1) No tips are required in any restaurant, including specialty dining. You don't need to feel obligated to leave a tip. If you do, try the $2.00 bill as I suggested and other posters have agreed they work well. You don't have to feel "cheap" by not leaving a tip.
2) On NCL, it is an employment requirement for crew members to SPEAK and READ English. That is a fact of the employment agreement on NCL. Mary (other poster) is correct ...no assumptions...it is the official language of NCL ships.
3)Jim: When we leave the $2.00 bill taped to the mirror...we always leave a note (3M "Post It" pads work great) to the cabin steward with a "Thank You For your Special Service." Believe me, the cabin steward fully understands the $2.00 bill is for them and they do know how to read.
If I left a $2 tip in one of the specialty restaurants, it would make me feel cheap. Why would anyone want to tape a tip to their mirror? Wouldn't it be better to hand your cabin steward the tip and tell you appreciate the service your getting? Who's enjoying the two dollar bill thing the most? My bet would be you rather than whomever is receiving the tip.
Every traveler has different ways of handling tips/rewards to waiters, taxi cab drivers, room stewards, baggage handlers etc.
I wouldn't get down on what people do and how they do it.
Leaving a $2.00 bill as tip in a specialty restaurant might make YOU feel cheap, but the $2.00 bills bring curiosity and leaving something is better than nothing. There are no requirements to leave tips in a specialty restaurant, and many cruise diners do not leave any tips at all. So while it may feel cheap to you, don't be so quick to condemn those who might do this or particularly us in your post.
Nor should you be so quick to condemn passengers on how they might handle extra gratuities in staterooms. We have our way of rewarding the crew, the way we want to. While it may work for us and others may have other styles, don't be so quick to criticize. There are many times passengers don't see their cabin stewards on a daily basis and other posters here might agree or disagree, especially in a day when at port. Passengers may leave early to exit the ship, and in get in late after returning.
There are many ways to grant gratuities to crew members. Do what feels best to you personally, but don't berate any passenger for how they handle personal decisions. On most cruises that I have been on, which is many, crew members are happy to receive any kind of rewards, whether cash rewards, or gifts brought back on ship from a port of call. Sometimes just a "thank you card " helps build a relationship with the crew members. Also don't forget when on NCL, (and this is their forum site), a simple crew staff evaluation and accommodation at the end of the cruise on the guest evaluation card serves as a reward to that crew member.
Remember, Sonny, what might seem wrong to you doesn't make it wrong for others. Be open minded in your responses. While many posters may have their own way of doing things, it doesn't make them wrong.
I beleive the purpose of these forums are to provide ideas, answer questions about cruise experiences, and to help others. It is not to criticize posters for what they may or may not do, and how they do it, and whether you like it personally or not.
This is a great website, lets keep the remarks positive for all posters.
First of all, who's condemning passengers? I said I would feel cheap leaving $2 tip. I rather not leave a tip than to leave any less than a $5 billóBut that's me, you can do what ever you want, and I'm sure you will. I asked why anyone would tape a tip to their mirror because it sounded kind of weird. But, I guess I should have considered the source. Being weird doesn't make it wrong.
This is the second time you tried to reprimand be because you didn't like my response to your post. My advice to you is to lighten up. We have fun on these forums also. So, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
From a "newcomers" point of view, I've found this website to be biased toward cruiselines other than NCL. There are far friendlier websites/cruise forums available - with information geared toward NCL cruisers.
Sonny - perhpas you should be the one to lighten up and get out of the kitchen.