ditto everything Andrea said...I just got back and we did the prepaid...it's 15% on each bar purchase. It's much easier that way...the other tips added up to 100 dollars at the end of the trip which i felt was justified but I would have gladly asked the purser for an adjustment if i didn't feel the service was up to par. We also did not tip our maitre'd. We never saw him except the last night when you are asked to bring his tip. I did give our room service guys a few dollars with each delivery and tipped our server at dinner an extra 20 at the end of the trip.
On the post about kids under 2 not requiring tips, not so. CCL's tipping guidelines are not age related. Just as you pay a fare for every passenger, every passenger pays gratuities. The ship sails on a head-count capacity basis. every child took the place of a possible adult in that capacity. The tipping guidelines are based on capacity not age. If you withold tips for children you'll have to visit the Purser and have them removed. This basically cheats crew members out of their expected income. If you like the crew to welcome children and provide exceptional service in the childrens facilities and programs don't withold their pay. That is what pays for the people staffing these programs and facilities.
Very long conversation but every other cruiseline accepts the gratuities at the end after service has been provided and is acceptable as is how grat's are supposed to be provided. If you were asked to tip at a resturant and then stand in line to ask for it back if you recieved poor service would you hand over the cash? Me either, so why should you do so on a cruise? Could you be double dipped at the end and have to fight through Guest Relations? There are many many other reasons but to save time here, if you like the system do it. I never will and clients who book through me are advised not to do so.
Are we mixing up terminology here? There is "pre-paid", as in the tips are added to your cruise fare and paid when the balance is due along with the rest of the balance. And then there is the "automatic" tipping where the charges are made to your account once you check-in at the pier.
I go with the automatic tips and then usually add more in cash to those who excelled on the last night.
Nope, Dave CCL now allows you to pay the grats at booking. You are encouraged by CCL to pay them before you ever even see the ship. I have people actually ask me if they can pay them at the time of booking. Yep, I can but not without a conversation. I've had a number of clients who've had issues, mostly being double dipped as the grats again get added when everybody else's card gets hit at the end. That means a struggle with the dreaded Guest Relations. You send your CC statements and perhaps 90 days after your original request you'll get them credited back to your card... maybe. If not, start at square one and do these steps all over again as they have no record of your problem being reported.
Very good point Dave, I didn't realize there was any confusion. Auto-tipping is common and the way I normally take care of them, a little extra if someone was exceptional along with what they hit. If someone is less than exceptional I have even requested that persons tips be given to the exceptional person instead. They assured me it would be done but I have no way of knowing for sure and suspect they still give per the schedule provided. Still made me feel like justice onboard is alive.
It always gets confused about pre-paid and automatic tips. I am like Neil about my thinking that why would I pre-pay? Is money sitting that could either not be costing interest for me, or for the fortunate ones earning interest. No reason to do it.
On the automatic, I adjust mine in certain situations, sometimes I don't even go to the formal dining. So I take those off, and add some to the general for service in the casual dining. Sometimes, you get a really personable Steward and you can just ask what they would prefer. I always give extra for what is extra and beyond.
I understand them changing to this and the reasons why. It is just impersonal, and I like the old way to hand it to them and thank them.