We are booked on Explorer of the Seas in October 2005. Our only previous cruise experience is on a UK ship where all gratuaties were included. We have prepaid the fixed gratuaties but after reading some comments on cruise chat are wondering whether we should be tipping on top of this. If so, who, how much and how often? Any help appreciated!!
Tipping is the same as on land, it depends on what you are comfortable with. Having prepaid gratuties, I would be ok with that. If you usually tip a lot more than normal, then tip those you feel deserve it. You will not have crew members who make you feel you didn't tip enough, as some waiters on land do.
Seafaring Ted, Welcome to cruise-chat. If you have prepaid your gratuities, you have covered all the "suggested" onboard tips. Gratuities for the bar staff are included in the tab every time you order (as is the wine steward should you order wine) - so nothing more is expected for those services. If there is someone who has done something special for you or who has gone above and beyond what is expected, then you can tip them an additional amount at your discretion. The gratuities that are NOT included are such incidentals as room service delivery and tour guides,taxi drivers, etc at each port of call.
After checking out the excellent pictorial review of the Explorer that Tom just posted, if you have any other questions about the ship, feel free to ask me as I was on that cruise with Tom's wife, Joanie.
A great new review of Explorer just read thanks!. I drooled over the pictures and can't wait till October!
I have read soooooo many negative reviews of RCI ships on all the review sites, I was starting to get a tad worried we may have booked a non-starter. Since this is our honeymoon, we need this holiday to be extra 'special'.
Many thanks to everyone out there with their encouraging comments.
Thank you Tom for the Explorer review. It was great! we will be doing this cruise soon, only doing the Eastern instead of the Western. We loved your pictures thank you for taking the time to post them.