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Tips and gratuities


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End of subject...this is and has been the rule on board for years:

 

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.

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12 hours ago, ChinaShrek said:

 

I have posted many valid reasons for ending tipping in our society on previous threads.  I refuse to be one of the lemmings like yourself who just follows whatever traditions have been established as a way of making yourself feel better.  Tipping is an abomination!

I think it would be more honest to just say you're too cheap to tip.  Your spin doesn't work for us.

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It also depends on the culture in your country. In the USA - I am always shocked when the bill comes I am given multi options to chose to tip from 17.5% - 22.5%. In the UK, if one tips at all no more than 10% is expected.

in Australia tipping is not expected nor in rural France where the bill often comes with ‘service compris’.

Personally, I would prefer that the fare included an element of service charge. The Carnival Group already do this in the UK where the the following email 

In an email sent to passengers, P&O Cruises said: “From May 2019 (cruises A911, B912, E911/A, J903, N910, R907, X907 and all thereafter), the discretionary daily Service Charge on board will be removed so you can relax knowing it's all taken care of. Tipping is not expected in the following countries

  • China.
  • French Polynesia.
  • Japan. Tipping under any circumstance in Japan may seem rude, because good service is standard and expected. ... 
  • Korea. ... 
  • Hong Kong. ... 
  • Switzerland. ... 
  • Australia. ... 
  • Belgium.

 

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On 8/13/2019 at 10:57 AM, Cruising-along said:

Wow, no more comment cards?  That's a shame, as I know that crew who got favorable comments were recognized during the cruise.  I've always filled out the comment cards,  the post cruise survey, and kept their cards to be sure the name is spelled correctly (or put the name into "notes" on my phone).  Another cut back?

You can comment on their electronic in-house digital navigator. You need to look under the menu, there you will find feedback. What I like about using it is that the staff get the compliments faster than if you hand-wrote on the comment cards. I used it several times on our last Prinsendam Cruises.

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23 hours 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.  

 

 

HAL refers to as a hotel service charge - thus it isn't called a tip

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If it's not referred to as a tip, then why is it advertised as free tips and gratuities as a perk when they are trying to sell you a cruise? Not sure you can have it both ways-so which one is it?

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16 minutes ago, Kate45 said:

If it's not referred to as a tip, then why is it advertised as free tips and gratuities as a perk when they are trying to sell you a cruise? Not sure you can have it both ways-so which one is it?

From the confirmation for our last voyage (on Maasdam in May:

"Complimentary shipboard gratuities"

"Prepaid gratuities (Hotel Service Charges) - Holland America Line pre-pays room gratuities on behalf of guests. Gratuities for bar, dining room wine accounts, or spa/salon services are not included."

Call it tips if you'd like,  but it's clear what it covers, and what it doesn't. 

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We are a couple cruising on the volendam next June to Alaska on our bucket list trip from Australia. 

Although tipping is not required in Australia we are happy to pay for our grats. 

Cheers Bob 👍

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In Australia tipping is not customary unless exceptional service is provided, this is because all workers in Australia receive a fair minimum wage, unlike countries like the US where many occupations receive a ridiculously low wage and are expected to survive on tips. For this reason most cruise companies that sail out of Australia are now including the HSC in the fare structure, as is normal for Australia and they don't require a daily HSC. 

Some people, especially Americans, don't understand the cultural and economic differences between the two countries and think that Aussies are cheap for not tipping, the truth is that in Australia we make sure everyone is paid a fair wage so begging for tips is not required.

When I cruise with my wife we always pay the HSC and we also tip our dining room waiters and room attendants well, they go out of their way to make our cruise enjoyable so we show our appreciation.

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Tips, gratuities, service charges....  Whatever you call it, it's a marketing gimmick by cruise lines to advertise an arbitrarily low fare to fill up their ships.  Are we more likely to book a $499 cruise or a $599 cruise, given the same date, ship, itinerary and cabin?

 

I'd rather pay a fare that includes the standard tips/gratuities/service charge and I can tip onboard in cash when appropriate.

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2 hours ago, Aussiepair said:

In Australia tipping is not customary unless exceptional service is provided, this is because all workers in Australia receive a fair minimum wage, unlike countries like the US where many occupations receive a ridiculously low wage and are expected to survive on tips. For this reason most cruise companies that sail out of Australia are now including the HSC in the fare structure, as is normal for Australia and they don't require a daily HSC. 

Some people, especially Americans, don't understand the cultural and economic differences between the two countries and think that Aussies are cheap for not tipping, the truth is that in Australia we make sure everyone is paid a fair wage so begging for tips is not required.

When I cruise with my wife we always pay the HSC and we also tip our dining room waiters and room attendants well, they go out of their way to make our cruise enjoyable so we show our appreciation.

I had many friends in college who made a weeks worth of what would be considered a very respectable wage for college students by working weekends as waitstaff. Is it for everyone? No. But they much preferred working for tips than minimum wage or even a couple of bucks beyond as they could work fewer hour and enjoyed the fast paced and social work atmosphere. Plus, they were good at it. 

 

Here is a good interactive chart that might help those not familiar with how the US tipping system works in restaurants. In chain casual dining restaurants (like Olive Garden), 3 tables is the average a wait person will be given. 

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/tipping-workers-minimum-wage/

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I'm sorry but I disagree with most of you. A tip is a discretionary gift for "good" service received. It is not, and should not be mandatory or expected. If it is then it should not be called a tip or gratuity as it is advertised when describing "free" perks, but should be added to the cost of the cruise. I have 2 kids who put themselves thru university working as servers and bartenders. They relied on tips but only if they earned them with good service. It was not expected.

 So, as the original poster of this particular thread, I will say two more things and then I'm done with this subject. LIGHTEN UP! The world is made up of all kinds of different people with different traditions, ideals and thoughts than you and no-one should tell you how to feel about something. It's personal. Second, if HAL or NCL or any cruise line, restaurant,bar or anyplace where you give $$ for good service (in other words tip), make it mandatory and not discretionary, then the "tip" should be included in the price and not make it seem optional when in fact it is not. Done. Fini. Over and out.

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OK, we all recognize that tipping practices are not the same worldwide. So you may very well find yourself in a country whose "tipping culture" is different from your own. So follow local practice. A little research before you travel will tell  you what that is. 

 

Americans are known to tip well in restaurants because it's the system at home. In other countries, we may tip similarly if we don't know that tipping is customary there. Or maybe we don't know that "service compri" on the menu means that the tip is included. On a trip to France many years ago, a group of us at dinner were amused by the waiter, who kept bringing us extra chocolates at the end of the meal. One of the women, who had lived in France, said softly, "He thinks we don't know how it works." We did leave a tip, but not what he was hoping for.

 

Our tipping culture has spread in odd ways. In St Maarten, when I bought a ticket for the ferry from the cruise port to the center of Phillipsburg, I noticed a little jar on the counter that said "tips appreciated." Really? I should tip the person who took less than a minute to sell me a ticket? I suspect they figured vacationers, especially from the US, will tip for anything. 

 

 

Edited by 3rdGenCunarder
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1 hour ago, Kate45 said:

A tip is a discretionary gift for "good" service received. It is not, and should not be mandatory or expected.

Correct. That is why HAL has a Hotel Service CHARGE added to your account daily for services rendered. Tips are what you give to those who have served you exceptionally well, and are in addition to the HS CHARGE.

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