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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    5
    Quote QUOTE: View Post


    Until now, Fred. Olsen have always been known for (and a lot would say admired for) not charging automatic gratuities, but it looks like they've had a change of heart...

    "At Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, we are proud of the overwhelmingly positive feedback that our staff on board receive for the quality of the service they provide. Traditionally our passengers like to show their appreciation by means of a tip at the end of the cruise. We are aware, however, that some guests find this process a little embarrassing. Therefore, in response to feedback from past passengers, from Dec 2010 a gratuity charge will be added to guests on board accounts. This will be a set 4* per adult, per day and will be shared between the respective Cabin Stewardess and Restaurant Waiter (and through them to other members of the team)."

    *this amount can be varied upon request via Reception on board.

    Do you cruise with Fred. Olsen? What do you think of automatic gratuities - is this good news, or bad? Will you miss the envelopes?
    I don't agree with 'automatic' gratuities, added to your account for "your convenience", and I never pay gratuities in this way - I'd sooner suffer the scorn and indignation of 'guest relations'. Firstly, cruise lines should pay their staff a decent wage so that 'tips' are not so critical to their total earnings. Secondly, a fixed daily sum per person cannot be right - think about how we tip normally; some days we get great and friendly service and we gladly give a good tip, whilst on other days service is no more than 'doing the job' and no tip is due. Finally, it's never "convenient" to me to have someone take 4/day out of my back pocket. If I want to tip, I will, and I'll decide the amount that's right.


  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    I feel this is a step in the wrong direction from Fred Olsen

    Tips are for good service not pre empted good service...
    But surely if the Fred Olsen reviews are to be believed the service is particularly good, even King...http://www.cruise.co.uk/cruise-revie..._review_26081/

    'This lady, Brown of Leeds, writes 'I was looking forward to enjoying Fred Olsens service standards as Id read so much about it and I was not disappointed!'.

    Fred is obviously levelling the playing field.


  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    16
    Will have to remember when at the end when yuo pay and settle your account there will 120 gratuties added tot he bill. I am aware this happens on other lines but previous on Costa we left extra for the room service and bar at our discretion.
    Janet & Grant


  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    9,402
    Quote QUOTE: View Post

    Does this mean that you have never tipped before if you say this is going to increase your fare by 120?

    Maybe that is why FO have decided to take this step, a very big one from them. It is a sign of the new cruising habits IMHO. .....Neil
    Maybe I've become cynical - but I still think that a good percentage of those who remove the auto tip or are totally against it don't tip at all or tip a minimal amount.
    Plus in the article there was << ...... will be shared between the respective Cabin Stewardess and Restaurant Waiter (and through them to other members of the team)." >> In other words if we don't tip the Waiter the rest of the team will be left with nothing as well.


  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    33
    This is only the same amount as the previous "gratuity guidance". It can still be altered up or down as the individual thinks fit. Perhaps fewer people will feel able to say no if it involves speaking to a staff member ( no bad thing). Gratuities are part of cruising, whether "included", "automatically added" or, "suggested. For the most part the staff deserve all they receive and more. We are fortunate not to have to leave children with grandparents for months in order to support them and see partners like "ships that pass in the night" to maintain a basic standard of living.


  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    16
    It is easy to forget when on a cruise that we have and are still going through the worst recession since the 1930's. The truth is that we are all cutting back and that means less cruises, less onboard spend, less excursions and first up is less tipping. Cruise lines rely on tips to bolster staff earnings so that they can pay lower wages, so unless mutany is wanted the cruise lines must find ways to address this issue. However, Tips for good service implies that a) the service has been given and b) the service was good or exceptional not just that there was some service at all. If the cruise lines are going to charge for any old service then they should pay (rebate) the passengers when no or inadequate service is given automatically. Automatic rebates if; insufficient sun beds, uncleared tables, grumpy staff, cold food, poor entertainment, cloudy pool, dirty public toilets, mistakes on accounts, lost luggage, flight delays, etc.. etc... Since many of these things happen to a lot of passengers (as I have read in reviews) I would suggest that cruise lines leave tipping to passenger discretion unless the cruise line is 100% certain they are flawless 100% of the time.

    Last edited by thermalsocks, Bracknell; 23rd November 2010 at 01:10 PM.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    1,197
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    I never will agree to tip before I get the service, and this came about many years ago when on a HAL ship the service was lacklustre and poor, as the crew rightly believed that their bonus was automatic.
    If Fred wants to go down the automatic route then thats ok for customers that agree with it, as far as I am concerned Fred's service is excellent and far exceeds many other cruise companies, so for me I will still take great pleasure in personally giving the staff that have given me friendship and service the envelope that they deserve, while giving them a personal thank you in the hope that we do meet again.


  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    23
    I don't agree with automatic tipping and, after all, it is not the law that you have to tip although we always do if the service has been worthwhile. The cruise companies should pay their staff proper wages in the first place so that they do not have to rely on tips. I will certainly be asking for this automatic tipping to be taken off our bill when we cruise on the Braemar in March 2011. We have recently become Gold members with Fred Olsen and if they are going to start introducing this automatic tipping it is only a while before they will start adding the 15% to bar bills etc and we may consider other cruise companies such as P & O.


  9. #19
    This is only what we give anyway. In fact it will be cheaper as we normally round the sum up and tip more people, like the drinks waitresses in the bars. Have cruised FO a lot and NEVER had reasons for complaint, so this is no big deal!
    Colin (going on the Black Watch in January).


  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    worst recession?

    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    It is easy to forget when on a cruise that we have and are still going through the worst recession since the 1930's. The truth is that we are all cutting back and that means less cruises, less onboard spend, less excursions and first up is less tipping. .
    The UK came out of recession after the figures for the last quarter of 2009 were published. i.e. in January 2010.

    We can debate how fierce this recent recession was though it will not, by any measure, be considered worse than the one we experienced at the beginning of the 1990s.

    I don't notice any cutting back, particularly in cruising. Four new ships have entered the Solent this year.


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