I've just recently returned from Brilliance of the Seas and wanted to comment on how they handle the tipping issue. You have the option to put the tips directly on your account or to give the staff cash. What I liked about the way they handle it is this: It is not assumed you would like "auto tipping". You must actually tell Guest Relations that you want the tips added to your account. Secondly, when you request "auto tipping", you are given vouchers and envelopes. So when it comes time to tip, you hand the staff the envelope with a voucher inside. I liked this very much because not only can you add cash if you felt they deserve more, but you still have something to hand them.
On Princess, we were told that if you gave extra to a particular staff member, they had to add it to the pool and distribute it among everyone. I did not care for that. I asked our head waiter on Brilliance the same question. He said if they are given extra, it is theirs to keep. I personally feel this is a much better way to handle tipping.
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013