Tips row boils over on Cruise Critic

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The subject of tips is always a hot topic among cruise passengers, and a email print-out spotted on a crew notice board in one ship’s galley has raised the issue to Vindaloo proportions.
A guest on a behind-the-scenes tour on Carnival Splendor saw the note, which listed the names of passengers who had asked for pre-paid gratuities to be removed from their accounts. A picture of the notice was posted on a Cruise Critic forum, and the response was immediate – more than 250 replies before the topic was closed.
Many questioned why crew should know about which customers have removed the charge and whether this affects the service they receive on board. One commented: “I hope another name for it isn’t the ‘Spit in Food’ list.”
Others, more sensibly in my view, suggested that waiters were likely to improve the service if they thought it meant they would get a better tip at the end of the cruise.
But there was embarrassment that the list had been made public, and Carnival’s Jennifer de la Cruz said: “I’ve confirmed that this is absolutely not standard protocol and should not have happened.
“Crew members are not informed of which guests removed their gratuities until after the voyage is completed and guests have disembarked. This information should not have been posted, and shoreside management is in communication with this vessel to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”
I can never understand why tipping does get cruisers so excited, to be honest. The “pre-paid” option is only the same as putting an “optional” service charge on a restaurant bill. And Americans – who make up the majority of Carnival’s passengers – would never be able to walk out of a restaurant without leaving at least a 15 per cent gratuity.

By | 2009-05-13T17:38:26+00:00 13 May 2009|Cruise Gossip, Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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