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Old April 8th, 2013, 03:28 PM
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Default Tipping under the new RCCL prepaid gratuity

I just want to make sure that everyone get's their times. I am a moderate to generous tipper and don't want to short anybody. We got the pre-paid tips and as I understand it all bookings require it now. So the envelopes are gone then? And we don't have to worry about different wait staff? My wife thinks a lot of people were getting stiffed as one possible reason for the change. I just want to make sure I don't need to tip anybody unless I want to add something additional. I think we got the my time seating which required this at the time of booking but I am going to miss not having the same servers each night.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 05:14 PM
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Yes all bookings now must prepay tips.

The envelopes are still left in the cabin on the last day. Worked out well for me since I was planning on tipping extra.

We always have the same waiter on my time dining. If you are happy with your waiter on the first day then just request him/her for the rest of the week. You don't have to have different waiters if you don't want to.

A crew member told me last week on Allure that cruisers do remove all prepaid tips on the last day of the cruise. The week before my cruise it was over 400 cruisers that removed tips without giving a reason as to why...just want it removed...

People that don't want to tip at all to save a buck really should not cruise!
The waiters and cabin stewards work long hours 7 days a week for 6 months straight. God bless them!!!
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Old April 8th, 2013, 06:06 PM
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We had the same waiter for MTD on our last Allure cruise (Pochara from Indonesia, or "Poochie" as the maitre 'd called him). This guy had obviously been doing the job a long time and it showed as he was flawless. I gave him extra money.

I get so angry at the cheap skates who don't tip or remove the automatic tips. I have a secret wish that the ships would start calling everyone who removed the tips as a separate debarkation group - sort of a perp march for the rest of us to give a jeer at.
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Old April 9th, 2013, 05:08 AM
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Wow, shocked that people remove tips. Unheard of. I'm cheap at times, but with myself, not others, never with tipping. Thanks for the information!
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Old April 9th, 2013, 12:18 PM
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I have to say, I would never remove the auto tips. Norwegian calls them "service charges" and tells you to leave tips if you think you had great service. Maybe they all should just rename the charge to "service fees" and not allow them to be removed!
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Old April 9th, 2013, 05:32 PM
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Yea, it is pretty sad when people remove the auto tips and not tip at all. I all for the pre-paid tipping as part of your cruise cost, to be paid along with final payment. It is easier for us cruisers and everyone gets what they deserve. Although, along the way, if there is excellent service, a little extra is always nice too.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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Yes, I like the auto tipping, Having to scramble to have the cash ready or preparing it before hand is just one more bother I can do without.

I usually tip an extra buck at the bar on single drinks. The 15% they add just isn't enough. Are they really getting that 15%? I heard in Mexico that when it says gratuities are included, the people are not getting anything at all. That's why I tipped at the all-inclusive resort I was at and I got first rate service once the staff figured it out. I never waiting in line for anything. They would serve me at the back of the line at the bar and come directly and seat me at restaurants in the hotel. I just tipped them the normal amount I would here in the states. They're are not any less valuable than people here is the way I see it. I am a guest in their country.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 02:57 PM
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I usually will pick out a couple bars that I like on the ship and will drop a $20 bill on the first day at each bar, then again every couple of days. Works wonders. I like rum and coke, it is a drink bartenders like since it is an easy pour, and even with a crowd at the bar I can walk up and without saying a word my drink will suddenly appear. Sometimes they will even 'forget' to charge for it.
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Old July 4th, 2013, 04:20 PM
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Interesting. I'm getting prices on a cruise now, and I noticed that it said gratuities included. I thought maybe this was a promotion from the TA and was wondering how that would work.

This what the link says
Available Promotions (restrictions apply):
Free Tips and Dining!
FREE Upgrades


So much like tips that are auto-charged to your shipboard account, if the tips are now part of your fare - we will just get vouchers on the last night to include?
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Old July 4th, 2013, 04:48 PM
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The tips are not added to the cruise fare unless you get pre-paid gratuities, such as when you select My Time Dining. RCI has gone to automatic gratuities, but they are charged on a daily basis to your shipboard account.

Some are confused by this but these are two distinct methods for assessing the tips. Pre-paid cannot be removed since it was part of the cruise price. But for everyone who did not pre-pay, the line charges $12 per person/per day ($14.25 for suite guests) to the account. Those can be removed.

There are no vouchers provided anymore. The cabin attendant will leave some envelopes on the last day for those who wish to give a little extra in cash.

That offer you mention is a promo by an agency.
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Old July 4th, 2013, 05:26 PM
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Thanks Dave - what I was concerned about was looking like a cheapskate waking into the MDR on the last night, with nothing to give the staff. Would the agency put this through as pre-paid gratuities? I will ask my TA.
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Old July 4th, 2013, 06:20 PM
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They do not expect to see any envelopes on the last night anymore. They know they are getting the auto tips (or pre-paids) on their check come pay day.
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Old July 4th, 2013, 08:03 PM
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I think these days, most tips are paid the auto way, so the staff pretty much assumes when on the last night they don't get envelopes...I think they also get a list of the passengers that are at their tables that have done the pre-paid tips.
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Old July 5th, 2013, 08:55 PM
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When we sailed on Oasis used the prepaid and we handed our extra tips to the persons we wanted to show extra appreciation. I always prefer to give "extra" tips to the person myself.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecruisequeen View Post
A crew member told me last week on Allure that cruisers do remove all prepaid tips on the last day of the cruise. The week before my cruise it was over 400 cruisers that removed tips without giving a reason as to why...just want it removed...

People that don't want to tip at all to save a buck really should not cruise!
The waiters and cabin stewards work long hours 7 days a week for 6 months straight. God bless them!!!
I just can't understand why some people have to be so cheap. I enjoy giving hard working people a good tip.

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Old July 6th, 2013, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecruisequeen View Post
Yes all bookings now must prepay tips.

The envelopes are still left in the cabin on the last day. Worked out well for me since I was planning on tipping extra.

We always have the same waiter on my time dining. If you are happy with your waiter on the first day then just request him/her for the rest of the week. You don't have to have different waiters if you don't want to.

A crew member told me last week on Allure that cruisers do remove all prepaid tips on the last day of the cruise. The week before my cruise it was over 400 cruisers that removed tips without giving a reason as to why...just want it removed...

People that don't want to tip at all to save a buck really should not cruise!
The waiters and cabin stewards work long hours 7 days a week for 6 months straight. God bless them!!!
All bookings do not have auto pre-paid tips. Auto pre-paid are on those who have My Time Dining only. All others are added daily to the onboard account.

Also, anyone who has prepaid tips cannot remove them onboard. The crew member gave you wrong information. However if it was people who had the tips added daily, they can remove them at the front desk. They will usually ask why, but a reason isn't mandatory I'm afraid.

Of that 400, how many then gave cash? One cannot just embellish something without hard facts to back them up.

I think it's rude to remove the grats, however there are reasons for doing it. For example, if you want to remove it from one person for bad service, you can't - you have to remove all.

And there are still a lot of people who prefer to give grats in cash.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 04:41 PM
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There will always be the cheapskates not much can be done about them. Some claim that tipping is not part of their culture (particularly some English speaking countries I will not name who are not in North America ) while others claim that they only tip for extraordinary service (which they never seem to experience ). Some ask to remove the tips so they can tip those who serve them directly (Giving the benefit of the doubt here.)

I have always prepaid (now required for My Time Dining) or left the daily charge intact. I will give extra for staff we like.

A lot of people have gotten their knickers in a twist over the issue of envelopes being left after the new system is instituted. Some consider it a come on for extra tips, I simply regard it as a convenience.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 06:08 PM
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Felix is right - we sometimes have the tips removed form our shipboard account which goes to our credit card and pay the tips in cash. I think it makes my hubby feel like a shooter to tip cash vs. a chit

Usually, we do this if we've done well at the casino and have some extra cash left at the end of the week.

not everyone who removes tips from their shipboard account is trying to stiff the staff.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 11:27 AM
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So I just got off Allure and have feedback on this topic. I was charged the $14.25 per day on my sea pass account as others had indicated. Now, that $14.25 per day/per person is to support gratuity for my cabin stewart, waiter, assistant waiter and head waiter. Now - I did NOT use the dining room all week as I took advantage of each of the Speciality Dining places; so should I still have to pay grautity to the dinning room staff that I never met or even used? Honestly, I would argue that I should not have to pay grautity for them as I never received any services. I think on a ship like Allure with such a vast amount of dining options; you should adjust down to compensate for circumstances whereby you do not use those services.

While I did not adjust down on my cruise (as I honestly didn't want to stand in line at guest relations); I do understand why someone might adjust down or wish to pay in cash all their grautity rather than on the sea pass account. For example, if you won a bunch of cash in the casino; one might rather want to pay that way than on their credit/debit cards.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondMember View Post
So I just got off Allure and have feedback on this topic. I was charged the $14.25 per day on my sea pass account as others had indicated. Now, that $14.25 per day/per person is to support gratuity for my cabin stewart, waiter, assistant waiter and head waiter. Now - I did NOT use the dining room all week as I took advantage of each of the Speciality Dining places; so should I still have to pay grautity to the dinning room staff that I never met or even used? Honestly, I would argue that I should not have to pay grautity for them as I never received any services. I think on a ship like Allure with such a vast amount of dining options; you should adjust down to compensate for circumstances whereby you do not use those services.

While I did not adjust down on my cruise (as I honestly didn't want to stand in line at guest relations); I do understand why someone might adjust down or wish to pay in cash all their grautity rather than on the sea pass account. For example, if you won a bunch of cash in the casino; one might rather want to pay that way than on their credit/debit cards.
I agree with you. If we eat all week in speciality, which we most often do for a variety of reasons, we have always left a gratuity there. And, I remove the grats from our account and give cash then to steward etc and anyone else who we need to give a grat to. I won't pay twice for grat for meals.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 02:55 PM
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FWIW, the dining room staff does pull shifts in the Windjammer, Park Cafe, and perhaps the Solarium eatery too. They aren't solely working breakfast, lunch, dinner in the MDR. Our assistant waiter was working the tables at lunch one day on our Oasis cruise last month.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 06:32 PM
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We always tip extra .
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Old July 9th, 2013, 08:33 PM
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The staff in Chops, Izumi and Giovanni's also pull shifts in other venues like Windjammer and Wipe Out Cafe; so me tipping them when I dine there is no different than those in the dining room. Would it be fair for them to increase the gratuity daily fee to include all those in the speciality dinning places too? I know there are folks that work in Cafe Promenade or Sertentos that don't work anywhere else on the ship; so they are left out of the tipping world completely. I honestly think you should tip based on the service rendered and if you spent the week in the dinning room then you should tip there; if you didn't I don't see why you should be obligated to.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 11:57 PM
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It drives me crazy to see people stiff the waiters and room cleaning people. I found a very interesting site on the internet It was a site for crew members....one place broke down the wages for a typical cruise ship.....the waiters get 100.00 a month for 16 to 18 hours a day 7 days a week. with all there good service why would you not tip them.
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Old July 10th, 2013, 10:31 PM
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To clarify my perspective, I agree that you should tip them for their outstanding gold anchor service. I am just stipulating that you should not tip someone for services that you did not have rendered to you. As far as their wages are concerned, I completely agree that by US Labor Standards, these folks are underpaid; however, we have to keep in mind that they are an internationally registered ship and folks joining the crew come from countries where the local economy are much different than us (e.g., cost of living, average household income, etc.); as such, compensation is relative. For example, when I cruised to Norway a year ago, I had no idea how high the cost of living was; we were shocked at the price of a pizza and liter of coke ($120 USD). Also, these folks choose to work on these ships and are aware of the compensation structure and hours prior to signing a contract. Hopefully the wages, hours and working environment is not surprising to them when they arrive...it is an "at will" working relationship.
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Old July 28th, 2013, 12:48 PM
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To clarify my perspective, I agree that you should tip them for their outstanding gold anchor service. I am just stipulating that you should not tip someone for services that you did not have rendered to you. As far as their wages are concerned, I completely agree that by US Labor Standards, these folks are underpaid; however, we have to keep in mind that they are an internationally registered ship and folks joining the crew come from countries where the local economy are much different than us (e.g., cost of living, average household income, etc.); as such, compensation is relative. For example, when I cruised to Norway a year ago, I had no idea how high the cost of living was; we were shocked at the price of a pizza and liter of coke ($120 USD). Also, these folks choose to work on these ships and are aware of the compensation structure and hours prior to signing a contract. Hopefully the wages, hours and working environment is not surprising to them when they arrive...it is an "at will" working relationship.
That's probably one of the best and most appropriate posts on this topic we've ever seen.

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Old September 3rd, 2013, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecruisequeen View Post
Yes all bookings now must prepay tips.

The envelopes are still left in the cabin on the last day. Worked out well for me since I was planning on tipping extra.

We always have the same waiter on my time dining. If you are happy with your waiter on the first day then just request him/her for the rest of the week. You don't have to have different waiters if you don't want to.

A crew member told me last week on Allure that cruisers do remove all prepaid tips on the last day of the cruise. The week before my cruise it was over 400 cruisers that removed tips without giving a reason as to why...just want it removed...

People that don't want to tip at all to save a buck really should not cruise!
The waiters and cabin stewards work long hours 7 days a week for 6 months straight. God bless them!!!
I usually remove my entire prepaid tips too, but I usually give a 20 to every crew that made me happy like the bartenders, cabin steward, cooks, waiters, etc. I feel better when I see them directly receiving my money
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Old September 4th, 2013, 02:39 PM
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Isn't there space reserved at a table and waitstaff available to serve you in the MDR? If you aren't going to need either, do you notify the maitre d' so they can free up resources?
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Old September 4th, 2013, 04:07 PM
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Since you get a different table and waitstaff each evening, no need to notify anyone, just go to a different restaurant, buffet, etc...
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Old September 6th, 2013, 09:15 AM
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$20 to a cabin steward who kept your cabin clean all week. WOW !!!!
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