My family will be cruising on Glory in December and I had a question about tipping. We have a five-year-old and a three-year-old, this will be their first cruise. I'm a little bit uncomfortable with the idea that they will each be expected to tip $10 per day, for a total of $140. They will be using pull-down beds and we will likely eat most meals at one of the buffets, so it seems a bit much to hand over $140.
What are my options and what are your opinions (in other words, am I the only one who feels this way)?
You are probably not the only one who feels this way. I just took four kids on a 7 day cruise and I understand that it adds up. That's the way it goes, however. IMHO kids are far more work than adults, but even starting that debate stirs up a whole can of worms. You have to pay to play on a prix fixe vacation, and if you think about 140 bucks spread over a week that really is... child's play. Remember that this $ goes to the cabin crew as well. No matter how clean you believe your kids to be, just think of the cartons of chocolate milk, the bowls of cereal, the barely touched pieces of pizza, etc that your family will leave behind every time you leave the buffet, and the extra wet towels, washcloths, sand, little pieces of clothing, beanie babies, snorkels, etc that will be in the cabin crew's way every time they enter your cabin.
If you want to see what I have to say on this subject, and read the comments of others, go to the "ten bucks? THAT'S OUTRAGEOUS!" thread in the general cruise chat forum.
I hope you have a lovely cruise. Believe me when i tell you that the 140 is going to be a drop in the bucket!
I am sure you are most definitely not alone on this one, but I am afraid I must agree with Carla. I only have one daughter, but from the time she started cruising at age 4 (she is now 23) she has been MUCHHHHH higher maintenance for the cruise staff then my husband or myself ever were. There are all the issues that Carla has already brought up, THEN you need to add special requests by young ones for specific food items, or specific preparation. (Now, your children may not be nearly as picky as my daughter, but I can tell you - she always makes them work for their money here). AND even if your children are using the pull-downs, the sheets are still changed, beds are made and put away during the day then lowered with turn down service in the evening. Again, this may not be an issue for you, but the cabin stewards must also work around the sleep schedule of children. In my daughter's case (particularly in her teen years), she thought nothing of beginning her day at noon. This meant that the cabin stewards had to come in and clean our room during their very limited time off. I have found that the staff goes out of their way to make sure children are happy and in most cases spend extra time attending to them (voluntarily I might add). So, yes at first glimmer it does seem like a lot of money, but all things considered, its not a bad deal.
We took our 3 kids with us on the Glory in March and they were on the 2nd floor with their godmother and we were on the 8th. But........they spent MOST of their time in our room and our cabin steward was SOOOO Good to leave extra chocolates in OUR room for the kids, he did all kinds of special things for them and they were not even staying in our room. One night my 9 yo wanted to stay with us so they made him a bed on the couch. I have to say they DO go way out of the way for kids and it doesn't matter where you paid for them to stay. I was really impressed! It does seem like alot of money but once the kids got locked out of our room(they had a key to ours and we had one to theirs) and our room steward let them in and then checked on them until we came to the room.
Carnival Freedom June 2009
Crown Princess March 2009
Carnival Glory January 2008
Naviagator of the Seas Mar 07
Sovereign of Seas Oct 06
Carnival Glory March 2005
Nordic Empress 1996
ummmmm I am really surprised that you think 10.00 a day is alot for tipping for the children, let me ask you how much do you pay for a babysitter for them when you and your wife go out for a evening, and while you are thinking about that how many hours are you going out for 2 -3 -4. when the kids go to camp carnival they are there on an average of 6 to 12 hours depending on the programs so that 10.00 can be 1.00 a hour to 75 cents a hour for each child, your children wil be tended with fun things to do and responsible cruise personel that will be sure your kids will have a great time, and leave you free not to worry while they are with them, they do have a slumber night on board one night so mom and dad can stay out till 3;00 or stay in to do adult things without the kids running in and out, they do charge 25.00 for the first member and extra siblings are either 5.00 or 10 dollars they take them from 7: pm till 3: am and have a slumber party with who ever signs up and they bring each of the children back to your cabin at 3: am we did not even hear my grand-daughter come back to the room they made sure she was safe and sound and she had a great night she got to stay up till 3 in the morning, they even make sure they get fed if you go on shore and decide to leave them in camp Carnival to do any excursions without the kids, when we were on the Victory we chatted with one of the counselers out by the water slide she was watching 2 boys they did not want to go on shore with mom and dad they wanted to use the waterslide and play in the pool so she stayed with them even tho they were the only 2 that signed up for the day at port, trust me it will be the best 10.00 a day you will ever spend and it includes the room steward to as they also keep a eye on the kids, and even the dining room waiters we ran into, our waiters in buffet and other places on ship and they always went out of there way to make sure the kids had everything they needed as far as food and cheerful conversation, in the beginning I to thought that 10.00 was abit much but after 6 cruises you come to appreciate the crew members and how hard they work to make your vacation something to remember, so think again what 10.00 a day can buy you, peace of mind!! Fran happy cruz'n
I thought long and hard about that as well. We went with 2 adults 2 teens and a 4 year old. So we were dishing out 50 dollars a day in just some tips (not all tips) I consodered and could have taken off her 10/day tip at the desk but in the end figured it was worth it, our service was good..it was vacation..i just let it slide. I kept up after my kids pretty good-we were sardines in our room so we HAD to keep it clean b/c the room steward could barely get in the room through the beds. But it was worth it..not a huge deal. i would read the other mentioned post..its an eye opener.
Carnival Fantasy 6/05
RCCL Sovereign of the Seas 4/07
RCCL Navigator 12/07
RCCL Navigator 11/08
RCCL Liberty 7/4/09
JonathanNC...I see that they have been beating you up pretty good about your question. I also have cruised with two children and for the normal everyday person when you have 4 people and sit back and think $40 a day in tips seems a little overwhelming. The only advise I can give you that I dont think anyone mentioned is you can go to the main desk and add/subtract or adjust you tips to whoever you choose. I know that I usually don't make it to every sit down dinner and only use the sit down for dinner, the rest of the time I'm at the buffet's so I make sure I adjust that portion accordingly. I also will agree with everyone else that you cabin steward usually goes far and beyond what the normal person is used to. Therefore I usually insure I give them cash at the end of the cruise that way I know that they are the ones getting paid for their efforts. Hope this helps and by the end of your cruise you will be a pro....Happy cruising!!!! W. White
Thank you all for your comments and opinions - they have been very helpful. The responses have been encouraging and I have a much better feeling about why the $10 per day per child is appropriate and deserved. That was exactly why I posted the question - I was looking for opinions. I am sure that I would have tipped the recommended amount had I not posted here, but now I am going into the cruise with a much better feeling about it.
To peachcrek ('ummmmm I am really surprised that you think 10.00 a day is a lot for tipping for the children...'), I think that my question was perfectly vaild. I do not mind spending money as long as I have a good idea of the value in return - clearly, from the above posts, the tip rates are appropriate.
hi I hope you did not take offence, as I to thought in the beginning of cruising with kids that it was an issue but after traveling with grandkids on 2 cruises I changed my whole attitude about tipping for the kids, it is well worth it happy cruz'n