I know that this will get the moans from a few here!
First off, I have been a good boy and have tipped on each and everyone of my cruises. After reading tons of the comments about it here, I think I have changed my mind, and think everyone should stop tipping as well.
I've been reading from a bunch of people that they don't think they should add the $10 a day to the fare paid, and that you want the ability to judge for yourself, The one thing I did not hear was that anyone tips less then the recommended amount. Why bother giving it as a tip if you are going to pay it anyway.
So now we should all not tip and state why, that we are tired of supporting their lack of pay to their own staff, and we will do it no longer. Pay them a fair wage! If this was done by everyone, I think it would change pretty fast.
While I agree that the staff is worked pretty hard when you consider the amount they receive in tips, and that they are not taxed on it, given free room and board etc. They make a good wage.
Figure out of 3000 pax at $70 per week is $210,000. How many are tippable, Waiters, Stewards, Bar staff, but we don't count them as they get their tips on drinks.
So out of 1000 crew, how many of these are there? 400? So $210,000 / 400 = $525 per week or about $27000 per year. Not a bad wage at all, tax free, free room and board. So now even if 20% stiffed them, then that is still about $22000, still not bad.
The one other thing I've noticed, and wonder if anyone else has. SInce we do tip, why don't we tip based on the amount we spend on our fare?
Seems to be the right thing to do. Most don't have a problem tipping at 10-20% of the bill at a restaurant. The same work is involved in bringing the meal to our table, but we tip based on price. So why should someone paying $400 for a lowly inside, pay the same tip as the one in the Penthouse suite at $4000. Shouldn't they pay 10%? You know, the $400 person pay $40 for the week, and the luxo cabin pays $400?
Think about it this way. If u were paying a percentage for the dinner u r being served. Well.. That could be a whole lot more then the $10 a day for all of them. A lobster dinner is going to run u a good $30 per dinner. at 15% which is a lower amount to be paying a tip...(I am a waitress) that would be $4.50 jsut for that one dinner a nite. So that does not count the breakfast and lunch u ate also. So in the long run I think the costs for the tips are very slight. Do u realize that if a restaurant paid there wait staff a regular wage, u would be paying a whole lot more for the steak dinner then u do now. they have to compensate themselves for it somewhere. Whether the cruise lines choose to charge more for the cruise or have us pay our tips. I guess it's up to the cruise lines now. But if u go to a restaurnat dont u think paying a tip is better then having the cost of ur food going sky high. I think its a priviledge to pay a person who is taking such good care of me a tip of gratitude. Makes them feel they did there job well and makes me feel like I have appreciated someone. Again I have said this so many times. I am a waitress. have been for many years now. It is my chosen profession I understand that. But I think everyne should do some gratuity work once in there lives to appreciate the concept of tipping. Happy cruising....... Be nice to your wait person!
The simple thing is for the cruise lines to eliminate the insanity and just pay their staff the "tip" rate and add the bill to the cost of the cruise. If any choose to give extra, go for it. If you experience lousy service, complain to the proper people. This would end the blackmailing, "the need to perform" syndrome, ignorance, mean and petty behavior and all other potential unpleasantness concerning gratuities. I am all for it.
Whe should the lowly inside cabin tip the same as the expensive penthouse suite?
Seems simple to me. They receive the same service, the same shows and the same meals.
I think that if the mainline cruise lines included the tips as part of the fare, the service would suffer. Alaso, it wouldn't be long until they started recommending tips on top of the wage the employees were getting.
Sorry Peter V, massive can of worms you have opened here,,,but not really as this one has been kicked to death. And the worms no longer wriggle.
1/ Dont guess at figures re income nor if it is taxable. That was speculation and not fact
2/ What about the repercussion of your policy? If we go by "Pay them a fair wage! If this was done by everyone, I think it would change pretty fast."
What are the implications for cruise pricing and how many people will that potential price change move out of the market, as it will not be the prices to cruise you see today. There are big ships to fill today and they will not do it with a policy or price that expects the mass market to pay up front for a decent wage and tips included. Sad, but reality
No flames from me, as I read no new reason not to stop tipping
A 7 day cruise costs me $xxxx + $70. Period.
By the time I get to the ship I have almost handed half that amount out in tips anyway.
Long term parking at the airport, tip $5 to the bus driver who handles my luggage . If I use a redcap or curbside check in, another $5. Cab driver or bus driver from airport to hotel another $5. Bellman at the hotel, another$5. Bellman on the way out of the hotel , yes another $5. Bus driver or cab to port you got it, another $5. Long shoreman at the port, How about $5?OK , maybe it isn't always $5, but then again you never saw how many bags my wife packs. I've spent $35 in tips (not counting the tip at dinner and breakfast or a cab to and from a restaurant) and I haven't even gotten on the ship. What's another $10 per day? Just part of the cost of my trip, and a nominal cost at that.
You will not change the industry or the "policy" by withholding your tip. You will simply be part of the 20% someone mentioned above.
But it is fun to talk about, isn't it?
No new ideas, Peter, so I doubt you'll get many flames.
Make your own choice, but I don't think you'll be leading a revolution - there will always be a percentage of people that don't tip and always the majority who do tip.
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I agree with Paul. I just don't understand what the big deal is? I've been cruising for 18 years and I have always tipped. Not one cruise (32) have I felt the need, not to tip. We used to bring cash that was set aside for tipping and now, we add it too our ship board account. We still bring more money if we feel that our serving staff or room steward ect. did an exceptional job.
Please folk's........tip these hard workers.
Peter, I agree that it would be nice if tipping were not required. However, I feel that if the lines paid their employees the cost of the tips, that the overall price of the cruise would increase more than adding the tips to the cost we pay now. Also, service would probably suffer to some degree.
Also, welcome to the gripe board! I see that you have been busy here recently. Just watch our for David and Thomas. They can be real buggers. I, on the other hand, post her just to stir things up.
Bugger???? Aw, Paul...............(head hung low and moving dirt with shoe) that's the nicest thing anybody's ever said about me!
David, I agree. It's marketing to get the customer in the door. Just like supermarkets selling gallons of milk for $1.29, or whatever. (Sure wish I had been shopping lately to know if $1.29 was a good price for milk.)
You need to think of the Cruise Line and its service people as a seperate entities. THe cruise line's do not give a hoot about their service employee's. They care about the mighty dollar. Why do you think they use people from poor countries so much? HUMMMMMMM. Because they come realllllllllllly cheap. Adding on the tip to the price would do no good for them or for us. These servers are the like royalty in their home coutries. They usually send home more money than some families make in 10 years. I have spoken to many of them and have corresponded with a few that I call my good friends. We have been welcomed into their homes in Italy and Spain while they are on leave.
These tip's are their salaries. Could you live on $25.00 a week, with room, board and food? I don't think so. I sure couln't.
Peter, when you get through changing the cruise lines and the way they operate, could you please take on Walmart ? That would certainly keep you busy for a spell and really help a lot of folks.
I agree that "tips" should be simply included in the fare, and charged to the guests up front, and the service crew paid a good salary. It would be fair to the guests, as they'd know what they are paying. It would be fiar to the service crew, as they would know what their compensation is, and would be protected from "stiffs".
The lines I usually cruise have "tips included", and they really are! And the service is the best in the world.
Do we pay a price upfront for the cruise, including tips. So everyone has contributed for service
Do we leave it open, as it is on the majority of ships and hope people do the right thing?
Discussions like this are better verbally,,,quicker, but here is a brain dump.
Massive market out there for cruising, varied re price, service expected, standards. SO can I compare Rad or Silver Seas to Carnival, RCI or Celeb. Well only through the price I paid to be there
Apart from that,,,,NO ANSWER, yes there is no comparison, but its like a car forum, and people comparing a Ford to a Ferrari, yes they are cars, ,,,but different
Bulk markets sell cheap, put the onus onto service to make their peoples own wages. Why? because its bulk, hide the real cost, and big ship profit. I understand and appreciate that market,,,,,it got me cruising.
But lets not mix up our markets here people. You will never hear usually a person from Rad or SS complaing re tips.
What you are hearing from the bulk market, is people who thought they had a budget vacation, finding the bulk cruising "Steath Tax" and "Hidden Costs" and really pissed off when they discover the real cost, I dont blame them,,,someone was not honest
In reality the bulks can turn people like this around and around for every cruise they sail,,,expecting people to be happy at the end,,,based on purchased price to cruise....Duh
There is no such thing as a cheap cruise, some are open, some hide it
I'm a good one to chime in on this, as I usually cruise Radisson now, where tips are included in the fare. But not long ago, I cruised mainly RCI, with a bit of NCL and similar lines thrown in. In some respects, comparing Radisson to these lines IS like comparing a Ferrari to a Ford --- but it is not really so in the area of service. We had no problems with mass market service, and that is not the reason we moved up. We moved up because we tired of the crowded conditions and the increasing nickel and diming. And I don't include tips as the nickel and diming which I found objectionable.
We always found service pretty great on the mass market lines, particularly RCI. Darn close to Radisson levels as far as waiters, stewards, and all are concerned. While Radisson has one crew member per every 1.5 guests, and RCI has 1 crew member per every 2.5 guests. it is possible that the RCI service crew were working even harder! Accordingly, we always tipped them, and tipped them well, as they did such a good job. I see no reason why adding $70 to $100 pp on a 7 day RCI cruise would disrupt RCI's marketing position. And (perhaps after an initial shock) I think both guests and crew on lines like RCI would like such a system,.
Considering the wide variety of pricing that occurs, If they did add it on, I doubt anyone would notice..
Personally, I do not like being told what I should tipo, and adding it to my onboard account automatically is the height of presumptiousness. How much I tip and to whom is my business and not the cruise lines.
If I want to put it on my account, then I should have the choice, I do not like like having it added on for my convenience. Too many times things that are done "For my convenience" turn out to be not for mine but the person doing the charging in the first place.
As soon as you sort out the cruise lines, please fix the restaurants, hotels, and taxi companies that refuse to pay a proper wage to their staff. Make them cough up the money so we don't have to tip those poor people.
Can you also fix those airline security and fuel surcharges? What's that all about ? They are just nickel and diming us. Why not include it in th ebasic price?
And what about the military? Those people risk their lives and get paid peanuts !!
And what about real estate? You buy a house for one price and then spend thousands more in realtor fees, closing fees, state taxes, federal taxes, licenses. What a scam. All hidden costs designed to empty our pockets.
And the banks, oh don't get me started on the banks. They loan you money and then charge you interest forever. Why don't they tell you up front what a loan is really going to cost you??
And the credit card companies. All sorts of hidden costs, interest, late fees. Why don't they include it in the price of the credit card?
Peter - You have a lot of work to do......................................
Nice take on my comments Bruce and Ron, but 'I' will never accomplish anything on these issues. However as I stated previously, 'WE' have the power to make the changes.
Now you are also giving much more meaning to my comments about tipping and encompassing other jobs that are not in the same category.
Ron, I don't know what you want me to do with WalMart as I don't shop there. I would hope that if you feel that they are not good people than you not shop there either. Oddly enough if enough people didn't shop there, then there wouldn't be a WalMart to worry about.
The cruise line pays their tipped workers nothing, and expects the passengers to foot the entire wage bill. On the other hand, the restauants, taxis, hotels may be underpaid, but they are guaranteed to make at least minimum wage. Which sucks in and of itself anyway.
I agree with you about added fees, see my first line. "I" can't change it but "WE" can by refusing to pay it. If that means not flying, not buying a house, or using a particular bank, so be it. Personally, I negotiate a price for some of these items you mention upfront, or do some research for companies that don't add on useless revenue boosters in the first place.
A lot of companies have tacked on these fees because we let them do it.
I personally feel this is because, as a rule, the average American is a sheep, blindly being led by the nose and sucked dry in the never ending spiral of corporate greed.
I sincerely doubt that service would suffer any more than it already has.
After 20 cruises from the early 80's to today, I can state, I have never received anything other than the service I would expect. The cabin was cleaned, my meals were delivered. Nothing out of the ordinary at all, certainly nothing I would claim to be wonderful or outstanding.
Your mileage may vary of course.
For the most part, I think many people tip because it is expected of them, nothing else. I've read lots of comments to that degree here.
I think that most of my problem, with cruises anyway, is that WE are THE source of their wages. If we do not tip them, they will basically be penniless.
"By the time I get to the ship I have almost handed half that amount out in tips anyway.
Long term parking at the airport, tip $5 to the bus driver who handles my luggage . If I use a redcap or curbside check in, another $5. Cab driver or bus driver from airport to hotel another $5. Bellman at the hotel, another$5. Bellman on the way out of the hotel , yes another $5."
Since when do cruisers stay at hotels where they have "Bellmen?" I thought most cruisers stayed at the crummy airport hotels i.e. Red Roof, Holiday Inn, etc. etc.