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Unfortuantely QV belongs to Cunard who belong to ... you get the idea. It's an American ship. In the US 15% is the usual tip. I admit I'm not happy about it. If gratuities are included you're still paying it but it seems less painful somehow. I understand there is also a 'hotel charge' of $6 per day. I'd also rather make up my own mind about that too.
We went on the QV on her maiden voyage and just went to the pursers office and told them we did not want to pay the 15% on the bill, there was no problem, and we tipped at the end, the staff that gave us good service.
I agree that the staff should be paid higher wages and the tips should be a bonus/recognition for good serviceAre the staff informed if you withdraw the 15% and when is the best time to withdraw this charge?