Mandatory tipping?

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Alibi Ike

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Looking to go on a cruise and in reviewing the fees I see there is an $11.50/day/person tip fee. Is this standard?
 

Samster

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We are also going on a cruise this Summer and there are "recommended" tipping amounts for various people that provide daily service to you on the ship (waiters, stateroom hosts, etc.). This amount would depend on how many individuals are providing some kind of service every day. It's based on a per person, per day amount. There are also suggestions for tipping in other areas of the ship - salon, spa, and cocktail lounges, are some examples of that.
It is not mandatory at all, but often is expected.
 

Breakfast Diva

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With most cruise ships, they are now automatically putting the per day tip on your card at boarding time. The only way to adjust this is to go to the purser's deck to have it removed, and you'll feel like a heel doing it.
Generally speaking, $11.50 a day is a bargain when you consider the kind of service you're getting. We often leave an extra tip in our room for the cabin steward if he/she has done a good job. These people wait on you hand and foot and they get very little salary or days off.
When you're onboard, you will not be able to use money. EVERYTHING will be added to your onboard account/credit card. The bars will automatically add a tip to each drink. Careful of your bar tab. It adds up quickly! Salon & spa services are not included in the $11.50 day tip.
Also, carefully read about what some cruise lines are doing now with "freestyle" or upgraded restaurants. Those restaurants are not included with your cruise fare. You must pay extra for them and an additional tip for the waitstaff. I hate those type of cruise ships. I'm so used to the all inclusive nature of the cruises in the past. Now those were great deals!
Where are you thinking of going??
 

Samster

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With most cruise ships, they are now automatically putting the per day tip on your card at boarding time. The only way to adjust this is to go to the purser's deck to have it removed, and you'll feel like a heel doing it.
Generally speaking, $11.50 a day is a bargain when you consider the kind of service you're getting. We often leave an extra tip in our room for the cabin steward if he/she has done a good job. These people wait on you hand and foot and they get very little salary or days off.
When you're onboard, you will not be able to use money. EVERYTHING will be added to your onboard account/credit card. The bars will automatically add a tip to each drink. Careful of your bar tab. It adds up quickly! Salon & spa services are not included in the $11.50 day tip.
Also, carefully read about what some cruise lines are doing now with "freestyle" or upgraded restaurants. Those restaurants are not included with your cruise fare. You must pay extra for them and an additional tip for the waitstaff. I hate those type of cruise ships. I'm so used to the all inclusive nature of the cruises in the past. Now those were great deals!
Where are you thinking of going??.
We are going on a Disney cruise again this Summer and the tips are NOT added automatically. We are having a dinner at the upscale, adults only restaurant on board and the "upcharge" includes the gratuity. It's all clearly spelled out.
I agree, $11.50 per day (especially for 2 people) is very reasonable. All of the people on the cruises that we've gone on have provided most excellent service!! I've rarely felt so well taken care of.

 

Alibi Ike

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With most cruise ships, they are now automatically putting the per day tip on your card at boarding time. The only way to adjust this is to go to the purser's deck to have it removed, and you'll feel like a heel doing it.
Generally speaking, $11.50 a day is a bargain when you consider the kind of service you're getting. We often leave an extra tip in our room for the cabin steward if he/she has done a good job. These people wait on you hand and foot and they get very little salary or days off.
When you're onboard, you will not be able to use money. EVERYTHING will be added to your onboard account/credit card. The bars will automatically add a tip to each drink. Careful of your bar tab. It adds up quickly! Salon & spa services are not included in the $11.50 day tip.
Also, carefully read about what some cruise lines are doing now with "freestyle" or upgraded restaurants. Those restaurants are not included with your cruise fare. You must pay extra for them and an additional tip for the waitstaff. I hate those type of cruise ships. I'm so used to the all inclusive nature of the cruises in the past. Now those were great deals!
Where are you thinking of going??.
It's $23/day as there are 2 of us going. I was just wondering as we've never been on a cruise.
OK, this is going to sound hokey but we're looking at the TCM cruise. (Classic movies) It looked like fun. And there are a lot of classic movies filmed 'on' boats.
http://www.tcmcruise.com/
Looked at the prices, tho, and it seems a bit high for 2 of us for 4 days as we also have to get to FL. So, I might look at a different cruise instead.
 

Generic

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Room stewards are paid paltry amounts, they basically work 7 days a week for 6 months at a time for their tips. I think the stewards get about $5 a day from that amount. Then $3.75 is for the waiters and about $2 for the assistant waiter and $0.75 for the head waiter.
It does depend on the line. There is a breakdown of standard charges at http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=266
We usually tip an extra amount to the room steward if they are exceptionally good.
 

Copperhead

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Been cruising for years, things have certainly changed over the years not only with how tips are collected but the service as well. Some ships have changed how they divi up your tip you may notice that the tips are not just for your cabin steward but for the cabin 'team', the steward gets a good chunk but not all his/her daily amount. Same goes for the wait staff.... some cruise lines take portions of their chunk and divi it among those that work in the buffet areas of the ship.
As BD pointed out you will notice on other indvidual bills that tips have been added. We were had (felt like it) the first time we did some spa treatments and the first day both of us added a nice tip to the bill. When we got back to the cabin we realized that they had already added a tip, yet there is a tip section just like other service reciepts. Be careful with these.
Getting back to the added tips, yes you can request the tips reduced or removed but usually they will drill you as to why - what was wrong etc. We did do this once with a special service as it was just a horrible experience and it is difficult to say the least. Otherwise, I will say they clearly do an outstanding job for such a small gratuity.
 

toddburme

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i have only been on one cruise but my room steward just cleaned my room and made my towels into animals. He seemed nice and was freindly but I would not have kicked him $22/day. Even $10/day was over what I left, I am sure. oops
 

Generic

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i have only been on one cruise but my room steward just cleaned my room and made my towels into animals. He seemed nice and was freindly but I would not have kicked him $22/day. Even $10/day was over what I left, I am sure. oops.
Todd.. stop cruising on Carnival (or maybe it was NCL).
On Princess, Celebrity and RCL they usually clean your room twice a day. They make the bed in the morning and they do a turn down service at night. Our cabin in genuinely spotlessly clean. They fill the ice. They bring you the daily schedule (we ask for two, since we want our own). We usually ask for an "egg crate" on top of the mattress. It's a pleasure to walk into the room each time. On Princess they also bring you fresh fruit if you request it.
If you spend the day at the beach, when you come back there is always some sand left everywhere. Come back from dinner and it's gone! I think they deserve every penny I give them in tips.
Then again, being an innkeeper, I usually leave a nice tip for housekeeping when I see they do a good job. I appreciate all the goes into doing it right.
 

toddburme

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It was a Royal Carribean cruise, and it was a while ago. I guess I did not ask for any extras. And we left in the morning and came back to change quick. Then we were out again so we probably never noticed. It was a short cruise, and I probably was oblivious.
I tip 15% or more to waitresses etc but I am way remiss in tipping my housekeeper. I need to step it up.
 

Generic

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It was a Royal Carribean cruise, and it was a while ago. I guess I did not ask for any extras. And we left in the morning and came back to change quick. Then we were out again so we probably never noticed. It was a short cruise, and I probably was oblivious.
I tip 15% or more to waitresses etc but I am way remiss in tipping my housekeeper. I need to step it up..
I am surprised that it is RCL. The animal thing is mostly Carnival and NCL. The lower-end lines.
We have found Princess to be the most welcoming to the community. It's part of their policies. And the best cruises for beaches are from San Juan, where you get to port most days. We also like their level of entertainment. There always seems to be something to do, if you want to do something.
Our next scheduled cruise is a transatlantic from South America to Europe on a premium line. But it's a long way away.
 

toddburme

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Well if you go by Rio, stop in and say hi. :)
My folks did a transatlantic on the Cunard line a few times. Mixed reviews from them. Not bad but it is a different feel.
Sort of makes me want to book a cruise!
 

Generic

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Well if you go by Rio, stop in and say hi. :)
My folks did a transatlantic on the Cunard line a few times. Mixed reviews from them. Not bad but it is a different feel.
Sort of makes me want to book a cruise!.
We are in fact starting from Rio.
I'm excited that we get to tick off another of the "weird" places that I have always wanted to go... Cape Verde. This gets added to Monaco, the Falkland Islands, Luxembourg, Sinai Peninsula, Vatican City, the Azores and the Canaries.
 

Don Draper

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With most cruise ships, they are now automatically putting the per day tip on your card at boarding time. The only way to adjust this is to go to the purser's deck to have it removed, and you'll feel like a heel doing it.
Generally speaking, $11.50 a day is a bargain when you consider the kind of service you're getting. We often leave an extra tip in our room for the cabin steward if he/she has done a good job. These people wait on you hand and foot and they get very little salary or days off.
When you're onboard, you will not be able to use money. EVERYTHING will be added to your onboard account/credit card. The bars will automatically add a tip to each drink. Careful of your bar tab. It adds up quickly! Salon & spa services are not included in the $11.50 day tip.
Also, carefully read about what some cruise lines are doing now with "freestyle" or upgraded restaurants. Those restaurants are not included with your cruise fare. You must pay extra for them and an additional tip for the waitstaff. I hate those type of cruise ships. I'm so used to the all inclusive nature of the cruises in the past. Now those were great deals!
Where are you thinking of going??.
It's $23/day as there are 2 of us going. I was just wondering as we've never been on a cruise.
OK, this is going to sound hokey but we're looking at the TCM cruise. (Classic movies) It looked like fun. And there are a lot of classic movies filmed 'on' boats.
http://www.tcmcruise.com/
Looked at the prices, tho, and it seems a bit high for 2 of us for 4 days as we also have to get to FL. So, I might look at a different cruise instead.
.
Even though it is associated with TA, I have to point out how helpful the www.cruisecritic.com website was in planning our first cruise. You will find answers to absolutely everything there, broken down by cruise line. The tipping criteria is different for each line. We've done Royal and pre-paid tips and then also left extra when service was good. BEST and MOST RELAXING vacation EVER!!!
 

toddburme

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Wow! It sounds amazing. I sent you a message so if you want any advice on Rio or want to get together just let me know.
 

EmptyNest

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Yes and you will be tipping at every turn to everyone. Nothing is free on a cruise any more. Don't know which line you are thinking of but if you want to eat in the nicest restaurants, that will cost you extra as well. I think you even have to pay for non alcoholic drinks now on some ships. They nickel and dime you to death. We did not enjoy our cruising experience. Guess it is because we are not party people. Do not drink or gamble or hang out on the dance floor so not much else to do except sit on the deck and watch the ocean. We did enjoy our land tours..but again...you pay extra for it all.
 

Alibi Ike

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Yes and you will be tipping at every turn to everyone. Nothing is free on a cruise any more. Don't know which line you are thinking of but if you want to eat in the nicest restaurants, that will cost you extra as well. I think you even have to pay for non alcoholic drinks now on some ships. They nickel and dime you to death. We did not enjoy our cruising experience. Guess it is because we are not party people. Do not drink or gamble or hang out on the dance floor so not much else to do except sit on the deck and watch the ocean. We did enjoy our land tours..but again...you pay extra for it all..
I did notice that the drinks provided are only coffee & tea. Everything else you have to buy. It would take some more investigating on my part.
 

Generic

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Yes and you will be tipping at every turn to everyone. Nothing is free on a cruise any more. Don't know which line you are thinking of but if you want to eat in the nicest restaurants, that will cost you extra as well. I think you even have to pay for non alcoholic drinks now on some ships. They nickel and dime you to death. We did not enjoy our cruising experience. Guess it is because we are not party people. Do not drink or gamble or hang out on the dance floor so not much else to do except sit on the deck and watch the ocean. We did enjoy our land tours..but again...you pay extra for it all..
To some extent that is true. Our agent often gives us a stateroom credit and we usually get some other credits. We don't drink much. And you will most likely see me drinking unsweetened ice tea or water on the ship. I actually had to specifically go out and spend some of the credit that we had on our last trip because you can't take it with you. We also very rarely will do ship tours, instead organizing our own or just walking around on our own. And you don't pay extra for shows and that. We have very rarely gone to the specialty restaurants. The cruise we are going next doesn't charge for the specialty dining, but it's a very small ship as well and a luxury line.
The cost of the alcohol is probably one of the biggest reasons that Canadians don't cruise very often. We can take a plane to Cuba, the Domincan or some other island and stay at an all inclusive resort for about $1K a week, including the flight. Alcohol is so expensive in Canada that free alcohol is a big draw for many Canadians.
 

Breakfast Diva

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If you're looking for an all-inclusive vacation I know of 3 good ones I've been to. The service and food are like being on a cruise ship, but your at the beach relaxing. The 3 places we've been that I would recommend are in Jamaica, Dominican Republic and south of Cancun. They are adults only and not party places. Let me know if you want any more info.
 

Breakfast Diva

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With most cruise ships, they are now automatically putting the per day tip on your card at boarding time. The only way to adjust this is to go to the purser's deck to have it removed, and you'll feel like a heel doing it.
Generally speaking, $11.50 a day is a bargain when you consider the kind of service you're getting. We often leave an extra tip in our room for the cabin steward if he/she has done a good job. These people wait on you hand and foot and they get very little salary or days off.
When you're onboard, you will not be able to use money. EVERYTHING will be added to your onboard account/credit card. The bars will automatically add a tip to each drink. Careful of your bar tab. It adds up quickly! Salon & spa services are not included in the $11.50 day tip.
Also, carefully read about what some cruise lines are doing now with "freestyle" or upgraded restaurants. Those restaurants are not included with your cruise fare. You must pay extra for them and an additional tip for the waitstaff. I hate those type of cruise ships. I'm so used to the all inclusive nature of the cruises in the past. Now those were great deals!
Where are you thinking of going??.
It's $23/day as there are 2 of us going. I was just wondering as we've never been on a cruise.
OK, this is going to sound hokey but we're looking at the TCM cruise. (Classic movies) It looked like fun. And there are a lot of classic movies filmed 'on' boats.
http://www.tcmcruise.com/
Looked at the prices, tho, and it seems a bit high for 2 of us for 4 days as we also have to get to FL. So, I might look at a different cruise instead.
.
Alibi Ike said:
It's $23/day as there are 2 of us going. I was just wondering as we've never been on a cruise.
OK, this is going to sound hokey but we're looking at the TCM cruise. (Classic movies) It looked like fun. And there are a lot of classic movies filmed 'on' boats.
http://www.tcmcruise.com/
Looked at the prices, tho, and it seems a bit high for 2 of us for 4 days as we also have to get to FL. So, I might look at a different cruise instead.
That doesn't seem hokey, it looks like fun. It does seem a bit pricey though, especially if you don't want an interior cabin. Do you have any frequent flyer miles to get to FL? That's how we really save on our vacations.
 

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