Royal Caribbean announced a new tipping policy.
Passengers will no longer be permitted to pay the "recommended gratuities" directly to the hard working stateroom attendants. Instead, the cruise line will automatically charge tips of $12 a day per person. The tips will be automatically added to the guest's account on a daily basis.
So who receives the tips?
The cruise line says that the tips will be shared by dining services staff, cabin attendants and other housekeeping personnel.
But some crew members who have contacted our office say that this is a money grab by Royal Caribbean to pay them less. They earn only $50 a month from the cruise line. The rest comes from the guests. They believe that the cruise line is stealing their money. We have heard from many crew who have to clean over 20 cabins, bathrooms and balconies a day and see Royal Caribbean sending their tips back to the cruise line coffer's in Miami.
Two month sago, we asked whether this cruise line's tipping policy was just a scheme to steal the crew member's tips? Remember that this cruise line just suffered a $392,800,000 loss last quarter. It certainly has motivation to dip into the tip jar and steal money intended for its crew members.
February 20, 2013 Update: Royal Caribbean objected to the video, threatened the crew member who posted it, and was successful in taking the video down. So much for freedom of speech. Read our updated article "Screw the Crew" Video: Banned By Royal Caribbean & YouTube!