Holland Americal's NO TIPPING policy

Apr 24th, 2003, 11:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 100
Holland Americal's NO TIPPING policy

I have cruised many times before but I have never sailed on Holland America Lines (HAL).

On other lines I have either left my tip in little cards and on the last day given the cards to the staff, or I have allowed the ship to bill by on-board credit (such as Carnival?s Sail and Sign card).

My question is this: Is it obligatory to tip on HAL?

I am confused because I have read opposite comments. The material from Hal says no tipping is needed, but I have read cruise reviews wherein people on Hal have tipped.

I am aware that some people never tip and others always tip. I have read all of the arguments from both sides as to the reasons for doing such. In this particular case I need to know whether I am required/expected to tip on HAL.

My current view is that if HAL brochures say no tipping, then I will not tip. I will assume that the price of my cruise has been slightly inflated to account for giving the tips to the staff.

I know that most of the staff rely on tips but it seems if HAL says no tipping, then the staff should expect no tips and if they don?t like it, then work for another line that prints the expected tipping.

Please respond with cold hard facts and not emotional comments about the moral responsibilities involved in tipping.

Do I need to tip on HAL?
snorkelman is offline  
Apr 24th, 2003, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Good question Snorkelman. I did a search and this particular topic has not been addressed on this website.

I think that if HAL says no tipping in its brochures then under no circumstances should you be EXPECTED to tip.

However, if you receive outstanding service then you should tip a little extra.

Keep in mind that service on cruise ships is expected to be very high, so when I say ?outstanding? I am talking about such things as:

1) The waiter reading the entire menu to you because you are blind or left your glasses in the room; or

2) the cabin steward daily fetching 3 canisters of ice for you during your entire cruise when he normally would only give you one.
JimSmith is offline  
Apr 24th, 2003, 01:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I pulled the following from Cruise Basics on HAL's website. Note that it says "tipping not required," not "No Tipping." Like anywhere else, I tip in accordance with what the service is worth.

"Exceptional service is part of the Holland America cruise experience. Because you are our guest, it is our goal to make sure you receive the finest service possible. Our "tipping not required" policy ensures that the professional and gracious service you receive on board is truly sincere; that we are dedicated to providing the most relaxed cruise vacation, not simply providing service in return for tips. You are free, however, to extend monetary recognition if you wish-it's entirely up to you. (Company policy prohibits us from suggesting how much.)

Please remember that this "tipping not required" policy does not extend beyond the ship. In terminals, airports, ports of call and on special shore excursions, you should tip consistent with customary local practices.
JimM is offline  
Apr 24th, 2003, 03:41 PM
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Nowhere does it say "No tipping." "Tipping not required" is NOT the same as "No tipping." You are expected to tip.

Tip as if on any other cruise line...$10 per day per person distributed between your steward, and wait staff. Additionally, tips are appropriate for the bar staff.

However, all tips must be "in hand, in cash" and cannot be placed on your shipboard account

Lew is offline  
Apr 24th, 2003, 03:45 PM
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It was explained to me by my TA that "tipping is at your descrition" on HAL, and they won't hound you for tips.

I plan on tipping as I usually do. Figure a base of $70 pp for the week and then extra if they are exceptional.
Theresa is offline  
Apr 24th, 2003, 07:23 PM
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I have sailed on HAL before and am again booked on a HAL cruise this June. Tipping is not required and you cannot charge it to your on board account. But most of us tip as we do on other ships depending on the level of service -- which to be quite frank, is superior to other cruise lines I have travelled on. Some think it is this policy of not requiring tips which encourages their staff to be provide better service.
ashuma1 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2003, 03:47 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 86
It seems as if confusion persists. It also seems clear that some of the people who sail HAL will tip no matter what the service was like.

Why would a "tipping not required" policy be interpreted (see the comment above by LEW) as "you are expected to tip."

This is crazy logic. I think that JimM has it right. Tip in accord with what the service is worth.

To me, anything less than outstanding service is par for the course on cruises. Once it hits outstanding, then a tip is in order.
JimSmith is offline  
Apr 25th, 2003, 04:04 AM
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I agree with Lew, logical or not. I've been on several HAL cruises, and although tipping is "not required", people still tip - generously! Why? Because the service is superb! I think this policy is a clever ploy by HAL. I used to do carwashes with my kids sports teams, and the smart mom who ran them never set a price. Invariably, people overpaid! This is what HAL is aiming for, I'm willing to bet. And it works.

JimSmith, you sound like a real cheapskate to me. (Wasn't that you I saw at the last carwash?... I think you donated a dollar while complaining about the kids scratching your corvette!)
joan is offline  
Apr 25th, 2003, 05:44 AM
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JimSmith - this subject HAS been discussed to death on this site before registration. So far, all the same comments have been made except mine. I had an opportunity to talk to the captain of the Veendam on our cruise and specifically asked him about this issue. He told me that, unlike other cruise lines, their crew is paid the equivilent of $3.50 per day per person in their base wages. HAL doesn't want to say "no tipping" because they want the big spenders to continue to slip their waiter or cabin steward the "hundred dollar bill" as they always have to make them feel good.

As long as "some" continue to tip, the crew will have that expectation, even though they already have it in their wages and the passengers are paying for it in the price of the cruise. They will be unhappy if they don't get tips because they've been spoiled. This comes from the Captain of one of HAL's ships.

PumpkinEater is offline  
Apr 25th, 2003, 05:44 AM
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I haven't seen a HAL brochure but are their any suggestions printed for amounts to tip? Are their envelopes for tips provided? If so, you are definitely expected to tip. Also, HAL prices are in line with all the mass market lines, so I don't see how tipping would not be expected.

The cruiselines that truly don't expect or require tips are significantly more expensive than HAL, so tips really aren't necessary on those lines.
nina is offline  
Apr 25th, 2003, 06:24 AM
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"Why would a "tipping not required" policy be interpreted (see the comment above by LEW) as 'you are expected to tip.'"

Tipping is not REQUIRED at a restaurant, but most of us understand it is expected.

Lew is offline  
Apr 25th, 2003, 07:41 AM
Original Poster
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Thanks for the replies. I did a search before I posted but now I understand why I didn?t find anything (thanks for the reason Peter (PumpkinEater)).

As for the other responses, I see that the issue is still not crystal clear but I will treat this cruise like all other cruises and expect to tip (Chill out - I never said that I was planning on not tipping).

From some of the responses, my expectations of the type of service that I will be receiving on HAL are now quite high. Let?s hope that the grand proclamations about HAL are not merely bravado to support one?s reason for tipping a certain amount.

You guys can congratulate yourselves because now there is an informative thread on this topic when someone does a search in the future.
snorkelman is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 08:11 AM
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You can afford the cruise. All of the people helping you on the ship are working at least 12 hours a day. While they may be making more money than your average cruise line worker it still isn't much and most of those folks are supporing families at home. Am I obligated to tip on HAL? No. I do it because the service I receive merits it. The difference between HAL and other lines is that there is no jockeying for tips by every single individual who assists you. On HAL I tend to go to the same lounge for drinks and find that one person becomes my server for the week, learning my name immediately and knowing what I like to drink. If I see them elsewhere on the ship, they remember me. I think that kind of recognition deserves something extra at the end of my cruise. Overall I find I tip less on the boat because rather than leave a tip every time I get a drink, or get a towel or food, I tip one or two peole once at the end of the cruise plus the cabin steward and dining room staff. They deserve it. If you can afford to be there you can afford to recognize the hard work of others.
McBetsy is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 02:07 PM
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The ironly is that the sevice charge for your drink is included on your bill!

Even if there were signs all around "no tipping allowed", there would be some people who would feel obligated to tip. Thats what makes this subject come up time and again.

PumpkinEater is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 12:29 PM
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This "tipping not required" has been an ad scam for decades on Holland America. Some lines, like Radisson, state "Tipping Included" in their fares which leaves no room for misinterpretation.
judia1 is offline  
May 8th, 2003, 07:36 AM
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Message: The ironly is that the sevice charge for your drink is included on your bill!

NOT ON HAL, no drink service charges included.
HAL offers excellent service and indeed deserve tipping like any other cruise.
BudgetQueen is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 03:29 PM
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I have cruised on HAL (the Rotterdam) as well other cruise lines. My cruise on the Rotterdam was the first time that I was anxious to tip because the service was extraordinary. I never felt any pressure to tip from the staff or the cruise line. The great thing about this policy is that if you're unhappy with anything you can adjust your tip accordingly or not tip at all, and you won't feel guilty about it. If HAL is your first cruise and you're not sure how much to tip, ask one of your fellow passengers for advice.
Tommark is offline  
May 14th, 2003, 12:15 PM
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You do NOT need to tip on HAL. They're a very nice cruiseline! The only time we did tip was for roomservice each morning. We'd order a full spread (bacon, eggs, pancakes, coffee etc.) and always gave him a few bucks. There is no pressure to tip whatsoever.
petlover is offline  
May 15th, 2003, 03:04 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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"You do NOT need to tip on HAL."

That is correct. And you do not NEED to tip at a restaurant, a cab driver, a tour guide, or a porter who schleps your luggage. Neither do you NEED to put anything into the church plate. But most of us do.

The same "rules" should apply here no matter how confusing HAL's wording may be to some.
InterestedBystander is offline  
May 19th, 2003, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Agree with interested bystander. We cruise on HAL and always tip because we enjoy the service provided. No, you do not need to tip, but unless service is very poor, there's little excuse NOT to tip.
ashuma1 is offline  

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