Originally Posted by penny3333
I find the easiest way is to do the automatic gratuities, then at the end of the cruise or whenever I want to give someone something extra I do. The crew members who work the rock wall or ice skating rink are a little higher up on the food chain and make a good deal more than the regular crew members. However, if your grandchildren receive extra special treatment, there is no harm in giving a tip. I always tip the excursion drivers/boat captains/crew members, etc. IF they provide a great excursion.
There are some that tip the first or second night, and then again at the end, but I prefer to tip above the automatic gratuities at the time of service. I have, on occasion, given an extra $20 or so on the last night to some of the crew. Usually a favorite bar tender, almost always my cabin steward and their assistant, sometimes the head waiter or maitre d'. It really all depends on the service I receive.
I do the same as Penny. I leave my auto gratuities on and then give extra the last day/night. Especially to those that go beyond what is expected. And often times that is quite a few. I never stiff anyone for lackluster service - I just don't give them extra. I spend some time thanking the crew for their service and tipping them the last day.
As Penny said attendants for the rock wall are higher up and don't necessarily depend on or work for gratuities. They basically get paid more than say the more service orientated crew like cabin stewards, servers, etc. Room service should be tipped at the time of service. I tip them accordingly to the size of the order and speed of delivery.