair enough. Sorry to have turned this into yet another pissing contest on tipping.

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The only place that would have accurate data is Viking. Feel free to ask them when you call them to drop your pre-paid gratuities.

 

2 friendly reminders...

1. The attitude you bring to these boards, more than likely, may be the attitude you receive in replies.

2. On some cruise lines, not sure if Viking is one of them, the service staff can usually find out what room has dropped the tips. It may affect the service you receive.

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One other thought---when we research a cruise I make a matrix if comparing different lines.

I include columns for prices for gratuity, excursions, internet, beverage packages, WiFi.

Once I did this it became clear that Viking is a fantastic value and it also eliminated lines that had outrageous internet charges. 

For any future cruises, make sure you research all of the 'extras' before booking so you don't upset yourself.

If gratuities are a problem for you---head toward a line that includes them and you will avoid this issue.

 

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2 minutes ago, broker1217 said:

One other thought---when we research a cruise I make a matrix if comparing different lines.

I include columns for prices for gratuity, excursions, internet, beverage packages, WiFi.

Once I did this it became clear that Viking is a fantastic value and it also eliminated lines that had outrageous internet charges. 

For any future cruises, make sure you research all of the 'extras' before booking so you don't upset yourself.

If gratuities are a problem for you---head toward a line that includes them and you will avoid this issue.

 

 

I have no problem tipping. Viking could be a bit more upfront about their policy though since it is basically a part of the cost unless entirely voluntary.

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I believe that Viking cannot be any clearer and upfront.  It is on their website and I quote:

 

"Our onboard staff is dedicated to providing you with the best cruise experience possible, and it is customary to give gratuities in recognition of service. How much you choose to tip is a personal matter and completely at your discretion. To save you worry over whom to tip and how much, we automatically add a discretionary hotel and dining charge of $15.00 per guest, per day to your shipboard account, which appears on your final invoice at the end of your cruise. This charge will be shared among the onboard staff who helped support and provide your cruise experience, including the waitstaff, stateroom stewards, buffet stewards, galley staff, laundry staff and others. (Please note this charge excludes bar gratuity; a 15% gratuity is automatically added to bar, beverage, wine and deck service tabs.) Should you wish to make changes to the gratuity amounts or pay in cash, just stop by our Explorers’ Desk at any time. You may also wish to tip your local excursion guides or driver; we suggest doing so in cash at the end of each tour."

 

 

 

Edited by jiminyC_fan

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9 minutes ago, duquephart said:

 

I have no problem tipping. Viking could be a bit more upfront about their policy though since it is basically a part of the cost unless entirely voluntary.

 

I think most cruise lines are very upfront about the gratuities, drink packages and internet fees. It is simply a cost of cruising that you need to assess prior to booking. Similar to looking into payment schedule and cancellation fees--it's part of travel planning.

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I think on my next trip, I will 'opt out' of the checked luggage fee. I would like to pay the ticket and baggage handler directly.

 

 

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I think on my next trip, I will 'opt out' of the checked luggage fee. I would like to pay the ticket and baggage handler directly

 

This made me LOL.  Just wanted to state that.

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1 hour ago, duquephart said:

 

I too believe in tipping the staff, that's not the issue. I am not interested in the "answers" I am getting because they do not address the question I asked. Is this difficult to understand?

I answered your question as susinctly as possible.  

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51 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:
2 hours ago, duquephart said:

 

I too believe in tipping the staff, that's not the issue. I am not interested in the "answers" I am getting because they do not address the question I asked. Is this difficult to understand?

I answered your question as susinctly as possible.  

 

I too believe I answered your question

4 hours ago, ropomo said:

you will not know what others do

 

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The OP is such a PHART that it is time to move on.

I hope we never meet on any cruise ship.

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21 hours ago, duquephart said:

We are told that we will be billed an automatic gratuity on an upcoming cruise. I have a problem with this and view it as a thinly veiled forced fee. Viking says we can opt out of this program or make amends by visiting the front desk on the ship. Are there statistics or even guesses as to the percentage of cruisers who take advantage of the opt

out option? I would prefer to tip as I please and, assuming great service, the crew would probably be better off that way.

 
  •  

 

Though I don't think this will answer your question, you might gain some insight into how this is dispersed to the crew so you know how that might work  The article is here on Cruise Critic.  Rick Steve's also has a portion of his cruise books devoted to this.  I do have friends that don't do the gratuities through the ship but for a week cruise they do $ 100 a piece to the various people they want to have it.  as explained to me, this usually goes into a tip pool and is then relegated accordingly.  TellUs@Vikingcruises.com might the exact information you are looking for, though I doubt they would think it is any of your business and not share it with you but give them a try.

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