Just a quick question about tipping...... My family recently returned from the Radiance of the Seas and are looking at booking another one for next year. We did the pre-paid tipping for two of us only. We only went to the main dining room once and felt that the waiters were going to receive tips based on the 8-day cruise and we were never there. So instead we gave our cabin steward another 125.00 (he was amazing) and also left 125.00 for the Winjammer staff as that is where we ate everyday. Was this ok? I still feel bad but wanted to make sure that our tips were giving to the staff that actually had an impact on our vacation. Thanks
Your generosity for those who served you was no doubt appreciated. The staff who waited the tables assigned to them in the dining room were short on tips for at least one table that they had to service, change linens, make the table and bring food to whether everyone showed up or not. Following the guidelines for the tipping is always recommended and if someone wants to provide extra to someone exceptional that's great. The dining room staff will not get an extra table assigned to make up for those who do not show or provide the gratuities they make their living from. I think I'd do the auto tip and then give above and beyond as I felt was warranted in such situations, but not everyone agrees with my view on this.
Thanks for your opinion. When making our next reservation are we able NOT to pick a seating time in the dining room? I know Princess has anytime dining option but when we booked our last cruise our agent asked us to pick a seating time anyways even knowing we wouldn't be going. Can we book without going to the dining room?
There is not yet an anytime option on RCCL but they've experimented with it on a couple of ships. Right now, as part of the booking process you'll have to select a dining time even if you don't intend to use the dining room.
I can't even imagine taking a cruise and not going to the dining room to be waited on throughout the cruise. I know some don't want to dress for dinner but the Windjammer and other buffet food onboard other ships is just not the same, at least for me. I even frequent the dining room for breakfast and lunch. I like a relaxing meal and being served. I also like the atmosphere and social benefits of the experience better than a buffet. Everyone has their own tastes and please don't take this as a criticism, its not intended to be. Did you have a bad experience at the dining room on a cruise or just prefer the flexibility and no dress code?
I was curious about the buffet-only thing too. We used to be slaves to the buffet for breakfast and lunch, but for the past few years have used the dining room more often for every meal. No crowds, lines, and it is just so much quieter and pleasant.
We still use the buffet, but mostly for snacks and I also use it for early coffee and rolls before going to the dining room for breakfast.
No criticism here either. I simply wonder when people vigorously avoid the dining room.
I can't even imagine taking a cruise and not going to the dining room to be waited on throughout the cruise.
Neil and Dave,
We did that twice on two different 3-night cruises. We liked just showing up at the Windjammer when we felt like it, liked not having to make small talk with others (I'm used to cruising with groups...) and liked being able to "graze" all the food and choose what and how much we wanted.
Then we discovered that we ate way too much at the buffet, ate it much too fast, and enjoyed the company of others while we ate. So now, whether on long or short cruises, we usually do eat dinner in the dining room, and breakfast and lunch too when we want a slower, less caloric pace.
Well I can understand the point that since you don't use the dinning room you don't want to pay for a service you don't use.
Here is my point of view,
even if you don't show up there is still great arrangement and work made just in case you dicide too, I was looking the other day a program in the travel channel and is wayyy difficult to prepare the food and service for 3000 people everyday so even if you don't show up they already have won their tip, and since they also work in the buffet lines the morning after they will give you food services either way.
Why not pay them that tip?
They will earn it anyway...
Better yet why don try the dining room,
My next cruise will be the last one for a few years and since I will not book an excursion on St.Thomas I will follow Dave recomendation and use the dining room for breakfast maybe ist's worth the try...
On any of the cruises I have been on the wait staf rotate to the different restaurants during the cruise .
so you may see the same waiter as was in the dining room for dinner last night in the buffet for breakfast or lunch service.
I prefer the auto tip method myself
That way I know I am not leaving anyone out & they will share the "tip pool"
We do give extra to those that go out of their way to go the extra step for us.
We usually go with open dining now as we prefer to meet new people each night & not get stuck with the same people each night.
At least you tipped!
Alexandr Pushkin, Carnival-Holiday, HAL-(old)Westerdam, Orient lines-Marco Polo, Royal Olympic-Olympic, NCL-Dream, Dawn-Princess, ACCL-Grande Caribe, Oceania-Insignia (3), Regatta(4) Marina (1) St Lawrence Cruise Lines-Canadian Empress