As per Merriam-Webster online dictionary, “TIP” is, among many other meanings, “to give a gratuity to”.
Cambridge Dictionary define it as “to give someone who has provided you with a service an extra amount of money to thank them“.
In plain words, tip is when you give some extra money, besides the official charge for that service, because you liked that service. You liked her smile, you liked his skills and professionalism showed above average, you like the way how she presented you the menu or the tips in how to spend your time in the area etc.
In my opinion, if the tip is compulsory…. there is lost the meaning of “above average service”! The guest or client will pay anyway so… what for to give some extra mile in providing the service. On the other side, if you’ll get the tip only if you are really good in the job you do, then we are talking about competition and performance.
Giving a tip is encountered almost everywhere. In some places, is a norm, almost compulsory. In other places… is seen as bit unusual.
In the superyachts, as well as in the cruise ships, industry tip is a big, big attraction for the old crew and greenies alike. Apart from the monthly wage, tip is sometimes mentioned by the Crewing Agency during the employment procedure. But be aware of what you sign as it may state very clear some words, as “Owner or Master discretionary” for example.
Tips might be is mentioned also during various training courses (especially for greenies), as a stimulus in paying the fees & joining the classes. Please… be aware of trainers which are promoting “onboard tips guarantee” during their classes. Is not such guarantee, it is a pure BS! Stay aware of those so-called experienced “trainers”.
So, let’s clarify the myth of “tips on superyachts”.
First of all, there are 3 categories of yachts (in the meaning of operational status): private yachts, chartered yachts, and mixed private-charter yachts.
A private yacht is a vessel owned by a person (or family). Crew is getting their monthly wages. Sometimes, under solely discretion of the Owner, a tip may be given.
A charter yacht – is a vessel managed by a company, who is chartering it to another party (a person, a group, a company) for a certain period of time and under certain terms and conditions. The crew is payed monthly (on-charter or off-charter), but during the on-charter time, an extra money is received. In few words, an equivalent of XX percentage of the chartering fee is representing the tips for crew. Which is spread among the crew but in various amounts for each crew, based of the internal procedures established by the Master and Management.
And there is the mixed, private-charter yacht, which is somehow similar with the charter yachts. With monthly wages and variable tips.
And here is coming the interesting, sometimes unclear or even unfair part of tips distribution onboard:
- everybody is getting a tip, even when you are in vacation (as equal part with your rotational team). Everybody is happy, everybody is working hard 365 days a year/30days a month/7days a week/24 hrs a day.
- you might get tip only while onboard. When in vacation… you are skipped. Which is a bit unpleasant (and definitely, unfair), especially when you work very hard to get the vessel ready for the charter but your vacation is due just before the charter to start.
- you might work onboard during the charter but… the tips is purely discretionary and you (and others) is out of the list. Simply because your job is somehow in the background (engine, galley, laundry) and you are not seen by the Guests. Yes… unfair and very demotivating!
Few advices for crew, experienced or greenies:
- the fact that you get a tip does not make you better, more cunning or superior to any other crew on the Planet! You are just lucky to be have that job. Do it good, be professional. Be humbled! That’s all.
- never ever show off with your tip… Is yours, you worked hard for it, good. Keep it in your pocket. Shows a huge luck of education and respect towards the others to flutter your money!
- tips or no tips, you are a professional. Don’t step over your crew-mates or credit yourself a job just to be in the front of the Guests or Owner… Remember, respect last longer than money!
Be safe, be always professional & keep smiling!