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portcbob

International cruise grats question.

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Hi fellow Aussie cruisers.

wanted to post this on this forum to see what my fellow Aussies think.

IN may, 2020 we are finally doing our alaska inside passage cruise we have been toying with for a few years.

We have booked with holland america, volendam.

We have a combined package booked with cosmos,  7 day cruise and the canadian rockies.

The cruise sector has no grats included and all guests are expected to pay a certain amount in American dollars per day. 

I realise you apparently can board and remove these if you wish, however want to know what happens if you do??. Are you blacklisted or something, do you get crap service ect ect. 

Not really sure which way to think, leaning slightly to paying them. 

What do you guys think or has anyone experienced what happens??.

Regards Bob 👍

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Pay them.

 

but never had other than great service greats or no greats.

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Grats are a pain in the bum, but that's the way that they do things over there. So when in Rome ...

 

Nothing will happen if you don't though.

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we'll see. I'm very reluctant to buy hey don't want to rock the boat.

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Pay them, please. Just regard it as part of the cruise fare.

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I don't believe you would be treated differently if you removed the gratuities. However, please consider that the service staff on these ships receive the vast majority of their monthly remuneration from the 'tips pool'. The cruise fare you paid has been calculated on the basis that you and all the other passengers would contribute to this tips pool in addition to the original fare. I suggest that it is only fair that you paid the gratuity.

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as others suggest, please pay.

 

if you don't make sure you lock your toothbrush in the safe 🙂

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I have heard that the staff lose out, not only by lack of grats but that the head of their section asks them to "please explain" - have they not done their job correctly.  Feed back from passengers goes a long way to the staff getting perks - like time off - if they do an excellent job.  As others have said, just accept that it is part of your cruise fare.  Lets face it, it usually equates to the price of a cocktail per day.

 

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Yep, when in Rome.....

Have done the Inside Passage twice now and as much as it irks me as an Aussie to tip I always follow local custom.

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Posted (edited)

I prepay them if that option is available. Then it's over and done with before the cruise.

Edited by OzKiwiJJ

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Yeh 

 it’s totally against the grain but pay it and when you return to our utopia be thankful 

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Now that our dollar is dropping against the US dollar, the cost of the tips for a 21 night cruise we are doing in February is getting quite scary - currently $852.

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Exactly what we are now concerned about. The falling Aussie dollar. 

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Posted (edited)

Pay them, I have reallocated before, complaining bad service and move a portion from one person to another once but never actually deducted and many times paid extra in cash. Think of it as another tax, Americans are the most dependent on tips, hair dressers, waiters, doormen, postal workers, all make a little extra from tips, some rely on it for a large portion of their income.

 

It's an American thing since I used to make $2.50 an hour and tips were like $10-15 an hour as a waiter in college. If you skimped on the tip, I would be making significantly less than the $6.75 minimum at the time as that is part of the American pay system for people who were tipped, so when foreigners or others don't tip, it really hurts as that's like 80% of my income gone. Imagine how bad you would have to be to lose 80% of your income, more than just one little mistake I hope.

Edited by yialanliu

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Posted (edited)

Where I live, it infuriates the rate paying residents no end that travellers can save thousands to get here, but as soon as they arrive they tighten their purse strings at the expense of the locals or the environment (For example, they won’t pay for official camp grounds where they can usually purposefully set up rubbish, laundry and bathroom facilities, because they argue that they are too expensive).  

 

I fully believe that travel is a luxury, and it is our responsibility to do it conscientiously and in line with local customs and beliefs. If money is a barrier to that, we simply save for longer or cut back on unnecessary luxuries.   

 

I know tipping is a horrid custom that most kiwis and Aussies deplore, but it is a custom none-the-less, and one those servers rely on to earn an honest living.  What will happen if you stop the tips: essentially you will be expecting people to work for you for way less than minimum wage.  

Edited by oskarNZ

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15 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

I prepay them if that option is available. Then it's over and done with before the cruise.

Same.  It’s easier just to factor them into the overall cruise cost right from the beginning.  

 

Many cruise lines, when booking through an .com.au or .co.nz version of their website, include the gratuity in the fare anyway as they know those of Downunder don’t like looking at them as an extra expense.  I’m one of those people, so prepay them whenever they’re not included.  

 

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The grats are only included for cruises in the Australasian region though and some, but not all, repositioning cruises. Cruise in other regions and the grats are extra even if you pay the fare in AUD or NZD.

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Nothing is going to happen to you if you do or don't pay your gratuities.  The admin staff don't are not affected as they are on salaries and (from my experience) don't make best friends with the kitchen, maintenance, dining and buffet staff etc. 

 

This is a quandary for me, as I feel very very strongly about the payment of grats / tips.  However, I like to think that I am a humanitarian and don't want to take advantage of others or be uncharitable.  So, on cruise lines where grats are 'strongly encouraged', I usually determine my own daily deduction and arrange that with the Customer Service Desk staff.  However, having done this, I never tip anything additional to my Cabin Assistant or other staff I have an interaction with.

 

I suppose that paying the grats when expected also helps to dispel the mistaken notion that Aussies are mean and ignorant travellers.

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1 hour ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

The grats are only included for cruises in the Australasian region though and some, but not all, repositioning cruises. Cruise in other regions and the grats are extra even if you pay the fare in AUD or NZD.

Unless it’s changed again in the last year, they’re included with Celebrity.  

 

We cruised around the Southern Caribbean and paid in NZ dollars.  Our gratuities were included and therefore couldn’t even be chosen as a ‘free’ perk.  

I thought it was now the same with Royal Caribbean, but I could be wrong.

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9 minutes ago, oskarNZ said:

Unless it’s changed again in the last year, they’re included with Celebrity.  

 

We cruised around the Southern Caribbean and paid in NZ dollars.  Our gratuities were included and therefore couldn’t even be chosen as a ‘free’ perk.  

I thought it was now the same with Royal Caribbean, but I could be wrong.

That's interesting. I didn't realize Celebrity had done that for all cruises. We've only cruised NZ with them. Royal Caribbean probably is the same as they both come under the same corporate umbrella. 

 

The Carnival Corporation cruise lines are the confusing ones. P&O Australia doesn't offer cruises outside our region so they're easy. Carnival and Princess have ships year round here but also bring others in for the peak season. While operating here grats are included for Aus and NZ bookings but other regions operate to US rules, as do all the other Carnival Corp lines like Cunard. Princess is a bit unpredictable withe repositioning cruises: to/from Asia grats are usually included but to/from the US or Europe they may not be. 

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We have decided to pay for the grats and just enjoy the cruise.

 

Thanks guys for all your opinions.

Cheers Bob 👍

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2 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

The grats are only included for cruises in the Australasian region though and some, but not all, repositioning cruises. Cruise in other regions and the grats are extra even if you pay the fare in AUD or NZD.

Grats still not included for HAL oz/nz cruises.

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45 minutes ago, lyndarra said:

Grats still not included for HAL oz/nz cruises.

Neither is Cunard. It seems to be only when the ships operate in AUD onboard.

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5 hours ago, portcbob said:

We have decided to pay for the grats and just enjoy the cruise.

 

Thanks guys for all your opinions.

Cheers Bob 👍

The booby prize if your a drinker is a couple of happy hours every day buy one get one  for $2

Cheers Carole

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6 hours ago, oskarNZ said:

Unless it’s changed again in the last year, they’re included with Celebrity.  

 

We cruised around the Southern Caribbean and paid in NZ dollars.  Our gratuities were included and therefore couldn’t even be chosen as a ‘free’ perk.  

I thought it was now the same with Royal Caribbean, but I could be wrong.

We went on a Celebrity cruise through the Panama Canal. Because we are from Australia, we had to pay the gratuities up front. I don't think Celebrity does this with passengers from other parts of the world. 🙂

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