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5 hours ago, Sail n Snow said:


But is it truly the same?  Now the cruise line has a large pool of money and they get to give it out and include more workers than just the wait staff and cabin stewards.  
 

Just like other industries, change can be good.
Obviously the luxury no tip cruise lines figured it out.  

 

I’m not against auto tipping but it would be nice if RC gave me a breakdown of where my “tip” is going.  If they did that however I’m sure folks may look at it and say oh the “bartender” is included so I don’t have to give more to them. 
 

As most have said and I agree with an extra tip is for service that goes above what is expected or sometimes to “grease the skids” to get better service when requesting something special. 

The bartender's tip is automatically added to the bar bill. 

But again, why do people obsess over who's sharing in the tip pool?  Will it make a difference?  If so, what difference will it make? 

By the way, the "luxury no tip cruise lines" market their cost as "gratuities are included," or "free gratuities."  So they say you are still tipping, but you tip up front and have NO idea how much goes to "tips."

And they request that you don't tip, as they're trying to avoid the "up tip" culture from arising.  But on those threads, people are upset because they WANT to tip.  

So you see, here, where tips are normal, people ask for them to be included in the cruise cost so they don't have to worry about it.  On the luxury lines, where tips are included, they ask to tip because they want to reward good service.  Grass is always greener. 

Edited by papaflamingo

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7 minutes ago, papaflamingo said:

The bartender's tip is automatically added to the bar bill. 

But again, why do people obsess over who's sharing in the tip pool?  Will it make a difference?  If so, what difference will it make? 

By the way, the "luxury no tip cruise lines" market their cost as "gratuities are included," or "free gratuities."  So they say you are still tipping, but you tip up front and have NO idea how much goes to "tips."


You misunderstood the bartender comment. If the cruise line provided a list to who received the tips and it included the bartender (which it currently may we don’t know.) Then the above would apply.  
 

Let the luxury lines call call it what they want, the point is it’s included and all the workers on the ship know exactly what they will be paid!

Edited by Sail n Snow

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7 minutes ago, Sail n Snow said:


You misunderstood the bartender comment. If the cruise line provide a list to who received the tips and it included the bartender (which it currently may we don’t know.  
 

Let the luxury lines call call it what they want, the point is it’s included and all the workers on the ship know exactly what they will be paid!

Actually the cruise lines used to have a list.  Bartenders are tipped by bar bill tips.  They used to specifically break it down, but don't anymore.  Here is a post from 2018 CC thread.  Believe it, don't believe it, again, why does it matter?  I've never been to a restaurant where who gets what portion of the tip is posted or discussed.  And no one seems to care.  Yet everyone seems obsessed with which crew member might receive what percent of their tip.  Why?  What difference will it make? If you find out that Laundry Services receives a portion will it change anything for you? 

Here's a breakdown from 2018.  I recognize the numbers don't add up, probably a misprint. Likely it's $3.05:

 

"Total Standard Staterooms: $14.50 Previously $13.50

 

Stateroom Attendant: $6.20 Previously $6.10

Dining Room: $6.25 Previously $6.10

Other Hotel Services: $5.05 Previously $5.05

I asked also what was covered with the "Other Hotel Services." This is the breakdown I received. (Including the spelling)

The other hotel services include the persons who wash the bed linings as well as whoever cleans balconies or restocks the mini bar. Other hotel services include any additional person other than the stateroom attendant that may attend to any stateroom need"

 

By the way, "Let the luxury lines call call it what they want, the point is it’s included and all the workers on the ship know exactly what they will be paid," brings me to my entire point.  The waiters in the MDR are assigned a set number of diners each cruise.  They expect that they will receive whatever portion of the standard tip for each of those diners.  When someone decides to not eat in the MDR and removes their tip, they lose that income.  It's not replaced.  During Traditional Dining those seats remain empty.  Imagine working 7 days a week for 6 months and each week a small portion of your pay is lost because diners choose to dine in the Windjammer every night.  So your comment "know exactly what they will be paid," applies to the MDR waiters on Royal Caribbean also.  At least a reasonable expectation of the minimum they'll be paid.  

Edited by papaflamingo

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@brillohead

 

Thank you for taking the time to write up post #92 providing the detailed breakdown of past and current tip practice. It certainly sheds some light on the situation and hopefully can feel comfortable with whatever decision they may make.

 

The only quibble I have is that you assume that people the remove the auto-grats do not tip anything or significantly under tip. From what I've read here, that is not the case. I'm sure there are some that do not tip enough but it seems they are far outnumbered by those that tip extra. In fact, I believe the OP is tipping their stateroom attendant ($9 pp/pd) more than they  would receive under auto-grats. So the numbers are not as skewed as they are in your example.

 

As we saw on the stateroom tipping thread, many workers return year after year and have a a nice standard of living back in their home countries, which is why I guess I don't get outraged by how someone else spends their money on tips.

 

Anyway, that's enough tip talk for now. Get to writing that MSC review!! 😉

 

Edited by HBE4

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1 hour ago, Sail n Snow said:


You misunderstood the bartender comment. If the cruise line provided a list to who received the tips and it included the bartender (which it currently may we don’t know.) Then the above would apply.  
 

Let the luxury lines call call it what they want, the point is it’s included and all the workers on the ship know exactly what they will be paid!

The gratuity applies to all guests sailing, regardless of age. These gratuities are shared among dining, bar & culinary services staff, stateroom attendants and other hotel services teams who work behind the scenes to enhance the cruise experience.

 

 

When Royal came up with this gratuity policy, it was a great way to fool those who pay gratuities.  As you can see by Royal Caribbean policy they can give your tip money to just about anyone they please, even those who do not serve you.  You have no idea or control who RCCL will give your money too.  Royal is able to save plenty of money by having guests pay more members of the crew salaries, this has been so great for my RCCL stock.   Royal gives you choices on how to tip, choose the way that works best for you.  We will continue to remove our auto gratuities and tip those who deserve in cash.

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17 hours ago, Sail n Snow said:

I’m not against auto tipping but it would be nice if RC gave me a breakdown of where my “tip” is going.  If they did that however I’m sure folks may look at it and say oh the “bartender” is included so I don’t have to give more to them. 


Actually, I think that if there is a breakdown given, people start making a "cafeteria style" judgment about how much / to whom gratuities will be given, much like we have already seen described in this thread (and any thread that discusses tipping).

"I eat in the Windjammer, and so I don't want to pay my MDR staff their gratuities, so I'll delete that amount off my bill." 

"I only have my room attendant service my room once every other day instead of twice a day, so I'll reduce that portion of the gratuity down by 75%."

"I never made a special request of the headwaiter or maitre d' in the MDR, so I'm going to delete that off my bill."

It's part of the cost of cruising, everyone knows about it well in advance, so just pay it and forget it.  I don't care who gets how much, and frankly it's none of my business who gets how much -- each employee who is part of the tipped pool of workers signs on being told they will receive X portion of the auto-grats from the passengers who don't remove them, and each employee signs that contract knowingly.  Royal knows how much of my auto-grat goes to each employee and the employee knows how much of my auto-grat is going to them, and it's really not my business.  

Some employees at the McDonald's drive thru are making $10/hour and some are making $14/hour and who is getting which amount is none of my business -- that's between the employees and McDonald's.  

When I go to the local Chinese buffet place, while I do fetch my own food, the server brings me drinks and refills, and they clear my plate from the table after every round, and they bring me napkins, or replace my fork if I drop it, etc.  I don't know how much the restaurant is paying the server, and I don't tip as much percentage-wise as I do at a full-service restaurant, because the server isn't doing as much work and has many more tables whose tips will contribute to their income... but I do still tip.  And it's none of my business how much the worker is making their, just like at McDonald's. 

When I go to my local Chinese take-out place, I don't tip when I'm just getting take-out... but I do tip when I eat in.  It's the same restaurant, it's the same dang employee, but the circumstances are different from take-out to eat-in.  In this case, the "employee" is actually the co-owner of the restaurant.  It's literally a mom-and-pop establishment, with the husband in the kitchen and the wife at the front desk (she takes phone orders, runs the cash register, and also serves food to eat-in customers).  They have had four children since opening the restaurant, and each child was behind the front counter in a pack-n-play crib while Mom worked the front desk (the kids now do their homework in a booth in the front of the restaurant while the parents work, with the older kids babysitting/entertaining the younger kids).  And you know what?  It's still none of my business how much money mom-and-pop are making at their restaurant.  

When I go to a store -- grocery store, department store, boutique, pet-supply store, whatever -- I don't know how much each and every worker is earning.  

When I go to the doctor's office, I don't know how much money the receptionist, the insurance-biller, the medical assistant, the nurse, the PA, the NP, or the MD are making.  

At the local elementary school, I am positive that the janitor, secretary, lunch lady, and teacher are all making different amounts.... and that's none of my business either. 

In all of these cases, everyone took their job and goes to work voluntarily -- no indentured servitude or slavery going on here.  When they took the job, they were told how the pay structure worked, and they agreed to take the job.  

Why do I need a breakdown of exactly which employees get exactly how much of my auto-grats?  Each employee who is part of the tip pool took their job knowing how the system worked.... and that's good enough for me.
 

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12 hours ago, HBE4 said:

The only quibble I have is that you assume that people the remove the auto-grats do not tip anything or significantly under tip.


Some people DO remove auto-grats and pay nothing; others remove auto-grats and "pay cash directly to the people who serve them".  My commentary was that paying only to the people you have direct contact with can either result in others losing pay or result in increasing cruise fares if the cash-tipped employees don't report all their wages.

For example, just because you (this is all "generic you", not you personally) may not personally talk to the maitre d' or headwaiter about an issue doesn't mean that they haven't been working behind the scenes to make sure the MDR runs smoothly.... they may not personally interact with you, they are still working for you. 

 

If you remove your auto-grats and only tip your waiter and assistant waiter directly in cash, then your headwaiter and maitre d' will be denied their payment for their services that week... unless your waiter and assistant waiter turn in their cash to the pool to have it redistributed to everyone... and if they're going to do that, then why not just leave the auto-grats in place from the get-go?  You're either cheating the headwaiter and maitre d' out of their paycheck for the week, or you're just creating more work for everyone by having to track the cash that is turned in and then redistributed.  What's the point????

 

12 hours ago, HBE4 said:

Anyway, that's enough tip talk for now. Get to writing that MSC review!! 😉

 


I really do need to get off my butt and get that accomplished!

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On 1/24/2020 at 10:29 AM, HBE4 said:

Some will argue that the auto-grats go to the "behind the scenes" personnel - the person washing the linens, polishing the railing, arranging the pool chairs into neat and orderly rows. My only issue with that is: If I people were to stay at some land-based hotel chain - Courtyard by Marriott or Comfort Inn - would those same people be tipping the guy sweeping the lobby, trimming the hedges, arranging the pool chairs or the laundry staff?  Of course not, other than leaving a few dollars for housekeeping staff.


Forgot to respond to this part earlier.  

In a previous life, I was a waiter.  (Probably one of the reasons I understand what it's like to have tips withheld.)

At the end of the shift, I had to tip the bussers a percentage of my sales.  This is pretty common in the restaurant business.... servers tipping bussers, bartenders, food runners, etc. Those people are part of the team that make it so that I can do my job.

 

Do you think the person leaving that 15-20% tip on the table is even thinking about those support staff people getting a piece of that tip?  Of course not.  

I daresay that back in the day when we paid gratuities in cash to the room attendants on the last night, they had to turn around and tip their support staff in the same way -- the people washing the linens and stocking the supply closets, etc.  (Some people even remember back in the day when room attendants had an "assistant steward" the same way waiters have an assistant waiter in the MDR.)

So when people complain that a portion of the daily gratuity is going to "behind the scenes" support staff "that I never even see and who doesn't serve me personally"... so what??? 

 

Do you interact with the bartender at Applebee's who made the margarita or rum-n-coke or whatever that your waiter brought to your table?  Do you interact with the busboy who will clear your table after you leave?  Did they "serve you in person"????  Nope.  But they're gonna get a part of your tip from your waiter at the end of the night.  So how is that any different from behind the scenes support staff on a ship?

(I know that restaurants and hotels aren't the same thing, but the whole thing works the same way -- it's part of the salary structure of the industry.  If someone doesn't like the way cruise ships work, they are welcome to go to a hotel instead.  But if you're going on a cruise and you KNOW that this is how they work, just pay it and enjoy your wonderful vacation!)





  

Edited by brillohead

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52 minutes ago, brillohead said:


Forgot to respond to this part earlier.....
 
.....So when people complain that a portion of the daily gratuity is going to "behind the scenes" support staff "that I never even see and who doesn't serve me personally"... so what???
  


There are a lot of opinions on this matter and some may complain about tipping the behind the scenes staff and I’m sure in the past with cash tips it was pooled.  Almost every casino I’ve been to they pool their tips to be fair (one day you’re assigned the high roller room, the next the $5 blackjack table). 
 

The issue I have and others have addressed as well is RC now has a tip pool that they can use to supplement as many workers pay as they want and lower their contribution to the wage.  So that dishwasher (or for all we know the maintenance man who fixes the dishwasher) who was solely being paid by RC is now getting less from RC and included in the tip pool and taking away from those that truly should be in the tip pool. 
 

You keep mentioning cruise fares going up but in reality they have.  In 2015 the auto gratuities where only $12.   You could argue cost of inflation but using a calculator online that $12 today would be valued at $13.01 today. 
 

So why did the cruise line increased the auto gratuities? There could be lists of reasons or a combination of them.  I’d go with they wanted to continue paying a smaller amount of the guaranteed wage and possibly they underestimated how many cruisers would go to GS and take the auto gratuities off and needed to find a way to cover the difference ( This also assumes the guest didn’t tip at all or the crew member didn’t report it). 
 

To me you leave it the way it is or you make it a permanent fee and included it in the price of the cruise and tell people to only tip for exceptional service. Just my .02 cents

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27 minutes ago, Sail n Snow said:

The issue I have and others have addressed as well is RC now has a tip pool that they can use to supplement as many workers pay as they want and lower their contribution to the wage.


How does that differ from any other business?  McDonald's raises the price of a Big Mac to pay the drive thru worker more.  Kohl's raises the price of sweaters to pay the cashier or stocker more.  THEY ARE ALL PAID BY MONEY COLLECTED FROM THE CUSTOMER.

 

 

29 minutes ago, Sail n Snow said:

You keep mentioning cruise fares going up but in reality they have.


How much did a cruise cost in 1980 versus today???  No, cruise fares have NOT gone up that much.  Cruises are now affordable to many middle-class families these days, where in the past they were more of a luxury vacation item.  

 

 

31 minutes ago, Sail n Snow said:

So why did the cruise line increased the auto gratuities?


Minimum seafarer's monthly wage has increased in recent years and will have another increase next year.   Does it really matter if your cruise goes up $15/week or if your auto-grats go up $15/week in order to pay the workers?  THE CUSTOMER'S MONEY WILL ALWAYS BE USED TO PAY THE WORKERS IN EVERY SINGLE BUSINESS FOREVER AND EVER for however long civilization has money. 

 

Whether that money is paid 90 days before the cruise as part of the cruise fare or at the end of the cruise as the week's accumulated auto-grats doesn't change the fact that these workers are paid based on how much money comes in from the customers/passengers.  The only difference is whether people feel justified in sticking their noses into the employee's pay.  

Do you go up to the manager at McDonald's and say that their drive-thru worker was slow to take your order, so you want the manager to give you back part of the worker's paycheck because you don't think they should make that much money?  Of course not. 

 

If you have a problem with the level of service, you discuss it with the manager, they maybe give you a free Big Mac as a gesture of goodwill, and then it's between the manager and the employee if there is further training that needs to take place, etc.  I had a problem with a rude bartender one time on a ship, and I discussed it with the Beverage Manager, and later I was sent a bottle of wine and a cheese plate as an apology.... the cruise line's version of a free Big Mac.   


I just don't understand why people think that the cruise lines shouldn't use money from passengers to pay employees.  Do you also have a problem with the fact that cruise lines use money from passengers to pay for fuel?  Or to pay for laundry detergent?  Or to pay for eggs and bacon for the dining room?  

If you don't stick your nose into how McDonald's pays the drive-thru worker, why do you feel it's necessary to stick your nose into how Royal pays its workers?

 

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1 minute ago, brillohead said:

If you don't stick your nose into how McDonald's pays the drive-thru worker, why do you feel it's necessary to stick your nose into how Royal pays its workers?

 

Because McDonalds doesn’t play a shell game with the money.

Because McDonalds doesn’t feed me a ***** and bull story about my gratuity adding to the workers salary. 
Because a gratuity is for going above and beyond. 
 

As long as it is optional I will tip in cash to those I feel deserving, and sleep well knowing , in reality,  I have not taken any money away from anyone other than Royal Caribbean. 

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49 minutes ago, Sail n Snow said:

The issue I have and others have addressed as well is RC now has a tip pool that they can use to supplement as many workers pay as they want and lower their contribution to the wage.  So that dishwasher (or for all we know the maintenance man who fixes the dishwasher) who was solely being paid by RC is now getting less from RC and included in the tip pool and taking away from those that truly should be in the tip pool. 



If this was truly your concern, then you would realize that if they are now paying more people out of the tip pool, then it makes sense why the auto-grats fee has increased over time.  Paying more people = charging more money.  

The people who got money from the tip pool are still getting money from the tip pool.... unless people remove their auto-grats!

Just leave the auto-grats in place (or consider them part of your cruise fare and prepay them with your cruise fare) and enjoy your vacation.  

If you remove your auto-grats and Royal has to pay the behind the scenes people from "their own pocket" all they're going to do is increase the cruise fare for everyone to cover that expense.  That's how businesses work.  The money is NEVER going to come from Royal's pocket... it's always going to come from the customers.  However, we can keep the cruise fare lower by keeping auto-grats in place so that Royal doesn't have to cover their wage out of their pocket by charging us a higher cruise fare.

 

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1 minute ago, not-enough-cruising said:

As long as it is optional I will tip in cash to those I feel deserving, and sleep well knowing , in reality,  I have not taken any money away from anyone other than Royal Caribbean. 


Actually, you're taking money away from me and other cruisers... you cause Royal to increase MY cruise fare to pay the people you are cheating of their wage.

Thanks a bunch, you meanie.

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3 minutes ago, not-enough-cruising said:

Because McDonalds doesn’t play a shell game with the money.


Really?  Has McDonald's listed how much they are paying every single worker at your local restaurant?

Or do you pay the total and let them figure out how to pay their employees?  

Pay your cruise fare and auto-grats -- which ARE THE EMPLOYEE'S WAGES, not "bonus" money, but the actual money that these people need to pay their bills -- and then if you want to pay extra to people who do extra, go ahead.

But if you remove auto-grats and only pay people you see in person, then YOU ARE STEALING, in my personal opinion.  You're taking services that you're not paying for.  

If people steal an X-box from Best Buy, that money doesn't come out of Best Buy's pockets... they increase the costs of all their items to make up the loss, which means that the average shopper at Best Buy is paying for the free X-box for the thief.  

If you remove auto-grats on your cruise, then Royal is going to have to pay the people that you stole the wages from, which means Royal is going to increase the cost of their cruises to make up the loss, which means that the average cruiser on Royal is paying for the free services that you stole.  

But that's okay, keep telling yourself it's "optional" to pay people for their hard work so you enjoy your cruise.  

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11 minutes ago, brillohead said:

Pay your cruise fare and auto-grats -- which ARE THE EMPLOYEE'S WAGES, not "bonus" money, but the actual money that these people need to pay their bills -- and then if you want to pay extra to people who do extra, go ahead.

But if you remove auto-grats and only pay people you see in person, then YOU ARE STEALING, in my personal opinion.  You're taking services that you're not paying for.  
 

Thank you!  You are making my argument for me. Gratuities are “bonus” money not wages.

 

i’m not stealing anything, my cruise fare paid for all the services I am using, and Royal has contracted with its workers To pay their wages out of my fare. 
 

The Best Buy argument is ridiculous 

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6 minutes ago, not-enough-cruising said:

Thank you!  You are making my argument for me. Gratuities are “bonus” money not wages.

 

i’m not stealing anything, my cruise fare paid for all the services I am using, and Royal has contracted with its workers To pay their wages out of my fare. 
 

The Best Buy argument is ridiculous 


So, in your mind, there is no reason to tip a waiter at a US-based restaurant unless they go way above and beyond?  

Wow.   That's just pathetic.  I hope that you don't go out to eat very often.

 

 

 

For the record, the employees who receive the auto-grats contract with Royal Caribbean to earn a certain amount per month based on a certain number of hours worked.  Their contract INCLUDES the money they earn from gratuities.  The gratuities ARE THEIR WAGES, not bonus money.  Just like tips in a US-based restaurant are wages, not bonus money, for servers.

 

Not sure why you can't understand that concept.

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33 minutes ago, brillohead said:


How does that differ from any other business?  McDonald's raises the price of a Big Mac to pay the drive thru worker more.  Kohl's raises the price of sweaters to pay the cashier or stocker more.  THEY ARE ALL PAID BY MONEY COLLECTED FROM THE CUSTOMER.....

...I just don't understand why people think that the cruise lines shouldn't use money from passengers to pay employees.  Do you also have a problem with the fact that cruise lines use money from passengers to pay for fuel?  Or to pay for laundry detergent?  Or to pay for eggs and bacon for the dining room?  

If you don't stick your nose into how McDonald's pays the drive-thru worker, why do you feel it's necessary to stick your nose into how Royal pays its workers?

 


It differs on the fact the cruise line hides behind auto gratuity as a means to prop up their bottom line.  Using McDonald’s or any other business as a comparison doesn’t work.  A business knows their costs and plans accordingly.  Money that is collected based on goods/services received.

 

No one has said not to pay from money the cruise line has taken in obviously that’s the only way they can be paid.  Some of us have been saying is don’t sell us on using gratuities if these gratuities are being used to lower the companies commitment to the worker.  If the cruise line said we will pay the minimum seafarers wage and all gratuities would then be above and beyond what we are paying I don’t think anyone would be arguing about this but this isn’t what happens as the cruise line lowered the wage they pay and uses the gratuity to fill in the rest.  

I’m not sticking my nose in their business but to call something a gratuity when it’s not just isn’t right. 
 

The definition of Gratuity below say it’s the “voluntary or beyond obligation” part of giving.  
 

Definition of gratuity

 

: something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some serviceespecially : TIPadded a gratuity for the server

 

When I pay for my cruise I expect my vacation to go smoothly and as advertised by RC.  They sell a standard and if the workers go above and beyond the set standard I can reward them as necessary. The cruise line should pay the workers a fair wage (or minimum seafarer’s salary) as they negotiated and leave gratuities out of it.  The price of a cruise may go up $1-2 dollars a day based on a 7-14 day cruise but then no more tipping just to meet  the standard expectations would be needed and those that take off auto grats and don’t tip would then actually be contributing. 
 

This is another reason when the cruise your on is ending waiters and a like mention the end of cruise survey and make sure your cruise went smoothly because they are rated based partly on the results and feedback received.  They are competing for these jobs and want work on the ships.  Because unfortunately in a vast majority of the world the standard of living is extremely low and working on these cruise lines allow them to provide for their families in ways they couldn’t in their home countries. 
 

 

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, brillohead said:


So, in your mind, there is no reason to tip a waiter at a US-based restaurant unless they go way above and beyond?  

Wow.   That's just pathetic.  I hope that you don't go out to eat very often.

 

 

 

For the record, the employees who receive the auto-grats contract with Royal Caribbean to earn a certain amount per month based on a certain number of hours worked.  Their contract INCLUDES the money they earn from gratuities.  The gratuities ARE THEIR WAGES, not bonus money.  Just like tips in a US-based restaurant are wages, not bonus money, for servers.

 

Not sure why you can't understand that concept.


In the US it is a customary practice to tip.  Unless you go to certain locations where the law has changed and minimum wage for a server is more  (Seattle is $15 and restaurants have either added a service fee or increased prices). 
 

So it becomes a question of fairness and ethics.  Should the cruise line pay a fare wage and be done with gratuities?  Fares would go up but you wouldn’t shell out an additional $14.50-17.50 a day in added costs. So wouldn’t the two balance out?

 

You keep saying auto grats keep fares low but you then have to pay the auto grat at the end of a cruise. So why not pay it all up front in one lump sum?  Again this would make everyone pay it and we’d be done worrying about tipping on board. 

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4 minutes ago, Sail n Snow said:

You keep saying auto grats keep fares low but you then have to pay the auto grat at the end of a cruise. So why not pay it all up front in one lump sum?  Again this would make everyone pay it and we’d be done worrying about tipping on board. 


I'd be totally fine with everyone paying the lump sum and being done with it... the problem is that other lines wouldn't do it, so Royal's fares would "look" more expensive when doing a comparison.

All I'm seeing is that people don't want to pay it because it's "called" a gratuity.  It doesn't matter what it's called, Royal (and all the other cruise lines) always has and always will use passenger money to pay employees.  What does it matter what the name of that money is?  Gratuity, service charge, resort fee, cruise fare supplement.... it's all the same in the end, except for when some people pay it and others don't -- then it's a case of one group paying more.
 

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12 minutes ago, Sail n Snow said:

In the US it is a customary practice to tip.


It's also customary practice to tip on cruises.  Over time, that has morphed into the auto-gratuity being applied to the folio.

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31 minutes ago, Sail n Snow said:

Some of us have been saying is don’t sell us on using gratuities if these gratuities are being used to lower the companies commitment to the worker.


THIS IS NOT HAPPENING.

The companies NEVER paid the worker a "normal" wage... their monthly salary was always a tiny portion from the company, and the rest from gratuities.  

Why do you not understand that?  NOTHING HAS CHANGED other than, with the auto-grats in place, there is less likelihood of dishonesty and more likelihood that workers will receive more money.

The employees LIKE having the auto-grats in place versus the old way, because too many people stiffed them under the old practice.  

Now they're still getting stiffed occasionally, but not by as many people because, fortunately, more people leave the auto-grats in place these days.  

 

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47 minutes ago, brillohead said:


THIS IS NOT HAPPENING.

The companies NEVER paid the worker a "normal" wage... their monthly salary was always a tiny portion from the company, and the rest from gratuities.  

Why do you not understand that?  NOTHING HAS CHANGED other than, with the auto-grats in place, there is less likelihood of dishonesty and more likelihood that workers will receive more money.

The employees LIKE having the auto-grats in place versus the old way, because too many people stiffed them under the old practice.  

Now they're still getting stiffed occasionally, but not by as many people because, fortunately, more people leave the auto-grats in place these days.  

 


But IT HAS CHANGED!

 

Before I went on a cruise last summer I did some research for what to do.  First the amount of workes in the tip pool has increased and it probably depends on who you ask to who is happy about auto gratuities.  Those that never received  them before I’m sure saw an increase and those that worked extra hard to make more probably saw a decrease. 
 

I’m not sure if I can link to the article but with the quotes search google for

 

“Cruise Ship Gratuities Increase by 70%. What about the crew members salaries?”
 

If I’m allowed to post the article let me know and I will. 

 

There was also a USA Today article that exposed the shell game the cruise lines use in regards to auto gratuities and taking advantage of their customers good will. 

Edited by Sail n Snow

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The standard has always been to tip a bunch of workers at the end of the cruise.  This hasn't changed, other than it being handled for us via the auto-grats.

The standard has always been for the company to pay service workers a tiny little salary with the bulk of their wages made up by tips from passengers.  This hasn't changed.

 

44 minutes ago, Sail n Snow said:

First the amount of workes in the tip pool has increased and it probably depends on who you ask to who is happy about auto gratuities.  Those that never received  them before I’m sure saw an increase and those that worked extra hard to make more probably saw a decrease.


So make up your mind.... did people start making less when more people got part of the tip pool because the same amount of money was being divided up by more people, or did the auto-grats amount increase to cover those changes?   You can't have it both ways.

And I still don't understand why everyone is soooooo concerned about what other people make or where their income comes from.   Nobody is sticking their noses into my nurse's salary at the hospital, or how a police officer is paid, or the cashier at the corner convenience store, or the barista at Starbucks, or the stylist at the hair salon, or the garbage truck driver, or the Uber driver who takes you from the hotel to the port.  



Gratuities are a standard part of cruising.


Royal spells it out in advance how much will be applied to your folio -- it is not a hidden or unexpected expense.

 

Royal allows you to roll it into your Final Payment so nothing gets charged to your folio, if you prefer.

Royal also allows you to pay additional tips to anyone you want to reward for great service.

This is not a big deal.

 



If you really think Royal is being shady, then you absolutely have the right to vote with your feet and not cruise with them.  But then you also need to not cruise on Carnival, Norwegian, Celebrity, MSC, or any of the other mainstream lines, either.  Because THIS IS THE INDUSTRY STANDARD and has been for quite some time.  


 

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E.g. P&O, TUI Cruises Germany and Pullmantur Cruises as mainstream lines include tips in the prize, no tipping required (unless something very special is done for you), no bribing for better or first service and a happy crew and overall good service for all guests as well. Some also stop evening service or make it on demand like hotels which reduces workload significantly. 

Edited by Saab4444

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