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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2006, 03:50 AM
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I know also that this topic comes up often and is much debated. I say go with the norm in most cases. But I have found myself over-tipping in some instances.

Taxis are tricky. I have tipped them well and then found out they over charged me. I have pulled my car up to the pier unloading area and tipped the guy $1 per bag after I got them out of the trunk for him to throw them in a cage thing. Then look up and the sign says "no tipping required", they are paid Handlers. Then you have the Porter that will carry all your luggage back to where you parked your car, He works for tips!

It does get confusing sometimes. And is a learning process for even someone like me that has waited tables for tips. I say don't sweat it too much, if someone does extra, give them extra.

I do dis-agree with Children being charged automatically. That is not a Tip, it is a Sur-Charge for paid for services.

When they say everything is included, it should be. If you want to tip extra, should be up to you. Not made to feel you are responsible for paying their salary instead of the Cruise Line.
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:07 AM
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Speaking of tips.....it can get out of control and I am not talking about cruise ships. I had the pest control guy here last week for the quarterly treatment. He jumps out of the truck and immediately hands me a Christmas card in a not-too-subtle hint. Now, this guy is paid by commission as well as a base salary. He got a "thank you for the card" from me and a check for the service charge.

The garbage men are another one. Next Tuesday I fully expect to go out to the road to pick up my trash cans and find a card taped to one of them. Yeah, I really want to touch a card left by someone who just handled a few hundred trash cans!

Then comes the newspaper delivery, which is done by a woman my age via her car. If it was a kid on a bike it would be different.

Thanks for listening!
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2006, 08:48 AM
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Dave..believe it or not, my mail-carrier lady drops a Christmas Card in our box that outright asks for a tip if we have enjoyed her services over the year!!!

Back to the unpopular snubject of ship tipping.... I understand it originally was optional on most lines, as it is right now on Royal Caribbean, which I bet will soon change to the mandatory method also as their average passenger age is on the decline also.

The average age of cruisers overall is lower now than it used to be. With that, the average family income of cruisers overall is probably down also. The "fixed added tips" resulted from many people not leaving anything. These workers sign up to work on cruise ships as a way of bettering their lives. They are told up front that it is a tip-based income and the better they perform, the more they will make. Imagine their disappointment when no one leaves anything. Imagine yourself working on a ship as a waiter and you show up every evening for your assigned table and no one shows up to use your services, or worse fails to show on the last night to avoid tipping...which I have seen repeatedly on earlier cruises. Imagine you have a cabin occupied by a gambler that got carried away and lost all of his cash the last day and has nothing to leave you for gratuity, and he doesn't have an ATM card. The list goes on and on.

Most cruise-bookings are price-driven, which is why mostly inside cabins are advertised. Just like a grocery store, prices are usually PLUS TAX, etc.etc. Carnival does explain in their literature that per person/day tip charges will be added. The only people caught off-guard are those that don't read the information ahead of time. I agree it would be nice if they simply raised advertised cruise prices to include the "services surcharge" but that would only work if ALL lines adhered to the same policy in advertising prices, which will not happen.

Not trying to be long-winded, but I have traveled to the third world countries these workers come from on mission work and have the highest regard for them trying to make a better life for themselves and their family. They, too, need to get what they signed onboard for.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2006, 09:28 AM
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I agree with you tncruisman and I know that the majority come from third world countries but I have a hard time with the concept of global consciousness and tipping because they are needy.

My understanding is if you tip as a gratuity, going to the root word it has to do with appreciation or being thankful for service rendered. I don't mean to pour cold water on the discussion or scrape the needle across the turntable.

I value the opinons of others and this is only my point of view. I am all for service staff getting what they deserve but I won't sign on to the entitlement concept just yet.

My trash-haulers just put a nice card on the bins with their name and complete address! I guess that they don't want to risk missing the homeowner as they return for their next pick-up and may be looking forward to a check! Not at this house
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:35 AM
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I do agree with you..there is a big difference between someone being deserving and being needy. It might work better if the cruise lines simply disclosed the added charges as a "basic services surcharge" and left it at that.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:49 AM
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Still on the mandatory tipping subject, many have mentioned the "service surcharge" leads to indifferent attitudes and services on those ships. I personally have not found that to be the case. Quite the opposite actually. On all five of my earlier RCCL cruises, the service was impeccable during the cruise and the crew's attitude turned to *%#@ on the morning of departure. I won't go to the point of saying they were rude, but very indifferent and passive to most everyone. I know it wasn't just my tipping because I always tipped half-again to double the recommended amounts. On previous Carnival and Princess Cruises, the crew was just as friendly during departure as they were upon arrival. Has anyone else had this observation?
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:54 AM
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NOt sure I have paid that much attention, but since you mentioned it, maybe I have witnessed the mode change. I have always dismissed it as being the bussiest day of the week for them. Not only do they have to get everyone taken care of and off the ship, but they have to turn around and welcome everyone aboard for the next cruise. I imagine that is the longest day of their week. The cabin stewards have to get ALL the cabins cleaned and ready between the hours of 9 and 12.. whereas during the cruise many cabins are in "do not disturb" mode so they have more time to get to them all...

Heck, I give them all the credit in the world for being nice through out the week.. I know damn well that I couldn't work those hours and still be nice to me all the time.

On the topic of giving the garbage men a tip.. I have done it, but ours are not as bold as to put the card on the cans... I'm a woodworker and my trash always seems to have a can of heavy scraps and such, so they go beyond the call at my house. But I may not be doing it anymore because I have noticed that the workers don't do the job for very long. So I may be tipping someone who only did my route a couple times....
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2006, 12:09 PM
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My point was that on Princess and Carnival (home of surcharge tipping) the crew had an even disposition (happy and polite) thru the entire cruise, including the morning of departure. It was on RCCL ships that the change of attitude was apparent, for us anyway. The last day of the cruise has nothing to do with the way coffee is poured or breakfast is served. If I were in their job, I'd lose my patience on day 2, if not before that! LOL
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2006, 03:10 PM
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Hi Dave,
This seems to go on all over the world. Although as I have said in the past tipping is not the norm in NZ there is always someone with their hand out. But there are exceptions,the news paper boy/girl for instance, the paper comes on time through rain,hail,and snow, probably akin to the Pony Express. They deserve a Christmas tip. The paper boy/girl that is, not the Pony Express
I will be away in a couple of days for the Christmas/New Year Break so I will take this opportunity to wish you and all our fellow members of the chat programme a great Holiday no matter whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah and have a wee dram for Hogmanay, or any other festival and here's to pleasurable cruising in 2007.
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Old 12-14-2006, 03:26 PM
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Thank you Ptur! And a very merry "whatever your preference" to you too!
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