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Gratuities and Tipping


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For those of you who opt to give an additional tip to some of the cruise crew, who do you normal tip additionally and how much do you normally give? 

Since I tend to dine at the main dining room every evening, I usually give the waitstaff an extra tip at the end of the cruise. I also like to tip the housekeeping crew.

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I usually keep 100-150 dollars to use for extra tipping.  I generally will tip the following extra on the last night.

- favorite bartender or server (sometimes there are a few) - usually 10 or 20 each
- room steward a bit extra - usually all coins I have and any local currencies I have left over and depending on service (did I get towel animals, or feel like I was treated extra) I would give a total up to 50 (usually around 20-30)
- dinning staff if they were really good - I usually have fixed dinning in the main dinning room - 2 recent examples - had a good waiter, amazing drink server and amazing assistant waiter - I gave the waiter 10 extra and the other 2 20 each.   the other example the staff were just okay so I did not tip them extra but I took that money and gave it to other staff that were memorable

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@Woody14 That's a great idea to leave the currency you exchanged for the cruise with the staff. Since they travel those areas frequently, they would likely put it to good use! That's a pro tip. When I travel with a beverage package I usually let the package handle this tipping and travel the ship without cash in hand. I think I will consider tipping favorite bartenders additionally from now on. Thanks!

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11 minutes ago, 3Sisters said:

.When I travel with a beverage package I usually let the package handle this tipping and travel the ship without cash in hand. I think I will consider tipping favorite bartenders additionally from now on. Thanks!

I do the same with a beverage package,  I usually by day 3 (at the latest) have found a favorite bar to hang out or get drinks from as well as servers I like to get me my drinks, those are the ones I tip extra at the end if I feel like there service made me feel special

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@Woody14 I love the loyalty! I always tend to gravitate towards the least congested bar. When you make a connection with a crew member, it's hard to forget them. Especially if you return on the ship and get to see them again! Have you had this sort of experience in the past? 

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On 1/10/2023 at 10:01 PM, Woody14 said:

I usually keep 100-150 dollars to use for extra tipping.  I generally will tip the following extra on the last night.

- favorite bartender or server (sometimes there are a few) - usually 10 or 20 each
- room steward a bit extra - usually all coins I have and any local currencies I have left over and depending on service (did I get towel animals, or feel like I was treated extra) I would give a total up to 50 (usually around 20-30)
- dinning staff if they were really good - I usually have fixed dinning in the main dinning room - 2 recent examples - had a good waiter, amazing drink server and amazing assistant waiter - I gave the waiter 10 extra and the other 2 20 each.   the other example the staff were just okay so I did not tip them extra but I took that money and gave it to other staff that were memorable

Wow - we do almost the same thing, except the bartender because we usually skip around to different bars throughout the cruise, not being loyal to a single one. 
$20-30 to the room steward. 
$20-30 to the waiter. 
$15-25 to the assistant waiter. 
$10-20 to the dining room wine steward. 
$5-10 to the maitre d If he/she has done anything special for the table.

Plus we usually bring our favorite bags of candy to give to the cabin steward, waiter, assistant waiter, and wine steward- m&ms, Hershey kisses, milk duds, etc. This is all in addition to the prepaid gratuities of course. 

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@FJB I love that tip! Brining your favorite candy could certainly sweeten up anyones day. Sometimes, especially during the pandemic when the crew wasn't allowed to get off of the ship, I would bring extra beauty products and leave them behind. When you can't go off and shop around for essentials, it's so nice to treat your housekeeping staff with some nice lotions or beauty products as well. 

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15 hours ago, LukeJ said:

@FJBwow that is certainly a very generous tip. In UK we don't tend to tip other than when we go to restaurants and find the service good. Sometimes we don't tend to find it good and lower the tip

I love visiting the UK and Europe because of your tipping protocols - so much easier! Here in the US, everyone has their hand out for a tip - I despise it. 

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@FJB The European cruise lines tend to have a totally different approach to tipping than the lines from the United States. The additional gratuities received seem to always come as a surprise and are welcomed with a grateful heart. On the other hand, U.S. based lines accept the additional tips more often. It's almost an assumption you will receive additional tips if you perform exceptionally.

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@LukeJ That's true; 24 hour service requires around the clock staffing. I also notice the cruise staff floats around to different parts of the ship. Sometimes I see a server in the main dining room in the evening, and then for lunch they are helping clear plates at the outdoor buffets. I wonder if the demands of the contact are truly stated up front because the crew is pretty overworked from my perspective. That's one of the reasons I try to be so considerate and kind to the crew. It's one of my biggest pet peeves when guests are rude to the cruise crew. It's just unnecessary. 

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I'm most frustrated with guests who are rude to crew members due to a language barrier. I don't understand why a language barrier would make someone talk down to others. Coming from someone who barley speaks a second language, it is not easy. 

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Do you think cruise lines should include gratuities in the cruise fare?

I think gratuities don't necessarily need to be included in the overall fare, as long as it is mandatory for them to be paid for by the end of the itinerary. There are certainly pros and cons to both options.

https://www.cruisehive.com/should-cruise-lines-include-gratuities-in-the-fare/69744

Edited by Kendall James-Vargas
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