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Endorable

Are tips really not expected?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/23/2019 at 5:29 AM, Lottie A said:

If someone is offered a "tip" upfront then it's not a tip. It's a bribe. 

I have seen this done on Oceania and Silversea for extra speciality dining reservations at a particular time, but thankfully I have never seen it on Azamara. 

 

I would agree with your characterization that up-front "tipping" is more of a bribe than a tip.

 

However, your next sentence doesn't make sense.  Of course you won't see this being done on Azamara, because on Azamara you have to pay to gain entry into them, unlike on Oceania and Silversea where the specialties are free and a certain number are included with the cruise, but extra access is more limited. 

 

Azamara just makes it more honest in that you don't have to try to grease any palms to get more access to the specialties, but you still have to pay just to eat at a specialty restaurant since none are included in the fare (unless you're in a suite).

Edited by ShopperfiendTO

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On 5/20/2019 at 7:01 PM, Lottie A said:

Yes you can put it on your account. Just go to Guest Relations and they will organise it for you. 

If you can  donate to the crew welfare via your on board account, can you donate any unused on board credit at the end of the cruise ?

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No it expressly says no on the note you receive in your room 

 

The one place that does tout for extra tips is the spa. They had a bill with the tip line and total missing. The good staff highlight you’ve already had 18% added as a service charge most are naughty and don’t and the worst actually highlight there’s a line to add a gratuity. I’ve yet to have spa service that was worth even the 18% charge. I wish Azamara could renegotiate that contract- ok if there has to be a fee 10% max

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On 5/25/2019 at 10:50 AM, uktog said:

No it expressly says no on the note you receive in your room 

 

The one place that does tout for extra tips is the spa. They had a bill with the tip line and total missing. The good staff highlight you’ve already had 18% added as a service charge most are naughty and don’t and the worst actually highlight there’s a line to add a gratuity. I’ve yet to have spa service that was worth even the 18% charge. I wish Azamara could renegotiate that contract- ok if there has to be a fee 10% max

 

UKtog - do you not rate the spa?  

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Posted (edited)

I’m afraid not. It’s over priced and not good certainly In terms of hairdressers and facials 

the price minus the 18% service charge would be ok given that it’s at sea so I expect a slightly higher charge than back homr

Edited by uktog

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The nail services were fine, excellent products.   The price was three times what I would pay at home but the same as I have paid on Celebrity, Cunard and Seabourn.   It’s a way to use your OBC.

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On 5/21/2019 at 10:57 AM, Lottie A said:

No problem if you want to tip extra critterchick ...that's your personal choice. Nothing to say you can't do it. 

 

However the OP was asking is it expected....and the answer is a clear No. 

Azamara advertises itself as a "gratuity included" cruise line so if everyone starts tipping then it will soon become a "gratuity expected" cruise line. Not what the world outside The States wants at all! 

 

I do think some Americans in particular have a problem with the "tipping not expected" concept as it is so alien to them not to tip practically everyone ....even if the service is BAD! My partner is American and he has a difficult time with not tipping everyone too. 

 

As has been said before, the crew fund is a really good way to recognise and thank all the crew for their wonderful work on our behalf. 

I agree with you about my fellow countrymen and women. I got over that mentality some time ago. We were in a cab in Sydney, Australia, and got out without tipping. The cabbie said, "wait, you're Americans! You're supposed to tip me!" Since we already had our luggage out of the trunk (boot if you prefer), we kept walking.

On 5/22/2019 at 6:07 PM, Lioncub said:

The question is, if one tips extra does one receive better attention? A twenty here or there to get ahead of the queue/ line?  I’ve seen it in action, and on ‘ ultra’ luxury lines too.  My very British morality doesn’t like it, but it does happen. A fact of life, or poor behaviour? I’m very happy to give to the crew fund, but if Mr/ Ms X is tipping staff to beat the system then I’m being a mug, right? 

We don't get better service. Sometimes a morose server will smile at us and not others.

On 5/26/2019 at 3:55 PM, Covepointcruiser said:

The nail services were fine, excellent products.   The price was three times what I would pay at home but the same as I have paid on Celebrity, Cunard and Seabourn.   It’s a way to use your OBC.

I used to use OBC for my nails on 14+ night voyages. The last time I did, we were on for 18 nights and I availed myself of the 14-day guarantee three times during the cruise. It wasn't the product; the tech was putting it on too thickly and it peeled back from the tips after a day or two. I was unimpressed with her work, but I was impressed that the guarantee carried over from the first leg to the second leg of the trip.

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Hi Endorable, this is a question that comes up fairly regularly on this forum.

I believe your question has been well answered by our loyal guests here, but I'll reiterate a few points:

  • Gratuities are included in our tariffs.
  • Tipping is personal and, as others have pointed out, cultural as well. If you wish to recognize one of our crew members I'm sure it will be appreciated.
  • But tipping is not expected. You will never be asked for a tip, nor will your holiday experience be diminished should you not tip. Our crew is exceptional, paid well by industry standards, and by all accounts they enjoy the work environment. Turn-over is extremely low. But that said, everyone appreciates being recognized and acknowledged.
  • Should you wish to tip you can either give directly to the individual or contribute to the ship's Crew Welfare Fund.

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On 5/19/2019 at 10:22 PM, laurieb said:

Just as important as tipping, be sure you mention the crew that gives you outstanding service on both your mid cruise and post cruise surveys. 

 

Hey find out quickly too.  On a B2B it was difficult to find anything that was above Azamara high standards, but I had several preorder things like distilled water extension cords, etc.  for the first time everything was in my cabin, from the list,  when I got to my cabin!  I mentioned that and the difficulty in finding something above and beyond. 2-3 days into the second cruise both attendants thanked me for what I had said and were absolutely beaming!  I believe they heard it in a group meeting.   

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Posted (edited)

If you mention someone positively in a mid cruise attention to detail sheet a copy of it highlighting the crew goes on the noticeboard in the crew area.  

 

I had one of the nicest experiences when I was on Quest last year.  There was a pool butler who was amazingly hard working and I mentioned him on my comments sheet.  I was sitting on one of the loungers on turnaround day as I was doing the following cruise and Yuri comes up to me and says “I’m going to do something now that I am not supposed to do” and he shook me by the hand (rather than a fist bump).  He was over the moon and it was his first contract.  I saw him on Pursuit last month and he is now a bar server.  Still working as hard as ever.  Such a nice guy too.  So it makes a big difference to them.

 

Phil

Edited by excitedofharpenden

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I'm the OP and I appreciate all the opinions expressed here!  It's been a loooong time since my last cruise, and back then it was all about the envelopes on the last day.  Since then I've been on lord knows maybe 50 AI vacations where it was never SAID but certainly the expectation was that you'd tip regularly if not hugely.  Thank you for easing my mind that on Azamara it won't be an issue!  But old habits die hard, and I still have a wad of 'wallet fillers' ie $1 bills left over from my trip to the Dominican.  So I'm assuming now that since tips AREN'T expected, a small tip of $1 or so would not be seen as an insult, but a compliment?

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4 hours ago, Endorable said:

I'm the OP and I appreciate all the opinions expressed here!  It's been a loooong time since my last cruise, and back then it was all about the envelopes on the last day.  Since then I've been on lord knows maybe 50 AI vacations where it was never SAID but certainly the expectation was that you'd tip regularly if not hugely.  Thank you for easing my mind that on Azamara it won't be an issue!  But old habits die hard, and I still have a wad of 'wallet fillers' ie $1 bills left over from my trip to the Dominican.  So I'm assuming now that since tips AREN'T expected, a small tip of $1 or so would not be seen as an insult, but a compliment?

Not expected, but certainly appreciated. 

 

Phil 

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On 6/1/2019 at 12:09 AM, BBMacLaird said:

Hi Endorable, this is a question that comes up fairly regularly on this forum.

I believe your question has been well answered by our loyal guests here, but I'll reiterate a few points:

  • Gratuities are included in our tariffs.
  • Tipping is personal and, as others have pointed out, cultural as well. If you wish to recognize one of our crew members I'm sure it will be appreciated.
  • But tipping is not expected. You will never be asked for a tip, nor will your holiday experience be diminished should you not tip. Our crew is exceptional, paid well by industry standards, and by all accounts they enjoy the work environment. Turn-over is extremely low. But that said, everyone appreciates being recognized and acknowledged.
  • Should you wish to tip you can either give directly to the individual or contribute to the ship's Crew Welfare Fund.

Interestingly enough, on the boarding passes I printed out a few minutes ago, a daily gratuity of 14.50/17.50 $ to be booked on your cruise account was mentioned when writing about your cruise experiences on board - quite obviously, someone copied that passage from RCL or Celebrity pages. Funny for us but a first-time Azamara cruiser might be bothered by that!

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2 hours ago, grayjay said:

Interestingly enough, on the boarding passes I printed out a few minutes ago, a daily gratuity of 14.50/17.50 $ to be booked on your cruise account was mentioned when writing about your cruise experiences on board - quite obviously, someone copied that passage from RCL or Celebrity pages. Funny for us but a first-time Azamara cruiser might be bothered by that!

 

Hi GrayJay,

I'll let our IT department know.

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Posted (edited)

I have a myriad of dietary restrictions which require the wait staff and  Restaurant Personnel to take extra measures every time I go to any venue for a meal, and I always tip generously for this  at the end of the cruise.  I am extremely pleased with  the way  they have all handled my situation over the years, which is somewhat extreme, and I feel they should be recognized for that with a tip as well as  recognizing them in the surveys.  They are exceptional.

Edited by travelinjudy

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12 hours ago, travelinjudy said:

I have a myriad of dietary restrictions which require the wait staff and  Restaurant Personnel to take extra measures every time I go to any venue for a meal, and I always tip generously for this  at the end of the cruise.  I am extremely pleased with  the way  they have all handled my situation over the years, which is somewhat extreme, and I feel they should be recognized for that with a tip as well as  recognizing them in the surveys.  They are exceptional.

 

Thanks for posting this. We agree and have done the same for similar reasons.

 

As Phil suggested earlier in this thread, we also fill out the mid-cruise review to draw attention to exemplary service in this concern.

 

Donations to the social fund are also a way, we hope, to reward the staff working behind the scenes in the ships’ various kitchens.

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