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Old February 6th, 2010, 11:02 AM
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Default How to prepare for tipping?

My question does NOT involved the $11pppd service charges that Holland America automatically inclues in the cost of the cruise. And, I'm not asking about the rationale or justifications for tipping. This is a how-to query only.

Context: a seven night, western Caribbean cruise on Holland, with four ports of call.

I wish to go prepared with a sufficient number of dollar bills in order to give small tips, say, to the room service chap who delivers coffee to the room in the morning. But, as this is my first cruise, I'm ignorant of similar situations where I might wish to do the same.

If you were going to board the ship with cash for this purpose ($1 bills to allow for maximum flexibility on my part), how much would you carry on board for a seven night, four port cruise?

Thanks, till sparrows weigh a ton.
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Old February 6th, 2010, 11:27 AM
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Most of the tips can be added to sail-pass card ( room key) . If you want you can pay the room service waiter directly . I understand that on some ships part of the daily tip goes to the room service waiters.
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Old February 6th, 2010, 01:09 PM
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Carry it in your wallet or a money belt that you wear UNDER your clothes... put extra $$ in the safe in the cabin until you need it . Most cruise lines will change larger bills ($20) for you at the reception or Purser's desk.
Take a small amount ashore leave the rest in the safe
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Old February 6th, 2010, 02:45 PM
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We usually take around $20 for room service tips, plus enough to tip shuttle driver and stevedores at embarkation. We usually use room service for coffee for hubby in a.m., plus normally one meal when I get worn out and just don't have enough energy to go "out" to eat.
But, we take quite a bit more for tipping and cabs, etc. in ports. As said, you can take most of your cash in larger bills and exchange them as needed at the pursers desk. But, I am always surprised how many singles I spend in ports. I also like to make sure that we have cash in hand when we get off the ship at the end. Porters, shuttle or cab drivers.
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Old February 6th, 2010, 03:53 PM
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I usually keep about 10 ones in my pocket at all times. The casino or pursers desk will change large bills as needed.
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Old February 6th, 2010, 07:49 PM
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I would start out with at least 10 ones, possibly 20. You can always change bills if needed, but hopefully that should cover it.
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Old February 6th, 2010, 08:41 PM
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We use Room Service more than most people (usually twice a day), so for a 7 day cruise I'd take at least $30.00 in ones. I generally leave them in an envelope next to the safe where they're easy to get to. (No, they've never "disappeared".)

When you give your luggage to the porter before you board, I'd recommend a $2.00 per bag tip. (If we have two big bags we tip $5.00, it's just easier.)

The on board auto-tip and the 15% drink tip will cover everyone else on the ship, but you can tip extra to staff who go "over and above" the expected service.

If you take an excursion and find it fun and interesting you might want to tip $5.00-$10.00 to the tour guide and driver.

Almost all of this (except the auto-tips) are really up to you.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 08:38 AM
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Fern,

Thank you for the examples. They prompt another question, if I may.

You speak of tipping the porter when you deliver the bags, and that's done at the time of service, right? On the other hand, it appears you are tipping the roomservice person(s) in an envelope at the end of the cruise. Or did I misunderstand?

I had envisioned (remember, this is my first cruise, and I'm tee-totally ignorant of the protocols) tipping the room service person when the morning coffee I've ordered is delivered to the room. Is this NOT the way to do it?

Thanks, till sparrows weigh a ton.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 02:22 PM
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We tip room service as it is delivered, since you may not have the same person delivering it every time. Envelopes at the end used to be standard, but with the automatic tipping system, we only use them to leave a little something extra if the service has been above and beyond. Even then, hubby usually prefers to do it in person, so he can say thank you and make it clear that the money is in addition to auto tips.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 07:43 PM
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Hi Riv,
When you first arrive at the pier, there are porters that do not work for the cruiseline, that take bags and get them on the ship. You want to tip them, or the person who actually accepts your luggage, right there to insure that your luggage DOES make it on the ship.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivilian View Post
Fern,

Thank you for the examples. They prompt another question, if I may.

You speak of tipping the porter when you deliver the bags, and that's done at the time of service, right? On the other hand, it appears you are tipping the roomservice person(s) in an envelope at the end of the cruise. Or did I misunderstand?

I had envisioned (remember, this is my first cruise, and I'm tee-totally ignorant of the protocols) tipping the room service person when the morning coffee I've ordered is delivered to the room. Is this NOT the way to do it?

Thanks, till sparrows weigh a ton.
I've re-read my post and I'm so sorry for any confusion . As Donna said, you should tip the porter's who take your luggage at the pier and put it on the ship.

Yes, you should tip Room Service as you use it. Sometimes you'll have the same RS person, but not always. The envelope I was talking about was the one we keep handy (with lot's of one dollar bills) for quick use .
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Old February 28th, 2010, 01:27 PM
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Fern: Once on board ship we would just put all our money in the safe until we reach a port.

But on our last cruise we used room service a lot more than usual..and it WAS a hassle to open the safe each time to get money for a tip...so keeping a tipping envelope handy with dollar bills in it for room service is a great suggestion we're going to use!
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Old February 28th, 2010, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fieldmouse View Post
Fern: Once on board ship we would just put all our money in the safe until we reach a port. !
We just returned from 7 nights on the Eurodam. As soon as my thoughts settle (it'll be this week!), I'll write up a review and post some pictures.

We used the room safe a lot. People differ, I suppose. We didn't find accessing it difficult, and it gave us a lot of peace of mind to stash really valuable things in it -- passports, extra cash, my wife's jewelry.

We used room service every morning for coffee/breakfast (my wife prefers the quietude of cabin breakfasting, I prefer coffee when I wake up, breakfast later with people I've never met before, which is fun ).

And, yes, the room service personnel seemed to be different every morning. I happily tipped him a dollar every time one of them appeared. And, then I felt guilty for not tipping him more .

Frankly, I was flabbergasted at the attention we received though it was so non-intrusive. How one pulls that off is beyond me, but they did it. They seemed like Ninjas -- when you are in, they are not; when you are out, they are in. You'd think they were hiding in a cupboard in the room.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivilian View Post
You'd think they were hiding in a cupboard in the room.
They are ! As soon as you leave the room they come out, clean up and then go back into the cupboard!

Looking forward to your review,
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Old February 28th, 2010, 10:24 PM
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Rivilian we love the cabin safe too..but for some reason we ALWAYS forget to have ready the tip when we order room, laundry or dry cleaning services, and then as soon as we hear that knock on the door, suddenly like Pavlov's dog we remember and start our scramble for the safe!

So..for us having a little envelope handy outside the safe with some tip money will work like a charm...:-D

Quit anxious to read your review of the cruise ship Eurodam too. We've only been on the Osterdam and loved it. I think the Eurodam is a little smaller right???
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