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Dining Room Tipping

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The main reason they can't include gratuities in the fare is because the Royal Caribbean board on Cruise Critic would be a lot less interesting without all the tipping threads!

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8 hours ago, brillohead said:

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.
 

 
we can agree to disagree and you may have not taken the time to search and read the article but it does a good job of explaining the issue. 
 

If a steward is part of the tip pool and now a worker who never was in the tip pool is added to the equation. The steward looses money because some of that tip pool gets distributed to the other worker and that new worker may now make more money because of the distribution.  
 

A corporation is out to make a profit sure but in today’s world they should be responsible corporate citizens and while paying a fair and decent wage not relying on tips.  Just because it’s always been done this way doesn’t mean it shouldn’t  be changed. 

Edited by Sail n Snow

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33 minutes ago, Sail n Snow said:

 

 
 

A corporation is out to make a profit sure but in today’s world they should be responsible corporate citizens and while paying a fair and decent wage not relying on tips.  Just because it’s always been done this way doesn’t mean it shouldn’t  be changed. 

I would like to point out, while the above idea is well-meaning, the workers themselves would likely be very much against changing the way they get paid. For me personally I have made a career (somebody has to do it :classic_smile:) being a server, and the established system while not perfect, it provides a decent income and no one I know thinks we'd be better off with a "fair and decent wage." I would say to anyone, how would you like it if someone decided to mess with your paycheck?

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10 hours 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.  

 

The fact that you have your head in the sand and refuse to recognize that the cruise line business model and compensation structure HAS changed in the last 15 years makes it impossible to have a meaningful debate with you on this topic.

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9 hours ago, brillohead said:

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.

 


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.  


 

I am not concerned with that people make, i really do not care, what I am concerned about is a corporation telling me that my $14.50 per day is going toward providing someone wages above and beyond their contracted amount, when in fact that is not true.

 

I agree Gratuities are a part of cruising and I pay plenty of them

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I asked this question last year and received the same responses you are. "Back in the day" your tips were for your cabin steward, waiter, headwaiter etc and envelopes were given to you to tip directly. We no longer eat in the main dining room, ever, so I was under the impression we could have those tips removed from our auto-gratuities. Why should I tip someone that I'm not receiving the service from, right? I think if RCCL did a better job of stating these auto-gratuities get divided up amongst the crew as a whole more people would keep them on. I now leave the auto-grats as is. 

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8 hours ago, time4u2go said:

The main reason they can't include gratuities in the fare is because the Royal Caribbean board on Cruise Critic would be a lot less interesting without all the tipping threads!

 

It would immediately reduce the amount of threads and posts here by about 25%. 

 

With the dress code threads being kinda tame these days and there are hardly any chair hog postings, about the only entertainment is watching heads explode in anger every time there is a chance to he C&A program.

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7 hours ago, not-enough-cruising said:

what I am concerned about is a corporation telling me that my $14.50 per day is going toward providing someone wages above and beyond their contracted amount, when in fact that is not true.


When and where did this ever happen????

Seriously, point me to this statement by Royal.  I'm begging you.

 

 

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6 hours ago, CruiseWendy said:

I think if RCCL did a better job of stating these auto-gratuities get divided up amongst the crew as a whole more people would keep them on.


This is the statement on my invoice/booking confirmation from Royal:

A $14.50 per guest, per day gratuity will be automatically added to each guests SeaPass account on a daily basis to be shared among dining, bar & culinary services staff, stateroom attendants and other hotel services teams who work behind the scenes to enhance the cruise experience. 

How much better could they possibly explain the multitudes of crew members who are receiving the auto-grats?



(And I'm glad to hear that now that you know better, you're leaving your auto-grats in place.)

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I guess I don’t understand the Holier Than Thou trying to save people that don’t want saving.  The crew members seem to re-up at a high rate, so It appears they like they money.  A steward (assuming 10 cabins and $20 per room extra- above the standard tip) makes way over the minimum.  I don’t really care what they make, but I tip as I feel appropriate.  

 

I will say that (as said above) if tipping went away and everyone made a “fair and decent wage” service would decrease and finding people to do the job would be hard.  We have a daughter that is a  bartender  and works for tips.  It they told her no tips, but $20 per hour, she would find a new job.  

 

I don’t Care what RC does with the std tips.  Not my business.  That is between RC and the steward and waiters (who are happy).  They all seem satisfied, so why does anyone care. I don’t care if my waiter in a restaurant has to “kick back” to the back or not.  Not my business. 

 

Also, if they included tips in the fare, it would be a lot more than the daily charge.  They would have to increase it to cover the TA commission, the reduction in percent gross margin percent (to keep investors happy) and tax impact.  

 

RC has been doing this for a long time and understands the economics.  When the percent of people removing the daily gratuities drops, they will increase the rate.  If ther rate is high enough (think Australia), they will add it to the fare and the rate will go up a lot more than the tips.  So I guess all you that remove the tip should thank those of us who tip for keeping the fare down.    

 

 

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On 1/22/2020 at 8:00 PM, HBE4 said:

 

That is very polite of you but you needn't worry. Nobody on the thread - OP included - had suggested not tipping.

Yes OP did in the third line,

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2 hours ago, brillohead said:


When and where did this ever happen????

Seriously, point me to this statement by Royal.  I'm begging you.

 

 

That is the definition of GRATUITY, and why it is optional. 

try and keep up. 

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10 minutes ago, not-enough-cruising said:

That is the definition of GRATUITY, and why it is optional. 

try and keep up. 


That is YOUR PERSONAL definition of gratuity.  It's not the industry standard/culture.  

Royal never claimed that it was bonus money above the contracted amount, but that is what you said they did:   a corporation telling me that my $14.50 per day is going toward providing someone wages above and beyond their contracted amount

 

Royal NEVER said that.   The corporation isn't telling you that.  You are CHOOSING to interpret it that way, but Royal doesn't go around discussing employee's wages or contracts, so they most certainly did NOT say what you are claiming they said. 

I'm not the one having trouble keeping up -- you're fabricating things that never happened.

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Not that I need  to justify anything but, we are giving $9 per person, per day cash to our room steward.  I already have the cash in an envelope for he or she.

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1 minute ago, sas80 said:

Not that I need  to justify anything but, we are giving $9 per person, per day cash to our room steward.  I already have the cash in an envelope for he or she.

cool, but just curious why 9? giving a $10 bill seem easier  

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we have decided not to do MDR dining at all.  in truth, once we make it to 7pm, I'm betting we will have eaten enough thru the day to not be hungry.  If we do the MDR dining we feel that will obligate us to eat late and we really dont need the extra calories.  We're not tipping the MDR waitstaff because of this.  

 

If we do room service we will tip

 

if I could tip cash on the table at the windjammer, i would but that wouldnt get distributed to everyone who contributed.

 

I'm completely fine with these decisions, so feel free to argue about it if you want to, I wont be defending myself.

 

Thanks and happy cruising!

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2 minutes ago, Tulsacoker said:

cool, but just curious why 9? giving a $10 bill seem easier  

I seem to recall that, back before tipping was a one pot situation, it was $9 per person, per day, so we decided to go with that.

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2 minutes ago, sas80 said:

I'm completely fine with these decisions, so feel free to argue about it if you want to, I wont be defending myself.

 

Thanks and happy cruising!

Nope as you said, it is your decision and you seem to have a very logical reason and process. 

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3 minutes ago, sas80 said:

I seem to recall that, back before tipping was a one pot situation, it was $9 per person, per day, so we decided to go with that.

Given that the current charge is $14.50 for all staff, $9 for just the cabin steward is well above their previous allotments. While you may not participate further in this thread, you'll likely get more "feedback".

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4 hours ago, sas80 said:

if I could tip cash on the table at the windjammer, i would but that wouldnt get distributed to everyone who contributed.


So you're only eating room service the whole entire week, and tipping the delivery person only?  Or are you also eating throughout the day at the Windjammer and other eateries?

Because if you are eating at the other various eateries throughout the day and just skipping the MDR at night, that's an argument FOR keeping your auto-grats in place, as that money gets distributed to the staff in those areas. 

You indicate (as I quoted) that you would want your tip money to get distributed to everyone who contributed... well, that's exactly what the auto-grats would accomplish.  

People seem to think of the auto-grats as ONLY going to the evening MDR waiters and the room steward, but that's not the case at all. Those waiters also work in the Windjammer, or they work in the MDR for breakfast or lunch, or in the other various eateries around the ship.  

 

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On 1/21/2020 at 1:27 PM, sas80 said:

we are going to skip having an assigned dining time. 

we are contemplating doing anytime dining, but we may never actually eat in the dining room

 

If we do anytime dining can we decline gratuities?

If we do anytime dining and decline the gratuities, but do eat in the dining room, is there a way to add tips on at the end of the cruise? If we add tips at the end of the cruise, can we only add the amount for the number of nights we ate in the dining room?  or is it an all or nothing tipping situation?

 

Can we/should we just leave the tip at every meal we do eat in the dining room during anytime dining? 

 

4 people, how much per meal to tip?

 

thanks!

WIthout reading any of the other replies I'll give you my 2 cents, and what we did on our last cruise and what we will be doing on our cruise next month.


We don't eat in the MDR and stick to specialty restaurants and the WJ. We do end the auto grats pretty much as soon as we can and tip people as we go. We give tips directly to the staff as we use them especially in the WJ as last cruise we had a pretty messy toddler at mealtimes. This time we'll have a toddler and a breastfeeding infant who won't be dining or making any kind of mess at meals but we plan on doing the same. For our stateroom attendant we tip at the beginning, through the week, and then at the end. I assure you he/she gets way more from us than auto grats would ever give. 

 

This whole business of auto grats bothers me and I prefer it the old way where you tipped for good service and services you use only. 

 

Before anyone says I'm cheap or anti tipping that's far from the case. In fact I believe that Royal Caribbean (and the other cruiselines) should just pay their employees better and add grats to the initial cruise price. 

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12 hours ago, Mapleleafforever said:

WIthout reading any of the other replies I'll give you my 2 cents,......

 

...This whole business of auto grats bothers me and I prefer it the old way where you tipped for good service and services you use only. 

 

Before anyone says I'm cheap or anti tipping that's far from the case. In fact I believe that Royal Caribbean (and the other cruiselines) should just pay their employees better and add grats to the initial cruise price. 


This to me is spot on and I completely agree RCI should pay a better wage and move on from auto gratuities.  Things change and evolve all the time.  RCI has the data and could very easily figure out and pay a fair wage and get rid or auto gratuities if they wanted to. 

 

But as it’s been argued tips are their wages that debate probably will not end as there are competing definitions of gratuity we should all just agree to disagree and continue to do as we individuals feel is right.  
 

One day RCI will make a change one way or the other (mandatory gratuities or non at all) and when they do the debate can rage on. 

 

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On 1/26/2020 at 3:33 PM, brillohead said:


This is the statement on my invoice/booking confirmation from Royal:

A $14.50 per guest, per day gratuity will be automatically added to each guests SeaPass account on a daily basis to be shared among dining, bar & culinary services staff, stateroom attendants and other hotel services teams who work behind the scenes to enhance the cruise experience. 

How much better could they possibly explain the multitudes of crew members who are receiving the auto-grats?



(And I'm glad to hear that now that you know better, you're leaving your auto-grats in place.)

My booking confirmation comes from my TA and doesn't have that statement in it. So...not consistent across the board. A few years back when I asked the front desk about the gratuities they were unable to to reiterate the statement you provided above. Which would have solved a lot of confusion and more time up on deck reading a book 🙂 This is why I like these boards...you are all full of great info! 

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9 hours ago, CruiseWendy said:

My booking confirmation comes from my TA and doesn't have that statement in it. So...not consistent across the board. A few years back when I asked the front desk about the gratuities they were unable to to reiterate the statement you provided above. Which would have solved a lot of confusion and more time up on deck reading a book 🙂 This is why I like these boards...you are all full of great info! 


My booking confirmation also comes from my TA, but it's Royal's own "invoice format" that my TA just forwards to me after receiving it from Royal.  

I recommend asking your TA for the Royal Booking Confirmation, as it will list your room number, dining choice, Royal-issued OBC, prepaid gratuities, refundable vs non-refundable, etc.  It's a great way to double-check that your reservation is all in order.  

If your TA generates their own invoice, there's always a chance for something to get mixed up / left off.  Even a simple transcription error could mean you think you're in room 6129 and you're really in 6219.  Royal will supply your TA with a Guest Copy of the booking confirmation, there's really no reason for your TA to generate their own version of it.

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Does the staff know which passengers have left their auto gratuity in place and which passengers have removed them?

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