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Not a fan of the automatic tip charging.

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Cavepaint, May 14, 2012.

  1. mom+3girls

    mom+3girls DIS Veteran

    Feb 25, 2005
    I have never had a bad experience with any of the servers or room attendants that we have had. I'm in a service industry and understand how demanding people can be. I think with Disney there is an expectation of service and it is usually met or exceeded. In fact I had one server on one of our cruises notice that my one of my daughters kept ordering the same thing and he asked why, it was a baked potato plain, I told him she has severe heart burn, he was a doctor in his home country and gave us some helpful pointers on how to combat the problem with natural things, she continues to use some of these helpful hints. Who knew that going on the Disney Cruise could lead to us finding these helpful hints.
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  3. jtanddolly

    jtanddolly DIS Veteran

    Oct 21, 2008
    In defense of Europeans...tipping is not the same in Europe as it is in the states. We (US) tip 15-20% as wait staff in America earns their salary mainly through tips. In Europe they are paid much better and do not make their living off of tips. So please don't think negatively about Europeans...while they do tip, they tip about 1/4 of what we would tip in the states as that is their custom. They could be the cause of low tips on the Med cruises but it is only because they might not be aware of US tipping customs/practices. Where we would leave a $5-6 tip for a $28 meal, it is custom for them to leave $1-2 at the most. This is not a lecture...I have lived overseas and thought I would pass on their tipping customs so that we can all better understand different cultures.

    If it helps wait staff to be paid for their hard work...it isn't such a bad thing for tipping to be automatically included. If you know up front that it will be taken out then you will be prepared for it. This is pretty standard across the cruiseline industry. You can even pre-pay them so you have less of a charge on our sail and sign card at the end of the cruise.

    If you think your wait staff did an extraordinary job then give them a little bit more in cash.
  4. grahamgallagher

    grahamgallagher Mouseketeer

    Nov 3, 2002
    It is part of the cruise and as we found it is a way of life in the USA, this makes the servers provide excellent service and this we can verify as we just returned from the Dream on Sunday.

    If their is a problem, the head server wants to know, we had a slight misunderstanding with the server and it was rectified immediately.

    We had been assigned to dine with another family of 3, and on the first night we got on so well on the second night the family was delayed having massages at the spa and the server kept delaying taking our order until I asked him to, the server thought we were a party of 6 already friends! Quickly and professionally resolved so definitely worth the tips!
  5. Sharonstamps

    Sharonstamps One shoe can change your life

    Dec 29, 2011
    I like that it is already handled - one less thing for me to worry about. We usually tip very well if the CM deserves it. On our last cruise we handled it but now that it is automatically billed, if we want to give an extra tip, do we go to guest services and ask that more be added or do you just hand the CM an extra envelope?

    Also on disney.com's website it lists the gratuity tipping recommendation but I wasn't sure if the amount listed was a "total" amount or amount "per day" - anyone know?

  6. sissy_ib

    sissy_ib DIS Veteran

    Feb 23, 2010
    The recommended gratuities is $12 pp/per night. So on a 7 night cruise it is $84 pp.

    If you want to add more you can go to guest services at any time to add it.
  7. Nikki'sMommy

    Nikki'sMommy Mouseketeer

    Aug 28, 2010
    I apologize that I didn't read the entire thread but just to clarify for my laziness- if I prepay the CM knows that I paid the minimum but if I add on at GS during the cruise will the CM know that we added to it?
  8. Princess Mindy

    Princess Mindy Mouseketeer, proud and true!<br><font color=darkor

    Aug 21, 2005
    I was wondering if you could help me figure something out here. I went to prepay my gratuity for my upcoming 7 day Fantasy cruise I'm taking with my mom (just the 2 of us) and the amount came to $168. Did I get robbed? Can you help me with the math?
  9. sissy_ib

    sissy_ib DIS Veteran

    Feb 23, 2010
    I don't think they know if you repaid of not. I think the only way they know exactly who paid what is if you give them the paper slips at the end of the cruise.

    The recommended amount is $12 pp/per day. That covers all 4 tipped positions. A 7 night works out to $84 pp, or $168 for two people.
  10. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2009
    You can either go to Guest Services and add additonal to your tips, or just include cash with the tip voucher you receive at the end of the cruise, that you hand out to the respective positions.

    The recommended amount is $12 per guest per day. The breakout of the $12 is: Room Host - $4 per guest per day; Dining Room Server - $4 per guest per day; Asst Dining Room Server - $3 per guest per day; and Head Server - $1 per guest per day.

  11. Summerl30

    Summerl30 Mouseketeer

    Oct 8, 2012
    We prepaid on our last RC cruise and we found it so much easier. It wasn't mandatory, but we decided to try it. We are looking to prepay this time too (before we even leave)
  12. princess aleya

    princess aleya DIS Veteran

    Mar 11, 2009
    Yes it was like this on our carnival cruise also. You do have the option of removing them if you want.
  13. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2003
    You can go to GS and adjust your tips up or down....or you can increase tips by adding cash to the envelope along with the tip coupon. It is totally up to you. If you do nothing, the suggested tip will be added to your onboard account. No, the CMs don't know if you pre-paid or if you made any adjustments until you give them the envelope on the last night.

    My guess is that the CMs are happy with this policy change. Yes, it was started on the Magic in response to decreased tipping on the Med cruises, but it was continued after the Magic returned to the US and later expanded to all ships.

    This is no different than what we experienced on other lines.

    And the math above is correct. $12 per day X 7 days = $84 per guest. For 2 people, that's $168
  14. sdlong329

    sdlong329 "Life is just a Fantasy!"

    Jan 24, 2009
    This *change* was disclosed some time ago. Some cruise lines mandate you pay gratuities in cash.

    Are you REALLY saying it is a hassle to make a change to a gratuity? Do you realize, the previous way, you had to fill out a form, and drop it off at Guest Services? Now, if everything is okay, you do nothing. If you want to make a change, you can do it via your stateroom phone ... whether you are increasing or decreasing your gratuity! ::yes::
  15. flyersfan1129

    flyersfan1129 Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2010
    We were NOT able to change via phone on our 11/24 Fantasy cruise. You do need to go to Guest Services in person to adjust, either or up or down. And just for the record, we were adjusting up.
  16. WDW Princess 71

    WDW Princess 71 DIS Veteran

    Sep 15, 2008
    I agree that it was a hassle in my experience to change our tips. I wanted to increase ours, so on the paper that was left in our room with the amounts that were going to be auto charged, i just crossed those out and wrote in the higher amounts I wanted to do, thinking I could just drop that off at Guest Services and have them easily change it. Unfortunately, it was at least a 15 minute process. They couldn't just add to the auto tips. The CM had to go get a manager CM to assist her with voiding the original ones, having me sign off on that, then I had to fill out a completely new form with the amounts I wanted to give, then she had to run that, and reprint the tickets. I know 15 mins might not sound like a lot, but when you are on vacation on a beautiful ship and/or waiting to head out to a beautiful island like CC, you dont want to waste a minute, especially on something that should have been much more seamless.

    I understand the idea of the auto charge for tipping and I'm not totally against it, but I do think they should make it easier for guests to change the amount. Like, when the form is left in your room, it should say something like 'do nothing and this is what will be charged' or 'if you want to increase/decrease, please fill out your corrected amounts and drop off to Guest Services.' Then, the drop off could work just like before, where you leave it in the box, they process it, and return it to your room fish mail holder so you haven't taken any of your time to wait in line to do it.
  17. CruznLexi

    CruznLexi DIS Veteran

    Mar 20, 2005
    You can always add cash to the envelopes too. We also do prepaid grats with our final payment.
  18. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

    Jun 29, 2001
    Personally, the easiest way to adjust the tip up is to just add cash...that way you don't have to go to GS at all...just add the extra cash to the envelopes. We have done this on all our cruises, even before the auto tipping started. It just takes some preplanning to make sure you have the cash with you by the end of the cruise. We just set aside cash for this purpose.

  19. 3princessMommy

    3princessMommy DIS Veteran

    Aug 4, 2007
    We always pre-pay our tips with our Disney Visa - this way we get reward dollars for the amount AND we get 6 months interest free financing. If you wait and have the tips automatically added, you don't get the interest free financing and your reward dollars can't be used on this vacation! (Of course, maybe that's an incentive to go back to Disney...)

    Then the easiest way to give extra for the exceptional service is to just add cash to the ticket envelopes. That way most of the tip is direct deposited, and there's some cash for the crews' incidental expenses.

    Also - there's no reason you can't tip those staff members who are not on your tip list. The best way to do this, is to write a detailed account of their exceptional service and give it to guest services. They have staff meetings each day, and those letters MEAN A LOT!!!! They may even read it out loud to everyone! And give a bonus to that employee.

    For example, on our last cruise, there was one server who went sooooo far beyond it was insane! The first day, we went to the Enchanted Garden for lunch. Our youngest didn't like anything on the buffet - to be fair the kids' options were somewhat limited, and frankly, she was just tired and overexcited. A server from a nearby table passed as I was trying to coax her to eat. And she refused. He stopped and asked her what she would like to eat. She said, "Pizza." Of course, there was no pizza on the buffet! But he said he would get her pizza if she would promise to eat it all. (Which would never happen because she eats like a bird anyway.) She agreed though and he disappeared. He must have RUN up 8 decks! He was back very quickly (a little out of breath) with not only a kids' cheese pizza, but also french fries! She immediately starting eating.

    But he didn't stop there. In his pocket, he had hidden some starburst candy. He pulled a couple out and flashed them at her - and said, she couldn't have one until she had finished her lunch! Well, she went to work on that pizza! Then every time he passed our table, he would "check" on her! she ate all of her pizza and earned her starburst!

    But he didn't stop there either!!! Turns out, he wasn't our waiter, but he was on our dinner rotation. So we saw him every evening and occasionally at breakfast or lunch around the ship. Every time he saw our daughter, he made a big deal out of seeing her! She'd start looking for him! She even "wrote" him a thank you letter! (She was just 5 and couldn't spell yet so it was more a picture than words.) Then that turned into a game - each evening, she 'wrote' him a letter and he came over and gave her a hug! On the fourth night - he gave her a Minnie mouse!

    I wrote a long letter about how wonderful his work had made our cruise. Our daughter was so excited to see him and it just made meals so much fun. On the last night of the cruise, he came over and thanked me for writing the letter. (I didn't figure he'd know about it until the end of the cruise.) But it turns out that the letter went all the way up to the senior staff of restaurant services! AND they read it out loud to the waitstaff at their staff meeting - as an example of the type of service they should be emulating! ANNNNDDD They gave him a $100 bonus on the spot!!! I never would have been able to tip that much extra! The letter made all the difference!

    It was even more important for him, because he had reached the end of his 5th DCL contract. He was getting married and returning to his home country the next day to open his own restaurant!

    Use the survey or just write a note - give a specific example and the crewmembers' names. DCL does reward those crewmembers in very tangible ways!
  20. candfandm

    candfandm Mouseketeer

    Aug 12, 2009
    If you have money left in OBC at end of cruise, will they just deduct the tip from there and if it is not enough, then the balance from credit card on file?
  21. jahber

    jahber DIS Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012

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