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Old April 2nd, 2008, 11:46 AM
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Default Tipping in Specialty Restaurants

I am always uncertain how much to tip in the specialty restaurants that charge $25-30 per person. The gratuity is included in the bar and wine charges but I wonder if some of you tip extra for that service too in the specialty restaurants. Any comments will be appreciated.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Tipping in Specialty Restaurants

pbparker,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I am always uncertain how much to tip in the specialty restaurants that charge $25-30 per person. The gratuity is included in the bar and wine charges but I wonder if some of you tip extra for that service too in the specialty restaurants. Any comments will be appreciated.
The charge for the specialty restaurant includes all gratuities except wine and bar service, which are included in the bill for those services.

Norm.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 08:35 PM
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Hello,
If you want to tip for extra service or excellent service. Give the waiter the tip in cash. If you add the extra tip to the bill, it goes into the common pot to be distributed to everyone. So to be sure the waiter is rewarded give him or her a cash tip.
We learned this in the Sterling on princess.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 05:12 PM
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We were told by a maitre d' that the charge for the speciality restaurants (at least on X) is, in fact, the gratuity. Of course, if you choose to leave anything additional to reward particularly exceptional service, it won't be refused.
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Old April 14th, 2008, 04:20 AM
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When the cruise lines started charging extra for meals it was under the pretension that the atmosphere was a little more special and that the extra charge was for the waiters because they were not included in the tip pool in the regular restaurants. I guess we are now supposed to believe that the waiter gets the $30 or so that they charge p/p. The only time that I would go to one of these restaurants is when the cruise line gives me a voucher to do so, which is quite often. It is basically the same food that one gets in the regular restaurants for free and one either has to be very rich and not care about throwing away money or just very foolish to pay extra for food on a cruise.
Jim. (The Cheapskate)
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Old April 24th, 2008, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim130
When the cruise lines started charging extra for meals it was under the pretension that the atmosphere was a little more special and that the extra charge was for the waiters because they were not included in the tip pool in the regular restaurants. I guess we are now supposed to believe that the waiter gets the $30 or so that they charge p/p. The only time that I would go to one of these restaurants is when the cruise line gives me a voucher to do so, which is quite often. It is basically the same food that one gets in the regular restaurants for free and one either has to be very rich and not care about throwing away money or just very foolish to pay extra for food on a cruise.
Jim. (The Cheapskate)
Not the same food Jim.

And if you went one time and just ordered you would see it was worth the few extra $$$.

I equater it to a 3 1/2 star resturant upstairs.
A 5 star resturant downstairs.

Think about it - where can you go to a 5 star resturant for $30 or so per person.

I did it the first time as a nice gesture to my wife.
I was sold on it about a 1/2 hour in.

Next time we went with 9 in our group I paid for everyone to go. It was that good. Combination of food and art.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 03:21 PM
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As I said, I have eaten there many times when the cruise line gives me a voucher as a perk. I still maintain one either has to be very rich and not care about throwing away money or just very foolish to pay extra for food on a cruise. Which category do you fit into?
Jim the Cheapskate!!
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Old April 24th, 2008, 10:07 PM
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Jim, I never received a free voucher. Please tell us how you do it! Thanks!
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Old April 24th, 2008, 10:23 PM
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longboysfan,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Think about it - where can you go to a 5 star resturant for $30 or so per person.
That's fallacious thinking. The cost of dining in Celebrity's specialty restaurants is NOT $30 per person. Rather, it's $30 per person above what you have already paid for the meal that you are not eating in the main dining room.

Is it worth the difference? That's a matter of personal opinion, but I'll do it in a few situations.

>> 1. If my tablemates decide to go as a table one evening, I'll go along to be part of the group.

>> 2. If I'm travelling with somebody for whom the experience would be exceptionally memorable or who is celebrating a truly special occasion, we'll do it one night -- my treat!

>> 3. If travelling with teenagers, I would bring them on one evening because I think that dining in that type of restaurnat is a great educational experience for youngsters who are preparing to enter adulthood.

But under normal circumstances, I would not go to Celebrity's specialty restaurants. Although the menu involves fancier tableside preparations, the food is not really any better than the cuisine in the main dining room.

And for conoisseurs of fine wines, you can order the superior wines on the specialty restaurant's wine list in the main dining room aboard all Celebrity ships that have specialty restaurants.

Norm.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 12:20 AM
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To matey, I have never gotten a voucher for the specialty restaurant from Celebrity because I do not travel with them that often. I have been on about 70 Princess cruises and very often they give me a voucher to eat either at Sabatinni's or the Sterling Steakhouse. I think Princess treats their past passengers better than any other cruise line. Once you become "Elite" (15 cruises or 150 days) they give you all sorts of perks.
Don't get me wrong I am not panning Celebrity. I have cruised with them about 8 times, but their past passenger program is not that good.
Jim..
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Old April 25th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim130
To matey, I have never gotten a voucher for the specialty restaurant from Celebrity because I do not travel with them that often. I have been on about 70 Princess cruises and very often they give me a voucher to eat either at Sabatinni's or the Sterling Steakhouse. I think Princess treats their past passengers better than any other cruise line. Once you become "Elite" (15 cruises or 150 days) they give you all sorts of perks.
Don't get me wrong I am not panning Celebrity. I have cruised with them about 8 times, but their past passenger program is not that good.
Jim..
Thanks, Jim, for your response. We have sailed on many Celebrity ships, and we don't benefit at all.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 04:22 PM
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Hi Jim,

It's been our experience that the specialty dining on Celebrity offers menu choices that are not seen anywhere else on board. They also offer a "secret menu" for people who dine in the specialty restaurant more than once per cruise. The French tableside-style service and atmosphere are well worth it for us for the additional charge.

You are right that Celebrity does not seem to offer many advantages to repeat passengers. If you are willing to include 100 shares of RCL stock in your portfolio, they offer a shipboard credit which varies according to the length of your cruise. The credit ranges from $100 - $250 per stateroom depending on the length of the trip.[/b]
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Old April 27th, 2008, 05:05 PM
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Default Secret Menu

Hi, dublinbears. Please elaborate about the "secret menu" for those who dine in the specialty restaurant more than once during a cruise. I have never been offered or even heard about that option before. Thanks.

Peggy
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Old April 27th, 2008, 11:38 PM
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Hi Peggy,
We were clued-in to this "secret" by some frequent cruisers.
The specialty restaurant is staffed by a small but very attentive group of professionals. The maitre d' will probably recognize you after your first visit. We reminded him of our previous time there and asked if there are any additional or new items offered on the menu. He presented us with the not so secret menu.
P.S. You definitely want to make this inquiry BEFORE the restaurant opens for service.
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