I saw that. I've never 'bought' food on a cruise ship while it was in a U.S. port. Are they saying Florida requires them to charge sales tax on food while at Port Everglades, or are they referring to liquor? I don't know the answer.
I do know that Alabama requires cruise ships to charge sales tax on bar sales while in port at Mobile, as well as comply with other parts of the state liquor law (can't sell some brands or large servings like Foster's oil cans).
We ate at Rita's on the Allure cruise in June. The food was good but it in no way rose to the level of being worthy of an ala carte pricing menu. Actually the way some of it was constructed on the plate made it difficult to eat without making a mess and having to pick through things.
Thanks again Sandy. I"m gonna take your advice. Id rather take care of it up front and add more gratuities as they are deserved. I have always been a believer that tips are earned not just expected although we tip well we had one bad experience with a waiter on carnival. At the end of the day, just cant wait to set sail in 28 days!!!!!!! Your help along with Daves was fantastic. Thanks again and i will post a review upon our return.
Hi Dave. Thanks for your help. Its very much appreciated. Can you possibly tell me where to go on RCI"S site to prepay gratuities? having a little trouble. P.s. completely love this cruise reviews site! Gonna recommend to all my cruise friends!
Brian, the nice thing about pre-paying the gratuities is that the waiters and room stewards are not supposed to know that they've been paid in advance, except in the case of round robin dining. At the end of the cruise, the room stewards receive chits that they put in your room, that indicate that the tips have already been paid. It is supposed to keep service personnel doing their best work.
You have to have your agent adjust your booking to include pre-paid gratuities. This is normally done when you make the booking.
Really, at this point it would be simpler for you to just go to the guest relations desk once aboard the ship and arrange to have the tips placed on your account. They usually have a stack of forms out for this purpose. Just fill it out and drop it in the nearby bin. No need to stand in line.
As with pre-paying (which is technically different than having them added to your shipboard account) you still get the vouchers and envelopes delivered to your cabin on the last day.
Like Dave said, there will be forms once you get onboard to have prepaid gratuities charged to your SeaPass card. Your SeaPass card is your room key, and it will also be used for anything you purchase onboard. You can either establish your SeaPass account with a credit card, or cash. Credit card is the easiest.
Usually for prepaid gratuities, your stateroom attendant will leave a form in your room that you need to fill out and return to the guest relations desk if you want prepaid gratuities charged to your SeaPass card. You need to fill it out and return it to a box at Guest Relations when specified, which I think is by either the third or fourth day of the cruise.
On the last day of the cruise, your Stateroom Attendant will give you envelopes, and if you prepaid gratuities, vouchers to place in the envelopes. Place the appropriate vouchers in the envelopes, along with any additional amounts you wish to give. Then give them to each of your dining room staff the final evening at dinner. The Stateroom Attendant one I usually just leave in the room in a conspicuous place for the attendant to see.
2007 - Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas)
2009 - Enchantment of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
2010 - Freedom of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
2013 - Golden Princess (Alaska, roundtrip from Seattle)
I've also paid tax on a drink bought while still docked in Florida.
I've noticed that the same is true for a day stop in Puerto Rico.
2002 Adventure, Explorer
2003 Navigator, Serenade
2004 Voyager, Adventure
2009 Liberty, Enchantment
2010 Independence, Liberty
2011 Liberty, Freedom
2012 Freedom, Freedom, Independence
Feb 2013 Liberty
Mar 2013 Liberty
Nov 2013 Independence
I always pre-pay the gratuities the way Dave described at the Guest Relations Desk. However, when I was on the Allure in February I never ate in the main dining room. I was so impressed by the different specialty restaurants that we dined at one every night. Each night we tipped the waiters that served us. Of course I didn't pre-pay the gratuities on that cruise. I usually wait until the second or third day before I fill out the pre-paid forms at the Guest Relations Counter.