TIPPING, WHO GETS THE MONEY?
The idea of mandatory tipping is a good one to a point. As you suggest, it makes sure that the waiter, bus boy, cabin steward etc get paid for their service. Costa cruise lines however have just introduced this on all of their ships. Before, the staff were paid a small salary and then had to rely on the tips of the passengers to make up their income (as in most catering jobs). Are you aware that now the waiters etc are paid no salary what so ever. The company charges 6 euro per person per day service fee and the personnel receive this money at the end of the month as their salary, but not all of this money goes to the personnel. Costa’s ship, the Magica carries 3500 passengers a day, if on average the ship sails with 3000 passengers, times that number by 6 x 30 days and you will see that Costa collects on average 540,000 euro per month which it holds for one month thus making interest. At the end of the month the waiters and cabin stewards etc receive a maximum of 2047 euro. This figure depends upon two things, first, if the comment forms are favourable and 2nd if the Ship is 100% full otherwise they receive only 1600 euro. The bus boys and other workers receive only two thirds of this salary. At my calculation it seems that not only are the passengers paying the full salary of each member of Costas staff but that the company is making on average a profit of approx 114,000 euro per month on money that the passengers are told is being given to the personel. I for one having sailed many times on Costa Cruise Lines am appalled at this greed by a company that is not satisfied in making a profit by selling its product but is also making a profit on its already overworked(14 hours a day, but made to sign for 11 hours, 7 days a week) and underpaid staff. I intend to boycott this company in future and those like it (I believe that Costa is part of the Carnival Corporation). I prefer to pay my tips to the people I believe earn it not to the fat cats of Costa and its like.