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CONFUSED December 11th, 2002 04:28 PM

Hello everyone! I need some advice. I am a college student going on my second cruise with my husband, and we worked so hard to save up our money for this cruise. Last year we went on our first cruise thinking we wouldn't tip, but we felt so guilty we tipped them the required amount eventhough service was not great. We did not even go in any excursions because our money was limited but yet we tipped $150 out of guilt! I do not mind tipping some, but I believe that $150 for two people is outrageous for 1 week, we won't even buy any shore excursions because they are so expensive. What should we do? Is it ok to tip half of the required amount or to only tip for one person instead of 2 since the room attendant has to do the same work whether is 1 or 2 people? I am not trying to be cheap, I just think the suggested amounts are outrageous. I accept any advice.


Donna December 11th, 2002 08:02 PM

Hi Confused,
I think you need to re-think the amounts that are suggested to tip. Keep in mind if the service is excellent many of us add to that amount when we think its earned. If you go out to dinner at any restaurant, don't you add a 15% tip? Considering this is for a whole week, I feel that the amounts are in line, in fact all those service people depend on tips, their regular salary is next to nothing. These people work very hard for their money and I feel they deserve these tips, I've never had a problem with this. Its also pretty much spelled out in the cruise catalogs as to what to tip and who. May-be cruising isn't the right vacation for you and your husband? Although any vacation requires you to tip all kinds of people.

Also tipping the cabin attendant for one isn't fair either, he/she is cleaning up after 2 adults, we've even tipped the regular amount when cruising with our kids, I think they are just as much work for them or more. If there is any problem with some of the service, there are people you can talk to in order to have the situation fixed, but definitely at least tip the suggested amounts.

cruisegirl January 9th, 2003 11:10 AM

Let's break it down:

$150.00 for 7 days comes to $21.43 per day.
Tips cover room steward, waiter and assistant waiter.
Divide your $21.43 per day by 3 and you have now tipped each service person $7.14 cents per day. (that is for both $3.57 per day each)
The service you received each day is having your room cleaned several times a day, you are catered to for dinner and if you eat lunch or breakfast in the dining room you are served as well. If you eat three meals a day in the dining room you are tipping $2.38 each meal when the dinner alone should be more than $7.14. When I stay at a hotel I at least leave the maid $10.00 per day.

Kindness comes back to you, maybe not from the person you blessed but it does come back to you.

DanaB January 12th, 2003 11:03 PM

I went for my first cruise for Christmas and was anticipating only tipping the sugested amounts that Royal Caribbean sets. Let me tell you, by the end of the 4 days, I could not, in good conscience, tip so little to the waiter and assistant waiter, who spoiled us rotten and who we saw work so hard. In fact, the second day of the cruise, I knew that whatever cash I had left, I would put it to their tips. I bought very few souvineers and gambled very little in order to save for their tips. I tipped the room steward extra because it was the holidays and had we called upon her for assistance, we would have tipped more, we never were in need of anything, she took good care of us anyway, so tipping extra was a pleasure. These folks on the ships depend on our tips to provide for their families, some will say that is their choice, but when you see how hard they work, it is hard to NOT tip more,that is the way I see it.


DonnaAldred January 23rd, 2003 08:11 AM

I have a question about tipping...

I am all for tipping the suggested amounts and even above and beyond for outstanding service. But my question is with regard to the wait staff in the dining room - say we choose not to eat in the dining room for most meals? Perhaps only breakfast, and then lunch on the pool deck, and dinner at one of the eateries...would we still tip the wait staff the full amount for all 7 days? We have cruised before, but not with our kids, and I think our kids will find it more to their style to eat pizza and burgers rather than a 4-course meal, so we probably will opt out of the dining room most days.

Any suggestions out there?

Donna January 23rd, 2003 08:25 AM

Hi Donna,
We also do that, hardly ever have breakfast in the dining room and usually the buffet for lunch as well. We still tip at least the recommended amount to the dining room staff.

Jamiegunter April 30th, 2003 06:43 PM

Re: Re: Re: TIP DILEMMA!!!
The cruise lines barely pay the employees anything, they make all their money off tips. And even if you dont go to dinner and eat at the buffet, you should still tip. All of the dinner staff work the breakfast and lunch shift, so they do give you service. We seen our head waitress many times at breakfast and lunch, and she always came over to talk to us and see how are day was going. Go ahead and tip the recommended amount.

SisSis May 9th, 2003 09:55 PM

Re: Re: Re: TIP DILEMMA!!!
From what I have read at the end of the cruise EVERYONE puts all the money they received in their envelopes in the middle of a table and then it is divided up according to some unknown set of rules for who has the most service time down to the least amount of time but everyone gets something. So if you tip your regular wait staff in the main dining room their expected tip amount, that person serving you the pizza will ultimately get his share of the money for the services he rendered to you.
Tipping is a sore subject with me though. I believe in a tip for good service but I also believe that the cruise lines should pay their people more to begin with even if it meant that cruises would be more expensive. Then, you would have the cruise lines offerring more competitive prices and more "real" deals instead of the b.s. deals you hear about but end up costing you 10x more than advertised. AND Then, when you DID get good service from your cabin steward or wait staff you could tip them accordingly and it shouldn't have to be divided up. The cabin steward or wait staff person who didn't earn a lot of tips would realize that he/she must not have been doing a good job.
As it is now, what incentive is it for the crew to do an outstanding job when a "slacker" is going to get included in dividing up the money? Just an observation. But again, I do tip well because it's not the crew's fault the system is screwed up.

Bruce chafkin July 11th, 2003 11:03 PM


Do you pull the same thing in a restaurant at home??
These people work incredibly hard for the tips they receive. Most cruise line employees are paid $50 per month. Should they and their families suffer financially because you have no money to go on a cruise?

If you cannot afford to do it properly, then stay home and save your money until you can do it properly. There is no shame in being poor. But there is shame in doing something poorly.

jpeter1093 July 12th, 2003 06:29 AM

Actually, in thinking about one slacker getting an equal portion of the tip pool as the rest of the crew makes me think this may work to our (the customer) advantage. Hopefully, the rest of the crew puts pressure on the slacker since, theoretically, his customer's won't tip as much thus reducing the overall 'take'.

So, just as in a normal restaurant where you directly tip; you SHOULD tie your tip levels to the satisfaction you have with the service.

captangel July 12th, 2003 11:31 AM

I too work hard all year!! Cruising is wonderful! I work in the hospitality industry! Its hard work ! We have to deal with hundreds of personalities a day! Tipping is a gracious way of saying thank-you! I think you need to save a little harder! The rest of the board is right those crew workers work long and hard to make your holiday special! Put your feet in there shoes!!!

BJ July 22nd, 2003 08:49 AM

Haven't cruised yet, but land travel every year. I go with my friend, no husbands allowed. We are very good tippers. I would assume besides the suggested tip, that if someone is doing a good job for you, you should tip that person extra. That's what Carolyn and I always do, and it may be why in the hotel we stay at our maid asks to clean our room. We ask for her, too.

FrankiRN September 21st, 2003 05:47 PM

Oh my goodness. If you are that broke do not take a cruise vacation. You obviously can't afford to cruise, so go camping or take another cheaper vacation until you can afford to cruise. Why in the world should your waiter or cabin steward suffer because you chose to take a vacation way above your means? Since when did everyone have to cruise anyway? There is no dilemma here, if you cruise, you tip. Period. I can't believe this post hasn't caught fire yet.

pg. September 21st, 2003 10:35 PM

Poor you Confused , You really have opened a can of worms. First I understand what your point is , but I don't know if you understand that your cruise price is as low as it is because the cruise lines don't pay their staff properly. You see they pay them slave wages with the lure of tips to draw them. Now you may say " well that 's unfair, why do I the consumer have to make up those wages"YOU DON"T , what you do is book and pay for a higher price cruise that have a "no tipping " policy.
We are from Canada and let me tell you we take a beating with the exchange rate, so tipping in American dollars really pisses us off, I mean it's not an American ship and the service workers are generally not american, but noooooooo we HAVE to tip in a currency that is 50% stronger than ours! It hurts us financialy but like you we don't do the ships tours nor do we buy the overpriced ship photos and tacky souveniers. We do however tip properly. We have never tipped more than suggested amounts, we can't afford to, and quite frankly there has been no reason for us to. ( oops , not true we did tip our cabin steward and bit more once when we brought our kids and they we sooo messy) We don't tip the maitre'd . We don't tip extra to anyone for "remembering our names", or saying hello. If we had more money it would be nice to do those types of things/
I think you should still cruise ( and I thought some of the above posts were a bit mean) and just try and do the best you can, it would be best if you saved for the cruise by including the tip amount in your budget. I know it's hard and I think you desrve to have fun too, just remember that your tips are in fact someones living.

FirstCoastCruiser September 24th, 2003 06:43 PM

I'm not trying to be harsh but how can anyone go on vacation with intentions NOT to tip? Like most people, I work very hard, save all I can, and plan my vacations in advance. If I can't do it right - including tipping - then I do not go. Where else can you spend less than $100/day (avg.) + $10/day in tips for lodging, food, service, etc.? I'd like to know.

On the Sovereign last year, the three other couples at our table ditched the last night of dinner. I assume to avoid tipping. I was so angry and embarrassed for our wait staff. I wonder how many of the non-tippers are also the chronic complainers.

No matter how "less than excellent" my service has been on any cruise, it has never been bad enough to warrant not tipping at least the recommended amounts.


Post Edited (09-24-03 18:45)

Dr Wong September 25th, 2003 01:26 AM

Personally, I like the new policies that automatically adds tips to your bill. That way, everybody gets a little supplement to their low wages. The amount isn't outrageous, but complaints from passengers to the ship's purser about the charges were! I usually give an additional amount to members of the ship's crew who made our voyage a little more special - the Maitre'd who remembered our seating preferences, the room steward who brought us a new tube of toothpaste when she noticed ours was running low (and wouldn't accept reimbursement!), and the waiter who entertained us with magic tricks at mealtimes. I just hope they weren't forced to pool those additional gratuities with the rest of the crew at the end of our cruise - they earned it!

bigboy September 26th, 2003 12:17 PM

Your attitude contributes to the economic exploitation of a third world people. They are paid so little because they are at the bottom of the barrel in terms of negotiating with the foreign cruise lines. CCL,RCL,NCL,HA and all the rest of them pay their help nothing because they can. If you want to subsidize the poor, broke cruise lines go right ahead, that's your right. But don't plead the case for the poor underpaid help. I personally know of an Indonesian Maritime Cooks and Stewards Union that is right now in the process of negotiating much higher wages for the help. The starting minimum pay for a single shift of any crew member will be set at $55.00 American, per day. That will include any and all crew. So there, now you won't have to feel so guilty about the poor underpaid workers. Of course your cruise is going to cost $2000.00 instead of $499 but at least you will feel better.

Mel September 28th, 2003 10:17 AM

Third world exploitation vs a higher wage. The cost of the cruise goes up. Seems logical. And the point is? And what is meant by : "But don't plead the case for the poor underpaid help " as opposed to this exploitation? I must be missing something, if so, I apologize.

BarbaraJoy September 28th, 2003 10:49 PM

Well, Frankie and Jax said the right thing, one in a nicer way than the other.

It's true - if you want your trip to be "no tipping", go on the luxury cruises. We add in the cost of the tips when we budget our trips - that's just the way it is. PERIOD. $150 for the week? What this means to all of us fortunate Americans, and what it means to people from third world countries is vastly different. Even here in the States, I now make a point to tip nicely at hotels. I read a newspaper interview with some hotel cleaning ladies, and they also live in a different world. To them, $10 may buy their child new shoes, or get groceries.

I for one sometimes do not appreciate the wonderful life and home that I have. We are not rich either, and we work hard for our money. But the employees hustling on the cruise ships deserve the recommended gratuties (unless something is seriously amiss).

If a cruise line thought that a "no tipping" policy would bring more passengers aboard, they would do it. Look at the "Pride" - I thought that a non-smoking ship was such a fabulous idea, and that all the cruise ships would go that way. Nah... didn't happen.

If tipping really goes against your grain, go on a luxury cruise, go to Europe where gratuties are included, or go to a Club Med type of resort. (Silversea has a bargain rate on icruise right now - lowest catagory is about $2500 per person. But no tipping!) Don't go on a mass market cruise if you do not agree with one of the basic polite and correct things to do on a cruise.

However, when you go on a cruise, have a wonderful time!!

Thomas October 8th, 2003 10:37 AM

Re: Re: Re: TIP DILEMMA!!!
A correction Barbara, I think you meant to say the Paradise, not the Pride, as a non-smoking ship.

HAL has a no tipping policy but you pay more for the cruise. However, if you watch closely you can find cruises on HAL at competitive prices with the other "tipping suggested" lines. For instance, you can cruise on HAL 11/02 on Veendam for $263 for an inside offered by one of the online sites I was checking. That's a deal!


wallie5446 November 22nd, 2003 03:20 PM

Do you leave a 10 to 15 % gratuity when you dine out ? Ok , your cruise for 7 days cost in the range of $1000. to $1200. x 15%= $150. to $170. pretty in line it seems to me.

Santa Fe Jim November 23rd, 2003 12:03 AM

A correction Thomas, I think you meant to say that HAL has a "Tipping Not Required" policy, NOT a no tipping policy. As a result of the confusion that people are spreading with the misstatement of the policy, HAL is going to change.

In their announcement of their $225 million "Signature of Excellence" initiative, this statement was made: "In addition, other service enhancements include a convenient folio posting of nominal, optional gratuities, as well as automatic service charge postings to bar-bills, thus simplifying the sometimes confusing cruise tipping system."

This *should* clarify the issue, but until the word is out .... inaccurate rumors will persist ... and the staff will continue to lose out on well-deserved tips.


cathy November 24th, 2003 10:16 AM

When my husband and I plan for a cruise we automatically plan for the tips. We have never given the suggested amounts to the Dining Room waiter or Asst. Waiter. We always give more. These people really spoil you. Anyway, we just got back from a 10day Caribbean on the Horizon and left about $250.00 in tips. We just know that this is the way it is. Also, according to our waiter, NO tips are split on the Horizon. He said he can't speak for other ships, but what he gets he keeps. We wanted to make sure of that before we gave him more. I do know also that our tablemates also gave more. Anytime you order a mixed drink or anything from the bar including a coke 15% is automaically added.

Shellytc November 24th, 2003 09:46 PM

I don't tip because someone deserves it because they don't make enough money, or some other silly justification.

I tip for service rendered. If service is rendered, a tip is in order. If the service rendered is below standard, the tip should be below standard. If the service is standard, the tip should be standard. If the service is above standard, the tip should be above standard.

Do not plan a trip if you can't afford to tip for the service rendered. Likewise, don't go out to dinner if you can't afford to tip for the service rendered. Period. No if, ands or buts about it.

Sorry, but I am an ex-waitress, ex-bartender, and ex-bar manager.

I worked hard to deliver above standard service, in the hopes that it would be appreciated, with cold, hard cash.

It doesn't matter if I am a wealthy heiress, who is doing this for fun. If I delivered a service, I appreciated being rewarded for it. Who doesn't?


carol November 26th, 2003 01:06 PM

I wouldn't feel too sorry for the poor waiter or cabin attendant! I love to play blackjack at the Atlantis, and last time I played with all crew members. The man sitting to the right of me was a cabin attendant, and when he opened his wallet I never saw so much money. I laughed and said "oh it must be payday" and he smiled and said yes. The men playing to my left were chinese and worked in the laundry and they were betting $500.00 a hand. I felt like a pauper playing with these men.

Happy Sailing!


Beth L. January 23rd, 2004 04:16 PM

Everytime I plan on a cruise, I plan on the tips. These individuals work very hard and I also try to go above the suggested amounts to give them something extra. They have families to feed! If you cannot afford to tip, then do not cruise until you can afford it.

Beth L.

NICKI61 February 9th, 2004 05:12 PM


True Brit February 14th, 2004 10:39 AM

Dear Confused
I have just scanned this thread and would only precis my thoughts as below (precis means shorten since I am appalled by some responses)
"can't afford to tip so don't cruise" "no shame in being poor so can't tip" "if you are that broke don't cruise" "no money"
We have an expression over this side of the pond and it is - politely - WHAT A LOAD OF COBBLERS!
If you want to cruise go ahead. There are recommended guidelines for tipping but you are not forced to stick to them. Would you expect your room steward to make the beds in the morning? Of course you would; it is their job. Should you pay extra to just do the job? Clean several times a day beats me since it has never happened and is totally unnecessary. Turn the sheets down while you are at dinner sure and maybe leave a chocolate. All this to obligate a tip? I think not.
Some postings here are obviously from employees on cruise ships and therefore have a vested interest. I believe there is an expression over your side which relates to Dodge City but is over here "if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen" You employees on ships- don't think we, your customers, are obligated to give you tips at the recommended rate regardless of whether or not you do the job right because we are not! Do the job, do it right and then think about tips - don't assume up front!
Cheers. Paul.
p.s I bet this puts the cat amongst the pigeons!

McCall February 15th, 2004 12:58 PM

Dear True Brit,
I suggest you stay there. Part of their salary they are promised when they sign on to work 16 hours a day 7 days a week for a min of 6 mo. is those tips.
They do exactly what work the cruise line instructs them to do, they are not doing extra cleaning in the rooms or turning down the bed to try to wangle extra tips.
I everyone thought like you and did not tip because they are just doing their job then you would quickly have no one serving you at all on the ship you could clean your own cabin serve all your own meals etc. or pay a heck of a lot more for your cruise fare.
and I doubt any of the posters in this thread work for cruiselines.

moai February 15th, 2004 06:02 PM

from NY Times Travel section

NY Times

Post Edited (02-17-04 20:48)

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