One more question. I read somewhere on here that you should tip your room seward 20 when you first board. Is this a good idea or will they be offended if you offer 20 then don't tip again until the end? If you were the person who did that or who does that, what does it accomplish? Was your room cleaner? Did you get more attention? Just wondering if it is something we should do.
I've found that giving an "up front" tip does seem to give you some extra treatment....not that your room steward wouldn't do a good job anyway...I give them a $20 bill the first time I meet them...but this isn't their only tip I give them, they do get their cruise end tip....I also tip $1 or $2 when some member of the crew does something that they really didn't have to....they work very hard to make your cruise special, so treat them nice.
We go to our local bank and request about 25 $2.00 bills. These are very rare to cruise staff or crew members. They very seldom see a $2.00 bill. If we ask our room steward for something special and if he pulls thru, then we leave a $2.00 bill taped to the mirror in the stateroom for him to pick up. First of all, it's an extra tip for them, and it becomes a conversation piece to the cruise staff member. If we get the extra special treatment in a dining room or specialty restaurant, we leave the waiter a $2.00 bill.
Don't be surprised after a few nights of doing this your regular waiter just might give you some super extra service.
While this idea may seem hokey, it works. Just give it a try. Besides it's fun to gave a few extra bucks for that special service that you might receive on a cruise.
My old friends Tom and Mary were also advocates of using the $2 bill, and wrote a few articles about it some years ago. If I recall correctly, Tom used to fold the $2 bill in a special way and tell a story of good luck as he presented it.
In any case, we have never tipped upfront. We do tip for room service, and for any extras (such as when our cabin steward delivered laundry we had sent out for cleaning). Of course, that means I can't assess if there is any difference in service, but we have always been very pleased in nearly 30 cruises.
Ultimately, whether to tip a portion upfront is a personal decision. No matter what, treating the stewards nicely, as Bob E stated, goes a long way.
We have used $2 Bills for on-board tipping for many years. They work like magic with the crew, they seem to develop many more cruise friendships with the staff and they do indeed get attention. As a result the cruises are truly more memorable and pleasurable. When a great job is done is should be rewarded accordingly- and ship's staffs are outstanding at doing great jobs! Treat them like gold and, believe me, they'll treat you to an unbelievable cruise adventure!
Whatever denomination you choose to use, I would advise against just leaving it in the cabin (taped to the mirror or otherwise) for the steward. Wait until you see them (which you will) and hand it to them. It must be very awkward for a crew member to try to determine if money in the cabin is for them or not (even if you leave a note, what if they can't read English?) They are trained not to take money or any other objects from passenger staterooms without permission.
I do tip extra, sometimes I do so at the beginning of a cruise, most of the time I give them extra tips every couple of days or when they do something notable. We have two teen girls now, but when they were younger, they would make a mess and cause our stewards more work than normal. Knowing this they got a little extra tip up front with an apology for the extra work.
Mary- That's a pretty big assumption on your part. Just because its the official language does not mean that everyone can read and write it. Many of the crew members speak English well (and I applaud them for that since I can't say that I am able to converse in more than one language) but being able to speak a language does not mean being able to read it as well. Heck, English is the official language of the United States, but how many millions of people living hear can not read and write (or even speak) the language.
I stand by my previous comment about not leaving tips for the steward to pick up. (notice that Richard did not say he left a note and I only said "even if you leave a note") I'm not going to expect my cabin steward to risk his job by taking money that may or may not be intended for him. It is still by far better to hand them any tips.
I try to use the $2 bills also...they do seem to be something special....and handing the crew an extra tip in person is a better way...the smile is well worth it.....just be nice to the crew, a simple "Good Morning" and a smile works wonders too.....Happy cruising to one and all..
I don't quite get the fixation with $2 bills. Personally I'd be just as happy with two $1's, but I'd really prefer a $5.
Regardless, I think the personal touch is the way to go.
Anyone ever scrape tape residue off of a mirror? It can be annoying.
As to the original post - we have never seen a difference in room cleanliness or service. But in any case you won't be offending your cabin attendant whether you do or don't slip them some green upfront. They don't expect it.