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Old April 19th, 2010, 09:22 AM
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Question Quick questions from a Novice Cruiser

Greetings;

My wife and I are looking forward to our very first (Alaskan) cruise this summer, and I just have a few quick questions:

1: What's the story on tipping? I know that this is a complicated topic, but I just want to be prepared. Does HAL make a general, one time charge for all tips, or do you have to do individual tipping on your own?

2: On cruise ships, are there various activity groups in which you can participate? For example, card playing, or walking; stuff like that. If so, how do you find out about them, and sign up?

3: Do the cruise ships have duty free stores? I am mainly interested in purchasing (and consuming) a Cuban cigar. I am not a big smoker, but I just wanted to see what all the fuss is about Cuban cigars.

Thanks.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 11:27 AM
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My wife and I are looking forward to our very first (Alaskan) cruise this summer, and I just have a few quick questions:

1: What's the story on tipping? I know that this is a complicated topic, but I just want to be prepared. Does HAL make a general, one time charge for all tips, or do you have to do individual tipping on your own?

$11.00 per day per person will be added to your account for gratuities (or whatever they call it) - it is divided among various departments but I don't know who gets what or how much. If you want to tip certain staff member more, then you can - just personally hand them the money in an envelope with a note of Thanks. If you opt out of the $11.00 pp, you will be asked to fill out a form and I guess give your reason why. If this is the case then any monies you give the staff will have to be pooled by them - they won't be able to keep it. To me it's so much easier paying the $11.00 pp/pd than wondering how to much to give and who to give it to, like we used to do in the "old" days.

2: On cruise ships, are there various activity groups in which you can participate? For example, card playing, or walking; stuff like that. If so, how do you find out about them, and sign up?

Check your daily program. Walking your can do on your own around the deck - don't know which ship you are going on so can't tell you if walking is done on the Promenade or Upper Prom deck.

3: Do the cruise ships have duty free stores? I am mainly interested in purchasing (and consuming) a Cuban cigar. I am not a big smoker, but I just wanted to see what all the fuss is about Cuban cigars.

Yes, there are duty free stores, but I don't know if they sell Cuban cigars.......if they have a "Cigars Under The Stars" night they may have them there. My DH always said a good Cuban cigar was worth spending the money on but the one he had on the ship was stale!!

Enjoy Alaska and have a GREAT time....hope you love it as much as we have in our 4 trips there. If you have any more questions, please just ask and by the way Welcome to Cruise Mates.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 12:16 PM
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Smile Thank you!

DeeDee;

Thanks very much for your prompt and very informative response to my query. I really like this web site, and I look forward to using it more as our cruise approaches.
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