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Question about “extra” tips


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This may have been beaten to death already but I’m gonna go ahead and ask again. I have heard a rumor that the stateroom attendants pool tips. I’m specifically referencing extra cash handed to an attendant for going above and beyond. I have heard that any cash earned (even on the down low) must be submitted to the head steward and pooled with other attendants. This upsets me because I like to tip individuals for assisting with the mess my kids make in our stateroom and for them to have to share this money is really not fair. Anyone heard of this? 

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This makes sense...as this is what the cruise lines do.

 

I wish they would stop calling it tips...a tip is what you give to someone for great service.......everything else is fees and taxes.

 

So you like the service your attendant gives you....so you give them cash..they in turn have to share it with others who you have never seen or helped you with anything and perhaps give terrible service to the people they take care of.

 

This is not TIPPING...it drives me crazy....its a service fee essentially....at least the auto grats are.....if you voluntarily give more to someone...I am not even sure what to call that.

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I just got off the Grandeur of the Seas yesterday. I tipped (above the prepaid gratuities) to the people that went above and beyond. I handed the tips to them individually (my stateroom attendant for example). She was fantastic. I think you just hand those to help you the most. There was actually envelopes in our stateroom that you can put your cabin# and the name of the person.

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15 minutes ago, rjac said:

Tony...where did you hear that from? Interesting, but I find that hard to believe.:27_sunglasses:

I have heard it twice now. Once in a person to person conversation with a loyal RC cruiser who mentioned that the policy says if they keep tips and don’t pool them they are subject to being terminated. Also this information was brought to my attention on Facebook RC group discussions. I hope it’s not true.

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8 minutes ago, Boston Babe said:

I just got off the Grandeur of the Seas yesterday. I tipped (above the prepaid gratuities) to the people that went above and beyond. I handed the tips to them individually (my stateroom attendant for example). She was fantastic. I think you just hand those to help you the most. There was actually envelopes in our stateroom that you can put your cabin# and the name of the person.

The envelopes are to be shared as pooled tips along with hand to hand cash tips according to my information. Again, I hope it’s a rumor. 

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11 minutes ago, monctonguy said:

This makes sense...as this is what the cruise lines do.

 

I wish they would stop calling it tips...a tip is what you give to someone for great service.......everything else is fees and taxes.

 

So you like the service your attendant gives you....so you give them cash..they in turn have to share it with others who you have never seen or helped you with anything and perhaps give terrible service to the people they take care of.

 

This is not TIPPING...it drives me crazy....its a service fee essentially....at least the auto grats are.....if you voluntarily give more to someone...I am not even sure what to call that.

If I find this to be true it will be harder for me to reward an individual which really is not cool. I am 100% not ok with tipping cash to my room attendant knowing it’s being shared with someone who didn’t directly help me. That’s why we pay auto gratuities which are dispersed among everyone and are a portion of the employees compensation. 

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18 minutes ago, tonyfsu21 said:

If I find this to be true it will be harder for me to reward an individual which really is not cool. I am 100% not ok with tipping cash to my room attendant knowing it’s being shared with someone who didn’t directly help me. That’s why we pay auto gratuities which are dispersed among everyone and are a portion of the employees compensation. 

Wow!  Tony I sure hope this is not true!  We always tip extra and that does not sit right with me at all if it was pooled.  Please keep us posted on what you hear.  I wonder if this is the same for the Genies too?

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4 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Wow!  Tony I sure hope this is not true!  We always tip extra and that does not sit right with me at all if it was pooled.  Please keep us posted on what you hear.  I wonder if this is the same for the Genies too?

I would imagine this would be especially true for the Genies and highly likely if the rumor is true. I am going to ask RC and find out the official policy. 

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20 minutes ago, tonyfsu21 said:

I would imagine this would be especially true for the Genies and highly likely if the rumor is true. I am going to ask RC and find out the official policy. 

That is crazy as some people tip well into the $1000s with their Genies!  And they expect it to go their OWN Genie!  I'm still trying to wrap my head around this and all the times I've tipped extra....

18 minutes ago, jurrjurr said:

This could be a policy put in place so the head steward gets a piece of the pie.  This practice is popular in the restaurant and casino industry.

Hmmm.....I will reserve my comments for this one but I have a huge issue with the Head stewart/waiter getting an equal share. Most cruises we have been on they are invisible except on the last night.  Now, I understand if you have been accommodated by the head waiter due to food allergies etc., then it makes sense, but for the regular, low maintenance cruiser...

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Just now, coneyraven said:

Tony, is it possible that the folks that gave you this info was confusing individual tips with the normal paid gratuities?......

I just find this hard to believe .....

Yep, anything is possible. It’s only alarming because i have heard it across multiple platforms. I will get to the bottom of it before I sail Allure next weekend. If true, I feel for the poor soul that cleans up after my toddlers because even the generous cash tips I provide do not make it worthwhile if shared. 

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Just now, tonyfsu21 said:

Yep, anything is possible. It’s only alarming because i have heard it across multiple platforms. I will get to the bottom of it before I sail Allure next weekend. If true, I feel for the poor soul that cleans up after my toddlers because even the generous cash tips I provide do not make it worthwhile if shared. 

Keep us posted...Curious minds need to know ?

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Just now, Lovetocruise2002 said:

That is crazy as some people tip well into the $1000s with their Genies!  And they expect it to go their OWN Genie!  I'm still trying to wrap my head around this and all the times I've tipped extra....

Hmmm.....I will reserve my comments for this one but I have a huge issue with the Head stewart/waiter getting an equal share. Most cruises we have been on they are invisible except on the last night.  Now, I understand if you have been accommodated by the head waiter due to food allergies etc., then it makes sense, but in for the regular, low maintenance cruiser...

Agree- I have zero need to tip the head waiter as we eat in a speciality dining venue every night. I have not seen the inside of a main dining room since Before the Oasis of the seas set sail. My money should go to people who help myself and my family have a better vacation experience especially since by default they are all getting a piece of the pie through the auto gratuities!

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4 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

This sums up my issue with this exactly!  Why would they get a piece of the "extra" tips when they already get a piece through auto grats?!  Seriously, this can't be true...it would be so wrong...

It makes especially "wrong" if the general public giving the extra gratuity isn't aware of this -- Deceiving is the word that comes to mind.

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1 hour ago, monctonguy said:

I wish they would stop calling it tips...a tip is what you give to someone for great service.......everything else is fees and taxes.

I'd love to hear how this is really handled. 

The purpose of tipping in part is to motivate customer facing employees to provide great service.  It's a reward for great service.  Absent of motivation to provide great service, some employees will develop an "I don't care, I'll get paid anyways" attitude.

I wonder if the cruise line tells their employees "A guest can remove gratuity and if that happens it will reflect on you" or some other story. 

It seems to me that 99.9% of the customer facing crew I deal with are very motivated to provide great service.  The company must have some means to create this environment because you certainly don't receive that level of service in a typical hotel or other service industry on land such as fast food or even grocery stores where employees are salaried and have little motivation to provide great service.

It's the lack of transparency that drives me crazy. 

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it has been my understanding since my first royal cruise back in the days of the gratuities envelopes I know they still have them but early on they pushed it hard and required placing them in what is now the suggestion box and yes they were split up with a portion given to there supervisor I would talk to my waiter and room attendant who I regularly gave extra to and when I was convinced they would keep it I gave generously this whole issue appears to be a racket to me royal pays chump change and supplements there employees with the big tip split and the heads get a large compensation off the backs of there charges in most cases especially the MDR I have found the heads to be haughty and don't really care ish which iratates me that they can compel the people to hand over the funds I give them for making my cruise a wow when not once have they done anything to make my cruise better just feel like they are letting me know they are better then there underlings I for one will get to the true story before my oct cruise I have heard this to  many times and I do believe that this is the way royal pays a big part of the crews salaries but I for one will not give another dime to anyone unless I am convinced it will stay with whom I give it to I wish that nice young crew member who used to frequent these forums (I believe his name was Chris)was still around he could answer our questions oh and don't forget what we pay daily in gratuities and yes I know "they all do it"

'

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If the practice of pooled tips is in fact true and everyone stops tipping extra, who really loses in the end?  The employee who is going the extra mile and you as the customer because of decreased level of service.  I would still tip to those who deserve it even though it may be pooled with their peers.  They are still getting something instead of nothing. 

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6 minutes ago, jurrjurr said:

If the practice of pooled tips is in fact true and everyone stops tipping extra, who really loses in the end?  The employee who is going the extra mile and you as the customer because of decreased level of service.  I would still tip to those who deserve it even though it may be pooled with their peers.  They are still getting something instead of nothing. 

+1 on @jurrjurr comments.

I have noticed this at Maya Chan and Nachi Cocom, there are tip boxes and when I asked about them I was told all tips go in at the end of the day and are shared, even if I give an extra tip directly to my waiter.

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I personally don't believe that the service would decline the smart attendants get it and realise that you get extra if you give extra I was on the liberty had 2 rooms I had a model room attendant went way above and beyond I tipped him a bunch my son down the hall had the attendant from hell he even had the nerve to bang on the door despite the do not disturb and said he couldn't go on break till they left the cabin he woke everyone in the room we are casino people and sleep in some people don't get it and never will they know they still get there cut of the daily gratuities and it seemed this guy was satisfied with that I have been fortunate to get go getters and just plain nice people as my attendants but my sons experience reminds me there are people working on these ships that are satisfied to just get by as it is in the real world just saying

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Hi All, I just created an account to add a little bit to the topic.

My family and I just returned from a cruise on the Jewel of the Seas.  While talking to a member of the staff (someone who would receive tips) about extra tipping and such, this person stated that they were less concerned about an additional tip and emphasized that they much prefer that we give highest marks on the customer survey post cruise.  They stated that the survey provides  a ranking based on feedback as to the number of guests that they will tend too.  So for instance an assistant waiter in the main dining room who has higher customer satisfaction will get more tables/guests which equals more pay.  Now they did not say that tips are pooled and I didn't think of it at the time but this persons comments would lead me to believe that they are pooled and people in customer service are vying for bigger pieces of the pie.  

Purposely not stating which staff member due to repercussions they could face if for some reason they could be tracked down.

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11 minutes ago, Snowchaser said:

emphasized that they much prefer that we give highest marks on the customer survey post cruise. 

This.  If they want a career, great marks by  guests is more important than an extra $20.

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I would also like to know if this is true.  We do give extra tips to our room attendant and MDR wait staff and if this is just being pooled, then I find that unfair for those staff who go over and beyond.  As for the ratings, that is true.  That's why they highly encourage you to take the survey.  Their future work assignment and contract renewal will be dependent on the survey results.  

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1 hour ago, Snowchaser said:

this person stated that they were less concerned about an additional tip and emphasized that they much prefer that we give highest marks on the customer survey post cruise.

I was told this same thing by a Staff member, the survey is more important than the actual tip, because in the long run they can make more money, because if I remember correctly (I'm probably getting ready to talk way over my head here) the rankings they get help in getting the ship assignments they want, because the way they explained it, they wanted on the bigger more popular ships or the more popular itineraries, because they tended to stay fuller more than other ships. They also explained that some people use the same ranking to stay on the same ship for personal reason, verses moving to a bigger better ship.

This is why when I see negative comments towards customer service on lets say Symphony, it just rings wrong to me, RCCL should be putting their best and brightest on Symphony.

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1 hour ago, monctonguy said:

Interesting.....for all our experience and knowledge here about cruising...this topic always seems to be one that brings out a lot of idea's and theories but yet never feel like we know what/how it really works!

It's like @twangster pointed out.  A lack of transparency.  That's why even the most experienced cruiser doesn't really know.

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1 hour ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

It's like @twangster pointed out.  A lack of transparency.  That's why even the most experienced cruiser doesn't really know.

I was thinking about this.  I can see the point you're making, but then again, it's none of our business.  I mean, none of our employers disclose how exactly we are paid and what part goes to government in taxes, etc. Plus, these crew members know what they're doing when they sign up and understand how this works. No one forced them to take this job.

On the other hand....

You're being told to make a gratuity payment that goes towards the crew, so I can see the original point being made.

In short, I'm not sure how I feel.  I do know that as @Snowchaser said, best thing you can do is mention them in a positive light in a post-cruise survey.

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3 hours ago, Snowchaser said:

... and emphasized that they much prefer that we give highest marks on the customer survey post cruise.  They stated that the survey provides  a ranking based on feedback as to the number of guests that they will tend too.

 

2 minutes ago, Matt said:

...best thing you can do is mention them in a positive light in a post-cruise survey.

This is why I take photos of name badges and business cards left by cabin attendants. 

I also asked someone on my last cruise if responding to the survey with who asked me to fill out the survey and provide high ranking was a good thing or bad thing.  They stated it's a good thing, they are encouraged to mention it to guests. 

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5 minutes ago, Matt said:

I was thinking about this.  I can see the point you're making, but then again, it's none of our business.  I mean, none of our employers disclose how exactly we are paid and what part goes to government in taxes, etc. Plus, these crew members know what they're doing when they sign up and understand how this works. No one forced them to take this job.

On the other hand....

You're being told to make a gratuity payment that goes towards the crew, so I can see the original point being made.

In short, I'm not sure how I feel.  I do know that as @Snowchaser said, best thing you can do is mention them in a positive light in a post-cruise survey.

Totally get what you are saying but I think @tonyfsu21's original concern is that the "extra" tips we give people, we expect it to go to them and only them because they have gone above and beyond in some way.  

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Just now, twangster said:

 

I also asked someone on my last cruise if responding to the survey with who asked me to fill out the survey and provide high ranking was a good thing or bad thing.  They stated it's a good thing, they are encouraged to mention it to guests. 

Thanks for clarification!  I have answered no to that because I did not want to have the employee get in any trouble.

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1 minute ago, twangster said:

I also asked someone on my last cruise if responding to the survey with who asked me to fill out the survey and provide high ranking was a good thing or bad thing.  They stated it's a good thing, they are encouraged to mention it to guests. 

And this is where I start to get confused...they are encouraged to mention it but when we do the survey, we shouldn't say that they mentioned it??  That part always confuses me.

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1 minute ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

And this is where I start to get confused...they are encouraged to mention it but when we do the survey, we shouldn't say that they mentioned it??  That part always confuses me.

You should state who asked you to provide high rankings on the survey.  The survey has options like 'Main Dining Room staff', 'Cabin Attendant,' etc.  Feel free to check all that apply, that is a good thing according to my MDR wait staff who were fantastic on Adventure.   

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21 minutes ago, twangster said:

You should state who asked you to provide high rankings on the survey.  The survey has options like 'Main Dining Room staff', 'Cabin Attendant,' etc.  Feel free to check all that apply, that is a good thing according to my MDR wait staff who were fantastic on Adventure.   

Oh great. So you're saying I actually penalized my staff by saying no one told me to give a high rating? ?

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