We are first time cruisers on the Enchantment May 11th. Can anyone give us a better idea of how tipping works? Do you tip right away for the whole week, wait until the end, give cash on a daily basis, or what have you found works the best. Thanks.
Tip at the end of the cruise. RCI allows you to opt to charge the tips to your shipboard account. If you choose to do so, you will receive vouchers and envelopes to give to your wait staff and room steward on the last night of the cruise. If you wish to increase the tip amounts, you can place the additional amount in the envelopes along with the vouchers. If you want to adjust the tips downward, which should be unlikely, don't charge the tips to your account and just put the amounts you feel appropriate in the tip envelopes. We have always received excellent service and usually tip more than the suggested amounts. Your cruise documents and information you receive onboard will outline who to tip and the suggested amounts per person. Some people recommend tipping, at least partially, at the start of the cruise, expecting this to insure better service, but I have my doubts as to how they can verify that they wouldn't have received as exemplary service if they waited until the traditional end of cruise tip time.
Remember that gratuities will automatically be added to any bar tabs you sign during your cruise, so unless you receive extraordinary bar service from a particular wait person or bartender, it is not necessary to tip them at the end. However, many of them provide such great service, that you may well want to indicate your feelings about their service by providing them an additional gratuity during or at the end of the cruise.