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Tipping?


conandrob240
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3 hours ago, conandrob240 said:

Can I tip Suite Concierge and my room attendant? If so, what amount? The room attendant is especially fantastic! 

 

It can be done, but in all honesty a "thank you" and a nice card is easier for the crew. They are all paid on a higher fixed salary so they financially are fine, and if you give them cash they have to complete a load of paperwork re taxes, and hand the cash in in the crew area. 

 

A good box of choc and a meaningful card would go a long way though I'm sure, and mention them by name in the end of voyage survey as that also helps them with future contracts. 

 

Best wishes

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2 hours ago, Lustate said:

 

It can be done, but in all honesty a "thank you" and a nice card is easier for the crew. They are all paid on a higher fixed salary so they financially are fine, and if you give them cash they have to complete a load of paperwork re taxes, and hand the cash in in the crew area. 

 

A good box of choc and a meaningful card would go a long way though I'm sure, and mention them by name in the end of voyage survey as that also helps them with future contracts. 

 

Best wishes

I don’t have anything with me to give them or even a card. But I appreciate this information. They (and entire crew) were stellar!

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8 minutes ago, conandrob240 said:

I don’t have anything with me to give them or even a card. But I appreciate this information. They (and entire crew) were stellar!

 

On deck 6 in the Necessities shop they have all sorts of cards. 🙂 (inc bday which was needed lol). 

 

Just say thanks and a nice mention in the end of voyage survey 🙂 

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I thought if you gave them cash they would put it in their pocket and not tell anyone! I didn't realize they would have to share or pay tax!!!!

 

We gave the rockstar agent last time $100 and thought she would keep it.

 

We booked another cruise for February and was going to bring cash for tips again but now not sure...... has anyone else heard of Virgin being strict with sharing or tax paying?

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The tax issue depends on where the crew member is from.  If they are not a US citizen, there is no US income tax kept.  The UK used to exempt "seamen" from tax, and most third world countries don't have income tax.

We offered a tip in the spa and were told that they were not allowed to accept tips and that the services included the tip.  She also commented that she made three times as much on VV as she did on a previous ship where she was tipped!  Other crew members have talked about the "perks" that are part of their salary on VV that they had to pay for on other lines--internet, good crew food, they can eat in the guest restaurants space permitting, free self service laundry, and they get the same toiletries supplied that guests do.  One person even laughed about it being a good thing that shampoo and laundry soap is provided, but said that it makes a huge difference in that she doesn't have to shop for it in port and it all adds up.

 

Yes, I would expect that they'd put a cash tip in their pocket...but I honestly don't know.  On Disney, if a CM is in a non-tipped position and receives a tip, it must be turned in and is then donated to charity or used for a crew event.  Keeping it is an offense that will get the person fired.

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You can always ask the person....have the money or envelope in your hand and just ask, "Are you allowed to accept a tip?"  If they say no, just say that you'll be sure to mention them in your survey.  If they say yes, hand them the tip.

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10 hours ago, Db85 said:

I thought if you gave them cash they would put it in their pocket and not tell anyone! I didn't realize they would have to share or pay tax!!!!

 

We gave the rockstar agent last time $100 and thought she would keep it.

 

We booked another cruise for February and was going to bring cash for tips again but now not sure...... has anyone else heard of Virgin being strict with sharing or tax paying?

Not sure about VV, but Sandals employees can be fired for accepting tips. 

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Tips are definitely not required as they are included in your fare and as others have noted, they are among the highest paid crew in the industry. Plus they get free WiFi and they're allowed to eat in the same restaurants we do. They are a well cared for crew and it really shows in their service. We were going to leave a tip for our RockStar agent but he said 'no need.'  As others have suggested, you could always ask the person if there is something you could offer in lieu of cash either from the ship itself or on shore. 

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I watched a bartender on Scarlet respond to someone wanting to "add extra money to their crew account since we don't have any cash to tip you" by saying "Why would you do that, I get paid by Virgin?"

 

I realize it's a hard concept for Americans and some other countries, but it is absolutely acceptable to not tip people if that is not part of their compensation. No need to feel guilty or wonder if they have to pay taxes. Just accept that they are being paid for their work, just like many people that never accept or want tips to do their job. 

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4 hours ago, neverendingcruising said:

I realize it's a hard concept for Americans and some other countries, but it is absolutely acceptable to not tip people if that is not part of their compensation. No need to feel guilty or wonder if they have to pay taxes. Just accept that they are being paid for their work, just like many people that never accept or want tips to do their job. 

100% this.  the problem with our US-centric addiction to tipping is that if people keep trying to tip crew all over the place, i fear that VV will start doing tips (hope not though!)

 

maybe a controversial statement here, but tipping is SO dumb.  it's gotten out of hand lately with the ipads too - suggesting a 25% min tip for pouring a cup of coffee or bagging my takeout food? yeah ok.  just raise the freaking menu prices and pay your employees vs. putting the burden on the general public.  for all of the people i know that make 6 figures bartending in major cities, there are many many many more living paycheck to paycheck - if that!

 

 

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25 minutes ago, _tacocat_ said:

100% this.  the problem with our US-centric addiction to tipping is that if people keep trying to tip crew all over the place, i fear that VV will start doing tips (hope not though!)

 

maybe a controversial statement here, but tipping is SO dumb.  it's gotten out of hand lately with the ipads too - suggesting a 25% min tip for pouring a cup of coffee or bagging my takeout food? yeah ok.  just raise the freaking menu prices and pay your employees vs. putting the burden on the general public.  for all of the people i know that make 6 figures bartending in major cities, there are many many many more living paycheck to paycheck - if that!

 

 


 

Agree 100% and I’m American.  The concept of showing gratitude for excellent service has been lost.  It’s now a requirement in America and even expected at self serve establishments.  Ridiculous.  
 

Back to Virgin Voyages one of the appealing attributes of the brand is no tipping. It’s included and the staff are well cared for and no one expects extra.  Let’s not change that expectation. If you want to show extra gratitude, do it by some other means besides tipping.  Something more personal.  A card. A small gift. A bottle of wine.  Even a gift card.  Of course you don’t have to do anything except say thank you, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it.  Something very difficult for Americans to grasp.  

Edited by eroller
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One thing that does really matter to crew on other lines is mentioning them on the survey.  On some lines, this has a lot to do with promotions, time off, etc.  Since VV asks the question, we made sure to remember names. An easy way is to shoot a photo of their name tag.  We didn't tip anyone extra.  We offered it in the spa and were told it was not permitted.

 

I LIKE the VV "almost all inclusive" model--it is one of the best parts of the line.  And the things that are included are the things that I would pay extra for on other lines, so it works well for me.  FWIW, I got a Celebrity ad so priced a cruise that is similar to our next VV.  Base price on Celebrity was just a smidge higher, but when I added the "mostly inclusive" price, it was double what we are paying on VV!  No, I didn't book it.

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4 hours ago, cantgetin said:

One thing that does really matter to crew on other lines is mentioning them on the survey.  On some lines, this has a lot to do with promotions, time off, etc.  Since VV asks the question, we made sure to remember names. An easy way is to shoot a photo of their name tag.  We didn't tip anyone extra.  We offered it in the spa and were told it was not permitted.

 

 

 

 

I agree.  It means a lot, I think more than a monetary tip on Virgin.  It's just another attribute that sets them apart from other cruise lines. 

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The NO TIPPING policy is one of the things that drew me to VV. I absolutely hate the entire concept of tipping and cannot see that any good has come about through this demeaning practice.

Hotels, restaurants, cruise ships, etc who exploit their staff also exploit their patrons and the outcome is a miserable atmosphere for all concerned.

Real expressions of gratitude are lost within the quagmire of a tipping culture.

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We had a crew member tell us that mentions in the comments could mean anything from an extra hour off on a port day to a change to a more desirable schedule on future cruises to promotions/raises depending on the number of positive comments. And he made a point of saying how important  that extra hour off was to him.  He also said that it is pretty easy to get promoted on VV "since they are always adding new ships" as long as the sailors and the supervisors like you.  He said you can get promoted in your second contract which some other lines require you to work 7 or 8 contracts before promotion.  And they don't hire anyone who doesn't have previous experience on another line and have a short list of lines they prefer to see on applications.  Again, I can't say that this is true, but was one crew member's info.

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7 hours ago, yarramar said:

Real expressions of gratitude are lost within the quagmire of a tipping culture.

 

I have always been an advocate for workers in these types of employment. They should  be treated fairly and well compensated in salary as well as health benefits. I never concurred that tipping was one of the ways to get there. To me, it always seemed to benefit the employer and to foster neglect to the backbone of the organization...the "rank and file" so to speak. Just add extra to the final price that is paid by the end consumer. Don't lull me in with a lower price, only to bombard me with add ons later.  Many cruise line do as a standard operating procedure.

 

The brilliant end quote to this post sums up my feeling perfectly....Bravo yarramar!

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