the fare we are paying for Spirit states that it "includes gratuities". Is this the same as tipping?
We don't have tipping in Australia so it is a part of a culture that is difficult for us to get used to and something we don't always feel comfortable with. Does having our gratuitues pre-paid excuse us from this awkward situation?
Yes it should. With pre paid tips I'd expect you'll get receipts of payment of the gratuities.
Many tour operators in Canada have been offering optional gratuities included packages for awhile now. They're just tacking on the tips to the cost. Then the passengers were given receipts to pass on to the staff.
I cruise with Carnival at least 4 times a year and am Australia's most prolific Carnival cruiser. When are you cruising and how many in your group? I will be cruising by myself on the SPIRIT on 6th January sailing from Miami. It will be my 20th cruise aboard Carnival since 1995 and I have just returned from the VICTORY (Thanksgiving Cruise 18-25th November).
Drop me a line and I can explain anything you need to know about cruising in the USA (including information on gratuities and tipping etc.).
Storm'n Norman (Aussie Cruise-a-holic) firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Therese, if so stated than yes your tips are pre-paid. You should get cards to show this to present to your staff. You can also adjust tips up or down at your discretion by going to the pursers office while onboard.