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Oh I hate to bring up the New Tipping Policy, but...

Discussion in 'Holland America Line' started by bogie, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. bogie

    bogie Guest

    As most of you are aware, HAL now adds $10.00 per person per day to your onboard account for tips. You are certainly allowed to remove or alter this amount. At the Disembarkation talk, the CD spent a LOT of time explaining the policy and how much each part of the crew gets. He made it clear that if you leave this on your account, that any additional cash you may tip the crew is theirs to keep. However he also said that if you remove the automatic tip from your account, then any monies you give the crew must be turned in to go to the pool in which they all share.

    We left ours on the account and tipped a little extra to our wonderful crew. The problem is that the crew does not know if you have left your auto tip on the account or not. So if you just hand them an extra $10/$20 or so, they looked a little disappointed to us. We had to explain to them that we had indeed left our auto tip on the account and that this was their money to keep.

    Rather than the typical overly gracious thank you and hugs, we got a thank you, but in addition we got comments like, “Oh, I will have to turn this inâ€Â, or ‘we have to report this†and not the usual big smile. We felt a little bad because we weren’t sure they understood (or I was afraid that what we were told at the disembarkation talk was not exactly correct). I asked an officer about it, but he assured me the crew understood. I just did not get the same feel from the crew. Their service and attention was every bit as good, or better on this cruise. I do not feel that the new policy has impacted service either way. It was just that feeling that they were unsure about their tip at the end of the cruise that was a little strange making us feel a little odd because we wanted them to really understand how much we appreciated them.

    Has anyone else experienced this?
  2. Sara19

    Sara19 Guest

    I'm sorry but now I am confused.. If you tip extra cash to a crew member who gave you exceptional service, they have to share it in a pool with all the others?? It doesn't seem fair since they are already taking the tip from automatic tip thing.. This will be our first time on HAL so I am not familiar at all with these procedures!
  3. elmorejj

    elmorejj Guest

    If you leave the auto tips in place on your bill, anything over and above that you give to the crew is theirs to keep
  4. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    That is correct.

    If you leave the automatic tip on your account, anything over and above that you give to any crew person, they can keep it and do not have to put it into the pool.

    They know who has removed the automatic tip from their account. Therefore, they know which tips must be pooled and which they can keep.
  5. bogie

    bogie Guest

    Thanks, that was my understanding. Do the dining room waiters know as well? Ours specifically said that he would have to report the extra I gave him. That kind of concerned me. I wanted to make sure he understood the extra I gave him was EXTRA and was his to keep. He seemed confused. Was I just reading him incorrectly?

  6. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest


    The dining stewards know if someone has removed the automatic tipping from their account.
  7. Sara19

    Sara19 Guest

    Ahhh.. It all makes sense now, Thanks!!
  8. I think Celebrity has the right way in that if you leave your tips on your account,they give you the vouchers to give to the staff and then when you add the extra in the envelope it is very clear. You could avoid any embarrasment on HAL by :

    1) placing your extra tip in an envelope and
    2) writing a short thank you note ,adding that this is "extra" for their truly wonderful service.

    I can't imagine just handing someone a cash tip without an envelope. HAL has penty of envelopes at the front desk .
  9. bogie

    bogie Guest

    The tips were handed out in an envelope with a thank you note explaining that I had left the auto tip oin the account and that this was extra, but the crew still said they would need to report whatever was given them. That is why I was concerned.
  10. Avsgal

    Avsgal Guest

    You know, we had the same experience on our last cruise. Gave our first "extra" tip with a thank you note and received the same type of "disappointed" response. We immediately went and added a line to the rest of our thank you notes that we had left the tip in place and this was extra, but since they don't read the note when you hand it to them (or they don't understand/hear correctly when you tell them) not one of the wonderful crew seemed the least bit excited about the tip. We really felt bad and have been pondering what to do on our next cruise.
  11. viet630

    viet630 Guest

    I have been on 3 Celebrity crusises in the last 20 months and have never heard of automatic tipping on thier shipsI I will be going again in a few weeks and this is one of the reasons that we go with Celebrity because of the traditional tipping policy. I much prefer it and will stay away from those with the automatic policy. We have been on HAL before and after the change in tipping policy,and there was no comparison in sevice. Now this situation throws another wrench into the works. NO THANK YOU !!!!!
  12. Lady Jag

    Lady Jag Guest

    Maybe this is why we got strange looks when we tipped cash in envelopes on the last night? We left our tips on our account and tipped additional cash. Excellent service is important to us and we don't mind tipping when it's deserved (and it was!).

    But, I have never, ever seen so FEW people tipping extra at the end of the cruise as on our first HAL experience last week! We watched diligently and did not see one other person pass an envelope to the crew in any area of the ship. On our Coral cruise last Spring Break, the white envelopes were so plentiful, it was like a massive envelope exchange on the last night, despite the tips being added to the accounts. Why is this?

    Also, the tip envelopes weren't readily available like they are with other cruise lines. We had to ask the Pursers' Desk girls for tip envelopes. They were kept behind the counter and we had to specify how many more we wanted. When we asked for 5, they looked a bit surprised.

    I agree with Mortgage Chick. We should get vouchers to give to the crew so they know we left the auto tips on. How do they know who removed their tips late the night before? :? :? :? :? :? :? :?
  13. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest


    We have always gone to the front office to obtain as many tip envelopes as we have wanted....which is usually a minimum of 15. (We tip the bar stewards, deck boys, concierges, stewards, Maitre d's etc)
    Never had a bit of a difficulty in getting as many as we wanted as easy as could be.

    Just because you did not see people tipping the stewards in the dining room does not mean it didn't happen. There are many folks like us who will shake a stewards hand and will slide him an envelope. We may have given it to him the next to last night. I was sick the last night of our last cruise. My DH went to the dining room to specifically give the stewards an envelope and say goodbye and thank you. If YOU had noticed our table empty, would you have assumed we were stiffing the steward? You would have no way of knowing I was too ill to come to the dining room. YOU would not have seen my husband discretely seek out our stewards with his thanks.
  14. Lady Jag

    Lady Jag Guest

    No, why in the world would I assume anything like that? The cash tips in envelopes are additional gratuities. There were only about 50% of the tables filled with passengers on our last night of sailing. The tips are automatically added to the passengers' accounts, so why in the world would I assume they were all "stiffing the waiters" just because they weren't there?

    Believe me, there were not envelopes readily available for additional tips, nor did we see anyone discretly sliding envelopes to their waiters as we did. Our cabin steward even told us "hardly anyone ever leaves a tip envelope" for him, and he was excellent. When giving our bags to the stevedore, no one gave her a tip, and I mean no one, in a 10 min. period of lots and lots of bags being dropped off. =dunno It was really weird. The additional tips were certainly deserved.
  15. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    You know what you saw and I wasn't there.

    But, I have been there over 45 times with HAL and never saw person after person stiffing the stevedores. I'm sure there a few here and there. Most people have more sense than to do that.......if they want to see their bags again. :)

    It's hard for another person to know what others are doing. If one is discrete, there is no flash, dash and show about it. We've cruised out of Zuiderdam's terminal and all the terminals HAL uses many times. Most people tip the stevedores most of the time, has been my observations the times I was there.

    As to the dining room, I would suspect that most people looking around the dining room and seeing our empty table assumed we did not tip additional because we were not there. They were wrong. It's hard to know for sure how many tables they were wrong about.
  16. Lady Jag

    Lady Jag Guest

    Well, you know better of course. I can only report on what we saw & experienced. We were there, we know what we saw. HAL certainly isn't the best cruise line around, yes, they do a good job, but they are very similar to all the other cruise lines we've tried. JMHO.
  17. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    You are very correct. HAL is not the Best cruiseline that exists in the world. They don't pretend to be. They also do not charge what the 'supposed best' cruiselines do.
  18. viet630

    viet630 Guest

    I will say this! For just a little more money you can sail Celebrity Cruise lines. And I am here to tell you it is well worth the difference.Try them and you will see. We have tried all the majors at least 1 time and HAL 3 TIMES. Hal has gotten worse over the last few years.I think that they do still consider themselves a premium cruise line. JMHO.
  19. Lady Jag

    Lady Jag Guest

    Celebrity is on our list of "Cruise Lines to Do". Thanks for the feedback on them. :thumb
  20. viet630

    viet630 Guest

    trust me you will not regret the Celebrity choice. I think that they are the very best out there right now. And I think that the incredible service stems from the fact that they still have traditional tipping. That was the beging of the end for HAL when they did away with that. The service on the Century is second to none, and everyone from the plumber , to the captain and all in between seem to really enjoy thier job.Try it and you will be convinced.

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