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Tips for Americans on Tipping in Cunard's Queens Grille Restaurant

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52 minutes ago, Pennbank said:

 

But you are giving the staff the cash in hand (Tip) , letting the company make up the difference in their shortfall  arrangement, Can not see how that can be a disadvantage to the staff.  Disadvantage to the Company yes, but not the staff.

You're apparently interpreting that if you don't leave the autogratuity in place the company will pay that amount to the staff instead.

 

I'm reasonably assuming that the guarantee is a low value so if you save $20 on your autogratuity by tipping cash instead, the staff collectively will have $20 less in compensation.

 

The company only steps in if staff compensation is below the guaranteed minimum.

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14 minutes ago, Underwatr said:

You're apparently interpreting that if you don't leave the autogratuity in place the company will pay that amount to the staff instead.

 

I'm reasonably assuming that the guarantee is a low value so if you save $20 on your autogratuity by tipping cash instead, the staff collectively will have $20 less in compensation.

 

The company only steps in if staff compensation is below the guaranteed minimum.

But in that scenario which on the face of it evens out, would it not be the customer facing staff who benefit at the expense of those working behind the scenes as the latter would not receive any of the cash?

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In addition, I had understood, probably from something said here many moons ago, that staff were expected to hand in tips from customers who removed the auto gratuity, presumably so they can be shared out fairly with the unseen. Whether and how this is possible to enforce I cannot imagine.

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Posted (edited)

Does it matter who you're disadvantaging?

Edited by Underwatr

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3 minutes ago, Underwatr said:

Does it matter who you're disadvantaging?

 

Probably, if you disadvantage Cunard too much, the fares and charges will rise...

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Underwatr said:

Does it matter who you're disadvantaging?

Yes, if one is to respect the logic and principle behind the auto gratuity.

Edited by North West Newbie

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1 hour ago, exlondoner said:

In addition, I had understood, probably from something said here many moons ago, that staff were expected to hand in tips from customers who removed the auto gratuity, presumably so they can be shared out fairly with the unseen. Whether and how this is possible to enforce I cannot imagine.

The answer to that stares you in the face from the stickies every time you browse the forum: 

 

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2 hours ago, Stella1250 said:

I just returned from a Baltic cruise on QV in Queens Grill. We did tip at dinner, but, only to those who delivered exceptional service. We did not like our first table, so they completely re-arranged part of the dining room so we had a beautiful round table facing the windows. Tip for the Matre ' d. One of our Head Waiters went way above and beyond to assure we had a great dining experience every day. Tip for them. Our Wine Steward worked with us to keep our wine within the $12 limit of our drink package. We had some amazing wines because of him. Tip for him. We also left the auto gratuity in place. Yes, we are American, and I believe that excellent service demands some appreciation. I will continue to believe that, whether in Queens Grill or not.

I think I will dub thee, "A Beautiful American."  They DO exist.

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23 hours ago, Reuben's 3rd said:

I also sought advice on this thorny issue. You may find the following site as helpful as I did: “An Insider's Guide to Cruise Tipping” http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=132 . It is an opinion piece (that is, NOT Cruise Critic's suggestion) on the Cruise Critic site. It gives reasoning for “who”, “how”, “when” and “how much” over and above the daily levy, and I have found it a useful guide. 

 

I found much of that article to be amusing, namely the recommendation to tip a lot of staff in advance. Is this common amongst U.S. travellers? It isn't with those I know and I have never heard one Canadian or British passenger say they have  done that.

 

It seemed to me when "auto gratiuities" were introduced - both the daily charge and the 15% added to wine and drinks - the purpose was to look after tipping so passengers didn't have to figure out whom to tip and how much. We do, with the rarest of exceptions, give a card with a note and a modest extra tip to the stateroom and restaurant staff and occasionally to the sommelier and head-waiter. I do that because I feel they deserve it, not because I feel I should.

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4 hours ago, Stella1250 said:

I just returned from a Baltic cruise on QV in Queens Grill. We did tip at dinner, but, only to those who delivered exceptional service. We did not like our first table, so they completely re-arranged part of the dining room so we had a beautiful round table facing the windows. Tip for the Matre ' d. One of our Head Waiters went way above and beyond to assure we had a great dining experience every day. Tip for them. Our Wine Steward worked with us to keep our wine within the $12 limit of our drink package. We had some amazing wines because of him. Tip for him. We also left the auto gratuity in place. Yes, we are American, and I believe that excellent service demands some appreciation. I will continue to believe that, whether in Queens Grill or not.

Always a sore point for UK residents when we read about drink packages and sommeliers offering ‘amazing wines’ within the $12 limit when this perk is never available to us.  Same can be said for included gratuities! 

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On 8/6/2019 at 9:34 PM, Reuben's 3rd said:

I also sought advice on this thorny issue. You may find the following site as helpful as I did: “An Insider's Guide to Cruise Tipping” http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=132 . It is an opinion piece (that is, NOT Cruise Critic's suggestion) on the Cruise Critic site. It gives reasoning for “who”, “how”, “when” and “how much” over and above the daily levy, and I have found it a useful guide. 

It is an interesting option piece, but not sure I agree with it all.  I'd happily tip after the event if I received exceptional service, but I wouldn't tip before, especially if it could mean a detriment in service to other people on board.  The article suggests: 

Or, perhaps, there's a window table for two that you have your heart set on in the main dining room -- a nice tip to the maitre d' on day one can help ensure that she or he never fails to have that table waiting.

So does this mean that if you slip the maitre d' $100 (or whatever the going rate is) that you get the best table every night over everyone else?  If so, where does it end - is there suddenly a bidding war for the tables in the main dining room?  

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Posted (edited)

I wonder why the drink packages are offered to Americans and not Europeans? I would imagine it would become a sore point to some. It can be looked at as one of those life things that we have no control over and just aren't fair.

 

And thank you DarCrav for the compliment. Really appreciate it.

Edited by Stella1250

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1 minute ago, Stella1250 said:

I wonder why the drink packages are offered to Americans and not Europeans? I would imagine it would become a sore point to some. It can be looked at as one of those life things that we have no control over and just aren't fair.

 

Drinks packages are offered to all if you pay for them.  Though in America they are often offered as a free extra in QG and PG when you book.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Stella1250 said:

I wonder why the drink packages are offered to Americans and not Europeans? I would imagine it would become a sore point to some. It can be looked at as one of those life things that we have no control over and just aren't fair.

 

And thank you DarCrav for the compliment. Really appreciate it.

I suspect it's something like - because there is more competition in the US with other brands which offer it (notably Celebrity) and also due to the fact that there are different legal strictures and customs around cruise contracts, commitments, deposits and promises between the US and elsewhere.
Perhaps they do it in the US because they must and limit it to there because they can.

...and, of course, nothing is free and included has a price. somewhere.

Edited by MarkBearSF

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I have always felt that the concept of tipping in itself is ridiculous. Cruise lines, like any other service business, should charge a price for the items or services that they offer that covers their both their costs and profit.  Wages to staff should be covered by the Cruise lines and should be market rate and subject to a minimum wage.The Cruise lines cannot and should not expect the wages to be subsidised by their customer tips.

 

The moral obligation of paying a proper wage should be on the owner and not the customer. I would rather pay a higher price for my cruise with no expectation of having to tip, rather than be "tip shamed" not only by the Pursers staff if I want to remove my auto grats but by those on here who believe that tipping is a must and those who don't tip must be mean and uncaring so it's OK to critise them publicly on these boards.

 

Why are Cruise staff any different than any other service staff?  They carry out their tasks for similar wage levels such as  shop assistants, shelf stackers, cleaners etc. all who carry out customer services and yet they don't get tipped when one goes to buy a pair of shoes or your weekly groceries. If the waiter is providing a better service than a shop assistant, then market rate should dictate a higher wage from the employer rather than expect a top up by tip. 

 

I realise that the difference in the US is that most servers only get hired as their own "entity" meaning the employer does not have to pay health care, pensions, etc. I believe also that Servers do not get any paid leave, can get fired at the drop of a hat and are generally on a minimum wage which can be as low as a couple of dollars an hour in some states for 'tipped' workers. In Europe, with all the employee protections and benefits built in, tipping is far less important. So when  we have a "British Style" concept, on a ship registered in Bermuda, which want payment in US dollars - why not add another mix, Japanese style tipping, ie no tips as it is looked on as demeaning and an insult.

 

Finally if I do find someone who really has gone above and beyond their level of expected service then I would have no qualms at all in giving a generous tip, the difference being it would be MY decision, not foisted on me by some nameless CEO.

 

I await the rumble of replies........

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your first statement and your last long statement are polar opposite....sup ?......"the concept of tipping .....ridiculous"......then"no qualms at all in giving a generous tip "   

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19 hours ago, david,Mississauga said:

 

I found much of that article to be amusing, namely the recommendation to tip a lot of staff in advance. Is this common amongst U.S. travellers? It isn't with those I know and I have never heard one Canadian or British passenger say they have  done that.

 

It seemed to me when "auto gratiuities" were introduced - both the daily charge and the 15% added to wine and drinks - the purpose was to look after tipping so passengers didn't have to figure out whom to tip and how much. We do, with the rarest of exceptions, give a card with a note and a modest extra tip to the stateroom and restaurant staff and occasionally to the sommelier and head-waiter. I do that because I feel they deserve it, not because I feel I should.

i tip after the service.....i bribe before to get the better table.........look out...ugly american coming through ....i love it too 

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This forum will never agree about tipping. 

 

On land I strongly believe  "when in Rome do as the Romans do" 

 

I also believe that the person who washes the dishes deserves a tip as much as the waiter. Thus I'm all in favour of auto gratuities don't mind if they increase them as long as wages go up as well. 

 

Ideally just pay people decent wages and get rid of tipping

 

Silly thought if you've had great service, then this can only happen because of the behind the scene workers, then voluntarily pay more auto gratuities. 

 

Ships are multinational, so staff will expect different nationalities to tip differently. However I've  never noticed this impact on level of service. 

 

However I do break my own rules and tip extra , mainly on an emotional basis . For example on the same Baltic cruise as Stella1250,  our assistant waiter had such a infectious happy nature, you had to say thank you. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, newjoisey said:

your first statement and your last long statement are polar opposite....sup ?......"the concept of tipping .....ridiculous"......then"no qualms at all in giving a generous tip "   

Yes you're completely correct and it's because although I believe what I wrote, I still tip knowing that the cruise lines do stitch up their workers and convince them their wages will be made up to a good amount through all the tips they will receive. I also leave the autograts on for the same reason. I just wish it was different. I like to travel on a line such as Crystal where everything is paid for within you fare, but I really like the Cunard product so still use them. Such a pity Cunard are behind the times as other Carnival lines such as P&O are moving towards including the tips.

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2 hours ago, SALAD MUNCHER said:

I have always felt that the concept of tipping in itself is ridiculous. Cruise lines, like any other service business, should charge a price for the items or services that they offer that covers their both their costs and profit.  Wages to staff should be covered by the Cruise lines and should be market rate and subject to a minimum wage.The Cruise lines cannot and should not expect the wages to be subsidised by their customer tips.

 

The moral obligation of paying a proper wage should be on the owner and not the customer. I would rather pay a higher price for my cruise with no expectation of having to tip, rather than be "tip shamed" not only by the Pursers staff if I want to remove my auto grats but by those on here who believe that tipping is a must and those who don't tip must be mean and uncaring so it's OK to critise them publicly on these boards.

 

Why are Cruise staff any different than any other service staff?  They carry out their tasks for similar wage levels such as  shop assistants, shelf stackers, cleaners etc. all who carry out customer services and yet they don't get tipped when one goes to buy a pair of shoes or your weekly groceries. If the waiter is providing a better service than a shop assistant, then market rate should dictate a higher wage from the employer rather than expect a top up by tip. 

 

I realise that the difference in the US is that most servers only get hired as their own "entity" meaning the employer does not have to pay health care, pensions, etc. I believe also that Servers do not get any paid leave, can get fired at the drop of a hat and are generally on a minimum wage which can be as low as a couple of dollars an hour in some states for 'tipped' workers. In Europe, with all the employee protections and benefits built in, tipping is far less important. So when  we have a "British Style" concept, on a ship registered in Bermuda, which want payment in US dollars - why not add another mix, Japanese style tipping, ie no tips as it is looked on as demeaning and an insult.

 

Finally if I do find someone who really has gone above and beyond their level of expected service then I would have no qualms at all in giving a generous tip, the difference being it would be MY decision, not foisted on me by some nameless CEO.

 

I await the rumble of replies........

Most sensible post I have read on CruiseCritic for a very long time.

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7 hours ago, SALAD MUNCHER said:

I have always felt that the concept of tipping in itself is ridiculous. Cruise lines, like any other service business, should charge a price for the items or services that they offer that covers their both their costs and profit.  Wages to staff should be covered by the Cruise lines and should be market rate and subject to a minimum wage.The Cruise lines cannot and should not expect the wages to be subsidised by their customer tips.

 

The moral obligation of paying a proper wage should be on the owner and not the customer. I would rather pay a higher price for my cruise with no expectation of having to tip, rather than be "tip shamed" not only by the Pursers staff if I want to remove my auto grats but by those on here who believe that tipping is a must and those who don't tip must be mean and uncaring so it's OK to critise them publicly on these boards.

 

Why are Cruise staff any different than any other service staff?  They carry out their tasks for similar wage levels such as  shop assistants, shelf stackers, cleaners etc. all who carry out customer services and yet they don't get tipped when one goes to buy a pair of shoes or your weekly groceries. If the waiter is providing a better service than a shop assistant, then market rate should dictate a higher wage from the employer rather than expect a top up by tip. 

 

I realise that the difference in the US is that most servers only get hired as their own "entity" meaning the employer does not have to pay health care, pensions, etc. I believe also that Servers do not get any paid leave, can get fired at the drop of a hat and are generally on a minimum wage which can be as low as a couple of dollars an hour in some states for 'tipped' workers. In Europe, with all the employee protections and benefits built in, tipping is far less important. So when  we have a "British Style" concept, on a ship registered in Bermuda, which want payment in US dollars - why not add another mix, Japanese style tipping, ie no tips as it is looked on as demeaning and an insult.

 

Finally if I do find someone who really has gone above and beyond their level of expected service then I would have no qualms at all in giving a generous tip, the difference being it would be MY decision, not foisted on me by some nameless CEO.

 

I await the rumble of replies........

 

 

Totally agree with your sentiments. 

 

The one thing I am dreading the most on my first cruise on Cunard is dealing with the tipping. I usually travel on Seabourn and though we have tipped our stewardess when they have gone above to help and we give to the the crew fund and I find that much easier to deal with. Thinking about tipping the Maitre D' plus waiters and bar staff as well as the butler...it is rather off putting to this Australian. 

 

Don't get me wrong, the whole problem is of how much and whether it is too much or not enough. I will have friends onboard who will help guide me but I would rather not feel it is a MUST DO rather than a reward for exemplary service.

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On 8/6/2019 at 8:04 PM, Windsurfboy said:

If only the world was like Japan , where staff get paid decent wages, and tipping is almost an insult.

 

But the proviso is staff get paid decent wages. 

 

When tipping becomes US style of almost a non discretionary charge, it is no longer a thank you .

 

I always pay the auto gratuity,  any more depends entirely on the service be extra special.

 

 

 

And that - 'staff being paid decent wages' is why Australians do not tip as effusively as say, Americans.

 

 

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9 hours ago, frantic36 said:

 

 

Totally agree with your sentiments. 

 

The one thing I am dreading the most on my first cruise on Cunard is dealing with the tipping. I usually travel on Seabourn and though we have tipped our stewardess when they have gone above to help and we give to the the crew fund and I find that much easier to deal with. Thinking about tipping the Maitre D' plus waiters and bar staff as well as the butler...it is rather off putting to this Australian. 

 

Don't get me wrong, the whole problem is of how much and whether it is too much or not enough. I will have friends onboard who will help guide me but I would rather not feel it is a MUST DO rather than a reward for exemplary service.

 

Just leave the autotip on, and leave it at that. No more to worry about. 

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1 hour ago, exlondoner said:

 

Just leave the autotip on, and leave it at that. No more to worry about. 

 

I completely agree.

 

I don't understand anyone who gets rid of the auto tip, you just deprive the behind the scenes people. Yes you may get a personal satisfaction of tipping a few people you meet face to face, but at the expense of the people who make your cruise possible .

 

But again the core problem is low wages. The crew on Q.V. came from many countries but taking Philippines and Latvia as examples of far East and Eastern Europe.  Minimum wage in these countries is similiar $ 2 to $3 and average $ 3 to $4. I can't see carnival paying much above the average.  The autograt assuming that out of a 1000 crew, a 150 officers etc aren't eligible and neither bar staff who get the 15% and a 10 hr day , would be circa $2.50 an hour so a very substantial pert of their not very good wages. Given we can't effect wages, I don't begrudge a penny of autocrats, and in some ways wish it was more

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