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Old February 5th, 2007, 06:22 AM
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Default 1st time cruiser confused - Tipping?

Hello all, I have booked our first cruise for this november on the mariner OS through my TA. I will be travelling with DH and 2 boys aged 2 and 8. My concern is my TA has told me that the total cruise price i paid included gratuities onboard the ship.

i have read lots of topics on this forum regarding tipping onboard and i am very confused as to what i have paid for or what i should be doing when on ship. I understand that good service should be rewarded but my TA said that this had been paid for in advance in my cruise price and that the crew staff would know this and would not expect anything!!!

I would apprieciate any info regarding this as it would affect my holiday budget and if TA is wrong, what have i indeed paid for in advance.

Many thanks
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Old February 5th, 2007, 07:25 AM
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Default Tipping on Cruise

I think your TA is wrong.

We've been on many cruises, and our gratuities were NEVER pre-paid. What the TA may have meant is that you can have your gratuities added to your shipboard account, and that way you wouldn't have to carry cash for tipping (unless you use room service).

Gratuities are not included in the cruise price. If you follow the guidelines for tipping, your total tips should be $252, which breaks down as follows:

Cabin Steward - $3.50 per person per day X 7 days = $98
Dining Room Waiter - $3.50 per person per day X 7 days = $98
Assistant Waiter - $2.00 per person per day X 7 days = $56

They also suggest you tip your head waiter $0.75 per person per day, which would be an additional $21, but that's totally up to you.

If you purchase drinks at any of the onboard bars, they automatically add a 15% tip. If you order from room service, you should give the waiter a couple of bucks when they deliver the food.

Enjoy your cruise.
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Old February 5th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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momma mcfall,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Hello all, I have booked our first cruise for this november on the mariner OS through my TA. I will be travelling with DH and 2 boys aged 2 and 8. My concern is my TA has told me that the total cruise price i paid included gratuities onboard the ship.

i have read lots of topics on this forum regarding tipping onboard and i am very confused as to what i have paid for or what i should be doing when on ship. I understand that good service should be rewarded but my TA said that this had been paid for in advance in my cruise price and that the crew staff would know this and would not expect anything!!!

I would apprieciate any info regarding this as it would affect my holiday budget and if TA is wrong, what have i indeed paid for in advance.

Many thanks
It sounds like your travel agent is booking you as part of a group. If that's the case, the ask the agent for the flier advertising the group. Such fliers usually have an itemized list of what's included in the group rate. It's fairly common for group rates to include prepayment of standard gratuities, as groups that fail to tip en masse cause significant morale problems for the cruise lines and consequent friction between the cruise lines and the travel agencies that arrange them. Here, inclusion of standard gratuities in the price of the package is the proverbial ounce of prevention....

Norm.
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Old February 5th, 2007, 08:36 AM
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Sounds like you have taken the "prepaid gratuity" option that the cruise line offers. If in fact you did, it should be listed on the confirmation invoice you receive from the travel agency, which will also list the dining room seating (main or second) that you requested. If I were you, I would call the TA now, asking for confirmation, as travel agents have been known to make mistakes with these two options in the past.
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Old February 5th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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There is a pre-paid gratuity feature right on the booking process with "RCI" so it's probably available to your T/A. It's good to know the real total price but it doesn't always work. We had tablemates who thought they had used this option but checked with the "Purser's Desk" the night the envelopes were to be given out and no gratuities showed being pre-paid. The main thing is that you have time to investigate. It probably was a legitimate part of your booking and you should still get vouchers (placed in envelopes, just like cash ) to present to the respective crew members for the last night.
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Old February 5th, 2007, 01:09 PM
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Thanks so much for all your advise and i will be sure to check my confirmation invoice once it comes through.

Even though i have pre-paid, i will still tip for good service received whilst on my holidays!!

many thanks
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Old February 5th, 2007, 05:26 PM
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I was also told by my TA that gratuities have been pre=paid as a part of my package. Where do I find out if this is accurate or not?
Thanks
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Old February 6th, 2007, 12:18 AM
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You should be receiving an invoice (receipt) stating what you have paid for. This invoice should itemized. If you booked thru your TA than it will come from them . If you booked thru the cruiseline it will come from them. It will give you flight info (if you have any), ships arrival and departuer times. Meal times and so forth. It will also state if you have prepaid your gratuities. It is possible to do so. I have done it both ways. If you have not gotten your invoice yet, just call your TA and ask.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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Definately double check if your tips are pre-paid. I have never had the option to pre-pay tips and I have booked many cruises in the past including a family group cruise of over 30 people.

Royal Caribbean will put your tips to your cabin stewart and dining room staff on your onboard ship charge account, but you must ask at the pursers desk to have this done. Do this early, because it can't be done the last day or even second to the last day of your cruise.

Tipping the maitre D in the dining room is always appreciated because of the shows the wait staff puts on and the excellent service. His/Her tip is not included on your onboard account, so bring some cash to dinner on the last night. Doesn't have to be a lot. $10 or $20 is good.

If you buy any drinks while you are onboard, they will automatically tip the waiter or bartender 15%, which is standard.

Tipping on the cruise ship is extremely important, because that is how the employees get paid. They only make approx. $50 per MONTH as a salary, so they depend on tips.

Happy Cruising !!!
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Old February 6th, 2007, 10:30 PM
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Default Tipping clarifiaction

Just to clear up a few things on here with my most recent experience sailing on the Navigator last week:

1. You can have tips charged to your Sea Pass account and you do not have to go see the purser to do this. The forms were delivered to our stateroom on Wednesday to be filled out and put in the box outside the customer relations desk by Thursday at midnight. Then, we received the vouchers and the tip envelopes when our room was made up Friday morning. It was a simple experience.

2. Please notice that 15% automatically added to drinks really isn't much of a tip. Is it really going to hurt to add another .50 or 1.00 per drink. We did and found the service to be outstanding with servers at multiple bars on multiple days remembering us by name and bringing us our drinks before we could even order them. You wouldn't tip less than $1 per drink at your local bar, why would you do it on a cruise?

3. As far as tipping the maitre'd on our ship, we took the $ we were planning on giving him and added it to the amounts for our waiters instead. We had to see the maitre d' the first day because we had not been assigned a table and he was about as unfriendly as can be. I gave him a $5 for giving us a table for 2 since it is customary, but we never saw him again until the last night, and like I said, he was a jerk.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 11:49 PM
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You should be able to access your account online with your reservation number. At least I was when we sailed on the Navigator last June. The reservation will tell you what you have paid for. It will also be in your cruise docs. We prepaid the tips. I'm not sure why we did it but we did. We ended up increasing the tips for great service. It was definitely an option to prepay when we booked our cruise.
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Old February 7th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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Default Re: Tipping clarifiaction

wmufiji,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
2. Please notice that 15% automatically added to drinks really isn't much of a tip. Is it really going to hurt to add another .50 or 1.00 per drink. We did and found the service to be outstanding with servers at multiple bars on multiple days remembering us by name and bringing us our drinks before we could even order them. You wouldn't tip less than $1 per drink at your local bar, why would you do it on a cruise?
The 15% per drink that the cruise line adds to all bar and wine bills is the proper gratuity -- even at a local bar. It's okay to round high cents ($0.75 or more) up to the next whole dollar when tipping in cash, but overtipping is the hallmark of the "nouveau rich" (that is, those who come into wealth but lack the social training of the upper class), though now the upper middle class tend to be the worst offenders in modern society. In any case, overtipping is considered to be both gauche and rude in proper social circles. Not only does flaunting one's wealth in this way exude a total lack of class, but the implication that the server needs charity due to inability to earn an honest living is petty insulting. And on a cruise ship, the bar staff are assured of gratuities of 15% on every beverage that they serve, so they do quite well.

I should also mention that even providing a line for an "additional gratuity" is rather guche when the cruise line already adds a gratuity to the bill.

Now if a paticular bar server provides truly extraordinary service throughout the cruise, it would be okay to give that bar server an envelope with a small additional amount at the end of the cruise. Such an additional amount should never exceed 5% of what that individual served throughout the cruise. This would be equivalent to raising the gratuity from the proper amount (15%) to the maximum for truly exceptional service (20%) in a restaurant.

Norm.
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Old February 7th, 2007, 10:19 AM
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Rev,

First off, I'm not sure where you live, but 15% is not the norm in restaurants anymore...20%is.

The norm in a bar is $1.00 per drink everywhere I've been.

Second, you speak as someone who has never known someone that works in a position supported by tips. You would be aghast at former servers and bartenders like me that tip 25% and up for great service. It has nothing to do with wealth. It's an appreciation for someone whose minimum wage is $2.35 per hour and relies solely on tips to make a living.

Third, for you to insinuate that you know that I lack social training and like to "flaunt my wealth" is utterly ridiculous.

Thanks again for making me feel welcome for joining this board hoping to add some insight for people looking for info on the cruise I just took.

You're the class act in my book; I just hope that I can learn some more "life lessons" from you in the future.
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Old February 7th, 2007, 12:40 PM
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As someone who started working as a waitress at 14, I don't think you can "overtip". The people working on these cruise ships are there because most of them can't earn a decent living in their home country. They work 10 hours a day, seven days a week. They only get an occasional day off. They EARN every penny and more of their tip. They do their best to make sure we have a great time on our cruise, and we should show our appreciation by tipping well.

We have met many wonderful workers on these cruises!!

Libragirl from Texas
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Old February 7th, 2007, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmufiji
Rev,

First off, I'm not sure where you live, but 15% is not the norm in restaurants anymore...20%is.
Check any authoritative book on social etiquette and you'll discover otherwise. (BTW, the incompetents at American Express are not exactly authorities on social etiquette.)

Quote:
The norm in a bar is $1.00 per drink everywhere I've been.
That would be acceptable roundoff (15% of $5.00 is $0.75, which it's reasonable to round to $1.00), given what most bars now charge for drinks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Second, you speak as someone who has never known someone that works in a position supported by tips. You would be aghast at former servers and bartenders like me that tip 25% and up for great service. It has nothing to do with wealth. It's an appreciation for someone whose minimum wage is $2.35 per hour and relies solely on tips to make a living.
Rather, I know quite a few people who work for tips -- and most of them are very greatful to receive the proper 15%. You would be amazed by the number of people who tip less than that or, worse still, who don't tip at all, even if the service is outstanding.

BTW, I also acknowledge extraordinary service in restaurants by informing the manager that the waiter or waitress did a good job. The managers consistently hear gripes about shortcomings, often from malcontents who have no real complaint. They need to hear the other side, too, so that they can reward their best employees for jobs well done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Third, for you to insinuate that you know that I lack social training and like to "flaunt my wealth" is utterly ridiculous.
FBOW, that's exactly how overtipping comes across.

Norm.
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Old February 7th, 2007, 05:46 PM
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18 - 20% for a fine resturant is the norm. 15% (or less) at a buffet or Denny's.

That is what it is here in LV.

http://www.fineliving.com/fine/rejuv...275910,00.html

http://www.wisegeek.com/how-much-sho...restaurant.htm
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Old February 7th, 2007, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpw6644
Definately double check if your tips are pre-paid. I have never had the option to pre-pay tips and I have booked many cruises in the past including a family group cruise of over 30 people.

Royal Caribbean will put your tips to your cabin stewart and dining room staff on your onboard ship charge account, but you must ask at the pursers desk to have this done. Do this early, because it can't be done the last day or even second to the last day of your cruise.

Tipping the maitre D in the dining room is always appreciated because of the shows the wait staff puts on and the excellent service. His/Her tip is not included on your onboard account, so bring some cash to dinner on the last night. Doesn't have to be a lot. $10 or $20 is good.

If you buy any drinks while you are onboard, they will automatically tip the waiter or bartender 15%, which is standard.

Tipping on the cruise ship is extremely important, because that is how the employees get paid. They only make approx. $50 per MONTH as a salary, so they depend on tips.

Happy Cruising !!!
You CAN prepay tips on RCCL either online or when calling in your reservation. It is an option that is available with RCCL and they figures out the exact amount that goes to each staff member. I prepay my tips online and ADD cash to the vouchers and put both in the envelopes. If you prepay you will get envelopes and vouchers the last night of the cruise. You can put the vouchers in the envelopes and hand to staff or you can add extra cash also. You can also elect not to prepay and pay cash on the last night in the envelopes provided or you can go to the pursers desk and request your tips be put on your Seapass! When you book online or on the phone you always have the option to prepay your tips and choose insurance if you wish. It will be on your cruise summary whether you've prepaid or not so ask for it from the TA or just go to your online acct. on the RCCL website and check yourself under your cruise summary. Your TA may have selected the prepay tip option for you but if she did it will be listed on your invoice!
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Old February 8th, 2007, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Tipping clarifiaction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
wmufiji,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
2. Please notice that 15% automatically added to drinks really isn't much of a tip. Is it really going to hurt to add another .50 or 1.00 per drink. We did and found the service to be outstanding with servers at multiple bars on multiple days remembering us by name and bringing us our drinks before we could even order them. You wouldn't tip less than $1 per drink at your local bar, why would you do it on a cruise?
The 15% per drink that the cruise line adds to all bar and wine bills is the proper gratuity -- even at a local bar. It's okay to round high cents ($0.75 or more) up to the next whole dollar when tipping in cash, but overtipping is the hallmark of the "nouveau rich" (that is, those who come into wealth but lack the social training of the upper class), though now the upper middle class tend to be the worst offenders in modern society. In any case, overtipping is considered to be both gauche and rude in proper social circles. Not only does flaunting one's wealth in this way exude a total lack of class, but the implication that the server needs charity due to inability to earn an honest living is petty insulting. And on a cruise ship, the bar staff are assured of gratuities of 15% on every beverage that they serve, so they do quite well.

I should also mention that even providing a line for an "additional gratuity" is rather guche when the cruise line already adds a gratuity to the bill.

Now if a paticular bar server provides truly extraordinary service throughout the cruise, it would be okay to give that bar server an envelope with a small additional amount at the end of the cruise. Such an additional amount should never exceed 5% of what that individual served throughout the cruise. This would be equivalent to raising the gratuity from the proper amount (15%) to the maximum for truly exceptional service (20%) in a restaurant.

Norm.
Where do I even begin with this post? First of all tipping generously is not a sign of "noveau rich". Coming from VERY OLD MONEY, tipping generously for good service is a sign of appreciation for those in our lives that make our lives better! I can see you have no knowledge of this at all. Your statement is without class and I would expect anyone that professes knowledge of new money vs. old to know better! Even for poor service, you would tip the standard amount as anyone can have a bad day. For someone that thinks they have so much knowledge about the cruise industry, you are clueless. Your bartenders that make the BIG 15 % tip on the drinks, split that with several other crew members. They do not get to keep the entire 15 %. I suggest you do a little research. I would bet there have been very few people in your life that ever seen that ultimate 20% you say you are willing to part with for " truely exceptional service" I'm sure you find keeping help difficult and I'm sure the staff at the club roll their eyes when you make a grand appearence. People in the service industry work very hard and specialize in providing service and they should be rewarded for a job well done. Here's a word that extends to all "classes" and I'm sure it is said about you on a regular basis. Cheap! How dare you even presume to break people into classes today. You presume to think because someone is in the service industry or if someone is a generous tipper they must be of a lower class. Work ethics and generosity is taught by the best so others do not end up to be a pompous ass like yourself and it's obvious that you've skipped "social training" altogether and we all know if you had to be " trained " you were not born with the class you say you have. So just be honest with yourself and admit you can't stand the fact that a generous tipper makes you look cheap and you are trying to justify yourself and save some face by degrading others. True class is defined by knowledge, loyalty, respect, and a generous spirit. Think about it. You can't take it with you Norm, try being genereous and learn how good it makes you and others feel and make a difference in this world by being kind and generous toward others. Your comments are mean spirited and hurtful and you owe the people on this thread an apology.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 02:19 PM
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...and Norm, we are the exact opposite of "nouveau riche". My wife and I both come from upper class families and were taught to be generous with what we have. Now, we are a young, married, barely middle class couple who would rather not o something than do something in a miserly way like you profess.

You also speak about how you go out of your way to speak to people's managers when they do a good job. Any person who has ever been a bartender or waiter will tell you that "I would love to tell your manager you are doing a great job" is an indication that that person is going to stiff you on a tip. Without fail, people who rave about you to your superiors never leave an appropriate tip.

Explorer, what you have written here is right on.

I'm used to these kinds of personal attacks on other message boards I have been a member of, but didn't expect it here.

I joined this board because I was hoping to help out people that were in the same situation that i was a month ago where I read through everything I could on this board to get information on our upcoming cruise.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 03:55 PM
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Only personal attack I read is against Norm, by you! Norm described the perception of overtipping the same way it was explained to me while serving in Southeast Asia....if I wanted to look like the "Ugly American," then make sure I overtipped! Go back and objectively read what Norm REALLY SAID and you will see that it was not a personal attack.

We do a lot of good information sharing here and don't need more being made of something than need be. Just my 2 pennies, Robbie
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Old February 8th, 2007, 04:15 PM
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Robbie,

If you read his first post to me, he pretty much pigeonholes me as someone lacking social training.

You mention overtipping. I wasn't talking about overtipping!!! 20% is not overtipping!!!
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Old February 8th, 2007, 06:31 PM
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20% might NOT be overtipping to you but in other countries, or more to the point, on a cruise ship (trying to stay on topic, what a concept) it more than likely would be.
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