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Dodging porters when embarking on Carib. cruise at San Juan?

Margate
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Dodging porters when embarking on Carib. cruise at San Juan?

I know a lot will think me miserly but I'm Australian & don't believe in tipping unless some seriously good service is provided. I know all the arguments but remain resolute; employers are responsible for paying the staff not me.

I'm already bitter & twisted over Royal Caribbean insisting on us paying tips in advance when we booked our cruise.

It's my understanding that when we board the ship we have to hand our bags off to a porter to take them on. Presumably like all the others to come on the cruise they'll want tipping merely for doing their job. So, my q's are, can we simply carry our own bags to our stateroom? We're more than capable of doing so & really hate the constant pressure in the USA to tip, often for very average service.

Q 2 is if we need to bow to their scam of us having to use the porters how much do we have to give them?

Before the torrent of abuse from pro-tippers begins I have previously lived & worked in the USA way back in the 80's so know all the arguments for tipping, it doesn't change my opinion of the insidious practice.

Hoping to get some advice here :-)

Cheers

Sue

ON, Canada
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1. Re: Dodging porters when embarking on Carib. cruise at San Juan?

I'm astounded that this is an issue. I'm not sure how you're going to get through your cruise being that 'bitter and twisted'.

Margate
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2. Re: Dodging porters when embarking on Carib. cruise at San Juan?

thanks SusanM, that was very helpful :-)

3. Re: Dodging porters when embarking on Carib. cruise at San Juan?

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ON, Canada
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4. Re: Dodging porters when embarking on Carib. cruise at San Juan?

Yes, sometimes you just need someone else to put things into perspective for you ;)

Ontario, Canada
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5. Re: Dodging porters when embarking on Carib. cruise at San Juan?

If your bags will fit through the scanner you can take them onboard with you if not you will have to hand them over

If you carry them onboard you will have to carry them around with you until your cabin is ready which may be several hours after boarding

We usually tip a couple of $ for 2 bags .....we are cheap

Edited: 29 May 2013, 03:34
Minneapolis...
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6. Re: Dodging porters when embarking on Carib. cruise at San Juan?

If one is paying a lot for a cruise, a lot for airfare, perhaps even hotel and taxi to the port, a couple of dollars (less than one beverage on the ship) given to a hardworking porter should not be a big deal. If you want to make it a big deal, go ahead and be miserly. I'm sure porters have seen everything and still continue to do their job knowing most people are pleased to be more generous when on an expensive vacation - one they may never be able to afford themselves.

Margate
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7. Re: Dodging porters when embarking on Carib. cruise at San Juan?

I think the point everyone is missing is that we come from a place where it's absolutely not in our culture to tip as a matter of course. We find it distasteful to be faced with an outstretched palm essentially demanding it but are happy to give if we feel we've received exceptional service. In most cases where we come from if offered a tip for something like this it would be refused.

Do you get all steamed up about others who have various cultural differences?

I did also ask how much is expected, we have no clue, is it as Nanna says a token $1 or $2 or much more?

Canberra
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8. Re: Dodging porters when embarking on Carib. cruise at San Juan?

Oh dear, I must be very un-savvy. I have never tipped the porters and not from being a cheapskate (never thought about it and never noticed them wanting a tip). Perhaps given some comments on other boards about luggage not making to your cabin in a timely fashion I have also been lucky as our cases have always arrived.

Perhaps next time we should tip.

Edited: 31 May 2013, 11:17
ON, Canada
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9. Re: Dodging porters when embarking on Carib. cruise at San Juan?

$2 per bag or a $5 bill for two bags would be appropriate.

Re 'getting steamed up' ... no, there are so many cultural differences that one experiences when travelling that it makes the trip less stressful if we make an effort to 'go with the flow'.

Chicago, IL
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for Cape Cod
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10. Re: Dodging porters when embarking on Carib. cruise at San Juan?

Consider Susan's tip suggestion , with which I agree is the norm, to be insurance if that makes it more palatable to you. You are insuring that the bags indeed do reach your room and in a timely manner.

Also I think I have a solution for you so that you don't have to go through this again. When you do an ocean cruise book Regent, a river cruise, book Uniworld. Both of these companies include the gratuities and so much more. That way you can enjoy your principle and the service folks can indeed simply be paid by their employers as you suggest.