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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2007, 03:54 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 19
Hi. Going to Baltic May 22 and was wondering about the tipping procedure. I prefer to tip myself as I may not use all the facilities or feel I want to tip as much as they deduct automatically. If I ask pursors to remove the automatic tipping do you think we will receive a lesser service from the staff?? Also, where do you obtain this "soda card" that I have read about - sounds a good idea as very unfortunately I am on medication so cant drink alcohol which is definately not much fun! Does it cover fruit punches etc?
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2007, 05:43 PM
f-mattox's Avatar  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Costa Mesa, California
Posts: 4,740
Hello blue eyes;
removing the automatic tip will have no effect on the level of service you receive. I would like to point out however that the automatic $10.00 pp per day is not for all the facilities; it is for your cabin steward and your dining room wait staff. Bar tips are added to your bill (15%); but all other gratuities are on a pay-as-you-go basis. The $10.00 a day should be considered a minimum, not a blanket gratuity. Of course if you don't feel that you are receiving as least minimum service you can always reduce or eliminate your automatic deduction and tip as you see fit.
I don't know about the soda cards--we don't drink sodas; I'm sure someone else can answer that for you.
I'm sorry you are on medication but you shouldn't feel bad about not drinking alcohol--you can have fun without drinking.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02-19-2007, 09:43 AM
BJS BJS is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Fresno, CA
Posts: 124
Soda cards are for fountain sodas and the price depends on the number of cruise days. They will be selling them in the Horizon Court and around the ship on embarkation day. You will probably be approached several times and asked if you would like one. I believe you can also go to any bar and purchase one. They will put a sticker on your cruise key card (unless things have recently changed and they are doing it a different way).

Canned sodas are not included on the soda card and generally run $1.50 plus the 15% gratuity. Through room service you can get 6 cans for the price of 5 in the soda package.

There are no fruit juices included for the soda card. Fruit juice is available in the Horizon Court for breakfast and in the dining room.

The automatic gratuity can be removed the last full day on the ship if you have any concern about the level of service you will receive. As f-mattox said removing it should not change the service you get. Your cabin steward does know who has removed the automatic gratuity. We have been told that anyone given a personal gratuity must put it in the "pool" if the automatic gratuities have been removed. If they are not removed they may keep the money. I guess this is just an honor system type of thing. The reason for the automatic gratuity is to spread the gratuities over a large base of people who serve you and you may never see. With "anytime" dining and where you have many waiting on you this provides gratuities to these people also.
Tipping is a very personal thing and by all means do what you are comfortable with. Many seasoned cruisers do remove the automatic tips.

Future cruises:
Star Princess - Dec. 2007-Rome- TA
Crown Princess- May 2008 TA & Baltics
Pacific Princess-Nov. 2008-Holy Land & Egypt
Diamond Princess- Apr. 2009 Asia- Bangkok to Whittier
Past cruises:
Golden Princess-2007-Alaska
Sea Princess-2005 Canada/New England
Diamond Princess- 2005 Mexican Riviera
Star Princess- 2004 x2 Med. Venice to Barcelona/ Barcelona to Rome
Dawn Princess - 2004 x3- Southern Caribbean
Grand Princess- 2003 x2 W.Caribbean/ 2004 Panama
Sun Princess- 2003 Mexico
Tahitian Princess- 2003 Tahiti & Cook Islands
Royal Princess- 2003 x2- British Isles / Norwegian Fjords & Iceland
Island Princess- 2003 Panama Canal / 2007 Hawaii
Sky Princess- 2000 China & Orient
Sitmar's Fairwind - 1979 x2- Caribbean/Panama Canal
HAL-Amsterdam- 2004 Alaska
HAL Ryndam - 2001 x 2- S. America
Viking Spirit/Pride -2006 Budapest to Amsterdam
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 02-19-2007, 09:46 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4
Hi Blue eyes,
The soda card (sticker) can be obtained when you arrive on ship. There are tables set up on most decks with a staff member there to explain. I'm pretty sure you can also get them at any of the bars. Yes, Its a great deal. 27.00 for the 7 day cruise. I'm not even sure they have fruit punch on board. But it will cover all sodas.
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 02-19-2007, 02:28 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 19
thanks everyone. I cant believe how helpful you all are, this is a great chat site!! I will continue to visit and will be calling on your services again I am sure as the big day approaches. Many thanks again.
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 02-20-2007, 11:21 AM
Chef Ken's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bloomington, MN
Posts: 2,259
Originally posted by f-mattox:
Hello blue eyes;
Isn't this the perfect place to get away with that phrase and not have it mean something...well and not be a pick-up line?

BTW, what a great screen name.
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 02-20-2007, 03:41 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 19
Thanks very much, it is what describes me best (well, the polite version anyway!!) Thanks for the compliment, heres hoping I meet my Sir Galahad on the Star Princess, so...if you are going to the Baltic on May 22nd and you are single why not let me know! (only if you are single mind!)
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 02-20-2007, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Posts: 331
Hi, what does SODA stand for??? We in Canada drink POP, is that the same???
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 02-20-2007, 08:44 PM
Chef Ken's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bloomington, MN
Posts: 2,259
Originally posted by wooddon:
Hi, what does SODA stand for??? We in Canada drink POP, is that the same???
It is funny how it is different around North America. In Minnesota they call it pop, but I have traveled a bit and know that most of the US will know soda. In Arkansas were I lived for a while, everything was "Coke", I heard it often, "what kind of Coke you want, Seven up, Mt Dew?"

Soft drinks is what we are talking about, carbonated beverages, sugar water and CO2.

By the way, what does POP stand for?

  #10 (permalink)  
Old 02-26-2007, 03:27 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 19
Hi. POP vs Soda - well not sure why they (us Brits) call it POP probably because of the noise when being poured! You have got me thinking now, will try to find out and let you know. Thanks for replying, been a little off colour so sorry for delay in responding!
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