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6 hours ago, Milwaukee Eight said:

We are not accustomed to barbershops that big here in my areas of Florida.  We used to have salons in stores in the Malls but they seemed to have disappeared. Dillard’s used to have salons and I remember Belk’s as well. All gone. 
 

Our County, is bigger by land that some States. However, we are not all stacked on top of each other. 

Which county?

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Tipping is such an American thing.  It is not customary in many countries.  I tip according to the custom of the country I'm in.  When on a cruise ship I pay my cruise fare and expect Royal Caribbean to pay its employees.  For the amount I am paying I expect consistently good service and if I don't receive it the ship's management shall hear from me.

 

On my first cruise (Vision)  I "went with the program" and prepaid gratuities.  After that, I did it my way and did not pay any gratuities at all.  I did not prepay gratuities.  The first day onboard (Rhapsody and Independence) I notified Guest Services I was not going to pay gratuities at all.   The desk agent asked why and I said it was not my custom.  On my next to last day onboard I called to make sure I had not been charged gratuities.  I experienced no change in the level of service from day one to the end of the cruise.  I was polite to all employees and I received good service, no different from what I receive in the US when I tip.

 

I'm not trying to change anyone's opinion.  It is your money, spend it as you wish.  Likewise, it's my money and I'll decide how and when to spend it.

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First off, my barber has 8 chairs and the barbers pay rent for the use of those chairs. This is in Polk County, Fl, but that's the way it works. The same was for the salon chains. Milwaukee Eight, why do you come off so angry? If you don't like the way cruises operate, stay home. Don't take it out on the crew. If they paid a living wage, you'd be the first to scream the prices are too high, which they would be.

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43 minutes ago, deliver42 said:

First off, my barber has 8 chairs and the barbers pay rent for the use of those chairs. This is in Polk County, Fl, but that's the way it works. The same was for the salon chains. Milwaukee Eight, why do you come off so angry? If you don't like the way cruises operate, stay home. Don't take it out on the crew. If they paid a living wage, you'd be the first to scream the prices are too high, which they would be.

Not arguing but putting a different slant.  Last year P&O removed the need to tip.  They state tips not required.  I have to presume they have increased the cruise prices to reflect the lack of auto-tipping which they had before.  However their prices are still low to reasonable and there has been no giant leap.  Cruise wages are of course one of the 7 secrets of the world.  However, given there are no longer tips I have to presume that P&O are compensating them with an increase in basic wage.

 

It would be more honest to pay the staff a proper wage and price the cruise accordingly.  I suspect the only reason they don't do it is to keep their headline price.  If they did it and the other cruise lines didn't then RCI would look expensive in comparison as people tend not to see beyond the headline.

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By UK standards I'd consider myself a generous tipper, and often make up the shortfall if I'm dining with friends and they are unwilling or unable to leave the tip a server has earned. But when I'm on a cruise (something I have to scrimp and save for) part of the appeal is not having to carry cash, and often when you collect foreign currency getting a large bundle of smaller bills isn't possible which further complicates things. 

 

Brits are actually often uncomfortable with the American method of tipping in advance for every drink, it feels like you're bribing someone to do their job rather than rewarding them afterwards for going the extra mile. We visit friends in the States a bit and in their local bar you simply don't get served unless you hand over a dollar bill for every drink ordered, it has to be on the bar before you get served. If that's the custom, fine, but my standard bar tip at the end of the night would have been higher if I'd simply received great service and left a tip at the end, if they didn't want to go there we certainly wouldn't enter the place. If that's your system and you like it then by all means, carry on with it, but for us the approach seems bizarre.

 

Something I'm surprised hasn't come up in this thread is that in my experience cruise staff are aware of the different customs and recognise accents etc. I will add a tip to the receipt when I sign for a drink etc if there's been some specific extra service, but otherwise the auto gratuities are plenty until I seek out any staff that have gone above and beyond during the cruise and hand them an envelope, and crew have always been aware of this being the cultural norm for me. Service has always been great because they know that most Brits will tip at the end if its optional.

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1 hour ago, deliver42 said:

Milwaukee Eight, why do you come off so angry? If you don't like the way cruises operate, stay home. Don't take it out on the crew. If they paid a living wage, you'd be the first to scream the prices are too high, which they would be.

Could you quote his angry statement on this thread, please?  I'm not seeing it.  Perhaps you are filling the required tipping thread invitation for someone to not cruise if they don't like the tipping system.

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8 hours ago, DfDinLA said:

I tip according to the custom of the country I'm in.

 

The first day onboard (Rhapsody and Independence) I notified Guest Services I was not going to pay gratuities at all.   The desk agent asked why and I said it was not my custom.

Pure hypocrisy. Stop lying to yourself. You do not tip according to the custom of the country you are in. You do what you want to save yourself money. You are the EXACT reason why autograts should be non-refundable if the cruise is taken.

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3 hours ago, deliver42 said:

First off, my barber has 8 chairs and the barbers pay rent for the use of those chairs. This is in Polk County, Fl, but that's the way it works. The same was for the salon chains. Milwaukee Eight, why do you come off so angry? If you don't like the way cruises operate, stay home. Don't take it out on the crew. If they paid a living wage, you'd be the first to scream the prices are too high, which they would be.

Same way in Flagler County, just north of Milwaukee's county. Same for Volusia. He may not know of them or use them but they are still there.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Dinglebert said:

Not arguing but putting a different slant.  Last year P&O removed the need to tip.  They state tips not required.  I have to presume they have increased the cruise prices to reflect the lack of auto-tipping which they had before.  However their prices are still low to reasonable and there has been no giant leap.  Cruise wages are of course one of the 7 secrets of the world.  However, given there are no longer tips I have to presume that P&O are compensating them with an increase in basic wage.

 

It would be more honest to pay the staff a proper wage and price the cruise accordingly.  I suspect the only reason they don't do it is to keep their headline price.  If they did it and the other cruise lines didn't then RCI would look expensive in comparison as people tend not to see beyond the headline.

Raising wages in any business increases costs to that business. One can increase wages without increasing overall cost to the consumer only by cutting costs elsewhere.

 

The headline price could be kept the same with mandatory autograts added like port charges and taxes.

Edited by Computer Nerd

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1 hour ago, Smiles1984 said:

By UK standards I'd consider myself a generous tipper, and often make up the shortfall if I'm dining with friends and they are unwilling or unable to leave the tip a server has earned. But when I'm on a cruise (something I have to scrimp and save for) part of the appeal is not having to carry cash, and often when you collect foreign currency getting a large bundle of smaller bills isn't possible which further complicates things. 

 

Brits are actually often uncomfortable with the American method of tipping in advance for every drink, it feels like you're bribing someone to do their job rather than rewarding them afterwards for going the extra mile. We visit friends in the States a bit and in their local bar you simply don't get served unless you hand over a dollar bill for every drink ordered, it has to be on the bar before you get served. If that's the custom, fine, but my standard bar tip at the end of the night would have been higher if I'd simply received great service and left a tip at the end, if they didn't want to go there we certainly wouldn't enter the place. If that's your system and you like it then by all means, carry on with it, but for us the approach seems bizarre.

 

Something I'm surprised hasn't come up in this thread is that in my experience cruise staff are aware of the different customs and recognise accents etc. I will add a tip to the receipt when I sign for a drink etc if there's been some specific extra service, but otherwise the auto gratuities are plenty until I seek out any staff that have gone above and beyond during the cruise and hand them an envelope, and crew have always been aware of this being the cultural norm for me. Service has always been great because they know that most Brits will tip at the end if its optional.

If one pays the autograts one does not have to tip above that.

 

If someone feels uncomfortable with the customs we have in the US, one does not have to visit the US. No different than if someone feels uncomfortable driving on the wrong side of the road one doesn't have to visit the UK.
 

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3 hours ago, deliver42 said:

Milwaukee Eight, why do you come off so angry? If you don't like the way cruises operate, stay home. Don't take it out on the crew. If they paid a living wage, you'd be the first to scream the prices are too high, which they would be.

Where in the heck do you come up with this?  Post #?  I think we take very good care of the crew. 

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10 minutes ago, Computer Nerd said:

If one pays the autograts one does not have to tip above that.

 

If someone feels uncomfortable with the customs we have in the US, one does not have to visit the US. No different than if someone feels uncomfortable driving on the wrong side of the road one doesn't have to visit the UK.
 

We drive on the correct side.  Its the US who don't.

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3 hours ago, deliver42 said:

First off, my barber has 8 chairs and the barbers pay rent for the use of those chairs. This is in Polk County, Fl, but that's the way it works. The same was for the salon chains. Milwaukee Eight, why do you come off so angry? If you don't like the way cruises operate, stay home. Don't take it out on the crew. If they paid a living wage, you'd be the first to scream the prices are too high, which they would be.

Did you mistakenly call out the wrong person? That is the only reason I can think of for your post unless you can provide some example that I missed.🤔

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17 minutes ago, Computer Nerd said:

Raising wages in any business increases costs to that business. One can increase wages without increasing overall cost to the consumer only by cutting costs elsewhere.

 

The headline price could be kept the same with mandatory autograts added like port charges and taxes.

We have different rules on pricing.  The headline price in the UK had to include all manditory charge such as taxes and port charges.  It doesn't curently for RCI include tips as they are not manditory.

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1 hour ago, Computer Nerd said:

If one pays the autograts one does not have to tip above that.

 

If someone feels uncomfortable with the customs we have in the US, one does not have to visit the US. No different than if someone feels uncomfortable driving on the wrong side of the road one doesn't have to visit the UK.
 

The point in my post was that when cruising (cruises take place in seas and oceans around the world) nobody should be expected to follow any particular culture's preference for tipping practices. There's been a huge amount of discussion around following the American model and heavy implication that not doing so is rude or will result in less preferential service, and I am sharing that my experience is otherwise. 

 

When I'm in the US I follow the customs, I'm just pointing out why those from most other countries find it unusual and in some cases confusing. In the rest of the world a tip is a reward for good service rather than a toll to receive any service at all, in the States it seems it can be either. 

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17 minutes ago, Smiles1984 said:

The point in my post was that when cruising (cruises take place in seas and oceans around the world) nobody should be expected to follow any particular culture's preference for tipping practices. There's been a huge amount of discussion around following the American model and heavy implication that not doing so is rude or will result in less preferential service, and I am sharing that my experience is otherwise. 

 

When I'm in the US I follow the customs, I'm just pointing out why those from most other countries find it unusual and in some cases confusing. In the rest of the world a tip is a reward for good service rather than a toll to receive any service at all, in the States it seems it can be either. 

I'm from U.K. And would never tip for drinks served in a bar it's just not the custom outside the USA and in Europe tipping for anything is less the norm than the U.K..

what I found annoying is some going around with wads of cash doling out tips for everything under the sun when they are on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean etc and expecting better service because they have a big wad!!

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4 hours ago, Smiles1984 said:

simply don't get served unless you hand over a dollar bill for every drink ordered, it has to be on the bar before you get served.

Sorry, but I have never had to tip before getting served and never do.  I give the tip either when the drink is served or the tab is settled.  Not before.  I have been in my fair share of bars in the US and around the world (and ships) and this is always the case.

I also do not tip the steward until the end of the cruise 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Smiles1984 said:

We visit friends in the States a bit and in their local bar you simply don't get served unless you hand over a dollar bill for every drink ordered, it has to be on the bar before you get served.

This is odd even for most Americans.

Where in the States is this? Might be some weird custom specific to that one bar.

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38 minutes ago, ThirstyCruiser said:

This is odd even for most Americans.

Where in the States is this? Might be some weird custom specific to that one bar.

This is an extreme, I'm pointing out that the custom can vary a great deal. I've had this experience once in Miami and once in Boston. Neither are bars I'd personally choose to visit myself. I'm not suggesting this is the norm, they're simply crap bars, but they do exist and people do visit them.

 

1 hour ago, cruiser man 60 said:

I'm from U.K. And would never tip for drinks served in a bar it's just not the custom outside the USA and in Europe tipping for anything is less the norm than the U.K..

what I found annoying is some going around with wads of cash doling out tips for everything under the sun when they are on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean etc and expecting better service because they have a big wad!!

As someone who has plenty of UK bar jobs in his youth, I can assure you that while tipping isn't expected, a normal shift for a good bartender normally ends with about £10-15 in tips. 

 

53 minutes ago, Seville2Cabo said:

Sorry, but I have never had to tip before getting served and never do.  I give the tip either when the drink is served or the tab is settled.  Not before.  I have been in my fair share of bars in the US and around the world (and ships) and this is always the case.

I also do not tip the steward until the end of the cruise 

 

 

No need at all to apologise for having been to decent bars!

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5 hours ago, Smiles1984 said:

We visit friends in the States a bit and in their local bar you simply don't get served unless you hand over a dollar bill for every drink ordered, it has to be on the bar before you get served

I have travelled in 27 of 50 US states and never have I had this experience.  That is a bizarre and unheard of custom.  I'm not saying it didn't happen to you just that that is certainly not indicative of common custom.

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2 hours ago, Smiles1984 said:

The point in my post was that when cruising (cruises take place in seas and oceans around the world) nobody should be expected to follow any particular culture's preference for tipping practices. There's been a huge amount of discussion around following the American model and heavy implication that not doing so is rude or will result in less preferential service, and I am sharing that my experience is otherwise. 

 

When I'm in the US I follow the customs, I'm just pointing out why those from most other countries find it unusual and in some cases confusing. In the rest of the world a tip is a reward for good service rather than a toll to receive any service at all, in the States it seems it can be either. 

I'm actually sympathetic to UK and Euro travelers as they are used to a different culture than what happens on ships embarking out of the US.  Really what I think would be best is for Royal to include the gratuities as a promotional thing (**FREE GRATS FOR ALL UK/EURO TRAVELERS!**) and then price the cruises accordingly when sold in those markets.

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13 minutes ago, Tree_skier said:

I'm actually sympathetic to UK and Euro travelers as they are used to a different culture than what happens on ships embarking out of the US.  Really what I think would be best is for Royal to include the gratuities as a promotional thing (**FREE GRATS FOR ALL UK/EURO TRAVELERS!**) and then price the cruises accordingly when sold in those markets.

Wouldn’t they just book via a US TA and then remove the tips?

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1 minute ago, Seville2Cabo said:

Wouldn’t they just book via a US TA and then remove the tips?

 

Where possible they probably would, although there are more and more restrictions on doing so.

 

They should just offer net cruise fares for booking centers outside of the US where the gratuities are already included or better to sell it as cruise fare including all fees and taxes that it's impossible for passengers to wave the specific gratuities element.

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