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HAL's New Tipping Policy??? Wine prices??


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:mad: By all means leave the Auto-Tip on your account. As soon as I have been introduced to my cabin steward, dining room steward (and asst.) and the wine steward, they get a nice fresh bill ($) put into the hand.:D I have yet to be let down. :D I also let each know in a VERY friendly manner, EXACTLY what I expect from them. I have NEVER had a problem doing it this way.;) I learned this from a four star,USAF general. Thats the good old days when I was flying for the special air missions.:) It works for ME.

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Well, I'm going to go against the grain here and say I like the automatic tip policy. I think it's really important that the more "invisible" folks providing services get a share of the tips since their work greatly enhances my enjoyment of the cruise. The last thing I want to do on the last day of my cruise is run around the ship trying to distribute tip envelopes. Those who want to tip more still have the option to do that personally. Those who want to reduce the tips have that option as well. But, for the rest of us it saves a lot of bother and probably is more fair in the long run. On our cruise I left the tips as they were. I tipped the waiter(s) in the Pinnacle and room service extra since there seems to be a feeling they are not included in the auto tipping (although I'm not sure that is accurate).

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...one of accountability. I am a very good tipper in general - I always tip $15% for "average service". I used to be a waitress and everyone has an off day - they just got an eviction notice, just got yelled at by the boss, or groped by the last customer. As long as it's not rude, mean, or downright obviously lazy (wait staff and cashiers purposely ignoring me to gossip gets me mad as a hornet), I never take offense at slow or perhaps even less than average service.


Excellent service? The waitress or bartender that goes out of their way to listen? Smile? Come back and make sure the order was okay within a few minutes and really listen? Then I'll often tip 30%. Sadly, it's not very common these days.


But to my point. It sounds like, with this new policy, if you are provided "bad" service by an individual, there is no way of insuring that this particular individual gets an immediate and effective notice (to their wallets) to straighten up their act. Isn't that the whole point of "tipping"? Isn't this "almost" mandatory tipping sort of a contradiction in terms?


And it sounds like on these cruises, one bad egg can really spoil a cruise for a guest. It would be a shame for all the service people to be shorted because of this one bad egg that gets a passenger mad enough to remove the auto-tip. Now everyone is punished. Yet how else can anyone express their displeasure? Sure they can make out a complaint - but how do I know anything will ever be done about it? I've been on the other side of the service industry - I've heard how complaints get laughed off, management "erases" complaints to make their areas look better - and food sent back gets "dropped" on the floor or "spit on".


I'll give HAL a "tip" (don't get me wrong I'm very much looking forward to my very first cruise and really don't expect a problem - it's just I see this from both sides of that tip buck) - this is a sure path leading to poorer service, the loss of creative individual service effort - and accountability.


Sigh. Now that I've spouted! Is it possible this was a very well-meaning (lots of dumb decisons are made with the best of intentions - communism was with the best of intentions, right?) move on the part of management to help insure that in a tight economy, lots of people stretching their dollar, that the service people didn't see a decrease in what is probably the biggest part of their take home pay? I hate to say it - but many people I know (some I love dearly) who don't understand the concept of tipping, are downright miserly and just embarass me. Yeah I'm always the one sneaking back to the table trying to cover the tip with an extra five or ten without bringing attention to it! Anyone have any tips on that trick - I'm all ears!


In addition to every citizen being forced to serve one week of public office...GRIN!!...I think every citizen needs to be a waitress or a busboy for a week.


Okay - rant over - oops! I hope this isn't a terrible way to introduce myself to the forums? As I said - I don't forsee a problem with my upcoming cruise. The topic just gets my dander up. Well meaning corporate management, god love em! Isn't it amazing that things just - well - keep working despite them? Cheers to all the great things I've heard about the HAL service staff. It's obvious they are why HAL is still in business. I'm looking forward to "tipping well" :-)

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Welcome to the HAL board! And, thanks for your input on the subject! I tend to agree with many of your observations on the tipping issue. I would much prefer the ability to adjust specific tips through the auto-tipping method, but HAL doesn't seem to provide that option (at least, not yet). However, there are other methods for making sure that truly sub-standard service is brought to the attention to the supervisors. I usually write a letter to HALHQ in which I name the specific service people who have served me and provide an evaluation of each. I'm very forgiving, but there have been a few times when I've had to detail some problems with certain staff people. Those letters DO get forwarded back to the ship by HALHQ and such remarks are noted.

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I agree with Agbacker and will tip the way I want to. HAL is obviously a bad employer and now they are forcing passengers to play along. Maybe the employees are supposed to put the money they receive in the pool, but how would anyone know how much cash you gave them. The only way I can think of is by searching them or expecting the other employees to "rat" them out. That would put them into a whole new category of bad employers. I just don't care for auto-tipping of any kind. Tipping is a personal gesture on the part of the patron. It's no longer personal if they take you out of the picture. It just becomes another service charge.

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