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Paying tips at outset to enable anytime dining?


Traderboy
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What do others think about this?

 

it seems a money-grabbing approach which is tantamount to bribery.

 

We have no problems about paying tips for good service. But we are not prepared to pay them 15 months ahead of our cruise.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Traderboy said:

What do others think about this?

 

it seems a money-grabbing approach which is tantamount to bribery.

 

We have no problems about paying tips for good service. But we are not prepared to pay them 15 months ahead of our cruise.

 

Do NOT look at them in the same context as "tips" you pay in restaurants back home.  It is a completely different system.

 

In the UK, your restaurant wait staffs are adequately compensated an the cost is incorporated into your menu prices.  This is NOT the case on cruise ships.  Think instead of these gratuities as being a "service charge".  It is how the crew is compensated.  It is part of the cost of cruising on most US-based cruise lines.

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49 minutes ago, Traderboy said:

What do others think about this?

 

it seems a money-grabbing approach which is tantamount to bribery.

 

We have no problems about paying tips for good service. But we are not prepared to pay them 15 months ahead of our cruise.

 

 

It seems like a fair and equitable way to ensure that the crew get fair compensation for their work.

You have a choice, you don’t have to do Anytime Dining.

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1 hour ago, Traderboy said:

What do others think about this?

 

it seems a money-grabbing approach which is tantamount to bribery.

 

We have no problems about paying tips for good service. But we are not prepared to pay them 15 months ahead of our cruise.

 

 

Probably the cruise charges should be about $20 a day higher and not have a service charge.

If I receive excellent service I give those staff members additional $$ early in the cruise.

Your comment is rather harsh.  You can sign up for the regular fixed dining or like most of my cruises choose gratuities as a perk.  At home you have a different system.  For better or worse for the wait and cabin staff on board the "gratuities" are a significant part of their pay.  It is done this way because it allows the cruiseline to advertise a lower price.

Definately not fair to penalize the staff.  Almost all crew work incredibly hard to make your holiday experience perfect.

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There's no bribery involved. 

I absolutely think the cruise line is very smart in having the gratuities paid ahead of time for anytime dining otherwise some people will " stiff " the wait staff.  We all know that's the reason the cruise line does it.

We usually are seated in the same section each night and tip our servers extra near the end of the cruise.

  

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7 minutes ago, 39august said:

I thought prepaying gratuities in order to have anytime dining was a thing of the past; no longer required. 

Certainly not had to do it on our 2018 cruise on Silhouette.

Tips were included as part of our booking in August 2020, which of course was cancelled.

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2 minutes ago, upwarduk said:

Certainly not had to do it on our 2018 cruise on Silhouette.

In suites, the 4 perks are "included".  I have heard folks on-board bragging about good they are at getting the pre-paid gratuities removed, as they feel the need to only tip staff they have come in direct contact with.  Guess that leaves out the hard working folks behind the scenes, in the kitchen, laundry staff, lighting crew for the shows etc.  Obviously not my business how they spend their cruise $, but IMO, just rude and cheap!

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36 minutes ago, 39august said:

I thought prepaying gratuities in order to have anytime dining was a thing of the past; no longer required. 

 

I had the same thought but was not able to find any written policy, and wondered if my memory was fading. As far as I recall, this policy of pre-paying the service charge (= "gratuities") for anytime dining was eliminated a few years ago. We always select anytime dining but we always voluntarily prepay the "gratuities" so my own experience is not helpful here. I look forward to reading posts from others who have relevant experiences. 

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IIRC, Celebrity eliminated this requirement three or four years ago. You have the option of pre-paying (at time of final payment, not 15 months ahead of time), but it's not a requirement. You can also have the daily amount added to your account throughout the cruise, to be paid at its conclusion, or choose the gratuity perk, if available. 

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1 hour ago, 39august said:

I thought prepaying gratuities in order to have anytime dining was a thing of the past; no longer required. 

 

OP is from the UK - different booking rules.  EU/UK/AU bookings that request Celebrity Select dining have gratuities added to booking automatically and cannot be removed.  They are payable as part of the balance due approximately 90 days out (unless they have different final payment terms I am not aware of).  This requirement was eliminated some time ago for North American bookings.

 

UK/EU/AU bookings also all have Non-Refundable deposits and price/amenity changes may not be possible without forfeiture of full deposit or paying a change fee.  Again - different rules depending on where you are booking from.

 

This is why MANY international guests want to book through US agencies - far more flexible payment/booking terms.

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1 hour ago, LGW59 said:

I have heard folks on-board bragging about good they are at getting the pre-paid gratuities removed,

IMO, just rude and cheap!

We are on the same page on this one--

Who the h--l do you think is in that long line at the GR counter removing gratuities on the last night ???

It's the same people that eat in Murano then complain about some trivial thing to " beat 'em " for a complimentary dinner.

Ya shoulda seen that " goof  "with the cowboy hat and the loud mouth I mentioned soooo many times on CC. 

I know, get over it already .

 

 

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1 hour ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

 

OP is from the UK - different booking rules.  EU/UK/AU bookings that request Celebrity Select dining have gratuities added to booking automatically and cannot be removed.  They are payable as part of the balance due approximately 90 days out (unless they have different final payment terms I am not aware of).  This requirement was eliminated some time ago for North American bookings.

 

UK/EU/AU bookings also all have Non-Refundable deposits and price/amenity changes may not be possible without forfeiture of full deposit or paying a change fee.  Again - different rules depending on where you are booking from.

 

This is why MANY international guests want to book through US agencies - far more flexible payment/booking terms.


interesting.

 

to the OPs point. Celebrity, like the other US based cruise lines automatically charge a daily gratuity. It’s a standard rate based on your cabin type. You can pay it ahead or on board, makes no difference. You are not paying anything different to get anytime dining, just paying at final payment instead of onboard.

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Thanks for these comments.

I think my original posting may have been misunderstood.

We are from the UK and this week we booked a new cruise for February 2022.

We normally like anytime dining but we were amazed to be told that,, in order to book it, we needed to pay the tips NOW not when the final payment is due.

As I said before this policy seems to be designed by Celebrity to bribe its customers and create extra cash flow.

Of course we are aware of their relatively  new system of booking wither no perks, 2 perks or all perks.

We are also aware that the crew do need to be paid properly and that extra tips should be given if you feel it is  appropriate.

Surely the honest thing for Celebrity to do is to make the crew tips part of the fare they charge ALL customers.

There are many cruise lines that have moved in this direction.

 

I would interested to know what others think.  

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Celebrity must have changed their rules for UK customers.

I was on Constellation cruise from Singapore to Dubai last February,had select dining,and was given option by travel agent to prepay gratuities or have them added daily to my shipboard account.I elected to pay by adding to account.

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2 hours ago, Traderboy said:

Thanks for these comments.

I think my original posting may have been misunderstood.

We are from the UK and this week we booked a new cruise for February 2022.

We normally like anytime dining but we were amazed to be told that,, in order to book it, we needed to pay the tips NOW not when the final payment is due.

As I said before this policy seems to be designed by Celebrity to bribe its customers and create extra cash flow.

Of course we are aware of their relatively  new system of booking wither no perks, 2 perks or all perks.

We are also aware that the crew do need to be paid properly and that extra tips should be given if you feel it is  appropriate.

Surely the honest thing for Celebrity to do is to make the crew tips part of the fare they charge ALL customers.

There are many cruise lines that have moved in this direction.

 

I would interested to know what others think.  

Unless this has changed in the past week I think you've been misinformed...im in the UK and I booked a cruise last week and selected anytime dining...got the option of adding gratuities to the booking now or not...certainly didn't have to pay them upfront,..i did book via the website though...not a travel agent...not sure if that makes a difference ??

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Traderboy did you book via a travel agent or direct?

I'm in the UK and just tried a test booking for Feb 2022. On the same page as dining selection was a "Prepay Gratuities?" option that defaulted at "No thanks". Even if selected, the payment page includes the gratuities in the total price, but doesn't increase the payment due now above the £150 per person deposit.

If you booked via either a travel agent or a celebrity agent directly, then I'd suspect the agent was deceiving you in order to improve their cash flow - which admittedly is no doubt really terrible at the moment,

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Thanks Jojo and Barbette

I think you may be right that it is my Travel Agent who is trying to grab my money.

I will pursue them.

 

I did consider booking direct with Celebrity but found out that the overall cost of the entire trip would be much higher.

I was on a February 2020 cruise from Singapore to Dubai which turned into a very fortunate Dubai to Dubai cruise.

Most of our passengers had horrendous difficulty in getting refunds for their altered flights, particularly if they booked them with Celebrity. I thought that the consensus view was that your money was best protected by booking through a TA.

 

Do others agree with this?

 

 

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3 hours ago, Traderboy said:

 

As I said before this policy seems to be designed by Celebrity to bribe its customers and create extra cash flow.

Of course we are aware of their relatively  new system of booking wither no perks, 2 perks or all perks.

We are also aware that the crew do need to be paid properly and that extra tips should be given if you feel it is  appropriate.

 

 

I would interested to know what others think.  


it is important to note that celebrity charges an auto gratuity to EVERYONE. The prepay option is for Convenience., nothing more. You will still be charged that gratuity on the ship If you don’t prepay. 

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Hi I have just done a dummy booking and you can get the gratuities as your free perk, when I did Concierge or Aqua on Select dining so it would suggest your agent is misinformed. You can do a dummy booking and see for yourself.

 

Liz

 

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You're quite right, Emmas Gran.

 

Having free gratuities as a 'perk' is in itself undermining the idea of gratuities in my view.

 

Come clean, Celebrity, and don't offer fares which do not have gratuities included.

 

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5 hours ago, Traderboy said:

We normally like anytime dining but we were amazed to be told that,, in order to book it, we needed to pay the tips NOW not when the final payment is due.

This is a new one on me. 
I know if you book in Australia that tips are included in the cruise price and I had heard that it was being considered for UK as it isn’t in our culture to tip, but we always do. And yes, at one time it was essential if you booked Select dining, but that was removed years ago.
If that is Celebrity’s new selling point, I will be looking at Azamara cruises, which are ‘All Inclusive.’ Yes, the price point is higher, but basic drinks and tips are included, as are courtesy buses into the local town.

 

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