Okay, I am rather confused. I personally like the idea of automatically deducting tips simply b/c this way I know everyone who should be tipped is being tipped regardless of me not knowing the "protocol".
However, I am reading all these posts about giving your steward gifts or taping money to the mirror everyday in addition to your automatically deducted tips. I understand that if you are given exceptional service that you should perhaps raise the amount of tips that will automatically be given, but is it the norm to give gifts of extra tips for good, but not absolutely outstanding service?
Maybe its b/c I've never been on a cruise before, but I cant imagine spending enough time or having enough interaction with my cabin steward to feel it necessary to buy him/her a gift.
I'm not looking to start a huge debate here, but am I missing something?? Am I almost expected to give more than the $10 per day that will be automatically added to my account??
Victory, here I come!! - October 2, 2004
In general, you will be fine with the tip added to your bill. The rest depends on your own personality, the level of service above standard and the interaction you might have.
You can't go wrong by simply leaving the standard tip.
You have to reach a good balance with the tipping, when to tip and how much. The standard recommendations are just fine.
Some people think giving them a big tip up front is better, but that could be worse in some situations too. The service personel have a grapevine just as the passengers do and when one steward passes the word that if they leave the soap dish not filled or some other thing and they can get a big tip up front if they rush to do what they should have done to begin with...then service will drop for everyone.
Figure $3.50 per day per person for the steward. If you're on a 7 day cruise that comes out to 24.50 per person for a 7 day cruise for someone to change your bed and change your towels and keep the cabin clean twice a day. If there are 4 of you in a cabin that's 24.50 x 2 (usually the very least) =$49. Figure he/she has 10 cabins that's almost $500 for a 7 day cruise tax free...and that's just basing it on 2 per room! If everyone gave him an extra $20 that would increase it even more. Probably this person from a 3rd world country where if they get 2,000 for a whole year's work in their country would be considered pretty well off.
I think tipping is great and tipping extra is great if it's warranted, but I wouldn't give a tip that would end up being about the same as the suggested tip for a whole week's cruise for 2 people.
We left the amounts alone. The first night, we gave him and extra $10 up front because we were chilling 6 bottles of fine wine and champagne in the room, and we knew he'd have to keep our cooler filled with ice all the time, which he did very well.
As the week went on, he was such a superb worker, and really went that extra mile, so we gave him another extra $10 on the final night.
Oh, and I asked him, and our particular room steward had 15 cabins that he cleaned. Just a little tidbit of information. They're hard workers - 15 cabins, two times per day, seven days per week, plus all the times you're calling them for laundry service, etc. They deserve every penny!
Jennifervail said: <<<Oh, and I asked him, and our particular room steward had 15 cabins that he cleaned. Just a little tidbit of information. They're hard workers - 15 cabins, two times per day, seven days per week, plus all the times you're calling them for laundry service, etc. They deserve every penny!>>
I never saw any steward do any of the 'dirty work.' There were always cleaners vacuuming the carpets and cleaning the bathrooms.
There were always people vacuuming the hallways (including our steward), but once we returned to our room to grab something and our steward was in our bathroom, himself, scrubbing the toilet. Just my experience. :o)
We never need any additional stuff from our steward so just tip the automatic amount.
Some say service is going down hill because of auto tipping. I don't think it is. Just like everywhere some people have work ethic and some don't. The ones that don't will not get good critiques on surveys and get demoted.
Conquest Nov 2003
Holiday January 2004
Sensation May 2004
As others have said, you can't go wrong with the recommended amount of $10 per day.
I have always felt that gifts were a bad idea. How can you *really* give an appropriate gift to someone you don't know?
Carnival Elation March 11
Carnival Imagination Sept 07
Carniival Sensation Dec 06
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 06
Carnival Miracle Sept 05
Carnival Glory Sept 04
Carnival Fantasy Jan 04
They deserve what the cruise line has done careful studies on and take many things into account when they come up with the suggested gratuity. I am a person who uses my stateroom alot, and sometimes I require additional service. I pay extra for that service in the form of an adjustment of gratuities and the price I pay for my cruise.
Except for one cruise ONE time (and it wasn't because of my steward) I've always returned a very happy cruiser and left the crew and staff feeling very grateful that they had a passenger such as me...if I don't mind saying so myself!
BTW, that ONE cruiseline has gone bankrupt and some of its ships have been sold or are being sold. Too bad cause the ships were beautiful and brand new.