I know tipping is not expected (hah!), but will do it anyway. I just need to know how one handles tipping at the bars. Do you ad a tip to each tab like you do ashore? Can you sign for it? Or do you do cash either every few days or at the end of the cruise.
When we have traveled HAL, we sign for drinks. I do not believe you can add atip to the charge. We have a tendency to frequent the same spots before and after dinner and get to know the servers. At end of cruise we give them a tip.
I do believe that the bar servers are frequently overlooked and I often wish that HAL would just include tip with the beverage price.
I cannot in my wildest dreams ever imagine working seven days a week for months on end while my family is thousands of miles away!
I think HAL has one of the most confusing tipping policies around. There are many people who see "tipping not required" and tip nothing, reading it as tips included.
They do not allow you to ad a tip to your bar bill, which would at least make that part of it easier to deal with.
Last HAL cruise we carried around $1 bills for the bar staff, as well as finding some of our favourites at weeks end to give them a bit more.
I may come looking to borrow some singles on the Amsterdam if the casino isn't kind to me <G>
I just read in rtc that they don't even add the tips for the Steiner services, which is automatically done on all the other cruises I've been on. Since I enjoy a facial and a seaweed wrap on my cruises and they are expensive, that means carrying a large amount of cash onboard for tips. Ridiculous! I'll do it of course because the staff shouldn't have to suffer for the misguided policies of management.
Just returned from 10 days on the Zaandam. We tipped just like you would on any other line. The bar guys we gave 15% or greater to the nearest dollar when served. I am always greatful for my lot in life, and thankful that I am not the one serving. So we always tip above. The purser does have envelopes available, they will give you as many as you need. They will NOt discuss tipping amounts with you. You will have a qwonderful cruise on HAL. Jeri
Hi Carole Dunham: When you sign the slip for Steiner's services, you are free to add on a tip if you desire. You could tip in cash also, if that is your choice.
We just returned from Volendam and had a fabulous cruise. We picked up envelopes at the front desk and distributed them the last night just as you are used to doing on any other cruiseline.
We frequent the same bars every evening and have the same bar stewards serving us, so at the end of ten days, we distributed envelopes to the bar staff the same as to the cabin and dining stewards etc.
Carole - I'm not sure "Misguided Management" is a fair statement here! We sailed Princess for years [ since 1978] and enjoyed our cruises with that cruiseline -but ventured into HAL about 5 years ago. We have ALWAYS tipped well for services at home, and -as cruisers -figured we were savey enough to figure out who deserved what. We also have always felt service was extraordinary on HAL but that "the deal" was not for tips. The wine steward knew our preferences almost immediately and began the terrific service immediately; NOT showing up only on the last night. Same with the head waiter - he helped clear if necessary, stopped by nightly to chat -again, NOT showing up only on the last night........after 3 cruises with HAL, I went back to Princess for a European cruise last fall -and enjoyed it; Istanbul to Barcelona with a large group from my town here in Colorado. I found the "sevice" superficial, the CD's "instructions" annoying, and the waiters lacking that extra special thing I found on HAL. It seems to be a wonderful blend of well-paid/happy staff and non-pushy director and extraordinary service. Most DON'T need the repeated instructions - HAL has SO many repeat customers/cruisers - it would be overkill. This subject comes up again & again - and I honestly don't see any malisciousness in it - it is usually first time HAL or first time cruisers; and most just simply ask what is proper; better than sit thru a half hour litany on how WE should pay THEIR employees! Love that HAL!!!!!! Anne
Hey "Beav", since this is your first cruise on HAL and you asked about wine stewards, indeed they do have them. A little tip I learned a few cruises (and a few wine bottles ago!) is that the wine steward has a stand set up while you are waiting to board the ship. You can go over, peruse the wine list and place your order at that time, if you wish. If you order in advance, they have always discounted the wine 10%. Another tip is if you drink enough wine to warrant it, they have what they call a "Navigator" wine package. I paid $99.00 for 6 bottles of wine before boarding, then the wine steward just brought me wine on the nights I wanted it. Wasn't wasted on us! I think there is a three bottle package, too. Have a great trip!
Anyone else sailing on her on 3/27/01? Anyone just sailed her? If so, did HAL offer an ecursion on St Lucia called something like the Land drive/ catamaran sail ccombo? It is like 7 hours long at is suppose to be fantastic. They don't list it tho in their brochure.