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Offline Davina

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Tips and Gratuities
« on: Aug 07, 2009, 05:40 PM »

Did you tip for good service ? If yes ,for what good service ? If no , then why not ?

Louis

Offline Malcolm

Re: Tipping
« Reply #1 on: Aug 07, 2009, 10:56 PM »

Did you tip for good service ?

I'm assuming that you mean in excess of the daily charge made to your account? Before that charge was imposed then I did tip for good service. Once it was imposed I thought I was paying for service and only tipped in the latter days if the service was exceptional.

Exceptional was when crew went out of their way to do something that you would not expect. For example we tipped our stewards in the Britannia Grill because they remembered our likes, dislikes, etc and ensured that what we wanted was always there; we didn't tip the  stewards in the Queens Grill because they only brought our food (admittedly quickly but they did nothing that I felt I wasn't already paying for).

Offline Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Tipping
« Reply #2 on: Aug 09, 2009, 07:05 PM »

Did you tip for good service ? If yes ,for what good service ? If no , then why not ?


Yes, Louis. Cabin steward/esses and restaurant staff above all, because, as Malcolm says, these are the people who get to know your likes and dislikes and have every chance of looking after you -- sometimes in good times and in bad!

As to the "if not, then why not?" question, there are perhaps several answers :

I found it difficult at times to find the bar stewards when I was looking for them with tips -- most difficult were the Lido crew serving soft drinks and tea / coffee, who looked after me extremely well! They were on rotas that I did not always manage to work out too well... If I had my chance again now I would start distributing the tips much earlier on in a cruise and not wait until the last day...  :-[

The staff in the Purser's office were sometimes extremely helpful too -- I wondered whether it was the done thing to tip them and out of some sort of embarrassment did not do so.

I was always glad that the general gratuity system existed, as there were uncountable staff who provided excellent service, but whom I did not meet to talk to -- the laundry, the deck crew, the engine room crew, and many more. I hope that there was a decent distribution system to include all of them in the general gratuity.

Offline Malcolm

Re: Tipping
« Reply #3 on: Aug 09, 2009, 07:40 PM »
The staff in the Purser's office were sometimes extremely helpful too

:o

Did we go on the same ship? I always found the people behind the desk the most useless and ineffective lot imaginable! This wasn't just towards the end but goes back to the early 90s (Although, having said that, I'm still in touch with one of the purser's officers from then and he never was useless or ineffective although I suspect he'd agree about the office in general)

Offline Andy F

Re: Tipping
« Reply #4 on: Aug 09, 2009, 08:26 PM »
I never had any problems either and my enquiries were always met with a courteous response. 
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Offline Twynkle

Re: Tipping
« Reply #5 on: Aug 09, 2009, 09:04 PM »


One of the best ideas was the White Star cards!
(Wasn't that what they were called?)
I used to ask for plenty from the helpful people in the Purser's Office
then distribute them to anyone I came across - the Tender Helpers, the early morning deck-hosing teams, the ladies who cleaned the public areas' Ladies loos, the guys who I occasionally saw in white or blue overalls - and last but not least, the people from China in the Laundry!  This was a port of call, and the only one 'below decks' that I was fortunate enough to be able to visit, thanking the 'Team-in-steam' for myself!
The cards gave an opportunity to write something, as well as enclosing a small token representing a Big Thank You! 
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Beardy Rich

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Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #6 on: Mar 06, 2010, 10:06 PM »
During my time onboard, I heard rumours that some of the waiters (known as 'wingers' onboard) and stewards received fabulous tips from certain passengers for the exemplary service they received.
Can anyone confirm the rumours and if so, how large were the tips?
Rich Drayson. Ex Snr Mechanic QE2 1984-1988.

Offline Davina

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Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #7 on: Mar 07, 2010, 02:27 PM »
Quote
During my time onboard, I heard rumours that some of the waiters (known as 'wingers' onboard) and stewards received fabulous tips from certain passengers for the exemplary service they received.
Can anyone confirm the rumours and if so, how large were the tips?

Rich, yes it is true some front staff did get big tips ( myself too ),  sadly that went all down the drain when the pre-paid gratuities were introduced.After that only a handfull of staff got big tips and they were mostlly the waiters in the QG and PG Grills.

Louis

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #8 on: Mar 10, 2010, 09:51 AM »
What were the staffs view of the tips? l know its a very prickly subject but how exactly did the pre paid tips work did you get a fair share? was it an unfair system what were the pros and cons with it?
 Did you manage better when the passengers tipped you direct, did you have any favourite passengers. Not that lm asking about figures, that would be rude, But did the waiting staff in turn tip any body? such as the chefs. you often read in the old Queens days that a voyage after a refit was bad for the staff as the tips were not in the system yet for the waiters to tip those who needed to be.
 I always gave the bedroom stewart a small something at the start of the voyage and then evey few days a small gift, ie miniture of whisky, sweets,phonecards, stamps and so it went on, they always seemed appreciative of this and then the last night handed over the rest of the dosh and those white star cards, heaped full of praise. some of the other staff who were just that bit more pleasing always got a white star card and a note. But the waiters l always had a soft spot for.. and used to enjoy the banter with them.
Working in that enviroment l can appreciate how hard they work and that what might appear a simple request to the passenger can be a nightmare for the waiter at that time and while it was nice to move around the tables for open seating l did tend to seek out my regular waiters. Those on the hosted tables simply were something else. In Mauretania you really were waited on hand and foot and while l never felt the need to dine elsewhere. Columbia/Caronia and the Britannia l never liked the open seating and much preferred to arrive at the table and work through the menu with everyone there.
 When the prepaid tips were introduced was it possible for the staff to find out who had removed theirs and one question that keeps poping up if the waiter was given cash was it theirs to keep or did they have to hand it into the pool to be shared out?
As passengers we were always told the tips were shared out to those behind the scenes, so l naturally asked one of the bell boys on the QV on her preview tour what he did and he was a pot washer, and assured me he never had any tips!!!
 
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Offline Davina

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Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #9 on: Mar 10, 2010, 10:12 AM »
Wow thats a lot of questions, i have no time now but ill get back to you on that.But ill say one thing to you the Tips and Gratuities on the QE2 was not as bad as on some other ships.

Louis

Offline bswan

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #10 on: Mar 27, 2010, 11:01 AM »
I preferred to pay the staff that looked after me the most whether it was cabin stewards and bar staff, i looked after them

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Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #11 on: Mar 27, 2010, 03:09 PM »
Have to admit we opted out of the daily charges thing and only tipped well the crew members that we really wanted to like our waiter, cabin steward, bar waiter etc, think in the long run our way cost more but again i prefer to choose who gets my money.

Offline Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #12 on: Mar 24, 2011, 08:01 PM »
In Rosie's "live from QM2" stories, she tells us of the incredibly hard work on the part of the deck crew to make an anchor port a success and all the tendering operations run smoothly.

This has made me think of the excellent work done by many crew members whom we see (and of course plenty more whom we do not see) but never really get a proper chance to tip. Another thing about the deck crew is that they work as a team, and tipping one of them would leave out all the others who work equally hard and well in the same team.

Which makes me think :

  • Were those who were less likely to receive tips, paid a higher wage on QE2 to make up for this?
  • Did the general gratuity system extend also to those crew members who were quite likely to receive individual tips?
  • Should we always keep a bit of spare cash handy to give immediately to a crew member who has provided excellent service?

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #13 on: Mar 24, 2011, 09:17 PM »
Quote
  This has made me think of the excellent work done by many crew members whom we see (and of course plenty more whom we do not see) but never really get a proper chance to tip. Another thing about the deck crew is that they work as a team, and tipping one of them would leave out all the others who work equally hard and well in the same team.

Which makes me think :


•Were those who were less likely to receive tips, paid a higher wage on QE2 to make up for this?
•Did the general gratuity system extend also to those crew members who were quite likely to receive individual tips?
•Should we always keep a bit of spare cash handy to give immediately to a crew member who has provided excellent service?   

It reminds me of the tour of the QV l took. I spoke with one of the staff dressed up as a bus boy and asked him what his job was on the ship. You can imagine the surprise l had when he told me he was a dish washer in the kitchens, having got over the initial shock l seized the chance and asked him about the tips, mentioning that with the auto tip we as guests/ passengers were always told this was given to the backroom staff as well, and was this the case. Well the answer back l was given was NO !!! he hadn't received any tips. Now lm sure he wasn't expecting me to open the wallet and thrust something into his hands there and then Butl was somewhat surprised by his answer.
It just confirms what l thought, and always did. Leave the autotip on and assume its distributed as Cunard tells us so.(which seemingly it is not) and then l tipped the staff that l came into contact with.   
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #14 on: Mar 24, 2011, 09:34 PM »
Quote
Wow thats a lot of questions, i have no time now but ill get back to you on that.But ill say one thing to you the Tips and Gratuities on the QE2 was not as bad as on some other ships.

Louis       

And what did you conclude Louis.... ;)

Now what about if the tips had been included in the fare, would people still tip something anyway.

Having spent a month in America,by the end of it its still a thing l didnt really like doing because its expected and not for the service given. What did surprise me was in Hollywood all those lookalikes when you stop for a photo and they whisper in your ear that immortal words "We DO accepts tips!"  l was in two minds to whisper back "So do l, but we get sod all"
 Its something l moaned about discussed a few times with various friends in the USA and that as a UK visitor to America we are told oh tip there and tip there, But when the ball is on the other foot and Americans visit over here, they do in my experience tend to have short arms and deep pockets .
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #15 on: Mar 24, 2011, 09:53 PM »
The question of whether the gratuities paid actually are paid given to the crew onboard ship is one that comes up time and time again when cruising. On a recent cruise a couple who were our dining companions said that they cancelled the gratuities for one and used the money to tip where they thought was appropriate as they were not convinced that the gratuities were paid to staff. 
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Offline Bruce Nicholls

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #16 on: Mar 25, 2011, 10:26 AM »
I remember that during my one voyage in 1992 or 93 we had the option to join the auto tip system. We did and our waiter did have a list of those who had auto tipped and thanked us personally. So at least we know he got his!

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #17 on: Mar 25, 2011, 12:14 PM »
Quote
  We did and our waiter did have a list of those who had auto tipped and thanked us personally. So at least we know he got his!   
It does make you wonder just how much the staff know before we rest out bums on the seats and enjoyed the wonderful QE2 service.
Personally l wish they would do away with new trend of giving onboard credit with every booking, does this mean the prices are inflated to cover this? or are Cunard actually giving this drop in the ocean money away. :-\ now if they said that tips were included wouldnt that be better?
 
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #18 on: Nov 13, 2011, 10:11 PM »
Myles the Queens Room along with the Grand Lounge in the the view of the Public Room Staff are the "non making money" lounges all you do here is clean clean clean.A example is that when you work in the Golden Pub (Theater Bar then) you make more in a hour than those staff all day in the lounges.

Not sure whether it was like this in your time, Louis -- but in later years, we had our credit cards registered and never carried any cash around. Would passengers have tipped you in cash at the time, or would they have added an extra gratuity to the bill they signed for their credit cards? If the latter, would you personally have received that amount, or would it have been redistributed among the crew?

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #19 on: Nov 13, 2011, 10:43 PM »
In 2002 the tips were, if I remember rightly, added to our bill although in our case we don't have a credit card and we settled the on board spend bill upon disembarkation by paying cash to the Purser's office.
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Offline Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #20 on: Nov 14, 2011, 11:59 AM »
By doing this, Peter, were you able to specify which person received what / how much?

I am still intrigued by the fact that a steward in the Golden Lion received so much more in gratuities than one working in the Queen's Room. How did this difference arise?

Offline Davina

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Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #21 on: Nov 14, 2011, 12:13 PM »
Quote
I am still intrigued by the fact that a steward in the Golden Lion received so much more in gratuities than one working in the Queen's Room. How did this difference arise?

Isabelle the public room stewards and barkeepers were not included on the pre paid gratuities system.Therefore the one in the Golden Pub made more revenue on sales.So the more sales the more comission you got.On the normal pre lunch drinks in the pub a steward works 4 hours he makes easliy 200 dollars sales 10% comission is his the one in the Queens Room makes no sales (and yes the morning shift in this room brings nothing) therefore no comission.One a good crossing with the 5 nights a steward in the pub makes a least 500 dollars (comission and cash tips) the one in the Queens Room might make 200 (here mostly comission and since you have no regulars the cash tips is very low.

Offline Davina

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Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #22 on: Nov 14, 2011, 12:16 PM »
Here is the order of the best rooms to make money

Golden Pub
Yacht Club
Queens Grill Lounge
Chart Room
Casino
Crystal Bar
Grand Lounge
Queens Room

Offline Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #23 on: Nov 14, 2011, 12:17 PM »
That's very useful information, Louis, thank you.

If I were still sailing on QE2, I would keep that in mind and help the stewards in the less favoured public rooms make some commission!

And now that I see your excellent list, at least I did help some of the stewards in the Crystal Bar. And the Lido too :) .
« Last Edit: Nov 14, 2011, 12:19 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline Rod

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #24 on: Nov 14, 2011, 11:34 PM »
What my Father used to do at the start of a voyage was to find a bar he liked, see what waiter looked after him the best and the gave him a tip on day 2......and said...there will be more later if you are good.

T.I.P. ...to insure promptness!

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #25 on: Nov 14, 2011, 11:57 PM »
By doing this, Peter, were you able to specify which person received what / how much?

From memory it was a straight percentage added to the bill....  I should still have it in our honeymoon album, but I'll have to check tomorrow if I remember because I'll have to unset and reset two different alarms if I go back down now to have a look.
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline Rod

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #26 on: Nov 15, 2011, 12:14 AM »
Don't want people to see you wedding album?

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #27 on: Nov 15, 2011, 12:02 PM »
What did the forum members do with regards to tipping onboard ?
The days of the tipping envelopes are well gone, small little envelopes you could obtain from the Pursers desk and big enough to "palm" to the member of staff.

With the cabin steward l often gave them something at the start, and the rest later A good friend of mine confessed to me he saw that as some sort of bribe :o, l never saw it like that.

I used to always enclose one of those little White Star comment cards along with mine.
I do wonder how many people when signing for drinks added a tip ontop of the service charge. Did the service charge go to the member of staff or straight into the bank of Cunard...?
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
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Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #28 on: Nov 15, 2011, 05:27 PM »
Don't want people to see you wedding album?

Ha ha ;D

Nothing sinister!  The album ( actually five volumes! ) is in the lounge; the study is in the attic....  when I'm up there online at night I've already locked up downstairs...
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Offline Davina

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Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #29 on: Nov 16, 2011, 07:07 PM »
Quote
Did the service charge go to the member of staff or straight into the bank of Cunard...?


Each Public Staff had a server pen the Barkeepers had only one per bar.This server pen in is logged with the persons name so when you added a tip to it it did go to the person in question.As for barkeepers and lets say for the for ones in the Pub (normally 3 of them) share the same pen so do the barkeepers in other bars this then is all together shared between all.The money cash tips stay with the person in question.During each cruise we get a slip with all that information for the cruise before.

Sadly there were passengers that would go to the Pursers or Restaurant Manager and hand in cash for a staff a member sadly this member never saw the light of it.


Offline Jeff Taylor

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #30 on: Nov 16, 2011, 10:19 PM »
$64 question.  At most any shoreside bar around the world, when you buy enough drinks and tip the bartender appropriately, or perhaps generously, it is customary for a periodic buy back, i.e. a free drink.  I always tip at the ship bars on Cunard and while I seem to get cheerful service and a lot of attention, I don't think I've ever gotten a free drink.  I have gotten a "top off", but somehow that's not the same.  Any thoughts or comments?

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #31 on: Nov 16, 2011, 11:40 PM »
I remembered to check the invoice tonight; out of $1,158.10 on it the service charge was $66.

That looks a low percentage at first glance but the invoice does include shop purchases which would very likely have been excluded from tip calculations.
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Offline Davina

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Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #32 on: Nov 17, 2011, 06:16 AM »
Quote
$64 question.  At most any shoreside bar around the world, when you buy enough drinks and tip the bartender appropriately, or perhaps generously, it is customary for a periodic buy back, i.e. a free drink.  I always tip at the ship bars on Cunard and while I seem to get cheerful service and a lot of attention, I don't think I've ever gotten a free drink.  I have gotten a "top off", but somehow that's not the same.  Any thoughts or comments?

Jeff, i never gave anyone a free drink its against companies policy if you caught you are sacked.Plus you never know who is sitting on the other side, sometimes it happens that you get a false passenger onboard.

Offline Twynkle

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #33 on: Nov 17, 2011, 09:29 AM »
Jeff, i never gave anyone a free drink its against companies policy if you caught you are sacked.Plus you never know who is sitting on the other side, sometimes it happens that you get a false passenger onboard.

Hi Louis,

I'd agree completely about the rule regarding crew choosing to 'give away' anything, after all it would be putting them in an extremely awkward position - not least because the drink (or anything else) isn't theirs to give away!
The crew have always given their time and energy so freely, as well as willingly - they are the people who, since Cunard was 'invented', have made their reputation so great - and this was long, long before their advertising helped too!
About 'secret passengers' - this is interesting, didn't they make visits randomly and quite regularly?
Thanks so much!
Rosie
« Last Edit: Nov 17, 2011, 09:31 AM by Twynkle »
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Twynkle

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #34 on: Nov 17, 2011, 09:34 AM »
$64 question.  At most any shoreside bar around the world, when you buy enough drinks and tip the bartender appropriately, or perhaps generously, it is customary for a periodic buy back, i.e. a free drink.  I always tip at the ship bars on Cunard and while I seem to get cheerful service and a lot of attention, I don't think I've ever gotten a free drink.  I have gotten a "top off", but somehow that's not the same.  Any thoughts or comments?

Hi Jeff,
Please can I ask - what is a top-off?
Thanks
Rosie
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Davina

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Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #35 on: Nov 17, 2011, 10:11 AM »
Quote
About 'secret passengers' - this is interesting, didn't they make visits randomly and quite regularly?

Yes they did

Offline Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #36 on: Nov 17, 2011, 12:09 PM »
Who would they be, Louis? Crew members already on board? Cunard shoreside staff?

Entertainers? Family members? Random passengers asked to provide a service in return for a few free drinks?

I agree with Rosie that the drinks were not yours to give away -- and a tip to a steward was in any case not meant to buy a drink, but to reward good service :) .

What were they checking up on?

Offline Davina

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Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #37 on: Nov 17, 2011, 12:14 PM »
They were Cunard shoreside staff they come often to check out the operations.Sadly one bartender did fall into the trap and was sacked.

Offline Jeff Taylor

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #38 on: Nov 17, 2011, 04:01 PM »
In this context I was referring to a top off as a measured drink where you say to the bartender, "oh come on, that looks kinda weak" and he puts in a bit more liquor.

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #39 on: Nov 26, 2011, 11:03 PM »
The Tipping Envelopes....

Link to image not available
« Last Edit: Nov 17, 2019, 10:40 AM by Lynda Bradford »
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2012, 09:44 AM »
I used to always enclose one of those little White Star comment cards along with mine.

I wonder how many of us used to fill them in? For how many people?

There must have been some crew members who received them regularly (as they had the most contact with passengers) and others who got them only rarely, if ever.

I used to fill them in for most of those people who also received tips -- the crew members who had been particularly excellent in their care and attention. Among those who did not receive tips, there were a couple of members of the Purser's office on one or two occasions who I thought had been supremely helpful.

Did anyone here ever give a "You're a Star" award to the Captain?

Offline Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Tips and Gratuities
« Reply #41 on: Feb 19, 2020, 04:31 PM »
Louis, all in all, how many forms did the tips take? Most of us walked around the ship without even a cent in our pockets, because one of the wonderful advantages was that we could just use our ship card for everything.

I therefore imagine that an immediate tip in cash would have been very rare. What other forms would a tip take? And at which point in time during a cruise would you receive them?