We are far from "high maintenance" people, but did use ours for a couple of problem resolutions that saved us some valuable vacation time on board. One had to do with a major excursion problem resulting in full credit for us and a couple travelling with us. the other had to do with some "ship to shore" telephone credits amounting to nearly $100 resulting from a mixup related to complimentary calls allowed when our ship was going to me 6 hours late due to a medical emergency on board. Our alternatives in each case would have been to go through normal channels, and in the case of the phone calls, it was at check out time and the line at the desk was about 50, many of whom had the same problem. We ducked all that with a 30 sec. phone message.
Ours seemed very busy, but we also had access to an assistant, and I think it was the hotel director's adm. asst. or secretary. We often laeft messages that were always responded to promtly with a return call and/or action.
It was our 1st expereience with a concierge, and memory tells me a tip was not part of a general tip. However, it seems I was also told that such staff is compensated pretty well, and tipping was not necessary. That said, we appreciated her service very much, as it saved us much grief resolving the two problems we had, so we tipped her pretty well, by putting cash in an envelope, and delivering it to her office, which was just behind the main service desk. I think a tip could be directed to the concierge staff, but it would be subject to splitting. I also tried to sniff out what might be appropriate, but the staff could not and would not make any suggestions.
When we sailed on the Norway, the concierge Karen got us tender tickets so that we didn't have to go wait for them and we were among the first to get off the boat. Other than that, I don't remember using the service. I plan on using the concierge for dinner reservations on our next cruise since it is freestyle.
I had an AB Penthouse on the Dawn in June 2003 (and will again June 2004). I made good use of both the Concierge and the Butler. On embarkation day the Concierge, Butler and room stewards came to the suite to introduce themselves. A form was left to fill out what speciality restaurant we wanted to eat at. You could pick date and time for the entire cruise. We were also able to make a last minute change in Le Bistro one evening by caling the Concierge. The Butler was great. You have a special room service menu that is the Butler's menu. It is a more extensive menu. You can also order any main diningroom meal brought to your room. On the formal night we decided to eat in suite. "Arnie" the butler brought us each dinner and set us a nice table with cloths and flatware. We had "Arnie bring us breakfast most every morning so we could eat on the balcony.
When in June do you sail on the Dawn. My daughters and I are on the June 6 sailing.
The Concierge and Butler are not a part of the automatic tip that is taken on your onboard account. They are an extra service and I would tip them as such.
I gave them a tip of about $50 each up front and let them know that it was a thanks in advance because I would be using their services alot. They were great !!!!!!!!!!!!!
I gave them about $150 each at the end of the cruise. The tip is of course a very personal thing and of course is expected but not required.
I forgot to mention that your room service is delivered by the Butler to your suite. Usually it is expected to tip the room service with each food delivery. I let the butler know that my children will probably want room service while I am not there with a tip. I like to tip up front so that tipping each service won't be necessary,.
The services of the Concierge / Butler are included in the price of your suite. What you pay them is in tips.