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windycitykitty February 13th, 2005 04:03 AM

what to tip Maitre d?
Im going on a 8 day cruise what is the normal amount per day I should tip the Maitre d? Is he included in the dining staff tip or is it not?

pg. February 13th, 2005 01:08 PM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
I don 't tip the maitre'd unless he actually does something for me( like change a table or reservation or order a birthday cake). The maitre'd s on the cruise ship are part of mangement and get paid much better then the staff. Tipping for them is optional , based on service rendered( and no, coming by the table on the last night to smile and say hi is not a tippable service)

cali-croozer February 13th, 2005 04:22 PM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
Agree with pg. On the last night, he will be there, with his hand out, accepting tips. On our last cruise, we didn't have any special requests, but he did make a point of coming by our table several times during the cruise to ask how everything was so we gave him $5. $5 doesn't sound like much, but he/she is management and if even 1/2 of the people give him $5, that's a lot of extra money in his pocket.

windycitykitty February 14th, 2005 12:41 AM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
Thanks for the advice. Yes Im not sure I will use his services for anything yet it's hard for me not to give something if they are standing there waiting, one feels pressured, Seems to me the regular waiter could do his job, sounds like just an extra job position not really needed. Do they do any thing else or just over see the other waitstaff, and help seat people?

pg February 14th, 2005 11:45 AM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
He does have a job that the waiters don't , it is his responsiblily to take the pass. manifest and do the table seating arrangements. He also oversees the staffing for each shift etc. BUT< that is HIS job and one that he is PAID for at a higher rate then the waiters. So, unless he does an extra service for us personally we don't tip him.
We don't guilt tip, although I realize some do, we did on our first cruise, we don't now.

Reen February 17th, 2005 08:32 AM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
I agree with pg. We did tip them a few times when our children were small. They went out of their way to get them a different meal they requested. But, other times they show up the last night and one time we never saw them all week. We don't guilt tip either.

carol March 9th, 2005 11:00 AM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
When I started cruising back in 1980 the matre'D? would come to your table and make the caesar salad, so a tip was in order. This practice is non existant today so NO I never tip him. He usually shows up at the table on the last night with his hand out, which to me does not justify a tip!


BobBeaSea March 19th, 2005 11:52 AM

Re: Re: what to tip Maitre d?
You don't tip the Maitre d', he or she is an officer on the ship-usually. Either way it is a salaried position and tips are not expected and usually declined. You do however tip your headwaiter (.75 cents a day). Who cares if you ever see your headwaiter or not, they are in charge of your waiter and asst. waiter and their job is to ensure service at your table is directed with efficiency from behind the scene. At some point during your cruise the headwaiter usually drops by your table. When he or she does this they are not groveling for tips, although these days they pretty much have to.

pg March 20th, 2005 11:44 AM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
I have worked in some very nice places Bob, and a " Headwaiter" who does not in fact serve any tables is mangement and not subject to tipping in most places UNLESS he performs, or insures performance of an extra duty.
Why would anyone tip someone whos sole purpose is supervising the staff? Sorry, not my nickel. Feel free to tip him if you want, I do realize that with automatic tipping he is included( I think like .75 cents a day) and since the amount is so small I wouldn't bother to adjust that, but I personally would never tip him anymore unless there was a specific reason.

BobBeaSea March 21st, 2005 07:24 PM

Re: Re: what to tip Maitre d?
pg, your comments do reflect what modern cruisers seem to want- dancing bears. That is why you are seeing performing and groveling on the part of the service providers. While you may consider the head waiter aboard ship "management" I can assure you they are not paid like "management". Again the only person in the dining room paid like "management" is the Maitre d'.

pg March 21st, 2005 08:13 PM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
So Bob, what exactly does a headwaiter do that I should tip for? I mean , we don't tip the laundry workers who wash the towels each day, but I know they are there,, and don't get paid much, so why tip another " behind the scenes" worker and not another?

I tip for services rendered, I do not tip to be polictically correct, all the workers on board these ships are underpaid, and if we use that reasoning to tip, then we should be tipping ALL of the workers.

PS Just so you know I personally hate grovelling help of any kind, I do not need to " bond" with my waiter, and I do not need him to remember my every whim, as long as my food is brought to me , is fairly warm, and he smiles , that's all I need. I do not go on lines that have them dancing about like fools, we did that twice and found it embarassing, just not our taste.

BobBeaSea March 22nd, 2005 07:48 AM

Re: Re: what to tip Maitre d?
There are a number of headwaiters in the dining room. They are responsible for the smooth flow of service at the tables assigned to them as well as supervising the waiters and asst. waiters in their section. There is a lot of effort by the headwaiters that goes on behind the scenes that we as passengers do not see. The logistics of serving 1400+ passengers in the same time frame is an immense operation and is directed by the headwaiters. Every cruise I've been on, the headwaiter has made his or her presence known is some way or another. As far as pay goes all other employees make more money on a salary basis than waiters, asst. waiters and stateroom attendants who, because of "tradition", essentially rely on the passengers for their income. The wholesale stiffing of these people is why the cruise lines will eventually end the gratuity practice and up the fares accordingly. The only reason it hasn't happened yet it is "who wants to be the first" to do it and put yourself at a competitive disadvantage if the others don't follow.
pg. My comments were not directed at you. I apologize if you thought so. It's just after reading so many tipping or gratuity threads, I have come to understand this is a subject that very few modern cruisers truly understand. Before my Mar. cruise my most recent cruise was '93. Very few, if any, stiffed the staff in those days and passengers' requirements were much more conservative.

pg March 22nd, 2005 11:42 AM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
Ok Bob, I just don't agree with your assessement of what a " head waiter is and what they actually do" , having worked in the business I think I can assure you a head watier who doees not actually serve or do table side service , is not the same as a waiter, thier pay scale IS different, no matter how they lied to you on the cruise ship to solict your sympathy for more tips.

How many of us have actually had any service performed by a " head waiter"? I have never, all they do is come by the table to suck up for tips.

PS Bob I didn't take your comment s personally, I realize that tipping is a sensitive subject and we all have all feeling on it, suffice to say, I tip my waiter and bus boy, and I am not demanding. I just don't have this tip, tip, tip mentality that some cruisers seem to have and that may be a cultaral thing as I believe Americans have the most tip centered thinking re service then any other country in the world!

showcat March 22nd, 2005 02:20 PM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
So if I do tip the maitre d is $5.00 enough for an 8 day cruise? What amount is right for good service, not exceptional, not lacking?

BobBeaSea March 22nd, 2005 05:11 PM

Re: Re: what to tip Maitre d?
Hi pg, it is not possible to compare shipboard dining and all it entails to land based restaurants. They are two completely different enviroments. Like you I would not consider tipping a headwaiter in a land based restaurant (assuming the restaurant even had them) unless something extra was done. Land based restaurants may have a Maitre d' who will get tips if a service is extended whereas the Maitre d' onboard is a ship's officer and will most likely turn down a tip if offered. Onboard the headwaiter is part of my gratuity package because I know what is going on aboard ship. Experienced cruisers don't have a tip,tip mentality- it is the way things have been done on cruise ships for decade after decade etc. It is because of the explosion in cruising the last 10-12 years or so that this problem has surfaced-tens of thousands of new cruisers who don't know and frankly, don't care. The cruise lines themselves have not done a good job of explaining a lot of the nuances of cruising. That is why the extending of gratuities to the service providers will disappear and the cost added to the fare. Also, I have a fairly good idea of when someone is trying to shoot me lines of BS.
For showcat- the Maitre d' gets nothing, the Headwaiter gets .75 cents pp/per night of your cruise == $5.25 for a 7 night cruise per person...$6.00 for an 8 night cruise.

showcat March 23rd, 2005 01:42 AM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
Ok maybe I was confusing the Matire d with the head waiter. No tip is cool with me this thing is costing me enough money, I will tip the rest of the staff and adjust the amount if necessary for exceptional service. Thanks

Fiddlemama March 27th, 2005 10:15 PM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
I just returned from my 1st cruise. The Carnival Triumph with my 2 teen kids. We gave the Maitre'D $5.

showcat March 28th, 2005 03:34 AM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
Thanks Mama.

BobBeaSea March 28th, 2005 07:18 AM

Re: Re: what to tip Maitre d?
fiddlemama, just curious as I am not familiar with Carnival. Did you give $5.00 to the Maitre d' OR the Headwaiter for your section of the dining room. My understanding is most ships only have 1, maybe 2 Maitre d's and they are ship's officers. How did you track him or her down? Does Carnival call their Headwaiters Maitre d's? Thank you.

pg March 28th, 2005 12:47 PM

Re: what to tip Maitre d?
Did your maitre'd come by your table and introduce himself? Did he then do anything other then say hello every night? I just don't get tipping someone who does nothing other then sucking up. I would rather tip the busboy the extra 5. Or the poor dishwasher.
I do realize some maitre'd s actually do a service, in which case I assume 5 dollars is a reasonable amount to tip. I guess it depends.

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