Tom & Mary, did you use your pre-cruise tipping system on Holland America? Although I know that most cruisers on HAL tip anyway, the official "line" is no tipping required, and I wondered if you found that tipping ahead made a difference in service. I had heard service was excellent, perhaps partly because no tipping was expected and therefore the competition for it was gone.
We do the same thing on HAL and it is doubly appreciated because many of the HAL passengers leave very little if anything. There tipping policy doesn't hold true. These hard working people expect to receive a gratuity. They do the same if not a better job than most servers and we feel we should tip them the same as we would on any line.
We used Tom and Mary's technique on our Statendam cruise in January. I handed the waiter an envelope the first night and thanked him for his service. I told him that I would give him another tip at the end of the cruise for the excellent service I expected. He was very grateful and service was terrible for the remainder of the cruise. I don't particularly fault the waiter as HAL had reduced dining room staff by 30% and there were too many tables for him to cover. However, he made no special effort to take care of our table when we tipped him pre-cruise.
DON'T LET THE NO TIPPING REQUIRED ON HAL FOOL YOU. IT MAY NOT BE "REQIURED" BUT THEY DO DEPEND ON IT. AT FIRST YOU ARE LED TO BELIEVE THAT TIPS ARE INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF THE CRUISE. IT IS NOT. THEIR PHILOSOPHY IS THAT GREAT SERVICE SHOULD NOT BE BOUGHT WITH A TIP. THEY REMIND YOU CONSTANTLY THAT TIPS ARE NOT REQUIRED BUT THEY ARE APPRECIATED. THE EMPLOYEES ON THESE SHIPS DO DEPEND ON TIPS AND IN SOME CASES IT IS THEIR ONLY INCOME. THE AMOUNT THAT THEY ARE TIPPED ACCORDING TO THE GUIDELINES DOES NOT AMOUNT TO MUCH. 15% IS ADDED TO ALL BAR BILLS. THIS MAKES IT EASY AND IS ALSO A BARGAIN. YOU GET A BEER AND THE COST IS ABOUT $3.50. SO THE TIP IS $.52 IF YOU WERE IN A BAR YOU WOULD PROBABLY GIVE THE SERVER A FIVE SPOT AND TELL THEM THANKS. I KNEW ONE COUPLE THAT DID NOT LEAVE ANY TIP AT ALL. THEY SAID WE WILL NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN. THEY NEVER SEEN THEIR LUGGAGE AGAIN. THEY SPENT 4 HOURS LOOKING FOR LUGGAGE, AND MISSED THEIR FLIGHT HOME. HAD TO PAY FOR A MOTEL, AND HAD TO FLY STANDBY TO GET HOME PLUS A FEW OTHER PENALTIES. THEY GOT $500 FOR THE LOST LUGGAGE FROM THE INSURANCE COVERAGE. THEY LOST ALL OF THEIR CLOTHING, THEIR LUGGAGE CASES, PERSONAL ITEMS AND ALL THE ITEMS THEY BOUGHT ON THE TRIP. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. PAY ME NOW OR PAY ME LATER.
Find the luggage missing a little hard to swollow. There's just no way with the thousands of pieces of luggage that they could single out the luggage to mysteriously disappear. We always ask when traveling on a new ship, just how the tips are handled, and have not found one yet where they pool tips. Cabin stewards give a portion of their tips to their helpers who clean bathrooms and vacuums. These people are working their way up to becoming Cabin Stewards. We always give both something extra, depending on the length of the cruise. People appear so against tipping. Do you go into a restaurant and walk out without tipping? I don't think so.
This was on HAL. They advertise no tipping required; but it is expected. The Cruise Director will let you know at every show that TIPS are not required but they are appreciated. You give each person an envelope with the tip in it on the last night of the cruise. If the steward does not get a tip, what do you think happens to your luggage? It is outside your door. It goes overboard. This was my cheap@#% brother-in-law. It happened. Call me a liar, but we were there until we left them on the dock still trying to find their luggage as we left for or flight home. Sorry. If you don't believe me try it. This was not on Princess where you are automatically charged $10 pp/day. I think it is a fair way of dealing with people that do not want to TIP for sevice rendered. The employees work hard and do deserve the tips and $10.00 pp/day is not unreasonable. The last Princess cruise we were on people were at the desk complaining about the TIP charge. They were saying that they only ate in the main dining room one time and the rest of the time they ate in the buffet or had room service. Well I guess that was your personnal choice. What about the service in those areas? At that time the automatic TIP was $7.50. I guess they had to increase it to $10.00 because the passengers probably thought it was for all the employees and the room stewards were getting stiffed.\[This message was edited by RIDGID on September 13, 2002 at 07:57 PM.]
[This message was edited by RIDGID on September 13, 2002 at 08:38 PM.]
Luggage overboard? If that was the case, why didn't anyone see it and recover it? Do you honestly think that these very dedicated employees of any cruise line would risk their jobs to do such a thing? Room stewards are "stiffed" repeatedly by patrons, but they very graciously accept it, knowing that people like ourselves, and many others, will try to make up for part of their loss. As far as people that you claim on Princess going to get tips removed, yes, it does happen, but not to the extent you are leading people to believe. We have sailed Princess on several occasions, and have a few more in the works. The people that sail on Princess generally are very generous tippers, and appreciate the quality of service that is given to them. They reward the people for the service. If you don't want to pay for the service, take some of the other cruise lines where you won't get top rate service.