I have heard that Carnival automatically adds gratuities to your sail & sign card for the staff. Personally I don't like that and would rather give my tips out or even tell Carnival how much to add to my sail & sign card for tips. However, I have heard that the staff gets to see who has pretipped them and who has not. This would seem that if you choose to tip personally rather than have it automatic that you might not get the service that you should. Any thoughts or experiences with this?
As a family of 4 (2 of which are kids) $40-$50 per day in tips seems pretty steep. I can see if it's just a couple, but when you are traveling with kids I don't belive they should expect $40-$50 a day in tips! Anyone agree??
We had our first expierence with automatic tipping on our Golden Princess cruise, and while I was not sure if I would like it, I actually did. Its also good to know you do have the option to have it taken off your account and tip the old fashioned way, but it was nice not to have to take that extra cash for tips. As for the level of service, I did not notice any difference, service was excellent, would definately keep the automatic tipping in the future.
i agree w/ donna, i think having the tip automatically put on gives you one less thing to worry about at the end. as far as traveling w/ kids (i have 3), they recieve the same service as the rest of us. the room stuwert is there to clean-up after your whole family and so is the wait staff (and i know my kids can make a mess, though i try to keep it to a minimum). so, remember these guys work for tips (they usually get next to nothing for a base pay), and if your children weren't at the table (or even if they weren't a spot is reserved for them) another tipping costumer would be.
Experienced cruisers please help.I have never dealt with auto tipping so I need help understanding how it works especially with Carnival. Who's included in the tipping? Are you charged a tip for things like soda and tea? If you cancel auto tipping can you go ahead and designate staff tips right then so the staff knows and just pay drink tips as you go?
The automatic tipping is as follows: $3.50 per day for the waiter and cabin steward, $2.00 for the asst. waiter = $5.50 for the dining team as they are now called and $ .75 for the alternate/buffet dining staff per person. There is no mention of half of that $68.25 total for children, but you should make sure they are not being charged full rate per person. Children sharing a cabin have always been recommend to extend half of the adult rate for gratuity. (I learned they also expected that for an infant who was charged the full 3rd. person price. This infant could not even enjoy mashed potatoes, juice or milk, as he was so young!)
Now, you can go to the pursor's desk anytime during your cruise and change this; edit it to increase, decrease or delete the charges althougher. They will inquire why. Tips are also added on automatically as each soda, wine or alcholic beverage is purchased. I suggest purchasing a soda card for the kids. Other's you may wish to tip personally at your discrestion are a Camp Carnival counselor, spa treatment specialist, maitre de (if you utilize any of these services). Recently, we have learned from these many informative forums, that Carnival's waitstaff and room steward staff have to pool all of their tips, and the head of the department gives them "their fair share". I tried to verify this last week while on board the Pride, but the issue was not well received and I was not given a clear answer. The basic response was if the waitstaff didn't like the system, then he/she could leave! They accept the automatic system as being more fair to all no matter what type of service is rendered.
We did not receive envelopes in our room for the Maitre de or others. However, I did see some people extending envelopes to him on the last evening. Ken on the Pride has a fabulous voice and performed each evening in the dining room. This was a very nice addition to the evening. But, he did nothing additional for us like offering a suggestion, cutting a lobster, stopping by occassionally to see how things were going. We did see him nightly as we entered only to say hello.
There have been many debates on this topic recently. I didn't know if I would like the 'auto grat' policy until my Pride cruise. I found it to be more simple having the grats charged to the S&S up front. You can still opt to have them adjusted off your account and tip the traditional way, or even adjust them up or down depending on the service you receive.
Call Carnival and ask right out about the tipping policy for adults and kids. They usually add on 15 percent and I agree with you! Coke cards are available for the kids check the price with carnival on that also but remember ice tea, lemonade, tea, coffee are free and always avail. Get a few liters for your cabin before you board and save or even better bring koolaid or powder to mix in a pitcher. Tips are $18 per couple per day and that is given not on the sail card but with an envelop at the end of the cruise that is $126 not including the kids???????? My cruise to nowhere for 2 nights is $20 added to my ticket may not be alot but they have alot of nerve! Have fun!
Regarding tipping for the kids, I don't understand why you wouldn't tip the full "adult" rate for them? The children get the same service (if not better) than adults on the ship, so I believe that the tips should be at least the same. Of course, in the case of infants and such there are exceptions, but beyond that, a person is a person. Just my opinion..