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Many of us hate this practice. Your only option is to go on a cruise ship where tips are included in the price, such as Thomson or Ocean. Other cruise lines do not have the almost criminal practice of adding 15% to each and every drink purchased, such as Fred Olsen, although the latter do expect tips to be paid.
I agree that the practice of adding 15% on top of drinks etc is criminal. If they advertise a price for a drink it should be sold at that price, if the "tip" is added on compulsorily that means it is not optional and is not a tip for good service recieved which it should be, it is a hidden price rise and should be illegal.
Tipping is one thing, rewarding good service is O.K. but sneakily increasing the price of drinks is not acceptable even if it is the norm for cruising, it is time it was changed.
I am sorry to say that there are very few cruise lines who do not work this system and those that fall into that category of not expecting tips or service charges will have added it into the price of the cruise because someone has to pay the crew. Tipping is a very emotive subject but it is the way things happen at sea. What you are saying in effect is that the tips come as an extra you can't afford and you are not going to like what I say now. You have to cut your coat according to your cloth and if you cannot afford to pay the price of a cruise plus the tips and service charges then you really have only two real options; one is to find a cruise that you can afford and the other is not to go. If I cannot afford to stay in a five star hotel then I find one that I can afford to stay in. You cannot expect the industry to adjust its methods simply because you can't afford it.
The fact that you and your husband do not get tips is, quite honestly, irrelevant. The system that you want to use does and you either accept that or opt out.
Many people will consider what I have said rude and irreverent but on this occasion because of the thoughts you expressed I do not consider it so and I hope you will take it in that manner. …. Neil
I think most 'Brits' would agree with part or all of your comments, but the truth is no one forces us to go on a cruise ship. As things stand at the moment you pays your money, you makes your choice, but the Advertising Standards Agency are looking at the way cruises are marketed in this country, so maybe next year the advertised price will be the total price we pay. Who knows? As for now, take Taylors advice, Thomson or Ocean Village. Sorted/////.
It is simply part of cruising. Add all the expenses together, including the gratuities, and if you don't think it's worth it then don't book! There are plenty of alternative holiday choices.
Page & Moy include gratuities in the cost of cruises on Ocean Majesty. Of course most people still tip cabin steward, waiter, favourite barman etc. But only if they want to, it is not 'compulsory' so it's much easier to budget. The crew always seem very happy, so perhaps it works.
Hebridean don't allow tipping ....... downside is they are very expensive.
We have found that both Princess & P&O will not add tipping to your bill if you request it at reception at the beginning of your cruise. We always prefer to give the money directly into the hands of the staff in the restaurants and cabin room steward because we have experience of waiter staff at home not receiving any of the tips because the management take it and still do not pay them a fair wage. We explain that we prefer giving gratuities to people who have performed services for us on board and that we have been to America many times and are well used to the practice. I understand that NCL because of their Freestyle Cruising resist this practice of self tipping and prefer to add it to your onboard bill. Going through Panama Canal end of next year to celebrate 50th birthday and will have to see if this is possible when we get on board - if not well I guess we will have to just include it in holiday price and think ourselves lucky that it has worked on previous cruises. Enjoy it anyway. We wouldn't consider any other holiday now.
We were on the Sea Princess this autumn. The purser's desk told us that the suggested amount per day is actually divided between all the crew, including kitchen staff etc., as they feel that is more fair. We asked our waiter what would happen if we tipped him cash directly. He told us that he would have to declare it and that it would still go into a general fund to be distributed. He said that if he didn't declare it he would be in big trouble. We didn't question him any further as we could see he was embarrassed to talk about it in case the Head Waiter overheard. Maybe it is more fair to share the tips out over a wider range of people. What do others think?