I've read this before and not sure what exactly is true or not. When you tip, do all the tips get equally divided? I don't think it's fair if my room attendant went out of their way for us and maybe another didn't do as well of a job and getting their equal share from the "pot". Does it make any difference if we hand deliver it to them(which I like) or put on our account?
Tip pooling, in general, doesn't typically result in each worker getting an "equal" amount. Rather, it's used to insure all workers against the potential of unfair treatment by patrons. Superior workers would get a bigger share of the pool, and that's true regardless of whether their patrons are fair or unfair in their compensation. In places where such systems are in place, system integrity requires compliance by all members, regardless of whether the tips are charged or cash.
You know, I don't think the above is correct.. When I have talked about this to staff members I was told that all tips are pooled. A poor worker gets the same as a good worker.. The good workers don't like it, but that's the way it is.. The ships do it this way in order to keep "in fighting" down and a since of fairness.. Maybe yes and maybe no.. So if you give your waiter extra cash he/she has to turn it in to the pool..So just know that.. The extra cash that you give goes to the pool.. Even if you give them the cash or a tip in secret, they might take it and quickly put it in to their pocket, but they will turn it in to the pool.... If they are caught not turning it in, that is against ship policy, and they could lose their job.. So they don't risk keeping the money....I would advise just using the "auto tip" system with your ships sea card and don't worry who gets what... I know there is some pride in handing out the envelopes, but those days are fast coming to an end when auto tipping will be mandatory.. They have a system that works for them.. Enjoy your trip.. If you get good service then that's great.. OM
Yes, it all pooled by departments.. Bar, waiters, cabin attendants, ect.. Re-read Bicker's post on this..He is more clear than I am.. It may not be fair to you, but the cruise lines have to have control of the money.. And good or bad all of the workers need to get paid or the cruise line has big troubles... This is why there will be mandatroy tips "service charge" in the near future. (2005). The cruise lines are tired of the stiffs and since the money is now aready pooled it might as well come from auto-tipping and now there will be more money and no stiffs.. Bicker says "system integrity requires compliance by all members" and he is correct again. Crew member that do not "comply" will find themselves left on the dock as the ship sails away.. So, I'm not telling you not to give extra cash, I'm just saying be it known that that cash will be pooled.. You cannot change their system, so use auto-tipping and buy Bingo cards with the rest of your money.. Have a great trip.. OM (P.S. Bicker, How come you can write so good and clear??)
Oh it was a Bicker post, okay I'll go back to my original opinion based on 20+ cruising experience compared to someone who on CM has admitted to have been on one (1) or with a large gap inbetween maybe two
Here is the reality of this 'pooling' subject. Yes it is done on some ships and it is usually the decision of the Maitre'D or the Hotel Director. On the vast majority of the ship the tips are NOT pooled and the individual gets to keep what he receives. We have done a couple dozen cruises now and have only had one on CCL that pooled tips out of the 16 or so we have done on them. On RCI I don't think any pooled of the ones we took. Actually the only other one I know of that did was a NCL cruise so that is two ships out of 24. Tip your waiter or steward according to the service you recieved and don't worry about it.
As a former golf pro on the ships and many of them I can tell you first hand about tipping. Before each cruise line implemented tipping out of your account and charged you for it, you would of got better service. The reason why cruise lines have implemented "Pre-Tipping" and market it as a convenience to guests is simply due to one reason. MONEY.. It is a way for them to pay their staff less money and many staff lose out, espeically ones from Asia and South America who do the bar/waiter/cleaning positions. In the western world, the wages that are paid to these staff are absurd but they earn more money than what they could at home. It is the "legal" way of cheap labor for cruise lines. They have staff trapped. They offer them work as they know they are giving them more money than what they can earn at home but they are still ripping them off. It is a very sad state of affairs indeed. Tipping is an American thing and to me is a bad thing. I am from Australia and live and work here now and in Asia and will never return and the only reason is that I find it totally unacceptable for the American way, money fuelled passions, uneducated people, rude people, self centered people, that America is the only country in the world... So back to tipping? It is what we call crap back here...
I'm not an expert so can only speculate weither my tips will be pooled among the staff on the ship or kept by the person or persons who give me outstanding service.
I DO believe however, that one of the best ways to ensure your staff person receives recognition for the outstanding job they do for you, is to include his or her name on your comment cards and maybe write a short personal letter to the head of his/her department praising them.
While this might not result in a greater share of the tips, if more people recognize the wonderful crew members and commend them for their great service, chances are they'll be the ones remembered when it's time for raises or promotions or even shift preferences. I'm sure any letters and comments received will result in a copy in the crew member's employee file.
Also of course, if you had terrible service, a written comment could be very effective in preventing someone on a later cruise from getting the same shabby treatment.
Navigator of the Seas Jan 06
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Constellation Jan 04