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Kate45

Tips and gratuities

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40 minutes ago, Canadian Cruise said:

Given a tip to staff directly to acknowledge excellent service certainly acknowledges the service and feels good for both staff and person giving the tip. But it will be turned over to the 'tip pool'.

Not if the passenger has left the HSC intact. Only if it is removed or reduced is that the policy.

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1 hour ago, Canadian Cruise said:

My understanding from discussions with staff is that they can't and won't keep tips given directly to them.

 

 

No - only if you cancel or reduce the HSC is this true as others have said.

 

I too have talked to staff and I always keep the HSC in place.  They definitely keep it and the handbook that the link was already provided for speaks for itself.

 

If there is any question, the smiles on their faces when they get the additional envelope tells it all.  They KNOW who has removed the HSC and who has not.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, cabinluvn said:

Will you be giving envelopes to each person that serves you in the Lido?  People in the laundry, if you use the laundry?  Each server around the pool decks that bring you drinks, clear the tables?  Your daily gratitudes go to behind the scene people as well as the people who give you good service. Opting out just penalizes everyone, really

 

What if I never sent out laundry?  What if I never went to the pool? Why tip people who have done nothing for me?  As for the lido,  I am also waiting on myself, so I expect a tip as well.  

Edited by ChinaShrek

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It may just be semantics, but when a company (cruise line, hotel, restaurant, etc.) adds a charge and tries to label that charge as a tip or a gratuity I wonder if they might have better labeled that line item as a service charge or just included the amount in the original price.

Then a tip or gratuity would truly be from the heart and not feel compulsory.  

 

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4 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

I was told on our last HAL cruise that comment cards were no longer used, that I would have opportunities to remember crew members on the post cruise email review.  

 

I have seen one good suggestion: if you have received excellent service from a specific crew, have them write their name and duty position on a small card.  That ensures you spell their name correctly and they get the credit for the comment.

 

The email survey does give a place to name names, but by then I bet most people have forgotten names unless they did as you suggest, which is a great idea.

 

If someone is really outstanding, write a note to the Hotel Manager. Cunard has a great thing that I call a "star card." It says "you have been a star" and you write the name of the person you want to recognize, and what they did that was special. You can do this at any time in the cruise, and give it to the crew member or hand it in at the purser's desk. And crew ARE told about these--I've been thanked after I turned in one of those cards. 

 

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6 minutes ago, HAL4NOW said:

It may just be semantics, but when a company (cruise line, hotel, restaurant, etc.) adds a charge and tries to label that charge as a tip or a gratuity I wonder if they might have better labeled that line item as a service charge or just included the amount in the original price.

Then a tip or gratuity would truly be from the heart and not feel compulsory.  

 

 

It’s labeled “Hotel Service Charge” on Holland America:

 

EA6790BD-7A21-4DC6-ACAB-05B44F3D4ACC.jpeg

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6 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

It’s labeled “Hotel Service Charge” on Holland America:

 

EA6790BD-7A21-4DC6-ACAB-05B44F3D4ACC.jpeg

Perfect! That makes more sense and describes the true purpose. Then the envelopes we give (in addition to the service charge) are truly tips.

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31 minutes ago, ChinaShrek said:

 

What if I never sent out laundry?  What if I never went to the pool? Why tip people who have done nothing for me?  As for the lido,  I am also waiting on myself, so I expect a tip as well.  

Never slept in your bed on a clean sheet.  Never ate on a tablecloth or used a napkin.  Never taken a shower and toweled off?

 

Roy

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28 minutes ago, ChinaShrek said:

 

What if I never sent out laundry?  What if I never went to the pool? Why tip people who have done nothing for me?  As for the lido,  I am also waiting on myself, so I expect a tip as well.  

 

Seriously!?!

Maybe you don't send out laundry, but I bet you like having clean towels in your cabin. And clean sheets. And maybe clean napkins in the dining room and Lido.  I bet you also like the clean dishes and glasses in all the venues- they don't clean themselves you know.  There are so many workers that work hard to make your vacation pleasant, not just the ones you easily see.

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21 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

The email survey does give a place to name names, but by then I bet most people have forgotten names unless they did as you suggest, which is a great idea.

 

If someone is really outstanding, write a note to the Hotel Manager. Cunard has a great thing that I call a "star card." It says "you have been a star" and you write the name of the person you want to recognize, and what they did that was special. You can do this at any time in the cruise, and give it to the crew member or hand it in at the purser's desk. And crew ARE told about these--I've been thanked after I turned in one of those cards. 

 

Sounds like you could take a stack of 3x5 cards and make your own 'star cards'.

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49 minutes ago, ChinaShrek said:

As for the lido,  I am also waiting on myself, so I expect a tip as well.  

 

Really? No one is there cooking and serving things on a plate for you?  You made your own salad, hot meal, etc.?  Really 🙄

 

And I supposed you never walk on the carpets that are cleaned constantly or touch the handrails that are polished endlessly or sit at a table that has to be cleaned in a bar?

I guess you will find any excuse to remove HSC.  You’ve certainly made your feelings clear in previous posts.

 

Frankly, I wish HAL would make it harder to remove it.  I’d like to see people have to justify the reason legitmately before it’s done and not on the the first day.  It’s not fair that some remove it for no reason at all (other than to save money, I guess) and deprive those people of their fair share IMO.  

 

The crew works hard on every ship I’ve been on in the HAL fleet and I have NEVER begrudged the HSC.  It’s part of the cruise cost IMO.

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We also keep the Hotel Service Charge in place.

 

We like to know that the extra tips we give to those who have made our cruise an enjoyable one get to keep that extra tip.

 

The front desk does pass the names of the people who opt out of the Hotel Service Charge on to the various supervisors who then pass the names on to the crew who work under them.  So the crew do know who has opted out of the Hotel Service Charge.

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2 hours ago, catl331 said:

IF the Hotel Service Charge is removed or reduced all cash given must be turned into the pool.  If the HSC is left intact they may keep the cash given them.  On the final night of the cruise a list is distributed to all room stewards containing the names of all who have decreased the HSC.

 

The Crew Services Cabin Directory given to all new crew states:

All ships have the Rewards for Excellence (RfE) Plan which
consists of Hotel Service Charges and Beverage Service
Charges. If a guest chooses to adjust out of the RfE Plan
and instead provide cash tips to an employee, the employee
is required to turn in this cash to their Department Head
so the money can be added to the RfE plan. Any “tips”
received above and beyond the guests standard amount
may be kept by the crewmember.

 

2 hours ago, Shmoo here said:

It won't be long before a poster will arrive to insist that handbook is a fake.  While this doesn't apply to OP, some will do/believe anything to justify removing gratuities.  There is an active poster who insists he has many  years of management experience and knows, for a fact, that the crew can keep any/all cash given to them.  

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15 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

There is an active poster who insists he has many  years of management experience and knows, for a fact, that the crew can keep any/all cash given to them.  

 

I think I would change that word “insists” to alleges 😉 

 

I’ve been around the block enough and talked to enough staff (including HD’s) to know the truth of the matter 😉 

 

I’ve also seen the look on the concierge’s face in the Neptune Lounge when we were interrupted for a demanding passenger to insist his HSC be removed (he was in the PS for crying out loud) and “he would take care of his people”.  She hid it quickly but the look and her eyes told the story.  I was there to give her a thanks and an envelope when he interrupted us.

 

If anyone doubts it, I dare those that want to remove the HSC to walk up to any of the staff taking care of them and tell them to their face they are doing it and just watch their eyes. 

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I didn't think when I originally posted this thread that it was going to cause such a raucous. My neighbour said he does this and I was wondering if anyone else does. I do, however think gratuities are at my discretion based on service, whether it's at a local restaurant, a bar or a cruise and should never be expected. If it is expected, service suffers. IMO

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9 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

I think I would change that word “insists” to alleges 😉 

No, there is no reason to change the wording.   If you're referring to the truth of the claim made by the person, then 'allege' would be appropriate.  I was referring to the fact that the person made the statement.  Since the poster has made the claim as a post on CC, it's clear that 'insists' is appropriate.

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12 minutes ago, Kate45 said:

I didn't think when I originally posted this thread that it was going to cause such a raucous. My neighbour said he does this and I was wondering if anyone else does. I do, however think gratuities are at my discretion based on service, whether it's at a local restaurant, a bar or a cruise and should never be expected. If it is expected, service suffers. IMO

Kate:  there's no reason for regret.  You just happened to stumble into a very sensitive subject that arises very frequently.  It should be obvious that the majority of posters here are very supportive of the crew and will react vigorously to activities that hurt the crew.  There was nothing personal in the responses and besides you found the answer to this question.  

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1 hour ago, ChinaShrek said:

 

What if I never sent out laundry?  What if I never went to the pool? Why tip people who have done nothing for me?  As for the lido,  I am also waiting on myself, so I expect a tip as well.  

Please ignore ChinaShrek.  This member always posts idiotic comments like this to intentionally troll CC members, and gets his/her jolly's off reading the outrage responses.  The best you can do is ignore him/her and he/she will go away.

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I can recall a time when Holland America Line did not assign a "Hotel Service Charge."  From a personal perspective, I prefer a gratuity system that is based on personal experience and interaction with specific crew members.  The HSC is a little bit like a personal surcharge or tax on the cruise fare.  Holland America Line, like all business, wants to keep its charges as cheap and reasonable as possible.  Therefore, additional charges like the HSC, dining room surcharges, and Club Orange are necessary to offset the cheaper cruise fares.  I would personally prefer that cruise fares include costs like HSC so that all employees receive a reasonable wage.  Again, if I receive superior service, I have to option to provide a personal gratuity to those people.  It's a more honest and upfront system of compensation for employees.

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2 minutes ago, GlennG said:

  I would personally prefer that cruise fares include costs like HSC so that all employees receive a reasonable wage

 

The crew would receive less if they did that.  With it being done the way it is, my understanding is that the crew is not subject to the same tax in their home country.

 

If it were included in the cruise fare and their salary, they would have more deducted.

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Posted (edited)

We've never removed the HSC.  The crew work tirelessly, and sometimes with minimum appreciation, to make all of our cruises memorable.  IMO, HAL crew are some of the best at sea.  They are friendly, kind, and gracious, especially to advanced seniors, like my 95 year-old mom.  Each day in the Lido, one of the servers would grab her tray, help her down the line, calling her "mama".  They fawned over her and made her feel like a queen.  There is a respect in those cultures for older people that is often absent from many Western cultures.  

 

I've witnessed crew being yelled at in an abusive fashion, and I could see the dismay and hurt in their eyes. 

 

We cruise so often with HAL because of their crew.  Removing the HSC, to us, is stealing from them.  But removing HSC on the first day?  I'm speechless.

Edited by sevenseasnomad

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23 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

The crew would receive less if they did that.  With it being done the way it is, my understanding is that the crew is not subject to the same tax in their home country.

 

If it were included in the cruise fare and their salary, they would have more deducted.

I cannot comment on the system of taxation "in their home country."  However, in the context of where I live, I think that fairness in income taxation is paramount.  Fairness, to me, means that all income is subject to taxation.  In short, I don't like the HSC because of its inherent lack of transparency.  I'm willing to pay more in an "upfront" cruise fare, with the option to provide personal gratuities to those deserving of it.

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1 hour ago, GlennG said:

I would personally prefer that cruise fares include costs like HSC so that all employees receive a reasonable wage.

 

1 hour ago, kazu said:

 

The crew would receive less if they did that.  With it being done the way it is, my understanding is that the crew is not subject to the same tax in their home country.

 

If it were included in the cruise fare and their salary, they would have more deducted.

 

In addition, I prefer the way it’s done now because I get cruise day credits for the HSC.  It also relieves the burden of omitting someone, unintentionally, during envelope night.  (Yes, I still do envelopes.)

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2 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

We also keep the Hotel Service Charge in place.

 

We like to know that the extra tips we give to those who have made our cruise an enjoyable one get to keep that extra tip.

 

The front desk does pass the names of the people who opt out of the Hotel Service Charge on to the various supervisors who then pass the names on to the crew who work under them.  So the crew do know who has opted out of the Hotel Service Charge.

This is probably a good place to ask something that I’ve been wondering about: If the crew member doesn’t particularly know you, how do they know whether the HSC is in place?

 

I got to thinking about that after I gave several well deserved envelopes to some of the Lido staff. Only 1 of them would have been in a position to know us to check a list or account ( because she served us in the Canaletto where we had a reservation tied to our account.) The others knew us by our first names- my DH by his, and me by the variation I go by ( which was not what our account was under). Looking back, I probably should have put our cabin number on the card.....  

 

what do others do so staff can know the HSC is in place and the cash is for them?

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1 minute ago, *Miss G* said:

 

 

In addition, I prefer the way it’s done now because I get cruise day credits for the HSC.  It also relieves the burden of omitting someone, unintentionally, during envelope night.  (Yes, I still do envelopes.)

Or “hunting someone down”.  I almost went to one of the DRM to give an envelope for one of his staff I had a hard time finding.

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