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EDITORIAL

Cruise Guest Campaigns to Remove Crew Gratuities

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They say that two wrongs don’t make a right, but a poster on Cruiseline.com appears determined to prove otherwise. Unable to convince Royal Caribbean to address a complaint to their satisfaction, they’ve decided to take out their frustration — and receive the compensation they believe themselves due — by removing gratuities from their portfolio. In other words, they’re punishing the employees for the perceived sins of their bosses.

What The Cruise Guest Is Complaining About

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photo: Royal Caribbean

The post from BigLakeTrading begins by explaining that they are upset because their upcoming voyage upon the Allure of the Seas would not be sticking to its original itinerary due to mechanical issues. “While itinerary changes are very common (and usually welcome) due to weather,” they write, “this recent change, unfortunately, is not the case. The current issue that is causing the [itinerary change] is mechanical related.”

In fact, the ship is having issues which do not impact it on a safety level, but do limit the speed at which it can cruise. The problem is set to be addressed during a dry dock in January. The poster goes on to accuse Royal Caribbean of fraud, believing that “they misrepresented the ship’s itinerary, knowing in advance that they would not be able to produce a trip accordingly.”

Their Twisted “Revenge” Plan

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photo: Rennett Stowe on Flickr

With Royal Caribbean’s customer service reps saying that the line would not be providing compensation for the itinerary change (and pointing out that cruise contracts agreed to by each ticketed passenger very specifically give the line the right to make changes at their discretion), BigLakeTrading has decided that there “is only one remedy”… and that is to punish the innocent crew members by not only removing gratuities from their portfolio, but encouraging others to do the same.

“I have made contact with over 40 other [passengers] scheduled for Allure of the Seas cruises through the end of the year”, the poster declares. After acknowledging that this will hurt “the people we care about most”, he says that they “are going to withhold all [gratuities] for the ship.”

The logic? “I understand this is not popular,” the poster writes. “These people work very hard for very little. However, if enough people withhold their entire gratuity for this cruise, [Royal Caribbean] will be forced to cover the difference in order to keep up morale.” Instead, the cruiser and those he’s rallied to his misguided cause intend to leave envelopes “thanking their staff for the outstanding service, but [explaining that] our ability to leave a tip was taken away by the dishonesty of [Royal Caribbean].”

What Their Notes Should Really Say!

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This is, frankly, a move we find downright appalling. Right up front, let’s acknowledge that their “ability to leave a trip” was not taken away by the cruise line. The notes should, instead, be more honest and say, “We’re ticked off at your bosses and punishing you and the loved ones who rely on your hard-won earnings. #SorryNotSorry.” Assuming each of these cruisers threatening to take part in this appalling behavior have jobs, we can’t help but wonder if they would be comfortable taking responsibility for the actions of their employers.

In our minds, the “acceptable” excuses for removing gratuities from one’s portfolio are extremely limited. But using the staffers whom you acknowledge work hard in order to give you the best possible vacation as a cudgel against the corporation for whom they work? That is borderline reprehensible.

Read More: 17 Extra Costs of Cruising

Perhaps the worst part is that BigLakeTrading ends by saying that they are “sure we will still enjoy our vacation” and you know what? They will, thanks to the staffers whom they are punishing. In fact, these cruisers — who feel as if they were lied to — are doing exactly the same thing to the crew, who will work hard all week on the assumption that they will receive a tip at the end, only to instead receive the equivalent of an empty envelope.

Final Thoughts

Should Royal Caribbean offer the cruisers compensation for the itinerary change? Perhaps. But whether they ultimately offer to do so or not, punishing the staff of the Allure of the Seas for something over which they had no control is downright shameful in our book.

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