I have been on a number of cruises, always tipping at least,
usually more than recommended. Is RCL going the way of Carnival
and making tipping automatic.
Tipping has always been a personal thing to me, and I would rather not have
another shipboard tax added to my bill. The cruise lines say we passengers
requested this. I didn't, did you??
I agree with you and like to distribute the tips myself. being in the service industry I know the majority of people do not understand the concept of tips, To Insure Proper Service (TIPS), automatic gratuities ensure the employees make their money, but more important it lets the employers pay them less per hour, which helps to keep prices for you and me down. We have continued to express our gratitude personaly usually the service people on RCI exceed our expectations and deserve extra.
My experience recently has been that it is added to your shipboard bill, at the rate suggested by the cruise line. You can however, go to the purser's office and ask to have it removed (or changed in some cases, but not all).
Here's an interesting thought, since it is widely acknowledged that some lines (e.g. Celebrity) offer better service than others, why is the suggested tip the same (or my persception is that they are the same)? I wouldn't expect to tip the same amount in all land based restaurants, regardless of the service.
RCI does NOT have automatic tipping like Princess. What they do have is the option to add the suggested amounts to your Sea Pass card. YOU must go to the Pursers office to do this - it isn't automatic. You have to give the suggested amount, you can't change the amounts. However, you will receive vouchers in your stateroom for all the people who you tipped - waiter, assistant waiter, steward, etc., so you CAN if you want, add cash to those envelopes along with the voucher.
On Princess and Norweigan you are automatically charged, and you have to go and get it removed if you don't want to tip that way. The difference on RCI is you have to go and do it if you want to.
We prefer this way - we get more membership miles on our American Express, and we can still add cash for outstanding service. You still give your tip directly to the person - the envelope now contains a voucher (and cash) instead of just cash.
In August, on the "Legend" we had to sign up for the vouchers, it was not automatic. I used them on both "RCI" trips last year and not only did it save me from carrying too much cash around, I got additional points on my credit card. They did not tax the amount and we added cash to the envelopes (which are still presented in the traditional way, they just have the voucher you placed in there) for the personnel who provided above average service.
Hope that helps Joe and have you gone on your balcony trip yet?
The balcony trip is October 5, Rhapsody, out of Galveston.
We have the rear facing cat c cabins on the bridge deck.
We had all 7 of them booked, but one couple backed out,
I think Kenny (my personal T/A) still has them held if ya want to go.
We got a good price for the cabins booked.
As of now, I have the port corner, Kenny has the starbord corner,
My daughter (& friends) have one of the inside cabins.
Other friends are scattered along both sides of the ship.
Unlike Princess and Carnival, you retain control. You don't have to go to the purser and ask for the amounts to be adjusted or removed (which to some can be intimidating). You do have to specifically request that they add the tips to your shipboard account and you hand the envelopes with the appropriate vouchers and additional cash if you feel it is justified, to the ship's personnel on tip night. You also retain the option to pay the tips in cash in whatever amounts you feel are appropriate. In that situation you don't have to do anything except fill the envelopes they provide with the appropriate amounts of cash. Wish the other lines were more concerned with our convenience than theirs.
Just back from voyager 1/19 and yes, you can have the "recommended amount" added to your Seapass card so you can pay on your credit card. I found this a great convenience and added some extra cash to the staff members who went above and beyond. IMPORTANT!! if you want to take advantage of this, you must go to Guest Services no later than 6:00 PM the 6th day of the cruise.