For some reason HAL continues with this "tipping not required" policy, which always confuses new cruisers. Where you'll really notice this is when there's no 15% added to your bar tabs, as other lines do. If you frequent the lounges, please do remember these people either at the end of the cruise or carry small bills with you (since I love the "cashless" idea on ship I tip them the last night, as with the dining room staff - trust me - you WILL remember your favorites. I also tip my dining room waiters and the Maitre D, if he did anything special, and the wine steward if there is one. And of course the cabin steward. As for amounts, similar to other lines. Generally $3.50 - $3.75 per person per day for head waiter and cabin steward, half that for assistant waiter, others as per service provided. I always find service on HAL exceptional and adjust amounts accordingly. You'll find crew on HAL genuinely pleased to receive tips, on other lines I do feel that it's more "expected". Believe me, with the service you'll receive and enjoy, you'll be glad to tip these wonderful people! Enjoy your cruise!
TALL.. I have to agree. HAL's "no tipping required" is very confusing. Can't tell you how many people I've met on HAL who said "tips were included".
Tipping is NEVER required.. but on HAL the staff DO expect it, and they normally earn it!!
The fact that they don't even allow you to add a tip on your bar tabs if you so desire really irks me. Means carrying around singles to reward the great staff.
OOPS - something went awry. Kuki - I agree; wish I could just add a tip before I sign the tab, like with a credit card. Would make it so much easier. But I always stop to say good bye to my favorites the last night, so it's easy enough to hand out tips then. But what a confusing policy. Have a great day!
On our last HAL cruise, after we boarded the ship we walked around to check things out. Found a lounge close to the area that had the nightly entertainment. We sat down for awhile and a waiter came and asked if we wanted a drink. We ordered and when he brought the drinks back I gave him two $2 bills--can still get them at most Banks. He slipped them under a pad he had on his tray and started talking to us. He asked our names and told us his. This was the best $4 I have ever spent. Everytime we went into that lounge, he saw us comming and had our drinks ordered before we sat down. We went into the lounge every night before dinner and he would always ask us if we were going to the show that night. If we were, he had a front row table for us. Needless to say, he made a lot more than the $4 that week!
I suggest the $2 bills as they don't see them often.
Agree with JimG. We do the same with the lounge staffs as they are often overlooked and at the end of the cruise it is hard to remember all the ones you had in different lounges. I like the HAL policy for the dining room and cabin stewards because you can reward them personally but I think a 15% addition to lounge tabs would be more convenient for the passengers since they wouldn't have to carry tip money with them all the time. I definitely oppose putting gratuities on your shipboard account as many cruise lines are now doing because I feel it reduces incentive to provide better service (since tips are assured) and it seems the staff still expects additional tips at the end of the cruise.
We always take at least $50 in ones with us for tipping the bar and room service staff, that way we don`t forget anyone, on the last night we pass out additonal envelopes to staff we have gotten to know better........jean