I just got back from my first cruise on RCI's Enchantment and here are some things I noticed that I wasn't aware of going in as a first timer:
1. Tipping bag porters- prior to departing I read a ton of posts suggesting tipping them $1 a bag, etc. When we got there, we put our own bags on the luggage carts and walked on toward embarkation. A porter did offer to assist us but when we weren't ready to give up our bags he moved on. When we got to the embarkation area...there were signs everywhere saying NOT to tip the bag porters, as they are paid salary. My two points here are first that we had to walk maybe 8 feet with our bags so having them help us was completely unneccessary. Second, those signs should have been near the porters, not at the area after we had already passed the porters.
2. Room Service- we ordered room service every day we had an early excursion. The menu said that gratuity is not included. I don't know where I was confused, but I thought that I understood that the Maitre'D was responsible for room service so we tipped at the end. When the tipping guidelines were handed out at the end of the week it said room service tipping is discretionary upon use and we were to tip at the time of service. I felt bad because we should have been tipping all along. Mind you the guys didn't wait around for us to tip them like is often the case in hotels. They were in and out in a flash!
3. The Maitre D' - Many people have posted about why to tip this guy. I don't know if our Maitre D' was just special or what but he really earned his tip. By the end of the week he knew our names and he knew our ordering habits. One night when leaving the dining room he stopped us and asked us about some of our dining preferences that he had noticed. I can only imagine how much work he must do to make a whole dining room of people feel special. He really deserved his tip.
Those are my first timer's comments on Tipping. I hope they are useful to someone. Thanks to everyone who provided info on this board to make our trip much easier!