I feel silly asking but I have a few ?'s. When you tip your steward, how exactly is that done - do u leave it with them personally each day or is it left in the room? is it done every day? I assume the standard $3.50 is per person per day. In regards to the waiter, if you eat mostly in the Horizon Court, what is standard for tipping there? Plus I don't understand what will be added at end of cruise - I don't want any surprises and be cash poor. I wasn't planning on using a credit card. It took all my credit for the cruise . Will the Princess accept personal checks at the end? I was planning on bringing $100 or so just for tipping in cash which I understand I can leave with the pursor's desk (is this right?) when i embark. Tipping shouldn't be so confusing but I truly don't want to be embarrassed either.
As for paying off your sign and sail card with a personal check, not really sure they will go for that, but I know you can give them a few hundred in cash when you first board and they will use that as you use your card and will refund the amount you don't use. Yes, its always a good idea to set aside the tips before hand and then the last night you will be ready. You just tip them at the end of the cruise, as for the waiter, just bring the envelope the last nite at dinner, you would still give him the recommended amount, but I understand Princess now has pre-paid tips, so you can either stay with that or you can decide to change it and do it the traditional way. Are you doing the PC dinning, or the traditional?
Enjoy Grand Princess and let us know about it when you return :-)
Thank you for responding so quickly. Yes, we are opting for the PC dining. We will most likely do the Horizon Court for bfast and lunch and venture out to one of the restaurants for a nice formal dinner. I'm still unsure as to whether we would like to sit at a larger table because we do enjoy meeting people. I just opened a new bank account with a new bank in town and am unsure whether I will have an ATM/Debit card by the time of the cruise which was the reason for asking about Princess accepting checks.
Travelers checks are a good option rather than taking along a lot of cash. I am not sure that cruise lines will accept personal checks. Better off taking travelers checks so you can cash in what you don't use.
Plan, on minimum, $10/pp each day for tips. That's cash that you will personally distribute to cabin steward, waiter, and assistant waiter on the last night of the cruise. There may be others whom you choose to tip. Figure up the amount ahead of time and put the money in a safe place .. the safe in your cabin or with the Purser's office in a safety deposit box.
Be sure to include minor tips, such as those to the people who deliver room service if you order it, in your thinking. Bring some $1 bills for that.
Drinks, spa treatments or other salon services, onboard purchases in the shops and shore excursions will be billed against your "sail and spend" card. If you haven't deposited enough money with the Purser at the outset, you will probably be advised that you've outspent your deposit and it's not unlikely that your S&S card will be shut down unless you deposit additional funds.
The above doesn't include tip money. And certainly doesn't include gambling. Be aware that many beverages are charged to yuor S&S card and carry a 15% gratuity along with them.
You also have to consider money that you will spend in port whether for shopping, cabfare, lunches, drinks, whatever. That can add up fast.
I always suggest that folks travel with an "empty" credit card in case of unforseen situations.
Yes, I believe on most of their ships they are doing the pre-paid tips, where you can add/remove them as you see fit. I know they are doing it on all the ships that have the preferred dinning choice.
On Princess ships with PC dining, they do automatically charge dining tips to your account. You can have them raiased/lowered or removed as you see fit. I just got my cruise documents for the Grand Princess, and it does say you can pay off your account with a personal check. Apparently they give you an envelope to put it in so you can still use the express check-out service.