Re ‘demanding tips’

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I have always felt that the cruise lines’ system of demanding tips from passengers is invidious. Why do they not pay their staff a decent wage and absorb the cost in the fares rather than expect the passengers to do this as a “kindness”?

Some tipping is totally ridiculous. On a Princess line ship, we never saw the maître d’ for two weeks until the last night, when he started to make his smiling rounds of the tables. I was never quite sure of his function. . .

I see no reason to tip bartenders for doing their job, especially as many ships automatically add as much as 15% to any bar chit.

However, the worst system is the automatic system. We have cruised four times with Norwegian Cruise Line, which likes to add $10 per person per day to each passenger account. As you can see, for two people on a 3-week cruise, this can add up. When such figures are added to the port fees and (sometimes) visa fees, the advertised brochure fares make little sense.

NCL always offers the opportunity to amend what goes on the account, and I have always reduced the $10 by half. However, they do make it difficult — they allot only certain hours, usually very inconvenient ones, for such changes, and the staff with whom I have dealt have always seemed to be surly and slow in “finding” the correct form. Their favorite trick is to ask, in front of other passengers preferably, why you want to reduce the tips and which service was poor.

I say a tip should only be for exceptional service, and then it should be given personally. If we must pay, add it into the fare!

G. CHRISTOPHER HARTLEY
Ormond by the Sea, FL

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I have always felt that the cruise lines’ system of demanding tips from passengers is invidious. Why do they not pay their staff a decent wage and absorb the cost in the fares rather than expect the passengers to do this as a “kindness”?

Some tipping is totally ridiculous. On a Princess line ship, we never saw the maître d’ for two weeks until the last night, when he started to make his smiling rounds of the tables. I was never quite sure of his function. . .

I see no reason to tip bartenders for doing their job, especially as many ships automatically add as much as 15% to any bar chit.

However, the worst system is the automatic system. We have cruised four times with Norwegian Cruise Line, which likes to add $10 per person per day to each passenger account. As you can see, for two people on a 3-week cruise, this can add up. When such figures are added to the port fees and (sometimes) visa fees, the advertised brochure fares make little sense.

NCL always offers the opportunity to amend what goes on the account, and I have always reduced the $10 by half. However, they do make it difficult — they allot only certain hours, usually very inconvenient ones, for such changes, and the staff with whom I have dealt have always seemed to be surly and slow in “finding” the correct form. Their favorite trick is to ask, in front of other passengers preferably, why you want to reduce the tips and which service was poor.

I say a tip should only be for exceptional service, and then it should be given personally. If we must pay, add it into the fare!

G. CHRISTOPHER HARTLEY
Ormond by the Sea, FL