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I know I can remove gratuities if I don’t want to leave them on my account, but will I be made to feel cheap if I do?


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We have cruised p&o and Cunard. Have left auto grats on. Also tip the cabin steward at the beginning of the cruise. Why wait till the end ?  You might get better service and a good rapport with your steward.. Also gives you the opportunity to be friendly - share the love !! A kind word or smile will go along way.  Clare

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There are a lot of seriously mean people out there! You only interact with the tip of the iceberg in relation to the people who make the cruise the haste free experience it usually is. Generally cruis

After many years of cruising and reading various forums I tend to accept that the auto tips are not truly a gratuity but rather a way of topping up the wages of certain service staff, waiters and stew

I removed my gratuities last year and didnt feel cheap as i tipped in cash to the people i wanted to. I understand that if you charge them to your account its split to everyone but i still feel better

8 hours ago, clare said:

We have cruised p&o and Cunard. Have left auto grats on. Also tip the cabin steward at the beginning of the cruise. Why wait till the end ?  You might get better service and a good rapport with your steward.. Also gives you the opportunity to be friendly - share the love !! A kind word or smile will go along way.  Clare

Each to their own Clare, but I can never understand why anyone wishes to pay twice.

You say "you might get better service" but surely service should be good anyway.

I can understand your reasoning, but I can say this from experience that you need to think that whilst your steward is giving you "better service" he or she is being less attentive to other guests who may well decide to reduce or remove their gratuity or possibly make a complaint to the hotel manager, so that little extra at the start may not actually be doing your steward any favours.

HLM.

 

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17 hours ago, clare said:

We have cruised p&o and Cunard. Have left auto grats on. Also tip the cabin steward at the beginning of the cruise. Why wait till the end ?  You might get better service and a good rapport with your steward.. Also gives you the opportunity to be friendly - share the love !! A kind word or smile will go along way.  Clare

I don't quite see why it "gives you the opportunity to be friendly"?  I always adopt a friendly attitude toward the cabin attendant, smiling - saying good morning and asking how they are etc.  I don't normally tip until the end however.  Pre-tipping is much more common amongst Americans I believe.

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17 minutes ago, terrierian said:

Do you all think that ''auto tipping'' should just be knocked in the head. If you go on a coach tour the bus company doesn't tell you how much to tip the driver and courier so why should cruise lines. It is just bare faced cheek. You tip for good service not because you have too.

I agree with what you say and YES it should be knocked on the head but it WON'T, not by the cruiselines anyway.

The cruiselines have taken control and manipulated the gratuity to boost the profit margins, by using the auto grat system to subsidise crew wages they can lower the headline prices.

Add to that the 15-18% additional service charge on some lines, it's not a bad little earner.

As someone who already removes the auto grat It doesn't overly bother me, however as time goes by the more the cruiselines attempt to take from me the less I'll reward their staff.

HLM.

 

 

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On 11/5/2017 at 1:04 PM, sinbad10 said:

How2 do you actually know they had removed the tips had they actually told you or are vyou guessing because they did not attend MDR for final night.  We have sometimes not easten in MDR on final night of cruise for varying reasons but not because we have removed tips. The staff are not told who have removed tips and unless they acually told you they had then it is very wrong to assume that they have when you could be co.mpletely wrong

You are wrong. 
The crew DO know who removes tips. 
Trust me, I know this. They have a list up (in crew quarters) of all passengers who have removed the auto-gratuities!

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All these meanies and tight-wads who say they remove tips and feel annoyed with the cruise lines for forcing them to top up the crew members' salaries, aren't you aware that if gratuities were removed altogether, the price of your wonderful cruise would go up considerably, and you tight-wads and meanies wouldn't probably be able to afford to cruise anyway?? 

Maybe that would be a blessing. 
Personally I'm all for the gratuities being pre-paid, (and therefore non-optional), as this would reduce the number of mean-spirited people on board who I have NO time for, as they would be priced out due to budgeting for their cruise without paying tips to anyone.
We all know that many who remove gratuities DON'T pay a single tip to any crew member, although they'll have us believe they do tip, yeah right!!

Like others have said, I am happy to leave the auto-gratuities on, as I take these in to account when budgeting for my cruise. 
If I cannot afford to tip, then I cannot afford to cruise, simple! 
Thankfully after having cruised 24 times already, with 3 more booked, I am pleased to say that I can still afford to cruise and am happy to tip the crew and onboard staff for the great service I receive. 

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Wow Carnival Princess don't hold back you should say what you mean. 

 

So how is a tight wad defined? Is it the person who pays select fare let say on a balcony cabin ups their flight to premium, pays for an excursion in each port and goes to the speciality dinning to try each menu in each venue, buys all their drinks in the bars uses the shops and coffee bars but does not tip.

Or is it the person who gets a saver fare on the cheapest inside cabin pays nothing more other than a couple of drinks but tip the steward £50 at the end of the cruise?

TBH it bothers me not one bit what anyone else does on their holidays or indeed how many times they have cruised or will cruise, I do as I see fit and tip as I see fit and I am sure they do as well, but I do hate it when people think they are above everyone else and insult because they think they have the right.

Here is a tip for you manners cost nothing :) 

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At the end of the day cruisers will do what they want, either to tip or remove them. Is there an answer? I very much doubt it. Personally I’m getting a bit bored with it.

I do think that rather than building huge monstrous ships the cruise lines could use some of their profits to pay decent wages then this debate wouldn’t continue to go on endlessly.

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10 hours ago, CarnivalPrincess said:

All these meanies and tight-wads who say they remove tips and feel annoyed with the cruise lines for forcing them to top up the crew members' salaries, aren't you aware that if gratuities were removed altogether, the price of your wonderful cruise would go up considerably, and you tight-wads and meanies wouldn't probably be able to afford to cruise anyway?? 

Maybe that would be a blessing. 
Personally I'm all for the gratuities being pre-paid, (and therefore non-optional), as this would reduce the number of mean-spirited people on board who I have NO time for, as they would be priced out due to budgeting for their cruise without paying tips to anyone.
We all know that many who remove gratuities DON'T pay a single tip to any crew member, although they'll have us believe they do tip, yeah right!!

Like others have said, I am happy to leave the auto-gratuities on, as I take these in to account when budgeting for my cruise. 
If I cannot afford to tip, then I cannot afford to cruise, simple! 
Thankfully after having cruised 24 times already, with 3 more booked, I am pleased to say that I can still afford to cruise and am happy to tip the crew and onboard staff for the great service I receive. 

Well at least you didn't say you subsidise those who opt out, thank god for small mercies.

HLM.

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17 hours ago, CarnivalPrincess said:

You are wrong. 
The crew DO know who removes tips. 
Trust me, I know this. They have a list up (in crew quarters) of all passengers who have removed the auto-gratuities!

How do you know this?

Perhaps while you're at it you can also tell me what the administration staff who presumably supply the crew with this 'list' are hoping to achieve by letting every crew member, whatever their position have this information?

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4 hours ago, hayseed said:

How do you know this?

Perhaps while you're at it you can also tell me what the administration staff who presumably supply the crew with this 'list' are hoping to achieve by letting every crew member, whatever their position have this information?

That's something that has puzzled me.

I can only assume that they will be less attentive to those who've opted out, if so I suspect all they'll  achieve by doing that is alienating customers who'll most likely decide not to return.

Sounds like a good business plan :o

HLM.

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1 hour ago, HLM said:

That's something that has puzzled me.

I can only assume that they will be less attentive to those who've opted out, if so I suspect all they'll  achieve by doing that is alienating customers who'll most likely decide not to return.

Sounds like a good business plan :o

HLM.

The stewards are not less attentive because how do they know that like many do you opt out and then give cash at the end of the cruise. I for one have never believed that staff are told who has opted out of auto gratuities during the cruise.

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10 hours ago, sinbad10 said:

The stewards are not less attentive because how do they know that like many do you opt out and then give cash at the end of the cruise. I for one have never believed that staff are told who has opted out of auto gratuities during the cruise.

That's why I used the word "assume" Sinbad, it's another one of those rumours that does the rounds on these forums that no one can give a definite answer too.

My assumption is based on pure speculation I've no evidence to support it and I've not experienced it personally and I opt out.

I have read on numerous occasions that people felt that the crew knew they'd opted out and service changed as a result, but as you say lots give cash rewards at the end so it'd be rather naive of the crew to take that type of attitude.

Who knows?

HLM.

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Hi Sinbad
Re the claim by CarnivalPrincess that they know for a ‘fact’ that there is a list of non-auto tippers pinned up in crew quarters.              I just do not believe it.
HLM’s response to you is prob correct in that no one really knows but let’s try to look at it logically;
If there is such a ‘list’ then it must have been prepared by the admin. staff at customer services desk with access to this sensitive and confidential information.
Because they surely would not do it off their own bat, then someone preparing and supplying this must have been authorised or had permission to do so by senior members of staff.
How senior does that need to be?
Who makes that decision and what is its purpose?
Is it each individual ship or a ‘Fleet’ thing?
Are company executives aware and if so, turning a blind eye, or even condoning it?

So,
Can we really imagine that this is company policy and Carnival Corp. are allowing crew members, cabin stewards etc to decide individually how they use this information and how they serve or treat a guest who has decided to withhold autograts?
If any of the above were true then they risk alienating a huge proportion of their customer base.
Furthermore, and particularly with regard to any service industry, the surest way I know to guarantee a lousy tip or indeed no tip at all is to give poor or indifferent service.
Frankly, I find the suggestion quite ridiculous.

 

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I cannot speak to P&O policies, but I have personally seen a list of those who have removed gratuities on Celebrity.  The first place I saw this list was taped to a cabin steward's cart and the second was in the galley when I took a tour.  Also, when we travelled with friends who removed gratuities, our waiter asked if we knew why Mr. --- was not happy with the service.  I have no doubt that the crew know, and I suspect that they would continue to provide good service with the hope of getting a cash gratuity at the end of the cruise.

We consider gratuities to be part of the cost of the cruise , but do not feel the need to add extra to the amount automatically charged.

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7 hours ago, smtcan said:

I cannot speak to P&O policies, but I have personally seen a list of those who have removed gratuities on Celebrity.  The first place I saw this list was taped to a cabin steward's cart and the second was in the galley when I took a tour.  Also, when we travelled with friends who removed gratuities, our waiter asked if we knew why Mr. --- was not happy with the service.  I have no doubt that the crew know, and I suspect that they would continue to provide good service with the hope of getting a cash gratuity at the end of the cruise.

We consider gratuities to be part of the cost of the cruise , but do not feel the need to add extra to the amount automatically charged.

We are seeing Celebrity cruise deal's over hear that include Drink Package and Gratuities ,are the on offer in the states.

The Celebrity list appears on the last few nights, so they know who to leave envelopes for, same on Cunard ,we overheard or steward being told that 8 cabin's had cancelled there tip.s ....Davybe

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  • 1 month later...
On 13/10/2017 at 1:19 PM, WAVES said:

I removed my gratuities last year and didnt feel cheap as i tipped in cash to the people i wanted to. I understand that if you charge them to your account its split to everyone but i still feel better tipping who i want.

If we book Freedom Dining then we pay for tips through our on board account but if we are on Fixed Dining we pay 'half & half' one half through the on board account and the other half direct to our waiters and cabin steward.  Does it all go into one big pool? who knows!

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43 minutes ago, mehravs said:

No one is going to judge you if you don't tip. We remove the tip option from our account and pay individually to the cabin steward and the serving staff. 

The problem is Mehravs people do judge, you've only got to look at some of the comments on these boards to see that.

Like you I remove gratuities and give to those I choose.

HLM.

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We leave one lot of tips on and take one lot of tips off. That way everyone gets a share of one lot and we give the other amount (and more) to those we feel deserve more like our cabin steward and our waiters in the MDR. It works well for us and I’m sure our cabin steward and waiters are happy with it too. 

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  • 1 year later...

I hope I can add some clarity to this from an insiders view, as well as a guest. Our son has worked, as mid level crew, for Princess, for 7 years. In that time he has mixed with all levels of crew. He explained that auto gratuities are shared fleet wide, and cuts also go to management and the Maître d', so the amount your room steward or favourite waiter gets is minimal. He also noted that where auto tipping is included, the service an individual gives is often indifferent, as their gratuity is small and assured. Contrary to popular belief, these people don’t care much about how happy you are, especially if their gratuity is guaranteed. With us about to take a cruise, with his previous employer, he suggested a strategy, which is one we adopted.

 
Immediately we boarded, I visited the front desk and asked to opt out of auto gratuities, stating that I preferred to reward actual performance.  My request was handled in the normal friendly manner and I certainly wasn’t made to feel cheap. Indeed, I was one of many opting out at the same time. I then told our Steward what I had done and that I would reward him at the end of the cruise, if I was happy. That got his attention and he suddenly couldn’t do enough for us. Now, it is true that any personal tips must be handed in to be pooled, so our son advised us to either give the tip in hand, or in an unsealed envelope. This would allow the recipient to decide how much, if any, is handed in. We would also do the same with any specific servers who impressed. Yes, they can be dismissed if found out, but how would it be proven?
 
As far as lists of opted out guests being posted in galleys, that is nonsense. What the poster who made that comment probably saw was a list of dietary requirements, as to list non gratuity payers would be a major breach of policy that would be subject to immediate dismissal. It would also be largely pointless. We were on ‘anytime dining’, so, unless we ordered drinks at the table, no one would know our names anyway. And if they did know our names, what would they do?  Also, service is so intense that they wouldn’t have time to punish an individual.
 
I am anti tipping but, aware of the low earnings of cruise ship crew, I did tip, directly, what I felt appropriate - not what the cruise line decided I should pay. I realise I will have missed someone working in the bowels of the galley, but that’s not my problem. While people continue to bow to cruise line pressure regarding gratuities, these corporations will continue to pay low basic wages and exploit staff. Until we stop the auto gratuity guilt trip they will continue to get away with it and cruise staff will continue to receive a pittance. This has already happened in Australia and New Zealand, where they are so anti tipping that gratuities are, allegedly, included in the fare. However, they still charge Brits and Americans on the same itineraries.
 

 

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On 10/22/2017 at 8:19 PM, *Dancing Queen* said:

Do you know this for a fact Sinbad ?? I would be very surprised if the crew who load the dishwashers, do menial work in the kitchens, fold the laundry etc are on contracted wages lbh without someone doing these menial jobs our cabin/dining stewards wouldn't be able to do their jobs .. ok I'm splitting hairs but I do think you are misinformed.

On P&O they definitely state that auto grats go only to waiters, head waiters and cabin stewards, wine and bar waiters receive their tips via the inbuilt price hike to cover gratuities, of course come May the AG will be eliminated on P&O.

It has always been a thorny issue but it does now seem that, outside of the US, the cruise lines are having to re-think their policy, probably as more and more passengers are removing the AG, and it is difficult to police the traditional policy of staff pooling their cash tips, which means that cruise lines don't know how much they need to top up the AG to ensure staff are receiving a fair wage.  I suspect that European cruising will become gratuity inclusive pricing within 5 years.

Edited by towny44
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I look forward to the day when all cruises include tips in fares so that we all pay the same. What gets me are the number of people, usually Brits I am afraid, who make great play onboard to remove tips as they board and encourage others to do the same. Others like on our last cruise talk loudly of their surprise that all don`t remove them as if others are thick and then say but "we still tip who we feel deserve it - it wasn`t much but we left all our spare coins". I know that RCI use tips to top up pay of dining room staff and cabin stewards and that all other staff on RCI are salaried including kitchen staff / chefs / entertainers etc. I know because I left a note on my review stating that I was annoyed that so many other Brits were boasting about taking off tips and saving money for drinks and suggested they needed to change their policy and could someone contact me to discuss policies. Some 6 weeks later a woman rang me from RCI in Florida who was happy to discuss gratuities. She didn`t want to offend anyone and said it was a customer decision but staff were interviewed about what in their service was not going right if tips were removed and removal did affect pay. That they had no intention of removing them and upping fares at that time surprised me but again she stated that she was aware that the tipping culture in the Uk was very different. I stated that I resented being charged extra on my fare in effect by not wishing to reduce crew wages and again she thanked me but stated it was up to individuals. very surprised by the whole conversation.

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