Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Turtles06

Can we use OBC for *additional* tips to crew?

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, cb at sea said:

Your OBC is merely a CREDIT against any charges you make.  You can't specify how it's used, but whatever you sign for, that OBC will be used first....in most cases.

 

Did you accidentally post on the wrong thread?!? That was not the OP’s question. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an interesting use of OBC. I'll have sufficient OBC on next week's Equinox cruise for discretionary tipping. I just got off the phone with the shoreside concierge who said this isn't possible for butlers, attendants, or bartenders.

 

When you say you went to guest services, did you mean the general one in the main lobby, the suite manager, the retreat concierge? I guess it's not such a bad idea to have extra cash, but I'd just as soon not carry it if it's not necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, misterkevin said:

This is an interesting use of OBC. I'll have sufficient OBC on next week's Equinox cruise for discretionary tipping. I just got off the phone with the shoreside concierge who said this isn't possible for butlers, attendants, or bartenders.

 

When you say you went to guest services, did you mean the general one in the main lobby, the suite manager, the retreat concierge? I guess it's not such a bad idea to have extra cash, but I'd just as soon not carry it if it's not necessary.

 

I wouldn't trust anything the shoreside concierge tells you.  Half the time the info you give them doesn't make it to the ship.  I would talk to either the suite manager or the concierge in Michaels.  I intend to try this out next month.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/2/2019 at 9:48 AM, Jim_Iain said:

It's obvious from what you say is that Celebrity is consistently inconsistent and in need of remedial training

Not being critical.

 

Can you imagine what a pain in the south end it is to maintain training for a staff that literally changes at every port? I watch Celebrity employees leave the ship with luggage in the morning and then see new, or returning, employees boarding with luggage in the afternoon. Of course the real problem is that the trainers and managers are a part of this process and the training is only as good as the last trainer off the ship, then it starts over. Yikes. What a management nightmare. I'm sure glad I don't have to deal with that stuff anymore.

 

Now, my biggest challenge in life is learning how to use OBC to tip favored employees!

 

Life is very good.

Share this post


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

This is an interesting use of OBC. I'll have sufficient OBC on next week's Equinox cruise for discretionary tipping. I just got off the phone with the shoreside concierge who said this isn't possible for butlers, attendants, or bartenders.

 

When you say you went to guest services, did you mean the general one in the main lobby, the suite manager, the retreat concierge? I guess it's not such a bad idea to have extra cash, but I'd just as soon not carry it if it's not necessary.


I went to the main Guest Services and inquired about additional tipping.  They gave me a form to fill out with our names and cabin number, and I specified the amount and that I wanted 100% to go to our cabin steward.  I could have divided it among  everyone that gets the standard gratuities as well, but we had select dining so I'm not sure how they would have decided which staff would get it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/2/2019 at 10:16 AM, Turtles06 said:

A few years ago, and I can't recall which cruise line we were on but I think it was Celebrity, we used some OBC at the end of the cruise to give additional tips to specific crew members (e.g., our cabin attendant and MDR servers).  I recall having to visit Guest Services, where I had to give them the names of the crew members and the amounts of the tips, and they gave me a voucher for each person (which we could give to them), with the money going directly into the crew members' accounts on board. 

 

As I said, I think we did this on Celebrity, but I would appreciate knowing if we can do this now.   (We generally don't have much OBC at the end of a cruise, and we normally tip in cash, but we may have some "extra" OBC on an upcoming cruise.)    Thanks for any info! 

Yes. We did this in April. It was suggested by GS when we asked if by any chance we could cash out the non ref OBC for extra tips to some really great crew members. It worked out great!

Share this post


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

It would have gone i to the tip pool for waitstaff

I absolutely do not believe so. This is for the extra tip, not the mandatory gratuity that is shared/distributed.

You have to fill out the name of the employee, department, and the exact amount of $ you want to pay the employee. Guest services then gave us a voucher/card/paper to present to the employee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, misterkevin said:

This is an interesting use of OBC. I'll have sufficient OBC on next week's Equinox cruise for discretionary tipping. I just got off the phone with the shoreside concierge who said this isn't possible for butlers, attendants, or bartenders.

 

When you say you went to guest services, did you mean the general one in the main lobby, the suite manager, the retreat concierge? I guess it's not such a bad idea to have extra cash, but I'd just as soon not carry it if it's not necessary.

Hmmm. We were able to use it as extra tips extra for our cabin  attendant and for our dining staff, and for the concierge.

Share this post


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

I absolutely do not believe so. This is for the extra tip, not the mandatory gratuity that is shared/distributed.

You have to fill out the name of the employee, department, and the exact amount of $ you want to pay the employee. Guest services then gave us a voucher/card/paper to present to the employee.

 

I'm not sure how long ago your experience was (or which ship), but in May on the Millennium we were told that we could designate our cabin steward for an extra tip from our OBC but for dining/bar staff it would go to the general pool. We had planned to give it to our steward so no problem for us. They did not give us any kind of voucher. We left a thank you note on the final night and explained what we had done. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 There doesn’t seem to be much consistency in this. I even found policy changed on two legs of back to back cruises. It was easy both times to give extra tip to the state room attendant. But the first of the two cruises I designated certain waiters to get extra tip and the amounts. On the second leg they told me I no longer could do that and the money would just go to the waiters tip pool. There may also be some discrepancy between being in select dining versus being at a fixed table.  But my personal opinion is that if you put down extra money to go to waiters on the form that you receive at guest relations it is highly likely you will be told that the money can only go into the tip pool. YMMV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/2/2019 at 8:48 AM, Jim_Iain said:

 

I just left tips on Summit for two baristas last month using the form.   I was on a B2B and both times the individual got the tip I left them.   It's obvious from what you say is that Celebrity is consistently inconsistent and in need of remedial training.  When I received the clarity of the policy I was on Silhouette.  

 

I am on Eclipse now.They told me everything is shared if you don’t put down their names.

I was told dining room services tips will be in the pool and can’t be individual employees.

Edited by verizon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, late2cruisin said:

 

I'm not sure how long ago your experience was (or which ship), but in May on the Millennium we were told that we could designate our cabin steward for an extra tip from our OBC but for dining/bar staff it would go to the general pool. We had planned to give it to our steward so no problem for us. They did not give us any kind of voucher. We left a thank you note on the final night and explained what we had done. 

 

I had the exact experience in May on the Solstice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me shed a little light on this situation.   When you fill out the form to leave specific tips to people anywhere on the ship....the Front desk people know two things....1) The person who is going to clear these "payments" after the fact is in the back office and has no time to divy up tips for individuals with crews of 900+.  Usually depending on where you ate the most they just credit it to the Main dining room or Luminae Pool of tips etc.  2)  IF they tell customers that customers may not credit their tips or may get angry with them or the cruiseline and why are they going to have to go through that aggravation?  So some say yes we can do it...knowing they cannot(small fib here) or no we cannot.....What you are told and what is actually happening are two different things here. 

 

I would suggest the following:  For individuals the only way to guarantee they are getting your tips is to give it directly in $.  End of story.  For your OBC, we leave our donations to the "Crew Welfare Fund".  This fund buys extra microwaves for the crew mess, arranges discount excursions for crewmembers, throws parties for the crew or Barbecue's.  The beauty of the crew welfare fund is that it is shared by ALL.  The people who unstop your toilets, wash your sheets, work in the Engine rooms or Laundry and ensure you have a safe and wonderful cruise and yet rarely get recognized.  The Crew Welfare Fund is the best way to do it.  We have done this for years and signed it to our rooms most times.  It is a great thing to do,  as working at sea 9 months a contract away from home long hours is a hardship that needs to be recognized by more of us.  

 

Thats my 2 cents.  Safe Sails to all!      

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/4/2019 at 3:15 PM, CGTNORMANDIE said:

Sooo...your OBC is on your room card?   You go to the casino put your card into a slot machine, punch in the amount of money you desire then collect your winnings on a paper receipt and cash it in at the cage?  Then you tip with cash?  Wouldn’t that be easier than trips to reception and filling out forms?  Where am I going wrong here?

 

I prefer to get some chips and go to the roulette wheel and bet on Red. The chips for the non-refundable OBC are different. Your winnings will be different chips that you can exchange for cash.  You play until you lose the OBC chips.  You can then do whatever you want with the cash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, cruiseerf said:

Let me shed a little light on this situation.   When you fill out the form to leave specific tips to people anywhere on the ship....the Front desk people know two things....1) The person who is going to clear these "payments" after the fact is in the back office and has no time to divy up tips for individuals with crews of 900+.  Usually depending on where you ate the most they just credit it to the Main dining room or Luminae Pool of tips etc.  2)  IF they tell customers that customers may not credit their tips or may get angry with them or the cruiseline and why are they going to have to go through that aggravation?  So some say yes we can do it...knowing they cannot(small fib here) or no we cannot.....What you are told and what is actually happening are two different things here. 

 

I would suggest the following:  For individuals the only way to guarantee they are getting your tips is to give it directly in $.  End of story.  For your OBC, we leave our donations to the "Crew Welfare Fund".  This fund buys extra microwaves for the crew mess, arranges discount excursions for crewmembers, throws parties for the crew or Barbecue's.  The beauty of the crew welfare fund is that it is shared by ALL.  The people who unstop your toilets, wash your sheets, work in the Engine rooms or Laundry and ensure you have a safe and wonderful cruise and yet rarely get recognized.  The Crew Welfare Fund is the best way to do it.  We have done this for years and signed it to our rooms most times.  It is a great thing to do,  as working at sea 9 months a contract away from home long hours is a hardship that needs to be recognized by more of us.  

 

Thats my 2 cents.  Safe Sails to all!      

Great idea but I don't see a place on the form to leave the OBC to the crew welfare fund.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeesh, I'm really mad that I wasn't aware of this option.  We had about 90 bucks on our last cruise sitting in OBC and we ended up buying fairly useless stuff from the gift shops just to use it up.  I would so much have enjoyed divvying it up among half a dozen great crew members that we tipped and wrote up and who could have made much better use of this that we did.

 

I will know next time!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/19/2019 at 8:26 PM, late2cruisin said:

 

I'm not sure how long ago your experience was (or which ship), but in May on the Millennium we were told that we could designate our cabin steward for an extra tip from our OBC but for dining/bar staff it would go to the general pool. We had planned to give it to our steward so no problem for us. They did not give us any kind of voucher. We left a thank you note on the final night and explained what we had done. 

 

On 7/19/2019 at 10:48 PM, verizon said:

This is how the form looks like.

image.jpg

The forms we were given looked nothing like this one in the picture. The one given to me was very specific, with "Name of Employee", department that the employee worked in etc, amount, etc, plus our info . I will try to see if I have an extra one to take a picture of and post. The above form looks very generic and I am not sure how one's extra gratuity would go to their account specifically and not to the entire department.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is the form I had.  I wrote in Specific waiters names and the amounts. I know they got it, because I was thanked. But on the second leg of the back to back they said I could go longer do that and all the waiters tips went directly into the pool not to the person I specified. It changed from one leg of the back to back to the second.  No one at Guest Relations could explain why.

Edited by cruisestitch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/4/2019 at 11:29 PM, Jim_Iain said:

 

Don't think so.   Last month I did a B2B on Summit and was able to leave additional tips to individuals with no problem.  When I turn in the sheet I return it directly to the front desk Guest Relatiions. 

 

 

Edited by flipflap78

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is very helpful. We did not know you could do this with OBC and usually tip out extra in cash... a bank run for cash before we embark is always on the "to do " list

 

TY OP for asking the question.

TY for the post of the form and TY Jim for clarification

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used the form to distribute extra tips to my suite butler, room attendant, and Luminae staff. I was told that you cannot use the form to individually tip your dining room staff, rather, it would be shared by the team. In fact, when I asked my waiter about tipping him directly, he said he shared it with his assistant, the sommelier, and someone else in back on the dining room wait staff team because they are a team. You cannot use the form to tip the maitre'd, hostess, or concierge staff. 

 

When I mentioned the tips to my butler, Rikki, he said that sometimes they are not given directly but rather divided between the team and that the customer should get a copy or a receipt to confirm that the funds deducted from OBC are in fact distributed according to the instructions. How I would check is beyond me, however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/19/2019 at 9:48 PM, verizon said:

This is how the form looks like.

image.jpg

Five days ago when I was on the Summit I went to guest services and said I wanted to use my OBC as tips, and I was given a form exactly as above. I was told if I selected the Stateroom Attendant box, the amount I entered in that box would go to my Stateroom Attendant. If I selected  Dining Services or  Other Housekeeping Services I could not enter specific names and those categories went into a pool for all in those categories. I chose to give all my OBC to my stateroom attendant as she was great, and I asked for a card or acknowledgement letter I could give her instead of cash on the last day as I usually do, and guest services told me that did not have such a card or letter. So I just verbally told my stateroom attendant that I had allocated my OBC to her. I really hope she got it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/4/2019 at 10:32 PM, Jim_Iain said:

 

I believe they have done away with this casino cash in method.   My understanding is you can put money on your card but only winnings are able to be cashed in for cash the remainder remains on account as non-refundable.   Maybe others that have been successful can explain their methodology.

The casino give you special coloured chips against your non refundable obc. Then just place equal bets on red and black on roulette, you have a 5% chance of losing and the winnings are cashable chips.

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
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...