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Newbie QM2 passenger... Advice? Questions!


draggonsgate
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Wait staff pays tax on their tips. If the tip is payed in cash then there is no record of the tip and they pay taxes on a percentage of their sales which is usually lower. With a CC there is a hard record of the tip. 

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53 minutes ago, Cleverly said:

Wait staff pays tax on their tips. If the tip is payed in cash then there is no record of the tip and they pay taxes on a percentage of their sales which is usually lower. With a CC there is a hard record of the tip. 

Thank you for clarity.  In future one will now discreetly ask wait staff the cash tip question.

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4 hours ago, PORT ROYAL said:

Help with this tip question

We had a great Mexican dinner in Orlando, where the guacamole, salsa and jugs of cocktails were prepared/mixed live at the table.  Our waiter discreetly asked when paying by my credit card if the tip could be in cash.  Which I did.  
But why was that?  We thought it could be that the restaurant may not pass on the tips to staff.

All tips placed on Credit Cards and in fact all tips are supposed to be

reported to the Internal Revenue Service as part of an employees income so that they pay tax on that income. Cash tips in many cases go into the pocket and are never reported. Part of life's little work arounds.

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3 minutes ago, Lakesregion said:

All tips placed on Credit Cards and in fact all tips are supposed to be

reported to the Internal Revenue Service as part of an employees income so that they pay tax on that income. Cash tips in many cases go into the pocket and are never reported. Part of life's little work arounds.

Thank you.

It’s good the waiter, who was excellent delivering “showtime” at each visit, trusted one enough to ask the question.  We had a lovely evening, his efforts were rewarded with, and he was exceedingly pleased with, a $100

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16 hours ago, PORT ROYAL said:

Help with this tip question

We had a great Mexican dinner in Orlando, where the guacamole, salsa and jugs of cocktails were prepared/mixed live at the table.  Our waiter discreetly asked when paying by my credit card if the tip could be in cash.  Which I did.  
But why was that?  We thought it could be that the restaurant may not pass on the tips to staff.

That could in fact be the reason, but also possibly so it illegally bypassed Uncle Sam's scrutiny. 😁

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On 9/21/2021 at 8:27 PM, draggonsgate said:

Greetings all! I finally did it and took the plaunge and booked my bucket list cruise. Sailing Southampton to NYC November 2022. I think I have the dress code down and what to expect on board (quite a difference from Carnival Elation... lol) and I'm more than comfortable with both that and sailing solo. I do have some questions though, and am totally open to any advice past transatlantic passengers have. OK...

Congratulations on checking off another bucket list item, well done.

1) Gala black tie, got that. Gala Masquerade. Exactly what is that. Is is just black tie with a mask? Would it be a social faux pax to wear a Phantom mask? We have made 2 Crossings on the QM2, on the first Crossing the themed Gala was "Roaring 20's Night", on the second it was Masquerade. There were many very fancy and creative masks. In the Queens Room, during the evening dancing, there was a parade where everyone with a mask came out on the dance floor and, like a conga line, circled the floor. The man and woman with the most creative masks were each awarded a bottle of champagne. There were a number of Phantom masks. 

2) Afternoon tea. Jacket or no? How about the Godiva Tea? It seems a bit more bougie than the regular tea. No jacket, nice day time attire

3) Is smoking still only on Deck 8 by the pool and in the nightclub balcony? If I remember correctly, Curchills allows cigars but not cigarettes but I could be wrong on that. Also, no smoking on your own balcony.

4) How long is embarkation in Southampton. I'm ambulatory, but only for a limited distance. Standing for an hour isn't going to work out well. And no, a scooter is out of the question. I'd rather crawl on board dragging my carry on behind me. There is seating in the terminal. When your checkin subgroup is called, the queue is very short and moved quickly as does security and boarding. At least that was the case pre-COVID-19.  

5) Tipping. HONEST advice. Yes, no, maybe? I usually tip 20 bucks on embarkation day to my steward, then 5 bucks a day after that. If they do a good job, then another 20+ (depending) on disebarkation day. I also tip 2 bucks a drink for cocktail waiters, baristas, and 1 buck for bartenders.  5 bucks in MDR for dinner, 3 for b'fast if in MDR, or 2 bucks for bussers in buffet for b'fast/lunch. I also will tip 20 bucks to the lido/smoking area deck cleaners at the end of the cruise if they keep the area in fairly good shape. I've been told yes, tip. And no, don't tip, Brits think it's rude. Personally I'd rather be thought of being rude and generous than polite and cheap. But what say you all? On both of our Crossings our stewards and waiters provide specific service requests that I thought were above and beyond and made big impacts on our voyages. We discreetly tipped all 4 at the end of the voyage.

6) Sailing North Atlantic from London to NYC... chilly, cold, super cold or Rose on a piece of paneling? YES

Additional suggestions:

Book a port side cabin for a view of the Statue of Liberty when arriving NYC

If you are going to spend time in Europe, pre-cruise, consider forwarding your formal wear, ahead of time, to the hotel you will be staying on the eve of departure

You can bring as much of your own wine/spirits as you want on board

Going up to the top viewing deck when passing under the Verrazano bridge on arrival day is great fun enjoyed by many. The time is never exact so I suggest getting there around 5:00AM. Some will wear their Cunard robe over their PJ's.

Many first timers worry about being bored on a Crossings, the reality is the opposite. When you get your Next Day program each evening, there will be so many great offerings that it becomes easy to over schedule. Allow time to just relax and soak it all in. SERENDIPITY

 

 

Thank you in advance to all. Unfortunatly, my original bucket list thing is unable to be done... Fly to London on the Concorde and return on the QE2... So... it's Virgin Atlantic and QM2... I'll survive, somehow... 🙂  

 

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Pardon me for interrupting yet another tipping thread, but I have a newbie question about the Cunard website, as we have never booked with Cunard before. We are considering the fall 2022 NYC-NYC 14 day Canada cruise, and we are booking from the USA.

 

With some cruise lines, it is easy to see what cabins are available to book, and then I make my choice and contact my travel agent, who handles things from there. With Cunard, I only get one cabin offered in the class I've chosen, and I cannot see what other options might be available. So, my question is, when I call my travel agent, will he be able to see more availability than I can on my own? I can't imagine, when we are this far out, that there are so few choices left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, MJC said:

Pardon me for interrupting yet another tipping thread, but I have a newbie question about the Cunard website, as we have never booked with Cunard before. We are considering the fall 2022 NYC-NYC 14 day Canada cruise, and we are booking from the USA.

 

With some cruise lines, it is easy to see what cabins are available to book, and then I make my choice and contact my travel agent, who handles things from there. With Cunard, I only get one cabin offered in the class I've chosen, and I cannot see what other options might be available. So, my question is, when I call my travel agent, will he be able to see more availability than I can on my own? I can't imagine, when we are this far out, that there are so few choices left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are correct

We are in the 29 nighter in club,  booked early, watched the price nearly double, then sold out.  Now a sheltered is about what we paid for club and most of the total staterooms have disappeared on line.

Ask your TA as they may have more access.

 

 

Edited by PORT ROYAL
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45 minutes ago, MJC said:

Pardon me for interrupting yet another tipping thread, but I have a newbie question about the Cunard website, as we have never booked with Cunard before. We are considering the fall 2022 NYC-NYC 14 day Canada cruise, and we are booking from the USA.

 

With some cruise lines, it is easy to see what cabins are available to book, and then I make my choice and contact my travel agent, who handles things from there. With Cunard, I only get one cabin offered in the class I've chosen, and I cannot see what other options might be available. So, my question is, when I call my travel agent, will he be able to see more availability than I can on my own? I can't imagine, when we are this far out, that there are so few choices left.

 

Yes, the Cunard US website has serious issues with showing cabin availability. There are other third-party cruise booking websites which do a much better job of that. I'm seeing plenty of availability for Britannia grade cabins on the September 23, 2022 14-night QM2 Canada cruise. Your travel agent should be able to see plenty of availability as well.

Edited by bluemarble
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On 9/21/2021 at 10:38 PM, lissie said:

I'm from a country that doesn't tip.  But  we are planning on being in the US next year and the whole tipping thing terrifies me. 

 

I rarely/never have cash on my at home - 99% of my transactions are by card - even more so post COVID.  

Not necessarily tip-related, but your post reminded me of how much the cash/card situation has changed in my lifetime.

I didn't get my first credit card til I was in my 40's.  Until then, all my daily life, and more importantly my travel, was done with cash, backed up by travellers cheques (which became cash when used).  I travelled extensively through Europe, Mexico, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, usually for 5-6 weeks at a time, always keeping an eye on my cash reserves. 

 

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14 hours ago, shipgeeks said:

Not necessarily tip-related, but your post reminded me of how much the cash/card situation has changed in my lifetime.

I didn't get my first credit card til I was in my 40's.  Until then, all my daily life, and more importantly my travel, was done with cash, backed up by travellers cheques (which became cash when used).  I travelled extensively through Europe, Mexico, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, usually for 5-6 weeks at a time, always keeping an eye on my cash reserves. 

 

The last time I dealt with a cash only economy was Myanmar in 2012 - travellers cheques already gone, but the whole country and zero ATMs and limited exchange booths. US$s had to forensically clean notes (no tears, writing etc), so we took euros. But yes had to line up in Rangoon and change about 2000 euros - resulting in laterally bricks of local cash! 

 

End of an era.  The new challenge is the collection of transport cards I'm getting from around the world - Singapore was my last - Ithink the balance lasts a couple of years - hopefully I'll get to use it before it expires !  

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We all talk about tax being paid on tips/gratuities but does anyone know what actual country the staff pay tax or if they pay anything at all. Many are employed through agencies so it is impossible to know fully and its all OK saying you pay tax this way in US/UK/Aus but I dont think anyone knows 100% it is just guessing. Especially with the long said if you give them cash and it is on top of gratuities added to your onboard account then they keep the cash but if you remove the onboard account gratuities then they have to hand it over nobody knows for definite what the system is. Of course it would be simpler if they were paid a decent salary by cruise line and not add gratuities to onboard account automatically and then you can feel free if you think they deserve "extra" then you can tip likewise which is really what tipping is all about not done to give a decent wage because the employer pays them "crap" wages but make billions of $/£ profit every year.

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27 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

We all talk about tax being paid on tips/gratuities but does anyone know what actual country the staff pay tax or if they pay anything at all. Many are employed through agencies so it is impossible to know fully and its all OK saying you pay tax this way in US/UK/Aus but I dont think anyone knows 100% it is just guessing. Especially with the long said if you give them cash and it is on top of gratuities added to your onboard account then they keep the cash but if you remove the onboard account gratuities then they have to hand it over nobody knows for definite what the system is. Of course it would be simpler if they were paid a decent salary by cruise line and not add gratuities to onboard account automatically and then you can feel free if you think they deserve "extra" then you can tip likewise which is really what tipping is all about not done to give a decent wage because the employer pays them "crap" wages but make billions of $/£ profit every year.

I'm not bothered where the staff pay tax or if they even do pay tax. Not my concern at all. We pay our way as we see fit.

 

As for the highlighted bit in red, as pointed out, time and time again that nugget doesn't hold water but hey, it's an old chestnut you seem  to like bringing up every now and then.

 

 

Edited by Victoria2
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Servers in a restaurant pay taxes on their sales, it used to be 8%. So, whether a person is tipped in cash or credit card they wind up paying taxes no matter what. Some people will only leave $1 a customer at the table. Hardly pays for the 8%. 

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