We are cruising HAL in Feb for the third time. We always tip more than the suggested amount (Other Lines) if it is warrented. But I wonder if the waiter is tipped $20 up front and told we believe in tipping. Would it work out better for us if we make a request for something that requires extra work for him. We are not the types to be a pain in the tail. But once in a while something someone else has looks great. And you have to ask if they could get you one to try, etc. This is our 12th cruise, so I do know the ins and outs.
My experience has always been to go to the top with your "up front" tip. For example, my wife and I both love shrimp coctail as an apetizer and would love to have it each dinner. On the first evening I ask to see the head waiter or matr'd. Slip them a few bills and tell them of my request. Like magic, shrimp coctail appears each dinner. As an added benefit the person tipped shows up at our table each evening to make sure "everything is ok" and to find out if there is anything else we need. Each additional request is of course acompanied by another tip. Works every time, and by the way the word gets down the line to the waiter and bussboy of our generosity.
Regardless of what happens to or where you last day tips go, up front tips ensure not only good service but special attention. Flame me if you whish but I want to be pampered and catered to on my cruise.
Thanks for the reassurance. That is the way I feel 100%. We have all had less than perfect waiters. Once we tipped the bus person more than the waiter. BECAUSE he deserved to have a larger tip. He was totally disinterested in his job. You are right the head waiter is the guy to smooze.
The first day of the cruise I always give the cabin steward a little something up front. This seems to assure me special goodies, fruit, flowers, extra towels...etc.. in the cabin, quicker service for in room meals, and just generally a nicer attitude from all concerned. The dining room staff always an extra cheese and crackers tray at EVERY meal. (I LOVE CHEESE) I think they pass the word as to who does and does NOT "spread it around." Try it. Seems to work for us.
Peace & Love, ED
Boarding my NCL cruise to Hawaii 2 years ago, I handed $20 to everyone I saw, saying, "I know you'll take good care of us." Was I ever glad!
Later in the cruise, my new friends couldn't get reservations at the very popular French restaurant, but I always could. And we were able to change to a much nicer table when our friends were told the dining room was too full at the second seating for any moves.
I gave our cabin steward two $2 bills the first day and he thought it was great and had not seen a $2 bill before. Our service was great all week but I am sure it would have been regardless of the up front tip.