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Regent/NCLH implements new tipping program

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13 minutes ago, fizzy said:

I can't seem to recall... on the website it says "free prepaid gratuities"  Was that wording always in place? For some reason I thought it was more of an "included" type phrase that has a different feel to it. Perhaps I'm thinking of another cruise line?

 

 

I think they have used the "free prepaid gratuities" for a long while.  Just looked at an old brochure listing voyages beginning in Jan 2018 and it was in that listing.   The phrase makes no sense to me.  What is a pre-paid gratuity?  In fact does Regent really pay gratuities directly to staff?  Do they get a payment listed as a gratuity?  Or is their salary simply more than on non-inclusive ships?  I don't know what the mechanics of pre-paid gratuities might be.  Do all staff receive the same amount or is it a percentage of their salary?  The language simply is a flag that raises questions.  

 

And that is to say nothing of the fact that gratuities are not "free".  Does anyone think it is true that gratuities are free?

 

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3 minutes ago, CruisetheCs said:

 

 

And that is to say nothing of the fact that gratuities are not "free".  Does anyone think it is true that gratuities are free?

  

Nothing is "free" - prepaid yes, free - NO

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The best way to help out the crew is to not be too demanding, nor annoying.  And don’t engage them in conversations about your cat Fluffy.  They have jobs to do, let them get on with it.  They are not paid to be your best pal.

 

But if you have a good cruise and the crew performs well, a donation to the crew fund is a nice thing to do.  As someone mentioned before, who is more important to your well being, a random waiter or the ship’s plumber😉

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For some reason Regent likes to use the word "free". They use it to describe their air and shore excursions too, when the word "included" would be more appropriate. 

 

 

We have donated to the crew fund several times, and feek it is a good idea. Only once I offered a cash tip to a crew member (stewardess) who ran a little errand for us that was not part of her job. The offer was refused.

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17 minutes ago, gnomie1 said:

Nothing is "free" - prepaid yes, free - NO

 

But what does "free pre-paid gratuities" mean?   If the gratuities are free, then how can they be pre-paid" by anyone?  Or is Regent trying to imply that they are paid to the staff  in advance of the cruise?  It is just a confusing false marketing claim as far as I can tell since the gratuities are included in the cost of the cruise and "pre-payment" part of the phrase is irrelevant.

 

On the same Regent list of "free" things that it offers, it includes "free unlimited beverages...."  Why are gratuities pre-paid but unlimited beverages are not pre-paid?  If one is an editor, what is the difference?  Just obsessing over language today!

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To me it simply means that Regent covers the tips for the passengers.  While I do not know this as a fact, they likely have a certain amount that is paid to all levels of crew members ..... from dishwashers and laundry workers to butlers.  

 

I also prefer the word "included" rather than "free" but the results to the crew members are the same - no matter which word you choose to use.  

 

From what I understand (and my information is old), luxury cruise lines pay more to their crew than non-luxury cruise lines.  If this were not the case, I would wonder why so many crew members have been with Regent for years.  Regent crew members are also reportedly treated well (according to crew members that we speak to and we speak with many on each of our cruises).  

 

In my opinion, the details of how, when or how much crew members are paid (including pre-paid tips) is likely none of our business.  I only know that some crew members put their children through college with the monies made on Regent.   

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On 5/19/2019 at 8:38 PM, Travelcat2 said:

 What really puzzles me is that many(?) of us are "Seven Seas Society Council" members and they have yet to ask our opinions prior to implementing a new policy (not that they would have to listen to us -- just give us the courtesy of checking).

I thought that the Seven Seas Council was a travel agent designation -not individual passengers. Is this in addition to Commodore, Diamond, Titanium,etc. designations? 

 

As to this thread. Regent did something that they quickly recognized was not a great policy (understatement?) and changed it. The thread would have died quickly if the usual suspects (habitual critics and cheerleaders) didn't have to have the last word.

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1 hour ago, CBWIR said:

I thought that the Seven Seas Council was a travel agent designation -not individual passengers. Is this in addition to Commodore, Diamond, Titanium,etc. designations? 

 

As to this thread. Regent did something that they quickly recognized was not a great policy (understatement?) and changed it. The thread would have died quickly if the usual suspects (habitual critics and cheerleaders) didn't have to have the last word.

 

You could be right about the Seven Seas Council.  I actually never knew what that was about but it shows up on all of our Regent invoices.  It would be nice if Regent did check with passengers - people new to Regent - people with various numbers of days on Regent, etc. just to get their opinions of upcoming changes.  

 

Have to disagree about the thread dying faster if the "usual suspects (habitual critics and cheerleaders" didn't have to have the last word.  As you know, I post a lot and am a cheerleader but agreed with 99% of the other posters on this board and certainly wasn't looking to have the last word.  It was refreshing to have almost everyone on the thread on the same page (until the off topic post reared its ugly head).  

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9 hours ago, CBWIR said:

I thought that the Seven Seas Council was a travel agent designation -not individual passengers. Is this in addition to Commodore, Diamond, Titanium,etc. designations? 

 

As to this thread. Regent did something that they quickly recognized was not a great policy (understatement?) and changed it. The thread would have died quickly if the usual suspects (habitual critics and cheerleaders) didn't have to have the last word.

Yes, you are exactly right. The Regent Seven Seas Council is an exclusive group of top industry performers. appointment to the Council gives travel agencies greater advanced resources, priority booking windows and a variety of special perquisites for clients. My TA’s agency is a Council member and I certainly benefit by that when booking with Regent. 

 

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UUNetBill,

Your right nothing is "FREE", you pay for everything you get in the fare Regent Charges passengers to cruise on the line.  It maybe included in the fare, but it is not "FREE".  Really just like 50% off, has anyone paid the full 100% fare on Regent or any cruise line, it's just a marketing hype.  To me just give me the price and let me decide if I want it or not.  That does not include real promotional programs that come along that promote some cruises, those are true promotional offers.

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1 hour ago, ronrick1943 said:

UUNetBill,

Your right nothing is "FREE", you pay for everything you get in the fare Regent Charges passengers to cruise on the line.  It maybe included in the fare, but it is not "FREE".  Really just like 50% off, has anyone paid the full 100% fare on Regent or any cruise line, it's just a marketing hype.  To me just give me the price and let me decide if I want it or not.  That does not include real promotional programs that come along that promote some cruises, those are true promotional offers.

 

"Free" is a ridiculous adjective. Nothing is "free"! I much prefer the word "included".

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Thanks Jackie, not a big deal. It is what it is, not a matter of being judgmental , but of opining. 

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Just now, CBWIR said:

In post #18 on this thread,you said " new Regent policy is nothing else that (sic) a cynical marketing ploy...to increase their own revenues...must think we're dupes. "  Those are your words. I think Mr. Montague reacted with restraint.

Still my opinion. If he has such thin skin he shouldnt be the CEO

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, CBWIR said:

In post #18 on this thread,you said " new Regent policy is nothing else that (sic) a cynical marketing ploy...to increase their own revenues...must think we're dupes. "  Those are your words. I think Mr. Montague reacted with restraint.

 

Yes, Mr. Montague did react with restraint.  If he had to deal with some of the demeaning posts that some (certainly not all) posters on CC make, he may have reacted the way some others do (with contempt and horror).  Just because "we" (all of us) are anonymous, it does give us the right to act in an unkind way.  What ever happened to "do onto others..................."? 

 

P.S.  Just read your last post.  I do not think that Jason Montague has a thin skin which is why he  likely responded the way that he did.  Bravo to Jason for being honest and not engaging in the "stuff" that goes on here.

Edited by Travelcat2

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Im all for being honest. In the meantime I'll keep speaking my mind. Regent made a decision that made no sense , many of us opined, so what? We're customers, dont know about you but Ive never gotten anything for free on Regent. 

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My next cruise is with friends that like Viking Ocean, so I have been on that board  the last few months instead of Regent.  I have to tell you, the Viking Ocean board is quite boring compared to this one - that group seems to a rather happy bunch overall.     Glad I stop by to read about this issue,  fake burgers and a whole bunch of other grips with all the same players.   Keep up the good reading!  

 

Totally agree that this was a crazy idea, but I rather see changes than no changes at all.  

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Most of the crew members send much of their salary back home to their families. Many of the female crew have children cared for by their families back home. I don’t need Regent/NCL corporate telling me how I may spend my money. I do what I feel is right. 

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On 5/22/2019 at 12:03 AM, irishwitchy said:

Totally agree that this was a crazy idea, but I rather see changes than no changes at all.  

I'm the other way around - I hate 'change for the sake of change' - I'd rather see them stay the course than make crazy changes.  Just helps drive home how different we all are...

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1 hour ago, UUNetBill said:

I'm the other way around - I hate 'change for the sake of change' - I'd rather see them stay the course than make crazy changes.  Just helps drive home how different we all are...

Exactly!   If it ain't broke.....don't fix it!

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On 5/20/2019 at 3:51 PM, Ragnar Danneskjold said:

The best way to help out the crew is to not be too demanding, nor annoying.  And don’t engage them in conversations about your cat Fluffy.  They have jobs to do, let them get on with it.  They are not paid to be your best pal.

 

 

 

I've been thinking about your post for a few days.  I wonder why you would make a statement about not engaging the crew in a conversation?  They are working their tails off 7 days a week for months and enjoy when passengers ask them about their lives.  We always have conversations with the crew( but do not interfere with their job).

 

So, I respectfully disagree with your comment.  Be kind to the crew - do not be demanding but rather be kind when making requests and...... please let them know that you are interested in them - not only as someone who serves you but as human beings. 

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I could not agree more with Jackie's comments above.  Regent creates a very "family" atmosphere amongst its crew and as a result the crew regard the passengers as family too.  Having little interactions with them - learning about their children, their country etc - is important to both crew member and passenger.  No one wants to feel like a number!

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Just a quick comment about engaging the crew in conversation.  We did a New Years cruise a few years ago on Royal Caribbean.  Our Cabin Steward had been on the ship for 6 months.  She was excellent at her job, but not very friendly.   About day 3 I stepped out into the hall waiting for my wife, and our Cabin Steward was there making up rooms.  I took the opportunity to not just greet her but ask where she was from, how long she'd been on the ship, and about her family.  We had a great conversation, and she told me about her kids and about how hard it was being away for 6 months at a time, especially over Christmas and New Years.  Anyway, after that every time she saw us in the hall she made an effort to come over and greet us with a smile.   Her demeanor towards us completely changed simply because I spent a few minutes showing an interest in her as a person.  I agree you don't want to have 10 minute conversations every time you see a crew member, but a few minutes to show that you care about them speaks volumes. 

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papaflamingo - when you did that you became a person to her and not a number on a door.  And given the size of the RCI ships I have to think that was very important but it is also very human.  A lovely story!

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2 hours ago, papaflamingo said:

Just a quick comment about engaging the crew in conversation.  We did a New Years cruise a few years ago on Royal Caribbean.  Our Cabin Steward had been on the ship for 6 months.  She was excellent at her job, but not very friendly.   About day 3 I stepped out into the hall waiting for my wife, and our Cabin Steward was there making up rooms.  I took the opportunity to not just greet her but ask where she was from, how long she'd been on the ship, and about her family.  We had a great conversation, and she told me about her kids and about how hard it was being away for 6 months at a time, especially over Christmas and New Years.  Anyway, after that every time she saw us in the hall she made an effort to come over and greet us with a smile.   Her demeanor towards us completely changed simply because I spent a few minutes showing an interest in her as a person.  I agree you don't want to have 10 minute conversations every time you see a crew member, but a few minutes to show that you care about them speaks volumes. 

I agree with this 100%.  There's a huge difference between being stand-offish, friendly, and distracting.  The crew members are people just like all of us - some are a bit more gregarious than others but we're all people making our way through this life.  I've found that most crew members appreciate some interest in them as people - asking about them, their families, their lives - I'm sure most of them would prefer to talk about their families than to hear about our cat Fluffy...

 

Over the years I've found that some crew members will make polite conversation because they feel they should, but it's a fine line with them, too.  I'm sure some have had problems with passengers thinking they're getting too friendly, whereas a lot of us really enjoy learning about the crew and their stories.  Many of them are fascinating people with fascinating stories.

 

1 hour ago, Hambagahle said:

papaflamingo - when you did that you became a person to her and not a number on a door.  And given the size of the RCI ships I have to think that was very important but it is also very human.  A lovely story!

Yep, this right here.  With the turnover on Regent ships and the very real possibility that some passengers may not want 'the help' getting friendly with them, it's usually nice to make the opening gesture to let them know that we're approachable and truly interested in them as people.

 

I, for one, love to chat with the crew if they're not too busy and hear about them and their homes, families, hobbies, etc.  As you said, many of them will be more than happy to talk with you once they know you're interested.

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