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LETTERS

Enlightened, she'll skip the cruise too

September 19, 2004

I agree with the writer of "They'll Skip the Tips -- and the Cruise" [Letters, Aug. 22], especially after seeing a TV program. Viewers were taken behind the scenes of a large cruise-ship where they learned that room stewards are paid almost no wages, have impossible workloads -- so much so that they have to pay others to do their daily allotted tasks -- and survive on tips that are added automatically to passengers' credit card bills.

This TV show confirmed what I learned during the last cruise I took. My dining companions told me of their room steward, whose passengers during the previous leg of the global cruise were New Zealanders who do not tip, presumably because it is their contention that it is an employer's responsibility to pay his employees a living wage.

The steward was weeping; he had paid $500 of his own money to get through his excessive workload and had received nothing. Now I leave cruising to the "float and bloat" cruisers.

Shirley Blanchard

Mission Hills

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