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Prepaid Gratuities but Feeling Weird About It...

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4 hours ago, mac66 said:

Don't see the point of tipping...TWICE!   Pre paying the gratuities guarantees excellent service which is expected or so it should be.  IMO, additional tipping is counter productive.  But that's just me

No it doesn't. It only guarantees the person(s) providing the service isn't going to get stiffed. 

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On 8/1/2019 at 2:08 PM, Denny01 said:

So: 1 - I explained to the woman that she was Not to interfere with my account, 2 - I added the gratuity back, 3 - added cash to their room steward envelope

Thank you, SO MUCH. Some folks have never worked in the hospitality industry and they just don't have any idea the amount of work the cruise ship employees put out. I would venture to say that if the average passenger were to shadow any stateroom attendant for two weeks they would really value the job/career they have at home. And they would tip extra.

 

I really like that you told the self appointed PIC (Person in Charge) to take a flying leap at a rolling donut and then added the grats back. Nicely done, Denny.

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On 8/1/2019 at 2:55 PM, ClaudiaB said:

The sommelier in Luminae was outstanding on a cruise and we gave her $40 at the end. 

Was your sommelier by chance Yan? A tall Chinese lady with a great smile and wonderful knowledge?

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41 minutes ago, davekathy said:

No it doesn't. It only guarantees the person(s) providing the service isn't going to get stiffed. 

The beauty of cash is that it's not normally tracked for purposes of income tax. Since all of the Celebrity ships are based (not registered) out of Miami the employees have to go by U.S. IRS rules and file annual income tax returns (I believe). That said, any cash tendered may not be reported as income, in some cases. 🙂

 

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54 minutes ago, ghstudio said:

 

If you think it's counterproductive, you don't understand the concept of tipping.  It's not meant to get you better service....do you tip in a restaurant before you order?   It's recognition of the job done or, at times, for the extra effort.

I suppose pre paid gratuities came about because people used to stiff the service providers or it is a way to increase pay by creating a way to be paid twice for the same service.  It is counter to the traditional way of rewarding good service. It's also kind of devious in that it places a psychological burden on the recipient of the service to tip again for the same service they've already paid extra for.  If enough people do it then it becomes expected by the service provider.   It raises the burden for everybody else to also tip extra. I've seen waiter's in the MDR with their hands out at the end of the week.  I've seen it happen at bars on board where service is withheld or slowed down to those who don't tip extra. 

 

I have no problem tipping which is why we prepay the gratuities. We expect good service and pay for it. Never had to withdraw gratuities but I'm not paying for good service TWICE. I expect good service based on the gratuities I've already paid.  I think extra tipping is a bad precedent to set.  That's my opinion, you're entitled to yours.

Edited by mac66

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51 minutes ago, mac66 said:

I suppose pre paid gratuities came about because people used to stiff the service providers or it is a way to increase pay by creating a way to be paid twice for the same service.  It is counter to the traditional way of rewarding good service. It's also kind of devious in that it places a psychological burden on the recipient of the service to tip again for the same service they've already paid extra for.  If enough people do it then it becomes expected by the service provider.   It raises the burden for everybody else to also tip extra. I've seen waiter's in the MDR with their hands out at the end of the week.  I've seen it happen at bars on board where service is withheld or slowed down to those who don't tip extra. 

 

I have no problem tipping which is why we prepay the gratuities. We expect good service and pay for it. Never had to withdraw gratuities but I'm not paying for good service TWICE. I expect good service based on the gratuities I've already paid.  I think extra tipping is a bad precedent to set.  That's my opinion, you're entitled to yours.

I think we can go a bit further than ‘suppose’ pre-paid gratuities are to reduce the number of times the staff gets stiffed, but not sure where tipping someone beyond the pre-paid is either paying twice for the same service, or places some psychological burden on others. I tip for special services so it’s not ‘paying twice’, especially for bar staff. Unless someone’s goes around telling others they are tipping or not tipping, where is the ‘burden’? The only burden I can see involved is if someone feels they should tip and don’t, a personal problem, but not a problem of those that tip. 

 

In 30+ cruises, I’ve Never seen any waitstaff or steward standing around with their hands out and how does anyone know that service is withheld or slowed down due to no tips. You have no idea if someone getting what you think is quicker service is a tipper, just as you don’t know if someone is being ignored, didn’t tip, unless you are someone who goes around observing levels of service and watching who is tipping. If you are doing this, I think its time to find a more interesting way of spending time on a cruise. 

 

This whole idea doesn’t track. My steward doesn’t stand around the last night - I barely see them and know to tip them well before the last night since they are very busy then, and the waitstaff provides the same level of service throughout the week, and isn’t there with a hand out waiting for a tip. I’m afraid this description is in someone’s imagination, or is an assumption. Not tipping shouldn’t cause any ‘burden’ especially since the majority of cruisers don’t tip extra - according to cruise line personnel. 

 

Tipping/not tipping is a personal choice and I don’t want to been ‘burdened’ feeling a non-tipper feels ‘burdened’. Lots of ‘burden’ to go around, isn’t there.

 

Den

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1 hour ago, mac66 said:

I suppose pre paid gratuities came about because people used to stiff the service providers or it is a way to increase pay by creating a way to be paid twice for the same service.  It is counter to the traditional way of rewarding good service. It's also kind of devious in that it places a psychological burden on the recipient of the service to tip again for the same service they've already paid extra for.  If enough people do it then it becomes expected by the service provider.   It raises the burden for everybody else to also tip extra. I've seen waiter's in the MDR with their hands out at the end of the week.  I've seen it happen at bars on board where service is withheld or slowed down to those who don't tip extra. 

 

I have no problem tipping which is why we prepay the gratuities. We expect good service and pay for it. Never had to withdraw gratuities but I'm not paying for good service TWICE. I expect good service based on the gratuities I've already paid.  I think extra tipping is a bad precedent to set.  That's my opinion, you're entitled to yours.

Never had anyone with their hand out for $$$.  We have sometimes been pestered about  positive ratings for the the surveys..a bit annoying at times. Less of that recently!

 

The pre paid grats are not overly generous so we always add to those who make our  trip special!

 

It's an option not a mandate...and not meant to make anyone else  look bad.

Edited by hcat

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This topic really boils down to an individuals personal choice about how / when / how much they tip.  There really isn't a right or wrong answer.  

 

We always leave on the prepaid gratuities and give cash tips at the end of the cruise.  When dining in Murano, Tuscan, etc., we always leave a cash Tip after every meal.  Last March we were onboard the Silhouette for 21 days and dined in Murano multiple times.  The dining assistant who kept our water glasses filled, bread, etc., was excellent ..and we made a point to find her the last night we were in Murano and gave her a cash tip as well.  We also filled out a comment card with her name and comments about the excellent service we received.  

 

We are amazed at how hard the RS work every day, and yet they always have a friendly smile and a few minutes to extend a greeting.  Have you ever witnessed how hard they work on the last night of a cruise and the first morning of a new cruise? I'm amazed they can keep providing such excellent service with very little time off.  We always write a personal thank you note and include a cash tip and personally give it to the RS the last morning of our cruise.  

 

 

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Thanks, ClaudiaB for writing about the perks that the staff can get when positive comments are made during the cruise. I hadn't thought of the things that were mentioned, but I can appreciate how much those little benefits must mean to the hard-working staff. I am going to make the comments during my next cruise rather than waiting until the end. The tip amounts that have been mentioned in this thread are about the same as we give, and I always bring locally designed thank you cards. 

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On 8/1/2019 at 5:55 PM, ClaudiaB said:

 

On our last cruise I filled out a card on day 8 of a 15 day cruise.  The very next day the Luminae sommelier came to us and said she had gotten an extra shift off during the day because of my comments.  My butler was given some phone calls home and our room steward the same.  Those also go into their files for future promotion considerations.  It really means a lot to take the time to do this.  

Thank you for this info about the perks that staff can receive due to comment cards filled out during the cruise, Claudia B.  I always make a note of excellent staff by their full name and position on the post cruise on-line survey and assumed that this is helpful to them to receive some extra perks as well?  I hope so, but will try to make a point of completing comment cards during the cruise as from your experience there is obviously some pretty immediate feedback and benefit to the staff.

OP - for tipping, like others have noted on this thread we give anywhere from about $15 - $25 at the end of the cruise to various staff who have provided excellent service.  The one time we also tip at the beginning of a cruise is to the room steward when we bring our son on a cruise with us.  He loves to sleep in the upper berth and we figure that is likely extra work for the RS  to prep the upper berth vs. the pull out couch so on the first day when we ask to have the upper berth prepped every night we provide him with an extra up-front "thank you" with our request.  We also tip him at the end of the cruise as well.  

 

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Don’t worry about a tip any more than you worry about the cashier at the local market.

 

The cruise line has deemed it necessary to do this, whether you pre pay or pay daily, for YOUR convenience, for obvious reasons.  Go enjoy your cruise.

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17 hours ago, hcat said:

Never had anyone with their hand out for $$$.  We have sometimes been pestered about  positive ratings for the the surveys..a bit annoying at times. Less of that recently!

 

The pre paid grats are not overly generous so we always add to those who make our  trip special!

 

It's an option not a mandate...and not meant to make anyone else  look bad.

I think PPG are 20% on X now. That's enough IMO.

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In general based on posts here and my personal experience too, the great majority of people in suites give a cash tip to their butler during or at the end of the cruise.  This is not a requirement if you have prepaid gratuities but it is certainly the norm to do so.  Unless of course the butler has been absent or has been lacking in service.

 

When we sail suites we give a cash tip to the Michael's Club (Retreat Lounge) Concierge if they have been helpful to us in any way which is usually the case.  We give a cash tip to the bar server(s) in Michael's Club at the end of the cruise.  We give a cash tip to the Maitre 'D in Luminae with specific instructions to pool it with other tips for the Luminae team.

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The more upscale cruises include tips in the fare. On Celebrity, cabin stewards and waiters know if you prepaid tips.  The hard working crew depend on tips. Just raise prices to include tips. That way there is no  problem.  Some people like to extend the tips in person at the end of the trip.  Those tips are pooled. 

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Are they pooled even if you had someone cash? Like are the employees told they have to submit everything they get for everyone else to share?

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33 minutes ago, tkline said:

Are they pooled even if you had someone cash? Like are the employees told they have to submit everything they get for everyone else to share?

 

It depends on the specific circumstances as there are different variables involved.

In some situations such tips are pooled and in others the individual gets to keep it.

  

Edited by varoo

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On 8/6/2019 at 1:40 PM, mac66 said:

. I've seen waiter's in the MDR with their hands out at the end of the week.  I've seen it happen at bars on board where service is withheld or slowed down to those who don't tip extra. 

 

I have been on a few Celebrity cruises, and I have never seen this.  

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3 hours ago, Texed said:

 

I have been on a few Celebrity cruises, and I have never seen this.  

 

2 hours ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

 

Neither have I.

Make that three of us! While I have encountered the occasional crew member 'reminding' me to put '10's' on my survey, neither my DH nor I have EVER felt pressured for an extra tip. On the contrary -- sometimes we've had to chase people down on the last night of the cruise, to give them a well-deserved tip -- and heart-felt 'Thank You'!

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I would like to prepay but was never given the option. I can't figure out how to add it online. Does anyone know if that's possible?

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14 hours ago, Gwendy914 said:

I would like to prepay but was never given the option. I can't figure out how to add it online. Does anyone know if that's possible?

You can do it online or call Celebrity or your TA if you booked through one.

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Just now, TeeRick said:

You can do it online or call Celebrity or your TA if you booked through one.

Do you know where online though? I can't find it. I have a phone aversion, but I guess I might have to get over it. 🙂

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For a 2 week cruise we paid over $400 in gratuities and you suggest we should pay more for what I would consider normal service.............it’s really getting out of hand and no wonder many people cancel  the auto grats.

 

when is enough, enough.........?

Edited by mickey89

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Standard Gratuities are a known cost when you sign up for a cruise on most cruise lines.  Not an unexpected or extra cost. Lots of crew members on the ship depend on gratuities for income and at least the auto gratuity option is a very convenient payment method for many passengers.  Some passengers feel they should tip extra, others do not.  Just a personal choice.

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22 hours ago, Gwendy914 said:

Do you know where online though? I can't find it. I have a phone aversion, but I guess I might have to get over it. 🙂

Sign in to your Celebrity account and go to your cruise.  Go to Manage Reservation. Go to drop down menu Reservation Details.  Under Open Dining there is a button for Edit Gratuities.  You have the option of paying for them there.  Hope that helps!

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