I am leaving in a week (4/22) on the Grand Princess. This is my first cruise and I am extremely confused. Here is my question. Do they charge you $6.50 per person per day or per meal? Also, after I have dinner and pay for my drinks, do I need to leave a tip? How about after lunch?
> I am leaving in a week (4/22) on the Grand Princess. This is
> my first cruise and I am extremely confused. Here is my
> question. Do they charge you $6.50 per person per day or per
> meal? Also, after I have dinner and pay for my drinks, do I
> need to leave a tip? How about after lunch?
The auto tipping charge is per week.. and 15% gratuity is automatically added to all drink purchases. At the end of the cruise, if you've got a favorite server or bartender, you can give them a few extra $$ in tips.
I've just returned from the Grand Princess (April 8 -15). Perhaps I can offer some additional information about your tipping questions.
Since Princess has implemented the Personal Choice Dining, which allows you to chose the time that you dine each evening, they have established the automatic gratuity system. This method insures that the dining room staffs (waiter, assistant waiter, head waiter, maitre d') as well as the staffs in the Horizon Court, the pizzeria, and the hambuger grill are all properly compensated. Since you will probably be dining at different times and seated at different tables each evening, you will have a different wait staff each meal. The amount of the dining gratuity is $6.50 per DAY per PERSON or $91.00 for the week for a couple and it is automatically added each day to your onboard cruise account. The same holds true if you select traditional dining. My wife and I, as did about two-thirds of the other passengers, chose traditional dining. Since we had the same wait staff all week and they provided excellect service, we gave them an extra cash gratuity in addition to the amount that they will receive from auto-tipping.
Tips on all bar beverages including soft drinks are set a 15% of the bill and automatically added to each drink order; therefore, you do not need to tip the drink waiters/waitresses unless you especially want to for exceptional service. Most people do not.
Your room steward/stewardess is tipped DIRECTLY by you. It is not included in the auto-tipping system. The recommended rate is $3.50 per person per day or $49.00 for a couple for the week. You of course can tip additionally if you received good service. You can tip in cash or you can purchase a gratuity voucher at any bar on the ship and have it charged to your onboard account. They will give you a copy to insert into an envelope to give to your steward. He can then cash it like a money order.
Have a fabalous cruise... I know you will. Please say hi to all my new friends onboard. <grins> I hope there is some food left after the amount I ate last week.
but have read that the line/s with auto tipping can KEEP some of the tip, whos to stop them?, you can have it deducted from your account and place cash in the hands of your wait staff, so you know they get it all.
Also read that if you tip on last evening, you may never see your steward again, so perhaps best to leave it until morning of departure, he'll make himself known!!, don't worry about missing him...
Just a Q,
does the servise suffer in restaurants, as crew know they get the auto tip?, or are they aware you know you can have it deducted?
Your comments are valid, but your logic is faulty. I agree that service on ships generally has gotten worse over the years.
But please read carefully: I have worked on 18 ships for 11 different cruise liines over the past 27 years. The internal tipping policies have been the same on every ship - ALL TIPS WERE POOLED. Please read that last sentence again. Its important.
When you gave me an envelope of some cash, it didn`t stay in my pocket very long. As soon as the last passengers disembarked the ship, all the service staff met at the Captain`s table in the diningroom. We all put ALL cash tips on the table for counting. Then the Maitre d` split and handed the money out to EVERYONE, based on a complicated point system administered by him. Today with auto-tipping, the smae system is in place. The only difference is that most of the cash comes from the Purser`s office. We still pool ALL the money in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. NOTHING HAS REALLY CHANGED. Please read those last two sentences again. They are important.
To repeat, we ALWAYS knew we would receive a tip regardless of service levels. We still do know today that we weill receive a tip regardless of service levels.
Now please explain to everyone how auto-tipping has damaged service levels.
Once again, I agree that service levels have generally deteriorated over the years (I also observe that the quality of guests has deteriorated at the same pace), bu tyoumay be blaming the wrong reasons for the problems that exist.