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Old 01-28-2006, 03:42 PM
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I'm going on a Eastern Caribbean Cruise with Princess in March. This will be my first cruise and I'm really looking forward to it. I've been reading some of the reviews and noticed that one lady stated that Princess nickel and dimed her to death. What was she talking about? Isn't it true that they automatically charge you their gratuity? Are you expected to tip extra? Thanks for any input you may have.
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Old 01-28-2006, 05:04 PM
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Princess has now started to add $10 per person per day to your account to cover the tips. You are not expected to add extra.
You do have the option to cancel this & tip on your own. Also if you think someone deserves more you can do that too.
Bar drinks have a gratuity added to them.

Perhaps the other post referred to extra charges?? For example bottles of water to go ashore, or buying the soda card.

Hope you enjoy your Princess cruise.

Cathy
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Old 01-30-2006, 06:17 AM
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I can appreciate the nickel and dime comment, because though I love cruising, I sometimes feel this way.

The best thing to do is know what to expect ... you know you have your gratuity (x2 two pax presumably), but there are lots of other things that can really add up. Every alcoholic drink or even soda (unless you buy the card) is individually charged. Onboard games such as Bingo, casino, video games ... onboard purchases such as photos ($10-15 each), souvenirs in the gift shop ... additional food like speciality restaurants ... and shore excursions ... there is lots of selling on board, cruiselines make their money from onboard sales.

Just be ready for it, and know you don't have to buy everything they are selling (or none of it). I would however; not consider gratuities optional unless you have extremely poor service.
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:10 PM
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We have been on 5 Princess cruises and have never been pressured into tipping. I usually tip a dollar when I order a drink and many times the staff looked puzzled when I handed them money. I then said that it was for them and they thanked me over and over again. I really have never felt pressured on any ship, NCL, RCL, Holland America, Costa, or Carnival. I hope you enjoy your trip. We keep going back to Princess because they offer good service for the money.
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Old 01-31-2006, 03:31 PM
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Thanks so much for your replay Penny. It's greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:08 PM
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I know many like the thought of the tips just being added automatically to their accounts, however, I am old-fashioned, and like to tip on my own.
One of the first things I do when I board is go to the purser's desk to CANCEL the auto tip. It is not hard, you are not pressured into keeping it or anything like that. Very simple, tell them "no thank you"

I am very glad I did, as our room steward was NOT deserving of any sort of gratutity, but our waiter & assistant waiter were more than deserving - so they got the room steward's share.

I prefer the traditional seating, but was unable to get it this cruise. However, we were able to have almost the same thing with the personal choice dining. We arrived early the first evening (Michalangelo dining deck 5) and were able to request a table for 4 next to the window (I enjoy watching the water). Because we liked our location and the wait staff, we simply spoke with the head waiter and requested that that be OUR table & staff for the rest of the cruise. The only thing they requested is that we keep to the same basic time frame (early seating - 5:30 - 6pm arrival).
The disadvantage of the personal choice dining rooms (for first time cruisers) is the lack of some of the traditional touches such as the parade of baked alaska on the last night.

Don't forget, that you can request any special meal request you like - it just may take a couple days before they are able to serve it (I was traveling with a girl that had a craving for a special asian chicken dish)
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:29 AM
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The automatically added gratuity seemed just about right; get any or all of it refunded; or add extra- the purser's office is uniformly bland-faced either way. I saw customers shouting at the purser's desk about automatic coupon charges for shore trips not taken, then demanding that all charges, including gratuities, be removed from their accounts. Really, don't punish those hardworking kids for the cruiseline's gimmee streak.

Anyone know how much they charge now for the soft drink "sticker" and mug? Gee, I still have a few of those red Coca Cola mugs; maybe I should just take the darn things with me?
 
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