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Old 07-07-2010, 06:04 AM
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A group of 9 (8 adults and a 1 yr old) are just about to book our first trip on Independence of the Seas. Whilst shopping around for prices one travel company informed that the 82 pp gratuities are not mandatory and he advised not paying them in advance as it was too high a price to pay for a 1 year old. Whilst we do not mind paying for the adults, I have to agree that the price is rather steep for a very small child. I was under the impression that you had to pay the 82 regardless of whether you paid it in advance or at the end of your trip. Is this not the case and can you tip more or less if you do it at the end of your trip?
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:51 AM
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If you pre-pay your gratuities before your cruise they can't be adjusted. If you wait until you're onboard, you will have the option to have them put on your onboard account, and may adjust them. You also have the option to pay them in cash personally to each individual. Envelopes are provided. You will receive a letter in your cabin midway through the cruise asking if you want the gratuities put on your onboard account. If you do, then you sign the letter and turn it in at guest relations. While you may think the gratuities are a lot for your little one, keep in mind your cabin steward and wait staff may actually have more work because of the little one.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:58 PM
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Hello fionahc, welcome to Cruise-Chat! If you wait until the end of the cruise to pay the gratuities you may find that the staff may have earned their tip for the one year old. It is true that gratuities are optional, not mandatory.

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Old 08-21-2010, 09:36 AM
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Tips may sound high for a 1-yr old but consider that your cabin will have some sort of accomodation for the 1-yr old such as a crib that will be taken care of each night, same as the adult's bed. In the dining room, special accomodations will be made for either heating the food or food selections so the cabin steward and waiters will be making x-tra time to do these things for the one-year old. Just a thought to consider.
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Old 09-04-2010, 04:02 PM
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Funny that you should say that tips are optional and not mandatory. Not for us Aussies - it seems. Should we book through an online or US Travel agent we are told that tips MUST be prepaid.
Yet on my first cruise in 2006 on the Marco Polo I was advised that a couple sharing a stateroom only need to pay ONE lot of gratuities, not two. And that supposedly went for the waiting staff as well.

Is this correct ?

We very rarely tip in Australia - except when getting really good service.

Furthermore, and this is an issue which I am only mentioning as a "by the way". Most of the Cruise Lines are not honouring bookings made through US or online agents if made from Australia. When enquiring with the companies themselves we are told this is not so yet not a single cruise line was prepared to put that in writing prior to me paying a deposit. And of course, I am not prepared to take the chance.
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