On a decent dinner out I will spend at least $10/person on one meal. It think it is good that they automatically deduct the tips so that everyone does tip a minimum. It would probably hurt the traveler less if they didn't have to pay it all at once though. Ten dollars wuoldn't seem so outrageous if you did it every day, but when you are tipping $70 at once it seems like a lot. I pesonally plan on tipping more. Do you think it would be okay to leave an extra $5-10 each day on the table at dinner?
samdarella - you can just give your dining room wait staff an envelope on the last night, and the same for your room steward. I make up little thank -you notes before I leave home and personalize them once we meet everyone. I also make sure they know this is extra for being so special to us, in addition to the regular tips. We always give praise where praise is due (it is important to fill pout the comment cards) - and seldom complain about the other stuff when on vacation. TTFN Jennifer
My husband and I comment frequently that every person/couple/family choose to spend their money differently. To me, tipping is a fixed (at least) cost of a cruise and isn't something that just started happening. Here are some ways we save on the discretionary items (since, to us, tipping isn't discretionary):
o We book inside cabins. So far we've gotten outside cabins but we save alot by booking inside. Would we enjoy a balcony? You bet but we'd rather spend our money other ways.
o We buy the wine packages and the low priced ones at that. Would we like the "good stuff" better? See comment above
o We have iced tea or water at lunch - not sodas or wine. (Truly, your children won't die if they don't have sodas every day, will they?!?)
o We severely limit shore excursions (they cost ALOT).
o We would rarely, if ever, buy anything from the shops on board. I've never seen a good deal yet even on the bargain tables.
o We occasionally have a pre or post-dinner cocktail at one of the bars but don't make a habit of it. We do carry on a bottle of "adult beverage" which we'll dip into in our cabin (I know that's generally a no-no but we do it anyway!)
o When we have meals off the ship, my husband and I usually share an entree. We do this at home also. It saves not only money but also we don't eat as much. Since the server is doing as much work as if we ordered two entrees, we always increase our tip.
These are just a few things that WE do. As I wrote, everyone decides what they do or don't want to spend money on. We have a LONG list of things that we DO spend on so make the choices that don't pain us too much. Another thing we did last year was to start a "travel envelope." We put the odd $20 in, some gambling winnings, an unexpected check from an insurance company, etc, etc. At the end of the year we had $2000(!!!!) in that envelope. We didn't go on a cruise this year but rather spent a month in England and Ireland. I haven't totalled it up yet but that probably paid for almost the entire month. There are so many choices to make that I'm sure everyone can find ways to travel (somewhere - maybe not a cruise) and not break the bank. Just a few thoughts.
Good point Clo. There are many ways to economize on the cruise.
1) Don't buy the photos, take your own or video tape your cruise (my preference)
2) Sightsee in the ports on your own. Stay away from the expensive shore excursions.
3) Stay away from the casino (impossible for me, but.......)
4) Make sure you bring all your own sundries, suntan lotion, headache tablets, lip balm, etc. They are expensive in the shops.
5) Bring along your own spare batteries for CD players, cameras, etc. and all the film you think you might need.
6) If you're lunching in the port, at the beach, grab sandwiches from the buffet on the ship and bring them along with you. Why buy the local restaurant lunch when you've already paid for it on the ship?
Lets say your paying 700pp for a 7 night cruise for two people thats 1400 that includes meals and entertainment and lodging, and a extra 140 for tips that would be 1540pp. Ok now lets say your going on a land vacation for 7nights that avg room is about 150 per night for a decent hotel room, that would be 1050 plus you add the 12 percent hotel tax on to the bill that would be 1176, so then you have to eat so you add on another 80.00 a day that would bring your total up to 1736, and then you ad on entertainmet that would be about 200 total for 7 nights that would be 1936. This is based on no alcohol intake, so now lets firgures this out you will save 496.00 going on cruise. So tipping 10 dollars a day per person is cheap.