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Old May 17th, 2009, 08:18 PM
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Default tip cabin steward at beginning or end of cruise?

Which do you prefer and why? On Sensation, I didn't tip him till the last day, as I recalled posters saying that if they get their tip right up front, they will not provide good service. I didn't get that great service after the 1st day - asked if we could have a bucket of ice first thing in the morning and then again in the early evening. But after the first day I had to cal room service for a bucket of ice, which we then got promptly. But who wants to have to tip someone to bring ice? I did give him an envelope with $50 cash on the last day. I would have given $100 if the service had been great or even very good.

So for my March cruise on Imagination, I don't know if I should tip at the start of the cruise. Will he/take the tip, say thanks, and then I will still get crappy service from him?

Your thoughts/experiences on this would be appreciated.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 08:23 PM
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I personally would tip with a $20 upfront and tell the steward that there is more where that comes from at the end of the cruise if they do well. A bit of incentive coupled with reward.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 08:56 PM
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Put your standard gratuities on the automatic tipping program, that goes to your Sign and Sail account. If you feel anyone goes above what you think is exceptional service or does something special for you then give them extra either at the time of the service or at the end of the cruise.

Many first time cruisers feel that they "must" tip up front or extra at the end of the cruise. This is NOT required or expected. It also causes cruisers to think they must tip up front or they will not receive good service. This is also not true. You should receive the same level of service regardless if you tip or not. If you don't then make sure you write the name of the person on your comment card. A negative comment, from a guest, on the comment card is the worst thing an employee can receive.

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Old May 17th, 2009, 09:12 PM
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My thoughts are since the cruise ship, in the simplest form, is the sea based equivalent of an all inclusive resort, a small up front incentive doesn't hurt as long as you explain that it is meant as an encouragement to give excellent service.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad813
My thoughts are since the cruise ship, in the simplest form, is the sea based equivalent of an all inclusive resort, a small up front incentive doesn't hurt as long as you explain that it is meant as an encouragement to give excellent service.
You can do whatever you wish but it isn't required or expected. I have interviewed, spoke with and dealt with many Hotel Directors, Captains, Waiters and Cabin Stewards and know how it is supposed to and how it does work.

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Old May 17th, 2009, 09:23 PM
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Well, being parted with $20 by my cabin steward I do not really see as much of an issue. A simple courtesy to say "I realize you work hard and want us to both have a pleasant week."
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Old May 17th, 2009, 09:32 PM
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At the very end......if at all.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 10:35 PM
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I always tip a $20 on day one and I have been on many cruises. I leave the auto tipper set and have only adjusted once.

I have had good cabin stewards and not so good cabin stewards (not to jinx it but I haven't ever had a bad one).

It really helps me to start the week off on a good note and after that I also feel more comfortable asking for whatever extras I need.

On my last cruise, I somehow had a full unopened bottle of Grey Goose leftover - I left that with a note that said "enjoy". I am sure that was appreciated probably more than the $20.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 10:36 PM
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To each his / her own but I don't tip up front. I try to be as nice, courteous and respectful to the stewards, waitstaff, etc. as I would want someone to be with me and so far in 30 + cruises it seems to have worked. If I want something I don't mind saying please--thanks, etc.
I think letting the waitstaff and stewards know up front you aren't going to be a hard nose all week would do as well as a few dollars up front.
Maybe tipping quite a bit up front has worked well for brad813 on his past cruises--as I said--to each his own.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 10:44 PM
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Well, with me it is just in theory. I am approach the thought of how I would want to be treated. I always think it is nice to be appreciated and that a nice gesture helps. I go on my first cruise and October and intend to treat my steward very well.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 10:45 PM
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Why would you tip advance?
In a restaurant do you do you tip the waiter before you order or after?
If before they have no incentive to do a good job.
Tip only when goodl service is done for you.

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Old May 17th, 2009, 10:51 PM
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Stewards are typically tipped throughout the stay in hotels. No real hard and fast rules like with waitstaff.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 11:09 PM
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Their called maids in hotels-- not stewards-- I didn't know they were tipped everyday, if at all!
My bad--I thought you had been on several cruises and were hooked and getting a T.A. license.
Anyway, happy first cruise in October--may the Gods of calm seas be with you in hurricane season--- and with me in Sept. on the Freedom !!
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Old May 17th, 2009, 11:15 PM
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Not housekeeping. The ones in the luxury hotels that attend to the guests in the expensive rooms.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 11:18 PM
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I will just pray to Lord Poseidon for fair winds and following seas.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron
Their called maids in hotels-- not stewards

Ron,

I work for a casino/hotel in New Orleans. I was talking to the department head and was asking her how many maids she has on duty during the day. I was politely but firmly told that she doesn't have any maids, only Housekeepers!!! Learned my lesson.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 11:31 PM
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God--I've got to quit living in the past--
I knew I'd heard the term housekeeping somewhere !!
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Old May 17th, 2009, 11:31 PM
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I agree with Mike. We've been a many cruises and have NEVER tipped "up front." Not sure I know anyone who does. We've always had the very best of service and we tip generously at the end of the cruise. Now of course we do the auto-tipping routine that virtually all lines have now, but frequently add something for the room steward and our waiters for excellent service.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 07:28 AM
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We bring a small cooler with us each cruise for some drinks in our cabin all week.
I usually grab the steward the first time I see him and explain to him I want the cooler refilled during the week with fresh ice as needed and give him a $10 or $20 (depending on length of cruise) since to me, this is an additional task being asked of the steward for the entire cruise. (to me it is a little more to haul a cooler to the ice machine versus filling up those teeny tiny ice buckets Carnival uses.)

We leave the autotips on and then leave additional tips for our waiters and stewards at the end of the cruise, based on level of service.

I was glad to see that Carnival notifies the staff who removes their autotips each cruise.
That $10 a day is a small amount to pay for the amount of service received on a daily basis on a cruise, even for mediocre service. (which we have yet to receive on a cruise.)

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Old May 18th, 2009, 09:48 AM
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I think if you are requesting special services as OP and bguppies did that you should tip up front. Then like everybody else you tip at the end of the cruise either through the autotip and with additional cash.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_rd
I think if you are requesting special services as OP and bguppies did that you should tip up front. Then like everybody else you tip at the end of the cruise either through the autotip and with additional cash.
I agree with you.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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I tipped up front on my last cruise thinking I would get great service all week. As it turns out the only thing he did extra for me was nothing. Granted he did his job, ie.. cleaned the room, kept the ice bucket full etc but the extra tip wasnt warranted. I even asked him if he could arrange some sort of favor thru the F&B dept but he told me he couldnt do it. He didnt even make an attempt to ask somebody. I didnt adjust my tips but I should have. That taught me a lesson.. dont tip till they earn it.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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I tip my room steward upfront. I cruise solo which means that my steward's auto tips for my cabin are cut in half. Usually on the first or second day, I will give him the other half of his tip ($20 usually). This is also incentive. This way I can reap the benefit of a little something extra. Tipping at the end garners you no extra consideration.

My one and only request is that my cabin steward not dismantle my towel animals. I explain to them that I want to create a towel zoo in my cabin so may I please keep my various towel animals throughout. I have never been turned down. Other than that, I am one of those who tend to "tidy up" the cabin a little before I leave for the day.

I may try to pre-tip my dining room workers this cruise coming up to see how that works out. Has anyone ever done that?
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Old May 18th, 2009, 04:23 PM
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I would think that tipping up front could very well backfire. Since it is customary to tip at the end, doing it differently may cause some confusion. They may think that your are going to be vey demanding and want extra service.
Also, these people, for the most part, are professionals. An "incentive" tip could be perceived as an insult, as if you think you have to do that in order to get them to do their jobs. I have found that a smile and a handshake and just warm courtesy works just fine. Respect goes a long way. Then, a nice tip at the end. As one poster said, you don't tip a waiter in a restaraunt until the end. It is a thank you for service already provided.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 08:29 PM
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Thanks, veryone for your comments and IBcruising, I love your idea of the towel animal zoo, it would be cool to have a photo of all animals on the last night! I'll have to make a note in my PDA to ask that of my steward in March.

I think that based on all your comments that in addition to the auto tip, I will give the steward a cash tip on the last day which is based on his/her attitude and service. I would expect no less if I were a steward. And if the service is lousy, then I will have the auto tip adjusted before I debark.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 09:27 AM
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Tip someone before they do anything? You might as well throw your cash in the ocean.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:00 PM
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I always tip at the end of the cruise. But from day one I try to establish some type of bond to the cabin steward. He knows his responsibilities. We show him/her politeness and courtsey. Always some conversation with them. I believe this is what gets you the extra attention, even without asking. We give them respect and are treated very well. And at the end of the cruise there is usually a little something extra in the envelope.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 05:48 PM
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My first task after finding my room is locating my room steward and introducing myself and asking for a champagne or large bucket and I would like him to fill with ice on his regular visits to my room. have done this on numerous cruises with total sucess and every time he has seen me in the hall will ask if ice is okay?At the end of the cruise will give him something extra for his efforts.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 12:01 PM
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We pack a collapsable cooler and I slip the cabin stward a $20 up front to keep it stocked with ice.

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Old May 25th, 2009, 12:12 PM
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If anyone hunts with dogs they will be familiar with statement.

" Would you feed a dog before you go hunting. "

The same applies to the service industry. Why give a tip ahead before
you know if they earned it. So stewards don't really earn the basic tip.
Some earn extra and then some.
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