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podfir

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Sailing on Equinox later this year, we have opted not to prepay gratuities. Can we go to customer services and ask them not to add the $15 per day/per person at the start of the cruise? We prefer to tip as we go for good service.

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15 minutes ago, podfir said:

 We prefer to tip as we go for good service.

 

Sure you do.

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To answer the Op's question.  

 

Yes you can go to Customer Service and ask to have tips removed.   There are many reasons for this.   We once ate in Olympic for the entire cruise.    If the standard tipping were used our tips for dining would have gone to the main dining room (prior to Luminea).    They advised the only way we could direct the tips was to remove them and pay in cash or designate individually on a separate request.   

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Be aware that there are severe repercussions if you do remove the auto tips. One is that management sees this as a black mark against those who are assigned to serve you. They perceive it that you are displeased with them. That’s probably not your intent, but that is the perception.   Another problem with removing the auto tips is finding all those who serve you.  You may go to the buffet for lunch as an example. There are people who clean the tables, there are people who serve the food, there are people who can help you carry your tray if need be. How do you tip them all?   Then the next day it’s a different set of people. Maybe the next day you have breakfast in the aqua spa café. And the day after you go to the Main dining room for breakfast and lunch.How can you possibly give gratuities to all of them? By leaving the auto tips on, your money goes into the tip pool. So it’s not just a question of who is assigned to you at dinner in the dining room, it’s all the restaurant staff throughout the whole day.

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46 minutes ago, podfir said:

Sailing on Equinox later this year, we have opted not to prepay gratuities. Can we go to customer services and ask them not to add the $15 per day/per person at the start of the cruise? We prefer to tip as we go for good service.

 

The gratutues go to your stateroom attendant, dining staff (those in the dining rooms, buffet, mast grill, spa cafe, etc) and the housekeeping staff (laundry, restroom attendants, pool attendants, those cleaning public areas).

 

 So it is easy to tip your waiter or cabin attendant I’m not sure you can get to the laundry to tip those folks, or would want to track down the folks who were working in the buffet,  or mast grill  or restrooms you used.  

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Think of it as a service charge and not as a tip.

 

Not recommended to do what you are suggesting, as you will be stiffing those that provide service behind the scenes.

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I always use the auto tips and add extra for those who give special service. I known that in some venues, like Blu the extra tips are pooled. Tipping is highly individual and I do what feels right and comfortable for me. You should do what feels right and is comfortable to you.

Edited by Orator

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27 minutes ago, Orator said:

I always use the auto tips and add extra for those who give special service. I known that in some venues, like Blu the extra tips are pooled. Tipping is highly individual and I do what feels right and comfortable for me. You should do what feels right and is comfortable to you.

We do the same.  Last cruise we had such exemplary service we spent a fair amount of money of extra tipping, but we thought  the service on this cruise was partially excellent, so we wanted to show out gratitude. 

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There is a reason that celebrity now adds tips to the base cost of drinks/meals on cruises from the UK.....many living in that part of the world believe that tips should only be given for exceptional service.  That may be appropriate at home because waiters, etc are paid normal salaries.  That doesn't port over to cruise ships....the folks on cruise ships rely on tips to make what we who cruise would view as even a minimum wage.  Tips are expected and withheld only for extremely poor service...not the other way around.  For example...in Florida, the minimum wage is $$8.46 an hour....EXCEPT for those who work on jobs with tips (defined in florida law) which is $5.44 an hour.  Translate that to ship's wages and they are relying on your tips just like a waiter in Florida.

 

As suggested, consider it a service charge...it's just part of the cost of the cruise that's not on your bill from celebrity.

 

For those who are interested in the Florida Law: https://www.bipc.com/florida-minimum-wage-increase-effective-january-1-2019

Edited by ghstudio

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1 hour ago, podfir said:

Sailing on Equinox later this year, we have opted not to prepay gratuities. Can we go to customer services and ask them not to add the $15 per day/per person at the start of the cruise? We prefer to tip as we go for good service.

 

You can do, but we find by the far the easiest option is to pay the service charge up front.  No surprise bills at the end of the cruise, no fretting about who gets what etc and no obligation to tip extra.  It avoids the situation where someone behind the scenes who made a big difference to your holiday but who isn't on your radar misses out on a tip.  Not sure if the crew know if you've paid upfront or not.

Edited by DYKWIA

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1 hour ago, Orator said:

,I always use the auto tips and add extra for those who give special service. I known that in some venues, like Blu the extra tips are pooled. Tipping is highly individual and I do what feels right and comfortable for me. You should do what feels right and is comfortable to you.

Once again Orator we feel you have hit the nail on the head with your input!!  You are always very honest and up front. Tipping is and should be a personal decision as to what you are financially and consciously comfortable with but always keeping in mind all of those employees that work very hard behind the scenes. When we do b2b or longer cruises as we often do, our pre paid  tips can be $1,000.00 or more.(something to think about). IMHO those who reduce tips not eliminate  their tips, Sorry to CruiseStich  but I don't really think the "management" looks done at those passengers or black marks employees for not doing a good job . I believe they are well aware of other reasons.  Also, just IMHO another thing , I feel a lot of passengers feel  as I do that the $$ amount of pre-paid tips are a bit out of line. Where else do any of us pay tips in advance before any service??? Please no jumping down each others throats over this "discussion" Be kind, but  Perhaps the cruise line should give all employees a better salary and use tip envelopes again like they used to do. IMHO.

 

Luvstosail

Boston Ma

31 X cruises so far :classic_biggrin:

 

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"I don't believe in tipping.   I believe in over tipping."

                                               - Todd Wilkinson

 

Image result for Todd wilkinson my blue heaven

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OP: go with the auto tipping.
1. You'll be extra-glad  - and proud - you did.
2. You can't take it with you - make it work and be reward for work well done, while you are still here.
3. They bend over backwards for you. And when you can't look them in the eyes, they know why.
4. Disprove the myth about the location shown in your masthead.
5. Have a great cruise - one to brag to the folks back home about - and keep such happy memories. 

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59 minutes ago, luvstosail said:

Perhaps the cruise line should give all employees a better salary..... IMHO.

 

Luvstosail

Boston Ma

31 X cruises so far :classic_biggrin:

 

But they don't....so until they do, those folks rely on tips as part of their income.  You have to deal with what is in place now....not what you would like to be the case.

 

Yes, tips can add up....e.g. $1000pp but that's just part of the cost. You can't just reduce the cost of your cabin because you are paying so much.......tips really aren't any different.  When you buy an air ticket, do you ever look at the breakdown....the airline gets $200 and the other $300 is airport fees, etc.  Look at your car rental receipt.  The only difference is that Celebrity calls all those extra costs "tips" and, so it's not included in the price they quote, they make it optional.  It's not!

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Funny, we just came from lunch at a restaurant.  Our group of twenty had the choice of two menus and the price included the tip.  So in essence we agreed to tip before having received the service.  I don’t think that’s uncommon

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2 hours ago, ghstudio said:

There is a reason that celebrity now adds tips to the base cost of drinks/meals on cruises from the UK.....many living in that part of the world believe that tips should only be given for exceptional service.  

As suggested, consider it a service charge...it's just part of the cost of the cruise that's not on your bill from celebrity.

 

For those who are interested in the Florida Law: https://www.bipc.com/florida-minimum-wage-increase-effective-january-1-2019

 

 Please don't believe that the majority of people living in the UK are reluctant to tip, that is disingenuous.

Edited by arsenalboy

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16 minutes ago, arsenalboy said:

 

 Please don't believe that the majority of people living in the UK are reluctant to tip, that is disingenuous.

 

It was not an arbitrary decision on Celebrity's part to change prices on UK origin cruises to include the gratuity....it was done because those on those cruises were complaining about having to leave tips as part of their drink cost.  Perhaps one should question Celebrity on why they continue to have that policy.

 

from Trip Advisor...parent company of cruise critic:  https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g186216-s606/United-Kingdom:Tipping.And.Etiquette.html.

 

I am not questioning different customs in different countries, however when in Rome...... and leaving the standard tip is what "the roman's do". 

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4 hours ago, mom says said:

 

Sure you do.

Thanks for saying what we're all thinking.  Agree 100%.

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2 hours ago, luvstosail said:

........Where else do any of us pay tips in advance before any service???

 

At hotels and resorts, where it is common to have a daily service charge or resort fee automatically added to your account.

 

We just consider the standard gratuities on a cruise ship (a floating hotel) to be equivalent to the daily hotel service fee charged at many hotels on land.

    

Edited by fleckle

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First of all, tipping is personal but removing auto gratuities is taking away from all the staff who would have been paid the tips.  

 

Instead of removing auto grats, leave those alone and if you want to, tip more for those whom you feel have provided excellent service.  We always leave auto gratuities in place and then plan on tipping more.  We used to budget another 5% of our cruise cost but on our last cruise, we ended up giving another 10% or so in tips because we received incredible service by various staff.   We did not need to but we wanted to.  

Edited by CEOofVacation

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Hard to imagine having to carry around a pocketful of singles and loose change.

 

How much will you tip the persons in the buffet who:

Buss the tables so you can find a place to dine??  What is the tip?  25 cents? Maybe 50 cents?

The person who is up at 5 am and rolls your flatware in napkins?  Better get up early to tip your 10 cents?

Can I have an extra slice of that lovely ham, it looks so good. Another dime or two ?

Yes ham, cheese, mushrooms and capers in that omelet, and where is your tip jar?

Thank you, yes. I would like some of the dishes cleared so I can enjoy my coffee and dessert/ Maybe 5 cents?

 

I see scenarios like this all day long, with your cabin steward, your waiters, servers and just about all of those who provide you with the services that make your cruise an enjoyable experience. 

 

PAY THEM MORE AND I WON'T HAVE TO TIP???????

I guess that can be said about every porter that hauls around your luggage?

Every person that drops a plate of bacon and eggs in front of you in a diner?

The person that washes your car?

The cabbie that drives you around?

The paper boy or girl?

 We always pay the standard and except for one room steward in 20 years of cruising we didn't add a very good amount more to that.  

 

Just being either silly or cheap. 

 

Better get a wearable change maker so you can dispense your nickels and dimes more easily.

change.jpg

Edited by boscobeans

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I'll offer a guide to additional tipping....not that it's right, but it's what we usually do on cruises.

 

cabin attendant $10 first day...$10 or $20 at end of cruise. Last cruise the attendant found footstools for our concierge cabin....extra $20 for that wonderful extra effort.

 

waiter $20 assist waiter/busboy $10

 

wine steward $20 a few days into the cruise if he tops up our glasses (drink package) or gives us great wine.

 

bartender (we tend to find one and use them) $10 a little into the cruise and another $10 towards the end

Waiter in Murano...outstanding dedicated service $50 tip and he deserved every penny.

 

Maitre d' in select dining $20 (she had a table ready for our party of six every night...we didn't even have to check in).

 

Some folks give the bartender or waiter $1 per drink....I almost always go to the bar for our drinks (see above).

 

Maybe some others will chime in...there's really no right or wrong amount  and whether or not they share the tips with someone...that's up to them and doesn't really effect what we give.

 

One more point....it's very rare that we don't cruise with either free gratuities from our TA or at least a $ amount that covers the standard gratuities.  We never feel that we have to pay "more" because of the gratuities...we feel that they are being paid by celebrity, just through our TA's commissions.  We pay our cabin price. Yes....a bit of a rationalization, but we just never focus on the standard gratuities....we either take them as a perk or through our TA's gift.

Edited by ghstudio

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Replying to a post above, I'm not aware of any sharing with staff of those hotels who charge a resort or destination fee.  (IMHO, resort or destination fees are simply a way of advertising a lower price.)

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5 hours ago, ghstudio said:

I'll offer a guide to additional tipping....not that it's right, but it's what we usually do on cruises.

 

cabin attendant $10 first day...$10 or $20 at end of cruise. Last cruise the attendant found footstools for our concierge cabin....extra $20 for that wonderful extra effort.

 

waiter $20 assist waiter/busboy $10

 

wine steward $20 a few days into the cruise if he tops up our glasses (drink package) or gives us great wine.

 

bartender (we tend to find one and use them) $10 a little into the cruise and another $10 towards the end

Waiter in Murano...outstanding dedicated service $50 tip and he deserved every penny.

 

Maitre d' in select dining $20 (she had a table ready for our party of six every night...we didn't even have to check in).

 

Some folks give the bartender or waiter $1 per drink....I almost always go to the bar for our drinks (see above).

 

Maybe some others will chime in...there's really no right or wrong amount  and whether or not they share the tips with someone...that's up to them and doesn't really effect what we give.

 

One more point....it's very rare that we don't cruise with either free gratuities from our TA or at least a $ amount that covers the standard gratuities.  We never feel that we have to pay "more" because of the gratuities...we feel that they are being paid by celebrity, just through our TA's commissions.  We pay our cabin price. Yes....a bit of a rationalization, but we just never focus on the standard gratuities....we either take them as a perk or through our TA's gift.

I travel with a group.  We always choose the pre-paid gratuities as one of our perks.  It is also made clear to bring a stack of $5 and $1.  Many of us tip our pool waiters $1 per drink (until we run out of our stash for the day!--each day!  ) and we do what ghstudio does at the end of our cruise.  We always have envelopes of cash for our dinner/wine staff, our favorite bartenders that we visit before the show, our favorite pool bartenders...nothing outrageous, but probably $10-$20 for each favorite staff from each room or person.  We have seen some of the same staff a couple years in a row, so that's fun!!  The way my friend puts it is that we have gotten such a great deal on our cruise, lucky us to have this disposable income with which to enjoy ourselves, let's spread it around to those who are making our vacation so much more enjoyable.  I love when I am able to be generous.

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