*Find out before you leave how much your cell phone calls and texting will cost you. We turn the phones off and put them in the safe. But, if you do that make sure you wear a watch to know what time it is on the ship and off!
*Our ship did not have a clock in the room...bring a travel clock for your room.
*Confirm whether or not your room will have a fridge. Ours did not so we asked for another bucket of ice. We brought on our own water bottles and kept 2 on ice at all times. You can bring drinks on and off the ship but not food....any snacks you want to take put in the bottom of a carry on/off bag....they go through the xray machines fine.
*The first day on the ship when you meet your cabin steward "make fiends" hand them $5 and say thanks for having my room so nice....they'll be gold for the rest of the trip....we always tip them a little cash by hand the night before our last day as well. They work 10 hr days 7 days a week! AND with a good attitude (at least that has been our experience on RCI).
~Make sure you have your personal luggage tag on as well as the porter will put one on at the curb when you arrive. We also put one inside of our suitcase....just in case. This trip one bag did not arrive by the time of the muster drill so our steward went to guest relations and it was sitting there with no "cruse tag" on it. Apparently he missed a bag. So if you don't have a suitcase by 4pm check with the steward, don't assume it's still coming.
*The first day on the ship when you meet your cabin steward "make friends" hand them $5 and say thanks for having my room so nice....they'll be gold for the rest of the trip....we always tip them a little cash by hand the night before our last day as well. They work 10 hr days 7 days a week! AND with a good attitude (at least that has been our experience on RCI).
I'm not trying to start a debate about tipping but this is something I never do because from my point of view it's like suggesting that unless you give them a cash tip in advance, you won't get excellent service.
Apart from once (about 10 years ago when the room steward was just ok),I've always had very good service without the need for a tip in advance and if I feel they have made an extra special effort then I'll give them something extra as a thank you, maybe a couple of days before the end of the cruise which they still appreciate.
jack 2007, I know we have had this discussion before, and while I agree with you in principle, that the service should be excellent without a tip, I stll believe it dosen't hurt to grease the wheels a little BEFORE the cruise--especially if you plan to give a little extra anyway. Why not do it up-front where it may do some good.
One of my Sons work at a very nice place in San Diego. They get alot of Tourist there. He says he can always tell in a hurry who will tip and who won't. Hopefully we raised him to not let that make a difference.
I bet that the persons serving us on board have the same eye. I always tip.
I've never given a cash tip upfront and usually have excellent service on Carnival. A lot of people do though and nothing wrong with it. I do try to bring them a few unique t-shirts and give them the first night. They always love them.
We gave her a whopping $5 after she had done 2 things for us already. She was VERY appreciative and she was a blessing to us the entire trip....we gave her the normal recommended tip at the end as well as $10.
$15 extra dollars is not a lot to us...but it is a lot to these fine folks who go 7 months without seeing their families. We have never tipped prior at the beginning nor at the end...until we read comments on this website from people who did and recommended it and let me tell you....we've always had great stewards except for one cruise....and I'll do it againin Oct! I think it's worth every penny. Especially the look on their face that you appreciate all they do for you.
I always tip a crisp $20 when I first meet my room steward....if he, or she, doesn't at least say hi the first or second day...they miss out on the upfront tip....if the service was over and above, they get more cash in hand at the end of the cruise plus their standard $10-$12 a day wage....they work harder than any over us would ever want to work....give them any extra you can....Happy sailing to us all...
I say no tipping till the end. and if they have been awesome thru the whole trip..yes give them a bigger tip and even a gift too. I don't think you have tip in the begin because they are doing their job, but if they are awesome then you give more at the end.