I always tip at least $2 a bag. Because I work in food service and I do appreciate a tip. So i give what I appreciate getting also. The proters are working very hard. Usually in the heat of the sun... Hey I am no means Flushed. But if I can afford to crusie i can afford to tip where i feel the need....... Happy cruising.....
PapaBill, You may find it hard to believe, but I am actually a pretty nice guy. My comments tend to be direct and to the point which other people tend to interpret as personal, which they are not.
In the case of the messages from Bruce, on other topics, he certainly seems to have intimate knowledge of the costs associated with various aspects of cruising. If you had read these comments you would see why I asked these questions of him. As his message here certainly seems to indicate that he is one of the tipped workers on the ship.
So while you may think it was a personal attack, it was only a question.
I agree PapaBill, it's the little things these folks do for you to make your vacation a great time that gives me great pleasure to reward them with a generous tip. The tipping process allows those who want to make more money the capability to make more money than a straight wage.
Like the time we were on a family reunion cruise and we sat down to dinner with our neice and nephew (around 10 and 12 years old). They didn't care for anything on the menu and the waiter asked them what they would really like to eat. They both said hot dogs and potato chips. That wonderful waiter left for a few minutes and brought back foot-long hot dogs with potato chips and pickle spears. And he brought back a plate which had on it bowls of chopped onions, cole slaw, chili, and shredded cheese. My niece jumped up on her seat and gave him a big hug.
Each night after that he told them he has hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pizza, chicken fingers or anything else they would like. After dinner he didn't even need to ask them, he would bring them a bowl of ice cream and brownies.
Heney, In fact you are probably correct (as is Peter V.) in underlying premise that the system is "broken", that the sytem is perhaps unreasonably perpetuated. No, you are not cheap. Nor is Peter. But I continue to maintain that a less than usual tip will be interpreted as so (regardless of the reason ) by the "tipee".
My thoughts continue to lean towards most (I agree not all ) tipping (and the expectation thereof) as having some overall and some specific influence on service. Unfortunately there are circumstances,like the sandal story above, where tipping is not an incentive for good service , but rather a "bribe" to prevent bad service. This is where the system is broken. Here I think is where Peter and I disagree. Peter would at least like to believe
that the system is changeable or fixable. An ideal and a good one. I do not believe that in most situations the system should be fixed , can be fixed or needs to be fixed.
Throw the longshoreman off the pier and install a conveyor belt to the loading area.
Everyone will save money. Chances are the longshoremen will then hold up the food and supply deliveries to the ships, and we will be right back to having the porters again.
In conclusion, for me, I say tip as you will , tip as you feel appropriate, tips as you can afford. But, do it with your eyes open to the consequences , good or bad/ right or wrong
of your actions.
Well, IMO, the whole system if tipping in the US and a few other countries is "broken." In restaurants, bars, hotels, and resorts on land (as well as on most cruise lines), tipping has become a system whereby the owners get us customers to pay most of the wages for the service personnel.
That being said, I do not believe the way to correct the system is to penalize the true victims of the system, who are the service personnel themselves! Cruise lines on which tipping is customary (which includes most of them) are very "up front" as to the fact that tipping is expected, and even state an average amount. So tipping is not an "undisclosed rip-off" like the high price of drinks on some lines --- but the latter is the subject for another thread. Rather, tipping is a well disclosed and known part of the price of the cruise. I can calculate it and plan for it before I book, and I do this.
A few lines include tips in the fare, and charge a higher fare as a result. I have observed that this is a system that works very well. If you generally cruise a line on which tips are customary and expected and you would rather have them included in a higher fare, write it on your comment card the next time you cruise. If you don't prefer such a change, then just "go with the flow" on tipping.
Of course, none of this means that guests should feel forced to tip the "customary" amount or more for poor service. Fortunately, I've never had that problem. On all lines I've cruised, both cheap and expensive, the service from the crew has been outstanding.
"tipping has become a system whereby the owners get us customers to pay most of the wages for the service personnel. ".................Richard.
C'mon Richard, you're a smart man. You know the customer always pays for the wages of the service personnel, in one form or another. Good grief, you are also paying for their financing charges, gasoline, and every other cotton pickin' expense a business, any business, has!
At least with tipping we have an option to increase, decrease, or withhold their pay.
Let's do one thing here to help the conversation. Where are we all from and what are the local customs involving tipping. I am from the US, New Yorkto be specific.
Tipping is beyond common and is expected and customary everywhere. Taxi, restaurant, porter, redcap, bellman, doorman to name a few. Limo driver, tour bus driver, car wash guy,parking attendent, all expect a tip.
What is common in your home area?
Also from the US. I think tipping is getting out of hand. Remember when the recommended tips in restaurants were 10%, up to 15% if the service was phenomenal? Now 18% is expected, and some places even pre-calculate it for you.
Tipping should be for services that are requested, not a part of normal employment. It upsets me when salaried people with full benefits, aka the longshoremen who take your bags from your car and load them into containers to be sent aboard ship, expect to be tipped on top of the UNION salary and benefits. It costs more in tips than taxi fare to get from baggage claim in FLL to the point where you've dropped your bags at the terminal. That's ridiculous.
Exactly why I asked the question. Maybe the tipping is/was differnt in Oklahoma versus
Florida (presume you are a native Thomas). My background would be 15% for ordinary service (maybe with a hiccup or two) and 20% (or even more) for good to excellent service in a restaurant. Less than 15% would have the waiter throwing dirty plates at the back of your head on the way out the door.
Well, I am from Oklahoma. Here, we tip waiters in restaurants and bars from 15% to 20%. We don't use cabs much, but do tip the drivers about 15% or a little less. We tip bellmen maybe $2 or more per bag.We don't have many doormen, but I don't think they are tipped much here. I also don't think there is much tipping of hotel maids here. We also have almost no "Matre D's" and what we have are seldom tipped.
This is why it is good that cruises where tipping is customary not only set forth average amounts, but also identify the service personnel to be tipped. Without this info, I (for example) might not have thought to tip the room steward. However, I probably would have done so, as they do much more than hotel maids. But, with the "auto itpping" some lines have, that is taken care of for the guest, I think.
As I have said before, I know that I, as a customer, will pay the service personnel one way or another. I prefer the "tips included" method --- not for myself but for the crew as I know many guests "stiff." And also as I have said, I have no problem with taking a cruise with "suggested tipping amounts" and "going along with the program." I've been on many such cruises, had great service, and tipped well.
I understand, Richard, you tip well but I have a problem with your statement that "the owners get us customers to pay most of the wages for the service personnel. ".................Richard.
As though we purposefully don't pay servers a high wage so the customers pay their wages in tips. Again, it doesn't matter to me, one way or another the servers will have to make a decent wage to continue serving. As a restaurant/bar owner I prefer the tipping process, because I think it is an incentive based structure and I believe my customers are served better than if I paid them a straight salary with no tips. I can assure you though, the servers would rather have the tipping structure as they believe they make more money this way.
My misstatement. It is difficult to put a complex idea into sound bytes. I was referring to the fact that some people feel that the customary US "tipping system" is a way for the busuness owner TO CONCEAL THE FACT that a higher price than that on the menue is customary and expected, as a method of compensating employees. Personally, I don't care, because I'm familiar with the tipping system and mentally factor it in the price anyway. My personal preference is to put the whole price "up front" and pay service staff a decent wage. But I know it would be next to impossible for one small restaurant owner such as yourself to "buck the trend" and change to a "tips included" pricing structure. Heck, we have a difficult time explainging to first time Seabourn, Radisson, and Silversea cruisers that "No, you really don't tip!!!" While I do tip, the "tipping system" is something I wish hadn't gotten started in the US. I'd really like to see the wole system phased out in favor of a "flat price". Better for the workers because of the "stiffs". Better for the customers, as it would eliminate the confusion over who is tipped and how much. The fact that all cruise lines that have tipping state suggested amounts, while a good thing, proves that this confusion exists.
I agree with you Richard, in a way. Being born and raised in the U.S. I have never experienced the non-tipping structure except for short periods of vacation in Europe. I did not feel like the service was as good over there as in the U.S., but maybe that's because we were Americans in areas that don't particularly care for Americans.
After reading what the stiff rate is on cruiselines I'm almost leaning toward a tip included structure so the personnel get an optimum amount. But then I think service to the customer will suffer. I also think that if tips were included in the fare we would start tipping again anyway, as that's our custom; as PaulB stated on another thread.
While I can't say what would happen on many cruise lines if tips were included in the fare, I can say that this system has produced outstanding service on Radisson. My friends who have cruised Seabourn and Silversea say it is the same there (perhaps even a bit better on Seabourn). And, there has been no real trend for tipping to start up again. Once on a cruise out of Nice, France, our luggage was delayed by the airlines till the next day. Our room Stewardess brought us a bottle of wine and glasses, invited us to sit on the balcony in the provided robes for an hour or so while she had all the clothes we were wearing washed and cleaned.(all gratis). When she came back with our clean clothes, I broke the usual Radisson procedure and offered her a tip, because this service was above and beyond usual room stewardess duties. She politely declined!
One reason some of us feel we get inferior service on land overseas is that the US is probably the fastest-paced society in the world. In England (for example) the service was really fine but a bit slower than I am used to here. But then again, the entire pace of life was slower there!
That's it for me guys - I'm off on the Explorer of Seas to cruise the Caribbean on Sunday and we have to be out of here by Friday to make flight connections. ( My wife and I along with our kids ranging from 24 to 34 for a total of 8).
We plan on renewing our wedding vows and as a gift to our kids we are taking them with us. Let's see - 8 air fares at almost $800.00 each, 8 cruise fares at $1200.00 each, 8 hotel rooms before we get back home at about $ 175.00 each per night , plus taxis - I'm not sure I'm going to have a whole lot left for tips - but I'll do my best.( all Canadian funds).
I just want to say to all of you, especially Peter V, Thomas and PapaBill - it's been a pleasure sharing opinions with you.
Peter, for a while I thought you were in the 'tearing down' stage of your life but after reading many of your comments on this thread and others, and folowing your line of reasoning , I think you are a person who means what he says.
Thomas - for a while I thought you were Peter - but still I enjoyed your contributions (no offence).
PapaBill - as always, your arguments ( while I didn't always agree) were filled with logic and as always, you presented them in a gentlemanly manner.
We debated both the tipping (this thread) and the smoking (another thread) issues and while I haven't changed my feelings on either very much, I have come to appreciate the opinions of others. And I guess that's what this forum is about, to share opinions.
Best wishes to you all in both your personal and your cruising lives!!! I'm sure I'll manage to find your names and comments on this site again in the future. Cheers!!!
Looks like more than one of us on this thread will leave it to cruise. We are off Friday to Ft Lauderdale for Saturday sailing on Century. I'll come back in 8 or 9 days with some fresh perspective on tipping.
Happy Cruising to all.
...Sisk and Gallick (1985) claim that tipping (reward-tipping according to the categories mentioned above) is an arrangement that protects buyers from an unscrupulous seller. Their interpretation and justification for tipping (with some complementary ideas of my own) is as follows. Often, what ensures the buyer that the good purchased would be satisfactory is the ability to return it to the seller if it is of inferior quality. It is usually impossible to return services, however. For services, one mechanism that ensures quality is the reputation of the firm. The firm does not provide low service quality because consumers will avoid purchasing again and may also inform other potential buyers about the low quality. If the worker who provides the service does not have enough incentives not to harm the firm’s reputation, however, the worker is not likely to exert enough effort to provide good service. The firm can sometimes monitor the worker to ascertain that service quality is good; this may be too costly, however, meaning that the cost of monitoring exceeds the benefits from increased quality. In particular, if the firm deals mainly with non-repeated customers who do not communicate with future potential buyers (a restaurant that caters to tourists, for example), the benefits from increased service quality are reduced.
Whenever the firm does not monitor the worker and the worker does not have incentives to provide good service, the buyer may be hurt by expecting and paying for good service and receiving bad service. When the cost of the service is high, the buyer may find it optimal to use litigation in order to be compensated. When service quality is unobservable to a third party, or when service cost is low, the buyer usually finds it optimal to pay despite the unsatisfactory service. This gives unscrupulous sellers the ability to maximize profits by providing low service quality at low cost rather than good service quality. Of course, in equilibrium the buyer may expect bad service quality and the market for good service quality may collapse, as in Akerlof’s (1970) seminal article about the market for lemons.
To overcome this potential problem, tipping makes part of the equilibrium price discretionary and contingent on service quality. The consumer no longer has to prove that service quality was bad; he can reduce his tip according to service quality without having to go to litigation. The worker has an incentive to provide good service because otherwise he may earn lower tips. In a way, tipping may protect both the buyer and the seller from costly negotiation. For example, if service in a restaurant was bad, the buyer may not want to pay the full price of the meal, yet there is no natural agreement with the owner what the discount for the bad service should be. Tipping provides a focal point for the negotiation: in most cases, the consumer pays the menu price but does not tip, or at least reduces the tip. While the buyer can in principle abuse his position as the last mover and not tip even when service is satisfactory, such behavior is rare.
Conlin, Lynn, and O'Donoghue (2002) analyze the case of restaurant tipping (their analysis is applicable also to other forms of reward-tipping, however) and suggest that if efficiency requires the server to exert some effort, the server must have an incentive to exert this effort. While a service contract can provide this incentive, writing such contract between the customer and the server involves prohibitive transaction costs. Therefore, tipping serves as a substitute that economizes these transaction costs...
Last edited by delgados129; November 8th, 2012 at 04:10 PM.
I liked the personal tipping prior to auto tipping so still add (in cash) to our servers and room stewards. I always wondered though if the people that skipped dinner on the last night didn't sleep in their cabin that night either. You knew they wouldn't show up for dinner because they wouldn't be tipping. Generally they were the ones that demanded service and were rude to the help. We have seen so many of them through the years. Shame, shame on them.
For DW and It's common courtesy. We appreciate the service we get and it has been very good. Someone wrote in their post,"if you can afford to cruise you can afford to tip". It's just a little better way of saying Thank You.
This thread reminded me of something I recently saw on the internet....it was a copy of a restaurant receipt, where the total paid was $183.00 and zero in tip, but had a note, food and service was great, but I am a single mom and can't afford a tip. OK, how can she afford an expensive meal for $183.00 and not have anything left for a tip, give me a break. I just don't get it.....OY