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Old June 9th, 2007, 11:05 AM
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Default Big Question - Gratuity / Tipping

OK, I know what I have seen in the brochures, now I pose this question to those who know.....

Is there a recommended (suggested) amount for tipping for most services. You know, you order room service, do you pay five bucks - ten bucks? For your cleaning person, do you leave five - ten on the nightstand every day, or do you pay at the end of the crusie. For your waiters (I assume you have the same ones) at dinners, I assume you tip after each meal? Any general advice would be appreciated....
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Old June 9th, 2007, 11:53 AM
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I think the recommended tip per person is added to your Sail & Sign account. We prepaid ours, so we didn't have to worry. We tipped room service 3 dollars every morning. We tipped the room stewardess an extra $100.00.....she was great!

On the last night we received an envelope for the maitre de, but we didn't use it. We never saw him. We didn't tip our waiters any extra because honestly the service was average. Many times they forgot about us completely. Extra appetizers we requested never appeared.

We didn't have any children in Camp Carnival, but we have tipped them when our children were younger.

With that said, the tips were delivered to the staff by Carnival from our account. We only tipped room service and the room stewardess in cash at the end of our stay.

Others probably do more, but we didn't.

I'm sure someone else will post other suggestions for you.

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Old June 9th, 2007, 01:23 PM
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We never used room service but I have read on here that 2.00 per delivery is the usual. We only ate in the dining room twice to I left 10.00 in the envelope for matre de. I left the room steward a tip at the end of the cruise, and I honestly can't remember how much. For all the other tips we had them put on the sign and sail card.
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Old June 9th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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The tip is automatically calculated for your room steward and wait staff and added to your charges, however you intend to pay them. It is roughly $10 per person, time number of days of cruising. However, the Cruise Director in his disembarkation speech suggested an additional $20 for your Waiter and $10 for the Room Steward if you felt them to be deserving. Of course, these were his guidelines and your own budgeting and personal feelings also determine the amount of additional tipping.

There were blank envelopes at the Information Desk counter which we used for this purpose...we handed our tip to our fabulous waiter with a personal expression of thanks and left and envelope for our Room Steward with a brief note of thanks, too.
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Old June 9th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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As Cheryl said.
$100 is a bit much for me but whatever floats your boat
since it is all added to your S&S, you don't have to tip anyone, although, I tip all waiters bringing drinks and such and the room steward before I leave. I suppose that's why my 'drink' account was $700 last cruise.
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Old June 9th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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We prepaid the gratuities when we purchased our cruise and then took $100 in ones and $100 in fives. Every morning we left $5.00 in our cabin for the room stewart and every evening we gave our waiter $5.00. On the last night we gave the waiter $20.00, (he was very good and attentive) and we gave our cabin stewart $20.00 on the last morning. The $1 we used for tipping for room service and drinks. And you also need money for the porters who will take your luggage when you first get to the terminal. They recommend $1. per bag so that is what we did.

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Old June 9th, 2007, 02:10 PM
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I forgot the porters at the pier - and they DO EXPECT a tip!
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Old June 9th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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Great info, thanks. As you can see I will be a first timer, so all info is good.

This sign and sail card you speak of, I assume this is merely your "credit card" (if you will), that you use to purchase items while on board. Can you not pay directly for drinks and such when you order them, or all they all put on a tab. Also, I assume each person (me, wife, two teen age daughters) gets their own card (even though I will be paying for all of it).
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Old June 9th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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I believe the card or cards are in one person's name, don't know for sure. Mine always is. The S&S is your room key, gambling card, pay for drinks or whatever (15% is added to every drink purchase) and your ID to get off and on the ship. You or anyone who's name is on the card, must sign for every drink or whatever you purchase. It IS your passport so to speak for the ship.
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Old June 9th, 2007, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PERRY4OU
Great info, thanks. As you can see I will be a first timer, so all info is good.

This sign and sail card you speak of, I assume this is merely your "credit card" (if you will), that you use to purchase items while on board. Can you not pay directly for drinks and such when you order them, or all they all put on a tab. Also, I assume each person (me, wife, two teen age daughters) gets their own card (even though I will be paying for all of it).
You can tell them to put every card on one account so that each night when you check your balance it will show you a total and you want have to add each individual card balance up, otherwise they will each be separate accounts I believe. That is what my husband and I did, it still shows you who spent what, but just list everything on one main account.

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Old June 9th, 2007, 03:16 PM
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There are no cash transactions as far as I saw on our first family cruise two weeks ago. The card is linked to a credit card of your choosing. (You MUST have that credit card with you when you embark for verification.) When you want something, anything, you pull out your Sign and Sail Card, sign for it and the transaction is done! As long as your credit card allows it, all will be charged to your credit card in the end (This is just one payment option) If you want to give your teenagers limits on spending you can state an amount on their card...or none at all.

Each cruiser will have a card and besides for purchases, it is used to get you on and off the ship...at the gate in Cozumel, the border patrol (??) were there to check the Sign and Sail Card of each person passing as only authorized persons are allowed on the pier.

Remember to bring lots of small bills for purchases off the ship, taxi fare, and tips. You're gonna have a a GREAT time!!!!!
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Old June 9th, 2007, 03:24 PM
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I just returned from a 4-day cruise and instead of using a credit card, once we checked in and they issued us our sail and sign card, they told me to go right to the pursers desk where I could but CASH on my S&S card, and whatever you don't use at the end of the cruise, they will either give you cash back or issue you a check. This is a great way to keep the kids from over spending, allow them to put so much cash on their card and when it's gone, its gone!
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Old June 9th, 2007, 03:24 PM
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My son always gets the soda card on the last night I tip the bar staff person in the dinning room that always made sure he had his Sprite.
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Old June 9th, 2007, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Big Question - Gratuity / Tipping

Quote:
Originally Posted by PERRY4OU
OK, I know what I have seen in the brochures, now I pose this question to those who know.....

Is there a recommended (suggested) amount for tipping for most services. You know, you order room service, do you pay five bucks - ten bucks? For your cleaning person, do you leave five - ten on the nightstand every day, or do you pay at the end of the crusie. For your waiters (I assume you have the same ones) at dinners, I assume you tip after each meal? Any general advice would be appreciated....
The credit card you use to check in will automatically be charged $10.00 pp/pd for tips ($40.00 pd). This tip includes your Room Steward, Waiters, and some other staff. You don't need to tip anything else. If you feel that one of the staff has gone "above and beyond" you can tip them extra at the end of your cruise.

Every drink you order (including soft drinks and water) will have a 15% tip automatically added. Again, you don't have to tip extra.

You, your DW and your DD's will each have a S&S card to charge all purchases onboard. If you wish you can put a limit on your DD's cards.

The only place you'll use cash is in the Casino (if you gamble).

Room service is not included in the "automatic" tips, so most people tip from $2.00-$5.00, depending on how much is ordered.

You'll all need your S&S cards and a photo ID (unless your DD's are under 16) to get back on the ship in your ports.

Have a wonderful cruise!
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Old June 10th, 2007, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwr322
We prepaid the gratuities when we purchased our cruise and then took $100 in ones and $100 in fives. Every morning we left $5.00 in our cabin for the room stewart and every evening we gave our waiter $5.00. On the last night we gave the waiter $20.00, (he was very good and attentive) and we gave our cabin stewart $20.00 on the last morning. The $1 we used for tipping for room service and drinks. And you also need money for the porters who will take your luggage when you first get to the terminal. They recommend $1. per bag so that is what we did.

Cathy
Did you give your waiter those tips daily, in person or wait until the end and put it in the envelope? Being first time cruisers we want to do this correctly so as to get good service and not seem uneducated.
Thanks much,
Carla
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Old June 10th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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Default Maitre D'

I do not see any point in tipping the Maitre D' I think I may have seen him once, oh and that was on the final night.....low and behold out front wanting to be seen so that he could collect the envelopes of tip money.......It bothered me to think that if in fact every dime that is in the envelope goes to him that is a pretty good chunk of change for one week of standing out front........if every person on the cruise gave 5 bucks and the cruise had about 2500 passengers......WOW I know I dont make that much in a week.......and my job is not just standing looking pretty as someone enters a dining hall. Yes I know they have to do a lot of arranging and ensuring everything goes well........but they get a salary and then to get the tips at the end of the week, they definately are doing alright.
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Old June 10th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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I don't think the matre de gets a salary. They are paid on tips only. But like you said that's a huge chunk of money. We did not see our matre de either until the last night. We only ate in the dining room twice on a five night cruise. I left him 5.00 per night. Our room steward kept our room looking great. We could leave for 30 minutes and come and it was clean. I left him an extra tip, but can't remember how much. You can tip extra per your choice.
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Old June 10th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawson21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwr322
We prepaid the gratuities when we purchased our cruise and then took $100 in ones and $100 in fives. Every morning we left $5.00 in our cabin for the room stewart and every evening we gave our waiter $5.00. On the last night we gave the waiter $20.00, (he was very good and attentive) and we gave our cabin stewart $20.00 on the last morning. The $1 we used for tipping for room service and drinks. And you also need money for the porters who will take your luggage when you first get to the terminal. They recommend $1. per bag so that is what we did.

Cathy
Did you give your waiter those tips daily, in person or wait until the end and put it in the envelope? Being first time cruisers we want to do this correctly so as to get good service and not seem uneducated.
Thanks much,
Carla

Carla,

This was our first cruise as well and I am not sure if what we did was really the proper way, but this is how we did it - each night as we left the table, my husband would shake Anthony's (our waiter) hand and slip a $5 bill in his hand. Then on the last night it was a $20. We did not tip the Matre-de because we hardly every saw him and one of the few times that we did, I thought he was rude. So -- no extra for him.

Cathy
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Old June 10th, 2007, 03:09 PM
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for room service: do you tip as they deliver or do you leave one lump sum at the end for them
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Old June 10th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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Tip with each delivery, it is a different person delivering each time.
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Old June 10th, 2007, 04:17 PM
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THANKS Cathy, that helps. Personally, I like the way your husband tipped the waiter...that was a neat way to do it. I'm still curious about tipping the room steward....should we leave a little something on the nightstand every day or how is it done?
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Old June 10th, 2007, 04:24 PM
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I think most people tip their room steward at the end of the stay since it is always the same person (unlike room service) but some do it daily and either way is fine.

We tipped the dining room staff at the last supper (ha ha) and the room steward right before we left the room for the last time. We never had room service.
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Old June 10th, 2007, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA Cruiser
Tip with each delivery, it is a different person delivering each time.
Thanks!!!!
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Old June 10th, 2007, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floridanamaw
I don't think the matre de gets a salary. They are paid on tips only.
Maitre D' is a salaried position. Unless he or she does something "special" for us we don't tip.

Again, if you've left the automatic tipping on you don't need to tip extra to anyone except Room Service, but on all but one cruise (we had the Room Steward from H**l) we gave the Room Steward extra on top of the automatic tip on the last night of the cruise.

Room service personnel are not included in the automatic tipping and should be tipped a couple of dollars each time they deliver.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy

This was our first cruise as well and I am not sure if what we did was really the proper way, but this is how we did it - each night as we left the table, my husband would shake Anthony's (our waiter) hand and slip a $5 bill in his hand. Then on the last night it was a $20. We did not tip the Matre-de because we hardly every saw him and one of the few times that we did, I thought he was rude. So -- no extra for him.

Cathy
Hi Cathy,

Was this on top of the automatic tipping? If so, I'm sure Anthony was very happy with you !
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Old June 10th, 2007, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawson21
THANKS Cathy, that helps. Personally, I like the way your husband tipped the waiter...that was a neat way to do it. I'm still curious about tipping the room steward....should we leave a little something on the nightstand every day or how is it done?
Carla
There is a portfolio in the cabin with stationery, etc in it and also it contained some envelopes for tipping. We put the money in the envelope and laid it on the vanity near the ice bucket. We had several conversations with out cabin stewarts. The girl was from Russia and now I am drawing a blank and cannot remember where the guy was from. Since they seemed to be a team, I assume that they split the tips.

They came in to our cabin one afternoon and tried to teach us how to make a towel animal! My husband was intrigued and wanted to know how to do it. Well, actually my husband made a snake out of our towel and invited them in to see it, and so they had to teach him a little bit about the right way to do it. It was a lot of fun and very interesting to chat with them. Our waiter was Anthony, from Jamaica. Leave it to my husband to make friends with everyone.

Cathy
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Old June 10th, 2007, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Was this on top of the automatic tipping? If so, I'm sure Anthony was very happy with you !
Yes, it was on top of the automatic tipping! This was our first cruise and we were not really sure what was expected. Did we go overboard!
If so please tell me, before I go on my next cruise in Dec.

Thanks,
Cathy
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Old June 10th, 2007, 10:27 PM
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We really had to scrimp and save for our cruise, so we just hoped the automatic $10.00 per day per person for the 4 of us = the 15% gratuity on every beverage was enough. We did leave 200 pesos, (20 dollars) on our nightstand, because we knew we would never use it, and I gave one of the girls that cleaned our room a couple of magazines and a book I had finished during the cruise. If we had to tip an extra 10 or 20 a day on top of the cruise and our sail and sign bill, we would have to wait even longer for cruise#2. I think they all do pretty well.
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Old June 11th, 2007, 12:21 AM
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re: automatic tipping...did the math...ut oh! $10 per day per person on a 5 day cruise is $50 per person total...divide that between the the Room Steward and the Waiter plus others??? (That ain't much!!)

OK multiply that times 3 dinner seatings 2 tables@ 10 passengers per table=(approx) 60 cruisers x (approx) $20=$1,200 per waiter per 5 day cruise x 4=$4800/mo. + salary x 7 mos out of the year=$33,600....I'd say a bit extra for good help is in order!

Our waiter was from Croatia and away from his wife and three year old for 7 mos. out of a year. He was leaving for Croatia right after our cruise. We tipped him well after a job well-done and wished him a bon voyage to see his family after so long.
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Old June 11th, 2007, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherylyoungklein
re: automatic tipping...did the math...ut oh! $10 per day per person on a 5 day cruise is $50 per person total...divide that between the the Room Steward and the Waiter plus others??? (That ain't much!!)

OK multiply that times 3 dinner seatings 2 tables@ 10 passengers per table=(approx) 60 cruisers x (approx) $20=$1,200 per waiter per 5 day cruise x 4=$4800/mo. + salary x 7 mos out of the year=$33,600....I'd say a bit extra for good help is in order!

Our waiter was from Croatia and away from his wife and three year old for 7 mos. out of a year. He was leaving for Croatia right after our cruise. We tipped him well after a job well-done and wished him a bon voyage to see his family after so long.
That's actually more than my DH makes, and about what I make, plus - they get free room and board for those 7 months, so, while I'd love to be able to give them much more, we do what we can. BTW, by 12 year-old Dear Son wants to be a cruise director when he grows up, so I hope they do ok!
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Old June 11th, 2007, 05:01 PM
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You, know... I'm a first time cruiser and I've been on cruisemates.com for a few months now. I thought I've read everything about tips, but I'v really enjoyed this message board.
I too have paid for the prepaid tips, and I don't have much money, but do intend to use room service and I will tip a few dollars with each service. As far as any other sevice, we will wait and see how good it is, as to whether or not we should tip more.
Thanks for all your imput, and I can't wait to hurry up and go, so I can message with infomation instead of all these questions. *smile*
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