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yellow otter

auto-gratuity tipping: who is actually getting these tips?

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I will shortly be going on a European river cruise.   They will be putting 18 Euros per passenger, per day on my account.    It is noted that it can be changed at the end of the cruise or modified to cash.    On this site I have been reading many articles on tipping on ships.    My concern is: is this pool of tips actually going to:  cabin stewards, wait staff, cooks, laundry (which I have no problem with) or is it going into the company's coffers and used to pay their salaries?    How does one know for certain?

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It would help to know which cruise line you're sailing.

 

Roz

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2 hours ago, yellow otter said:

I will shortly be going on a European river cruise.   They will be putting 18 Euros per passenger, per day on my account.    It is noted that it can be changed at the end of the cruise or modified to cash.    On this site I have been reading many articles on tipping on ships.    My concern is: is this pool of tips actually going to:  cabin stewards, wait staff, cooks, laundry (which I have no problem with) or is it going into the company's coffers and used to pay their salaries?    How does one know for certain?

You cannot know for certain: that information is private to the cruise lines and their staff. All you can do is decide whether to take the line's statement on which staff share in the tip pool, and whether they share the entire pool, at face value or not. Even if all the pool goes to the staff you will never know what their guaranteed rate of pay is and to what extent you may be subsidising a low basic rate (and therefore lower costs and higher profits to the cruise line) by contributing to the tip pool. 

 

How you resolve all that is entirely up to you...

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This is the first I’m hearing about auto gratuity on River Cruises. Which line? That said we always pay the suggested gratuity. 

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11 hours ago, Got2Cruise said:

This is the first I’m hearing about auto gratuity on River Cruises. Which line? That said we always pay the suggested gratuity. 

Viking adds the suggested gratuity to your bill.  When you settle up near the end of your cruise, you can keep it, increase it, reduce it, or cancel it entirely (should you choose to tip folks individually).

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I am the original poster.   I am traveling with Vantage River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel.   I see from sharkster77 that Viking is doing the same thing.

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2 hours ago, yellow otter said:

I am the original poster.   I am traveling with Vantage River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel.   I see from sharkster77 that Viking is doing the same thing.

Hmm interesting. That’s why I enjoy Uniworld. All tips included even to the guides and bus drivers. Everyone seems happy. It might seem more expensive when looking at the price but is it really when you add in gratuity? 

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Interesting, Got2Cruise.    You say you always pay the suggested gratuity.   But, you say Uniworld includes the tips.    Do they break it out in their pricing so you know what the included tip is?

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54 minutes ago, yellow otter said:

Interesting, Got2Cruise.    You say you always pay the suggested gratuity.   But, you say Uniworld includes the tips.    Do they break it out in their pricing so you know what the included tip is?

Uniworld doesn't break out their costs. It's pretty much all inclusive and tips to ship staff, tour guides,  drivers, etc are included. 

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59 minutes ago, yellow otter said:

Interesting, Got2Cruise.    You say you always pay the suggested gratuity.   But, you say Uniworld includes the tips.    Do they break it out in their pricing so you know what the included tip is?

The tip element of the fare on lines where tips are included is an unknown quantity since they never provide an itemised bill, you may as well ask how much they budget for included beverages.

 

From this year Viking have been including onboard tips as a promotion for UK/AUS customers, the prices barely changed from last year's for the same cruises suggesting it was a cost they could absorb, possibly as the majority of their customers are from the US and are encouraged to add tips.

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1 hour ago, kentchris said:

From this year Viking have been including onboard tips as a promotion for UK/AUS customers, the prices barely changed from last year's for the same cruises suggesting it was a cost they could absorb, possibly as the majority of their customers are from the US and are encouraged to add tips.

 

To my recollection, tips have always been included in the UK/AUS markets. It just sounds like they are making a bigger deal about over the fact that they are included.

 

5 hours ago, Got2Cruise said:

All tips included even to the guides and bus drivers.

 

I really do wish Viking would go to this model!! They already include so much, why not include gratuities in cruise fare as well.

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8 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

To my recollection, tips have always been included in the UK/AUS markets. It just sounds like they are making a bigger deal about over the fact that they are included.

 

No so for UK. At the end of our first few Viking Cruises they left two envelopes in the cabins for tips, one for Programme Director, other for rest of crew and you put them in box at reception.

 

Then they added them to your on-board account and you paid at reception

 

Then from this year gratuities are included.

 

 

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11 hours ago, yellow otter said:

Interesting, Got2Cruise.    You say you always pay the suggested gratuity.   But, you say Uniworld includes the tips.    Do they break it out in their pricing so you know what the included tip is?

No they do not break it down. But the staff seems very content and happy. Always willing to serve with a smile. Not doing something because they’re going to get an extra tip. From my experience that equates high morale. 

 

I should add that I’ve used other brands without all inclusive. That’s the gratuity part. The interesting part is that all staff except the Cruise Manager is included in the group tip. The Cruise Manager is considered separately. I believe the staff gets to keep the tips but I also believe their salary is low and the tips boost their salary. 

Edited by Got2Cruise

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Scenic is also all inclusive, when this was first introduced the staff were requested to refuse any additional tips if they were offered, now they are allowed to accept them, so if you feel a member of staff has gone above and beyond then additional tipping is up to you. I much prefer tipping to be included so I don’t have to bother about it, we don’t have a tipping culture in the UK, it takes a bit of getting used to when we go to the USA. Happy cruising CA

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I don’t know how tips are distributed and I suppose that I don’t really care. In recent years all my cruises have been with Uniworld and Emerald where gratuities both on-board and on excursions are included in the fare. I have found the service in both impeccable and have seen no need to add any additional tips with the exception of one or two guides who were outstanding.  I expect that the staff on these lines are adequately compensated and that there is no need as there is in certain countries to supplement their meagre pay with generous tips. 

 

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We pre-paid our tips on Avalon last year, as we didn't want to have to worry about it on the last day.  We then gave those who we felt gave us extra service a bit more.  We were told (by the Cruise Director) that the tips were split by all employees and hers was not included as she wasn't considered an employee - I guess she was contract.  I felt that they must take care of their staff quite well, as there were several family members (brothers & sisters, cousins etc) on our crew and we had a great time with them, even meeting them while out on tour - we were able to buy our room attendant a drink one day, an extra way to say thanks. 

 

I'm hoping that we have the same feeling among the crew on our next cruise, it was nice to feel as if we were among friends.

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As an Australian, I'm not really into tipping, but when we were in USA we followed suggested guidelines. When we went on an Alaskan cruise with Royal Caribbean, gratuities were extra. While researching for a European river cruise, I noticed quite a few companies included tips/gratuities. Don't know whether it is an Australian thing, or a promotion. We are looking at APT as it is fairly inclusive.

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We are Australian and are on our first Scenic cruise next month.  We were assured that no further tips were necessary, and for my part, service would have to be exemplary for us to pay any more.  The trips aren't cheap in the first place and it is supposed to be all-inclusive.

 

Luckily we do not have a tipping culture here, and it is an Australian company so I am sure all staff are paid properly.

 

Tipping is the one thing that we hate when we visit the US, so much so that we probably won't go back.

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2 hours ago, djh1959 said:

Luckily we do not have a tipping culture here, and it is an Australian company so I am sure all staff are paid properly.

 

 

We took a river cruise with APT, everything included. The guides said we should not tip. APT pays them better than the American companies. I am sure Scenic does the same. I like the non tipping culture. I know people are paid a decent wage. 

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