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Cunard charge 15% service charge on drinks in bars and restaurants, plus $11 pppd gratuity or $13 pppd in grills and suite staterooms. As suggested by Reed, the info is out there and seems to be a thorn in the side for many! Tipping is a way of life on cruises and pays the wages of many, rightly or wrongly! I personally would rather have this "hidden" in the cruise fare and this would end the endless debates on the subject! or would it.............
May I respectfully suggest that you use the excellent search facility at the top of the questions page to search out the numerous previous questions on tipping policy on Cunard or read the small print on your documentation to ascertain whether it is compulsory or can be removed.
Thanks for your suggestion but the only problem is on Cunard's website they don't mention anywhere whether it is compulsory or can be removed.
Gratuities may be removed or amended by asking at reception. No comment will be made by reception staff, you are free to tip in what way you prefer.
We are currently cruising on the QE and I asked to have the gratuity removed, I was informed by the pursurs office that the $11 per day charge can be removed but the 15% tip is set my head office and cannot be removed. Following my enquiry I recieved a written response from the office with a copy of the company policy stating it cannot be removed - personally I think the $11 per day should be mandatoy and the 15% optional as why am I tipping a bar man every time I stand at the bar and order a drink? I am happy to tip but for good service, I find the staff very complacent as they always get a tip so do not try very hard.
If you go to the Cunard website see here https://ask.cunard.com/help/cunard/life-on-board/amount_gratuity you will note it says "Tips are charged at a discretionary charge which is added to your on board account. If you wish to amend this you can do so by contacting the Purser's Desk once on board.". In the voyage guide one is sent pre-embarkation on page 23 it says "you are naturally free to tip any member of crewe over and above these amounts at your discretion", it says nothing about opting out. It's a purely personal thing and I also know that one can even ask the pursers office to remove the garatuities as late as the last day of the cruise. I for one rather resent the assumption of payment, it doesn't rest easily with me and although I've never cancelled the gratuities and even made additional payments to those who served us well, this year I will be opting out and personally give what we want. Hope that helps.
The 15% is charged on drinks and services and is non negotiable. This is completely separate to the $11 per day to cover the hotel staff. The chances of the service being 'not up to scratch' on one of the worlds leading cruise lines is highly unlikely............Wilba.
I'm sure yourright its not really about the money I suppose, it's more the idea that you have no choice. I work in the service industry and know that a lot of the staff live on their tips, but, I find that when there is a "Service charge" staff seem to be a little complacent about service. Thanks for the info Thomas .
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