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Regent clarifies (no) tipping policy

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On Regent's US website FAQ section, the tipping guidelines have been replaced.  https://www.rssc.com/frequently-asked-questions/onboard

The new policy states that tips are included and not accepted.  The new policy also aligns itself with the Marketing language that tips are not expected. The old policy made suggestions to use the Crew Welfare program. 

 

It appears to me that Regent has listened to their guests (and Cruise Critic members) and has done a good job updating the confusing and ambiguous wording of the former guideline.  Thanks in advance to Jason O'Keefe for doing so.

 

Some passengers will ignore the "all included" aspect and feel the need to tip anyway.  Has anyone had a crew member recently refuse to accept a additional gratuity ?

Does the crew welfare program still exist?

 

New Program:

"Should I Tip Onboard?  Gratuities are neither expected nor accepted as they are included for Regent Seven Seas Cruises crew."

 

Old Program:

"Should I Tip Onboard?  If guests feel strongly about expressing their gratitude to the crew, they should be encouraged to make a donation to the Crew Welfare Fund at the Purser Office.  This money is utilized for crew parties and events"

 

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is there anywhere that now suggest donations to the Crew Morale Fund or is that no longer in existence?

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Wow,

 

This is going to make some members here very happy to hear. 

 

Wonder how Regent is going to enforce it? Fire the crewmen? Debark the offending passenger 😉 ?

 

J

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Well I have to say this surprises me, using the word nor--accepted is pretty strong wording.  Glad Regent put it in writing and so clear. 

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I think this is a good move and it will be interesting to hear of anyone's experience's on board who have tried to tip.

 

When we have stayed in hotels that have no tipping policies the staff just politely thank you and refuse the tip and say that it is against their hotel policy. I think it is much nicer to donate money to the crew welfare fund so as even the crew behind the scenes can benefit, not just customer facing personnel. I also like this policy as it will eliminate passengers being given better treatment if they are known to be big tippers. 

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Here we go again, another round of the never ending "Is it ok to tip?" topic. My prediction? People that tip will keep tipping, and the crew members that accept it ( which I assume would be pretty much 100% of them) will keep accepting it. 

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I wonder what it is about tipping that compels people to break the stated policy?  If my company had a specific policy about behavior, I would follow it.   As a customer, I would honor a company’s stated policy on any matter or go elsewhere if I felt the policy was not appropriate for me.  It seems a bit shady to give a tip to any employee unless it was an expected practice.  I still remember a Regent passenger palming cash to a senior officer on a cruise...and he took it!  

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Companies that have a true "no tipping" policy usually strictly enforce it by using "undercovers" to determine if employees are accepting tips against company policy.

 

I have been to a number of places where tipping is not  allowed and if one tries to tip, the employee politely refuses, stating it is against company policy. If they value their job, in the back of their mind they always worry that if they should accept a tip, they will probably lose their job if caught and you never know who the person is offering the tip.

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To those who wish to express their appreciation for above and beyond service, since no tipping is allowed, try a letter to corporate outlining the job well done by the crew member.  I have done this in many instances, and I believe this is more appreciated and the recognition is noted by the staff's bosses/supervisors, where it can serve the crew member the best!

My humble opinion....

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Will be interesting to see if Regent enforces its newly stated policy that says tips are not accepted.  

 

Regent has given lots of muddled messages about tipping in the past, thus offering fodder for the many CC debates on what the "policy" actually was.  Not too long ago someone from Regent posted on CC something along the line of tips were acceptable, but not expected.

 

On a current CC thread there has been discussion of a service charge added to quoted prices in the spa (that apparently is not mandatory). Some assume it is a tip and if it is, then the muddled message continues (tips are accepted in the spa but not elsewhere?). 

 

In addition Regent gives a muddled message with its flaunting in marketing materials of language about "free pre-paid" tips.  The tips aren't free since we all pay for them in some manner.  I was told by an officer on my last cruise that Regent staff to do not actually receive any tips from Regent.  Rather cruise staff receive a higher salary than they would on cruise lines that encourage tipping. Still waiting for an explanation of what a "free pre-paid tip" is.

 

If Regent has changed the policy I wonder why someone from Regent hasn't posted a clarification on of one of these CC tipping threads. I'm curious what someone on board can find out from the ship's management by inquiring about this issue as well as what precisely is done with"service charge" in the spa.  

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1 hour ago, CruisetheCs said:

If Regent has changed the policy I wonder why someone from Regent hasn't posted a clarification on of one of these CC tipping threads. I'm curious what someone on board can find out from the ship's management by inquiring about this issue as well as what precisely is done with"service charge" in the spa.  

Regent management has monitored this board for years. Regent rarely responds here now. But maybe they will.

 

I know for a fact the Jason O'Keefe writes here  occasionally on this board. Years ago even Frank Del Rio would respond.

 

 

 

J

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Why would anyone want to ask a company employee to break clearly stated company policy. And, worse, pay them to do it!  The policy is clear. Tips are not accepted. What’s with trying to get around it?  The Spa is a separate company and passengers can ask that the service charge be removed. However, these are not crew members/Regent employees. 

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1 hour ago, Longhorn1 said:

Why would anyone want to ask a company employee to break clearly stated company policy. And, worse, pay them to do it!  The policy is clear. Tips are not accepted. What’s with trying to get around it?  The Spa is a separate company and passengers can ask that the service charge be removed. However, these are not crew members/Regent employees. 

I agree with you regarding the "new" policy--however it would be nice if Mr. Jason O'Keefe made a statement on this subject as posted.  With the old policy, MR. Jason O'Keefe always said if someone really when above and beyond for you it was perfectly OK to give extra.

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Wonder what Crystal, SilverSea and Seabourn

are going to do?

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11 hours ago, CruisetheCs said:

Will be interesting to see if Regent enforces its newly stated policy that says tips are not accepted.  

 

Regent has given lots of muddled messages about tipping in the past, thus offering fodder for the many CC debates on what the "policy" actually was.  Not too long ago someone from Regent posted on CC something along the line of tips were acceptable, but not expected.

 

On a current CC thread there has been discussion of a service charge addd to quoted prices in the spa (that apparently is not mandatory). Some assume it is a tip and if it is, then the muddled message continues (tips are accepted in the spa but not elsewhere?). 

 

In addition Regent gives a muddled message with its flaunting in marketing materials of language about "free pre-paid" tips.  The tips aren't free since we all pay for them in some manner.  I was told by an officer on my last cruise that Regent staff to do not actually receive any tips from Regent.  Rather cruise staff receive a higher salary than they would on cruise lines that encourage tipping. Still waiting for an explanation of what a "free pre-paid tip" is.

 

If Regent has changed the policy I wonder why someone from Regent hasn't posted a clarification on of one of these CC tipping threads. I'm curious what someone on board can find out from the ship's management by inquiring about this issue as well as what precisely is done with"service charge" in the spa.  

Not trying to be argumentative, but I disagree.  I only began sailing Regent last year so I speak only from limited experience.  But I didn't find Regent's policy "muddled."  They quite clearly asked that any "appreciation" be shown by a donation to the Crew Welfare Fund.  Seems clear to me.  And the new policy is quite specific, tips are "neither expected nor accepted."  How is that "muddled?" We are, presumably, relatively intelligent adults.  Why is adhering to the policy of a cruise line difficult?  I don't know how Regent pays their crew, nor do I care.  Just like how I earned my pay (before I retired) was between my employer and  me, so it is with cruise line employees.   I never walked into a business and asked myself what each employee earns, what portion of my cost goes to whom.  So why would I do that on a cruise ship?  

As for the Spa, I was in on that conversation regarding "service charge" vs. "tip."  Maybe that's why they changed the term to "service charge."  But who cares?  Pay it or have it removed.  And who cares who gets the money?  Not my problem.  

As for "free prepaid gratuities," it's simply a marketing scheme.   They aren't really gratuities at all as you can't have them removed.  Why get hung up on semantics?  

Ironically, on other boards, people are clamoring for other cruise lines to include gratuities in the fare like Regent does.  They hate the auto-tips and they hate having to pay at the end or to tip as they go.  Seems the passenger's desire is to eliminate tipping on all cruise lines.   

Anyway,  just my thoughts. 

 

Edited by papaflamingo

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Without trying to sound old fashion, the tipping policy allows everyone to leave the ship without feeling guilty that they did not tip any of the staff. Regent is certainly charging enough to cover what other ships charge $18 per day per person etc, which can be very annoying. That said, I just came off the Explorer last week, and not once did any employee refuse my thank you and tips during the trip. 

We were a large family group and the crew did its best to allow us to eat and play together. I'm also a believer that are members don't really make a lot of money, so if they are willing and able to make us cruisers happy throughout a trip, giving them a few bucks can never be a bad thing. 

 Next trip is Seabourn from Capetown, and  will advise if anyone there refuses a tip, but I would be insulted if they did. 

  No tipping policy allows a passenger to leave without guilt, but if you like the service you received, or the people you are dealing with, go for it, it won't really hurt. 

  Did i mention we had a couple of the loud kids as part of our group ( other thread) i feel for those who don't want kids on the ship, but then we passed a viking cruise who don't allow kids under 18, so my suggestion is avoid christmas cruises, flights, or hotels during the holidays, i know i would if not doing a family trip. 

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My .02. Why does anyone care if some of us want to “gift” a certain waiter or attendant or bartender whom we feel just made our vacation special. I know they send the money back home. Why does this subject constantly come up? Mind your own business. If we want to be generous we will. 

 

 

Edited by Got2Cruise

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Perhaps it would help if we knew salaries and work hours.  I feel for the workers in the back of the house with no opportunity to benefit from face time with customers.  Hence, included tips, shared equally, works for me.  
 

Ironically, my career was in social services and those of us in this profession make very little money, especially compared to those who chose corporate careers.  I believe that I made a difference in the lives of many people during my career and I would NEVER have expected or taken a tip.  There are many professions that provide exemplary service.  
 

What are the underpinnings as to how we decide who warrants a tip?  Certainly waiters in the US depend on tips to make a minimum wage which I think is unconscionable.  Let’s look at other low earning careers.  Do you tip your dental hygienist...or your PT...or the artist who painted a fine portrait of your dog....or the police or firemen...or perhaps your neighbors son who enlisted in the military and plans to protect your wellbeing?  All these professions don’t make much money but provide service.   
 

i personally think the tipping culture has gotten out of hand.  I would rather pay upfront, knowing people are making a wage they can live on and provide exemplary service because that is their job!  

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As usual, this is an interesting topic. Would it also be correct that the people who like to give little gifts and candy etc., are no longer allowed to offer these things?

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1 hour ago, Got2Cruise said:

My .02. Why does anyone care if some of us want to “gift” a certain waiter or attendant or bartender whom we feel just made our vacation special. I know they send the money back home. Why does this subject constantly come up? Mind your own business. If we want to be generous we will. 

 

 

And this is our position also - and will remain so regardless of "policy".

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1 hour ago, nfcu said:

And this is our position also - and will remain so regardless of "policy".

Guess you would not then be upset if the "gift" that you gave caused the person to lose his or her job?

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41 minutes ago, rallydave said:

Guess you would not then be upset if the "gift" that you gave caused the person to lose his or her job?

If this was truly the case, employees wouldn't accept the gratuities.  That is why Regent should step up to the plate so to say, and    state that all employees will not accept gratuities under any circumstances - employees not following Company policy will be terminated -  Or if they allow gratuities for super above service they should say so on these post. That would pretty much clear it up.    

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Not sure why anyone would think the q&a response to this question isn’t perfectly clear.

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3 minutes ago, ronrick1943 said:

If this was truly the case, employees wouldn't accept the gratuities.  That is why Regent should step up to the plate so to say, and    state that all employees will not accept gratuities under any circumstances - employees not following Company policy will be terminated -  Or if they allow gratuities for super above service they should say so on these post. That would pretty much clear it up.    

Well Rick their policy for customers already says "The new policy states that tips are included and not accepted." which is the first part of what they say in my quote.  As to the second part of your quote, that would be provided to the employees if applicable.  All companies have employee rules and policies but, these are company rules for company employees and not provided to the general public or customers so why would Regent provide that to non-employees.

 

As to your comment about super above service, not accepted covers that and would not expect that to need to be embellished.  not accepted covers for any reason..

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