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Automatic Tipping

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DoctorB

Guest
#1
Hi all,

We just returned from a cruise on theSun Princess. Does anyone else see a major problem with the automatic tipping policy the Princess has? it goes like this-Each passenger is charged $10 each day to your account. For my wife and I it was $140 for the 7 day cruise. The $10 each day is spit into 2 pools. 1st pool gets 3.50 and it is for the room staffs. It is divided 5 ways. So your room steward, the laundry people, the towel folders, etc all get .70 each day of the tips. The remaining 6.50 is split among the food staff. (waiters, bakers, buss boys, dish washers, etc.) Each of them get about .90. I know all this becuase the last day of our cruise on the on ship programming the Cruise Director went into great detail on this pitching for more tips for the workers such as the waiters and room stewards since they had to split the daily tip. He was even happy to suggest that for example an additional $40.00 would be appropriate for your room steward and gave examples of how much to tip others. This entire process left a bad taste in our mouth. Not only were we not happy with most of the service we had on the ship for the week long cruise, we viewed it as Princess feels they are not paying their people enough and that is why the back line people were getting in on the pool too. Our opinlon is that tipping is for front line people, stewards, waiters, etc. Not for people behind the scences that you don't even know if they are doing their job. Seems like a rotton system for not only the front line staff but also for us passengers. Wonder if that is why our service was so poor? What is your thoughts on this type of tipping system?
 
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Cruise cutie

Guest
#2
Well Doctor..:grin..and I'm a nurse BTW..I have no problem whatsoever with the tipping..as I've had 4 stellar cruises on Princess ........I have no complaints.........DH Mark and I; have in fact had such good service we also give cash at the last evening to our waiter,asst waiter,and room steward.now I realise it is all subjective BUT.. you can remove the automatic tipping..it is an option..so if you were displeased you can act accordingly.......... No matter what a cruise line does with gratuities not every passenger is happy...... witness the complete debacle on HAL's "no tipping required"policy which as a point of ignorance thousands of travel agents and passengers referred to HAL as a "no tipping cruise line"!! oh so wrong!!... So HAL FINALLY clarified ,after years of cheap skate chintzing out by thousands of HAL cruisers...So whatever floats your ship..Enjoy..I personally feel all my Princess cruises have been 5 star floating hotel experiences..and equivalent to my time share resort service..all Fabulous..so Happy cruising...............and hope you find the ship line that is in alignment to your tipping standards!!.if you really want tip Hell check out" NCL"s set in stone new policy effective last week...NO REMOVAL OPTIONS>...;)..talk about setting the cat amongst the pidgeons!!..:grin....:daisy..Joanne
 
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ljeanbrown

Guest
#3
If you were not happy with the service you could have had the tips removed and handed them out as you saw fit, it was your option to leave it on. We don't mind it as we always end up tipping more, we have always had great service on Princess. You also might have mentioned your unhappiness with the service to the customer relations people. Sure they suggest this and that, but in the end it is still your choice unlike NCL's new policy that will start next May 2005. On NCL you would have had a mandatory $10.00 and so on amount charged to your account per person per day etc. and it could not be removed or adjusted. Just a thought :wave
 
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DoctorB

Guest
#4
Princess does not give you an option to reduce the tip. Atleast that is what we understood once we were on the ship. They said you could increase the automatic tipping but not decrease it. Not sure if that was just a line or what. I have no problem tipping, but I was very dissapointed that they pool the money and give it to others that I have no contact with. I do not call that tipping. I call that a subsidizing an hourly wage. Tipping is for good service. Not for people that are simply doing their jobs that I have no contact with.
 
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Beryl

Guest
#5
Hi DoctorB! Princess might not give you the option to reduce the tip (I honestly don't know) but I do know that you can have the automatic tip removed from your account if you choose. You may then tip your wait staff personally. You should also know that if you do tip the staff personally they are obligated to turn that tip in and it will be pooled! (So if you loved your waiters but hated your room steward and tip only the waiters they would have to turn in the tip and your steward would still get a share!) If you leave the auto tip in place and tip your wait staff over and above the auto tip they get to keep what you hand directly to them! I personally find the auto tipping to be very convenient and feel that we have always had very good service. Sorry to hear that the service you received left something to be desired.
 
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Natalia

Guest
#6
Ahhh tipping.... this is just one of those "subjects". Princess does in fact allow you to remove the automatic tips from your shipboard account, it must be done onboard. All you needed to do was see the purser and make the request. Then you would be free to tip as you wish.
 
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ljeanbrown

Guest
#7
Again, if you were unhappy with the policy you could have had the tip amount removed from your account in FULL and that would have ended your concern.

Edited to fix a spelling error.



Post Edited (07-31-04 21:30)
 
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Nanni-B.

Guest
#8
Do you then still tip the Maitre D at the end of the cruise? On RCCL and Carnival we had automated tipping but then were expected to tip the Maitre D at the end of each cruise (both on the Conquest and Grandeur this was EASY to do, they were outstanding with their attention to detail, acttually is was the assist Maitre D on the Conqest)
 
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Cruise cutie

Guest
#9
While I have had a Maitre'D on all my cruises,they were so pleasant..but ancillary staff..their presence was in the back ground and did not do the main body of work so I did not feel compelled to tip him....they did not go beyond as all my other staff did..IMHO..should one do so I will gladly tip to one, Good ?..though Nanni so glad to address it..:thumb........happy research.:)...Joanne
 
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dfugazzotto

Guest
#10
Beryl,
You wrote, "If you leave the auto tip in place and tip your wait staff over and above the auto tip they get to keep what you hand directly to them!"

Thanks for answering my question...If you get excellent service, how do you ensure that the person who went above and beyond gets to keep their tip if it all gets split up and distributed among the staff? On our honeymoon cruise, we tipped our room steward and wait staff an additional amount to that which was automatically added to our final account.

I read in a review on another site another tipping idea...that of tipping in advance, with the added incentive of an additional stipend at the end of the cruise. Read about their tipping philosophy , and enjoy the rest of their excellent cruising website at the following URL: http://www.tomandmaryscruisereviews.com/CoralPrincess.htm
 
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bob barrows

Guest
#11
We just returned after 2 weeks on Golden Princess.

Our waiters were the best and tipped them extra, but they told us it would all be pooled, so what you hope THEY get does not go to them !
 
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DebAnne

Guest
#12
Talking about the pooled tips, I personally asked our cabin stewart that if I tipped him extra, would he be allowed to keep it or did he have to turn it in. He replied that anything extra, they got to keep. I'm not sure if it is the same for the dining room, but I would like to think it is.
 
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FranD

Guest
#13
"Not for people behind the scences that you don't even know if they are doing their job."

????? I think it would be very obvious to you if these employees were not doing their jobs! Just because we do not have personal contact with all of them, their contributions to our overall cruise experience is often taken for granted. (Servers in restaurants "tip out" the bartender, busboys, hostess etc. at the end of the evening It's a team thing) Cheers!
 
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DoctorB

Guest
#14
Give me a break, how do you know if these people are good at their jobs? Simply becuase you get your meal doesn't mean that Billy Bob in the back is doing their job, more over, doing it in a proficient manor that deserves an extra tip. Supervisors on the back lines should be determining their pay, people that actually know who is performing and who is not. Is it fair that someone on the back line who is barely getting by gets the same tip as someone on the back line who is awesome at their job. That is what automatic tipping has done. Simply show up for work and you get tipped.
 
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DebAnne

Guest
#15
I totally agree. I'm sure there are some behind the scenes that do not personally get an extra tip. But I believe on most cruises, the servers and cabin guys work there way up. Therefore, if they do get in their job, they will also get the same opportunity. I am just prone to tip more if there was not automatic tipping but I also know I have the choice to get the tips reduced and tip what I want.
 
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carolinarockman

Guest
#16
Lets assume you are paying $2500 for two people to cruise for 7 days. That is $357.14 per day. The charge of $10./day per person, works out to 5%-6% of the $357.14 per day cost. Not gouging by any standard.

The main reason most cruise lines went to the $10./day per person charge was because of all the cheap-skates out there that stiffed all ship's personnel.

I'll betcha that Dr.B never worked for tips!
 
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DoctorB

Guest
#17
You are correct, I never have worked for tips. And it is safe to asume that some of the behind the scene people don't work for their tips either. They just simply get a paid for doing there job. Instead of automatic tipping, they should call it like a service tax or something. It is crazy to call it tipping when it is simply a hand out. I bet Carolinarockman gives handouts to those people standing beside the road holding the signs that say" stranded-need money to get home!"

I can't figure out why some of you think that it is fair that if person A is busting their rear and person B is just gettting by, that person B should get the same tip as person A. It is almost like a Union shop but I am paying for the worthless people out of my own pocket and the good people are being penalized because that have to share it with the lazy people.

Talk about a handout....here if you barely do your job you can have a tip. CRAZY
 
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Sea-soned1

Guest
#18
We asked the purser, when we were aboard the Sun Princess last November, just where the tips go, and whether or not our wonderful steward and servers were able to keep them. We were told that the automatic tipping goes to cabin steward, waiter, asst. waiter, head waiter and maitred'. The steward, waiter and asst. waiter get most of it, with a tiny sum to the head dining room personnel. We were also told that anything we tipped above and beyond these automatic tips were the recipient's to keep. If, however, we removed the automatic tips, and tipped the personnel personally, up to the automatic tipping amount was required to be turned in for pooling.
I am of two minds about the tipping, on ships, and everywhere else. When our daughters were working their way through college, they worked as waitresses, and ALWAYS "tipped out" the hostesses, bus boys, and even cooks. They earned way below minimum wage in their pay check, and were expected to pay taxes on minimum wage, whatever they got. Some times, and some restaurants, they made a lot more than minimum wage, and sometimes, when working at coffee shops, they received less than minimum wage, while paying taxes on the minimum.
I suppose I think that employers should pay their employees a decent wage, but then, I wonder if some of the places we go now, would be too expensive for us, including cruises. A thorny problem, to be sure....................
 
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Solution

Guest
#19
DoctorB, you wrote: "Princess does not give you an option to reduce the tip. Atleast that is what we understood once we were on the ship. They said you could increase the automatic tipping but not decrease it. Not sure if that was just a line or what.".

We sailed the Caribbean Princess on Aug 21, and I had no problem adjusting the tips to 50% for my two youngster (this is not a reflection of the level of service, but just in line with most major cruise lines where kids stay as 3rd and 4th passengers pay half the tips). They do not question why.

I don't find the services to be substandard with the auto tipping. Everyone tried very hard to please all the passengers because you will need to fill out the comment card at the end of the cruise. Any rating less than Excellent ("above averge" according to Princess) will be reviewed. The service providers will be questioned. However, we do have to be realistic as they all have to serve many passengers. Don't let a slight delay in responding your request affect your impression with the cruise line.
 
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Cricket

Guest
#20
I agree with doctorB totally. I for one will not go on a cruise line that has a mandatory tip policy. My last cruise was just a week ago and I took the tip off and tipped the way I wanted, not the way the line wanted. Did they know that our room steward and busboy were outstanding in their service, but the waiter was not? We tipped them the way we felt they deserved period! Just a thought...When's the last time you tipped a waiter in a fancy restaurant and they in return split their tip amoung those who, cooked the food, prepared the food, bought the food, cleaned the dishes, put the food on the plates, cleaned the windows of the restaurant, washed the carpet etc? You think I sound like I am exaggerating? I think not. That is what the cruise line is asking us to do by mandatory tipping. They decide who gets what tip, not you. I am not at all surprised that this cruise director is asking us to give $40 more toward our tipping. The cruise line is NOT paying their workers enough, so we have to. The lines make big bucks not only with what we pay for the cruise but all that goes on while cruising. It is totally wrong that some people skip tipping altogether, but don't make me pay for their stupidity. Freedom of choice is what America is all about, and I feel it is my choice of who I want to tip and how much.