Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
garymfreedman

Gratuity is not a gratuity when it is mandatory

Recommended Posts

Yes, but the cost to sail is also 2-5x your "regular" cruiselines' base fees. So, it includes what amounts to a soda package, gratuities and higher end eateries in that higher rate. Other cruiselines could easily "eliminate" the gratuities...but we would also see higher rates because of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe so, but myself, along with apparently A LOT of other people, would rather pay a flat rate, and not have any extra charges for things like soda, wifi, tipping, restaurants.  And no kids, adults only is icing on the cake... Virgin is not for everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/29/2019 at 12:18 PM, bahacca said:

Yes, but the cost to sail is also 2-5x your "regular" cruiselines' base fees. So, it includes what amounts to a soda package, gratuities and higher end eateries in that higher rate. Other cruiselines could easily "eliminate" the gratuities...but we would also see higher rates because of it.

 

Except it's not outside of the first few months

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Math is not hard, bottom line and the experience matters...govern yourself accordingly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/29/2019 at 12:18 PM, bahacca said:

Yes, but the cost to sail is also 2-5x your "regular" cruiselines' base fees. So, it includes what amounts to a soda package, gratuities and higher end eateries in that higher rate. Other cruiselines could easily "eliminate" the gratuities...but we would also see higher rates because of it.

 

I'm not sure where people are getting these "Two to five times" the price unless you want to book in the first two months. After that, the prices fall to industry norms. I answered this same question in the "Why are these cruises so expensive" thread.

 

When you add in WiFi, no specialty dining costs, no soft drink costs, no gratuities the price is really similar to all the other mainstream lines.  

 

We figure $2500 - $3200 for 7 nights on any mainstream line for a balcony.  That's without a drink package, no WiFi, no specialty restaurants, no soft drinks. Just the cabin.

 

Mayan Sol 5 nights on the Scarlet Lady Aug 2 - 7 is $2300 for the Sea Terrace (non obstructed view). WiFi, Soft Drinks, Gratuities, all Meals included. 

 

Celebrity Cruises 6 nights on Celebrity Equinox in August is $2200 for a Verandah. With one perk. Say we select the drink package. Then there's WiFi, any Specialty Meals, soft drinks and gratuity. 

 

We paid $166 for WiFi on our last Celebrity Equinox cruise in Sept and almost $300 for specialty dining.

 

The price is basically the same as the other cruise lines. The only difference is we'll pay for our drinks ala carte.  Still going to work out about the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No kids onboard is a bargain at ANY price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never minded the "service charge" that 's automatically added, and I usually provided an additional cash "gratuity" to select service individuals on a cruise.  But I hope more cruise lines adopt VV's inclusive model, simply to make it fair for everyone.  Making the service charge inclusive means no one can skip out on paying their fair share for the cruise.  There's no visiting the Guest Services Desk on the cruise to have the service charges removed.  I've read discussions on these boards where individuals find it their right to do so, saving hundreds of dollars off the cruise price.  And I've seen a cruise pax, walk up next to me and ask for the form to fill out:  no complaints, no discussion, just fill out the form for a discount.

 

I've read the fine print about those service charges, and they amount to a labor subsidy, like the "fuel surcharge" tacked on by airlines.

 

I'm glad that VV including "tips" as they say in their promo material. 

 

The real question will be whether cocktail servers/bartenders will be permitted to take the additional gratuity, $1 cash, that I usually hand staff.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, rbt001 said:

 

The real question will be whether cocktail servers/bartenders will be permitted to take the additional gratuity, $1 cash, that I usually hand staff.

 

 

 

 

Hopefully not because that defeats the purpose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as they are actually giving the workers the money, I applaud them for not allowing cheap people to screw the hard workers out of their hard earned money.  I can't stand cheap and entitled people. 

 

Edited by skridge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to wonder will some people still leave extra tips here and there, or across the board? I don't normally tip a whole lot extra on a cruise but when staying at an AI resort I do tip bartenders and housekeeping a few dollars a day (even though in the very fine print it says it's included, but no dollar amount is given).  I am curious to see if extra tipping takes hold or if everyone is happy with the system in place.  Personally I would not tip extra on a Virgin cruise.  Because it's very in your face that it's part of the cruise fare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a very generous tipper because I believe that you should give back to others. So randomly and under certain circumstances on the cruise I will tip extra fives or tens. Now it will be interesting to see that it might be possible Virgin will not allow them to Accept  tips at all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say that some people will tip regardless.  Most luxury lines include gratuities, but many people tip on top of that as well.  I always donate to the crew fund, but did tip my butler once when he took it upon himself to clean and polish my tall boots (I like to go horse riding in the country while in port).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also tip well, but that's because I know people are paid less and then taxed at an assumed tip rate. If tips are included, I take that to mean folks are earning a living wage and therefore don't need tips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, skridge said:

As long as they are actually giving the workers the money, I applaud them for not allowing cheap people to screw the hard workers out of their hard earned money.  I can't stand cheap and entitled people. 

 

I certainly agree with you:  there's a whole camp that believes it's perfectly acceptable ask for the service charge to be removed.  

 

But note that the way most line administer the service charge, it's more like a labor cost subsidy for the cruise line.  More directly, the impact over time is felt by passengers as the daily service charge amount and the cruise fares were increased to cover costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m more than happy to tip extra, always do in excess, and in most cases receive impeccable service. I do find on certain high end lines, and hotels tips are absolutely refused. This leaves a much better impression on me overall. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/24/2020 at 9:27 AM, hotsauce126 said:

 

Hopefully not because that defeats the purpose

I always like to find a favorite bartender on a ship and I am more than willing to tip him a few extra bucks for knowing my name and making my drinks to my liking.  I hope I can do this on Scarlet Lady in June!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some people like a bundled fare that includes everything that Virgin offers, while others would prefer an unbundled fare on a different cruise line where they pay a lower fare and then they add only those things that they’ll use. It’s similar to the way that some airlines conduct business these days. You can pay a higher fare on a full service airline and have your seat assignment, checked luggage, drinks and even food (on longer routes) included, or you can go with a low cost airline and add on only the items that you care for.

 

Virgin’s pricing structure will be great for people who prefer to have all the things offered already included in the price. 
 

About gratuities/service charge/tips, whatever you want to call it, I just wish that all cruise lines would agree to make it part of the fare and end the ever going controversy. Stateroom and dining services are not “add ons”. 

Edited by Tapi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/22/2020 at 6:56 PM, creativegenius said:

 

I'm not sure where people are getting these "Two to five times" the price unless you want to book in the first two months.

I’m not finding “5 times the price”, but I’m finding closer to “2 times the price”. Looking at 2021, a 4 night cruise on Virgin is around $2,300 for 2 while on Royal, Carnival, and NCL it’s more like $1100 for 2. Like you said, to the $1100 you need to add items that are already included in the Virgin fare to have a better comparison, but even with that Virgin is more expensive.

 

With all of that said, I think that Virgin is very competitively priced. Not only do you get more things included in the fare, but you are sailing on a brand new ship, on a brand new cruise line, and for an experience that sounds like it will surpass what other mainstream cruise lines offer. Also, the “adults only” concept is well worth the extra charge for a lot of people. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And on those other lines, they only run 4 night cruises on their older ships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/6/2020 at 5:25 AM, rbt001 said:

I certainly agree with you:  there's a whole camp that believes it's perfectly acceptable ask for the service charge to be removed.  

 

But note that the way most line administer the service charge, it's more like a labor cost subsidy for the cruise line.  More directly, the impact over time is felt by passengers as the daily service charge amount and the cruise fares were increased to cover costs.

As long as the cruise workers are not depending on a bunch of miserable cheap people who are standing in line all day long to remove tips as soon as they are added to the account I don't care.  Call it a service charge subsidy whatever you want to call it.  If it keeps cheap people from being cheap I am for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, skridge said:

As long as the cruise workers are not depending on a bunch of miserable cheap people

 

I'd love it if they could depend on their employer to pay them a fair wage. And all that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, perditax said:

 

I'd love it if they could depend on their employer to pay them a fair wage. And all that. 

Unfortunately they can't depend on the employer or the cheap people lined up to remove tips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...