Royal Caribbean's New Tipping Policy: A Money Grab to Increase Profits?

Royal Caribbean Tipping PolicyRoyal 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.

Read: Are Crew Members Receiving the Tips You Pay? Watch Royal Caribbean's "Screw the Crew Scheme."Royal Caribbean Tipping Policy

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! 

  

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Comments (24) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Ymca - February 18, 2013 9:41 PM

The housekeeping staff are the ones the earn the most onboard. During seasons where the gratuites HAVE to be prepaid they earn even more.

Dave Lipscomb - February 18, 2013 10:00 PM

It may be that Royal lost almost $400M because they maintain their fleet and run a responsible (well, mostly) company that has to compete with the likes of Carnival that does not. I would cruise with them and tip the crew personally. I would feel safe and know that my gratitude went to the right place.

Crew Member - February 18, 2013 11:50 PM

I worked for over 8 years for a major cruise line. It is true that this tipping system steals the money from the hard worker who earns it. With this money the cruise line pays the salary for behind the scenes staff. (laundry, dishwashers, cleaning staff, upholstery, store keepers, cooks, and so on... Instead of paying salaries from the actual company, they use the tips and obviously saving millions of dollars and profits. All permmitted by the third world laws from the countries they flag their ships. Have you ever commented about the wages differences due to nationality???? well...that is another subjetct you have to keep an eye wide open!

Milena - February 19, 2013 3:29 AM

Well, how can the company steel from the crew? I can assure you that every crew member is perfectly able to do simple arithmetics. You count how many guests you have in your room/table section /all documented on the menifest by the way/, and multiply the days of the cruise x number of guests x $12, this is what you will receive with your pay. Everything is simple and clear and have been done for many years with the pre-paid tips. Crew are not stupid and can see right there and then if they are not paid correct.
The new system will only guarantee that all guests always pay there tips to the hard working crew, who indeed have 20 rooms to make up a day and have to put up with all kind of whims and requests from the guests. Because it does currently happen that with the system of optional-direct-gratuity-pay many guests choose to comfortably sneak away at the end of the cruise and forget to pay the crew, who have toiled for them 12 hrs of each day of their cruise.

Lori - February 19, 2013 10:26 AM

If it is not an attempt to steal from the employees then it is in turn deceptive trade practices as it is now a forced increase to the price of the cruise to pay salaries. I would be fine with that if they simply added it on to the price of the cruise. But, we know that is not the issue.

Darig - February 19, 2013 2:20 PM

Hi all,

With the MLC-2006 coming inforce in august/september this year, I dont think ANY company will do any monkey business.

lauren b - February 19, 2013 3:08 PM

So, to break it down for all your cruisers out there; $12/day pays your food servers, your room cleaner and cabin attendants.

How is $3 per room per day is a fair wage for any of these jobs? By paying to cruise, you ENDORSE these practices.

Milena - February 19, 2013 4:25 PM

Well, how can the company steel from the crew? I can assure you that every crew member is perfectly able to do simple arithmetics. You count how many guests you have in your room/table section /all documented on the menifest by the way/, and multiply the days of the cruise x number of guests x $12, this is what you will receive with your pay. Everything is simple and clear and have been done for many years with the pre-paid tips. Crew are not stupid and can see right there and then if they are not paid correct.
The new system will only guarantee that all guests always pay there tips to the hard working crew, who indeed have 20 rooms to make up a day and have to put up with all kind of whims and requests from the guests. Because it does currently happen that with the system of optional-direct-gratuity-pay many guests choose to comfortably sneak away at the end of the cruise and forget to pay the crew, who have toiled for them 12 hrs of each day of their cruise.

Sam - February 19, 2013 5:23 PM

Miss Milena, You are quite wrong, as the company have quite a lot of ways to keep the money. First, the dinning staff only will get pay by the guests they serve, which means that if they have a 20 station that only got 10 guests as the others probably will go to the windjammer; the company will keep the gratuity from the other 10. Second case, even if they don’t do that, they just simple put same supervisors, head housekeeping and management in the pot and they don’t have to pay salary to them anymore. Third, the my time dinning will be very easy to have a way to keep the hard working staff money. Believe me, I been there almost 10 years and they don’t play with the money. The company preaches about crew welfare, which supposed to be a fund to promote crew activities and support and in my 10 years of RCCL it was used to repair ships areas ( Voyager of the seas, 350.000USD just in the bar) and to pay over price computers which the company get for free from different brands from the moment they state it’s for the crew and they charge it to the welfare fund. I could be going and going…

MIchela - February 19, 2013 10:29 PM

R.carribean the personal in one way its tortured they realy dont have time to count they are robocoping there and if this true that company stealing them than propably from God the comapny one day will failed

mahesh - February 20, 2013 1:53 AM

hi rcl is a nice company to work with good policies for hard working crew member,BUT mgment on broad is no good with crew they steal their money by saying that number of guest no show on your table and so on, atlast crew member have no time to prove they have get ready for next voge with lots of work to finish and many more..

Dana - February 20, 2013 9:32 AM

My sister Jackie and I always have our tips removed from our sign and sail card!! I always tip in person!! The last cruise I went on; my cabin steward was HORRIBLE!! I used to be a maid at a hotel; so I know what it is like to have to clean behind someone. So I always leave my cabin spotless. All my cabin steward had to do was to put clean sheets on my bed and clean towels. That's it!! She was HORRIBLE!! So I DID NOT TIP HER!! I am a firm believer that tips are earned!! I tip well when I feel that you deserve it!!

Merwyn - February 20, 2013 1:20 PM

RCCL has been already stealing form the crew, most of the crew are allowed very little time to go outside the ship, specially the Housekeeping staff and the security staff (been there, done that), then when you have to buy your stuff on-board it is overpriced, they charge you heavily for lost keys (even if you find your keys, money not refunded),name-tags and for every other thing they can and now they decide to steal their hard earned money, yes they can steal the money by just saying that the guest removed the money as they did not want to tip.

nick - February 20, 2013 3:23 PM

rccl is a wicked company and only think about how they can make more money from the crew. with this new tipping polocy they. will be putting all the money in a pool and use it to pay crew mess staff supervisors and people who dont work with the guest directly, the $50.00 dollas that the company pay will be taking away. so from all side it's inhumane and robery. there is soo much more to this story.

MEHMET - February 20, 2013 6:11 PM

Thats true company always maken money from crew from tips loundry bars ect. if any one suu abauth this matter I will be with them to suu this company (RCCL) i work for them more than 10 years there is no problem for me.

Dan - February 20, 2013 7:23 PM

We normaly don't eat in the dining room, why should I to tip those people, can I refuse to pay this extra fee?

charlie amoylin - February 21, 2013 1:32 AM

good day to all first let me share my personal knowledge and opinion about this matter,i work with RCCL from 2003-2009 started with the "monarch of the seas" as asst.waiter and became a waiter transferred to the "freedom of the sea" on its maiden voyage in 2006 then transferred again to the "enchantment of the seas" my last ship assignment with the company because i was dismissed in may of 2009.the reason why i was sharing my experience is that it may give anybody the reason to believe that i have a full knowledge to what i am talking about.we depart our country of origin signing a contract of 50 u.s.dlrs.a month i don't know how the hell the hiring partner and RCCL got away with it but because of promise income on board and financial difficulties experiencing in our countries we dived on it but when we reach there,another situation will be faced by majority of us that is what we call a modern day "slavery"officers or supervisors tell you that you only work 10 hrs.a day thats correct but its a super broken time situation let me tell you how it happens in the dinning room:breakfast we check in at 6am till 10am lunch starts at 11:30 till 3pm then dinner time 5:30 till 11:30 and twice a week we rotatingly work for mid-night buffet until 2am now i will let you do the math and tell me how many hour was that and thats for 7 days a week for 6 mos.when it comes to money matters to earn the money you want to make you really have to work very hard coz we have the evaluation form to rate us and the sales of wine and cook books and a lot more...and if you dont do this perfectly or what they call excellent then we only get small station and sometimes 1 seating only but the same working hours.now let me ask you a question;if anybody there who is not willing to pay the gratuity because they say that they don't come in the dinning room who do you think served you at the buffet?but of course we can't do anything about it because RCCL permits it to happen.Thank god now i was so thankful that i was dismissed earlier coz god knows what would have happen to me if still continue working till now in the aspect of my health;physically,emotionally and spiritually.and as i end this i want to give a salute to all the brave young men and women to leave their families and loved once in exchange of a promise of good life and "SHAME" to the officers and superiors who acts as if they are gods when they are on board same goes to the cruisers who are allowing the practice of not paying the gratuities the work staff highly deserved,and my prayers who are left behind who cannot join to work on the ship again because of so many health issues i hope they will be fine... as they say.thank you and may GODBLESS us all.

BERETTA 92 FS - February 21, 2013 3:52 AM

SHAME ON YOU RCCL !!! SHAME ON YOU YOUTUBE,for banning the clip!!! You're employee WAS RIGHT,dear RCCL.I'm saying this because I'm your beloved employee too,who you f... his ass every damn second,and I know how your scheme works.Dear paxes,PLS DON'T FILL THE POCKETS OF THE CORPORATIONISTS ANYMORE ! My all respect to Mr.Jim Walker & the cruise industry employees who have the courage & power to talk.

annie - February 21, 2013 3:51 PM

I was one of the pioneer crew from Philippines working with Splendour of the seas way back in 1998-2001. True, it was hard, 5 minutes sleep was previous between service. Everything that has been described above was true. It was a great challenge to each one's capacity to survive, physically, mentally and psychologically. This experience has brought asians the chance to change their stabndard of living, not only becaus eof the chance to see other places but also the income they hardly earned. There were pros and cons working in the ship, pros, you get the chance to travel for free, meet other people and discover the world, develop friendship with other nationalities, personally, here I have met my husband now and opened Europe for me to live and work. Cons, hard work,ok, no assurance nor insurance. But then, most of the people I worked with have changed their lives and now living somewhere either in the US or Europe. We can,t say thet I didn't earn because with this system, I did and was able to even invest, it's amatter of maintaining your ezxcellent rating. This has been my passport to discover the world and frankly speaking a very memory that I will never forget. This new system of prepaid gratuites make it safe for the workers and clearer for the customers. Goodluck to those people still working on the ship, make use of the experience and benefit to discover your itineraries, explore and learn, this experience cannot be paid by any cash.

michael - February 21, 2013 11:38 PM

If your not happy and the company cannot satisfy your needs, then RESIGN and look for another work or company that can give all your needs!! it's simple as that.. WE DON'T NEED TO SAY ANYTHING BAD TO OUR COMPANY. I am also a crew of RCCL from 2003 to present.. attention to all crew members, remember that we change our lives and our lifestyle because of the ship.. here we have taken our family's finance.. First of all, you signed a contract, in contract, stated all can happen to us on the ship for six months, you signed right? so STOP COMPLAINING!! just say it in a nice way, we dont need to broadcast what happening to us inside the ship.. we have a lots of competitor outside, what will you feel if somebody from the other cruise ship will read your post? what they will look or think to us? we should be PROUD!! because we are from RCCL.. we should be proud as CROWN AND ANCHOR CREW.. THINK BEFORE U POST ANYTHING.. Think your family, your love one's.. We are FAMILY HERE.. RCCL ACCEPT US, so we should ACCEPT HER TOO.. I am a pioneer crew of Navigator the the Seas.. AND I'M PROUD OF IT!!..

Jose - February 22, 2013 7:10 AM

Fui despedido de ESA puta empresa llamada rccl my trabaje por 11 años los cuales los primeros 4 travajamos asta 20 horas asta que se invents rom el familia time sheet ,pero igual Los supervisores le decian al crew Cuantas horas postear,fue Tanta mi precion que termine cortandole el coello a un Filipino ,por gracia de dios ya no travajo para esos explotadores,

phil - February 22, 2013 4:28 PM

let me tell you something mr michael. STOP FUCKING LICKING THE ROYAL ASSES OK... THAT COMPANY IS QUITE WRONG IN A FEW THINGS, I WORKED LAST YEAR ON NAVIGATOR AND I HAVE TO SAY THEY ARE UNFAIR WITH CREW POSITIONS, STAFF AND OFFICER IS A PRETTY GOOD LIFE BUT NOT FOR PEOLPLE WHO HAVE TO FIGHT FOR MONEY EVERY DAY MY FRIEND, SO STOP SAYING THINGS THAT DO NOT HAVE COMMUN SENCE .... I WAS FIRE FROM NV, JUTS FOR A VERY SMALL THING CUZ A PAIN ON MY LEG, THEN I BEG TO STAY ON THE SHIP BUT THEY DID NOT CARE..I SEE FUCKING MANAGER ANS SUPERVISOR COVERING ASSES OF DRUNK PEOPLE WHEN THEY SHOULD BE FIRE,,YOU SEE THE WHOLE DIFERENCE SO I HAVE TO SAY THAT FOR CREW IS THE FUCKING HELL HARD WORKING,, THUS ROYAL WANTS TO MAKE A FIX SALAY FOR PEOPLE THAT WORKS SO HARD.. YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME..........

Corina - March 2, 2013 11:01 AM

How much is the salary for an mess attendant on Rpyal Caribbean?What are the responsibilities?

Sandro - March 23, 2013 4:48 PM

Ehhhhh...

If u knew wath i knew u woud never cruise again . Thay use evry part of ur body evry cell of ur brain to make more and more money .

U people that dont pay tips imagene these . U work ur ass in the morning u work ur ass in the lunch u work ur ass in dinnet and than when u get salary it looks like half guests didnt pay tip so why u killed ur self ???

When thay say we didnt eat dinner i get sick . BECAUSE SAME STAFF WORKED THEIR ASS WHEREVER U EATEN WATHEVER U LEFT DIRTY THAY CLEANED IT ISNT IMPORTANT DO U EAT IN RESTORANT SAME WAITERS PROVIDE SERVICE TO U WHEREVER U ARE ON THE SHIP


For those that say resigen

U have lack of intelegance it dost mean thay dont make more money than in their home countrys that why thay sttay but if thay coud thay woud resign belive me ...

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