Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
DENIE

Tipping in Italy ports of call

Recommended Posts

The justification I hear/read most often is that it's evil to refuse to tip in a culture where that is the norm (like the States) but it's generous to tip in places where it is not the culture.  People justify it by saying they are just being nice or generous.

 

In many cases I suspect it's just a lack of awareness, a case of assuming that the whole world operates the same way "we" do.

 

Once the fallacy of that expectation is pointed out, as in this thread, the justifications begin.  "The operator's web site said …" or "He/she was very happy to receive my tip..." or "What's wrong with being generous?".

 

It's uncomfortable to pull up the rug and look underneath the tipping culture so mostly we just don't do it.  It's even more uncomfortable to examine our own motivations and assumptions.

 

I think about this and similar issues as I do about the physical environment.  I wouldn't dream of leaving my trash behind when hiking and enjoying the great outdoors and I try not to leave my cultural trash behind when travelling.  I don't always succeed, out of ignorance or habit, but I do try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Korimako said:

This is exactly what I meant when I posted my comment above. Although I am VERY uncomfortable with tipping in any way shape or form because it is neither the norm or acceptable where I live, I would tip in the US as I understand - even though I think it's totally wrong and that everyone should earn a decent living wage as happens here  - that that is the norm. For someone to say, 'Well I don't accept this cultural norm and will impose my way of thinking and behaving regarding tipping' leaves me speechless at the arrogance! You should have felt you were doing wrong.

As an example - I'd been overseas for several months, partly in the US - and attempted to leave my hairdresser a tip, to which she grinned and said 'You've been away too long!'

Don't try to impose your cultural norms on the rest of the world please, we don't like it.

Totally agree

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting and balanced discussion. A timely reminder to American tourists that what they consider to be generous tips, are what most of the world pay our service staff, included by law in the cost of restaurant meals, hotels etc. 

The shameful practice of withholding pay from the lowest paid workers, and then making up their pay in the form of ‘tips’, is no more civilised than throwing the coins on the floor for them to grovel for them, in my opinion.

As far as I am aware, it is not usual practice in the USA to ‘tip’ staff who are paid a proper wage. In most of Europe, Australia and New Zealand, that is virtually anyone you will be dealing with. A tip, anywhere but the USA, is an extra and usually unexpected monetary thank you, for service above and beyond what you have already paid for, not part of the wages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have forgotten to check back....appreciate all the answers.  Another wrinkle...about half our cruise is in Italy, but the rest is in Croatia and Montenegro.  Do those restaurant wait staff and tour guides make the same respectable salaries as in Italy?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes they do ,it's Europe wide, no need to tip as in USA

Leave the tipping at home, pay the bill as it is, or just round to nearest Euro.

Croatia is in EU so labour laws apply, Montenegro whilst not EU uses the Euro currency and is likely to join soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/10/2019 at 7:47 PM, GUT2407 said:

And therein lays the problem, you felt you were in the right to tip no matter what you had been told to the contrary.

Sorry, but none of the various couples we were with on our many tours felt we were a "problem" or imposing our cultural norms, right or wrong in your opinion, on any of our amazing wonderful guides who at many times went way beyond what was expected of them. Service above and beyond I'll continue to acknowledge. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Ashland said:

Sorry, but none of the various couples we were with on our many tours felt we were a "problem" or imposing our cultural norms, right or wrong in your opinion, on any of our amazing wonderful guides who at many times went way beyond what was expected of them. Service above and beyond I'll continue to acknowledge. 

Good we I’m in America it must be fine for me to not tip then

Edited by GUT2407

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

This is where these discussions always seem to go off the rails.  They start out with people presenting their point of view and why they think/feel that way, generally respectfully, but eventually someone feels unheard/disrespected/attacked and they defend themselves, then we're off to the races.

 

It seems to boil down to one of two choices, reward excellence or respect local culture.  Both points of view can be, and are, passionately and logically defended.

 

In this specific situation, tipping in Italy (over and above the rounding up often described by Italians as tipping), you cannot have it both ways.  You have to make a choice, either reward excellence OR respect local culture.

Edited by euro cruiser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, GUT2407 said:

Good we I’m in America it must be fine for me to not tip then

It's you're choice.. based on service...that's the point !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ashland said:

It's you're choice.. based on service...that's the point !

 

In America it feels imperative to tip knowing how poorly some people are paid and they rely on tips. Also there is the strong expectation to tip. I don't use porters though because I know how well they are paid but they still expect a tip.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, frantic36 said:

 

In America it feels imperative to tip knowing how poorly some people are paid and they rely on tips. Also there is the strong expectation to tip. I don't use porters though because I know how well they are paid but they still expect a tip.

 

Beginning longshoremen in New York (a union job, and a good one) are paid more than 50% more than the minimum wage.  Beginning longshoremen in San Diego are paid more than twice the minimum wage.  The folks who have been in the union for years are doing quite well, thank you.  

 

I had a relative in the New York union, this "tipping" stuff was a racket back in the 30's before collective bargaining got them decent wages, some security and benefits.  There was always a threat that your cargo or luggage would "fall" into the harbor if they were not taken care of, and generations later we're all still falling into that trap.  If you watch how luggage is loaded onto and off a ship, there's no way an individual's stuff could be targeted for revenge.  

 

A sincere "thank you" is all that is required for these well paid folks with better benefits than most teachers in the States.

 

Side note:  I'm a big proponent of unions, most of my family before my generation were union men and they are a necessary check against corporate overreach.   I'm not blind, however, to excesses on the union side as well.

Edited by euro cruiser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, euro cruiser said:

This is where these discussions always seem to go off the rails.  They start out with people presenting their point of view and why they think/feel that way, generally respectfully, but eventually someone feels unheard/disrespected/attacked and they defend themselves, then we're off to the races.

 

It seems to boil down to one of two choices, reward excellence or respect local culture.  Both points of view can be, and are, passionately and logically defended.

 

In this specific situation, tipping in Italy (over and above the rounding up often described by Italians as tipping), you cannot have it both ways.  You have to make a choice, either reward excellence OR respect local culture.

And it seems in America it’s not about excellent service either, I’m expected to tip because the culture has allowed some staff to be paid peanuts in the expectation they will be tipped, but then those same people go to countries where they are told tipping isn’t required and want to reward service, ignoring culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, GUT2407 said:

And it seems in America it’s not about excellent service either, I’m expected to tip because the culture has allowed some staff to be paid peanuts in the expectation they will be tipped, but then those same people go to countries where they are told tipping isn’t required and want to reward service, ignoring culture.

You don't think service means anything to us?.... Bad service....will not get tipped regardless.

We don't expect you to tip ... please don't assume and don't paint us all with the same brush.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't think service means anything to us?.... Bad service....will not get tipped regardless.

We don't expect you to tip ... please don't assume and don't paint us all with the same brush.

 

But surely this isn't true? From everything I have read about tipping in the US, I would be expected to add 15% to 20% to the bill for a meal? And it isn't about good or bad service, just something which is automatically expected?

So are you saying, for a bill for say $23.95, I can just leave $25 as I would in Europe/Australia/New Zealand?? And not be chased down the street??

Very confused now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my American friends and family and from what I have experienced it would be an extremely uncomfortable time if you didn't tip enough. I only left 10% tip the first time I ate in a restaurant in Miami...the chill in the air was quite discernible. My American friends soon put me right when I talked to them about it and I now know to leave around 18% sometimes 20%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, frantic36 said:

 I only left 10% tip the first time I ate in a restaurant in Miami...the chill in the air was quite discernible. 

 

I'm surprised the response was so passive.  I waitressed/tended bar all through high school, college and grad school, and later owned a nightclub where most of the employees made their living off tips.  It's a little harder to catch a customer who leaves a low tip in cash (or no tip) but I can guarantee you that if you left a low tip on a credit card at any place I worked a manager would be at your table within minutes to ask what was wrong (many times it was a case of bad math and the customer was quite embarrassed when it was pointed out).  A low/no tip would always be followed up on where I've worked, because sometimes the complaint was really about the food, not the service, or some other factor.  You need to know what to fix, not just assume it was bad service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, euro cruiser said:

 

I'm surprised the response was so passive.  I waitressed/tended bar all through high school, college and grad school, and later owned a nightclub where most of the employees made their living off tips.  It's a little harder to catch a customer who leaves a low tip in cash (or no tip) but I can guarantee you that if you left a low tip on a credit card at any place I worked a manager would be at your table within minutes to ask what was wrong (many times it was a case of bad math and the customer was quite embarrassed when it was pointed out).  A low/no tip would always be followed up on where I've worked, because sometimes the complaint was really about the food, not the service, or some other factor.  You need to know what to fix, not just assume it was bad service.

 

 

In retrospect so am I surprised it was so passive. It was in 2013 and my first trip to the USA and in Australia when we tip then 10% is normal. It wasn't a cheap restaurant so it was a very substantial amount even at 10%. 

 

As I said I learnt my lesson quickly 😎.

 

Julie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I guess the next time I travel in Europe/Asia and use amazing wonderful private group tour guides that go above and beyond...I'll let them know I'm not going to offer any gratuity because of the group on Cruise Critic. 

 

And when you come to the US you'll be expected to tip 18-20% even for bad service.

 

Satisfied now?

 

Peace Out !!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Ashland said:

 

And when you come to the US you'll be expected to tip 18-20% even for bad service.

 

I certainly had the impression that in the USA, one is expected to tip anyway, even if the service is seemingly below par, because the employer hasn’t bothered to pay their staff properly, or take responsibility for the service provided in their establishment!

 

and what defines good service anyway?

In Europe, we expect our orders to be taken promptly, our food to arrive in a timely manner, any additional, reasonable, requests fulfilled, and our bill presented promptly when we are ready to pay. This is all provided for in the cost of the meal, and if there are any problems, I expect the manager to deal with it.

 

I do not expect the wait staff to act like lifelong friends, to tell me sob stories about their financial situation, or to hover for a handout at the end of my meal.

Frankly, such behaviour would probably put me off my food, and would certainly not be conducive to a relaxed and enjoyable experience.

 

When in the USA, I tip 20% as this is what I am led to believe is expected. This is despite my embarrassment that I am supporting the demeaning and discriminatory treatment of lower paid employees, who should not be deprived of the same employment rights that ‘salaried’ staff enjoy

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread has taken the usual wrong turn. Folks arguing over whose systems are good/bad.

 

The fact of the matter is that for "average" service in the US, you ARE expected to tip, and for AVERAGE service in many places in Europe, you should not tip.

 

Opinions differ regarding what is 'great' service. I would suggest that some who've cruised primarily in the Caribbean tend to think tour guides are 'great' in Europe -- but the fact is that they are professionals -- trained, licensed, and well paid for the jobs they do. 

 

The wise saying of "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" has been around a long time for a very good reason. Unfortunately some will never be able to see that.

 

(By the way, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for waiters and waitresses (their wording, not mine) in the US is $10.47/hour as of May 2018, not the $15.00 Ashland cites. And the federal minimum wage is still $7.25/hour, with at least 20 states at or even below that level for the state minimum wage...)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again...thanks all who have chimed in!  Appreciate the different perspectives.  We will follow the customs on our November cruise and just round up a Euro or two.  Many of  our tours were booked through a private tour company, and we've seen how they vet the tour guides, so see that they are truly professionals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone!

 

Thanks for keeping this as lively a discussion as ever!

 

I pinned this topic primarily because it's such a common question and I wanted to avoid there being repetitive tipping threads. Much like the new Civi to Rome train thread, my hope is that we can avoid some thread topic congestion by removing often repeated requests, thereby creating space for other topics such as sightseeing, restaurants, which itinerary on what line etc. which means it's a good time for a special shout out to eurocruiser for taking on the lion's share of the Civi to Rome thread posts - very much appreciated! 

 

Seems like a great time to just pop in and see if we can't keep this thread from derailing as many previous tip threads have done in the past. I have my own strong feelings on the subject which I have posted about in the past: observe and respect the practices of the culture in whatever country one is visiting, as one would expect and hope for when people are visiting the country that you live in. But...once a person has stated their position and seems to be firm on it, like it or not, that's that. I may want to try to convert or preach until someone else gets it but 1) don't really have the time 2) kind of not allowed to, those TOS 😉 3) to each their own 4) it is what it is 5) we're having fun, right? (oh and the TOS 😉  ) 

 

All we can do is suggest/advise/share our knowledge and experience here. It's entirely up to another person if they wish to implement or follow whatever anyone mentions here, right/wrong or otherwise. Everyone gets to make their choice, even if one or many people do not agree or understand that choice by making a choice of their own...accept that person's response and carry on. It's not always an easy thing to do, but it's always a kind thing to do. Everyone comes here to be helpful and supportive and we appreciate that every single day. Let's keep it going. 

 

To tip or not to tip remains the question and whatever is the answer for someone, we must accept. We can share the realties of our own experiences traveling and in our countries but we must accept the choices of one another when all is said and done. Do we have to like it? No. But there it is. Now think of your happy place, check your post before you hit submit and please accept my sincere thanks to everyone for posting here! 🙂 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/15/2019 at 4:24 PM, cruisemom42 said:

This thread has taken the usual wrong turn. Folks arguing over whose systems are good/bad.

 

The fact of the matter is that for "average" service in the US, you ARE expected to tip, and for AVERAGE service in many places in Europe, you should not tip.

 

Opinions differ regarding what is 'great' service. I would suggest that some who've cruised primarily in the Caribbean tend to think tour guides are 'great' in Europe -- but the fact is that they are professionals -- trained, licensed, and well paid for the jobs they do. 

 

The wise saying of "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" has been around a long time for a very good reason. Unfortunately some will never be able to see that.

 

(By the way, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for waiters and waitresses (their wording, not mine) in the US is $10.47/hour as of May 2018, not the $15.00 Ashland cites. And the federal minimum wage is still $7.25/hour, with at least 20 states at or even below that level for the state minimum wage...)

 

Cruisemom I value your opinions on here so I am asking for your thoughts on this.

We will be using and independent guide for a small group tour ( 7 of us).  We will be using her services for 3 days in Rome.  I understand the no tipping in Europe and that she has probably included "gratuities" in her fees as this is her own business. How do you suggest we thank her for her service at the end of the last tour?  Treating her to lunch or dinner after our tour?  She has been so wonderful to work with as far as planning and accommodating us, I can not imagine her not being a fabulous guide.   I guess it is the American in me that has a hard time not tipping and just walking away with a thank you.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TSUmom said:

Cruisemom I value your opinions on here so I am asking for your thoughts on this.

We will be using and independent guide for a small group tour ( 7 of us).  We will be using her services for 3 days in Rome.  I understand the no tipping in Europe and that she has probably included "gratuities" in her fees as this is her own business. How do you suggest we thank her for her service at the end of the last tour?  Treating her to lunch or dinner after our tour?  She has been so wonderful to work with as far as planning and accommodating us, I can not imagine her not being a fabulous guide.   I guess it is the American in me that has a hard time not tipping and just walking away with a thank you.  

 

I will tell you what guides appreciate more than anything else, and that is a positive review. If you enjoy her services, ask her where you can post a review (e.g., Tripadvisor, Facebook, elsewhere) that would do the most good, and follow up on it. Especially if she is the owner of the business, this is priceless -- their business depends so much on past experiences and user satisfaction.

 

If you feel it is organic (not forced) based on your time spent with her, certainly you can ask whether you can buy her lunch, or a drink at the end of the tour. However, many guides prefer to use lunch time to regroup, answer emails, confirm afternoon appointments or whatever. And at the end of the tour she is likely to want to get home. After all, pleasant as it may be, it is still her work.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I will tell you what guides appreciate more than anything else, and that is a positive review. If you enjoy her services, ask her where you can post a review (e.g., Tripadvisor, Facebook, elsewhere) that would do the most good, and follow up on it. Especially if she is the owner of the business, this is priceless -- their business depends so much on past experiences and user satisfaction.

 

If you feel it is organic (not forced) based on your time spent with her, certainly you can ask whether you can buy her lunch, or a drink at the end of the tour. However, many guides prefer to use lunch time to regroup, answer emails, confirm afternoon appointments or whatever. And at the end of the tour she is likely to want to get home. After all, pleasant as it may be, it is still her work.

 

Thank you for your reply.  I actually found her on Trip Advisor and she has nothing but great reviews so I will add mine when we come home.  I never thought about the fact that she is at work and like the rest of us can't wait to go home.  Your input is much appreciated!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...