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Cancelling auto gratuities, DIY gratuities instead?

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Hi,We are considering doing gratuities ourselves rather than through MSC as I’ve heard it mentioned that MSC pockets a proportion of the tips.

Does anyone know whether this is the case please?

Additionally, if we do choose to do this, what would be the “going rate” each day for the room attendant, head waiter etc? We are keen to see tips go to the workers as we will have already paid MSC.

Thanks.

Natalie

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Are you going to go into the kitchen and laundry and tip those people who serve you?

 

 

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Hi,We are considering doing gratuities ourselves rather than through MSC as I’ve heard it mentioned that MSC pockets a proportion of the tips.

Does anyone know whether this is the case please?

Additionally, if we do choose to do this, what would be the “going rate” each day for the room attendant, head waiter etc? We are keen to see tips go to the workers as we will have already paid MSC.

Thanks.

Natalie

 

Hi Natalie

Soon as I saw this I thought 'here we go' & be ready for the kind of reply you have had already! The great divide on these boards is tipping policy!

My advise, not right or wrong, certainly unofficial is to do your own thing & possibly not expect everyone to agree with you if you share your thoughts!

Particularly if it involves removing anything the tip police decide is mandatory in their world of correctness.

I've just returned from a FAB time aboard a great ship of another line & for MY reasons declined the auto gratuities in favour of some direct tipping.

Not in secret (I've just shared the fact now!) & certainly above the auto level.

You should do as you please & as is your right once you have made an informed decision, based on what you consider to be sufficient factual information acquired.

But I suspect some diverse responses are heading your way lol

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Of course, if this is a possibility. We won’t be using laundry though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where do you think your clean sheets and clean towels come from?

 

 

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Frank thanks for the helpful response - as for the smarmy ones, just wow. Slightly unnecessary don’t you think?

 

I actually only asked whether anyone is aware if MSC pocket a cut of the auto tips, and the going rates 🙈

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I have often wondered the same about if the cruise line keeps any for the tip money. Also when I go to a restaurant normally I don't tip the person who cooks my food. I don't tip the maid at a hotel unless I ask something extra of them. I also work in the travel industry where it is very frowned upon us if we take tips for assisting passengers with their bags. While I do tip all of these people when I cruise either with my prepaid gratuity or my $$ to the porter when I drop my bags off, I also wonder why? are they not getting paid? Ive never gotten tipped as a cook or food prep employee, never as a customer service agent for an airline when I load bags and certainly never expect anything extra when I have agreed to work a job for what my employer has agreed to pay me.

 

While I agree that in some situations a tip is customary but I think it should never be expected and a person shouldn't feel obligated to tip everyone that looks their way while on vacation.

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Just remove them the first day so the staff knows you intend to stiff them. (They will know)

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Just remove them the first day so the staff knows you intend to stiff them. (They will know)

 

I wear a t-shirt too, just so everyone knows :cool:

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Where do you think your clean sheets and clean towels come from?

 

 

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If I had already paid £100s for a cruise I would expect clean sheets and towels to be included in the price.

 

 

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Just remove them the first day so the staff knows you intend to stiff them. (They will know)

 

 

 

Thats why people remove them on the last day [emoji6]

 

 

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Just go to Guest Relations desk and ask are Gratuities compulsory. All in favour of cancelling auto gratuities, it's the cruise line that are stiffing their staff not you.

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Just go to Guest Relations desk and ask are Gratuities compulsory. All in favour of cancelling auto gratuities, it's the cruise line that are stiffing their staff not you.

The answer to this question is at the bottom of post #6 on the

 

UPDATED:- ALL the INFO (in table form) on EXPERIENCES, MSC CLUB, SERVICE CHARGES etc. thread

which is a sticky on the board and does what it says on the can gives you all the info

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=53205857&postcount=6

 

 

Pete

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Of course, if this is a possibility. We won’t be using laundry though.

 

 

 

Same towels and sheets all week?

 

 

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Just remove them the first day so the staff knows you intend to stiff them. (They will know)

 

 

Exactly. That way they can concentrate on those of us who would never remove them.

 

 

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Frank thanks for the helpful response - as for the smarmy ones, just wow. Slightly unnecessary don’t you think?

 

I actually only asked whether anyone is aware if MSC pocket a cut of the auto tips, and the going rates 🙈

 

It's a smarmy question.

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It's not clear whether you meant that you'd rather remove the $12.50 gratuity per day and pay out that $12.50 to staff members directly, or whether you want to remove the $12.50 per day and pay some amount, likely less, to staff members directly. Most will suspect the latter, hence the snarky responses.

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I don't remove them. Cruiselines (all of them) are kind of shady and justify paying low rates and putting the service charge on the guests to make up for unlivable wages. It's not just MSC. I'm not comfortable messing with someone's wages personally, but I'm from the US and tipping is the norm. We just moved to England and seems much more common for gratuities to be removed from cruises starting on this side of the world. Do what you feel is right ultimately. And I'm sure the cruise lines don't pocket any of the money, that would be a legal slippery slope.

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When enough people from an area remove the service charge/gratuity I expect MSC will do the same thing NCL did. NCL went to all inclusive pricing for most of Europe, so the service charge is included in the pricing and cannot be removed. Unfortunately many have complained that with this pricing change the total cost is now considerably more than previously when paying the service charge.

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Ate ... I think the price increase is also due to the inclusive drink package, no idea how they deal with those who do not drink.

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Ate ... I think the price increase is also due to the inclusive drink package, no idea how they deal with those who do not drink.

Those who don't drink pay for something that they don't need/want.

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Ate ... I think the price increase is also due to the inclusive drink package, no idea how they deal with those who do not drink.

 

Those who don't drink are ending up subsidising those who do and have no choice in the matter.

 

When MSC introduced the "All-Inclusive" promotions, the price went up accordingly. It also reduced the ability to gain VC points for onboard spend. I've noticed that some prices are now quite expensive even without included drinks packages, which make the promotions look very attractive. :confused:

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I had to double check I what board I was on - for a moment there I thought it was the NCL board.

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Bea ... A reason we no longer cruise with them though as drinkers it would not affect us.

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It's a smarmy question.

 

How so?

Smarmy definition: extremely polite or helpful or showing a lot of respect in a way that is annoying or does not seem sincere

I didn’t ask your personal opinion on the way to tip. Not that it’s any of your business, but we have put aside the “correct” amount and more besides anyway 👍

Also - and I’m genuinely interested here. Do those who are super dedicated to paying gratuities upfront go out of their way to tip the laundry workers and chefs when staying in hotels? How is a cruise any different?

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How so?

 

Smarmy definition: extremely polite or helpful or showing a lot of respect in a way that is annoying or does not seem sincere

 

 

 

I didn’t ask your personal opinion on the way to tip. Not that it’s any of your business, but we have put aside the “correct” amount and more besides anyway [emoji106]

 

Also - and I’m genuinely interested here. Do those who are super dedicated to paying gratuities upfront go out of their way to tip the laundry workers and chefs when staying in hotels? How is a cruise any different?

 

 

 

Here in the United States the hotel workers are probably unionized, so they’re making a good wage—if not, why belong to the union. Yes, why work on a cruise ship for so little? Because back home in their country it’s a good amount of money. I guarantee you that if the cruise lines paid union wages, the cost of your cruise would probably be doubled. When I go to a restaurant, the type of restaurant I go to—expensive or fast food, usually is indicative of the amount the owner has to pay his or her kitchen staff.

 

 

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How so?

 

Smarmy definition: extremely polite or helpful or showing a lot of respect in a way that is annoying or does not seem sincere

 

 

 

I didn’t ask your personal opinion on the way to tip. Not that it’s any of your business, but we have put aside the “correct” amount and more besides anyway [emoji106]

 

Also - and I’m genuinely interested here. Do those who are super dedicated to paying gratuities upfront go out of their way to tip the laundry workers and chefs when staying in hotels? How is a cruise any different?

 

 

 

Because hotels and cruise lines are different models.

 

When at a hotel I can catch a cab or uber to a restaurant off site. Cannot on a cruise. Not many jump overboard and swim to shore for meals.

 

 

 

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Ate ... I think the price increase is also due to the inclusive drink package, no idea how they deal with those who do not drink.

 

Most people already had the option of the beverage package included as one of the "Free At Sea" promos. In the end, for the exact same options the total prices went up. Whether they choose it or not, everyone on NCL has been paying for the beverage package since the "Free at Sea" promos have been going on. The only way to somewhat avoid it is by booking a guarantee.

 

 

So far MSC seems to be toying with this idea by testing the "Drinks On Us" package. Personally I think it would be better if they would keep a separation between cabin prices and drinks packages. It must irk a lot of people to be paying for an Aurea or YC cabin when they don't drink. As I don't believe the "Drinks On US" rates are without a cost to the consumer this subsidization has now been extended down to Bella.

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Hi,We are considering doing gratuities ourselves rather than through MSC as I’ve heard it mentioned that MSC pockets a proportion of the tips.

Does anyone know whether this is the case please?

Additionally, if we do choose to do this, what would be the “going rate” each day for the room attendant, head waiter etc? We are keen to see tips go to the workers as we will have already paid MSC.

First of all I should be clear that ALL THIS MONEY belongs to MSC, no matter if by DSC or personal tipping. In this case neither the EU law nor the US is relevant. The way how MSC distributes this extra income to the staff is a very complex system that will never be published and also the staff does not know it completely, but they know some relevant factors of cause.

 

So if a staff member keeps private tips for himself (I am fine with this, not my business), then he or she effectively steals the money. And will be fired if he or she gets caught. Of cause it is much easier for the room steward than for the waiters who act in front of many others.

 

I also tip our waiter in the MDR regularly if he makes our dinners even better. In the end it is a friendly gesture, I don´t care if he keeps or not.

 

If you want to "reward" your waiter in the MDR a very good solution is to order one time a "specialties dish" from him. That seafood pasta and steak stuff. It is very unfair, but if a waiter has tables where all have prepaid drinks and he is making zero revenue also with food, then the higher levels trouble him and his proportion of the DSC and tips goes down.

 

The DSC certainly has advantages and disadvantages. The big advantage is that it includes all staff, at the end the person who cooks my meals is certainly much more important that the one who brings my meals or cleans the cabin. And it brings the possibility to reward MSC if the did a great job and for you to keep some money if they failed in minor and major things.

 

I totally don´t like the attitude of cancelling on the first day already. For example on our last MSC cruise we were allowed to keep the cabin until 16:00! We had a flight with MSC at 21:00 and I feard they kick us out before lunch und bring us to the airport way to early. When reading this excellent solution on the last evening my mood for a "reward" went up straight.

 

Cruiselines (all of them) are kind of shady and justify paying low rates and putting the service charge on the guests to make up for unlivable wages. It's not just MSC.

That may be true for the US lines, I don´t know, but surely not for the Europeans. The wages are absolutely "livable". I am bored by this stories from some college guy morons who just work a few month on a cruise ship just to write a stupid story or even book about the working conditions on a cruise ship.

 

Yes, you cannot afford a flat in New York with this wages, but I tell you a secret, if you work at Pizza Hut in Jakarta or Manila you cannot even affort a flat there.

Edited by perakcruiser

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Because hotels and cruise lines are different models.

 

When at a hotel I can catch a cab or uber to a restaurant off site. Cannot on a cruise. Not many jump overboard and swim to shore for meals.

 

 

 

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You had breakfast in the buffet on Carnival lately! :')

If it were an option there would be more in the ocean than still aboard!

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Those who don't drink are ending up subsidising those who do and have no choice in the matter.

 

When MSC introduced the "All-Inclusive" promotions, the price went up accordingly. It also reduced the ability to gain VC points for onboard spend. I've noticed that some prices are now quite expensive even without included drinks packages, which make the promotions look very attractive. :confused:

 

Normally those who drink subsidise those who don't drink because the money they earn when they sell drinks can reduce the cruisefare.

 

Gamblers also subsidise nongamblers.

 

When a cruise is completely all-inclusive it's correct that those who don't drink subsidise the drinkers.

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First of all I should be clear that ALL THIS MONEY belongs to MSC, no matter if by DSC or personal tipping. In this case neither the EU law nor the US is relevant. The way how MSC distributes this extra income to the staff is a very complex system that will never be published and also the staff does not know it completely, but they know some relevant factors of cause.

 

So if a staff member keeps private tips for himself (I am fine with this, not my business), then he or she effectively steals the money. And will be fired if he or she gets caught. Of cause it is much easier for the room steward than for the waiters who act in front of many others.

 

May I ask from where you have the information that all the employees have to pass personal tipping to the cruise company?

 

For us it does not feel right to cancel the service fees, as this is a fixed component of the wage for ALL employees (and not just the ones you´ll get in touch with). We usually travelling with our 3 year old - he is also obliged to pay the service fee. Sometimes we cut his fee in order to pass this money ourselfs personally for good service to our room steward or some waiters, sometimes also to cleaning persons. But we never ever would cut the fees to save money - this would be a feeling like a fraud to all the hard working and underpaid employees on a cruise ship, which put in all the efforts to make the holiday as nice as possible for us...

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Back in the day....just 20 yrs agoish....DSC wasn't a thing....we used to receive envelopes on the last night of the cruise to disperse appropriately with a list of employees...cabin steward, waiters etc....based on the service received all week we would tip on that.....once the envelopes were taken away we felt the service level dropped SIGNIFICANTLY as the employees figured they would get DSC anyhow....we felt the employees would just go thru the motions without all of the extra service or added special touches that make cruising so fabulous...we are cruising in Nov on Seaside....not sure what we will do as a family of 4....

 

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I've read that some employees are guaranteed a certain base salary, part of which is made up by DSCs, but if their DSCs are cancelled to the point where they would make below the guaranteed minimum then the company has to top them up to that point, that doesn't look good for the employee though. Not sure what the threshold is though, so in a way DSCs are subsidizing base wages up to a point.

 

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“So if a staff member keeps private tips for himself then he or she effectively steals the money...and will be fired...”

 

ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. How is it possible that a hard working person, who has performed his or her job above and beyond expectations enough to be be rewarded for their excellence, can be considered a thief??? Staff who receive tips can keep them without fear of reprisal. The money from tips DOES NOT belong to the cruise company.

 

That is why some of us will continue to pay the DSC and reward those people for their excellence with a tip as well.

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You had breakfast in the buffet on Carnival lately! :')

 

If it were an option there would be more in the ocean than still aboard!

 

 

 

I do not do buffets. On land or at sea.

 

 

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OK I will wade in to this melee.

We do not reduce and have never cancelled the gratuities on a cruise--I wish they were included in the cruise fare as it would make it a lot simpler. Have seen people give $1 in the old envelope days and some who start to complain on day 7/8 of a 10 day cruise saying service food etc are not up to standard.

The crew work hard for the wages paid and we appreciate good service by also tipping extra at the end of a cruise, we also prepay to include in our final payment and accept as part of the cost..

 

We as British have got a bad reputation regarding tipping /gratuities and I get fed up with being included in a group when we do not reduce or remove them

Liz

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I'm not going to repeat what I've already iterated on the subject many times before.

 

What I want to add is that the crew get grilled about why someone they were assigned to serve (either in the MDR or cabin) has removed the DSC from their accounts. It seems that the cruise company is inclined to blame the crew, rather than accept that some people don't agree with the charge in the first place and (usually) remove it solely for that reason.

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“So if a staff member keeps private tips for himself then he or she effectively steals the money...and will be fired...”

 

ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. How is it possible that a hard working person, who has performed his or her job above and beyond expectations enough to be be rewarded for their excellence, can be considered a thief??? Staff who receive tips can keep them without fear of reprisal. The money from tips DOES NOT belong to the cruise company.

 

That is why some of us will continue to pay the DSC and reward those people for their excellence with a tip as well.

 

To emphasize further, if the DSC is removed on most cruise lines any 'private' tips must be surrendered and added to the DSC pool. At least on HAL I have been told a listing of HSC removal is posted in the crew quarters. They all know. This actually hurts the service employee you thought you were helping. Not only will they lose the 'private' tips, but they will be questioned as to why the passenger considered the service to be 'inadequate.' Inadequate service is supposed to be the reason that a passenger is requesting removal of the DSC. I am incredulous that a passenger can consider the service to be inadequate on the first day of a cruise.

 

Dennis

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