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Elorac123

Oh no not the tipping question again

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let me respond with a question.

 

You have cabin a and cabin b served by the same atrendant.

 

Cabin A removes the hotel charges and tips no cash.

 

Cabin B leaves hotel charges and tips $100 cash on top.

 

so when the staff manager shakes down the crew for cash what happens to that $100? Can they keep it or must it go to a pot to offset Cabin A. What is Cabin A gave cash instead of Cabin B

 

So I ask you, how does anyone know WHO tipped what amount yo any given person?

 

I think a lot of what is claimed as fact here is opinionated conjecture and it is easy to see the flaws in logic.

 

What if yet another guest leaves small cash tips to wait staff or to attendant through out the voyage but on the last day has HSC removed? I don't believe there is someone accounting daily for crew cash tips including one, five, and ten dollar bills. It's absurd. it does not pass the sniff test.

 

Basically to answer you, yes. When or if presented with proof otherwise I will reconsider my position

 

A lot of it comes down to the honesty of the cabin staff and I can understand that can be or is problematic. I have no idea if or how they address tips received throughout the cruise in the case where a passenger removes or reduces the HSC. They may have decided not to even try to police that, it's simply too hard but I agree that is an issue.

 

I don't buy into the idea that cash tips are cross levelled as you suggestion. Using your example Cabin A removes the HSC and tips no cash. Cabin B, on the other hand, not only keeps the HSC in place but tips an additional amount of cash. What Cabin A does or did has no bearing on how the cash tips from Cabin B are handled. Those tips are kept by the cabin staff who received them. Now if we change the case a bit and Cabin A removes or reduces the HSC but decides to tip cash then any cash they give is supposed to be turned in.

 

All I know is what I saw and read with my own eyes and it clearly called out by name and cabin number the passengers who had reduced or removed the HSC. It clearly reminded the staff to turn in any cash tips received from those passengers.

 

I certainly don't discount the potential for a crew member to be less than honest. It probably happens. I have no idea how successful HAL is in monitoring and dealing with these crew members.

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A lot of it comes down to the honesty of the cabin staff and I can understand that can be or is problematic. I have no idea if or how they address tips received throughout the cruise in the case where a passenger removes or reduces the HSC. They may have decided not to even try to police that, it's simply too hard but I agree that is an issue.

 

I don't buy into the idea that cash tips are cross levelled as you suggestion. Using your example Cabin A removes the HSC and tips no cash. Cabin B, on the other hand, not only keeps the HSC in place but tips an additional amount of cash. What Cabin A does or did has no bearing on how the cash tips from Cabin B are handled. Those tips are kept by the cabin staff who received them. Now if we change the case a bit and Cabin A removes or reduces the HSC but decides to tip cash then any cash they give is supposed to be turned in.

 

All I know is what I saw and read with my own eyes and it clearly called out by name and cabin number the passengers who had reduced or removed the HSC. It clearly reminded the staff to turn in any cash tips received from those passengers.

 

I certainly don't discount the potential for a crew member to be less than honest. It probably happens. I have no idea how successful HAL is in monitoring and dealing with these crew members.

 

That is one of the most level responses I've ever read on CC regarding this topic. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and opinions in a conversational manner.

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Maxwell:

 

I think I can find a thread of fact on this issue. HAL, or any other line, could solve the problem by putting the HSC into the price of the cruise. Of course, if each person shows $80.50 higher for a 7 day cruise, the marketing suffers.

 

Under that system, passengers could be told that no gratuities are necessary but are not prohibited. We would eliminate the darker side of human nature at least in the area of not shorting the crew. HAL may not be able to control line jumpers, lounge chair hoggers, the guy that picks all of the shrimp out of the shrimp and broccoli, or the people that ignore formal night requirements, but why not just add the "gratuity" into the cruise price? Wouldn't it end this debate?

 

That way, the money should be better for the crew since no one gets to opt out....and cruise prices may be better for the rest of us.

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One sure thing about tipping that I learned a long time ago ... regardless of what they write on internet forums or what they actually tip, people have to live with whatever decision they make once onboard and look at themselves in the mirror the next morning. After reading these forums for many years, I am now convinced that some people must not like what they see :eek:

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Can I take this in a different direction. Our concern is how do you determine the amount to tip extra, especially when the cruise is 20 days or longer? What amount would be considered reasonable and how do you determine it? We appreciate the cabin crew and the wait staff in the MDR, but what is a reasonable tip?

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Maxwell:

 

I think I can find a thread of fact on this issue. HAL, or any other line, could solve the problem by putting the HSC into the price of the cruise. Of course, if each person shows $80.50 higher for a 7 day cruise, the marketing suffers.

 

Under that system, passengers could be told that no gratuities are necessary but are not prohibited. We would eliminate the darker side of human nature at least in the area of not shorting the crew. HAL may not be able to control line jumpers, lounge chair hoggers, the guy that picks all of the shrimp out of the shrimp and broccoli, or the people that ignore formal night requirements, but why not just add the "gratuity" into the cruise price? Wouldn't it end this debate?

 

That way, the money should be better for the crew since no one gets to opt out....and cruise prices may be better for the rest of us.

 

Many of the higher cost luxury lines do exactly as suggested and gratuities/tips/service charges/whatever-you-want-to-call-it are simply added to the cost of the cruise and are transparent to the passenger. It's not a visible line item that you can see and there's no option to remove it or change it in any manner. You simply don't know what it is and the cruise lines aren't exactly forthcoming with a detailed explanation other than to say things along the lines of "tipping is not required or expected", "we pay our staff and crew higher than standard industry wages", etc. Some hint that these extra costs are included in the fare and some don't mention it at all.

 

Some have raised the issue that by including gratuities in the basic fare a cruise line is giving travel agencies/agents additional income. Well that may be true and maybe the lines have a way, again transparent to the passenger, to deal with that or they simply have decided it's too difficult and not worth the accounting it would take to reduce or eliminate. Maybe one of our practicing TA's can address that.

 

Not surprising that even with lines that include gratuities in their fares there are still discussions on those boards here on CC about giving additional tips, etc. Also not so surprisingly the discussions pro, con, or in between are about the same as here on the HAL section. Just like smoking, formal nights, chair hogs, etc., etc., there are just universally hot subjects.

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Not trying to prove anything, Did you miss the part that said I am a cleaner I too work hard for my holiday and at this stage am not made to feel very welcome by you!

You have no idea how much or who I intend to tip, in fact it could be more than the 'automatic' tipping, my point IS I would like to be in charge of my own finances and not be dictated to.

And as a by the way, we in Australia pay much more than you do for the same cruise ( nothing to do with the exchange rates)

Happy travels.

.

 

Tipping was at one time done per ones own discretion. Many hard working people were not tipped, hence the auto gratuity was enacted. Staff has also been cut during this time. Into the 1990s on HAL waiters would have 2 assistants at dinner, not one. Also there were less passengers, less cabins, no room service, etc.

As a note, we tip above and beyond the auto gratuity. We tip well when travelling and at home.

You mention you are a cleaner. Do you live in where you work making yourself available for 12 hrs a day? Do you have to work extra hours or clean extra spaces if your associates are ill, without the choice to say no. Do you work 7 days a week? Working all those hours are you making more than $500/month? Most crew contracts are 9 months, not 6 and often times not only are these people away from their families for that time, they also miss out on a lot of their family life. They get 3 months off, but if you think about it in days the average person here with 2 days off per week has 104 days off. 3 months is only 90 days. And the hours worked here are closed to 40 hrs a week, not 84.

These are some things to consider while making your tipping decisions.

I mention these not to be critical or unwelcoming, but to make you aware of the conditions under which people work on the ships.

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So here's the conundrum: You don't want to pay the Housekeeping Service Charge because you've not yet received the service. That's all well and good for day one. HSC is a daily charge. After Day 1, you know whether or not your service is up to par. If it's not meeting your expectations, discuss it with the staff members. Of course, if you don't intend to pay the HSC because no human can live up to your expectations, tell them that too. No sense making them try to please you for compensation that's never going to come.

 

As I thought about your non-question, something occurred to me. If I visit Australia, there are taxes built in to the cost of goods and services that will never provide me with any benefit, right? I can't have them removed from the bill easily. (GST forms do not count as "easy.") What's a concerned world citizen to do?

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Here is the deal. If the hotel service charge was simply added to the fare upfront, then the service on the ship would not be as good as the crew would have little incentive to go the extra distance. They will be receiving full pay regardless of their individual effort.

 

The HAL service charge ensures that the crew is keenly aware that their pay comes from the passengers, and that there will be repercussions if the service is poor.

 

You can also just tip directly as you suggested, but this is so unfair as the hard working crew behind the scenes get nothing.

 

The separate hotel service charge is the better way to go for the interests of the passengers. It does work in our favor, and I recognize that you worked hard for your wages as well.

 

igraf

 

 

 

 

i write this knowing Many of you will not agree with me. I have been trawling this forum for some time now seeking information and tipping (or not) has had main stage a lot. I am a Aussie and as you all know it is not the norm to pay for something you haven't yet got,although I have done this on two occasions on Group land tours where we had a compulsory tipping.

Even after parting with my hard working money ( and believe me I do work hard I am a cleaner) I still felt like I needed to tip the smiling porter, the laughing waitress, and the most informative tour guide, so I did top extra and happily.

That being said we are a couple and tip as a couple so it is my intention to have all the gratuities removed and tip as I see fit when the service has been more than just a job done, it's high time that if they are not paid well, they damn well should be.

Pretty sure I read somewhere on this forum about a steward who only works for six months because the next six months are funded by his tips, wish I had kept it as a quote, anyhow those are my thoughts

Happy travels:)

Edited by igraf

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Tipping was at one time done per ones own discretion.

 

It still is.

 

. Many hard working people were not tipped, hence the auto gratuity was enacted.

 

So why on Earth, then, if someone gives them cash instead of an automated daily service charge do some say they are compelled to turn it into the company, just for the company to give it back to them? If the point was to avoid crew being "stiffed" why would the company take cash from them? Makes no sense.

 

There WAS a time, actually not very long ago, that the gratuity WAS baked right into HAL's cruise fare and they advertised that no tipping was necessary.

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Here is the deal. If the hotel service charge was simply added to the fare upfront, then the service on the ship would not be as good as the crew would have little incentive to go the extra distance. They will be receiving full pay regardless of their individual effort.

 

The HAL service charge ensures that the crew is keenly aware that their pay comes from the passengers, and that there will be repercussions if the service is poor.

 

You can also just tip directly as you suggested, but this is so unfair as the hard working crew behind the scenes get nothing.

 

The separate hotel service charge is the better way to go for the interests of the passengers. It does work in our favor, and I recognize that you worked hard for your wages as well.

 

igraf

 

Our last three cruises have been on a line that includes tips/gratuities/whatever in the fare. We've actually talked about it and neither of us has any perception that the service was anything other than excellent to exceptional.

 

Funny thing was that on our very first day of our first cruise with this line three years ago we were greeted by a ex-HAL employee who remembered us from three or four cruises with her on HAL. During the cruise she'd stop and chat with us often asking how was the service and was there anything she could do for us. One of our discussions was about the high level of service and her explanation was straight forward and simple....they simply did not tolerate bad service. New staff were actually often hired away from other cruise lines with attention paid to recommendations, etc. Whether experienced or new to cruising all were assigned to an experienced staff member as a mentor and trainer. Bottom line, and this may sound harsh, but staff or crew who didn't measure up were quickly dismissed. Supposedly this line pays more, expects more, and doesn't suffer poor performers well.

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It still is.

 

 

 

So why on Earth, then, if someone gives them cash instead of an automated daily service charge do some say they are compelled to turn it into the company, just for the company to give it back to them? If the point was to avoid crew being "stiffed" why would the company take cash from them? Makes no sense.

 

There WAS a time, actually not very long ago, that the gratuity WAS baked right into HAL's cruise fare and they advertised that no tipping was necessary.

 

Well I remember our very first cruise on HAL back in 1994 and indeed there was a tag line in their brochures back then that said something along the lines that "tipping was not required or expected". Our TA at the time even made a big deal out of it and stressed it when we booked that first cruise. Yeah....right....NOT. I clearly remember being a bit embarrassed the final day/night of that cruise when it was obvious fellow passengers were handing out envelopes or doing the "money handshake". And it wasn't just a few passengers, it was widespread and obvious. We scrambled around and made it happen but it was awkward. Truth is, at least in our HAL lifetime of 20 years, HAL has never been a non-tipping cruise line.

 

As to being required to hand in tips received from passengers removing or reducing the HSC...that's HAL's policy. That's the way they've decided to handle the situation. Passenger A, who has removed or reduced the HSC, gives his cabin steward $100. The steward does as advised and warned and turns the cash tip in for redistribution. He/she does not get that $100 back, instead it goes into the pool and is subject to cross leveling across all the members of the pool. Not sure exactly the percentage or proportion but the steward may only get, and this is only an example, $30 out of the $100. Like it or not that's how HAL has decided to do it.

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It still is.

 

 

 

So why on Earth, then, if someone gives them cash instead of an automated daily service charge do some say they are compelled to turn it into the company, just for the company to give it back to them? If the point was to avoid crew being "stiffed" why would the company take cash from them? Makes no sense.

 

There WAS a time, actually not very long ago, that the gratuity WAS baked right into HAL's cruise fare and they advertised that no tipping was necessary.

 

The crew goes beyond your cabin and dining attendants. The person laundering your bed linens, the cooks, even the painters (,etc.) receive money from the auto gratuity. If you remove auto gratuity and only tip one or two people they are supposed to turn over those tips to the pooled funds. If you tip beyond the auto gratuity amount they do not have to.

 

No tipping was necessary, hence at ones discretion, however there were still guidelines for average tipping amounts. It was a gimmick when cruising numbers were down to encourage more people to cruise.

 

Not sure exactly the percentage or proportion but the steward may only get, and this is only an example, $30 out of the $100. Like it or not that's how HAL has decided to do it.
This is not only a HAL decision, this is true of most main stream cruise lines. Edited by bermuda triangle

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It still is.

 

So why on Earth, then, if someone gives them cash instead of an automated daily service charge do some say they are compelled to turn it into the company, just for the company to give it back to them? If the point was to avoid crew being "stiffed" why would the company take cash from them? Makes no sense.

.

If just the cabin steward and dining room staff are tipped in cash with the auto-gratuities removed then there is no portion for the behind the scenes workers who also benefit from a percentage of the auto-service charge. This is why the cash tips given to staff whose passengers have taken off the auto-gratuities are put into the pool to be leveled.

 

According to a room steward we spoke to - Cash tips given to staff above and beyond the auto-gratuities are theirs to keep.

 

What that steward said was that pocketing the cash given by passengers who have taken off the auto-gratuities wasn't worth the chance of losing their jobs. They make the sacrifices of being away from family and the long hours of work to make a good living they can send home to care for family.

 

There may be some who don't turn in the $$ but my guess is that most wouldn't risk keeping it.

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Many of the higher cost luxury lines do exactly as suggested and gratuities/tips/service charges/whatever-you-want-to-call-it are simply added to the cost of the cruise and are transparent to the passenger. It's not a visible line item that you can see and there's no option to remove it or change it in any manner. You simply don't know what it is and the cruise lines aren't exactly forthcoming with a detailed explanation other than to say things along the lines of "tipping is not required or expected", "we pay our staff and crew higher than standard industry wages", etc. Some hint that these extra costs are included in the fare and some don't mention it at all.

 

Some have raised the issue that by including gratuities in the basic fare a cruise line is giving travel agencies/agents additional income. Well that may be true and maybe the lines have a way, again transparent to the passenger, to deal with that or they simply have decided it's too difficult and not worth the accounting it would take to reduce or eliminate. Maybe one of our practicing TA's can address that.

 

Not surprising that even with lines that include gratuities in their fares there are still discussions on those boards here on CC about giving additional tips, etc. Also not so surprisingly the discussions pro, con, or in between are about the same as here on the HAL section. Just like smoking, formal nights, chair hogs, etc., etc., there are just universally hot subjects.

 

I never thought about the commissions on the increased fare......great observation that probably is pretty important.

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Let's be clear here, no one is saying it makes "sense". It just is the way it is!

 

It still is.

So why on Earth, then, if someone gives them cash instead of an automated daily service charge do some say they are compelled to turn it into the company (because that is the company rule and these employees need their jobs), just for the company to give it back to them? But the point you are missing is that the company does not give it back to them in the entirety. Those employees involved in the HSC pool only get a percentage of the HSC. To illustrate lets say the HSC is $12 a day and the cruise was for 7 days. That’s a total of $84pp or $168 for a couple. If out of the HSC your stateroom steward gets $2.50 a day per person that’s a total of $17.50pp/$35 per couple and his/her share equates to 20.8% of the total HSC. If you were to drop the HSC and simply hand him $50 the most he could get in return is $10.40 with the remainder going into the pool. If the point was to avoid crew being "stiffed" why would the company take cash from them? The being "stiffed" part comes from the days prior to the HSC. The number of passengers that left NOTHING were the ones stiffing the crew and the HSC was implemented in an attempt to see to it that all shared as a percentage of something is better than nothing. Makes no sense.

 

There WAS a time, actually not very long ago, that the gratuity WAS baked right into HAL's cruise fare and they advertised that no tipping was necessary.

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You know who deserves tips? People you never see! If you saw them, they wouldn't be doing their job. The guy who keeps the dishes stocked up. The lady who cleans the elevator. The people who vacuum the carpet when I sleep.

 

Towards the end of the cruise I have a pocket of bills to give to people who aren't expecting a tip. Twenty bucks to the guy who makes me eggs benedict every morning is money well spent.

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You know who deserves tips? People you never see!

 

Strongly disagree. They deserve to be paid fairly by their employer for the hard work they do to maintain their employers facilities. It is nice that you tip them. I am sure they appreciate it. If they have enhanced your vacation there's nothing wrong with giving them a gratuity but they are not guest facing positions and for them to be forced to rely on a tip or tip pool is a shame.

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I never thought about the commissions on the increased fare......great observation that probably is pretty important.

 

It's not a huge amount. A simple math example would be a $2,000 fare without gratuities included. Let's say, and don't jump on me I'm just picking a relatively random figure, a TA gets a 10% commission so $200 on the $2,000 fare. Let's add $23/day for a 10-day cruise and the fare increase to $2,230 and the TA now gets an additional $23. Not a deal breaker but it would add up over a whole ship. Two or three relatively easy ways to take care of it. Somehow make it a non-commissionable fee that only the cruise line and agent see. Reduce the commission....that ought to make me popular with TAs. Raise the fare to cover the higher commission but to insure the bottom line to the cruise line.....which ought to make me popular with cruisers. :eek::D

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Well I remember our very first cruise on HAL back in 1994 and indeed there was a tag line in their brochures back then that said something along the lines that "tipping was not required or expected".

 

The crew goes beyond your cabin and dining attendants. The person laundering your bed linens, the cooks, even the painters (,etc.) receive money from the auto gratuity.

 

How were behind the scenes people compensated 20 years ago then?

 

I have to say this is the most civil and enjoyable discussion regarding this topic in a while.

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Strongly disagree. They deserve to be paid fairly by their employer for the hard work they do to maintain their employers facilities. It is nice that you tip them. I am sure they appreciate it. If they have enhanced your vacation there's nothing wrong with giving them a gratuity but they are not guest facing positions and for them to be forced to rely on a tip or tip pool is a shame.

 

No doubt that a lot of folks see the HSC as an altruistic move by HAL to insure the crew in pool benefit and derive income from the tips they once never saw. Good on them for recognizing all the service staff. Sounds good on paper and is probably at least partially true. What probably is the whole picture is that HAL was faced with a number of situations besides "fairness". People weren't tipping well and the crew was complaining. HAL's personnel operating costs were going up but they couldn't pass on all of the cost increases. HAL was competing for crew in an ever growing cruise industry and had to increase wages to compete but had to keep fares down. Add the HSC and you've improved wages without directly raising fares. Works for HAL.

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How were behind the scenes people compensated 20 years ago then?

 

I have to say this is the most civil and enjoyable discussion regarding this topic in a while.

 

They weren't and they complained. As I said in my first post :

Many hard working people were not tipped, hence the auto gratuity was enacted.

I wasn't limiting this to the cabin/dining stewards and their assistants who were not tipped.

Edited by bermuda triangle

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Not trying to prove anything, Did you miss the part that said I am a cleaner I too work hard for my holiday and at this stage am not made to feel very welcome by you!

You have no idea how much or who I intend to tip, in fact it could be more than the 'automatic' tipping, my point IS I would like to be in charge of my own finances and not be dictated to.

And as a by the way, we in Australia pay much more than you do for the same cruise ( nothing to do with the exchange rates)

Happy travels.

.

 

Don't get me wrong - I have been to Australia and I love the Australian tipping model. It is wonderful not having to try to figure out whom and how much to tip.

 

But regardless, did you ever think that the reason that Australians are charged more is that they tend to follow the Australian tipping model where it is not appropriate and their failure to conform to local tipping customs means that they have to be charged more for their failure to tip.

 

DON

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They weren't and they complained. As I said in my first post :

 

I wasn't limiting this to the cabin/dining stewards and their assistants who were not tipped.

 

Would they (the behind the scenes crew; not the guest facing service providers) have been paid by their employer? After all, we are speaking of jobs that are in essence hotel maintenance. And while hotel maintenance is necessary work, it is not service work and I can't think of anywhere that it is a tipped position.

 

Now, if guest facing crew had their own agreement for pools or tip out amongst their back of the house support staff, that is a different animal altogether.

 

I will be labeled as heartless or something or other, thanks to the wonderful internet where tone can be difficult to convey or misunderstood on the receiving end, but "Who will pay the poor painter or laundry worker?" How about their boss? That seems like a good place to start.

 

This is all getting away from the topic at hand. OP is accustomed to paying a gratuity based on services received, to the person that provided those services, and wants to do so in cash. HAL certainly allows their client to make those choices. I believe in tipping those who provide services. I believe employees should be compensated for their work properly. I do not believe that there is only one, correct, prescribed way that people should make their choices.

 

Yeah, I guess I find anyone who is going to say "I'm taking off tips, I'm not going to hand any out; I need the money for this or that" to be, well, a jerk. But I did not get that impression in any way from OP. Not in the least. I find nothing objectionable about stating you will pay for quality of services received. To do anything else is really just "tip guilt" and that's fine too, but I don't particularly subscribe to it.

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You are not correct. Crew can keep money they receive.
No, you are incorrect. If a passenger removes the HSC a room or MDR steward risks losing his/her job if s/he keeps cash received.
And on the HAL FAQ it is called a gratuity/tip.

Of course. An FAQ page would not be of much use if it omitted the key words that someone would be looking for. Only in the section title and in the last sentence where it is speaks of off-ship services is the word gratuity used. That does make a charge into a gratuity.
It still is.
Absolutely. Most people do tip but some do not. And most people pay their proper Service CHARGE, and some welch.

 

Edited by jtl513

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