Go Back   Cruise Reviews Forums > Cruise Lines > Princess Cruises
Register Forgot Password?
New! Use your Facebook, Google, AIM & Yahoo accounts to securely log into this site, click logo to login  
Search

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2006, 12:59 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4
Default
Hi

Before I start, I know this topic will no doubt have been discussed to death many times over on this board, to the extent that seasoned users on here will be sick to death of reading about it, so I apologise in advance.

However, I am pretty new to this board, and will be going on my first cruise later this summer, and I could really do with a bit of help from people who are more experienced.

The basic dilemma I have is how exactly to go about tipping. From whatI can gather, there is a charge of $10 per person per day which is billed automatically. I know that this can be cancelled - I will come to that in a minute. My main issue with this charge is that there will be 4 of us (including an 18 month old, who will be getting virtually all of his "service" from us). This would mean a total of around $560-$600 over the 2 week period, which seems a little bit steep to me, especially given the cost of the cruise in the first place.

Now, I am aware that some people choose to cancel this automatic billing and tip manually. In such a case, are you expected to tip every time someone does something for you (e.g. room service) or can you wait until the end of the trip and tip various people for their service over the cruise as a whole? The latter would definitely seem more preferable to me, however if I was to take such an option, how much would be a reasonable amount to give in a one off payment?

As much as I don't want to come across as cheap and miserable, and as much as I do intend to reward the staff who treat us well, the trip itself is costing us quite a bit, and we don't have an everlasting supply of finances, so any help anyone can give with regards to getting the balance right would be hugely appreciated!

Many thanks.
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2006, 12:59 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4
Default
Hi

Before I start, I know this topic will no doubt have been discussed to death many times over on this board, to the extent that seasoned users on here will be sick to death of reading about it, so I apologise in advance.

However, I am pretty new to this board, and will be going on my first cruise later this summer, and I could really do with a bit of help from people who are more experienced.

The basic dilemma I have is how exactly to go about tipping. From whatI can gather, there is a charge of $10 per person per day which is billed automatically. I know that this can be cancelled - I will come to that in a minute. My main issue with this charge is that there will be 4 of us (including an 18 month old, who will be getting virtually all of his "service" from us). This would mean a total of around $560-$600 over the 2 week period, which seems a little bit steep to me, especially given the cost of the cruise in the first place.

Now, I am aware that some people choose to cancel this automatic billing and tip manually. In such a case, are you expected to tip every time someone does something for you (e.g. room service) or can you wait until the end of the trip and tip various people for their service over the cruise as a whole? The latter would definitely seem more preferable to me, however if I was to take such an option, how much would be a reasonable amount to give in a one off payment?

As much as I don't want to come across as cheap and miserable, and as much as I do intend to reward the staff who treat us well, the trip itself is costing us quite a bit, and we don't have an everlasting supply of finances, so any help anyone can give with regards to getting the balance right would be hugely appreciated!

Many thanks.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2006, 02:03 PM
Dave's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 17,742
Default
Excelcius,

If you decide against the auto-tipping you are not expected to tip immediately following each act of service to you. The exception here is the room service, where a small gratuity is customary for each trip to your cabin. This is even true for those who stay with the automatic tipping program. I usually give a couple bucks per trip by room service. Obviously if it as unusually large order I would go to $5 or so.

Other than that, you can wait until the end of the cruise and hand out envelopes on the last night of the cruise. However it is also true that for long cruises such as yours, many passengers will tip at the end of each week. Splitting it up like that can be helpful to the crew.

Also - it is perfectly acceptable to not pay the full "suggested amount" for babies. In this case 50% of the suggested amount is fine. Obviously if your cabin attendant or dining room staff does something special for the child you'd want to make note of it. If the child still is in diapers for instance, then the cabin steward will be dealing with disposal of soiled diapers and such.
__________________
Dave
Editor, CruiseReviews.com
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2006, 02:18 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9
Default
Hi,

I understand your problem and think you will find that Princess is really good about the tipping. First, you can go to the Purser's Desk and take all or part of the tipping off your bill. They are very good about this and understand when there are 4 in a cabin and a couple of those are very young. Don't worry about the purser as they should not give you a problem. I have seen a couple of them sort of frown but they don't always understand the circumstances. Second, if you choose to take the daily tip off, you should consider tipping your dining service staff and your cabin attendant. I would guess your cabin attendant will be very busy if all of you are in 1 cabin. If you have traditional fixed dining, you should tip either at the start of the trip for the entire trip (some prefer this method) or at the end of the trip. They have envelopes at the Pursur's desk. Same for your cabin attendant. If you have Personal Choice dining, you should consider leaving some of your tip on your bill so it will get to the right folks. Very tough to tip every night you go because you may get multiple servers. As for the bar staff, tip will be included with whatever you order automatically even with sodas. If they have a "Soda Card" for a fixed price, you will be able to get sodas just by showing your cruise card with the coke sticker on it. As for buffet, no way to really tip unless one of the folks in the seating area helps you significantly. I have never seen anyone tip in the buffet but am sure some folks do. Again, if you leave some on your bill, they will share. So my experience has been that leaving something (say $10 per day for 2 or 3 of your family)on your bill gives you a lot of options. If you find someone that you really like and they do something exceptional for you, you might want to give them something as an individual tip. Certainly if you cabin attendant does something over and above to help you with your 18 month old, they should get something. Again, up to you. It is certainly nothing to be stressed about and I am certain you will feel comfortable doing whatever you choose once you are on the ship. One thing to remember is that service on a Princess Cruise if for the most part superb. The pay they get from the cruise line is, I understand, not all that great and the tips make a difference. Therefore, service should be exceptional. Sorry for the long reply. Above all, enjoy your cruise.
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2006, 02:57 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 16
Default
Unless their contract has change since a few months ago,if you cancel your tip any money you give directly to the waiter/waitress at the end of the cruise goes into the general kitty and not to the waiter/waitress. If you keep the tip on your account and give a little extra to a waiter/waitress that you think did an outstanding job, then they get to keep the extra money. Sunprincess would know better if this has changed since my last cruise in February.
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2006, 03:23 PM
Carlalena1's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 495
Default
I completely understand where you are coming from but I disagree with adjusting a tip downward because the child is a toddler. I cruised with four of my kids last summer- one cabin. I was hit with a $50 gratuity fee per day. Leaving aside the issue that this is so minimal, on a per person basis, I think that if you look at the situation you will see that kids require every bit as much service as adults do. They might not require wine to be corked or directions to be given, but you will find that you are interacting with the staff much more with the baby than you would be if you were cruising with another adult. Ten bucks per day is not a lot when you consider it "pays" the cabin stewards who will bring extra dry sheets and vacuum cheerios up off the floor every day, the waiters who will bring extra half-cups of milk and plain pasta, the busboys who will clean mashed bananas, toast, apples, bagels, melon, etc off the high chairs and floors and tables, yadda yadda yadda. I could go on here but you get my drift!

Ten bucks per day is not much. The bigger your family is, and the longer your cruise is, the more that will add up. These variables are in your control- but you got to pay to play!
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2006, 03:36 PM
Dave's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 17,742
Default
I went looking around and found out that Princess suggests the full amount for all passengers regardless of age. I was thinking of NCL with my 50% reduction comments. Actually, NCL suggests no tips (service charge) for an 18 month old!

FWIW, we started cruising with our son when he was 20 months old and we have always paid full gratuities (and then some) for him because, as Carlalena1 notes, the staff always did something as a result of his being so young.
__________________
Dave
Editor, CruiseReviews.com
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 04-06-2006, 07:05 PM
CRUISING PHOTOGRAPHER's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: New Port Richey, FL
Posts: 86
Default
Tipping is a very gratifying part of the cruise for me, because I know that this money is helping to makes someone's life better in an under-developed part of the world. Most of the tip money they earn is sent to their families, who they only see a few months of the year.
Yes, you are paying a lot for the crusie. But you don't stiff the waiter at a fine restaurant just because the steak dinner you ordered was expensive. When you compare what you would tip to stay at a hotel and eat out three times a day, the tips on a cruise ship are minimal. I'm glad that Princess adds it onto the bill automatically. It's charged to my credit card at the end of the cruise and I'm not running around looking for bills to stuff into envelops.
While we're talking about tips, be sure to take some extra dollars to tip the people taking your luggage at the ship terminal and to tip the tour guides and drivers on the excursions you take.
Happy cruising
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2006, 11:40 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4
Default
Thanks so much for all the replies - very much appreciated. I guess I'm still not sure exactly what I'm going to do - have plenty of time to figure it out though. To be honest the tipping issue is a bit of a touchy one with me - in my mind it should always be 100% voluntary, and never compulsory. When I go to a restaurant, I will only tip if I feel the service warrants it - if I get fairly average/poor service I don't see why I should reward it above and beyond the salary they are being paid.

From what I can gather though, in America things are gradually heading towards compulsory tipping, with huge problems arising if you don't (according to my sister who lives in Boston anyway) In my opinion this is totally wrong and a complete infringement of human rights - whatever happened to the right to choose? I hope to God this rule doesn't ever come over to the UK!! When tipping is voluntary, you reserve the right to reward the worthy and ignore the unworthy - when it is expected, I feel undue pressure.

To give a comparison, I teach in a secondary school (11-18 yr olds) and usually am given a hell of a rough time by the kids, as are most teachers nowadays. Nobody comes up to me at the end of the day with a few pounds as a thankyou for me teaching them. On parents evenings, no parents give me money as a thanks for teaching their delinquent kids. I am not complaining however - I don't expect it - why should other people do my employers' job for them?

Some would respond by saying that I probably get a much better salary than cruise staff, which may well be the case, but surely that is the fault of the cruise liner owners? Don't get me wrong - I will tip this summer, and am not against tipping per se, but if companies paid acceptable wages, there wouldn't be anywhere near as much pressure on people to tip staff in order to bolster their salaries or feed their families. Whilst it is acceptable for the public to want to reward workers for exceptional service, it is not acceptable for us to be expected to do employers' jobs for them, or to reward some employees for doing nothing more than the job they are emplyed to do.

Maybe I just don't get it, or maybe it's because I'm a Yorkshireman, but something about this just doesn't add up.
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2006, 12:43 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,370
Default
Excelcius, you make some very good points. Although I would agree that teachers don't get paid anywhere near what they are worth, neither do waiters. I'm not familiar with the pay scale in the UK, but in the US, wait staff, except in the fanciest of restaurants, often get paid minimum wage, sometimes less, out of which they must pay taxes not only on the wage itself but also the tips - plus they have to divide their tips with the buspeople! In some cases that leads to paychecks with zero or negative balances! So even if you don't like the system, it's hardly fair to make your "statement" about it by not tipping someone, therefore leaving them with virtually nothing for the service they gave you.

Having been on that side of the fence, I'm reluctant to "stiff" (not tip) them, unless service was truly abysmal - even then, I'll just leave a smaller tip than one would normally expect.
 
Closed Thread

Tags
charge, cruise, diaper, disposing, princess

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Monarch with a bunch of 1st timers Fezzek Royal Caribbean Cruise Line 3 09-16-2008 07:42 PM
Majesty Oct 22? We're 1st Timers vcooley Royal Caribbean Cruise Line 6 10-07-2007 04:10 PM
Mother & Daughter- 1st timers Soooo Ready to GO! Carnival Cruise Line 5 02-18-2006 05:59 PM
which is a better cruise for 1st timers-Royal-enchantment or IMAGINATION OR INSPIRATI Grady Smith General Cruise Chat 5 10-03-2004 04:17 PM
HAL "tipping Not Required Policy" stephenbb Holland America Line 7 02-16-2004 12:49 PM


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On
 

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:35 AM.

Contact Us - Terms of Use - Cruise Reviews Home - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2