Removing auto gratuities


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#21
Hampshire, England
1,576 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by Host Hattie
Some boards do create a single tipping thread, I don't really see the need here as we don't have them very often, but if others think it's a good idea I can create a general tipping thread.

I generally don't see much animosity and/or downright nastiness on this board. Please use the report button if necessary.
Good morning Hostess.

Likewise, I haven't noticed too much animosity either despite of course 'tipping' being a highly emotive subject.

I think what does get one's goat up is when a question is asked regarding tips and it's blatantly obvious the OP - whoever they may be - is dead set on not paying BEFORE they even join a ship: irrespective of the service they receive and the perceived tradition.
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#22
Bristol, UK
1,320 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
I can never understand anyone who spends well over £100 per day skimping on $11 per day tip. Spoiling the ship for a h'apeth of tar.
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#23
Vale of Glamorgan
3,642 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by Solent Richard
Good morning Hostess.
On Cruise Critic we are Hosts irrespective of gender.

Thank you
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#24
NYC
3,800 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by Solent Richard
Good morning Hostess.

Likewise, I haven't noticed too much animosity either despite of course 'tipping' being a highly emotive subject.

I think what does get one's goat up is when a question is asked regarding tips and it's blatantly obvious the OP - whoever they may be - is dead set on not paying BEFORE they even join a ship: irrespective of the service they receive and the perceived tradition.
Some first-timers - unaware of how the ship board gratuity system works - may believe that they are doing their steward and waiters a favor by tipping them directly. However what really gets me are those who know full well how the system works become experts on Webster's dictionary and parse the meaning of "gratuity", "tip", and "discretionary" to justify removing them.
#25
berkshire
1,163 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by BlueRiband
Some first-timers - unaware of how the ship board gratuity system works - may believe that they are doing their steward and waiters a favor by tipping them directly. However what really gets me are those who know full well how the system works become experts on Webster's dictionary and parse the meaning of "gratuity", "tip", and "discretionary" to justify removing them.
Well put BlueRiband ,you have a better way of saying it. My post would have been removed.
#26
berkshire
1,163 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by Host Hattie
On Cruise Critic we are Hosts irrespective of gender.

Thank you
I expect Solent Richard was in his usual Cunard mode We seasoned Cunaders are programmed into, 'Social Hostess' or only occasionally Social Host.
#27
London
35 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
We have cruised a lot and always auto tip but would be interesting to hear a more detailed explanation how it works. A TV documentary a few years back suggested that a cruise ship worker earned say 850 dollar but the auto tip was used to make up this amount and if not enough tip was collected the company would make up the difference. I would like to think that the fantastic boys and girls got the tip over and above their basic salary but the documentary suggested that was not the case. Worth noting that the documentary was not about Cunard but another major cruise line.
#28
Surrey
427 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Always an emotive subject - in an ideal world I would like the cruise companies to scrap auto gratuities and charge fares that ensure all crew are paid fairly.......

If this were the case I wouldn't be able to afford to cruise as often as I do.......it could have a huge impact on the demographic of the crew....., the number of passengers........it would be very different I think. Better for some but not for others?

So I carry on cruising , always feeling very grateful I can and try to do what I feel is right as I go along
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#29
At Sea
5,308 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by Alibobs
Always an emotive subject - in an ideal world I would like the cruise companies to scrap auto gratuities and charge fares that ensure all crew are paid fairly....... If this were the case I wouldn't be able to afford to cruise as often as I do.......it could have a huge impact on the demographic of the crew....., the number of passengers........it would be very different I think. Better for some but not for others? So I carry on cruising , always feeling very grateful I can and try to do what I feel is right as I go along
Hi Alibobs,

You pay your fare, you leave the auto-tip in place (and calculate it as part of the cost of the cruise, as I do), and tip in person on top of the auto-tip when and where you feel it is right to do so (as do I).

Until the system changes as you wish, I'm not sure you can do any more.

Best wishes to you.
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#30
Market Harborough, UK
786 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by Alibobs
Always an emotive subject - in an ideal world I would like the cruise companies to scrap auto gratuities and charge fares that ensure all crew are paid fairly.......

If this were the case I wouldn't be able to afford to cruise as often as I do.......it could have a huge impact on the demographic of the crew....., the number of passengers........it would be very different I think. Better for some but not for others?

So I carry on cruising , always feeling very grateful I can and try to do what I feel is right as I go along
In many discussions there is (justifiably) talk of fairness to the crew in payment by the auto gratuity system. To me, what is potentially unfair, is that the customer has the choice to cancel the auto gratuity and potentially not tip at all. So would it not be TOTAL fairness for ALL parties to have the gratuity included in the fare price (even show it separately perhaps) and market this approach in a similar POSITIVE manner as some other cruise companies (e.g. Silversea). Marketed correctly I suggest it would not be detrimental to Cunard filling the ships.
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Trevor Lake
#31
3,516 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by Alibobs
Always an emotive subject - in an ideal world I would like the cruise companies to scrap auto gratuities and charge fares that ensure all crew are paid fairly.......

If this were the case I wouldn't be able to afford to cruise as often as I do.......it could have a huge impact on the demographic of the crew....., the number of passengers........it would be very different I think. Better for some but not for others?

So I carry on cruising , always feeling very grateful I can and try to do what I feel is right as I go along
It wouldn't affect the affordability, you would pay what you do now plus the auto tip that you wouldn't pay aboard. In fact the total take would be higher because everyone would pay.

We can only hope.

David.
#32
Hampshire, England
1,576 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by laktex
In many discussions there is (justifiably) talk of fairness to the crew in payment by the auto gratuity system. To me, what is potentially unfair, is that the customer has the choice to cancel the auto gratuity and potentially not tip at all. So would it not be TOTAL fairness for ALL parties to have the gratuity included in the fare price (even show it separately perhaps) and market this approach in a similar POSITIVE manner as some other cruise companies (e.g. Silversea). Marketed correctly I suggest it would not be detrimental to Cunard filling the ships.
Good morning Trevor.

While I see your comment as admirable pragmatism dictates it ain't going to happen.

There are too many lines scrambling for that final percentage of customers to fill their ships to get any consensus.

And of course, any collusion to fix a rate would have the EU fly into apoplexy.
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#33
UK
12 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
Hi everyone. Just have to add another comment about removing the auto gratuities which are added onto our on board charges. We were on the QM World cruise to Sydney this year and made friends with a group of Aussies who boarded the ship during the Valparaiso to Australia sector. They had all booked fantastically cheap deals with their travel agents (much cheaper than we had paid Cunard for that sector) which included 2 welcome bottles of VC champagne in their cabins on arrival. Their fares also stated that they didn't have to pay any of the auto gratuities as these were included in the fare! Why doesn't Cunard offer a 'gratuities paid' deal to their UK and American passengers, but offers this in fare savers to their customers on the other side of the world?


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#34
NYC
3,800 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by Charlie6551
Hi everyone. Just have to add another comment about removing the auto gratuities which are added onto our on board charges. We were on the QM World cruise to Sydney this year and made friends with a group of Aussies who boarded the ship during the Valparaiso to Australia sector. They had all booked fantastically cheap deals with their travel agents (much cheaper than we had paid Cunard for that sector) which included 2 welcome bottles of VC champagne in their cabins on arrival. Their fares also stated that they didn't have to pay any of the auto gratuities as these were included in the fare! Why doesn't Cunard offer a 'gratuities paid' deal to their UK and American passengers, but offers this in fare savers to their customers on the other side of the world?
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In the Australian and New Zealand markets Cunard (and other lines) has to subsidize the gratuity pool. The percentage of passengers there who remove all gratuities is so high the crew would otherwise strike or quit. While this means a good deal for passengers in those markets it also removes much of the profitability from these itineraries. (Cunard didn't repeat a circumnavigation around Australia.)

Great bargains and superior services and amenities don't co-exist for very long. Many passengers demand lower fares and then complain about the reduced services and amenities that they get with lower fares. Why is the concept of "value for value" so difficult to understand?
#35
NYC
3,800 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by EJMcruiser
We have cruised a lot and always auto tip but would be interesting to hear a more detailed explanation how it works. A TV documentary a few years back suggested that a cruise ship worker earned say 850 dollar but the auto tip was used to make up this amount and if not enough tip was collected the company would make up the difference. I would like to think that the fantastic boys and girls got the tip over and above their basic salary but the documentary suggested that was not the case. Worth noting that the documentary was not about Cunard but another major cruise line.
An industry insider who is a member here, BruceMuzz, outlined that it works like this:

"All the major mass market cruise lines handle gratuities in just about the same way. There are some minor variations, but essentially it works like this: At the beginning of the cruise, the number of guests onboard is posted in crew areas.
During the cruise, the names and cabin numbers of any guests who refuse the auto-tip are posted - as well as the reasons given by the guests.
At the end of the cruise, the number of cabins who tipped, the amount they each tipped, and the total dollar amount in the tip pool is posted.
Any additional tips or funds received for the tip pool are also posted.
Finally, a list of the actual dollars from the tipping pool, received by each crewmember is posted.
The entire process is very transparent. The crew is very careful to ensure that all the numbers add up correctly..."
#36
UK
12 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
Thanks BlueRiband, that makes sense. Really annoying for us Brits who pay much more for our fares and auto gratuities and are on the same sectors. I must say, that the Cunard staff are always so polite and friendly to everyone despite not getting their tips from some of these customers sailing with them. We do know that in NZ and Australia they don't tip at all! We found this out from our NZ and Aussie relatives and friends, but I think their minimum wage is much higher than ours.


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#37
Pennsylvania
5,846 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by Charlie6551
Why doesn't Cunard offer a 'gratuities paid' deal to their UK and American passengers, but offers this in fare savers to their customers on the other side of the world?]
Cunard regularly has "gratuities paid" offers in the US market.
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#38
At Sea
5,308 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by BlueRiband
... Great bargains and superior services and amenities don't co-exist for very long. Many passengers demand lower fares and then complain about the reduced services and amenities that they get with lower fares. Why is the concept of "value for value" so difficult to understand?
Very well said BlueRiband.
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#39
UK
4,220 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Underwatr
Cunard regularly has "gratuities paid" offers in the US market.
Yes. Just a couple of weeks ago on the CC British Isles forum there was an advertisement on the right hand side. I made a note of what it said:

Free upgrade
Free gratuities
$150 reduced deposit.

When I clicked on the advert it just took me to the UK Cunard website where there were none of these offers.

I've never seen gratuities paid advertised on the UK website. Maybe some UK agents offer this, but I don't know of any.
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#40
Market Harborough, UK
786 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by BlueRiband
An industry insider who is a member here, BruceMuzz, outlined that it works like this:

"All the major mass market cruise lines handle gratuities in just about the same way.
During the cruise, the names and cabin numbers of any guests who refuse the auto-tip are posted - as well as the reasons given by the guests.
I have said it before - this feels as if it defies data protection.
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Trevor Lake