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Donna November 15th, 2001 07:44 PM

Princess Cruise Answer Book
Just received our pre-cruise information to day from Princess and reading through the cruise answer book, I noticed that starting in Jan. of 02 they will be taking out $10 per person, per day to cover the dinning room staff and also the cabin attendants. Is this a good thing? I kind of like the idea that I will not have to worry about having the "cash" to pay the tips, just wondering what anyone else thought about this change? Of course you can still have it taken off and tip the old fashioned way if you like, so at least we do have that option.

They also list the dressing codes and they are showing the 2 formal nights and the rest all smart casual, so that sure makes packing easier :-)

Would love any comments!
Tuesday Chat Host

Kuki November 15th, 2001 08:01 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
They're doing $6.50 now for service staff. They've just added the cabin stewards tips.

I really don't mind, as you can still remove the auto tip from your account, and tip traditionally.
My only objection is that the head waiter's gratuity is included. Normally, I would tip them based on services rendered. The wait staff always earn every penny, and normally get more, so I'd add on extra personally, if service is really good.


Michael Sinn November 15th, 2001 08:13 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
I agree with Kuki....I have no issues with the tipping added to the account as long as a person has the right to lower it if they feel they did not get what they paid for.
(Great Service) Thanks for asking this question Donna!!


Hucc November 16th, 2001 08:40 AM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
I like it! So convenient. You can always remove, decrease, increase tips at the Pursers Desk (which you had to do anyway) or find the cash accordingly.

This makes is so convenient.

Psee November 16th, 2001 11:42 AM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
Thanks for the update Donna.

Does anyone know how this actually works if you want to change the amount of the tip on your account? I usually like to keep this private and wouldn't feel comfortable asking the purser to "take $20 off our tips because our waiter was terrible" or "please change the per day tip to $9.50 a day since I want the room steward to get $3.00 instead of $3.50 per day". Seems like it could get very confusing for the tip disbursement as well.

Kuki November 16th, 2001 04:58 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
Just remove all the tips from your account. Then you can trip directly, in the traditional manner.


Sean November 16th, 2001 05:40 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book

we were on the grand last year and did not remove our auto tip from the room.
we did not feel that we got very good service and i am wondering if they do not have as much incentive to go the extra mile with the auto tipping. we are scheduled to go on the sun in jan and i will definately remove all tips the first day on the ship. we always take a $20 bill and make a paper airplane and put it on the pillow the first day, the remainder of the cruise your cabin steward is for for your every wish.


Linda November 17th, 2001 11:26 AM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
I will be taking my first cruise on the golden 1/5
It is a 7 day cruise with two people, with the new
system how much will be added to my bill and will that
amount cover everyone who is suppose to be tipped?

Donna November 17th, 2001 06:27 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
Hey Linda,
We'll be getting off Golden on that day :-( The new tipping amounts will be $10.00 per day, per person and that will include the waiter, assistant waiter, the head waiter and also now your cabin stewart. From what I have read you can still go down to the purcers office and have them removed, or adjusted as you see fit.

Tuesday Chat Host

Karen Geedy November 18th, 2001 09:51 AM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
With personal choice dining there really is no other way to tip. Youy certainily do not wantto have to tip each different waiter taht you have. I like it and think it is fair and easy. WE usualy tip extra for our favorites. These people work long and hard. They deserve to be paid well. Hopefully adding tips on will help to eliminate those few poeple who don't tip at all or not nearly enough!

rob h November 18th, 2001 11:44 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
We just completed our (Nov 10-17 2001) Mexico trip on the Sea Princess and though we chose traditional seating we decided to give some extra cash to our two servers directly even though $6.50 comes off our account daily per person.
We also gave cash to our room steward and in our case because he really made a difference, gave him some more also.

I liked the automatic dining room off my accout for the current $6.50 and do not have a problem with them increasing to $10 to cover the cabin steward.
You do have complete flexability to adjust your account up or down and pursers office will do wht you ask. With 2,000 + folks , you can belive they will not remember you, unless you make a fuss.

What most folks do not know is that your cabin steward can have someone working for them and your tip becomes shared.
Also the amounts are set by an industry guideline by American Express from what I last heared.

I have given our tip the 2nd to last day or early on the last sea day and this time left some extra small bills in CDN & Peso dollars for when they are at thse ports. Called it coffee money.

When we gave our waiter and his helper some extra tips and said we knew it was extra they were quite pleased and we belive even that money will get shared with the folks directly doing your table, in our case.

Our waiter told us the two of them look after 30 people.



ps: its a good idea as it saves you bringing cash on board and worring if you have enough/ For the staff, given we all do not reduce it to zero , they tend to get more

On another note, on the last day, Princess sets up a table with envelopes that you can oick up with blank or pre-printed position names.

luvseadays November 21st, 2001 09:28 AM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
We returned exactly a month ago today from the 10 day Ocean Princess sailing to the Caribbean (would do it again in a heartbeat). If you choose to remove the entire "recommended" tipping from your onboard account you may do so, or, you can remove any portion of it just by stopping by the purser's desk. As for the new $10 fee per person, we were just informed of this last night at an informational meeting for Alaska cruises given by a local travel agency and a Princess regional rep. He also said that the cost of the soda card will be $20, although I think that he is mistaken there, he may have meant for a 10 day cruise, I'm sure it is still $17.50 for a week's sailing.

Additionally, we still like the old fashioned way for tipping our cabin steward. I'm afraid that cruising is becoming a little too impersonal for us, the cabin steward now seems to be about the only person that really seems to care about you, therefore we will deliver to him/her our appreciation by hand and in person.

BillG November 24th, 2001 01:24 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
I agree with Kuki and others on this issue except for the fact that it imposes a burden on those of us who wish to tip on our own. Why should we have to go to the Purser's Desk to have a charge removed?
Why not allow us to opt into this program by going to the purser's desk or by signing an authorization when we embark? That would be convenient and would reflect my wishes and not count on my inertia or reluctance to "rock the boat" (no pun intended). I know of friends who sailed on NCL when this system was introduced and they encountered considerable resistance and cajoling when they requested that the automatic tips be removed.

BillG November 24th, 2001 01:31 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
And that, to my mind at least, is what they are counting on. Your reluctance to make such requests and be treated as perhaps, someone who intends to "stiff" the staff, or someone who is an inveterate complainer. In fact the convenience that they tout is really theirs, not ours. How inconvenient is it to set aside in advance, the minimum tip amounts to which we can add or from which we can subtract depending on the quality of the service we receive. If it is a problem, then asking to place specific tip amounts on our account and receiving vouchers to put in the tip envelopes, and then personally distributing those envelopes to our wonderful servers at the end of the cruise, would seem to be a better solution.IMHO

norm November 24th, 2001 08:34 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book

You can "opt out" by going to the purser's desk at any time during the cruise -- including right after embarkation. You don't have to do it more than once, and you don't have to do it on the last day.


norm November 24th, 2001 08:59 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book

With personal choice dining there really is no other way to tip.

You're right, but the solution to that problem is easy -- just drop personal choice dining.

Realistically, though, there is another alternative. You could tip your waiter each night, either in cash or by cabin charge. It would be easy enough to provide each diner with a form to charge tips for the waiter and the assistant waiter to his/her shipboard account.

Here's a sample of the form (which probably won't display correctly, but it's worth a try...).
| |
| Tipping Guidelines: Tipping, of course, |
| is a matter of personal discretion. In |
| response to many passengers who ask how |
| much is customary, Princess provides the |
| following guidelines. |
| * The waiter normally would receive |
| $3.50 per passenger per day. |
| * The assistant normally would receive |
| $2.00 per passenger per day. |
| |
| Table No. ______ |
| |
| Gratuity for Waiter $________.____ |
| Gratuity for Assistant $________.____ |
| Total $________.____ |
| |
| Signature: ____________________________ |
| Cabin No. __________ |


norm November 24th, 2001 09:01 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book

It was $20 for a seven-day cruise as of two weeks ago. Still, that isn't bad.


norm November 24th, 2001 09:03 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book

I'm not surprised by this change. A lot of passengers seemed to be confused as to the fact that the present automatic tip does not include the cabin steward.


norm November 24th, 2001 09:06 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book

BTW, I should mention that the change in dress standards makes absolute sense in the current day. The notion is that one ordinarily should dress in the evening the way that one would dress for a fine restaurant at home. Years ago, most fine restaurants required semiformal attire. Today, "smart casual" is much more normative in most areas.


Donna November 24th, 2001 09:08 PM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
Hi Norm,
Have to agree, will certainly make tipping a whole lot easier, and if I find I would like to tip a little extra for exceptional service I can do that with cash :-)

Thanks Norm,

Tuesday Chat Host

rob h November 25th, 2001 01:06 AM

Re: Princess Cruise Answer Book
For those who feel 'identified' by going to purser who is really about six people depending on shifts, why not write Princess and ask them to give you a 'tip' selection option prior to boarding. They could make it an option on the web page for registering / via your travel agent. Its an idea.

believe me, unless you make a lot of noise for attention, nobody is going to remember who you are when you spend five minutes getting your account adjusted.

What is true is that a lot of folks were either not informed what guidelines were prior to a trip or decided the overall trip was a disaster so nobody gets a tip or thought the price included it.

By overall charging to account the cruise line in one way is wanting to ensure staff get an uniform ammount at end of cruise.

By allowing you to adjust , you are being given flexibility and your choice.
Try taking it off in Europe from your hotel bill or areas that just add it on period. A lot of resorts tell you your bill will include an automatic gratuity and your bill is considered unpaid if you try to reduce it.

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