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Do gratuities really go to the staff?


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Hello. Last year, I was on Harmony of the Seas. In a few weeks, I will be on Symphony.

 

When I was on Harmony I put my gratuities of $101.50 on my credit card. I like this convenience. I don't want to have to deal with cash. Please forgive me if I sound cynical. I have heard a few people say that if you put the tips on your credit card, Royal Caribbean may keep some of it and not give 100% of it to the staff who earned it. Does anyone know if this is true? I want the hard-working staff members who serve me to get what they earn. If the reports of staff not getting their tips that filter through RCL are accurate, then I will accept the inconvenience of paying tips in cash. Thanks in advance for your input on this.

 

Justin

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13 minutes ago, JIA2000 said:

Hello. Last year, I was on Harmony of the Seas. In a few weeks, I will be on Symphony.

 

When I was on Harmony I put my gratuities of $101.50 on my credit card. I like this convenience. I don't want to have to deal with cash. Please forgive me if I sound cynical. I have heard a few people say that if you put the tips on your credit card, Royal Caribbean may keep some of it and not give 100% of it to the staff who earned it. Does anyone know if this is true? I want the hard-working staff members who serve me to get what they earn. If the reports of staff not getting their tips that filter through RCL are accurate, then I will accept the inconvenience of paying tips in cash. Thanks in advance for your input on this.

 

Justin

They receive 100% of all gratuities. If you remove auto tips and pay them in cash then they must turn all the tip money into the pool. If you only tip in cash you have no way of tipping those in the Buffett, other house keeping staff, or others behind the scenes.  Don't pay any attention to those on these board who keep saying the cruise lines keep part of the tip money. happy cruising

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10 minutes ago, taglovestocruise said:

They receive 100% of all gratuities. If you remove auto tips and pay them in cash then they must turn all the tip money into the pool. If you only tip in cash you have no way of tipping those in the Buffett, other house keeping staff, or others behind the scenes.  Don't pay any attention to those on these board who keep saying the cruise lines keep part of the tip money. happy cruising

Wow is that true because on Anthem next week I was planning on giving my room steward 20 bucks cash over my pre paid gratuities of course. He/she won't even be able to keep that? That kinda stinks, the room steward is the person you interact with the most, like every day and can really make your trip much smoother.

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9 minutes ago, JAMESCC said:

Wow is that true because on Anthem next week I was planning on giving my room steward 20 bucks cash over my pre paid gratuities of course. He/she won't even be able to keep that? That kinda stinks, the room steward is the person you interact with the most, like every day and can really make your trip much smoother.

 

If you leave your auto tips in place then any cash you give over and above can be kept by them

Edited by GTO-Girl
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35 minutes ago, Merion_Mom said:

Anything you hear from fellow passengers is just their opinion.  No one on this thread or any other on this topic knows anything for certain about how Royal Caribbean conducts its business.

 

This.  There have been many threads about how tips, prepaid or cash, are distributed.  Some claim they know, but thruth is nobody does.

 

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2 hours ago, taglovestocruise said:

They receive 100% of all gratuities. If you remove auto tips and pay them in cash then they must turn all the tip money into the pool. If you only tip in cash you have no way of tipping those in the Buffett, other house keeping staff, or others behind the scenes.  Don't pay any attention to those on these board who keep saying the cruise lines keep part of the tip money. happy cruising

Urban Myth

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As a rule I don‘t expect greedy corporations to do the right thing. Yes I‘m a cynic, but I don‘t think there‘s any chance that RCCL isn‘t skimming a little bit of that off the top. So while I won‘t remove the auto gratuities, I always make sure to give at least a little something to the people that actually take care of me.

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One truth is many know how, when and why the gratuities are distributed. Another truth is that when someone explains the truth many dispute that individuals statements, even though the statements are the truth. 

 

“And that’s the truth” - Edith Ann

 

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2 hours ago, Merion_Mom said:

Anything you hear from fellow passengers is just their opinion.  No one on this thread or any other on this topic knows anything for certain about how Royal Caribbean conducts its business.

👍

And if you do not like the way they do business you can remove all gratuities and save a bunch of money! 🤑

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Here's my thought process

 

1) it's easier to just go with the auto - set it and forget it

 

2) the employees aren't stupid and the gratuity rates are public. If the cruiselines weren't passing it along they'd piss off their employees

 

3) because the vast majority of the gratuities are paid with a credit cards there's a paper trail to all this and even if it's not a line on the p&l they release, trust me their auditors are on top of the money and where it goes and while I hate accounting so I can't be for sure, I'm pretty sure they'd frown on telling customers it's for the crew and then pocketing the money. 

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1 hour ago, neverbeenhere said:

One truth is many know how, when and why the gratuities are distributed. Another truth is that when someone explains the truth many dispute that individuals statements, even though the statements are the truth. 

 

“And that’s the truth” - Edith Ann

 

 

 

HUH????

 

DOUBLE HUH?????

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Any money you hand over to an individual is kept by them. They may distribute it to others among their team; it's up to them.

 

The officially collected gratuities are distributed following a formula that the cruise line gives out basic info about; all of this money gets distributed to eligible employees based on this formula.

 

If you add an additional gratuity on a bar check it goes to the server or bartender that served you. They may choose to distribute some portion to others on their team.

 

Pre-collected gratuities such as for drink packages get distributed based on some formula the cruise line doesn't really disclose, but all of it gets to staff in some way directly; it's not kept by the company or redirected for any other purpose.

 

If you remove the officially collected gratuities you will reduce gratuities someone receives; you won't be able to get to every person affected by your removal of those gratuities in order to compensate them directly.

 

 

Edited by dswallow
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Lots of intrigue with this topic but here's the 'reality'. Whether you continue with the current system is your choice.

 

1) Auto-tips are distributed 2 weeks after you leave the ship.

2) Royal takes 20% of your tip.

3) There is no list of who has or hasn't removed their auto-tips. 

4) Crew keep the cash you give them or sometimes share with helpers - Cabin Stewards for example.

5) There is no obligation for crew to hand cash over to Royal.

 

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17 minutes ago, MJDMV said:

Lots of intrigue with this topic but here's the 'reality'. Whether you continue with the current system is your choice.

 

1) Auto-tips are distributed 2 weeks after you leave the ship.

2) Royal takes 20% of your tip.

3) There is no list of who has or hasn't removed their auto-tips. 

4) Crew keep the cash you give them or sometimes share with helpers - Cabin Stewards for example.

5) There is no obligation for crew to hand cash over to Royal.

 


Wow, talk about living in a fantasy world...

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14 minutes ago, MJDMV said:

 

3) There is no list of who has or hasn't removed their auto-tips. 

 

 

 

Thats interesting, I like chatting to  staff on different ships we go on and when tips has come up they have said otherwise.

 

Also met a couple from the UK who unlike ourselves struggled with the tipping concept and they removed the tips upon boarding. They became convinced that staff knew by the service they were receiving.

 

Whether true or not I don’t know but they got quite paranoid about it by the end of the cruise. To be honest I had little sympathy.

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4 hours ago, Thorben-Hendrik said:

👍

And if you do not like the way they do business you can remove all gratuities and save a bunch of money! 🤑

What is a bunch ? I understand what is money  , but you remove all gratuities. ? How ungrateful and you should have a better savings plan than the price of a drink savings plan  wish you the best you deserve.

And thumbs up you too ... 😄😂

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1 hour ago, MJDMV said:

 

 

3) There is no list of who has or hasn't removed their auto-tips. 

 

Really?

This was left in our cabin in May by our cabin steward .Presumably he didn't have a card for those who had removed auto tips so he must have known.

Also like many others we've done the galley tours and seen the lists on their notice board about which passengers have tipped or not.

 

20190520_091104.jpg

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To the OP, I have no idea if all of the money we prepay goes to the crew but I'd like to believe it does. What I do know is that many of them come back contract after contract so they must be happy with the way things work.

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12 minutes ago, kernow said:

To the OP, I have no idea if all of the money we prepay goes to the crew but I'd like to believe it does. What I do know is that many of them come back contract after contract so they must be happy with the way things work.

As a recently retired dinosaur I can't understand how people live with jobs with no contracta & zero hours but many of them keep coming back,can't imagine that is because they are happy with the situation but maybe that is just the changing world.

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I think many of them are genuinely happy though. Over the years we've talked to many cabin stewards, waiters, bar tenders etc who have worked for RCL for years and have nothing but praise for the company. Lots of them have family members also on the ships. Their jobs enable them to fund lifestyles back home that they could never afford otherwise and that's what they choose to do. I admire them greatly for doing it.

 

I know it's a bit different as he's not in a tipped position, but the current thread by Chris the British guy who works in the casino shows how some people really enjoy ship life.

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2 hours ago, kernow said:

Really?

This was left in our cabin in May by our cabin steward .Presumably he didn't have a card for those who had removed auto tips so he must have known.

Also like many others we've done the galley tours and seen the lists on their notice board about which passengers have tipped or not.

Just curious,I have been told in the past that you can remove the tips up to the last day,I would have thought that passengers doing that would seriously mess up any system letting the crew know who has & who hasn't.

Also I have seen posts about these lists seen on tours before,has anybody taken the time to really examine the list to check if it is a list of current passengers by any chance I wonder.

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12 minutes ago, snaefell said:

Just curious,I have been told in the past that you can remove the tips up to the last day,I would have thought that passengers doing that would seriously mess up any system letting the crew know who has & who hasn't.

Also I have seen posts about these lists seen on tours before,has anybody taken the time to really examine the list to check if it is a list of current passengers by any chance I wonder.

I've never examined them that closely but we did ask our waiter after we had seen it and he confirmed that they know who has pre paid or auto paid. As you say I suppose some people could wait until the last day to remove tips but from what I have observed many will remove them early on. 

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