We sailed on a RCCL ship last year and we purchased the soda cards. Each time we used the card, we simply showed it to the bartender or waiter. They didn't actually do anything with the card except look at it to ensure it had the soda sticker attached. My question pertains to the Princess policy on these cards. On other boards I see people talking about a gratuity for each drink for the bartender. One poster said that his bill at cruise end included a 15% gratuity for each soda he got at the ship's bars. Is that true? Does Princess attach a set gratuity with each soda you request? Just wondering what to expect on my first Princess cruise. Thanks.
if you get the card for $20 ($22.50 for the sticker & cup), then you don't have to tip the bar tender or wait staff, etc. i suppose you can tip them. but each soda normally cost $1-2 (i don't remember which), and to make the card worth it, you would probably get in excess of 15-20 sodas for the duration of the cruise. that'd make tipping a hassel.
if you just order a soda on a drink by drink case, then yes you do have the 15% gratuity added on the charge.
On Princess its a sticker that they attach to your sign and sail card. When you order a soda just show the waiter/waitress your card, you don't sign for anything and their is no gratuity attached. If you find a bar server/bar tender that you really like who gave you exceptional service of course you can tip them at the end of the cruise.