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Clarification on some of HAL's new policies

Discussion in 'Holland America Line' started by ShipMaven, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    This is what I've been able to learn so far...and I believe it may still be a "work in progress" and subject to revision.


    The staggered dining works as follows.

    5:45pm (main seating) and 8:00pm (second seating) - upper level throughout the fleet.

    6:15pm (main seating) and 8:30pm (second seating) - lower level throughout the fleet.

    At night (repeat, at night only), there will no longer be buffet service in the Lido. It will be tableside service with your own steward.



    The ambiguous "tipping not required" wording is being eliminated. [My own feelings - YIPPEEEE! Finally!]

    The standard 15% will automatically be added to bar tabs.

    Nothing will be added to spa/salon tabs. That's still cash only at your discretion.

    The other gratuities (cabin steward, table steward, etc.) will be added to your onboard folio as per standard guidelines. IF YOU DO NOT WANT THIS, SIMPLY ASK THE FRONT DESK TO REMOVE IT FROM YOUR ACCOUNT AND IT WILL BE REMOVED. You can then tip at your discretion as you have in the past. OR, if you wish to leave this charge on your folio, you have the option of increasing or decreasing the amount as you see fit.


    Hope this information helps.
  2. sage

    sage Guest

    Thanks ShipMaven for the additional information. It will be interesting to see what kind of changes are implemented first. We have sailed on lines where they add the fees for the room steward and wait staff, and it did allow you to carry less cash or traveler's checks.
  3. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    Sage - as far as I can tell, that's exactly what will happen regarding tipping. BUT, no one will be obliged to accept automatic billing, and no one will be obliged to abide by the suggested guidelines (whatever they'll be).

    I'll be very happy not to have to carry so much cash.
  4. CruisinTex

    CruisinTex Guest

    One of my favorite things (well, ok, my only favorite thing) the last night of each cruise is spending that last few minutes with each of our wonderful stewards and waiters, giving them envelopes with thank you notes and their tip, and one last hug from each one. <big sigh> At least I have some time to think about what to do.
  5. CruisinTex

    CruisinTex Guest

    whoa ---- what happened????? How'd that print get so big???? I promise I didn't do anything, but it's great - these old eyes can actually see the print.

    Cap'n, you playin' around with the board again?????
  6. hbogart

    hbogart Guest

    I assume you got this info from someone "in the know" or as a response to a query you sent to HAL. Although I am not jazzed about all of it, it does seem somewhat reasonable.

    Were you able to determine if the folio tips would be by specific person...that is your cabin steward, your waiter, your wine steward, your assistant waiter? Or will this be a pooled tip?

    I do like the fact of carrying less cash and the convenience of charging tips to the room, but I agree with Cruisintex too. I like that last chance to say thank you and have them know I was thinking of them. I would hate just saying goodbye and having them wonder if I tipped them until they see the tip come through from the folio...if it does come through without snafu...or having to say something on the order of "the tip is in the mail".
  7. sage

    sage Guest

    With the other cruise line that put the tip on your onboard folio, we were still permitted to present the room steward and the waitstaff with an envelope and told them that this was in addition to what was already on the account. At the time, we were allowed to remove charges, but we were not allowed to increase charges on the onboard folio. ShipMaven do you happen to know if we will be allowed to increase the amount of the tip to other than the suggested amounts through the onboard folio? We have found that we have always received service above and beyond the recommed amounts.
  8. bep_sf

    bep_sf Guest

    So any idea when will these take effect?
  9. sage

    sage Guest

    Sorry ShipMaven. I went back and read your post again, and you answered my question in your initial post. Please excuse me; I seem to be suffering from some kind of a brain cloud.
  10. Ship Maven...Where did you get the info that Tipping would automatically be added to your acciount..

    According to my Phone Calls with Ships Services 1-800-541-1576 on 11/13 , tips will not be automatically added...You will have the "OPTION" of adding them to your account..They will not be pooled & you can designate the person(s) you want to receive the Tips..

    Those of you who are interested, might like to read the interview that Stein Kruise, President of HAL gave "Cruise Critic" about the new changes..

    About Service he said: "We want to make sure there is no ambiguity" Tipping is still a personal choice but passengers will be able to charge tips to their folio account.

    I, for one like this change, especially for long trips..Unfortunately will not be implemented until the spring /summer on the "Amsterdam" ...On the Dec 01 sailing will have to carry the extra cash for our tips...

    Happy Cruising Everyone....
  11. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    Serendipity - my information is from HAL management today, AFTER some meetings there to fine-tune points that needed to be clarified in answer to questions generated by the Announcement.

    Yes, tips for cabin stewards, table stewards, etc ARE still optional but the procedure is to add them to your folio automatically. If you don't want that, you have the option to so inform the Front Desk and then they will not be added. If you wish to tip an amount that is more or less than the suggested (automatic) amount, you also have the option to so inform the Front Desk. The only tips that will not be optional will be the 'service charge' automatically added to your bar chits.

    The phrase "tipping not required" will be eliminated, again from overwhelming feedback from Mariners who were polled and from general comments from past guests.

    HAL hopes to have the changes implemented on all ships by the Alaska 2004 season.

    Post Edited (11-15-03 01:34)
  12. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    CT - you were just trying to get my undivided attention, right? :lol If you prefer disbursing tips individually, I repeat that you'll still have the option to inform the Front Desk not to add the tips to your portfolio and you can then hand them out the last night in the usual manner.

    HB - yes, you may be assured that, anytime I post critical information such as this, I will have contacted some higher-ups at HAL who are in the know and the information will be coming "straight from the horse's mouth". The worst thing is to allow rumors or mis-statements to grow through second-hand information. Let me please repeat that these innovations that HAL will be introducing are still being fine-tuned and revisions could still be made before implementation. Your question about whether tips can be designated for specific individuals or whether they'll be pooled is a good one that I can't answer yet. I asked the same thing, and they weren't sure. I am going to suggest to HAL that they consider the same system as Crystal - for those who wish to have tips added to their account, printed notes are given to the guest to hand to the individual stewards at the end of the cruise informing them that they will be receiving their gratuity that had been automatically added to the guest's account.

    Brian - it's my understanding that HAL is hoping to have the changes implemented by the start of the Alaska 2004 season. They will NOT be implemented overnight.

    Sage - these proposed innovations have generated lots of questions, so please don't feel badly if you've glossed over something.
  13. hbogart

    hbogart Guest

    Thanks so much for the great information...it does make me feel better about it. The automatic 15% bar part still bugs me a little because I don't always feel 15% is appropriate. When the ship makes bulk drinks like at Sail Away or Bloody Mary Special days, or even sitting at the bar as opposed to at a table and being served, I don't think tipping 15% is appropriate.

    But in any case, I hope HAL will certainly adopt some method of having those folio tips go to specific people. Just like in a restaurant, I expect the tip on my bill to go to that waiter, and I don't feel it is the restaurant's (HAL's) business how much or whom I tip. But I certainly applaud the effort by HAL to reduce tip skippers because someone did not understand the tipping not required verbiage.

    I have not traveled anyone other than HAL. On Crystal, does the printed slip for the tip have the actual amount tipped so the receiver has a "receipt" he can match to what the ship gives him from charged tips? I hate to be cynical, but it would stink if some lowlife folks would tell a service person they put a $XX tip on the folio for them, but in truth they tipped less (or nothing). I am not concerned about a cruise line's honesty in paying the tips...that would get really nasty if something like that were ever discovered. But errors do happen and unfortunately there are some folks even on HAL ships that just don't get it when it comes to tipping.

    I guess what I am saying is that it will be a great convenience to add specific tips of our choosing to specific people onto our folios and have a receipt or something to personally hand the person if we wanted.
  14. hbogart

    hbogart Guest

    I could not find the "interview" from HAL Pres on Cruise Critic. Can anyone give a link?
  15. lamayboy

    lamayboy Guest

    Ugghh, I wish nothing had changed, except that you might put them on your account IF you WISHED!!!! This is causing to much debate. Ruining HAL'S ambiance. D**M Carnival!
  16. balanceok

    balanceok Guest

    Interesting changes

    We haven't cruised HAL for a couple of years, but have done our recent cruises on RCI, Princess and Celebrity.

    We are booked on the Rotterdam (Jan 23) and Zaandam (Jun 19) so we'll get some first hand experience with these changes. We've enjoyed our two previous cruises on HAL, but we've also enjoyed RCI and Princess.

    I'm not too jazzed about the change in the Lido to dinner service rather than typical buffet in the evening. We enjoy eating in the dining room, but some nights we prefer the relaxation of a buffet.

    These next two cruises will probably determine whether we will be return customers or move over to RCI and Princess.
  17. Cruzman

    Cruzman Guest

    Count me as being not too happy about the changes in tipping policy. You can expect automatic tipping to result in a drop off in service based on my own experience on other lines that have implemented this policy.
  18. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    HB - sorry I couldn't get back to answer your question about Crystal sooner.

    There are several tipping options on Crystal - the traditional way (you hand the crew/staff your envelopes at the end of the cruise); you can request that tips be added to your onboard account - approximately 3 days before the end of the cruise, you'll be given envelopes for each crewmember covered, and they'll show the amount of the gratuity; gratuities can be prepaid as a gift by the travel agent or a friend, and again, envelopes for each crew/staff covered will be given to you to hand to that person, showing the amount of the tip.
  19. The cruise line is "tweaking" its "tipping optional" policy (which has been a long time source of confusion). "We want to make sure there is no ambiguity," Kruse says. Tipping is still a personal choice but passengers will be able to charge tips to their folio account.

    By this statement from Mr. Kruse it looks to me that all they are doing is letting YOU charge the tips to your Account, not that they are doing it.

    Except your bar tab will have the tip already added.


    Post Edited (11-19-03 10:46)
  20. GayleA

    GayleA Guest

    Does anyone know how the new dining times will affect the Captain's Welcome Aboard
    Party? It seems to me it will have to start earlier.

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