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Pre-paid Gratuities: who gets them?


st5310
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Regardless, my understanding is that tips are distributed according to performance measures.  So the reason staff are so anxious for you to rate an excellent on the survey is that the rating is how the tips are distributed.   If you are a "5" average, you do not get the full amount.  The distribution takes account of performance.

 

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6 hours ago, ccotting said:

Regardless, my understanding is that tips are distributed according to performance measures.  So the reason staff are so anxious for you to rate an excellent on the survey is that the rating is how the tips are distributed.   If you are a "5" average, you do not get the full amount.  The distribution takes account of performance.

 

 

How do they(Celebrity) administer that? What happens to any pre-paid that is held back? Who is paid to administer the changes and where is the source  their wages, does it come out of the pre-paid gratuities? 

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"Regardless, my understanding is that tips are distributed according to performance measures."

 

In all my years cruising on Celebrity, I have never heard of this.  Perhaps it happens on other lines.  

 

The ratings do affect things like promotions, extra time off, and other things related to their job satisfaction, but I do not think that what ccotting wrote applies on Celebrity.

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18 minutes ago, cruisestitch said:

"Regardless, my understanding is that tips are distributed according to performance measures."

 

In all my years cruising on Celebrity, I have never heard of this.  Perhaps it happens on other lines.  

 

The ratings do affect things like promotions, extra time off, and other things related to their job satisfaction, but I do not think that what ccotting wrote applies on Celebrity.

 

Same here, never heard of that on Celebrity. I would think if they did that, there would be revolt of the workers.  

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I would be interested to know where the information that tips are withheld for poor performance came from.  Celebrity management? Fellow passenger? Your stateroom attendant? We have never heard of such a thing, and doubt that it is true

Edited by Alakegirl
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Just now, sippican said:

 

I don't understand what you mean.

 

If you don't have prepaid gratuities or somehow pay them in advance, the cruise line takes the same tips out daily and put them on your on board account.  Just passing on that there is no difference in cost. 

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The distribution has been kept a secret since the early days of the auto-tips program.  Crew members are instructed not to discuss the issue (which could cost them their job) with passengers.  But it does involve a large "tipping pool" that is distributed according to the secret formula...which varies among the different cruise lines.   Personally, we are appalled that the cruise lines are not forthcoming about their formula and policy since it is the passenger who is paying the tab.  But there is one factoid that has bothered me for a few years.  In the old days, passengers directly tipped (usually in envelopes) those crew members who provided direct services.  This is similar to what folks do in hotels, restaurants, etc.  So we would tip our cabin steward, assistant steward, waiter, assistant waiter, maitre'd (if he did anything worthy of a tip) and perhaps a few others (such as a favorite bar tender) who we thought deserving of recognition.   

 

But when cruise lines moved to auto-tip (this was originally necessitated when Open Dining schemes took hold) it became a big secret.  But some of the tipping money was distributed to certain crew members who work behind the scenes.  In a sense it would be like tipping the laundry service who cleans the tablecloths in a restaurant.  On some lines crew members were told that if they received any direct tips they were required to turn them in to the "tipping pool" while other lines had no such rules.   So the next time you go to a decent hotel, perhaps you should slip $50 to the Hotel Manager and tell him/her to please divide it up the way he/she feels is best......RIGHT!

 

Cruisers have become part of a huge con game played by the mass market lines.  The cruise lines advertise cruise prices which are now significantly below the real cost...and then add "tips" kind of like some resorts play a game called "resort fees."  With tips now reaching $15 per passenger/day this can be significant for those on lower cost cruises.  Most luxury cruise lines do not play this game and include tips in the advertised cruise fare.  But the mass market cruise lines try to play the "tip guilt" game by subtly convincing passengers that it is the passenger (not the employer) who is responsible to ensure a crew member gets a living wage.  ARGH!

 

Hank 

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31 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

The distribution has been kept a secret since the early days of the auto-tips program.  Crew members are instructed not to discuss the issue (which could cost them their job) with passengers.  But it does involve a large "tipping pool" that is distributed according to the secret formula...which varies among the different cruise lines.   Personally, we are appalled that the cruise lines are not forthcoming about their formula and policy since it is the passenger who is paying the tab.  But there is one factoid that has bothered me for a few years.  In the old days, passengers directly tipped (usually in envelopes) those crew members who provided direct services.  This is similar to what folks do in hotels, restaurants, etc.  So we would tip our cabin steward, assistant steward, waiter, assistant waiter, maitre'd (if he did anything worthy of a tip) and perhaps a few others (such as a favorite bar tender) who we thought deserving of recognition.   

 

But when cruise lines moved to auto-tip (this was originally necessitated when Open Dining schemes took hold) it became a big secret.  But some of the tipping money was distributed to certain crew members who work behind the scenes.  In a sense it would be like tipping the laundry service who cleans the tablecloths in a restaurant.  On some lines crew members were told that if they received any direct tips they were required to turn them in to the "tipping pool" while other lines had no such rules.   So the next time you go to a decent hotel, perhaps you should slip $50 to the Hotel Manager and tell him/her to please divide it up the way he/she feels is best......RIGHT!

 

Cruisers have become part of a huge con game played by the mass market lines.  The cruise lines advertise cruise prices which are now significantly below the real cost...and then add "tips" kind of like some resorts play a game called "resort fees."  With tips now reaching $15 per passenger/day this can be significant for those on lower cost cruises.  Most luxury cruise lines do not play this game and include tips in the advertised cruise fare.  But the mass market cruise lines try to play the "tip guilt" game by subtly convincing passengers that it is the passenger (not the employer) who is responsible to ensure a crew member gets a living wage.  ARGH!

 

Hank 

 

Correct and years ago with the envelopes they had suggested guideline which are pretty much the same as now with a couple of exceptions. A periodic question on this board who was tipped was “who the hell is the  Head Housekeeper, I think he got 50 cents per day per person. Going way back in the 90s the recommended tip for minor children as 3rd or 4th was half the adult tips.

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Thank you Hank for providing the detailed response.  Basically the cruise lines have turned the tip portion of the pay into what in HR speak is called Variable compensation or 'pay for performance'.  Their rationale is that cash tipping would have been allocated on performance with high performers receiving more tips.  We rate more people 'excellent' than we might otherwise because of this system and we do confidential cash tips to anyone we consider special.

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I am not quite sure why this topic keeps coming up over and over again.  I never see anyone asking how their tip is allocated in restaurants (hint: it is...busboy/cook/dishwasher).  If you don't want to tip the busboy, you, in theory, can't just tip the waiter...they split their tips....and that's their choice, not yours.  Simlarly on a ship, if you give $10 to your cabin attendant, they may or may not split it with someone else....and a) it doesn't matter; and b) you can't change it.

 

The folks on cruises depend on those tips...whoever they are.  Yes, it's part of their compensation.  

 

Suggestion to everyone....just leave the standard tip and then, if you feel someone has deserves more, give them an additional tip.  They may or may not get to keep it, but they will probably keep most of it.  If you are thinking I won't tip or give an extra tip because it will be split.....stop nickle and diming .... that $10 means much more to the folks you are tipping then it does to you.

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28 minutes ago, dkjretired said:

 

Correct and years ago with the envelopes they had suggested guideline which are pretty much the same as now with a couple of exceptions. A periodic question on this board who was tipped was “who the hell is the  Head Housekeeper, I think he got 50 cents per day per person. Going way back in the 90s the recommended tip for minor children as 3rd or 4th was half the adult tips.

I remember one cruise line who would leave pre-printed envelopes (with the appropriate crew member titles such as "Cabin Steward") in our cabin.  That was fine until they started leaving envelopes with the title, "Housekeeping Supervisor" or "Head Housekeeper."  And that person would usually knock at our cabin door, once during a cruise, to say hello :).   And there is no way we ever tipped that "supervisor."  Can you imagine seeking out the Housekeeping Supervisor in a hotel or resort to give them a tip?   If I really wanted to spread around tips perhaps the best person to tip would be the beverage manager :).

 

Hank

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31 minutes ago, weregoingcruising said:

The totals don't add up to the daily amount charged.

9.39 + 3.59 + 1.52 =  14.50  Standard Stateroom

 

9.39 + 4.09 + 1.52 =   15.00  CC/AQ Stateroom

 

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1 hour ago, ghstudio said:

I am not quite sure why this topic keeps coming up over and over again.  I never see anyone asking how their tip is allocated in restaurants (hint: it is...busboy/cook/dishwasher).  If you don't want to tip the busboy, you, in theory, can't just tip the waiter...they split their tips....and that's their choice, not yours.  Simlarly on a ship, if you give $10 to your cabin attendant, they may or may not split it with someone else....and a) it doesn't matter; and b) you can't change it.

 

I don't understand this either. Tipping pools are the norm in service industries, not the exception. Le Bernadin does not tell me how they allocate tips amongst the wait staff and sommeliers, for instance. The cruise lines are slightly more forthcoming as they at least identify the pools, more or less.

 

The assumption on Cruise Critic seems to be that back in the days of cash and envelopes, the person getting the envelope kept the cash and the auto-tip system is different. I assume the opposite and that we don't know what those individuals were supposed to do with their gratuities. And frankly, it's built into their compensation and I don't ask random strangers, even those I've "known" for 7 nights, how they're compensation package is structured and how my contribution is filtered to them!

 

And to the OP, the answer to the your question with the level of detail anyone is certain of is in the first reply to your two initial posts.

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Markeb your point about the standard tipping pools is entirely fair.  However, in a restaurant we choose to tip, on the cruise lines we are now being told we have to, we are billed where in the 'not so old' days, tipping was discretionary and we were given envelopes we filled at our own decision.  Folks want to know where their money is allocated given that and that the funds are going to the staff they feel did the best.  

 

I am with the respondent who said mandatory tipping billing is a way to maintain apparently lower cruise prices.  It is also a way to maintain lower base pay rates and the distribution by performance is intended to motivate staff to provide the best service. Whether it is equitable or fair as a compensation construct is something for a beer night discussion, there will be many different opinions, lots of air and no resolution.

 

 As for the folks who don't understand why it keeps coming up, well, new or neophyte cruisers keep coming up.  Cruise critic is here to share.

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10 hours ago, Alakegirl said:

I would be interested to know where the information that tips are withheld for poor performance came from.  Celebrity management? Fellow passenger? Your stateroom attendant? We have never heard of such a thing, and doubt that it is true

 

A crew member working in a tipped position told me on board a Celebrity ship in a recent year that staff members who received anything less than a 10 on the surveys have their pay scaled down, a little bit for 9s and a whole lot as you go down, and that any time a significant number of passengers remove auto grats the people whose salaries are basically funded by tips just don't get paid.

 

I did not ask at all for this information and the person who described the system to me also said s/he could be fired for sharing the info, thus why this description is a little vague, so I have no reason to believe it's untrue. 

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If the rating on the survey directly impacting pay is true, which I doubt, a Cabin attendant has 14 cabins and only 6 return the survey- what then.  The dining staff are not rated as individuals on the survey.  I doubt that a individual passengers survey can be linked to the waiter or assistant who served them. 

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