Yes, we established that room service is free, or included in the cruise fare. But we may have left Mysalian with the impression that no tip was necessary since it was included in the $10.00 a day auto-tip. While the room service steward may get a a portion of that $10.00, although I don't believe he does, it is right and customary to tip the room service steward when he brings the order to your cabin. Your cabin steward does not bring room service orders. The $10.00 auto-tip is PRIMARILY for your cabin steward and dining room wait staff. A portion goes to those that do not normally receive tips for their services.
Well then they have a problem with their tipping structure, don't they? Here's precisely what Princess says about tipping:
To save you the worry of who to tip and how much, Princess makes it easier for you to reward excellent service by automatically adding a discretionary Hotel and Dining charge of $11 USD for suites and mini-suites and $10.50 USD for all other staterooms per person per day (including children) to your shipboard account on a daily basis. This charge will be shared amongst those staff who help provide and support your cruise experience, including the wait staff, stateroom stewards, buffet stewards, galley staff, laundry staff and others.
Casino dealers and Lotus Spa personnel do not share in the Hotel and Dining charge as not all passengers utilize these services.
A 15% charge is automatically added to your bar charges and dining room wine account. This is shared amongst the beverage staff and their support staff, including cleaners and utility staff.
That doesn't leave much wiggle room. The auto tip pays in full your tipping responsibilities for everyone except Casino Dealers and Lotus Spa Personnel. They've even added an automatic 15% tip to cover everyone down below who doesn't share in the auto-tip policy.
So, no ... you don't have to tip, ever, if you don't wish to on a cruise line that carries an Auto Tip feature. The only motivation for doing so is personal preference and/or peer pressure to pay again. I don't feel motivated at all based on that, and will tip extra if I wish, or turn the feature off all together if I wish - and for me that will be that.
I and most other seasoned cruise travelers here will disagree with you on this. I don't remember the original cruise line in question but your quote from the Princess website is accurate. I checked Carnivalsite and was surprised to see that they as well have now seperated "other kitchen and wait staff" out into getting part of the auto gratuity. Royal Caribbean still considers the auto tip only to be for the Stewards, Dinning room staff and head waiter. So it truly depends on the cruise line you are going to travel on as to who shares in the auto tipping budget.
However, to say that since they get a share of the auto tip does not mean that you are absolved from any further gratuity is, well I have no other term, "cheap". If someone goes above and beyond you should give them a little extra (as service warrants) And if you were to use the room service many times, you should add a little extra. Even if the single room service waiter got the whole $1 portion, its not enough in my book. If you were in a hotel and ordered room service, would you give a single $1 bill to the waiter?
The auto gratuity concept was put in place by the cruiselines because people were leaving the ship without ever tipping for services. Adding it to your account also allows for the tips to be cahrged instead of everyone having to hold back cash for the last day for tips. The policy also helped create a formal tip amount guidline for those who didn't know how much to tip.
So I stand by F-Mattox on this one. Yes, the room service delivery waiter should get a couple of bucks, even if this is "additional" money.
I think the auto-tip is a very necessary "evil" since there are still people who don't understand the need to tip in the first place. Even floral delivery people that I have encountered are shocked when I give them a tip. Having been a waitress, I suppose it is engrained in me that all service people who give good service should receive extra appreciation. The nice kickback from it is I always receive a little extra special service in the future because of it. And personally I plan to give my cabin steward a little extra at the beginning of the cruise to let him/her know that I appreciate good service.
Hi we did our first princess cruise in November we did tip every time we used room service and we also gave our room steward,favourite bar waiter and dining waiters tips as well once in the middle of the cruise and again before we got off has we thought they had really looked after us and they work reallylong hours but must admit we are not keen on the auto tips has we are quite good tippers anyway and would not dream of going anywhere and not leaving a tip unless the service was really bad and can anyone tell us if it is true what one member of staff told us and that was the cruise liners take a percentage of the auto tips if they do we will be cancelling them in future