Gratuities to be added to sea pass account daily.

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Coventry UK
321 Posts
Joined May 2004
Originally posted by peteukmcr
Wow, what a change in tone since the US email went out. Yesterday when people from Europe and the UK reported getting notification of this increase and change of process, the tone on this thread was downright antagonistic towards Brits because apparently we don't tip! But we do!

Now, when the US email has gone out, what a change. Just saying. Don't like it now do you when it's mandatory? But it was ok before when you could tip what you liked, always above the recommended amount wasn't it? I think I read that on nearly every post, but now, mmmm

As I said before, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
I have read this thread from start to finish and i could not agree more.
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Sacramento, California
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Joined Jul 2010
And so I guess this is a new trend to expect.

You had mentioned that the "already earned gratuity" made a difference on your PCL cruise... But you didn't specify if it was a good or bad difference. Point well taken, but can you elaborate if it was a plus or minus difference, in your opinion of course. Thanks.
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Romsey England
11,504 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
What RCI have "forgotten" to tell you in that e-mail is that you can go to reception on the ship and have that charge on your on-board account adjusted or removed.
Just the same as Princess & the others.
That is the certainly the situation for those who book from the UK & presumably elsewhere in the EU, because the way cruises are currently advertised would breach consumer protection laws if those "gratuities" were mandatory - and RCI know it.
And let's face it, there's no such thing as "mandatory gratuities", the two words are opposites.

I'm certainly not suggesting that the grats should be removed/adjusted - unless service is pretty poor then doing so is for freeloaders.
BTW, isn't the increase for a 7-day cruise only about an extra $20 ?
And only someone who doesn't currently tip would be paying an extra $170 to $200 ?

Quit ripping us off. Put your prices up front and pay your staff. We'll decide how much to tip service staff.
I'll agree with you there, and so do the vast majority of Brits.
Pay your crew properly & include those wages in the fares, so that the true cost of the cruise is transparent - and leave us to decide what to "gratuitously" give on top as a "tip".
BTW the attitude amongst Brits is that we don't "tip" twice. So using "tips" as basic wages means that after paying the auto-tip very very few put their hands in their pockets to give extra.
The attitudes of US cruisers on CC are rather more mixed, I'm guessing because the lousy pay & reliance on tips is ingrained in similar inland US service industries.
And because including crew wages in the ticket prices is going to make those headline prices look less attractive - though Brit cruise lines, competing with US & Italian lines, do just that.

Just MHO

JB
England
1,940 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by peteukmcr
Wow, what a change in tone since the US email went out. Yesterday when people from Europe and the UK reported getting notification of this increase and change of process, the tone on this thread was downright antagonistic towards Brits because apparently we don't tip! But we do!

Now, when the US email has gone out, what a change. Just saying. Don't like it now do you when it's mandatory? But it was ok before when you could tip what you liked, always above the recommended amount wasn't it? I think I read that on nearly every post, but now, mmmm

As I said before, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
LOL; well said Pete.

Still at least in this case everyone, including our North American friends, is being treated equally - unlike with many other matters under the RCCL umbrella.
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uk
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Originally posted by Mark_K
There are already a lot of differences in terms and conditions between booking in the US and the UK. Some to your benefit some to ours. They can certainly add one more if they choose.
Would love to know what benefits ours are ? Please do tell.
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England
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In case anyones interested the other thread with a poll is showing at least 2:1 in favour of the change!!
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La La Land .
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Originally posted by Gilpet
Firstly, where on earth does this rubbish about Brits not tipping come from? My husband and I always pre-pay our gratuities and have never done MTD so it's purely voluntary in addition we also give extra when we feel it's deserved NB the only time we haven't given extra in all the cruises we have done was to the stateroom attendent in a Grand Suite!! We are far from unusual in this so lets stop hearing the same old story.

Secondly,Is this compulsory? if so then it is not a gratuity it is a service charge and should be quoted up front.

Gill
I couldn't agree more , an observation we made on our cruise from southampton which was majority British passengers was that our last evening in the MDR all the tables were full , no stiffing there , unlike Other cruises we have done when on the last evening several tables around us were empty , that in itself speaks volumes

Originally posted by peteukmcr
Wow, what a change in tone since the US email went out. Yesterday when people from Europe and the UK reported getting notification of this increase and change of process, the tone on this thread was downright antagonistic towards Brits because apparently we don't tip! But we do!

Now, when the US email has gone out, what a change. Just saying. Don't like it now do you when it's mandatory? But it was ok before when you could tip what you liked, always above the recommended amount wasn't it? I think I read that on nearly every post, but now, mmmm

As I said before, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
Yes Pete , attitudes soon change when the tables are turned and these attitudes are people who claim they are great tippers , obviously they now feel they are getting ripped off , why I don't know when they were so eager to part with their money before
Linda .
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Originally posted by peteukmcr
Wow, what a change in tone since the US email went out. Yesterday when people from Europe and the UK reported getting notification of this increase and change of process, the tone on this thread was downright antagonistic towards Brits because apparently we don't tip! But we do!

Now, when the US email has gone out, what a change. Just saying. Don't like it now do you when it's mandatory? But it was ok before when you could tip what you liked, always above the recommended amount wasn't it? I think I read that on nearly every post, but now, mmmm

As I said before, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
Well said Pete we need some Peteukmcr fan club T-shirts a to wear onboard..

I accept the tipping because there is no where else you can get a consistent level of GREAT service.
I do mind being told how much to tip and told its being added automatically.

IMO If the country who made tipping part of peoples wages paid the staff a decent wage then this would not be up for discussion.

United States
3 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
I am from the US and my friend just received the email yesterday although I did not. We are cruising August 2013 on Allure. Personally, I find this new policy offensive. I always tip generously and take care of our stateroom attendant, waiters etc. and such. I do not mind tipping, however, I do mind being told what to do and having it done for me.
Most importantly, traveling is expensive enough as it is and I budget myself strictly. I will pay cash like I always do. I do not abuse my sea pass account by racking up charges and will not this year with an extra few hundred dollars in tips!
How do you like them apples RCCL?
Australia
699 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Wow - what an interesting discussion! I don't mind the new policy but then, in Australia, we are used to having service charges included and we have a decent minimum wage for all occupations.

We have always prepaid gratuities on RCI anyway as it (almost) banishes the embarrassment of having to work out what to tip when we are not used to it.
(The 'almost' relates to having to hand an envelope to someone whom I know is not getting a reasonable wage without tips.) I guess this means we don't hand out envelopes anymore unless there is someone who has done something very special for us.


Just to explain how unusual it seems to us to tip - every time I visit the US (about 1-2 times per year) upon landing, I have to hurriedly google what to tip the cab driver or the shuttle driver in that particular city, the drinks waiter in the airport lounge, how much to tip per bag, whether and how much to tip someone in other roles etc because it just does not come naturally in our culture. It actually does make me anxious (and usually this is when I am jet lagged after at least a 15 hour flight). I know - I should look it up before I leave.....

I have almost always received good service in the US but once years ago, I got very surly, rude service in a New York hotel and I thought it must have been because the person heard my Australian accent and assumed (incorrectly) I wouldn't tip. Guess what - that was a self fulfilling and self reinforcing action on their part.
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redditch uk
1,140 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Everyone calm down if you still want to pay the old fashioned way good service good tip you can




Onboard Gratuities

How can I pay tips?For the convenience of guests, pre-paid tips may be arranged online or added to your booking by your travel agent or Personal Cruise Specialist, before your sailing date. If you have opted not to pre-pay your Service Charge before your cruise, then for all sailings that commence after 1st March 2013, for your convenience we will automatically add a $12.00 per guest per day* service charge to each guest's SeaPass account on a daily basis. * For Grand Suites and above the daily charge will be $14.25c. Alternatively, you may pay in cash at the end of your cruise directly to the crew members you wish to recognise for their service (If you require an envelope for the crew member concerned, please see the Guest Relations Desk).
Please note, we no longer provide the pre-paid gratuity vouchers at the end of the cruise.

Please note gratuities are discretionary so in the unlikely event that a guest on board being charged the daily automatic gratuity does not receive satisfactory service, our guests may request to modify (increase, decrease or remove) the daily amount by visiting Guest Services during their cruise.
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189 NIGHTS AT SEA D+
Sydney, Australia
13,901 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by VK3DQ

PS I think the answer to all this is to increase the cost of the cruise by the "tip" amount and call the cruise inclusive be honest about the true cost.
For sure. The only thing is that that will increase the cost by more than the current fare + tips arrangement.

It's like many things. You can add regulation and rules around, but someone has to pay and obviously that's the consumer.
107,631 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
HAL call this a "Hotel Service Charge".

If RCI has raised there charges (tips or whatever you want to call it), you can bet that the other cruise lines will follow.

On HAL if you sign the form to remove all or part of the Hotel Service Charge, any cash tips you give to anyone at the end of the cruise must be turned in. A list is made of those people who sign the forms, the list is given to the supervisors who in turn inform the workers under them who has signed this form. If a crew member does keep a tip that he shouldn't from someone on that list, he/she can be fired. How honest are the crew -- I can't answer that.
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Redditch,England
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The moral of this story is to read the ENGLISH small print first ,before getting on your moral high horse [oh my god i mentioned HORSE we cant get away from this subject in the UK..]
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I guess my issue with this is when traveling with your family. Why should I have to tip full price for my child that I am cleaning up after? We travel with a large group. My cousins 3 kids are under 6. Does that mean that she now has to pay an additional $12/day for each of her kids? That's an additional $252 when she used to budget for half of that because they were small children. Part of me is angry at being forced to do something I already do and part of me thinks I should just suck it up!
I still want to pay in cash.
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Cake Queen 1195
South Florida
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Originally posted by VK3DQ
PS I think the answer to all this is to increase the cost of the cruise by the "tip" amount and call the cruise inclusive be honest about the true cost.



If you increase the cost of the cruise you will then be taxed on the Tipping portion.
I don't understand the big deal. You go to a restaurant with the expectation of having to pay a percentage to the Staff that serves you. You should have that same expectation when going on a cruise, if someone does not then I guess that is why they needed to make it mandatory..
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Originally posted by Cake Queen 1195
I guess my issue with this is when traveling with your family. Why should I have to tip full price for my child that I am cleaning up after? We travel with a large group. My cousins 3 kids are under 6. Does that mean that she now has to pay an additional $12/day for each of her kids? That's an additional $252 when she used to budget for half of that because they were small children. Part of me is angry at being forced to do something I already do and part of me thinks I should just suck it up!
I still want to pay in cash.
Yes, it has to be paid for everyone in the cabin. And like everyone has said if you pay in cash the crew has to turn it in so what's the difference?
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North Carolina Coast!, USA
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Guess the person who posted this has never been on NCL, Princess, Carnival, Costa, etc. All those ships have had this fee for many years. In the old days (we started cruising in 1984) people wouldn't tip at all. They would hand empty envelopes to their waiter, bus boy and steward.
Do you know how much they are paid? A waiter once told us he got $75 A MONTH! If the ships pay them more and take away tips then the price of cruising would go WAY up!
Once we cancelled all tips (couldn't only cancel one person's tip) but every night gave our fantastic waitress $5 and her assistant $3. Then a thank you tip at the end. Our steward got nothing which is what she deserved. We also tip extra for very good service.
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Honestly, I wish they would just include it as part of the cruise fee. Or, they should call it a service charge, not gratuities. However, you can ask to adjust the gratuities if you feel the service wasn't up to par.
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