Jump to content

Gratuities are going up.


Recommended Posts

A chunk of my income comes from tips and I gladly tip very well as well.  Its supposed to be a little extra thank you between guest and server. I hate that they mandate it. One of my family homes is in a very upscale community in the Keys.  They for decades built in 15% on top as a tip. Mixed feelings on that as the affluent guests often left hearty  tips that well exceeded the 15%. The facility actually asked guests to refrain from giving more as it was a cashless society there. They upped to 18% to include more layers of help, many who had good salaries already.  For me, I got ticked off when the upper management wanted to tack on 18 % tip on the annual membership dues. This on top of high 5 or low 6 digit salaries. 

Ship crew are paid painfully little. I grease everyone I can along the way. I really enjoy that interaction and affirmation that they went over and above. Smiles are priceless.  Thats being said I'm not pleased with the "mandates". It takes away from that "good feeling" of that "thank you" when its forced. I get why they do it as a lot would simply walk away without leaving a thing. With that in mind, I'm for rolling it into a cruise fare then "tips" can be meaningful again. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMHO there is no need to justify or explain what you choose to do with your money. There is also no reason to try and shame others for what they want to do. I personally don't understand removing tips but that's something to do with my life and personal experiences. 

As a person who starting out serving in a pizza restaurant at 14, having to clean and restock a salad bar, I feel for most service workers. On a cruise ship many people often wear many hats, so that dishwasher could be the greeter one day, the same for the laundry person. I am blessed enough to be able to tip what I want, to choose what extras I want, and travel in any style I want. The key for me is to budget, I stop unnecessary spending months before any vacation as well as putting extra aside. I know not everyone can do this. I also think including gratuity in the fare, instead of a separate charge, might work better.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, lapelirroja said:

I found an old RC blog post that says you can prepay your gratuities online. I've searched around in the cruise planner and in the payment area and did not see a place to do this. Does anyone know the exact place this can be done, or do I need to call in (no TA)?

When you book through Royal there’s an option to prepay the gratuities.  Your TA can also add them to your invoice, so I’d contact them to have them added.  If you booked direct with Royal, then you may need to call.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Cruisin Dovers said:

We may not give a big tip at the MDR but we will give them our room number that they can drop by anytime or meet up with us somewhere if they need encouragement, counsel, or pray. 

Being able to bless someone with money is a great thing! Blessing someone with a part of your life is a great thing.

 

 

 Praying for someone or blessing them doesn't pay the bills.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Cruisin Dovers said:

I do not see anyone complaining about paying gratuities, it’s more of how they’re being charged. 

i find the phrase cheapskate being thrown around is very judgmental when no one here knows the heart or actions of another.

Also the comment if you can pay for a cruise you can afford to pay whatever fees there are, is not totally accurate. 

I agree 100%!!!! I have always said what a person tips should be up to them however so many threads regarding tips ends up a who can p!$$  the furthest competition! 

Poster No1 i tip $1 per drink and $20 for cabin steward.

Poster No2 i tip $5 per drink and tip my Cabin steward $50

Poster No 3 well i tip $10 per drink, $100 for cabin steward and i give guy cleaning pool my Platinum credit card and tell him to go have fun.

When it comes to tips best just to do what you want because tbh anyone can WRITE that they do this or do that but there's no proof and those saying they tip 100s or 1000s could infact be tighter than 2 coats paint and actually not tip at all...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, the mandatory tipping is not for me as I prefer to provide tips directly according to service. However, too many would be woefully short so I accept it to ensure that a far amount is received by those who serve. We have decided to consider it a minimum and then tip additional where we feel it is deserved.

And then there are those who wouldn't get a nickel of the daily....

Back in January we were on the Allure for an 8 day. There was a room steward that was taking care of cabins closer to the elevator on our deck that we passed several times a day. Great guy, always singing and greeted us by name (we had stopped and briefly chatted with him on day 2) without fail. He wasn't taking care of our cabin but the day before we got back to Lauderdale I tipped him because he added so much to our experience. Without knowing what was in the envelope he expressed his gratitude and thanked us for the interactions during the week. I told him that when we got our survey we would mention him and to please keep that cheerful personality on full display as the world needed more of it. The next morning back in Lauderdale we got another big smile and a song.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there's two primary issues with gratuities.

First, is the nature of the fact gratuities are obligatory and many (including myself) wish it was just rolled into the cruise fare since they aren't really optional. I'd be the first to sign up for that.

Second is the fact the rate is going up. It's the first rate change in 4 years. I think that's quite a lot of time between rate changes. Given the rate of inflation and standard of living over last 4 years, it's not an overreach, especially given how hard the crew work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Ray said:

I agree 100%!!!! I have always said what a person tips should be up to them however so many threads regarding tips ends up a who can p!$$  the furthest competition! 

Poster No1 i tip $1 per drink and $20 for cabin steward.

Poster No2 i tip $5 per drink and tip my Cabin steward $50

Poster No 3 well i tip $10 per drink, $100 for cabin steward and i give guy cleaning pool my Platinum credit card and tell him to go have fun.

When it comes to tips best just to do what you want because tbh anyone can WRITE that they do this or do that but there's no proof and those saying they tip 100s or 1000s could infact be tighter than 2 coats paint and actually not tip at all...

Hysterical🤣
Just came off a European cruise where the crew is not used to additional tips.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just for some clarification almost all cruise ship workers earn a minimum of around $32,000 year which is around $16hr. That is not including cash tips, free meals, lodging, and other benefits.


$16hr is more than the minimum wage in most States. Here in Arkansas it is $11hr. 
 

This does not mean they should not get tips for a job done well, especially if they go out of their way to provide a great service. It does mean they are not getting ripped off working on a cruise ship . (They are not victims of a having a very low wage.) Yes they may work hard and do a great job. Just like others in other fields and make much less money.

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/pay-salary/how-much-do-cruise-ship-workers-make

PS the increase in ‘minimum gratuity price’ is certainly reasonable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Mike n Ky said:

Personally, the mandatory tipping is not for me as I prefer to provide tips directly according to service. However, too many would be woefully short so I accept it to ensure that a far amount is received by those who serve. We have decided to consider it a minimum and then tip additional where we feel it is deserved.

And then there are those who wouldn't get a nickel of the daily....

Back in January we were on the Allure for an 8 day. There was a room steward that was taking care of cabins closer to the elevator on our deck that we passed several times a day. Great guy, always singing and greeted us by name (we had stopped and briefly chatted with him on day 2) without fail. He wasn't taking care of our cabin but the day before we got back to Lauderdale I tipped him because he added so much to our experience. Without knowing what was in the envelope he expressed his gratitude and thanked us for the interactions during the week. I told him that when we got our survey we would mention him and to please keep that cheerful personality on full display as the world needed more of it. The next morning back in Lauderdale we got another big smile and a song.


 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/23/2022 at 2:36 PM, Pub Crawlers said:

Well IMHO I don't know how they can just an increase when there has been a definite decrease in staffing, etc. Just received the following via email. We personally have all gratuities removed and chose who deserves tips, etc.

Dear Guest,

We are excited to welcome you onboard for your upcoming Royal Caribbean sailing!

As you prepare to set sail, we wanted to notify you of an update to our daily gratuity charges. As of September 7th, 2022, the automatic daily gratuity charge will increase from $14.50 to $16.00 per guest, per day for non-suite staterooms and from $17.50 to $18.50 per guest, per day for suites. The daily gratuity is shared among dining, bar & culinary services staff, stateroom attendants, and other hotel services teams.

If you’d like to pre-pray your gratuities at the current rate before your sailing, we’re happy to extend this opportunity to you. If you’d prefer to pay onboard, your gratuity charge will be applied to your onboard account at the new rate.

Other onboard gratuity policies remain the same – an 18% gratuity will be automatically added to purchases for beverages, spa & salon services, room service, and mini bar items. These will be itemized on your receipt at the end of each purchase.

To pre-pay your gratuities before your sailing at the current rate, or if you have any questions, please contact your Travel Advisor or contact us at

I think you answered your own question when you said you remove them. That's why the rest of us are having to pay more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/24/2022 at 1:02 AM, Ray said:

I'm pretty sure that you pay one way or the other! 

If you prepay its added onto your total and paid before you cruise.

If you decide not to prepay then its added onto your onboard account and you are charged at end off cruise. 

From my understanding and hopefully someone will correct me if im wrong but your paying the daily gratuities no matter what! 

 

No they are having them removed because they either are cheap or can't afford them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, Pattycruise said:

Hysterical🤣
Just came off a European cruise where the crew is not used to additional tips.
 

Not sure why its hysterical! Maybe you could explain? 

Yeah European tipping culture is different to US as has been mentioned on numerous threads. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Cruisin Dovers said:

Just for some clarification almost all cruise ship workers earn a minimum of around $32,000 year which is around $16hr. That is not including cash tips, free meals, lodging, and other benefits.

Are you basing this on a 40 hour work week? Cruise ship employees work more than 8 hours a day and more than 5 days a week.

The most recent glimpse I have seen was a pay of a little under $1400 a month for a 29 week contract.  That $32K figure may be an average when you count officer level staff who do make more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't add much to this discussion except for this: Most of us tip according to a percentage of our bill.  For example, most of us will tip 15% to 20% of our restaurant bill.  However, RC changes a set price per day.  So, it makes sense for them to increase the gratuities ever couple of years.  The fact that they only do it once every 3 to 4 years even if the cruise prices have increase during that time means the staff is shorted before the next increase.   It also makes sense for RC to have a fix rate since how much we each pay varies widely across the board. A percentage would not make sense. 

Yes, I prepaid the gratuities because I don't want the bill at the end of the cruise and because I know that I won't be able to find the people behind the scenes to thank them with a tip. 

Yes, even with prepaying the gratuities, I still tip more to brighten up someone day. Especially since I can  afford to. I don't know if this will chance once I am a fixed income but it feels good to do it today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

Are you basing this on a 40 hour work week? Cruise ship employees work more than 8 hours a day and more than 5 days a week.

The most recent glimpse I have seen was a pay of a little under $1400 a month for a 29 week contract.  That $32K figure may be an average when you count officer level staff who do make more.

Based upon the link I gave which was on and annual income basis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Cruisin Dovers said:

Based upon the link I gave which was on and annual income basis.

Not going to comment on the link because everyone knows everything you read on the Internet is 100% true 😉

However i will comment on the fact the person i know who is bar staff on cruiseship received $1000 per month for their 1st contract. 

I cannot say if this has inceased each time they renewed contract as i have never asked as its none of my business. But to get to the figures mentioned thats a $3000 a year increase or roughly 30% per contract 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Considering that many of the crew actually work a 12-16 workday with maybe 1 day off a week, the $32,000 figure is crap. If that $32k figure is based on a 29-week contract at roughly 2500hrs, based on a 14hr workday for 6 days a week. Their average pay is $12.80, factor in a 17% tax rate and the rate becomes $10.62. Minimum wage varies, yes, but so does cost of living. 

I also want to point out that you say you "save" people. A Vegas server compared to cruise crew members is dragon fruit to bananas. They both might be fruit but that is where the similarities stop. It is nice to offer a lending ear, prayer and support but those don't pay the bills, not everyone has vices they need to be cleansed of. I also wonder if the cost of 24/7 phone support is more than what the daily gratuity would be? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Cruisin Dovers said:

(They are not victims of a having a very low wage.)

I could not disagree with you any more than I currently do. This is not a great wage for the work they provide. I feel like you're going out of your way to justify why you don't need to tip because you tip with your time. You do what you need to do with your $$ but 32k is not a livable wage for the hours they put in. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really not trying to "pile on" here, but in looking at your profile, you mention that your Allure OTS cruise in January 2023 will be your first cruise, so I think it's partially a factor of not having seen what these crew members do for you and who they are perhaps?  @Ampurp85 was not exaggerating when she said they maybe have one day off per week and work 12-16 hours a day. This is not like a hotel stay where a different maid will service your room each day. The same stateroom attendant will clean and make up your room morning and evening every single day with rare exception (I have seen my assigned stateroom attendant every single day on all 3 of my cruises this year.) They will call you by name: "Mr. Joe" every time they see you from the first day and ask how "Mrs Sue" is if she is not with you. The same MDR staff will wait on you every night and remember your drink order if you have traditional dining. They will ask you if you got off the ship and how your excursion was - many of them have not been off the ship in AGES. They have not seen their families since their contract began and many send all of their paychecks directly home. If the 32000/year figure is accurate, it most certainly is not $16/hour. Additionally, (and someone more experienced feel free to correct me if I am wrong) they do not work the whole year - when they finish a contract and go home, they have no pay until their next contract begins.

I hope you and your wife have a wonderful cruise. I am going on Allure in a few weeks myself and am really looking forward to not having to think about a thing except which drink I want and which restaurant to go to once I get on board. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never said I was not going to tip. I said I want control who and how I tip and to know ahead of time how it all works instead of being surprised. I am also saying that there are multitudes of other ways to bless a cruise member than just money. 
 

i do not have to justify anything with anyone. 

i will say it for the last time. What matters is st the end of the day each of us should use our gifts, talents, finances to bless others who serve us. How we do it is material. There is no right or wrong. What matters is if the staff feels appreciated and not being taken advantage of.
 

PD Based upon what I read at Indeed (very reliable organization) at the end of the year the hours the work ends up being the same as 40hrs a Lweek when it is averaged out. 
What I am challenging is the mindset that unless a owrdin gives a big tip, they are somehow stingy or cheap or robbing the staff. Just trying to bring balance.

Bye.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Cruisin Dovers said:

Just for some clarification almost all cruise ship workers earn a minimum of around $32,000 year which is around $16hr. That is not including cash tips, free meals, lodging, and other benefits.


$16hr is more than the minimum wage in most States. Here in Arkansas it is $11hr. 
 

This does not mean they should not get tips for a job done well, especially if they go out of their way to provide a great service. It does mean they are not getting ripped off working on a cruise ship . (They are not victims of a having a very low wage.) Yes they may work hard and do a great job. Just like others in other fields and make much less money.

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/pay-salary/how-much-do-cruise-ship-workers-make

PS the increase in ‘minimum gratuity price’ is certainly reasonable.

I wouldn't assume 8 hour day. I am sure 2000 hours a year is light. Crew likely work more. But you do raise interesting questions about compensation theory and pay equity.Have a great day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Per the companies that find employees for the lines like Indeed  or Zip Recruiter... Pay offered is 50,000 Philipine Pesos a month.  50,000 PHP per month works out to be roughly $900 a month for near 100 hour weeks (5000 hours per year, not 2000. ) or maybe $2.25 an hour.  Not sure where the $16 per hour stuff came from and no $32k is not near the norm. Maybe for an officer or director but general staff? Not even close. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/25/2022 at 10:50 AM, Cruisin Dovers said:

Just for some clarification almost all cruise ship workers earn a minimum of around $32,000 year which is around $16hr. That is not including cash tips, free meals, lodging, and other benefits.


$16hr is more than the minimum wage in most States. Here in Arkansas it is $11hr. 
 

This does not mean they should not get tips for a job done well, especially if they go out of their way to provide a great service. It does mean they are not getting ripped off working on a cruise ship . (They are not victims of a having a very low wage.) Yes they may work hard and do a great job. Just like others in other fields and make much less money.

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/pay-salary/how-much-do-cruise-ship-workers-make

PS the increase in ‘minimum gratuity price’ is certainly reasonable.

Not sure the benefits are what you think they are, nor the hourly rate. For example, these folks pay for uniforms (at a discounted rate) as well as washing them (laundry is not included for crew); and work 12 to 16 hours per day with no days off.  An average hourly "year" is 2,000, so to do the math, working 3,200 hours per year works out to $10 an hour before taxes, costs etc. come out. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/25/2022 at 7:40 PM, ellcee said:

I just did a google salary conversion and got sick to my stomach. This may make me tip a little more. 

I did say previously roughly 1k a month. 

While its not a lot for some in a country like US or UK for those from India or Philippines it is a lot.

Back in 2015 i visited PH for my 20th wedding anniversary, we got a small souvenir made marking our trip!

It cost us 100 pesos which at the time was about £1.80, gave the women 500 peso and told her to keep the change, she couldn't thank us enough and as she pulled the shutters down she told us that was 3 days wages from us so she was away home. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/25/2022 at 7:46 PM, Cruisin Dovers said:

I never said I was not going to tip. I said I want control who and how I tip and to know ahead of time how it all works instead of being surprised. I am also saying that there are multitudes of other ways to bless a cruise member than just money. 
 

i do not have to justify anything with anyone. 

i will say it for the last time. What matters is st the end of the day each of us should use our gifts, talents, finances to bless others who serve us. How we do it is material. There is no right or wrong. What matters is if the staff feels appreciated and not being taken advantage of.
 

PD Based upon what I read at Indeed (very reliable organization) at the end of the year the hours the work ends up being the same as 40hrs a Lweek when it is averaged out. 

Bye.

If you divide the hours worked in a 9 month contract by 12 months in a year then yeah you may get an average 40 hrs! 

But on average 14hrs a day for 6 days = 84hrs a week thats not including those who finish late ( early hours of morning ) and have to get up after just getting to bed 2 or 3 hours earlier to take part in COMPULSORY safety drills while ship is docked. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Ray said:

If you divide the hours worked in a 9 month contract by 12 months in a year then yeah you may get an average 40 hrs! 

But on average 14hrs a day for 6 days = 84hrs a week thats not including those who finish late ( early hours of morning ) and have to get up after just getting to bed 2 or 3 hours earlier to take part in COMPULSORY safety drills while ship is docked. 

 

 

And for some it’s not “x” number of hours straight.  It could be 4 hour or 6 hours on, then a long break and more of the same.  Shift work is not easy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...