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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 30th, 2001, 10:07 PM
Gina
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Default Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

In reading the brochures for the upcoming 10/6 Sea Princess cruise we noticed the dining tipping is billed to your shipboard acct automatically - whether or not you have chosen traditional or Personal Choice dining.

For those of you that have already experienced that - have you noticed a change in service? We have booked the traditional dining and are wondering if this method has caused any problems.

Also, we tend to tip more than the recommended - how is that handled other than just giving them an extra amount?

Seems weird to me.. just wondering if anyone has had problems with that method.

thanks,
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Old August 30th, 2001, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

If you aren't comfortable with it and you are having the traditional dining, just go to the purser's desk and ask for it to be removed from your charges. Then you can tip the normal way. They did it for the personal choice diners since they could be geting a different waitstaff every night. As for reviews of this, some people love it and others hate it. I'm sailing Princess twice in the next couple of months and I'm going for traditional as well. I like sitting with the same people every night. Usually I like them very much and enjoy having a meal with them.

Carole
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Old August 31st, 2001, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

I thought that tips were only being charged automatically IF you went with personal choice dining, isn't that the case?
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Old August 31st, 2001, 11:05 AM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

They will put the tips on your account automatically unless you tell them at the pursers desk that you do not want automatic tipping. You can also get envelopes to give out personal tips. On the Dawn Princess you could also go to the bars and put whatever tip you wanted on your bill and you could state who you wanted the tip to go to. Your receipt would have the name of the person you wanted it to go to on it. You than could put the receipt in an envelope and give it to that person. They would than turn it in to get their money. The last full day they also set up this option at a specific table in one of the dining rooms if you did not want to do it through the bar.
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Old August 31st, 2001, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

It's really much simpler than folks make it out to be - probably because it's a new concept, and so many people are used to traditional methods of tipping. Here goes: If you do nothing, $6.50pp per day will be charged to your account, to be pooled amongst the dining room employees. Personal Choice can result in your not being served by the same waitstaff at each meal (although you can request it), and thus prevents these hard-working people from being stiffed by those who play "musical dining," and (unintentionally or otherwise) do not leave gratuities. If you wish to keep everything as it was, notify the purser, and your account will not be charged. You may tip at the end of each meal, or, as with traditional seatings, take care of your servers at the end of the cruise. I did a little of both. I chose PC dining (which I loved), and tipped my waitstaff a few bucks after each meal. Any such gratuity is theirs to keep, and is not pooled. I also opted to keep the $6.50/day charge on my account, as I usually tip more than the recommended amount anyway. Piece of cake, huh??? Enjoy your cruise!!
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Old August 31st, 2001, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

What happens when you are signed up for the traditional dinning, do they still automatically take the tips out?

Thanks,

Donna
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Old August 31st, 2001, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

Every passenger, whatever dining option they choose is charged $6.50/day. Even my 10 year-old granddaughter's account had that charge and I had such a difficult time getting that transferred to my account.

You can go to the purser's desk (they say any time during the cruise, but actually it has to be the last day because you can only change those charges already on the account) and change those charges. You can have them removed, add to the amount, or decrease the amount.

ALSO, you can give cash tips, without an envelope, or with an envelope. Cash-free cruising??? Just hold out a couple bucks anywhere and see how cash-free it is!

Also, you can go to a specific bartender and buy a tip chit, charged to your shipboard account (in addition to the $6.50/day), and give that chit to your server.

None of this goes to your room steward. You tip him directly with $$$ or a chit which you would buy from that same bartender, charged to your shipboard account. You should also tip the room service guys on a time to time basis. If your room steward brings your room service orders, remember he does so as an extra in his busy day...so use your conscience with that.

An aside...I have always preferred to tip cash where possible. Then the server can handle that money however he/she chooses, with no record if she/he wishes. But that is only my personal preference.

Clear enough???
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Old August 31st, 2001, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

Thanks Cheryl,
With all this talk about personal choice, I thought it may of been only for that, glad you clearned that up. I also agree with you on the cash :-)

Donna
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Old August 31st, 2001, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

I really don't mind the "auto tipping".. though I have a couple of concerns. One is the portion designated for the Maitre D. Some Maitre Ds are outstanding.. visiting the tables, assisting with special requests etc. Those certainly deserve a tip! Others who u traditionally only see the last night of the cruise, don't!
I'd also like to be sure the cruise line isn't charging the staff any kind of service fee, for the accounting work to do this program.

Regards,
Kuki
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Old August 31st, 2001, 07:33 PM
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Default thanks for all the answers..

thanks for all the input.. I'll continue the old fashioned way and tip at the end.. but I like the idea of tipping a couple dollars at the bars etc.. so those guys and keep the money and not have to pool it. great idea.

thanks again,

gina
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Old September 1st, 2001, 11:40 AM
Tom Tom is offline
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Default Hey Al....

Can you give me an idea of an appropriate tip for P.C. dining? My wife has cruised 4 times (and insists on big tips), I've cruised twice, and we're taking another couple that has never cruised. This will be our first experience with Personal Choice and I'd like to have an idea of what is appropriate. Thanks.
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Old September 5th, 2001, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

I read about this someplace else and was told by my travel agent to tell the pursers office that you don't want tips added to your account.. I don't believe this does anything for the service if they know they're getting the tip whether they give good service or not. I think they're trying to avoid those people who stiff the waiters.
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Old September 5th, 2001, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

Gina,

I agree about it seeming weird. If you have chosen the "traditional dining" option rather than the new "open seating" option, though, you can ask the purser's desk to remove the automatic tips from your account and hand out tips in the traditional way on the last night of the cruise.

Norm.
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Old September 6th, 2001, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

CruiseAholic,

I thought that tips were only being charged automatically IF you went with personal choice dining, isn't that the case?

This is the sort of confusion created by the somewhat slippery use of the term "Personal Choice Dining" when "open seating" is what's meant. According to the way that Princess uses the terms in their press releases (see, for example, the <a href=http://www.princess.com/news/article.jsp?newsArticleId=na369? announcement of the expansion of the program </a> earlier this year), "Personal Choice Dining" means that the ship offers the option of either "traditional seating" or "open seating" to its passengers.

By Princess's definition of "Personal Choice Dining," your statement is correct. The apparent misunderstanding is that it applies regardless of whether you choose "traditinal dining" or "open seating" aboard the ships that offer this program. The automatic tip does not apply aboard ships that have not implemented "Personal Choice Dining" (currently only MV Pacific Princess, MV Royal Princess, MV Crown Princess, and MV Regal Princess).

Note that the purser's desk will either remove or change the amount of the tip upon request. If you choose traditional seating and you prefer to tip in the traditional way, just ask the purser's desk to remove the automatic tip from your shipboard account and hand out the tips to the dining staff in the traditional way on the last night of the cruise, as before.

Norm.
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Old September 6th, 2001, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

Donna,

Yes. See <a href=http://www.cruise-forums.com/read.php?f=20&i=6480&t=6355> this post </a> for more details.

Norm.
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Old September 6th, 2001, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

Gina,

I agree about it seeming weird. If you have chosen the "traditional dining" option rather than the new "open seating" option, though, you can ask the purser's desk to remove the automatic tips from your account and hand out tips in the traditional way on the last night of the cruise.

Norm.
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Old September 6th, 2001, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

Donna,

The confusion appears to be related to what's meant by "Personal Choice Dining." Here's Princess's definition from a <a href=http://www.princess.com/news/article.jsp?newsArticleId=na361> press release </a> issued earlier this year:

The program, part of Princess' commitment to offer passengers the opportunity to choose where, when and with whom to dine, is the only one of its kind in the industry that gives passengers a choice between a restaurant-style flexible dining option and a traditional fixed-seating cruise dining experience. (boldface added).

The bottom line is that you're participating in "Personal Choice Dining" on the ships that offer it, regardless of whether you choose open seating or traditional seating.

Norm.
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Old September 6th, 2001, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: Hey Al....

Tom,

Since Princess bills $6.50 per day to your shipboard account to cover tips on ships that feature (?) "Personal Choice Dining," I would regard that as an appropriate tip.

Norm.
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Old September 6th, 2001, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: thanks for all the answers..

Gina,

Also be aware that Princess automatically adds bar tips (15%) to your bar bills, so there's no need to tip at the bars. Of course, it's okay to give a bartender a few dollars extra for service that's truly exceptional or beyond normal expectation.

Norm.
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Old September 6th, 2001, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

Ok NOrm,
I think I've got it :-)

Donna
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Old September 7th, 2001, 11:27 PM
Tom Tom is offline
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

You can opt to to do the tipping directly yourself. Just ask the purcer for envelopes and they won't charge your account. I prefer this method.
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Old September 8th, 2001, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: Hey Al....

Assuming you get appropriate service. Like the expression goes "one man's garbage is another mans gold", so too are tips. What may be appropriate for the service you got, may not be appropriate for the service I got ......
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Old September 15th, 2001, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Tips being charged to shipboard acct.

Gina

We just got back from an Alaskan cruise on the Sea Princess. We had personal choice dining. I think the auto tip is OK but I noticed a different attitude of the wait staff - especially at breakfast & lunch. They don't seem to be as attentive as they used to be. Maybe because they are going to get the same tip as everyone else they don't care. I asked for Rum raisin ice cream several times and they said it was only made one night. On a previous back to back cruise with traditional dining I had it every night and sometimes at lunch.

Ron
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