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Adjusting "Gratuity"


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We will be missing several meals due to excursions. Mostly lunches but also a couple of dinners. Perhaps a third of them. Given that we will be partaking of a substancially reduced amount of "service" would we be justified in cutting back on the amount of auto gratuity that we allow to be charged? Am I splitting hairs or being "cheap"/unethical?

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I see the gratuity  as covering not just dinners but room service, guest services, accounting, musicians, performers, tech etc any one that is Viking.. so I tip the suggested amount plus for the excellent service and attention we get.  

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14 minutes ago, geffric said:

I see the gratuity  as covering not just dinners but room service, guest services, accounting, musicians, performers, tech etc any one that is Viking.. so I tip the suggested amount plus for the excellent service and attention we get.  

 

I realize the beds will still get made. My point is that we will be enjoying fewer services than the total available.

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No, you are not justified and yes, you are both splitting hairs and, in your own words, cheap/unethical.  If we can afford to take these trips, even when we push the budget to do so, it rings hallow when we start to quibble over paying gratuities.  

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1 hour ago, duquephart said:

We will be missing several meals due to excursions. Mostly lunches but also a couple of dinners. Perhaps a third of them. Given that we will be partaking of a substancially reduced amount of "service" would we be justified in cutting back on the amount of auto gratuity that we allow to be charged? Am I splitting hairs or being "cheap"/unethical?

 

You are indeed splitting hairs, and you are indeed "cheap"

I couldn't believe you actually asked this.

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If you've never been on Viking Ocean, you have no idea how far over and beyond the crew goes.  We're not just talking about those you deal with directly but all the behind the scenes workers who keep the ship in like new condition.  Think laundry, engineering, deck crews, food services, security, cleaning staff, those who set out the gangway and staff it or help you off, and ever so many more.   I think that giving extra is warranted, certainly not cutting back.

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2 hours ago, CCWineLover said:

 

You are indeed splitting hairs, and you are indeed "cheap"

I couldn't believe you actually asked this.

 

I think it's a legit point and wonder how many folks adjust "gratuities" (which they are definately not) for one reason or another. And we are far from "cheap" ----- I leave the "gratuities" up to my wife, whose greatest joy in life is throwing money all over the place. If you somehow missed the cruise altogether would you still pay the fee?

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Jazymyn49, We just got off a Viking Ocean and the crew and staff did not go far over and beyond.  We do not prepay and there is no way that the service we received would have been worth the suggested Viking amount.  When we get onboard we go to Guest Services and request that they remove automatic gratuities and at the end of the cruise we then tell them what amount to charge us.

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9 minutes ago, Not a Georgia Peach said:

Jazymyn49, We just got off a Viking Ocean and the crew and staff did not go far over and beyond.  We do not prepay and there is no way that the service we received would have been worth the suggested Viking amount.  When we get onboard we go to Guest Services and request that they remove automatic gratuities and at the end of the cruise we then tell them what amount to charge us.

 

Is there a stigma involved with your request? Do they frown at you or do they efficiently process your request? There are stories about non tippers being identified in the crews quarters.

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1 hour ago, duquephart said:

 

Is there a stigma involved with your request? Do they frown at you or do they efficiently process your request? There are stories about non tippers being identified in the crews quarters.

I've heard a story of this on another cruise line, but not Viking.  Have you heard of this happening on Viking Ocean?

Edited by PlanoTim
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3 hours ago, Not a Georgia Peach said:

No stigma, no one has frowned at our request.  We have done this on the 4 ocean cruises we have been on.  We had very good interactions with those staff members that we encountered.

Am I reading this right? You reduced tips on 4 out of 4 ocean cruises because you thought the service wasn’t worth what Viking billed? 

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28 minutes ago, Not a Georgia Peach said:

I said we adjusted the amount - you have no way of knowing if it was up or down.


Not that you didn’t leave us any clues. 
 

“We just got off a Viking Ocean and the crew and staff did not go far over and beyond.  We do not prepay and there is no way that the service we received would have been worth the suggested Viking amount.”

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Until Viking clarifies what gratuities really are and who receives them, as members of CC we ought to be civil and refrain from judgments about the sentiments and actions of others. It seems we are operating under widely varying assumptions about what effect paying gratuities to Viking or even directly to staff has on staff compensation. 

 

Viking, please clarify.

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6 hours ago, Hanoj said:

Until Viking clarifies what gratuities really are and who receives them, as members of CC we ought to be civil and refrain from judgments about the sentiments and actions of others. It seems we are operating under widely varying assumptions about what effect paying gratuities to Viking or even directly to staff has on staff compensation. 

 

Viking, please clarify.

 

Please let's stop calling these gratuities. Anything automatically billed and/or paid up front is a service fee, or at least something other than a gratuity. Viking likes us to think of "gratuity", and so names them, because they slide past us more easily that way, given the tipping culture. If Viking wanted us to know how they really work, and the logistics of distribution, we would already know. They prefer us to think "gratuity" and continue to pay them without question like the good little sheep they take us to be. I, for one, think it's time for transparency.

 

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On both the UK and US FAQs the gratuity is referred to as a 'discretionary hotel and dining charge', so accusing Viking of being opaque about the nature of the charge is a straw man.

Edited by kentchris
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I have always considered gratuities - on any cruise on any ship - part of the cruise fare, like port charges and/or taxes.  I prepay them and forget them.  Over and done.  I have never even thought about removing them.
 

We tip extra to those we deal with on a more frequent basis throughout the cruise  - cabin steward, dining staff (we generally find a service group we like and request their section), and bartenders.  We do this at the end of the cruise - cash in envelopes.

 

Quite frankly, I don’t understand this quibbling over it, nor the gnashing of teeth over the subject.  What the cruise lines choose to call this charge is semantics.  It’s a fee, and we pay it.  Viking river is pretty specific as to where the money goes.  I assume it’s a similar distribution on ocean.

 

I agree with Peregrina651 that it’s splitting hairs and cheap.   That’s my opinion, but the OP asked for opinions.  I really don’t understand why people ask.  It’s pretty much a dead horse that just keeps getting beaten and people do what they want anyway.

 

 Just an aside.  We have never had less than stellar service on any of our Viking cruises (2 river, 2 ocean so far)

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28 minutes ago, Cyber Kat said:

I have always considered gratuities - on any cruise on any ship - part of the cruise fare, like port charges and/or taxes.  I prepay them and forget them.  Over and done.  I have never even thought about removing them.
 

We tip extra to those we deal with on a more frequent basis throughout the cruise  - cabin steward, dining staff (we generally find a service group we like and request their section), and bartenders.  We do this at the end of the cruise - cash in envelopes.

 

Quite frankly, I don’t understand this quibbling over it, nor the gnashing of teeth over the subject.  What the cruise lines choose to call this charge is semantics.  It’s a fee, and we pay it.  Viking river is pretty specific as to where the money goes.  I assume it’s a similar distribution on ocean.

 

I agree with Peregrina651 that it’s splitting hairs and cheap.   That’s my opinion, but the OP asked for opinions.  I really don’t understand why people ask.  It’s pretty much a dead horse that just keeps getting beaten and people do what they want anyway.

 

 Just an aside.  We have never had less than stellar service on any of our Viking cruises (2 river, 2 ocean so far)


I agree.  We’ve done one Viking river and are embarking on our third ocean cruise soon.  The service on every ship has been great.  We pay the regular fee and leave additional cash for the cabin stewards near the end of the cruise. 
 

We don’t need or  expect a lot of attention but it’s very nice when someone goes out of their way to bring extra hangers, towels, or a pot of hot water for your evening tea.  I really appreciate it.  

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2 minutes ago, Frenchberet said:


I agree.  We’ve done one Viking river and are embarking on our third ocean cruise soon.  The service on every ship has been great.  We pay the regular fee and leave additional cash for the cabin stewards near the end of the cruise. 
 

We don’t need or  expect a lot of attention but it’s very nice when someone goes out of their way to bring extra hangers, towels, or a pot of hot water for your evening tea.  I really appreciate it.  

This is pretty much what we do and I believe most do on Viking cruises. Tips (or any other semantics you might want to use) on a cruise cannot be compared to tipping for an individual visit to a restaurant, etc. Viking chooses to use a fixed amount and bill the cruiser rather than include tips in the cruise fare. So what? On our last cruise in November, we handed additional tips to our cabin stewards and were told we really didn't have to do that since we were billed for tips. Of course, we insisted - but the point here is that Viking's policy is appreciated by staff.

 

The OP is choosing to forgo hundreds of dollars of meals and feels tips should be reduced. Is his fare being reduced? Of course not - so why reduce tips that benefit the staff? There is enough anecdotal evidence here that staff do get this tip money.

 

15 hours ago, Squawkman said:

Am I reading this right? You reduced tips on 4 out of 4 ocean cruises because you thought the service wasn’t worth what Viking billed? 

Sorry Not Georgia, but tone you've set in your posts implies that you do not ask Guest Services to increase the tip charge, ergo I (and at least one other here) assume it's a reduction each time. So I will ask:  did you increase the billed amount on any other your other 3 cruises? And don't tell me you made up the increase by tipping individuals - most of us do that for exemplary service from staff we come in constant contact with (stewards, waiters, bartenders, etc.). 

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6 minutes ago, duquephart said:

 

Please point out where I so stated.

 

Right here in your first post. I'll conservatively say we're paying $30 for a lunch and $45 for a dinner. I don't know how long your cruise is, but the minimum would be 7 lunches and 7 dinners.You're missing "a couple of dinners" and the rest lunches. That means each of you is missing 3 lunches and 2 dinners = $180 each, or $360. Even if you round lunches down to 2 each, you're missing meals = $300. Get it?

 

On 1/20/2020 at 9:58 AM, duquephart said:

We will be missing several meals due to excursions. Mostly lunches but also a couple of dinners. Perhaps a third of them. Given that we will be partaking of a substancially reduced amount of "service" would we be justified in cutting back on the amount of auto gratuity that we allow to be charged? Am I splitting hairs or being "cheap"/unethical?

 

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