My head is spinning.......after reading the Welcome Aboard brochure Carnival provided and reading the posts here my head is throbbing.
I understand the automatic tipping on the S&S card. However, Carnival states that any service I use will also have a 15% tip added on and charged to my S&S card. Isn't this double dipping? Seems like between my wife and I we will need $150 for tips alone! We plan on keeping to ourselves and are not big drinkers.
The 15% they are talking about is when you order a drink onboard, the entire amount of the drink plus 15% will be added to your SS card, so you don't have to tip anything, it will be added. Just look at the bill when you sign for it. You will basically be using that card for everything while onboard, so no cash will be necessary, hope that cleared it up?
You will still be responsible for tipping the staff either through their auto tipping or changing it to cash. I recently had our tips done automatically and I rather liked it, didn't have to bring all that extra cash along for tips.
15% for alcohol or beverages you buy via the bars. The restaurants give you unlimited water which is what we drank for dinner. You can always get the unlimited soda card and use that for drinks or use the unlimited drinks for free they offer (ice tea, lemonade, etc....). We didn't drink while on our cruise so we didn't have the 15% added to the tab.
Your S&S card is like a credit card for the ship...you charge whatever you want to the room (drinks, merchandise, etc...) and get a printout of all you charged the night before disembarkation under your door. Then you don't have to "check out" so to speak unless you have a cash balance due or owe. We just used a credit card and they automatically billed the CC about 15 days after our cruise for all the stuff we bought and the normal tipping (waiter, steward, etc.).
Please don't fret. You are correct to budget at least $150 per couple for tips that are automatically charged to your S &S account. (You can leave the charge on your credit card now and don't have to carry or get the cash.) The extra tips 10-15% are for optional purchases: alcholic & non-alcholic drinks including specialty coffees or teas, spa services, a wine steward (which Carnival does not have), children's counselors, etc. If you calculate $10 per day per person, this equals $140 for 7 nights. I don't usually tip the maitre' de, but if they do something special, they do deserve a gratuity. Also, not mentioned, if you have room service, you should tip at the time of service a $1-$5 depending on the size of the order. You may not see this server again.
If you are not happy with the way that they do it, you can go
to the purser desk and ask for a reduction in tips , or cancel it
and pay them yourself at the end of cruise . with the interduction of
automatic tiping i have found that the service is worst
Also remember to tip the luggage handlers $2 per bag.
Yes, I know...................it's a lot of tipping between the waiter, room steward, ass't. waiter, bartender, room service, luggage porter and Maitre 'D but it is part of the cruise expectations and declining to do so could result in poor service.
Tipping can be hard on the pocket. I like to remember that those bar stuff and some other staff, without tipping only make like 50$ a month. With tipping and ALOT of hours in port and out at sea working, they barely scrap past 1500$ a month, if they are lucky and thatís for Carnival.
Tip Hard = Get a lot of attention and great service.
Tip well = Get notice
Tip = Get served
I am sailing on the Imagination in December and I prepaid my tips, the $48 a person and was wondering if I did that will I still be obligated to tip my waiter at dinner too and my steward? I kind of feel if I paid all of that ahead of time they should be paid up but I don't want to feel cheap either. When do you give them the tip vouchers? Thanks for your help.