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Discussion in 'Holland America Line' started by LUV2Cruz2, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. LUV2Cruz2

    LUV2Cruz2 Guest

    Having never been to the HAL message board before I was reading some posts that confused the heck out of me. One of them was about tipping on HAL and it now having a "no tipping policy". After further research I found out that HAL, like most other lines now is simply having the tips prepaid. Here is what I found out:
    "Exceptional service is part of the Holland America cruise experience. Because you are our guest, it is our goal to make sure you receive the finest service possible. And we have made it easy for you to reward excellent service onboard.

    A gratuity of $10 per guest per day for dining and stateroom services will be automatically added to your shipboard account on a daily basis. We are confident that you will find the service onboard exemplary and, should you wish to make adjustments, you may do so at the end of the cruise by contacting the front desk. A 15% service charge will be automatically added to your bar charges and dining room wine account."

    The new gratuity policy will be effective with the following sailings:

    Amsterdam: May 9, 2004
    Maasdam: May, 9, 2004
    Noordam: April 29, 2004
    Oosterdam: May 15, 2004
    Prinsendam: May 7, 2004
    Rotterdam: May 5, 2004
    Ryndam: May 7, 2004
    Statendam: May 9, 2004
    Veendam: May 16, 2004
    Volendam: May 5, 2004
    Westerdam: April 25, 2004
    Zaandam: May 12, 2004
    Zuiderdam: May 1, 2004

    The change in policy brings Holland America in line with the tipping policies of several other lines, including its biggest direct competitors, Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises. (Princess adds an identical $10 per guest per day automatically, while Celebrity recommends $10.25 per guest per day and provides envelopes for delivery to the staff.)

    I was further confused about the suite amenities being curtailed. I called HAL's reservations and spoke to a representative and she told me to not pay too much attention to what is said on message boards and that there are no suite amenities that have been cut and there are no plans to do so.

    I don't know if she's more confused than I but I thought I would pass this along.
  2. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    Holland America never had a "no tipping" policy and no such policy exists nowadays. They used to have a "no tipping required" policy but now have gone to a policy practiced among a number of cruise lines of adding a certain amount ($10.00 per person per day) to your shipboard account. You may leave that as is, increase or decrease the amount, or request that it be removed entirely from your account.
  3. LUV2Cruz2

    LUV2Cruz2 Guest

    Thanks SM, I was reading some posts that left the impression that HAL had a "no tipping" policy, which I found very strange to say the least. I have since found out that they changed their tipping procedure, as you said. I like the prepaid tipping and found out on another cruise from my waiter that even though the tips are "pooled", the staff does get a list of their table numbers and cabin numbers and the tips are there for them to see who gives what. I've never tipped what the suggested gratuity states anyway. I have ALWAYS had such good service that everyone got more than suggested.

    I imagine that HAL along with other cruise lines found that many people these days are a little cheap when it comes to tipping. On my last cruise one of my table mates at open seating lunch said it was because at the end of the cruise people have spent their money! I politely told her that tips, like sales tax or other service charges should be considered when planning the cruise. It amuses me how someone will say they bought something and it only cost $100, but for some reason must think that the sales tax must not be coming out of their pocket so they don't include it in the price!
  4. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    I'll avoid voicing my opinion of those who stiff the crew who've given them excellent service....
  5. JOHN(NJ)

    JOHN(NJ) Guest

    They wouldn't care if you did Mary Ann. Some people just don't have a conscience. What goes around comes around.
  6. ljeanbrown

    ljeanbrown Guest

    Shipmaven explained it well, there has never been a no tipping policy, just people who didn't want to tip.
  7. Nataliy

    Nataliy Guest

    I just came back from my 7 days Eastern Caribbean Cruise with HAL ( June 5th-12th), and let me tell you that it was GREAT!!! SUPER.

    The tipping policy .... Hm....... DON"T WORRY!
    Every cruise line now tell you to pay " $ 10.00" pp for gratitudes.

    Since it was four of us, I have signed the statement at the front office that I will pay only $so much for the gratitudes at the end of the cruise and that was it. NO one will grab you by the hand and make you pay more or anything at all. IT is all up to you.
    I have paid $ 100.00 to the office, and this all I could pay.

    Also, I was told from the front office that I could not pay the waiter and the cabin steward directly. So, think about it : all the tips are going to the administration anyway.
    I am sure, theier service people will get some %, but how much exsactly not for us to find out.

    Overall. it was very enjoyable trip. Best wishes.
  8. JOHN(NJ)

    JOHN(NJ) Guest

    A very economical solution to the tipping dilema.
  9. Orcrone

    Orcrone Guest

    John, very tactfully stated.

    Great solution. I know when I go to a restaurant I just tell the server at the end, "Sorry I can only pay a 4% tip. And the restaurant manager never pulls me aside and scolds me. (Of course I try to avoid getting the same server the next time I go to the restaurant.)
  10. LUV2Cruz2

    LUV2Cruz2 Guest

    I think it's very important to budget for the gratuities when you're budgeting to plan for the cruise BEFORE you sail. Tipping is a part of cruising like sales taxes are a part of purchasing goods.
  11. iluvcruzin

    iluvcruzin Guest

    I'm all for tipping for services. I also think the suggested amount is fine. The thing that I don't agree with is how HAL is handling the new policy. Given what I've read on the subject from the Captain letters passed out to those who dropped the automatic tips, it sure doesn't seem right to me. To say the tips go to people cooking the food, mopping the floor, cleaning the pool etc.. That just doesn't make sense to me. So.. they want to do automatic tipping - that's great! Especially for convience. And to be like other cruiselines is fine - but then do like them and stick to the basic group who make our cruise more pleasurable (waiter, room steward, assistant waiter etc..) and let us tip our room service accordingly. Once they defined it goes to everyone who works on the ship.. that means it's part of the fare and they should treat it as such.
  12. Nataliy

    Nataliy Guest

    I like the sound of the "economical " word. If I am SURE, many of the others will agree with me. It is ok to pay the full %10 for the grattitudes when you are alone or you are travelling with one partner. Ask the family of 5-7 people, do they give an additional $500.00 for the tips.? I doubt they are.
    And to comment ont he "restaurant tipping" . Holland Ameirca stated clearly ( just to mention one more time): "our employees get paid well , so tipping is not required on our cruise lines..." Again, it is up to you how do you want to tip % 10 or %4 .
    I have seen that some people did COMPLAIN about the bad service just to get out and don't pay the grattitudes. I desagree with this. This is low, too low.
    But, everyone should pay accordingly to their budget and their personal atitudes in regards to the services.
    I agree that tipping is important, but, yet, I wish I could pay directly to the person, instead of front office- this way I will know that this $ amnt will go directly to people that took care of me not other "cleaners or other personel, so do say..." and again, the cruise prices are not exsactly cheap ( especially on HAL) and I am sure the grattitudes are generously included in that payment.
    Tactically or not , this was the truth.
  13. LUV2Cruz2

    LUV2Cruz2 Guest

    Where did HAL say :"our employees get paid well , so tipping is not required on our cruise lines."???

    I thought they've suggested that tipping is not REQUIRED, then again it's not REQUIRED on ANY cruise line. Apparently people have gotten the idea that HAL's policy is NOT to tip and that's not how I've understood it at all.

    I suppose since so many people took their statement literally and enough people did NOT tip so that they found it necessary to help everyone out and do it for them...still they are not REQUIRED to tip and you can still NOT tip. I think that's pretty cheap and not very classy in the world of cruising.

    Back in the days before the "happy holiday fun drunk cruises" cruising was one of the classiest ways to travel and there were classes and the classes did not mix. The people who couldn't afford to tip or enjoy the upper deck service were relegated to steerage. I think some cruise lines are quietly and subtley going back to this by giving the people in the higher class accomodations different colored sailing ID cards. I noticed this on Celebrity and Costa and I can tell you for a fact that when 2 people are sitting at a bar and holding their cards out to get served, the one with the "different" card gets served first.

    Some people think that the people in those staterooms think they're better than the others..that's not the case, they just paid more and expect to get the service they paid for.

    As far as people travelling with 5-7 people, those 5 to 7 people require more from the one steward than 2 people do. I've gone past staterooms where a family thinks that just because they have a steward that it's ok to leave the cabin a total mess and expect the steward to clean up after them, fold their clothing and be their private maids. People who do that SHOULD tip them for each member travelling in that cabin.

    I've also seen passengers talking down to the stewards and ordering them around as though they were slave masters on a plantation or something. I've seen passengers wave $5 bills in front of a steward and expect him to "jump" for it.

    Passengers who have experience in cruising or travelling anywhere whether it's in the Penthouse or the lowest deck on the ship don't do this. I've gotten to the point where I think some passengers go cruising just to have someone to order around and think that that's the way the "upper class" cruisers "treat the help". This is totally not true..and the staff know this.

    I was brought up to treat people the way I'd like to be treated...with respect and to pay them for services rendered.

    Sorry about the soapbox...I just think there are too many gauche people on cruise ships these days. There are cruise lines who attract people such as they, but I don't think HAL is one of them.
  14. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    LUV2CRUZ.....I can absolutely assure you that HAL does NOT....please do NOT Misunderstand.....HAL DOES NOT have a different card for people in "S" Suites or in the "PS" Suite. If you were to look at those cards and look at the card belonging to the person in the lowest Inside Cabin....you would find the cruise card is identical in appearance.

    I KNOW for a FACT that Celebrity DOES do that. When we were in the Royal Suite our cruise card was a different color. It was gold when the others were white.

    As to the question Natiliy posed as to Do People actually tip $500 and over. The answer to that question is YES, They Do. Alot of folks I know compute what their vacation will cost before they make the committment to book the cruise. In that amount, they figure a minimum tip for the crew that serves them well. For two persons to tip a total of $100 for a seven day cruise is entirely your right to do. Unless the service were horrid, I would call that extremely Economical. Minimum would be calculated as $10 per person, per day. That is a total of $140 for the minimum. I would save up a little longer in order to have sufficient funds to pay all obligations and pleasures of my vacation. It is just my personal preference, but I would not wish to be so economical to the crew who work so hard to make our cruise so great.
  15. Nataliy

    Nataliy Guest

    As I have said, it is totaly up to you what you feel is right .
    Everyone has an opinion. And, yes, I have seen people that left without paying a tip because of the " so horrible service." And , I am positive, these kind of people were in the upper veranda deck with jaccuzi in their bathroom. So, classes are different too. It is not about what cabin you have, but who are you inside. ...
    If all of you would agree and so much inderstand the tipping policy on the first place, why did you called this posting " CONFUSED"?? Nothing to be confused about, right?
    Pay your 10 % and that's it.
    Also, you are right, there are about 850 crew members on the ship that provide the basic servic for us, so, if you feel that it is so DEADLY important to you to admire them, you can tip them too. It is your classy decision.
    I was trying to help out the "confused " person, hope, this happened.Good luck with further arguments. I have better things to do.
  16. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    Sail - during our recent Volendam cruise, new cards were issued to those of us in the suites and the penthouse - in fact, I covered it in my review. Suite guests now have gold cards while all other guests have the traditional blue cards. I can't say whether or not it's fleet-wide or not. Its purpose was to eliminate the need for tender passes. I did not find any deferential service due to the color of the card - ALL service was excellent.
  17. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    Interesting, Mary Ann. They did NOT have those on Rotterdam in March and we have never had a different card on any HAL ship in the past.

    Either it is a "trial" on Volendam or a newly instituted "experiment". I shall be interested to see what color card we have on Maasdam next month.

    I'm not sure what my opinion is about a different color card. I remember not thinking it was a very good idea when we were on Celebrity and they did that. It made me a little uncomfortable.
  18. my3kids

    my3kids Guest

    Natalie: Family of 5 here. Yep, we not only paid what was suggested, we paid more. I figured it as part of the trip, same as paying for parking at the port, or a hotel the night before.
  19. my3kids

    my3kids Guest

    I just thought about that $100 tip for a week for 4 people. Even if that was divided among only the main server and the room steward, you would have tipped your waiter $1.78 a day. Three meals a day.....you gave him .59 for a dinner. That was figuring with it divided among 2 poeple......add in the assistant dining server, and it goes down even more. Would you really leave 59 cents on a dinner check at ANY restaurant?
  20. Orcrone

    Orcrone Guest

    Bottom line, some people are cheap (oops, economical) and will justify it anyway. When we sailed with a family of four (two seperate rooms) we left more than the required tip of $280 for 7 days. If you can't afford to leave an appropriate tip (at least the minimum) then find another vacation or save up longer. If I want to drive a Porsche I'm not going to purchase one and then forget about the insurance because it's a little tight for me. I'll just buy a less expensive (OK, much less expensive) car.

    You won't be forced to pay more, but it is ridiculous to suggest that you can justify it by saying "this is all I can pay". The cruise line won't allow you a discount on your cruise because this is all you can pay. They won't lower the price of shore excursions or drinks because this is all you can pay. But for some reason it is considered OK to stiff people that have worked hard for you for a week because you can't afford more.

    I guess this comes down to the entitlement mentality. I want my vacation. It's not my responsibility to make sure I can pay for it.


    s7s - You stated $100.00 for two people, it was $100.00 for four people.

    Post Edited (06-17-04 10:36)

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