If we do not eat in the main dining room at all, are we expected to tip the wait staff, head waiters, etc...? What if we only go there one night? On our last cruise, we only went one night and did the buffet the other nights.
Also, what about the concierge? We are in Grand Suites and expect to visit the concierge lounge daily and use the services. Will we receive an envelope for them or do we just tip them the last night?
And, since we always go to the buffets: we don't like to spend time on dinner, just eat and go, should be tip the guys who visit our tables and offer drinks/refills, take our dirty plates away etc... on a nightly basis?
I have worked for tips before and understand the importance of tips but also believe that tips should be earned.
Any tips concerning this will be greatly appreciated (no pun intended).
Understand that even if you don't use the dinning room, most of the dinning staff do shifts in the buffet area. So the buffet staff are tipped from the same tips that are paid to your dinning room waiters. We have discussed this before and have never been able to definitively determine percentages that go to each area. The only thing we can say for sure is that any extra tip (beyond the automatically paid ones) that you hand out will go to the person you gave them to. (Although we have heard that on some lines, all tip money is given up to a pool that percentages are paid out of.)
IF you do not use the dinning room at all, then you would be justified in removing those tips from your account assuming you then gave that money to the buffet staff through out the cruise. But that is not always easy to do since sometimes you do not see a buffet staff member during your "eat and run" stop at the buffet.
Sonny has much more experience at the concierge lounge use so I'll step aside and let him answer.
I feel the gratuities should always be kept on the account and if there was an individual that really stood out, then give that individual extra. Really, most cruise lines guidelines is $10 per day per person. $3.50 of that goes to your cabin steward. That means $6.50 is going to the wait staff. Since we don't really know which crew member put in longer hours than the other, or which pulled double duty, just leave it on your account and let the cruise line take care of the crew. Whether they are waiting on you in the dining room, or taking care of your needs in the buffet area, all the crew as a whole, are working together long hours to make your cruise vacation a great experience. Most people would tip $6.50 or more for just one meal back home. $6.50 for all your meals and snacks all day is not asking for much. The crew deserve it and earn it.
We are new to cruising and I read all up on the tipping thing (Golden Princess) and in theory we could just walk away and be even. All tips would be preoperly distributed. And I thought ok that will be easy. Even though I usually do not like automatic tipping.
But our experience was so good and our wait staff and room stew were so good and made things so much fun and enjoyable we made sure we hit them directly with cash each day we could. I don't mind paying when people earn it. They worked their butts off. And yes they do double-triple duty all over the ship.
I am a bit confused. Cruise Fanatic posted " Gratuties should be kept on account" Others like the idea of tipping the person face to face (so to speak)... Is your account automatically hit for the gratuity or do you have the ability to add tips to the final bill? Apparently (from what I have read) you dont "tip as you go" ??? If I am at dinner, should I just leave or leave a tip when finished? Does this go for all the eateries on the ship? If I dont go to the dining room & let say order room service, how does the room gervice attendant get the tip if I dont give it to him. Do they really track you THAT closly?
Originally posted by Suzy D:
Apparently (from what I have read) you dont "tip as you go" ??? If I am at dinner, should I just leave or leave a tip when finished? Does this go for all the eateries on the ship? If I dont go to the dining room & let say order room service, how does the room gervice attendant get the tip if I dont give it to him. Do they really track you THAT closly?
Depends on the cruise line You can just ask not to have them added to your account & tip at the end of the cruise usually the last night they will have envelopes for you to put the tip money in.
Yes after your meal you just leave.
for drinks they will add the 15% gratuity/taxes at the time of sale...the amount will go on your S& S card.
for room service you may want to tip when they bring your order a couple $$ will do.
You can always just leave the daily amount on your Account and if you feel you got very good service from certain staff just tip them a bit extra at the end of the cruise.
Some cruise lines pool the tips so it make no difference to the crew they have to turn in whatever you give them.
Alexandr Pushkin, Carnival-Holiday, HAL-(old)Westerdam, Orient lines-Marco Polo, Royal Olympic-Olympic, NCL-Dream, Dawn-Princess, ACCL-Grande Caribe, Oceania-Insignia (3), Regatta(4) Marina (1) St Lawrence Cruise Lines-Canadian Empress
Apparently (from what I have read) you dont "tip as you go" ???
No, you don't. As Lyn posted, bar sales automatically have 15% added to each purchase. It will be on your receipt when you sign for the drink(s). When you order room service, give them a couple dollars (small order) or as much as $5 for a larger order when they deliver it.
Eating in the dining room or the buffet is not like going to a typical restaurant where you tip when you leave. The tips for the dining room and cabin staffs are either automatically added to your account at a set rate for the cruise or are handed out in cash by you on the last night of the cruise (in the envelopes Lyn mentioned). Some people believe that slipping their cabin attendant or waiter a $20 on the first day gives them better service. I don't subscribe to that idea and have never felt I was slighted. However I do give cash tips to bartenders and waiters in my favorite bars on off and on during the cruise and it does seem to give me faster service and at least on Royal Caribbean my drinks seem to be more potent.
On Carnival the gratuities are included on your sail and sign account but we always tip the servers who really stand out - the exceptional bartender who remembers my fave drink and to brink my extra glass of ice or the cabin steward who goes the extra mile - we usually do this in cash the last night of the cruise.
Cruisin' is a lifestyle!!!