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-   -   Specialty Restaurant Tipping (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/celebrity/361906-specialty-restaurant-tipping.html)

Sid1962 February 28th, 2009 02:42 PM

Specialty Restaurant Tipping
 
Hey, it's been a couple of days since I posted a questions, so.....

What is the suggested amount to leave for a tip in the specialty restuarants? We have made a reservation at Oceans on Constellation, and I want to do the correct thing by the service staff.

Thanks,

Sid1962

Ron n Jon February 28th, 2009 04:52 PM

Well let's hope the service staff do the correct thing by you, Sid. We have on occasion left nothing to signify the lack of attention we received. (We never judge the table service for the quality of food but will do so for the delivery and sequence)

But ten dollars in our book is generous enough and anything more than that had better be well earned as far as we are concerned.

Dannyboy March 1st, 2009 10:54 AM

Tipping extra
 
There is an extra charge in the specialty restaruants for a reason, You have your choice of premium sea food and cuts of meats, etc.
These food cost and the extra service are nominal, but the cruis lines make a profit on the combined experance they are presenting to the cruiser.
Example: Princess even charges an additional charge for lobster on top of the preminum for dining in the specialty restaruant.
When your on a ship, if you want to be pampered, it will cost you.
Passengers tend to spend more on bottles of fine wine, that's another big profit for the cruise lines.
When you combine the overall experiance and the associated cost to the cruiser, it's a money maker.
It would be your personal choice to provide an extra tip for any employees on your cruise.

dkjretired March 1st, 2009 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ron n Jon
Well let's hope the service staff do the correct thing by you, Sid. We have on occasion left nothing to signify the lack of attention we received. (We never judge the table service for the quality of food but will do so for the delivery and sequence)

But ten dollars in our book is generous enough and anything more than that had better be well earned as far as we are concerned.

The service charge is supposed to be your tip but most tip extra because the service most of the time is far superior to what you will get elsewhere.

The reason there is a service charge on all specialty restaurants is for crowd control. Imagine if there was no charge, people would be eating in there 7 nights on a 7 night cruise and others would never get the chance. It's just enough money charged so that most cruisers will eat there once during their cruise.

Don

Parrot Mom March 4th, 2009 10:31 AM

Re: Specialty Restaurant Tipping
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sid1962
Hey, it's been a couple of days since I posted a questions, so.....

What is the suggested amount to leave for a tip in the specialty restuarants? We have made a reservation at Oceans on Constellation, and I want to do the correct thing by the service staff.

Thanks,

Sid1962

We have eaten in the Oceans on the Constellation and I must admit the service was superb... and well choreographed..lol..If you can get through the rolling cheese cart descriptions rofl and then perhaps your freshly made souffle for dessert and you don't leave at least $10.00... you don't/didn't appreciate all this effort just for you..

Sid1962 March 4th, 2009 12:11 PM

Folks,

Thanks for all the responses. I suspect we will leave at least $10 per person unless something is drastically different from what has been described.

Our last specialty restuarant experience was last October at Sabatini's aboard Adventure of the Seas. The service was excellent, and we left $20.

Again, thanks,

Sid1962

susierphillips March 6th, 2009 08:25 AM

$10 to $20. Superb food and service. Hey, it's alot cheaper than eating out at home!

HelenF March 8th, 2009 03:30 PM

Leave a tip? I thought the $30 per person charge covered the service there! I've certainly never left a tip in any of the speciality restaurants aboard the Celebrity ships I've sailed on.

Rev22:17 March 12th, 2009 07:17 PM

Re: Specialty Restaurant Tipping
 
Sid1962,

Quote:

Originally Posted by You
Hey, it's been a couple of days since I posted a questions, so.....

What is the suggested amount to leave for a tip in the specialty restuarants? We have made a reservation at Oceans on Constellation, and I want to do the correct thing by the service staff.

It's included in the surcharge of $30.00 per person. No additional gratuity is expected.

Norm.

OLD MAN March 14th, 2009 03:42 PM

So tell me for sure.. Is the tip for the specialty restaurants included in the surcharge or not. Some posters say that the tip is extra above the surcharge and some posters say that the tip is included in the surcharge. If you read all of the above posts you get two answers. Try it and you will see that the posted answers do not match. OM

jacdenv24 March 17th, 2009 08:38 AM

We don't do the specialty restaurants, but I've always been under the impression that the surcharge included the tip. Even if the food and service is superior to the dining room, $35 p.p. is a fair hunk of change.
We consider ourselves to be generous restaurant tippers-never less than 20% unless it's really bad service and/or food but I think the tipping thing can get way out of hand. Another reason why we choose to stick to the dining room.

KLSmith March 18th, 2009 11:26 AM

We just came off the Sydney to Auckland run of the Millenium where we ate in the Olympic Diningroom. The upcharge was $30.00 pp and in my opinion it was a steal! Outstanding service and menu. On your chit that you sign there is a space for an additional tip should you wish. I think we tipped an additional $30.

That meal which lasted over 3 hours would easily have cost me $200 on land so $30 is a no-brainer.

HelenF March 18th, 2009 12:28 PM

They offer you the 'opportunity' to pay an additional tip when you pay for drinks anywhere on the ship, too - even after you've paid the 15% service they put on for you. Therefore, I don't think the existence of the 'please give us more money' space on the Olympic chit is indicative, frankly.

Mike M March 18th, 2009 02:30 PM

Like any "Service Charge" the specialty restaurant charge initially included the tip but over the years it has become the fee for the food and an additional tip is expected for the service. The servers do look for a tip even though they won't leer at you if you don't tip. Well, at least not to your face. :wink:

I usually add about $10 per person.

Take care,
Mike

HelenF March 18th, 2009 04:01 PM

Mike, where does it say that? Given that the additional charge for the speciality restaurant has risen over the years, at what point did they decide an additional tip was needed? And given that Celebrity (a) add 15% to all bills, (b) tell you when and what to tip and (c) are now collecting gratuities direct to seapass accounts, why don't they just add it to the speciality bill there and then? It seems strange to me that this is the only tip they aren't up-front about. They certainly tell you how much to tip in the casual dining bistro, where they now...add it to your seapass account!

As a Brit, I think it's important that Celebrity make these issues completely clear. Britons don't have such a strong tipping culture as Americans (talking to US cruisers aboard Galaxy last November, they were staggered when I told them it is not expected that you tip the bar staff in British pubs, for example) and it seems to me that Celebrity are quite clear on these issues - except for the speciality restaurant, it seems (if you are right).

felix_the_cat March 18th, 2009 04:23 PM

The additional fee of $20/30 is suppose to cover the gratuity as well as the upcharge. However, we usually have outstanding service (such as our Jan. Millie cruise) and do tip $10 extra.

The only time that didn't happen was on the Mariner when I was furious with the service. Because we were paying $50 each for the Murder Mystery, and where they sat us the idiot who waited on us was constantly asking me to move this way and that so the actors could get by!!! Needless to say he received nothing extra.

OLD MAN March 18th, 2009 04:56 PM

So you see. Still, no one has given a clear yes or no answer on the question as to the tipping of specialty restaurants. Come on guys give me a simple yes or no answer. Do we all tip extra or not ?? It can't be that hard with all of the travel experance out there. Please no "some do and some don't" answer. Thanks, OM

KLSmith March 18th, 2009 05:01 PM

Old Man:

You are not obligated to tip.

Tip if you want to. If you don't want to, don't.

OLD MAN March 18th, 2009 08:46 PM

Kenneth, Thank you for your straight and honest answer. OM

Triton May 25th, 2009 12:26 PM

Well Sid1962, did you get your answer? :D

We've enjoyed many specialty dinners onboard =X= and do not always tip more. The $30 does cover the gratuity, period.

Like other posters mention, if you wish to give an additional gratuity, for the service, etc., then feel free.

We were on board Princess last month and did not tip additional in their specialty restaurants (Sabatinis and the Steak House); we just didn't feel the service, food and presentation warranted anything additional, IMHO. On board =X= we realize we are not expected to tip more than the $30 surcharge, but usually will add another 20 on the tab, as their service and presentation is usually excellent.

Like another poster mentioned, often a meal such as what Oceanliners (or the other restaurants) prepares and serves, easily costs $200, at a restaurant here in SF.

Sid1962 May 25th, 2009 06:59 PM

Triton et al,

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Ocean Liners on the Connie and ended up leaving $20 as a tip. My wife had Steak Dianne, and I had a special which was a filet with some sort of truffle sauce. Presentation was excellent as usual, and the meals were delicious. Funny, I can't recall what we had for dessert. Then again, I am old, and this is happening with greater frequency as the days pass.....lol !

We plan on trying the specialty restuarant on Infinity when we sail this coming October, and will probably leave the same amount as a tip; more if warrented. $50 for what we got was a bargain...I have paid more for less.

I guess it boils down to what you are comfortable doing. We felt it was worth leaving the tip we did.

Funny you should mention Princess. We were on the Caribbean Princess (our only Princess cruise - and there will in all likelihood not be any more for a lot of reasons) and dined at the steak house. Quite frankly, it was not anything to write home about. Maybe a half step better than an Outback, but in no way close to a Ruth Chris or a Morton's.

We had made reservations at Sabatini's also the day we boarded. However, they were cancelled on us because Princess had apparently sold out all the seatings on line prior to the cruise, and somehow this word didn't reach those selling reservations on the pool deck the day we boarded. My sister dined at Sabatini's on the Ruby Princess and raved about it. As an aside, Princess offered nothing to us to make amends for this mix up. OK, so that was a gratuitous remark; they really didn't have to do anything. Still.....

Sid1962

Triton May 25th, 2009 08:41 PM

Oh yes, their Steak Diane is out of this world! I thought the Steak Diane (in Oceanliners) was better than the filet mignon in the San Marco.

I agree with you about the P. Steakhouse not being equal to Ruth Chris or Mortons. I guess I didn't understand the U.S Flag plates either, I would not have chosen that to create ambiance. Oh well...

katlady May 27th, 2009 10:12 AM

Okay I went to the website and it didn't clear things up at all. LOL They do imply the charge is for the food only. I can't remember if I tipped or not. :-? But the Specialty food and service was excellent on the Infinity. Much better then the dining room. I highly recommend it.
http://www.celebritycruises.com/befo...me=faq_answers
From the website.
Quote:

How much do the specialty restaurants cost?
Subject: Specialty Dining

The Murano, RMS Olympic, SS United States, SS Normandie and Ocean Liners restaurants have a cover charge of $30 USD per person which includes a complete four-course meal. Beverage and Wine are offered at current menu prices. There is an option of ordering a six-course Menu Exceptionnel which includes wine with each course for an additional charge.

Tuscan Grille has a cover charge of $25 USD per person which includes a complete four-course meal including Appetizer, Soup or Salad, Entrée and Dessert. Beverages and wine are offered at current menu prices.

Silk Harvest has a cover charge of $20 USD per person, which includes the full menu including starters, entrees and desserts. Beverages and wine are offered at current menu prices.

Bistro on Five has a cover charge of $5 USD per person Beverages and wine are offered at current menu prices.

matey May 29th, 2009 10:49 PM

I agree that the $30pp covers the gratuity. Some people feel better if they leave extra. The way I see it, do whatever feels comfortable.

Personally, I feel that an extra $60 per couple is enough!

Rev22:17 June 1st, 2009 06:25 PM

OLD MAN,

Quote:

Originally Posted by You
So tell me for sure.. Is the tip for the specialty restaurants included in the surcharge or not. Some posters say that the tip is extra above the surcharge and some posters say that the tip is included in the surcharge. If you read all of the above posts you get two answers. Try it and you will see that the posted answers do not match. OM

Celebrity's official policy is that the gratuity is included in the surcharge. That's why there's no additional "suggested" gratuity for dining there.

The same is true of Celebrity's "Alternative Casual Dining" in the buffet restaurant.

Note, however, that a decision to dine in either of these venues does NOT reduce the proper gratuity for your dining staff in the main dining room. The gratutity for the staff in the main dining room is computed based on the length of the cruise, whether you actually dine there or not.

Norm.

Rev22:17 June 1st, 2009 06:31 PM

Kenneth,

Quote:

Originally Posted by You
We just came off the Sydney to Auckland run of the Millenium where we ate in the Olympic Diningroom. The upcharge was $30.00 pp and in my opinion it was a steal! Outstanding service and menu. On your chit that you sign there is a space for an additional tip should you wish. I think we tipped an additional $30.

That meal which lasted over 3 hours would easily have cost me $200 on land so $30 is a no-brainer.

Ah, but just to be clear, you did not pay just $30 for the meal in the specialty restaurant. Rather, you paid $30 [i]plus the meal that you did not eat in the main dining room[i], for which you had already paid as part of your cruise fare. You may still think that it's a good deal, but be sure that you are basing that conclusion on what you really paid rather than solely on the surcharge!

Norm.

txsloth June 3rd, 2009 12:15 PM

On Solstice Class ships, those travelling in a suite get 1 or 2 complimentary reservations in the specialty restaurants. At the end of the meal, they bring you a bill to sign, showing zero charge, with a slot for additional gratuity. They had a laminated card with the bill suggesting a $5 gratuity per person. For what it's worth.


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