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MaureenR June 26th, 2005 05:29 PM

Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
We're going to be taking our first cruise as a family of 4, 2 adults, 2 little kids on the Carnival Legend. I was told that $10 a day would be taken out of our Sign & Sail (shipboard account) each day for EACH of us.. kids too. Personally, I don't want to tip upfront.. I would much rather tip based on the service I feel I've received. I plan to get the *instant gratuities* removed off our S&S card when we board the ship. Without getting FLAMED by all you die-hard-tippers out there... I want to know if anyone HAS DONE THIS and whether they were heavily drilled by the purser with horrid questions when they asked to have the gratuities removed ?? Also.... someone commented earlier that they always tip cause they don't want the waiter putting boogers in their dinner, etc.. My question would be, HOW DOES THE WAITER KNOW that you had the gratuities removed off your account? Do they have access to this information during your cruise? If so, does this mean the cabin stewards, etc also have access to this personal information?

cherylroy June 26th, 2005 05:59 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
I wasn't even going to reply to your post, but I just had to! Suck it up and pay your gratuities - for all of you! They all deserve it! For as much as you have just spent on 4 - FOUR people going -- the little that you pay in tips shouldn't matter! There are others who also deserve tips and don't even get tips! Enjoy your cruise

cherylroy June 26th, 2005 06:03 PM

Re: Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
Read some of the post "thinking out loud" below

Dorothy June 26th, 2005 07:13 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
Yes, you can have your tips removed and no, they won't grill you.

There is a list kept of the people who have "automatically" tipped, so yes, your room steward as well as your servers have a way of knowing who left the auto tip and who removed it, as well.

I am hopeful you will find that the $10 per person per day is well earned and tip accordingly at the end of your cruise. The purser will be more than happy to provide you with envelopes for tipping.


hockeyluver June 26th, 2005 07:26 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
Why not wait till the second to last day and go to the purser and tell them to take it off your sail and sign card i know someone that did this once when they had terrible service and took what would have been on the sail and sign and given it to those that gave good service

MaureenR June 26th, 2005 07:54 PM

Re: Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
I thought of doing that..but wondered if each day went by, the $10 was totally *removed* off my card? If not, then yes.. I guess we could do it that way... I was thinking more of getting it removed at the start, then getting the envelopes from the Purser so we could tip accordingly.. Its a shame really, that there is a *list* of auto-tippers... sort of makes someone feel at risk of getting foul things in your meals, etc.. sort of has me wondering if the risk is worth taking the cruise..

Mickeymom923 June 26th, 2005 08:03 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
I always prefer to hand out the envelopes with the gratuities in it to each person and personally thank them for good service. I usually wait until almost the end of the cruise and have all of the gratuities removed. Sometimes I give more if the service was great and sometmes I give less with a suggestion what they can do to improve their service. Right or wrong, I don't know if they get their tips when it's automatically charged.

Rosetattoo June 26th, 2005 08:29 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
What is wrong with everyone? If you went out to a table service restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a family of four for 7 days, how much would you spend? How much would your tips amount to? The tip money is divided and shared between a good number of people, not just your head waiter, assistant waiter, and room steward. The room steward also has a helper he has to tip, there are bus boys, clean-up crew in the buffet dining room, etc., etc. You've spent a good amount of money for 4 people to have a great cruise experience, don't penny pinch on the tips, they deserve every penny they earn out of the tip pot. The only way this practice can change would be for the cruise lines to bump up the cruise price per person and tell everyone that all tips are included in the price, period, the end. If they institute that change, you and everyone else that gripes about the tips will not have an option as to how much everyone gets. I have sailed with people that felt the same way that you soon as they boarded the ship, they immediately went to the Purser's Desk and had the tips removed and said they would tip the staff as they saw fit at the end of the cruise, ha! Everything was going very well all week until a minor inconvenience towards the end of the cruise which embellished on and used as an excuse to withhold all tips for every single person, they left nothing for anyone, zip. Another couple in our group, spent all their money gambling and on souvenirs, and didn't have any left to leave anyone either. I think $10 per day per person is a small price to pay to have my meals served to me every day, to have someone clean my bathroom and leave me clean towels every day, to vacuum my room, make up my beds, empty my get the message.

David W June 26th, 2005 11:24 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
The wife and I usually leave the prepaid tipping on. Then at the end of the cruise, we tip extra to those we feel that went above and beyond there duties.On our last cruise on the Conquest, we had outstanding service ! No complants there at all.

Yes, you can have the automatic tipping removed, and request to tip the old fashion way. There is still alot of people that cruise that prefer to do it this way. They feel like its more on a personal level to them.

happy cruising;

MaureenR June 26th, 2005 11:27 PM

Re: Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
Yes. I see where you are coming from.. But I don't walk into a restaurant and right away give the hostess $10 tip BEFORE I've had my meal.. I want the service FIRST.. I'll pay my tip later..

CA Cruiser June 26th, 2005 11:38 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
We have tipped both ways and always a little more than suggested. I think everyone works hard and at least earns the suggested amount. I think if anything, most try to earn a "little extra". I don't know what our cabin steward, wait staff and assistant wait staff could do or not do to not at least earn the suggested amount. No matter if the waitstaff forgot I wanted 2 rolls or a 2nd cup of coffee with dinner or if my cabin steward forgot one towel, they have at least earned the suggested amount by doing the basic requirements. Anything extra gets extra. Just my opinion.

fitzla June 27th, 2005 01:09 AM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
I always remove the tips from the card and tip myself. That way I can tip more as well to show them how appreciated they are. Just remember when tipping for your children as well, with kids, they have a lot more clean-up and work to do. Unless you plan on picking up after your kids everyday, and serving them yourself in the dining rooms, etc. Just because they are kids does't mean it is less work.

MrPete June 27th, 2005 06:18 AM

Re: Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
Wait till you get the service, and then decide what to do. It's just put on your account. You're not paying it until you settle your bill at the end of the week, or if you are putting it on your charge card, not until your statement is due.

They don't charge it as $10pp per day. They put the whole thing on there. Makes no difference to me if it's there on the first day or the fourth. For some reason, it upsets some being put there up front. It's not like you have to go down and settle.

Whether cruising, or eating out in general, I expect to tip because I expect good service. Some people post like it's the luck of the draw.

And if I had lousy service, I wouldn't wait till the end to adjust my tips. They'd know about it right away.

MrPete June 27th, 2005 08:22 AM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
I remember reading a survey somewhere that 95% of the pasengers never change the auto tip. Of the 5% who do ask that the amount be changed or removed, they said it was either that the service was not acceptable., they'd prefer to tip the crew members in cash or they didn't want to tip or tip that much.

But what surprised me (or didn't surprise me) was that a good majority of the people that were concerned about removing tips or said they wished to remove the tips and pay is cash actually did not tip AT ALL.

KarenConley June 27th, 2005 09:54 AM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
I prepaid my tips with final payment and was glad that I did that. On the last day everything is so hectic and I would probably have forgotten about it so prepaid worked for me. Because of our excellent service by the room steward and wait staff and maitre'd we gave each an extra tip on the last night.

rhonda Dean June 27th, 2005 10:29 AM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
Before this subject came up, I was thinking of getting some nice greeting cards for each person that gets tipped, plus few more that are not on the standard tipping list. This will be my fourth cruise, and I always felt that the service has always been over the top. I plan on writing them a nice note about their service to my family (that is if the shoe fits) and give them a little extra in their note card. I am in the service industry, and sometimes I will get a nice card about how someone loves their hair cut or color, and it sure makes your day. Maybe the cruise help got stiffed on the last bunch of people that gambled too much, and they were not their cheery selves while taking care of the next group. I love the prepaid gratuity! sure makes it easy to pay, and in the end, if they are bad, just march downstairs, and take it off of the person that didn't deserve it. having the cash, and exact change etc.. at the end is kind of a pain. Our first cruise, we needed cash for the envelopes, and my dh and I had to scramble to get the right amount of cash together. Much rather tac it on to our bill. we don't drink that much, so it really is not that much on our bill at the end.


cruisingrandma June 27th, 2005 11:19 AM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
We have been pre paying our tips for the last 3 cruises. I love it. I dont have to think any more about the tips. Its done with .. all paid. I do leave some on my night stand every morning for our cabin steward. They all work so hard to mke sure we have a great cruise. i give extra to the dining room attendents also. i have never been disapointed with the service on a crusie. they r all there to make our vacation the best. And the do indeed do that. I like to get a lot of two dollar bills and leave them on the night stands. and give a chunk to the waiters on the last day with a thank u note. But in the long run our tips are all paid ahead of time and I dont have to worry about the bigger chunk then. I work for tips and I understand how it is to be tipped and not tipped by people who have no idea what they r doing in terms of tipping. So I do understand that the workers are depending on that wage.

CA Cruiser June 27th, 2005 12:06 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
My understanding is you can not take off tips for just one person. You either leave the $10/day tips on or take them off completely.

It seems many go expecting bad service so they can take the tips off. i would like to know some reasons for not tipping someone, what is considered bad service? What have they done or not done to qualify "adjusting" or not tipping them? Maybe I have just been lucky to get great service.

Post Edited (06-27-05 14:09)

JS June 27th, 2005 12:48 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
I have not taken a cruise for many years. For a 4 night cruise do they charge $10.00 for 4 days for each person? I like to know the service I am getting before I tip but maybe it is better to pre-pay. I do not have the experience to know which is best!!

Dorothy June 27th, 2005 02:43 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
Folks - there is a difference between "pre-paying" and "auto-tipping."

When you pre-pay your tips, they are added on to your cruise cost that you pay BEFORE your cruise. Pre-paid tips cannot, if I understand correctly, be removed from your account because you have already PAID them before you ever set foot on the vessel.

Auto tipping happens on the first day of your cruise. $10 per person per day is "automatically" added to your account. Your account is not settled until the night before the last day of your cruise. If you to remove the auto tips you can do so at anytime. So you could remove the auto tips on your last night and hand out envelopes for the amount you deem appropriate. Once you remove the tips, they should NOT show up on your final bill.


fitzla June 27th, 2005 05:09 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
Please people...$10 pp is NOTHING when you think of what they are doing for the measly few bucks a day that you are giving them. $3.50 per day for your cabin steward which he/she has to share with others. Wow...cry me a river. Don't be so cheap!!!

Rosetattoo June 27th, 2005 06:35 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
Fitzla....well put....the people that complain about onboard tipping are the same people that wouldn't think twice about spending a ton of money in the casino or on bottles of booze at every port or big bucks to have their hair braided. Maybe some day, Carnival will make the decision to hike up their prices to include tipping because all the cheapskates are withholding tips for whatever trumped up story they can come up with and the rest of us that are paying our fair share of tips, and more, will not be enough to cover the deadheads.

jfd June 27th, 2005 08:07 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
the more I cruise the more I realize how hard the employees work, they have a very long day and are paid low wages. they are far away from home and rely on tips to support themselves. Prepaying is a convenience, but don't skip the tip.

Jim Bragg June 29th, 2005 12:17 PM

Re: Carnival's *pre-paid* gratuities
Pre-tipping can be done in two ways. You can Pre-tip when you book your cruise and it is included in your fare in the standard rate and it goes to the ship and shows up in the pay of the crew in aqbout two weeks. You cannot adjust it. You can have Auto-tipping and that is done for you and comes out of your S&S bill and again, the crew gets their share in abnout two weeks. You can adjust this up ot down and individually at your whim. You can also tip personally in addition to these two forms if you think the person is deserving. The third way to tip is the traditional manner in where you have the Auto-tips removed from your account and give each person the amount of tip you feel they deserve in cash and directly to them. We actually do it this way in the old manner as we personally feel that tipping is a personal matter and wish to express it face to face with them. The amount is quite often more to much more than what is suggested. We also include a personal thank you and a card extending our thanks.
Then there are those that 'Stiff" the crew and do not tip at all for all the hard work that they do for them. They justify this as saying that they were just doing their job, the ship should pay them better, and any number of differant things to justify this improper behaviour. Unfortunately this was about 18-25% of the people that do this! Yes that is shocking but it is the truth. Keep this in mind when you offer these wonderful people who have worked so hard for you and kept a smile on their face the tip they have worked so hard to earn. The normal pay for the crewmen and women you tip is $50-$100 a MONTH! For that they work 7 days a week up to 12-16 hrs a day for up to a year on the ship and away from their loved ones just to earn enough money to send home and help support their family and often their extended families! They DO deserve a tip and our gratitude.

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