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Does the crew know we've pre-paid gratuities?

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A few years back on one of the Oasis class ships, we decided to remove the gratuities at the outset on DAY 1.  We had a suite and there was my husband and my teenagers sharing the suite.  We were going to be doing Specialty Dining 5 out of the 7 nights and buffet the rest.   Might as well provide cash tips directly to the waiters we decided.  Oh my gosh, we got back to our cabin on the second night and the room steward came knocking asking us if "everything was okay, were there any problems, did we need anything additional in the cabin, was all well, anything more he could do for us."  I replied no all was well.  Next day, first thing once again, he was waiting outside our door when we opened it.  Boys still sleeping, again, " is all well".  I said to my husband, is something wrong that I do not know about.    And it went on and on.  It never occurred to me that "perhaps he had received notification that we had removed the gratuities from our account".   On the last day we provided him with a hefty cash gratuity for all that he had done for us.    I am thinking as I read all of these posts that he must have been informed on DAY 2 of the cruise that the gratuities had been removed and was worried.    Nowadays, we just do automatic gratuities.  I have no clue who gets what, and how much but I can walk down the hallway and hold my head high not wandering who is whispering this and that behind me.

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21 hours ago, mayleeman said:

 

You are also tipping lots of people who provide you services that you don't know about, or who enable the ones you do to do their jobs.

 

I find it easier to ignore the daily gratuity and just think of it as part of the fare, and then tip cash to the crew who provided me with services directly, than to worry about which of these low paid employees deserves to get a slice.


I guess you missed the part of my post that said I always prepay them.

🙄

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I find it bizarre that RCI still refuse to include gratuities in the cruise fare

 

They are now an international cruise line with hoe ports that do not have a tipping culture and most of their staff come from non-tipping culture countries

 

 

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1 hour ago, compman9 said:

I find it bizarre that RCI still refuse to include gratuities in the cruise fare

 

They are now an international cruise line with hoe ports that do not have a tipping culture and most of their staff come from non-tipping culture countries

 

 

NCL tried to bundle the DSC with the fare for overseas guests, with a higher price, lasted about a week, I guess there was pushback about the higher price.

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1 hour ago, compman9 said:

I find it bizarre that RCI still refuse to include gratuities in the cruise fare

 

They are now an international cruise line with hoe ports that do not have a tipping culture and most of their staff come from non-tipping culture countries

 

 

Gratuities contributes a substantial profit margin for Royal, it will not go away anytime soon.

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3 minutes ago, springfire said:

Gratuities contributes a substantial profit margin for Royal, it will not go away anytime soon.

This would imply they are keeping the gratuities and not paying the staff out. I think you are off base here. 

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2 minutes ago, Cruisin_n_Boozin said:

This would imply they are keeping the gratuities and not paying the staff out. I think you are off base here. 

Gratuities make up most of the compensation for crew in the housekeeping, beverage and food departments.   Royal now even requests we give gratuity to crew members we don't even see.   Royal profits even more when they get passengers to pay more of the crew's salary.    

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32 minutes ago, Cruisin_n_Boozin said:

This would imply they are keeping the gratuities and not paying the staff out. I think you are off base here. 

Agreed. Completely off base.

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On 11/10/2019 at 7:29 PM, not-enough-cruising said:

Any answer you get regarding this topic will be 100% conjecture and supposition and nothing based in fact. 

NO ONE knows how the gratuity system actually works; keeping everyone in the dark and guessing is what the cruiseline depends on. 

One fact I can offer is this: I never pre pay nor do I participate in the daily auto gratuity program. I have never experienced any less service than my regular travel companions who do participate. 

I totally agree! Key word here is "participate". Americans kill me trying to bash or downtalk a person that dont tip in ANY situation the EXACT way that our society has set this whole tipping thing up. Idc if I'm on a ship, at a restaurant, or anywhere where else I should be able to give MY money to whomever I feel however I feel. To tell me that its my due diligence to cover the cost between what the cruiseline pays them and their worth is absurd. 

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1 hour ago, mjkacmom said:

NCL tried to bundle the DSC with the fare for overseas guests, with a higher price, lasted about a week, I guess there was pushback about the higher price.

It has worked well with MSC.

 

I am thinking of the line at GR on my recent Explorer cruise with Brits wanting to remove tips before the ship had even sailed. They were told to return after 3 days - hopefully some of them forgot to do so, whilst others were getting such value out of their drinks package they were probably unable to walk to GR!    I too wish it was bundled in with the fare.

Edited by little britain

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14 minutes ago, springfire said:

Gratuities make up most of the compensation for crew in the housekeeping, beverage and food departments.   Royal now even requests we give gratuity to crew members we don't even see.   Royal profits even more when they get passengers to pay more of the crew's salary.    

This is the most accurate answer I see on the whole thread. Nobody is looking at the profit the cruiselines get not only from the actual cruise fare of all the passengers but also from their employee overhead that they have swindled most Americans into paying for.

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4 hours ago, Casino Comp Chick said:


I guess you missed the part of my post that said I always prepay them.

🙄

No  I understood that. I was not being critical! You had made a comment that by prepaying, you are paying some people who do not actually provide services to you. My point was that there are others who do, but who are behind the scenes, that your prepays also go to.

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So, opponents of daily gratuities on this thread have now presented 2 diametrically opposed arguments: on the one hand, they vigorously objected to statements about crew compensation being dependent on gratuities. Now we have the argument that Royal uses daily grats to provide the bulk of crew compensation and thus expand its profit.

 

It is interesting how people spending thousands of dollars on cruises twist their logic into knots to justify being penurious to the people working 12 to 15 hours a day, many with no full days off over a 7 month contract, making those cruises enjoyable.

 

Exceeded only by the convolutions seen when porters are mentioned.

 

I am far more annoyed about the huge "tip" real estate agents get -- thousands of dollars for just a few hours work -- when a house is sold than any money I have ever paid to a service worker.  

Edited by mayleeman

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12 hours ago, pink845 said:

A few years back on one of the Oasis class ships, we decided to remove the gratuities at the outset on DAY 1.  We had a suite and there was my husband and my teenagers sharing the suite.  We were going to be doing Specialty Dining 5 out of the 7 nights and buffet the rest.   Might as well provide cash tips directly to the waiters we decided.  Oh my gosh, we got back to our cabin on the second night and the room steward came knocking asking us if "everything was okay, were there any problems, did we need anything additional in the cabin, was all well, anything more he could do for us."  I replied no all was well.  Next day, first thing once again, he was waiting outside our door when we opened it.  Boys still sleeping, again, " is all well".  I said to my husband, is something wrong that I do not know about.    And it went on and on.  It never occurred to me that "perhaps he had received notification that we had removed the gratuities from our account".   On the last day we provided him with a hefty cash gratuity for all that he had done for us.    I am thinking as I read all of these posts that he must have been informed on DAY 2 of the cruise that the gratuities had been removed and was worried.    Nowadays, we just do automatic gratuities.  I have no clue who gets what, and how much but I can walk down the hallway and hold my head high not wandering who is whispering this and that behind me.

You are exactly right! When the grats are removed it reflects negatively on the staff. Not just the room steward, but the dining staff as well. This causes issues with promotion, bonuses, more contracts in the future and the list goes on! People think that they are helping the staff more by paying cash, and removing grats, but that is simply not the case.

 

1 hour ago, springfire said:

Gratuities contributes a substantial profit margin for Royal, it will not go away anytime soon.

Way off base. Grats do not effect any type of bottom line or profit for Royal. It goes directly to the staff, not into Royals pockets. You are definitely wrong in your way of thinking.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, mayleeman said:

So, opponents of daily gratuities on this thread have now presented 2 diametrically opposed arguments: on the one hand, they vigorously objected to statements about crew compensation being dependent on gratuities. Now we have the argument that Royal uses daily grats to provide the bulk of crew compensation and thus expand its profit.

 

It is interesting how people spending thousands of dollars on cruises twist their logic into knots to justify being penurious to the people working 12 to 15 hours a day, many with no full days off over a 7 month contract, making those cruises enjoyable.

 

Exceeded only by the convolutions seen when porters are mentioned.

 

I am far more annoyed about the huge "tip" real estate agents get -- thousands of dollars for just a few hours work -- when a house is sold than any money I have ever paid to a service worker.  

I apologize ahead of time... I'm a bit confused.. So if we do the math between what the cruise line actually pays their staff onboard now compared to if they went up to let's say $8/hr for their onboard staff would they gain or lose money? By my math they would lose money hence lower profit margins.. Basic math to me 

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11 minutes ago, MrsKC08 said:

Way off base. Grats do not effect any type of bottom line or profit for Royal. It goes directly to the staff, not into Royals pockets. You are definitely wrong in your way of thinking.

 

 

It's not about if the gratuities go into the cruiselines pockets directly or not. The point is if guests cover a good portion of the crews compensation that's less money the cruiseline has to spend paying their employees hence the profit. Just a bit of clarification on the thought process. 

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16 hours ago, Billy Baltic said:


Wow. In Ireland the legal minimum wage is 9.80euro per hour. I don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing but it stops employers shafting their employees and expecting tipping to cover the difference. 

Since the ships are not registered in countries with  "fair" minimum wage laws, who really knows what the base wage is for some of the cruise employees.  A friend of mine worked for another cruise line 15 year ago, and told me a few weeks ago, some of the behind the scenes workers, like a potato peeler or other kitchen prep workers, made $1.00 per day.  The cabin stewards made a low wage as well, but had to pay the cruise line back for room and board. They needed the tips to survive. 

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17 hours ago, Billy Baltic said:


Wow. In Ireland the legal minimum wage is 9.80euro per hour. I don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing but it stops employers shafting their employees and expecting tipping to cover the difference. 

Many places I've seen Employees make lot more in Tips then if they had Flat Rate. Was Rest MGR 35+yrs ago, Min Wage was $2.35 for Wait Staff but many would make over $200 in 5-8hr Shift, this 35yrs ago. Many GOOD Wait Staff made more then most Managers. Waited tables myself while Moon lighting, just 20hrs a month I made my New Car payment by just rolling my coins from my Tips. Joined ARMY and Wage so low my buddies with kids were on Food Stamps. Think my first Active Duty paycheck was about $400 for month... Now I take my Kids/Grandkids out and many places with large parties, 8-11 at a table, charge 15% minimum Tip. At times my Tip alone is $45-60... Right or wrong think these Tips are here to stay

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  Gratuities are not included for various reasons from Tax purpose of cruise lines to the Tax purpose of workers. In many countries money earned as tips are not a subject of taxation.

 

   What I think about this system? I would LOVE for auto-gratuities to be included into fare so smart pants won't get a free ride, however I also respect businesses which services I use (otherwise I won't use their services) and not in position to tell them how to handle their well established business. Would you like to be told how to handle your business?

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1 hour ago, The Fun Researcher said:

Anyone like sushi?

 

I do.  

 

Dan

 

LOL Dan.  You made me think that those removing tips on day one might should be careful that their sushi isn't just butter fish. 

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54 minutes ago, CruisingCrewsers said:

A friend of mine worked for another cruise line 15 year ago, and told me a few weeks ago, some of the behind the scenes workers, like a potato peeler or other kitchen prep workers, made $1.00 per day.  The cabin stewards made a low wage as well, but had to pay the cruise line back for room and board. They needed the tips to survive. 

 

I wonder what cruise line your friend worked for. One of the perks of working on a cruise ship is the low, minimal expenses - free room&board, free food, free drink (just don't get drunk, zero-tolerance policy), free laundry, uniforms are usually provided, free air fare to and from home, discounts, etc.  Two months off between contracts is a nice perk too.

 

BTW, I'm guessing the potato peeler making $1.00 per day would have probably made .50 cent a day in his home country.

 

There is a reason why so many choose to work 60 hours per week on a ship and keep coming back.

 

I'm not saying don't tip the workers and while they are not millionaires, they are are not destitute and living on the streets either.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Tatka said:

I would LOVE for auto-gratuities to be included into fare so smart pants won't get a free ride, however I also respect businesses which services I use (otherwise I won't use their services) and not in position to tell them how to handle their well established business. Would you like to be told how to handle your business?

I agree with you wholeheartedly~

 

I would love to see the day when cruiselines WON'T allow passengers to remove gratuities, and personally...with the more and more people who think it's ok to remove them, I can see that happening in the not so distant future!! Just like the deluxe drink packages (people thinking it is ok to share them as well, since the cruiseline is making "so much money anyway". 

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1 hour ago, The Fun Researcher said:

Anyone like sushi?

 

I do.  

 

Dan

 

No.

 

You'd have to pay me to eat Sushi. And I expect a hefty tip as well. In advance 😋

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