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jkgourmet

What our cabin attendant did. . . and it's not good

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16 hours ago, April42749 said:

 

People should show compassion for someone who does physical work 12 hours/7 days a week and makes $233.

Who said they do the job for 233$ per week? The DSC is extra added to their salary. That's a 1000$ per month. Tipping money per crew member. Extra money, not their basic salary!

 

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After reading these replies and my own, I think I might handle it differently. I would probably wait until I was home and get in touch with the cruise line.  I would explain the proposition and make sure they knew how uncomfortable I felt and it put a damper on my experience.  After all you are on vacation.  Who wants to make moral decisions?  I would not name the employee involved and hope that a general warning would suffice.  Its a difficult situation and certainly not one I would have to deal with on my vacation. 

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I do not know how MSC splits the tips between housekeeping and dining service but for RCCL and Celebrity it is pooled fleet wide and then divided up. Tips from current sailings are usually given 2 weeks later. This is what I was told.

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Wow I can’t believe what I’m reading! The EXACT thing happened to us on Mera 2/16 sailing. The cabin steward did the exact thing to us by bringing us in our room and saying the exact thing to us almost word for word as what@jkgourmet described! We too felt very uncomfortable and confused. This was our 17th cruise, first on MSC and never experienced anything like this. The cabin steward said he felt he could trust us and that he would get fired if anyone found out what he shared with us. We wound up giving him his tip in cash because we felt like he was putting his job on the line by doing what he did, so we believed him. He was an excellent cabin steward all week.


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On 2/21/2020 at 11:53 AM, cvg42 said:

SirWolf you're right, he passed a line, but: it is not very transparant how MSC splits the DSC once they have the money on their account. 

Meraviglia can handle 5700 passengers. Lets say 4000 of them are to pay the daily 12,50$ then MSC receives 350.000$ for a week cruise...I don't know how you feel about that amount of money, but for me that's a lot of DSC for one week to split by 1500 crew. Plus the 15% service charge on everything they sell us...

And that's only meraviglia. They have 19 ships sailing. So I still feel we, the passengers, may judge how our extra money is spent.

If MSC would be more transparent about the DSC that would help.

Best regards and happy sailings, C

 

Using your example, a staff member gets $33.33/day from the DSC.That’s probably a lot less than if tipped directly by each pax.

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1 hour ago, HofstraJet said:

 

Using your example, a staff member gets $33.33/day from the DSC.That’s probably a lot less than if tipped directly by each pax.

Are you sure? $33,33 tip/day is a lot less than if you tip directly?

That's $233 TIP per week cruise for a cabin steward per cabin. He takes care of 10 cabins so in your opinion he gets $2333,00 tip per week.

Than you tip the same to the waiter and his assistant and the same to your favorite bartender(s)...

 

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4 hours ago, SammySH said:

Wow I can’t believe what I’m reading! The EXACT thing happened to us on Mera 2/16 sailing. The cabin steward did the exact thing to us by bringing us in our room and saying the exact thing to us almost word for word as what@jkgourmet described! We too felt very uncomfortable and confused. This was our 17th cruise, first on MSC and never experienced anything like this. The cabin steward said he felt he could trust us and that he would get fired if anyone found out what he shared with us. We wound up giving him his tip in cash because we felt like he was putting his job on the line by doing what he did, so we believed him. He was an excellent cabin steward all week.


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This is exactly what I warned the OP about.  This is why the Hotel Director needs to be brought into the conversation.  Sometimes silence can be more damaging than speaking out.  

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On 2/22/2020 at 11:26 AM, mlbdude said:

Our assistant waiter did the same thing on the Mera in November.   If he was not a fantastic waiter I would have reported him.

 

Dear mlb,   If he was not a fantastic waiter I would have laughed in his face.

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On 2/23/2020 at 6:25 PM, April42749 said:

I'd take it this way.

The steward was wrong, however, that he did this means "he really needs the money".\

I wouldn't report him; I'd give him a couple of extra dollars.

I'm happy I'm in the position to do this and I wouldn't judge or want to get him in trouble.

I know...you all think I'm wrong.

Dear April,  You are correct.  Same thing I would do. Unless he was less than exceptional to begin with, then I would just laugh in his face. No need for bad Karma all around.

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On 2/24/2020 at 7:13 AM, April42749 said:

The steward is more like the guy panhandling.

I feel the same way.  Not what I would want to expect to encounter on board. We are inundated with this behavior at every port of call (except OC)

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This is exactly what our Butler told us.  All MSC staff are on a salary wage, so the only 'extra' tips they receive are the ones that you give in cash. 

MSC uses the DSC to supplement paying their employee wages.  He presented this to us in a way that was just to let us know that if we thought our tips were going directly to the staff they where not, so if we thought they deserved the extra tips to give them cash. 

We were at the time unsure if he was telling us the truth but when we discussed it with him a second time, he wasn't saying this just for himself he was saying it for all employees and now hearing that others are being given the same information I think maybe this is the truth.   

In Europe they are used to no tips as this is their custom but when you come to American and tips are thought to be given as extra on top of their wages and if they are not then MSC is not presenting this properly to their customers.

 

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Sounds like an uncomfortable experience. 

 

I must say that from years of reading these threads from time to time when planning cruises, it has been interesting to me the number of cruisers who say they talk with or ask crew about their income. I have never talked with crew members about how much they make, the DSC, tips, etc. I'm a stranger to them even if we get friendly or chat a bit, or even see each other multiple times during a sailing. They experience lots of people each sailing they work on. So, that process or experience happens over and over again for them.

 

In my own life, rarely do people ask me about my income or do I blatantly ask other people about their income or other intimate or personal questions. I regard travel as an opportunity to explore or relax. I have empathy for people, but I dont cruise to think about doing charity work. Some of you may think of that as harsh, but we all have made decisions in our lives, at different stages of our lives, about how to make income or do whatever we have to do.

 

Its interesting to me that some cruisers/passengers think its ok to ask crew such personal questions but get appalled when stories like this are shared, especially if you believe crew read these boards or word gets back to them. Crew are aware of the "poor them" perspective that some cruisers have about them.

 

When I see the debates on here about tipping or removing DSC or anything like that, its just interesting to me. I mean they get heated. I scratch my head when scanning those debates that can go on for pages, thread after thread, a historical topic of contention for years.  The money debate and the "poor crew" perspective. Its an interesting dynamic that some travelers have actually put into play for quite some time now but now  some consequences of that are regarded as "unacceptable behavior". Im not blaming the OP and others who had a similar experience as described by the OP. Its just interesting what we regard as rude on just one side of the coin. For the staff, we can call it "unprofessional". What do we call the lack of proper boundaries from paseengers with staff? Maybe my boundaries are just really old fashioned. ☺

 

I do not post this response to trigger a debate, as I do not debate with strangers on the internet. 

 

Have a good Sunday everyone.

 

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48 minutes ago, Krickett said:

 In Europe they are used to no tips as this is their custom but when you come to American and tips are thought to be given as extra on top of their wages and if they are not then MSC is not presenting this properly to their customers.

 

I truly believe this to be the case. In all honesty, before sailing with MSC, I didn't know if they even asked for gratuities because that is not typically the European way. I would have just thanked the room butler/steward for letting me know. Then I would have left him a cash tip and been done with it.

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Krickett, You used the word "staff"; that would be the officers, activities staff, etc.  They are, indeed, salaried, and do not receive tips.

Cabin attendants and dining room personnel are "crew"; they are partly dependent on the gratuity pool, as they are the ones who serve us directly.

 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, SammySH said:

Wow I can’t believe what I’m reading! The EXACT thing happened to us on Mera 2/16 sailing. The cabin steward did the exact thing to us by bringing us in our room and saying the exact thing to us almost word for word as what@jkgourmet described! We too felt very uncomfortable and confused. This was our 17th cruise, first on MSC and never experienced anything like this. The cabin steward said he felt he could trust us and that he would get fired if anyone found out what he shared with us. We wound up giving him his tip in cash because we felt like he was putting his job on the line by doing what he did, so we believed him. He was an excellent cabin steward all week.


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WOW is right! Is it possible that you and the @jkgourmet had the exact same room steward??? If not, this is the second report which makes it, well... WOW! 

 

 

 

On 2/29/2020 at 10:20 AM, camofwilliamsburg said:

I do not know how MSC splits the tips between housekeeping and dining service but for RCCL and Celebrity it is pooled fleet wide and then divided up. Tips from current sailings are usually given 2 weeks later. This is what I was told.

 

This is the exact problem, no one knows. Everyone is told. And 90% of people are told different things. All this could be put to rest if the cruise lines were transparent. Makes me wonder why they aren't.

 

 

 

 

 

2 hours ago, Krickett said:

This is exactly what our Butler told us.  All MSC staff are on a salary wage, so the only 'extra' tips they receive are the ones that you give in cash. 

 

 

So this is the third report in one thread about MSC talking directly to staff soliciting tips because the DSC doesn't go to them. I saw a thread like this on one of the social pages get deleted. Apparently those running the social media pages don't want to see

 

 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, blueslily said:

I must say that from years of reading these threads from time to time when planning cruises, it has been interesting to me the number of cruisers who say they talk with or ask crew about their income.

 

In all three of the reports on this page, crew approached passengers directly regarding money. I suspect that crew initiating the conversation over salary happens a vast majority of times. Perhaps not as blatantly as described in the threads here, but hustle they do.

 

 

Edited by BermudaBound2014

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2 hours ago, shipgeeks said:

Krickett, You used the word "staff"; that would be the officers, activities staff, etc.  They are, indeed, salaried, and do not receive tips.

Cabin attendants and dining room personnel are "crew"; they are partly dependent on the gratuity pool, as they are the ones who serve us directly.

 

He did not solicit for tips he was informing us that ALL personnel onboard MSC ships are paid by salary not just the upper staff and that the tips we pay to MSC are not 'extra' for the crew, MSC uses them to pay their wages.

So if we thought that the MSC system worked they  way other cruise lines do, that they do not.

If we were to take off the tips it did not effect his pay.

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2 hours ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

but hustle they do.

Dear BB,   We do not expect nor anticipate any of our service providers to "have to" approach us regarding any gratuity. We know that these third world service providers covet the American Market. We understand the DSC is universal to all crew and we leave it unscathed. The ONLY fault we find with this particular thread is the steward suggested the OP would compensate HIs tip by canceling DSC . The steward was obviously not accustomed to American values of "fair play". We would never sacrifice the service of the many unseen service providers, to compensate the direct, over and above service he provided us during our cruise. We would thank him kindly for having respected and fulfilling each of our requests with a "Franklin" or two for the week and tell him that because of his service we will be returning and we will expect the same level of service should we be fortunate to have him or her again.

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Funny thing, we have returned to these same cabins in following years and have encountered the same service providers and so far have been very pleased that they remembered our names and provided us with a level of service which we find hard not to compensate them for at the same level if not more.

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4 minutes ago, rattanchair said:

 We would never sacrifice the service of the many unseen service providers, to compensate the direct, over and above service he provided us during our cruise.

 

Can you show me something in writing from MSC that says they use any portion of the DSC to go toward 'unseen' service providers? Without something in writing, you (and many others) are working on pure assumption.  

 

Note: My comments on this topic are geared toward the cruise line itself. If Cruise lines were more transparent about how the DSC is divided, these threads simply wouldn't exist. 

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15 minutes ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

If Cruise lines were more transparent about how the DSC is divided, these threads simply wouldn't exist. 

Dear BB,  Does it really matter how the DSC is divided or not divided? What matters is the one on one relationship with your butlers, steward, waiters, maitre d  assistants etc., for which we bring extra cash to reward extra special treatment. One gentleman in the Royal Suite on Seaside this past summer carried a stylish bag filled with $$ as he went about the ship tipping each and every crew member for ANY act they preformed for his benefit. Each of us has our own ways of getting and receiving service we desire. He tipped our butler for just pressing the elevator key when we were escorted to our show. If he was not getting the kind of service he desired I do not think he would be doing it.

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1 minute ago, rattanchair said:

Dear BB,  Does it really matter how the DSC is divided or not divided? What matters is the one on one relationship with your butlers, steward, waiters, maitre d  assistants etc., for which we bring extra cash to reward extra special treatment. One gentleman in the Royal Suite on Seaside this past summer carried a stylish bag filled with $$ as he went about the ship tipping each and every crew member for ANY act they preformed for his benefit. Each of us has our own ways of getting and receiving service we desire. He tipped our butler for just pressing the elevator key when we were escorted to our show. If he was not getting the kind of service he desired I do not think he would be doing it.

 

You just don't miss an opportunity 😉

 

Obviously it does matter, or these tipping threads wouldn't exist in the numbers they do.  Just re-read this thread to see how many assumptions are being made regarding DSC.  Transparency is a good thing.   Again, please provide any written evidence to support your claim that 'unseen service providers' are receiving part of you DSC.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We were talked into booking a two week cruise aboard the new Regent Splendor this Christmas in a PH C 450/194 sq ft by our travel agent and the Regent CC board saying that the service is above and beyond all expectations. But recent events caused someone to cancel their Royal Suite on the Seaside for this Christmas and we "jumped " on it. Though it is twice the price it normally goes for, we felt the level of service in the YC is a Known to a yet unknown, which we postponed til Christmas 2021. We attribute the level of service we received on board the Seaside to our American way of tipping rather than some forms of subtle intimidation that 'others' use while on board.

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All the cruise lines clearly state their service charges are distributed directly and indirectly to the crew.  If this were not true of any line there would be thousands of crew complaints all over the internet.  What I've only seen are a few disgruntled ex-employee blogs and a few spurious assertions by cabin stewards sneaking around asking for a larger share be given directly to them.  The cruise lines have made it clear they will not be providing any more details.

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1 hour ago, Até said:

All the cruise lines clearly state their service charges are distributed directly and indirectly to the crew.  If this were not true of any line there would be thousands of crew complaints all over the internet.  What I've only seen are a few disgruntled ex-employee blogs and a few spurious assertions by cabin stewards sneaking around asking for a larger share be given directly to them.  The cruise lines have made it clear they will not be providing any more details.

 

Can you please point me to any main stream cruise line clearly stating their service charges are distributed directly and indirectly to the crew?  I suppose that if the daily service charge is used to pay the base salary it is going directly to the crew, but that is not the spirit of a daily service charge for most North Americans. We think of 'tips' as 'in addition to".

 

I can't find the wording directly on MSC web site (which I would prefer), but here is what is often quoted as MSC"s DSC policy: "For your convenience MSC Cruises will automatically add a daily Hotel Service Charge to your shipboard account, based on your chosen itinerary and the number of days for which the services are actually provided. The Hotel Service charge serves to ensure MSC maintains the highest quality standards of service to their guests."

 

"Maintaining the highest quality standards" can mean a lot of things. Most of the cruise lines are less vague than MSC, but I've found none that clearly state that the DSC goes directly to staff as additional salary. In fact, I suspect that a portion of all main stream DSC goes to base salary and nothing 'additional'. Here is wording from NCL: "The reason there's a fixed service charge is an important one: Our Crew (as are the crew from other lines) is encouraged to work together as a team. Staff members including complimentary restaurant staff, stateroom stewards and behind-the-scenes support staff are compensated by a combination of salary and incentive programs that your service charge supports."

 

Again, I'm not debating the payment of DSC charges. Paying the DSC makes life easier. My point is that we do not know how much, if any, of our DSC goes directly to the crew as a 'bonus' or 'tip' or 'additional'. If you follow some of the social media forums from crew, I think you may see complaints about this topic are more common than you may realize. 

 

I couldn't have said this any better...... "Cruise lines have made it clear they will not be providing anymore details". For me, the next obvious question is, "why not?". But then again, I'm extra curious by nature and we all know what that did to the cat. 

 

 

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What are the service charges?

The service charge, which is calculated on a daily basis according to the length of the cruise, the destination and the ship, is charged by MSC Cruises at the end of the cruise. This service charge is divided among the staff who provide the hotel services on board. For this reason, no tips are required or payable. Service charge amounts vary based on ship and itinerary. Service charge information can be found here: General Boarding Information

https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Contact/Contacts-Faq.aspx

 

Norwegian’s discretionary daily service charges make it easy for guests to provide gratuities to key onboard staff who provide superior guest service during the cruise, including their room steward, restaurant servers and behind-the-scenes support staff. Any guests who feel the quality of the service they received did not meet their expectations can dispute their daily service charges by emailing Servicecharges@ncl.com, once they have returned from their cruise.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2175708-norwegian-cruise-line-changes-service-charge-policy/page/13/?tab=comments#comment-46521022

 

 

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