• Report: #305072

Complaint Review: Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Submitted: Thu, January 31, 2008
  • Updated: Tue, July 13, 2010

  • Reported By:Bartlesville Oklahoma
Carnival Cruise Lines
www.carnival.com Nationwide Liberia

Carnival Cruise Lines Tipping Policy is shameful, hidden, and dishonest Nationwide

*Consumer Suggestion: The Truth About the Tips

*Consumer Comment: I'm with the original ripoff reporter, however...

*Consumer Suggestion: You said you read the disclosures.....

*Consumer Comment: Just about all cruise lines do this now but you can have it taken off

What's this?
What's this?
What's this?
Is this
Ripoff Report
About you?
Ripoff Report
A business' first
line of defense
on the Internet.
If your business is
willing to make a
commitment to
customer satisfaction
Click here now..

Does your business have a bad reputation?
Fix it the right way.
Corporate Advocacy Program™

SEO Reputation Management at its best!

The reverse gratuity policy is hidden in Carnival's literature. Yes, you can read through everything and discover the policy. but we aren't talking about my mortgage here, it's a vacation. I would not be too wrong to state that 50% don't see the policy until after booking the vacation, and another 30%-40% don't see the charges until the end of the trip whenl it appears on their misc. charges.

I think everyone should be tipped, but Carnival shas a hand in your face at every opportunity already. Why do they advertise low cruise costs and then "stick" you with the hidden gratuity. This is no better than Top hotels offering a $20 discount, then charging $30 for parking in their garage. to be discoverd at check in. A crooked ebay seller that sells an item for $20 and charges $25 for shipping. Let's call this what it is. hidden costs. Who else does this mandatory reverse gratuity in the cruise industry? Educate me. Why Carnival? Why do they have to be deceptive when others don't?

Don't tell me it's spelled out in their policy either. I've already covered that. It's a principle thing. To say "you shouldn't be cruising if you are concerned" isn't a valid response either. Tipping should be a more personal experience. Carnival, raise the prices if you have mandatory pre-tipping. Then we can compare apples to apples.

Bartlesville, Oklahoma

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/31/2008 08:17 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Carnival-Cruise-Lines/nationwide/Carnival-Cruise-Lines-Tipping-Policy-is-shameful-hidden-and-dishonest-Nationwide-305072. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

Click Here to read other Ripoff Reports on Carnival Cruise Lines

Search for additional reports

If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:

Search Tips
Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
What's this?
Also a victim?
What's this?
Repair Your Reputation!
What's this?
0Author 4Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

The Truth About the Tips

AUTHOR: David - (USA)

Just about all cruise lines nowadays use automatic gratuities. This is not unique to Carnival. Here's how the tips work with Carnival:

You are charged $10/person per day. The $10 is divided up the following way: $3.50 for your head waiter; $2 for your assistant waiter; $3.50 for your cabin steward; $1 pooled for misc food staff (dishwashers, cooks, Lido wait staff, etc.). This is very clear-cut, and yes, the staff get 100% of these tips. The tips are given directly to the employees they belong to. Carnival does not take a cut. The pooled tips are divided equally where appropriate. If you do anytime dining, your $5.50 per day for wait staff is pooled and divided equally amongst the anytime dining wait staff.

The workers on just about all mass market cruise lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, etc.), make very little money. These cruise lines, though based in the US, do not need to follow US labor laws. Their ships are flagged in foreign countries, and this is what decided what labor laws to follow onboard. They work long, hard hours for months at a time, away from their families. There are no weekends, and there is very little time off. Bottom line: the staff work for their TIPS. If you feel the tips are a ripoff, by all means take them off. They are not mandatory. But keep in mind that the person who served you all week and tried to make your vacation memorable is depending on those tips!

As I said, these gratuities are not mandatory. They are suggested. You can increase them or decrease them as you please. If you want a more personal experience, you should remove the auto-tips and then tip the same amount in cash. Be sure to let guest services know that you're removing the tips because you want to tip the full amount in cash. They will provide you with envelopes to tip with.

Now everyone knows where exactly these tips go, who gets them, and how they're handled. Remember: the people working hard for you on the cruise ship (on any cruise line) are most likely from 3rd world countries and are away from their families for months at a time. They have very little time off and truly appreciate any tips you give them.

(I do not work for a cruise line. I am just an avid cruiser who has done more than enough research to know how this stuff works.)

Respond to this report!
What's this?

#2 Consumer Comment

I'm with the original ripoff reporter, however...

AUTHOR: Aoc, inc - (U.S.A.)

I also think this automatic tipping policy is deceptive and frankly criminal. 

I differ from the original poster in that I DO NOT believe that everyone should be tipped as he claims. Gratuities and Tips are a privilege or bonus not a right. It is the cruise line's responsibility to pay their staff at, at least the minimum wage that the law requires. It is the employee's decision to either work for that wage or not.

That said. I am a very generous tipper. Usually 25 to 30% on all bills if the service is good. 15% automatic gratuity on drinks on a cruise ship creates no incentive for the wait staff to provide any level of service. On ships where I could decide the tip, the wait staff would learn my name and what I like to drink and create a fun and friendly atmosphere in the hopes of a better tip... which they would always get. Ships that add this automatically have staff that, for lack of a better term, could not give a d**n either way. As was the case with Carnival.

Then the auto tipping on the bill. $40 a day for 2 adults and 2 kids. This is on top of the tips I gave the waiters, stewards, babysitters, spa staff, casino staff, bar tenders etc. Frankly this is a con. They claim these are for 'behind the scenes' staff. If I stay in a hotel I DO NOT tip the janitor. They are paid by the establishment. I tip only those that directly attended to me and only if the level of service earned it.

That said. I really don't give a d**n about the small print, the contracts, the Carnival PR team or other staff commenting on this complaint. What Carnival and other cruise lines do with this automatic tipping is criminal and I dispute it every time. As a matter of principal I will never pay those gratuities... not 1c.

A much large issue that I would like to see investigated, is where these funds go. A number of crew members have told me that they never see any of this. A guest services person told me it is used to pay for medical or other emergencies for staff who can't afford it... WHAT, they don't give their staff medical ?? Besides, it is not a tip, it is a benefit and why the hell should the customer pay it.

I encourage every single cruiser to boycott these automatic gratuities. By all means, tip generously in cash to those who deserve it but don't let the cruise line decide what to do with your money.
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#3 Consumer Suggestion

You said you read the disclosures.....

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Matbe you should read the rest of them.

Here's a quote frp0m Page 32 of Carnival's 2008 West Coas Departures brochure:

How much you tip is purely a personal matter and is completely up to you. However, we do have many guests who ask for some guidelines in regard to what is appropriate. For your convenience we automatically add the gratuities for your dining and stateroom services to your onboard Sail & Sign charge account. The total amount will be $10 per guest, per day (our recommended guideline). You have complete discretion to adjust these gratuities while on board based on the level of service you recieve during the cruise. This will include the option to adjust the gratuities (up or down) for any of the service teams. Tipping your Maitre d' is is at your discretion, based upon the service you recieve. Other personnel, such as bar and room service staff, may be tipped as service is rendered. Fifteen percent of the bill is automatically added to Sail &B Sign beverage purchases, which you may adjust appropriately."

So.... go to the Purser and adjust your tipping levels to what you feel is appropriate.

Just where is the ripoff?

BTW, I am not a Carnival employee - I have a cruise booked for this summer. I am a passenger just like you. The only difference between us is I read the book.
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#4 Consumer Comment

Just about all cruise lines do this now but you can have it taken off

AUTHOR: James - (U.S.A.)

I have been on 11 cruises on different cruise lines and just about all do this now but its an easy fix if you dont want to tip that amount or give more or less or dont want to tip at all the last night of the cruise go to purser desk and have it removed. Im not trying to defend Carnival but when you get your docs it tell here what the tiping policy is. I never let them add tips to my bill I like to give out cash , I have cruised carnival ,Holland america, Royal Caribean and Princess and Royal is the only one that didnt do the auto tips Lots of people like the auto tips so they wont have to get cash and try to distribute.
Respond to this report!
What's this?
Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
What's this?
Also a victim?
What's this?
Repair Your Reputation!
What's this?