Prices on most other cruise lines are kept lower by the tipping system. If you want there to be no tips then you will have to pay a higher initial. The shipping companies insist that by using the tipping system it encourages the staff to give an exemplary service and we have found that the service is extremely good but wish that the gratuities didn't have to be paid. The fact is though that they do unless you want to penalise someone who gets little or nothing other than the tips you pay. They are not high really but can be grudgingly paid by those who are not au fait with the situation. If the system is to be changed it should be by a concerted effort by us writing to the cruise lines and not penalising the guys and gals who are hoping to send much of the well earned money back to their families.
We are sure that some people will disagree with paying tips and write in to say so and there are many who will think up various excuses which they say are valid reasons for not paying them but as we said it will not change a jot except to make deserving workers poorer.
......Neil and Ida
It is interesting to note that the happiest, most polite and hardest working crew members we have encountered have been on the Thomson ships where the gratuities are included in the price of the cruise (probably one of the cheapest cruise companies around)! If Thomson can do it so can all the others and it would save all the arguments about whether tips should be paid or not (or even compulsory as they are on Costa!) Why not just include gratuities in the price of the cruise and be done with it and if you want to add to it you can...
Don't go there - this is the most immotive subject on this [and other] boards......I personally pay the tips upfront in the cruise price on RCI or Celebrity, on NCL the tips are added to your account on a daily basis, or I cruise on lines where tipping is neither required or expected. I dislike the whole concept of playing
Lady Bountiful walking round handing out wads of cash to people - it just isn't British. Tipping however is built into the American culture and they appear to tip anyone that moves....Personally I wish they would build the cost of the tips into the cruise price and do away with it. That is just MHO. But whatever you do, if tipping is expected then please tip at least the recommended ammount. The staff are paid approx $50pm and they do literally live off their tips. Do not penalise these people just because you may disagree with the concept of tipping.
Well said Albert (Albertine) and welcome back....Nei.
Tipping is at your own discretion whichever Cruise Line you choose, If you don't agree with the autotip then simply remove it at the pursers desk. I'm with most Brits who say build it into the price.
Costa have 'compulsory' tipping! as far as I know they are the only ones who do this....it is not possible to remove or reduce it so why on earth do they not factor it into the price.
I really don't have a problem with tipping. I find the service on cruise lines so superior to anything you receive on land , so I never grudge it. My preference is to have the preset tip removed from my account and give cash to the staff who have provided the best service to me during my cruise. If it was built in to the price and the crew received better remuneration as a result, it may be preferrable. However I probably still would tip over and above this to anyone I thought was doing a great job.
I would like to read Costa's Full terms & Conditions as Service cannot be guaranteed by anyone. NCL have implemented this 'Service Charge' Non removable, but when you read further into their T&C it may be adjusted or removed in the event of a dispute. Service charge has no legal standing in the UK so their product could be breach of UK law if they sell their product here.
We prefer the tips to be included in the cost of the cruise. This cuts out all the difficulty of knowing how much to tip and it doesn't leave out the workers whom one has no contact with (presumably)
I believe in tipping for a job well done. I do not like the tips to be taken from my card. I have no idea then who gets what, and perhaps I am being cynical, but I have a feeling that the people who work the hardest are given the least, this seems to be the way of the world. I always remove the tipping " Option" from the card, and give to those I am in contact with. The cabin staff especially as they seem to be on duty such long hours, and work very hard indeed..It canot be easy to keep smiling all day long, but somehow they do.