I beleive that this price should have a name change if it is truly for wages and not tipping. I would perfer to have the price upfront, so we could budget out trip better. I am so thankfull for this chat. Is there any more additional costs that are not upfront that I do not know about?
Nothing that they automatically add to your account. There is always a possibility of them adding a fuel surcharge though HIGHLY unlikely. There will be plenty of voluntary purchasing opportunities though.
Like Dwayne said.. nothing they automatically add to your account. (Again you can modify this amount if you choose to do so). So you CAN in theory get on the ship and not spend anything additional for your trip. However, this is rarely done (at least I have never known anyone to spend $0 extra).
Extra items are - Photos... its like going to Disney World.. they take your picture every time you turn around.. this can rack up big bucks if you try to buy them all- DON'T... if you choose to buys pictures pick and choose carefully. They encourage you to buy them throughout the week as they are taken. My suggestion is to wait until the end when you can look at them ALL and choose a couple you feel you must have. We normally buy the formal night family picture (when we are all dressed up) as this is like going to have a family picture taken.
Soda and Drinks- coffee/tea, milk, lemonade, juices and hot chocolate are free sodas and adult drinks are an extra charge
Spa visits- anything in the spa is an extra charge. This can get expensive so be careful is you are on a budget.
Steakhouse- $30 pp extra.. but worth the price for at least one trip during the cruise (in my opinion)
Casino money (of course)
Excursions- you can buy excursions online before the cruise if you want to know an amount before you start but you can also add them on the ship.
Bingo. They play at least one round of bingo each day. count on $20 a go...
I'm sure I am forgetting something but those are the major items. They normally make it clear when something is an extra fee but when in doubt, ask. Also be careful in the spa, several treatment have a base price and anything they "offer" you can be an up charge. Make sure you know what the extra fees are before agreeing to add anything to a treatment.
So if you are not going to drink soda or alcohol and don't do any excursions or want any pictures... it is possible not to incur extra charges.. but like I said, I don't know of anyone to pull this off.
On the same topic - we were given an envelope on the last day of our cruise on Carnival Elation for a separate tip for the maitre d'. No guidance as to how much should be given. We did leave a tip but were not sure if many folks are actually tipping the maitre d' and if we gave too much/too little. Any comments?
Before tipping was added directly to our account, it was a suggestion to each give $5 for the maitre d...this was on Celebrity. Now with tips being added together I don't know what he/she gets out of it. But we were never asked to give anyone more outside of what they added to our account. We too do give extra to our special ones that took care of us.
I only tip the Maitre'D extra if I ask for something extra or if he/she has done something extra for me. Like changing a seating assignment or allowing guests with a different dining time to join me for dinner. Most often I don't see them until tip time the last night.
I'm not sure how Carnival operates, as I haven't sailed with them yet, but maybe will in the future. On my previous cruises, I prepaid my gratuities, and if I felt there was a staff member that deserved something extra, I gave them extra in addition to a prepaid voucher. On RCI, they give you envelopes, and if you prepaid gratuities, gave you vouchers.
An example, on my cruise in 2009, by the 3rd night of a 5 night cruise, my dining room waiter knew that I wanted decaf coffee with my dessert (I didn't even have to ask her). I gave her the suggested amount by means of a prepaid voucher, and extra cash, all in the envelope dedicated to the dining room waiter.
2007 - Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas)
2009 - Enchantment of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
2010 - Freedom of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
2013 - Golden Princess (Alaska, roundtrip from Seattle)
I really like the fact that the gratuities are optional and adjustable. We are not big on fancy dinners and only went to the dining room twice..so i'm sorry but I downsized the gratuity for our waiter just because we didn't use that service. But our room steward was fabulous and somehow remembered all of our names and was always there to open our door or get us something extra, so we tipped him more than the recommended amount. I think that's how it should work.