Just got my documents for cruise on Inspiration March 1.
I see they will charge a gratuity to your sail and sign card of $9.75 per day per guest. Is this a total put on at the beginning, or added at the end of the trip? Do I have the option of taking this off and tipping by envelope at the end of the cruise? It does say I can change the amount. What would you suggest?
Give it a try. If you feel your service is not as good as it should be or You just wish to do things as you have before, go to the pursers' desk and have the charges (daily) removed. Keep in mind this is for all dining venue servers and your cabin steward. With alternate dining and buffet service, the valuable staff still work very hard for their meger earnings. We tried it on Princess and the staff liked it and thought it was very fair. Many people would not show up on the last night and extend gratuites, which was sad.
We just did the auto tipping on Golden and I too was not sure how I would like it, but I actually did. Although we still had to tip our cabin attendant with cash, it did work out well, less cash to bring too. Yes, you can go down and have it adjusted any way you want, but like Nanatravel suggested, give it a try and see how it goes, you may find you like it too??
I think of it as just one less thing to worry about. I actually found it to be a pain to prepare the envelopes on the last night. I just want to have fun on my vacation and the whole tipping thing is too much work!! Just think... now you don't even have to go to dinner the last night if you don't want to, and everyone is still happy and paid!!! Can it get better than that???
When we were on Golden, the automatic tipping only included the dinning staff, so we had to use cash for the cabin attendant. I believe they were going to go to the automatic tipping for everyone last month. Hope this helps the confusion?
Wow, didn't realize how much work it is to put together three or four envelopes of tip money, but to each their own. What I object to as an unneccessary inconvenience is being told that if I want to adjust or eliminate the automatic tipping, I have to go to the purser's desk to make that arrangement. How much better it would be, IMHO, to say that if you want to have the tips automatically charged to your shipboard account, you can sign an authorization when you establish your sign and sail card. No need to stand in line to make an adjustment or to explain to anyone why you feel it necessary or desirable.