Tipping for poor service

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by TKH, Nov 5, 2010.

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  1. TKH

    TKH Mouseketeer

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    I hope this doesn't cause controversy, but I want some honest opinions! We experienced a truly poor server team on the Magic last week. We talked to the servers themselves, the head server, and guest services...nothing ever improved. The issues were numerous, and ranged from minor to quite significant. I won't get into many details because I'm not assessing the quality of the service, but rather want to know what you do with tipping when you perceive the service as quite poor. Do you still tip the recommended as these folks are trying to make a living, do you tip less, or do you give someone else, say a great stateroom host, more? My one example for our server...we asked after the first night that our baby not receive any plates/utensils since he's not old enough to eat and it's not safe/smart for him to handle real plates/forks/knives. The next night, he still had the place setting. My husband was seating our other kids and I was trying to remove the place setting, when the server grabbed my baby's legs and started pulling him into the high chair. I asked him to please stop, he said, "Oh, excellent service, you will get comment card" and continued to pull. The baby was crying and then refused to go into the high chair, I sat down holding him, he grabbed the plate to our left that was at his spot and dropped it. It broke. The server got visibly upset with the baby, clenched his jaw, complained about cleaning up sharp objects, and proceeded with the same scenario the next night. Argh. That's just one example, and I'll leave it with that. On our comment card we asked DCL to contact us, hopefully they will. But what do people really do about the tips? Thank you!
    Note: We love DCL and will certainly cruise again. This was by far the exception to our previous experiences, and every other cast member was fabulous.
     
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  3. kimpossible

    kimpossible DIS Veteran

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    Although our head and regular server were okay, the assistant was truly awful. The other servers had to pick up the slack which could be why they were just average at their own jobs. We tipped the assistant less and tipped the other 2 more since they had to do his job.

    Oh, we were on the same cruise...wonder if we shared the same servers ? (0;
     
  4. AlexandNessa

    AlexandNessa <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=green

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    Did you ask to move tables with different servers? That would be a long cruise to put up with very poor service every night.

    If it was that bad, you are well within your right to tip less or not at all if your numerous attempts to address the issues were for naught.

    We do not "redistribute" tips. We tip each person individually what we want to tip them; one person's tip has nothing to do with another person's, in our opinion. But that is just the way we handle it.

    I wonder if these servers were very new. I know there is some shuffling going on with the Dream coming into the rotation, with many experienced crew leaving the Magic for the new ship.

    Sorry you had a poor DR experience.
     
  5. Evan&Kimberly

    Evan&Kimberly Kim&Evan

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    I would have asked for another server, plain and simple a whole week of bad service can put a burden on your cruise; since you didn’t for another server then the tip would have reflected the service!
     
  6. TKH

    TKH Mouseketeer

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    We didn't let this ruin our cruise at all, so no worries there. By the end, we found some comedy in it. :laughing: I just wondered how people handle tipping; I feel this *obligation* to tip at least the recommended. I'm not sure if they are new...but we breathed a sigh of relief to know they aren't going to the Dream, where we'll cruise next year!
     
  7. dursin

    dursin DIS Veteran

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    If the service was that bad, they would have gotten either no tip or a significantly reduced one. Nothing to feel guilty about.
     
  8. lborne

    lborne It all started with a rabbit

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    IMO, that is exactly the reason for the tips - so that there is incentive for the staff and you can give more or less depending on service. Otherwise, Disney could do what Regent does and eliminate the tips, raise the cost of the cruise, and pay the staff more.
     
  9. amjgale

    amjgale Earning My Ears

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    I don't know if this is true, but the people sitting at our table said that the servers only get paid $13 a week, so their income is fully tips. Does anyone know if this is true? Once she told me that, I felt that even if the service was bad (which it was not, thankfully) I would give the full amount.
     
  10. outahere

    outahere DIS Veteran

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    I'm not sure anyone has been able to confirm exactly what the servers are paid, but they do get the majority (probably 90+%) of their income from tips.

    To the OP...... if I had experienced service that bad, and no one was able to correct it by the second night, I would not have tipped that server at all and would have made certain that it was on the comment card. Even though we enjoy having dinner in the dining rooms, if the service was that poor, we would have been eating at Topsiders every night that we could. I know you asked DCL to contact you, but I would suggest writing a letter, or an email, letting them know the specifics. They may, or may not, contact you because of the comment card.
     
  11. Cruise

    Cruise Wake up, your month is up!;)

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    I'm sorry, and it may seem harsh, but I would definitely not tip the full amount. By doing so, you're telling the server that you were fine with his performance...even after telling him you did or didn't want him to do certain things. And for the OP specifically, that you were fine with him manhandling your child after you'd specifically told him to quit doing so.

    I would tip something since he did still serve us our dinners, but I honestly would see it as a disservice to his next guests if I let him think that kind of service is what earns a full tip. I would also make sure to comment as to why I wasn't tipping the full amount. He needs to be made aware of the problems so he can try to earn that full tip, if not more, on the next cruise.

    To the OP - the only time we "shift" tips is when one directly effects the other which only happens in the dining room. For example, we usually overtip. One one cruise, our server was "okay," but our assistant server was really, really on the ball. To the point of doing some of the things I usually expect of the server. So the server got "just" the recommended amount, and the assistant server got double the recommended amount. On another cruise, the head server picked up some slack from both the server and assistant server. On that cruise, the server and assistant got the recommended amount, but the head server got well over the (small) recommended amount that the head server usually gets.
     
  12. Lee Matthews

    Lee Matthews Mouseketeer

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    I'm joining the Disney Dream next month to be a server and this is one thing that seriously scares me as i hate to think that i've spoiled someones trip.

    Of course, when i've been on the ship a while and know 100% everything and can perform on my own then it will be cool, but it's getting through serving guests while learning.
     
  13. BethC1952

    BethC1952 DIS Veteran

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    We did the same thing (and probably on the same cruise--Hi Julie;)!).

    Beth
     
  14. szubieta

    szubieta DIS Veteran

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    No Worries!! When we have come across a NEW server in cruising or other places we try and encourage and help them to gain confidence while they're learning. I could be wrong but this sound like this was an experienced server that was lacking and should find other jobs and that surely happens.
     
  15. TKH

    TKH Mouseketeer

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    Oh, I wouldn't worry. We tried hard to politely help them understand, and would not have batted an eye if things had improved from there. We'd totally understand someone just learning, and often tip new people extra just for encouragement. When someone is really trying, that's different.
     
  16. TKH

    TKH Mouseketeer

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    No, they won't be on for long. The other tables were having significant troubles with them as well. At times, they claimed to not know English!
     
  17. Lee Matthews

    Lee Matthews Mouseketeer

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    Phew, thanks. I Feel better now. I've worked in Epcot before so i've worked with the company before but Cruise Line is a BIG step up from the Parks i feel
     
  18. lexlaw69

    lexlaw69 Mouseketeer

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    I think if the server/staff was overtly rude to you I would lower or not tip at all. But if you made many demands and they didn't remember you out of the other thousands of guests every week I don't think I would be as harsh as you were. Just because they are wearing a tuxedo/nice uniform doesn't mean that you are going to get the same service as you do at the Ritz, etc. - and I don't think you should expect that. I would have listed something on the comment card and given them the suggested tip.

    Last, take care of your own silverware - they are there to serve you food along with hundreds of others in a quick turnaround while making it as enjoyable as possible. Its more upscale vegas buffet than fine dining. I've seen the utmost in snobbery and service expectations that would have made the Ritz Carlton say "get the hell out" - at times nearly borderline abusive. If you really wanted them to remember you I would have tipped them 10 or 20 bucks at the start and say "its really important to us that silverware is not there when my baby gets here - so please be sure to take care of us". But personally I would have just moved the silverware myself.
     
  19. lmhall2000

    lmhall2000 May the road rise to meet you....May God hold you

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    I'm much harsher than some of you, this is really what I would have done.

    I would have written a simple note:

    Just as you have explanation of benefits, you give them an explanation of tips.

    Starting tip $150
    Forgetting we had an infant and not removing utensils -$10
    Continuing to pull my child's legs when I asked you not to -$10
    Three nights not refilling our drinks -$10
    Acting put out with us when child broke plate -$10

    I really would list it like that, and I would copy it to management services...maybe it will save the next family at the table the same type of treatment...I would also list the things they did above and beyond (which sounds like they didn't) that offset some negatives...values I attributed are purely arbitrary, I think you'd be fine tipping nothing, but they did 'serve' you meals...so I think giving half shows they did half their job...

    From friends who have worked as servers on ships, they are paid $3-5 per hour (some up to 60-80 hours a week)...so they are making something, after taxes about $500-800 a week perhaps, but they're certainly not making $13 a week....
    Tara
     
  20. autodoc

    autodoc Mouseketeer

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    Sorry but I totally disagree with your statements ---- every cruise I have been on by the second night they know us by name and have had the table set exactly as we have requested.

    Not only on DCL but EVERY cruiseline I have dealt with this is the norm!

    These guys know that their wages depend upon providing the best dining experience EVERY NIGHT!!!

    to the OP --- after that many requests their tip would have reflected the attention to detail and ability to follow through with requests (especially as basic as yours were) - from what you have told us so far it would have been $0.00!

    Dinner is part of the whole cruising experience and can make or break a trip in my opinion.
     
  21. MarkRG

    MarkRG DIS Veteran

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    It's really a judgment call. We've only run into that kind of situation once, on one of the first one or two cruises we have went on.

    We were pretty much green at it so didn't know what to expect.

    But by the second night we got the impression that the main dinner server was really slacking off. By then, the only time we would see him was when he showed up to take our dinner order. The assistant server really picked it up and did all the dinner serving herself, not just the drinks and such, and his carelessness made no impact at all on our dining experience. We didn't pick up on it fully as we didn't really have a complete idea of what their two roles should have been.

    We literally flipped the tips, he got a bit less than the assist recommended and she got far more than the main server recommended. We did find out on the last night from her after he disappeared that it was literally his last sailing, contract up and he wasn't getting renewed, and obviously didn't care about going out on a high note.
     
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