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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Automatic grats - What they aren't telling you

I've gone back and forth on this subject more times than I can count now and I'm still not sure where I fall on the subject. On the one hand I tend to think how dare someone tell me I have to tip; on the other hand I also know how hard the crew work and how much they rely on those tips to make up their wages.
However I found out something today that several large cruise lines all do that really shocked me.

A lot of UK cruise passengers resent being told they have to automatically tip everyone onboard and the advice they are normally given is that if they don't want to they can opt out of thisscheme; instead they can just tip the staff whom they feel deserve to be tipped, rather than tipping everyone.
The only problem with that is that I've heard today that several of the major cruise lines have a policy of informing all their staff onboard if a particular passenger has opted out of the automatic gratuities scheme or not.
Now that would be bad enough; I mean which of us can honestly say we would offer the same level of service if we knew one person was tipping us and one wasn't?
But if you do opt out of the scheme and then just tip the staff you like in cash that staff member is obligated to hand the tips over to the cruise line so that they can be distributed amongst all the staff equally. So even if you thought one member of staffs service was exemplary and anothers awful, even tipping them in cash doesn't ensure they will be rewarded. The tip will still be taken from them and distributed amongst everyone!

Are you as shocked by this as I am?