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When are Costa going to stop?

When are Costa going to stop?

Postby Gillzajoker » 03 May 2016 16:21

The price of a Costa cruise, and how fabulous the itinerary, would really have to exceed all expectations if the 'mandatory gratuities' (and that's an oxymoron! :shock: ) are going to escalate at that rate!
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby Dave » 03 May 2016 16:37

I think this screen shot from Costa's UK website illustrates a problem I have with them and their service charge...

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How much is the cruise advertised? From the price shown in the very large font it would appear to cost (from) £689pp.

But tucked away in the corner in a very small font is the compulsory and inescapable service charge of €10 pppd. It's almost as if they hoped you wouldn't notice - and I bet some people don't!

€10 is approximately £8, so the service charge for 7 days would be about £56pp. So the actual cost of the cruise is about £745pp.

Now I don't have a problem with this or any of Costa's prices, but I do have a problem with companies that aren't upfront with potential customers. I think it's a deceitful way to behave and it's one that makes it less likely I'll do business with them rather than more likely.
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby JollyJill » 03 May 2016 17:35

Costa seem to be pushing their luck.

Isn't anyone going to post a table of different cruise lines gratuity charges? ;)
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby tomvet » 03 May 2016 17:35

Dave wrote:I think this screen shot from Costa's UK website illustrates a problem I have with them and their service charge...

Image

How much is the cruise advertised? From the price shown in the very large font it would appear to cost (from) £689pp.

But tucked away in the corner in a very small font is the compulsory and inescapable service charge of €10 pppd. It's almost as if they hoped you wouldn't notice - and I bet some people don't!

€10 is approximately £8, so the service charge for 7 days would be about £56pp. So the actual cost of the cruise is about £745pp.

Now I don't have a problem with this or any of Costa's prices, but I do have a problem with companies that aren't upfront with potential customers. I think it's a deceitful way to behave and it's one that makes it less likely I'll do business with them rather than more likely.


I totally agree Dave. What makes it worse under the £689 it states what is included i.e. port taxes and registration fees - giving further the impression that it is an all in price. Mention this to Costa on board and your most likely response at best will be ' that's your opinion, Sir' or 'by all means put it on your complaint form at the end of the cruise' or 'we will look into it' when you know full well they have no intention of doing anything with it. I was completely stone walled by the Guest Services Manager when I asked for a justification in rising service charges with a concurrent drop in service. Persisting to a point just short of being rude just yielded further frustration on my part so I decided it was better to stop than go further. I was not going to win!!! Clearly it is a learned strategy but what it has done is turn what was one of their few fans in the British Isles against them. It was not a case of the dosh (we pay the grats) - it was more the attitude of a senior manager. The only thing I have to say was - she played a blinder on behalf of Costa.
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby Mungo » 03 May 2016 19:37

Have read that P&O are increasing their daily gratuity from £5pp a day to £5.50. I have received no notification of this. I firmly believe that if you booked when the gratuity was £5 then that is what you should pay. Last increase was from £3.95 to £5. That's a huge increase in a short space of time. :evil:
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby gatwick » 03 May 2016 22:19

As someone who has cruised with Costa a few times, I thought I'd join in this debate..... about Costa changes that have taken place.
Let me also add that when I first cruised with Costa you could get a cheap inside stateroom and still get seated in the MDR at the sitting you preferred.
Now it seems if you book the classic ( cheapest ) deal you cannot choose when you want to eat & sometimes don't get seated with other people you booked with.

Are the stateroom staff ( who usually work hard ) really as badly off as everyone seems to say.
As has been said....1 person =£8 per day or £56 per week.....so 2 people in a stateroom = £112 for the weekly service charge
So if the room steward gets £4 from that service charge per day then he/she gets £56 per week
Room steward usually does about 15/20 staterooms....call it 15....then he/she gets £840 per week
No commuting to work costs, free accommodation, free food.....ok they have long hours but they are making over £3000 a month
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby tomvet » 03 May 2016 22:42

gatwick wrote:As someone who has cruised with Costa a few times, I thought I'd join in this debate..... about Costa changes that have taken place.
Let me also add that when I first cruised with Costa you could get a cheap inside stateroom and still get seated in the MDR at the sitting you preferred.
Now it seems if you book the classic ( cheapest ) deal you cannot choose when you want to eat & sometimes don't get seated with other people you booked with.

Are the stateroom staff ( who usually work hard ) really as badly off as everyone seems to say.
As has been said....1 person =£8 per day or £56 per week.....so 2 people in a stateroom = £112 for the weekly service charge
So if the room steward gets £4 from that service charge per day then he/she gets £56 per week
Room steward usually does about 15/20 staterooms....call it 15....then he/she gets £840 per week
No commuting to work costs, free accommodation, free food.....ok they have long hours but they are making over £3000 a month


I don't think it is that clear cut Gatwick. What I am most certain is that the service charge / gratuity pot represents a significant profit centre for the cruiseline. Nothing will convince me that 100% of the pot goes to the lower paid staff!
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby gatwick » 03 May 2016 22:55

You are quite right Tom....I came back because after thinking about my post, because I thought the comments I made about the service charge should have been made in the gratuities section and to get back on track....yes I agree with the previous comments made about the lack of obvious clarity on the service charge.
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When are Costa going to stop?

Postby octocruiser » 04 May 2016 04:23

tomvet wrote:
gatwick wrote:As someone who has cruised with Costa a few times, I thought I'd join in this debate..... about Costa changes that have taken place.
Let me also add that when I first cruised with Costa you could get a cheap inside stateroom and still get seated in the MDR at the sitting you preferred.
Now it seems if you book the classic ( cheapest ) deal you cannot choose when you want to eat & sometimes don't get seated with other people you booked with.

Are the stateroom staff ( who usually work hard ) really as badly off as everyone seems to say.
As has been said....1 person =£8 per day or £56 per week.....so 2 people in a stateroom = £112 for the weekly service charge
So if the room steward gets £4 from that service charge per day then he/she gets £56 per week
Room steward usually does about 15/20 staterooms....call it 15....then he/she gets £840 per week
No commuting to work costs, free accommodation, free food.....ok they have long hours but they are making over £3000 a month


I don't think it is that clear cut Gatwick. What I am most certain is that the service charge / gratuity pot represents a significant profit centre for the cruiseline. Nothing will convince me that 100% of the pot goes to the lower paid staff!


Absolutely, Tom. We have no idea how the grat money is used. I would put money on a cabin steward not getting half of it , or even any of it directly. The cruise lines probably use it to subsidise the wage bill right across the ship. Ask any crew member whether they prefer the compulsory tips or the old system where everyone tipped as they thought fit. Some didn't tip at all, but the staff will still say they were better off.
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