First off, I'm tight with my money, but never hesitate giving a tip to my barber, waiter, etc. My question is regarding cruises. When I booked my cruise, I selected to prepay gratitudes fro my wife and I. I wanted to make sure they got paid, and was easier for me to budget money.
I can understand tipping a porter and a bartender at the time of service, and throwing a little extra to those who were exceptional, on my last day. If for example, I was sitting with table mates, and they tipped after a meal, and I did not, would I look cheap? Am I expected to tip some more at that moment as well?
Whether you are expected to tip more depends on who you ask. The waiter, etc. will definitely say yes! But, tipping is supposed to be a voluntary recognition of superior service. Don't let other peoples' expectations affect your decision. In fact, old fashioned tipping was done so discreetly that no one else knew that money was changing hands. So, you decide whether you want to or not. If not, don't worry about it. Shake their hand and say thank you and let it go at that.
You don't have a choice about tipping the bartender because the 15% tip is already added to the bill. Depending on the waiter and/or circumstance we have added to it when signing the receipt. We have never seen anyone tip the waitstaff after a meal only on the last night and a couple of times at breakfast before debarking. If you have prepaid your tips then you have nothing to worry about and no you will not look cheap.
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean