Due to lack of anything reasonable on tv last nite, the Boss and I decided to do some research on cruise line tipping. easier (and cheaper) to do it online. Came up with this...more and more lines, upscale and "specialty" lines are doing away with it...adding it to the base fare instead of adding it on. Some behind the scenes workers can earn as little as $2 a day base pay..yeh you read that right..they get almost ALL of their pay (I wouldn't dare call that a living wage) from the gratuities. That doesn't apply to "ship side" folks...that is the people you see in uniforms actually fixing/maintaining things...a lot behind the scenes. they don't share in tips, they get regular salaries. The "hotel" side are the ones that work for coolie wages. I use the "ships laundry" as a prime example. Ever been down there? Been on 2 ships tours...free so why not...you don't spend much time down there I can assure you. Fascinating equipment...but mustve been 120+ down there. They share in the tips. Those behind the scenes folks, as usual, do all the dirty work, while passengers see only a small fraction of them.
So adding it on causes confusion, unexpected charges (so-called free pkgs that really aren't) plus it gives the more ahem "frugal" among us a chance to screw over the folks who make the ship's "ambiance" what it is. I know about it going in..what I didn't know was what these people make without it. The cruise lines have indeed shifted the responsibility for PAYING wages to the passengers. DO the ones who have done away with it actually raise the pay of those folks, because they also increased the fare to compensate? why does the cynic in me not believe that? your thoughts?