No! It is well documented on this site that Costa will not remove gratuities under any circumstances. They are one of the few companies that enforce this with no exceptions. The Berlitz Guide is out of date on this matter, so I'm afraid you have no choice but to budget this into your costs......Wilba.
Thanks for that.We've already made allowance for the charge as we'd be giving tips as usual anyway.I just don't like the charge going on my account to be collected by costa,I'd rather tip individuals personally so I know they've had it.
The gratuities only go to those staff who look after you in your cabin and the diningroom. Most come from areas of the world where pay is poor but what they get in wages is augmented by your gratuities. They are usually on 9 month contracts and away from their families so it is a hard life for them but they do it so they can provide for their families back home. Some say they are poorly paid but US correspondent put that matter to rights last year. We even have this in the UK with workers from Romania, Poland and many others doing the same working in the service industry. If we go out at home and have a good meal and service we tip the waiter and on the way home the taxi driver so I can never understand why some would like to remove this charge. This is a long running debate which will not doubt continue to run.
I know that the general staff on cruise ships are poorly paid but I don't like giving to the company to do as they wish with the money and I don't like to tip if the person doesn't deserve it.This has only happened once on a Fred Olsen 5 week cruise when the cabin steward was,not to put too fine a point on it,downright rude and ignorant.We've always tipped and always will to the staff who deserve it.I'm not expecting them to be snivelling sycophants for their money,just do a reasonable job in a polite manner so I don't want it removing.I just want to be given a choice.
I am sure you can remove the charge, I have been with Costa 3 times and am almost sure the last time we went, last April, I did not pay prepaid gratuities. Give Costa UK a ring, they are very helpful. We are like you Michael, and belive in rewarding good service.
T'was about that time they bought the enforcement if my memory serves me well......Wilba.