Does no one hand out tips anymore?

Dug720

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
It is so sad to me that it always comes back to this. We had a person on our social media cruise group today who was asking how to avoid paying the auto gratuity. I wanted to tell him the way you avoid paying for service is don’t go on vacation! Stay at home and make your own bed and clean your own bathroom and prepare and clean up your own meals—then you don’t have to pay.
Agreed. Growing up, my family was NOT wealthy (we weren’t poor, but we were not wealthy), but I remember when we went on a cruise when I was 11 (kids sail free promo combined with proceeds from our house sale while we were renting) my mom still made sure we had at least the minimum - plus some extra - for those tips that were recommended. We have always seen it as part of the cost of a cruise vacation.

And yes - I have walked out on more than one cruise discussion (IRL) when people start bragging about not paying the service charge/gratuities “because they can get them removed”.
 
  • BuzzLightyearInTampa

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2007
    We just got off the Fantasy on Saturday. We were given tip envelopes like usual. (Our last cruise with DCL was in 2013, so there was no change there.) But no one was handing out tip envelopes at dinner. What’s up with that? We brought them, but my husband felt weird whipping it out when no one else was.
    We just got off the Fantasy last Wednesday, and we did ours the last night as well.
     

    lorimay

    🎃🍁🌻
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2008
    Usually the only one I don't hand out is Head Server, I have never given extra cash to a Head Server, I rather give it to the server, asst. server & stateroom host.
    Maybe one day if he/she did something exceptional I would change my mind about that.
     
  • BuzzLightyearInTampa

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2007
    Usually the only one I don't hand out is Head Server, I have never given extra cash to a Head Server, I rather give it to the server, asst. server & stateroom host.
    Maybe one day if he/she did something exceptional I would change my mind about that.
    We always seem to tip our Head Server extra. Maybe we're lucky, but we get great ones almost every time. This time on the Fantasy, Geffrey was especially warm to us, not only at dinner but throughout the day around the ship.
     

    Dug720

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2012
    Usually the only one I don't hand out is Head Server, I have never given extra cash to a Head Server, I rather give it to the server, asst. server & stateroom host.
    Maybe one day if he/she did something exceptional I would change my mind about that.
    We always seem to tip our Head Server extra. Maybe we're lucky, but we get great ones almost every time. This time on the Fantasy, Geffrey was especially warm to us, not only at dinner but throughout the day around the ship.
    Englebert is pretty cool too
    One thing to remember is that if your dinner service runs smoothly without issues, your head server is doing their job. It is not a super visible position, but you know if they are not effectively doing their job.

    I have only had one that was kind of a dud (I have blocked his name, but he was on the Magic). We figured out the final night that it was our server Aditya who had been keeping things running seamlessly in spite of one large and exceedingly demanding table. The final night he was on quarantine so we had a substitute server. And for the first time I was seated so I could see the large table in action. All the adults wanted adult beverages and then seconds...but never at the same time. I watched them summon our assistant to get seconds for two of them. You could see that at least 4 others were a sip or two away from finishing theirs and needing more so he asked them if they wanted another and they said no...but as soon as he got back, a couple of them DID want seconds. Repeated this ad nauseum throughout dinner. Then the children at the table - or more specifically two of the boys - insisted that their ketchup always had to be Mickey-shaped and would whine and demand more as soon as they dipped a fry in. Poor Tiago was running ragged and the sub server was trying to help him - to the point that my table and the table next to us (the only other tables in that section the one was so large) were being neglected. FINALLY the head server noticed the mess and tried to get things straightened out, but it really was too little too late. My dad ended up missing dessert to go back and get our bags out (since we did onboard airline check-in they had to be out earlier) in time. Contrast that with my cruise on the Fantasy where there was another extra large table in my section that tried to be demanding, and I saw the head server notice it and shut that silliness down the first night. He (no longer with the company) was doing an excellent job though I had little interaction with him and he got extra money from me as well as a mention on my comment card and praise in my post-cruise email. The one on the Magic who spent more time socializing and schmoozing with tables than paying attention to what was happening got the minimum tip and a mention in the “grows” section of my follow-up email.
     

    MouseinMelbourne

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 6, 2003
    It is so sad to me that it always comes back to this. We had a person on our social media cruise group today who was asking how to avoid paying the auto gratuity. I wanted to tell him the way you avoid paying for service is don’t go on vacation! Stay at home and make your own bed and clean your own bathroom and prepare and clean up your own meals—then you don’t have to pay.
    Wait, what? “...it comes down to this...” Did you mean me, the OP? Oh, I can assure you, we tip. Big time. Servers in The D Lounge got a $20 tip for 3 drinks. Mousekeeping got triple. MDR staff got extra too - even though they knocked over my water and soaked me.

    I was just asking about whether people actually HAND it to them since it’s done via Guest Services.
     
  • MouseinMelbourne

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 6, 2003
    We always seem to tip our Head Server extra. Maybe we're lucky, but we get great ones almost every time. This time on the Fantasy, Geffrey was especially warm to us, not only at dinner but throughout the day around the ship.
    We always have too. My DD had a peanut allergy and that guy was ON IT. How do you tip someone for keeping your daughter alive in the middle of the ocean? Very well, I can assure you.
     

    smmco

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2019
    Tradition in this sense means as things USED to be, not necessarily as they are.

    Back before they started auto-applying gratuities because too many people were stiffing the crew by giving them nothing, there were tipping guidelines that laid out what was expected in cash per person and that would be given on the last night in envelopes.
    I remember when they did it on DCL before auto gratuities. . I’m not sure if other cruise lines used to hand out envelopes, but I haven’t seen it. I think people should do whatever they feel comfortable doing, They’re going to get their tips regardless. There’s really no right or wrong answer.
     

    Dug720

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2012
    I remember when they did it on DCL before auto gratuities. . I’m not sure if other cruise lines used to hand out envelopes, but I haven’t seen it. I think people should do whatever they feel comfortable doing, They’re going to get their tips regardless. There’s really no right or wrong answer.
    We were on the Emerald Seas on the cruise I referred to. Not Disney.
     

    MinnesotaMouseketeers

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 25, 1999
    Usually the only one I don't hand out is Head Server, I have never given extra cash to a Head Server, I rather give it to the server, asst. server & stateroom host.
    Maybe one day if he/she did something exceptional I would change my mind about that.
    We always seem to tip our Head Server extra. Maybe we're lucky, but we get great ones almost every time. This time on the Fantasy, Geffrey was especially warm to us, not only at dinner but throughout the day around the ship.

    I remember only one time where we did not give our Head Server any additional tip. That was our very first cruise and it was not on DCL. He came around only once at the start of the cruise and we never saw him again.
    On our Disney cruises; I can't think of a night where he didn't come around and talk with us. We always had a nice (but short) conversation with him.

    And we always hand out the envelopes on the last night of the cruise. To shake their hands and thank them for a job well done.
     

    AngelDisney

    Dream a Disney Dream 0[;)
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2011
    For my first DCL Cruise in 2004, we didn’t pay additional gratuity on top of the standard suggested amounts. I don’t remember receiving any envelope. Now we usually give additional tips. We usually hand them out in self-made envelopes at debarkation breakfast or at dinner on last night if we do Express Walk Off. We don’t use the envelopes given to us and returned them at guest services. We never pay attention to other guests, so I have no clue if others have given out the envelopes or not. Instead of paying additional tips in cash, I went to guest service and added more tips on our last cruise. The CM printed out the stubs with new amounts to be put into the envelopes.
     

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    Wait, what? “...it comes down to this...” Did you mean me, the OP? Oh, I can assure you, we tip. Big time. Servers in The D Lounge got a $20 tip for 3 drinks. Mousekeeping got triple. MDR staff got extra too - even though they knocked over my water and soaked me.

    I was just asking about whether people actually HAND it to them since it’s done via Guest Services.
    Nope I just meant the reason for the whole semi-silliness of handing a tip envelope when you’ve already paid comes down to the fact that it became necessary because of ppl who don’t tip. Otherwise we’d be handing servers tip envelopes with their tip, like it used to be done.
     

    hubbard53

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2012
    ive never understood the point of the envelopes when i pre-pay gratuities. I assume the CMs open the envelopes anticipating cash and then get disappointed with just the standard slip. And I've always found the pre-paid gratuities to be sufficient for the services rendered.
     

    PrincessShmoo

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2009
    ive never understood the point of the envelopes when i pre-pay gratuities. I assume the CMs open the envelopes anticipating cash and then get disappointed with just the standard slip. And I've always found the pre-paid gratuities to be sufficient for the services rendered.
    Well, I wouldn't say they would be disappointed with "just the standard slip". It's possible to change the amounts, so the slip could reflect more money (or less) than the recommended gratuities.

    I'll just point out that the whole tipping thing is really a left-over from the "golden days of cruising". Back in that time, only those (US citizens) with lots of money cruised (traveled via ocean liners). It was not uncommon to hand tips to those who served you during the cruise - room stewards, dining room, whoever. Basically, "I'm rich, you've given me good service, here's a little something to say Thank You"

    With the advent of the not-so-rich getting into cruising for vacation/pleasure, the model set up then remained. At the end of the cruise, you tipped those who gave good service.

    Then people started saying "I'm paying plenty for the cruise, why should I tip?" The cruise lines then started implementing auto-gratuities (Hotel Service Charge, just like in upper level resorts). Disney remained as one line that the gratuities were still voluntary. Until they started cruising in Europe. After one season where there were more people whose tipping culture is practically non-existent, they added the auto-gratuities as a "convenience" . That is, you still can remove them and not tip, if you wish, but more of the crew were then getting tips again.

    Yes, tipping is pretty much a US thing (or started that way). In some cases it's out of control. I don't think it is on cruises. In all our cruises, we've only had one server that we didn't give extra to.
     

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