I read on one of the boards that you give a credit card when you go on the ship and the bill comes at the end of the cruise. I do not use or even have credit cards. Can you pay cash as you go (Drinks, excusions, on board x-tra expenses)? If so, will they automatically figure in tips or will you tip what you want? Also, please tell me about tipping. I understand I should have about $100 for tipping. Am I correct that I will have the same cabin steward, waiters, etc the whole cruise to tip at the end or exactly how does that work? These may sound like silly questions to some of you but this is the "First Time Cruise" Board. Thanks for the help!
No questions are stupid here, as for the sign and sail card, you can give them cash up front to cover your charges that you will make while cruising, its basically a cash-less society once onboard. I would think a few hundered dollars should cover it for you. The tips are usuall paid in cash the last night of the cruise, although some cruiselines are doing prepaid tips. Yes, you will have the same cabin stewart and waiter (if you are doing traditional dinning), otherwise the prepaid tips will cover the dinning room staff.
Here is a link to some wonderful information for "first time cruisers":
"Cash as you go" is not an option on most cruise lines. You either give a credit card or cash (or an equivalent, such as traveler's checks) at the outset against your final statement.
Figure about $10 per person, per day for tips for the cabin steward, waiter and assistant waiter, to be paid in cash or, in some instances, on your final bill if you select that option. 15% will be added to all drinks charges and that will show up on your final bill.
As Donna said, there are no stupid questions ... just requests for information.
HAL is a cashless cruise line. they issue you a credit card and you settle up at the end of the cruise. you could put some money down in advance against the actual charges. the credit card is the only way to buy anything on HAL.
tipping is suggested at follows; per person in the cabin per day
3.50 for the cabin attendant
3.50 for the dining room waiter
2.00 for the bus boy
10-15% of the purchase for the wine steward
generally all tips are presented in cash at the end of the cruise.
some cruise lines automatically add a % to your bill and others will reccommend the "customery" tips.
i know i have opened myself up to large scale debate because i have answered this with specifics but i have a tough skin so take your best shot
As for how the tips work, you will find little envelopes with different titles on them in your cabin on the second to last night. Then you stuff them with cash (if you choose not to put them on your sign and sail account) and present them to the waiter, room steward, ect on the last day. Everyone is super polite, but handing me an envelope full of cash would probably produce the same effect, that last night.
It will be a little bit more of a hassel to use cash or travelers checks instead of a credit card because you have to go to the purser and "settle up" at the end of the cruise, but many people do it. With a credit card you don't have to go to the purser unless there is an error on the bill.
credit card is just like checking out of a hotel, if you agree you just leave and it comes in your cc bill about 2 weeks later.
For me, it uses the best exchange rate at the time, course my dollar is 1.5 to get a US $.
If you find a problem , then you go down to guest relations to have it adjusted.
Tipping wise, we used cash last time but I am looking forward to Princess where it comes off my account and I can obtain a voucher for my cabin steward.
Checking in, cc is probably no fuss.
Only word of caution, ensure your cc balance prior to trip is down to zero or you have a good clear available limit. A friend of mine travels a lot but also comes close to limit as he travels.Hotels will sometimes preapprove your 'expected' stay , meaning your available balance is technically reduced and if a mistake happens (rarely) ones available limit is not what you thought.