Auto tipping

I have noticed lately more comments about not being happy with service and auto tipping.   My idea is for the cruise lines to just increase the price of the cruise by $ 12.00 a day per person and advertise that tips are included except for bar drinks.  I feel this will get the cruise lines the $ for the tips and stop the issues at guest relation desk of people wanting to remove the tipping.  I also think that people will still give extra tips to the cabin steward and main dining room staff for exceptional service.  Just like the high end cruises have a no tipping required policy,  it is just built into the up front price.

12 Answers

It's all semantics. Even if cruiselines called themselves " all inclusive " , most people would still tip their stewards and wait staff. Technically, they are all inclusive, except bar drinks & soda. I think it really comes down to the money they save on not having to buy envelopes.

Good thought and I do not disagree with it but if the cruise lines did that they would have to declare that extra 12 per person per day as income and then show it as wages which incurs additional overhead. By doing it this way it does not have to be reported as income or wages thus avoiding taxes on income and overhead on wages.

Yeah, it would be easier to do it this way but I, for one, feel that I still have to leave a small tip. I do that now even though it is prepaid. I end up giving the dining room servers and bartenders something on top of what's prepaid.

Some passengers will find any excuse not to tip. So, that would be a fairer way be sure everyone pays their fair share. But then perhaps the crew wouldn't work too hard to please you.

I do like the idea, all things considered.

I feel like for all of the services provided throughout the day $12 per person isn't too much to ask for an automatic tip. I always tip a little extra.

When cash was put into envelopes addressed to specific employees, the amounts tendered were referred to as tips or gratuities. We have only been cruising since 2011 so the per diem rate has appeared as Hotel Service Charge on the printout of the account. It is baffling to us that these charges for service are negotiable in the first place. It is unfortunate because one can argue that having those charges reduced or eliminated is the only method of expressing one's displeasure to the cruise line for disappointment with the condition of the ship, the quality of the food or any number of things beyond the scope or control of the employees to whom the money is intended.

I have no problem with the "auto-tip" on Princess and HAL nor do we have a problem on Regent (an all inclusive) where the tips are "included". If we receive exceptional service we usually add a little. I find we tend to do that more on Regent since the passenger to crew ratio is so much better you get a lot closer to those serving you.

I knew an officer on Princess once who had worked for more than one line, he quit, but before he did he told me pretty much the entire industry treats those making up the greater contingent of the crew as "slave labors". I agree, but then the counter argument is that many of the crew make a lot more on these ships than they ever could at home, consequently are able to support their families back home in a relatively elevated life style.

I have seen a lot of my fellow passengers really treat the crew nice, tips and otherwise. However, I have witnessed some of their actions that makes me ashamed of being part of the human race.

On a lighter note: John Maxtone Graham has written a number of books on ocean travel and cruising. When he was young his family traveled a lot between Britain and New York so he got some exposure to the days of the North Atlantic first class and steerage travel. He has great anecdotes. He was a guest speaker on the original Royal Princess years ago and titled his presentations after his book "The Only Way to Cross" he told a humorous story that goes something like this about tipping in the old days (It was customary to tip waiters, room stewards, etc. on the final morning of the voyage):

"On a Royal Viking ship some years ago, a perennial complainer carped ceaselessly about his food-the steak was too rare--the mashed potato too lumpy and time and again the coffee too cold. On the last morning he demanded a hotter cup of coffee. When the steward, anxious to please, raced back from the galley, he found"--- his guest gone, having jumped ship without leaving a single cent. Years later, when working in a New York City restaurant, as a waiter, the steward spotted this same individual dining there. The steward rushed into the kitchen, got a hot pot of coffee, ran out and gave it to the guy apologizing for being so tardy with his coffee.

I like this idea.

Rather than having an additional bill to pay on the ship, I have just taken the plunge and agreed to have £57.75 charged each for our next 7 day cruise. Makes it easier all round. If by any chance, I had a problem on NCL Epic, it would only take an E-mail to NCL after the cruise to raise any issues with them.

I seriously do not see the problem. It is a fact of life that the cruise industry does this with the auto gratuities so we just pay it in advance up front and be done with it. Then get on with enjoying our cruise .. which is the real reason that we are doing all of this anyway ;)


I think what some people find offensive is the fact that the cruise line is telling you that you are going to give a gratuity, and how much, regardless of service. And, they do it knowing many will add additional tips. They are telling us right to our faces, yeah, we know we don't pay our staff enough, so you're gonna do it. Either that, or we can hide it in the actual cost of the cruise. Deal with it ! Oh, and btw, service and food quality is going to suffer. Our shareholders, who never cruise, come first. And they say we're spending too much on bed mints and piano lounge players.


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