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Jacobwlynn

Question about Prepaid Gratuities and tipping.

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This will be my wife and I first cruise. We're on Oasis of the Seas in April. I've seen alot of contradicting information on gratuities and tipping. I have prepaid my gratuities but some people say I should still tip. Who, when, and how much should I tip people? Thank you so much for the responses.

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Extra for room attendant, fold some bills and put them in the Seapass slot just inside the door, it will be the first thing they see. Bartenders at sea are the same as on land. A nice big tip with the first drink insures the follow-ups will be stronger and he/she may "forget" to charge you for one or two during your time at the bar.

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19 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Bottom line - if you have prepaid your gratuities prior to sailing, you are not obliged to tip anyone.

Correct. Royal Caribbean will automatically include gratuity to cover the necessities. 

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Full disclosure - I used to work in the restaurant biz and as such have a soft spot in my heart for waitstaff, or anyone that has to deal with feeding or cleaning up after the general public.  So I tend to tip well.

I will prepay, but still toss a dollar or two at the bartenders for my drinks as well as tip the room attendant (and concierge if in a suite) at the end of the cruise.  I'm not convinced they see all that prepaid gratuity money, and the few extra bucks isn't enough to break my vacation and I feel it's noticed and appreciated.  If I had a bartender or attendant that didn't seem to care much, I probably wouldn't tip them any extra, but I haven't run into that situation.

I spoke to a bartender about it last week on Rhapsody.  He told me that they see money from the prepaid gratuities but didn't go into detail and I didn't press.  He said there are a few that don't tip at all so they notice and appreciate it no matter how the tips are covered.  I did notice that my drinks got progressively more and more pale as the days wore on.  My Cape Codders were barely pink by day 5 🙂

So to quote others, if you've prepaid, you're good and don't need to tip any extra.  If you tip over and above, you'll probably be drunk by noon.

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I usually bring a large amount of 1's and  5's with me on the boat.  It is better to tip bartenders, waiters, etc  extra in real money instead of adding on the drink ticket.  Like some have said,  not sure how much money they see when added on the bill.  You will see for yourself,  the wait staff works their ass off so they really appreciates the cash.

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Just now, SolariumSnoozer said:

I thought I read somewhere that bartenders are required to put cash tips into a "tip jar" to be shared.  Does anyone know if this is true?

I've seen the tip jar and I've seen them put it in there immediately and other times I assumed it went in later.

Unrelated but useful tip, the bartenders can break bigger bills with the tip jar money upon request.

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30 minutes ago, MikeK said:

I usually bring a large amount of 1's and  5's with me on the boat.

Casino on the ship can break larger bills.  Insert the bill into a machine and head to the cashier.  I do this the night before we head into a port that has small shops that may not accept credit cards or have enough change to accept larger bills.

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17 minutes ago, Matt said:

I've seen the tip jar and I've seen them put it in there immediately and other times I assumed it went in later.

 

33 minutes ago, MikeK said:

It is better to tip bartenders, waiters, etc  extra in real money instead of adding on the drink ticket

If the bartenders are required to put the tips into a tip jar is it really more advantageous to tip them in cash? 

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Just now, SolariumSnoozer said:

 

If the bartenders are required to put the tips into a tip jar is it really more advantageous to tip them in cash? 

Tips on the receipt might be distributed among all ship employees.  There's a better chance the tips in cash is shared with just the bar staff

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1 hour ago, jurrjurr said:

Tips on the receipt might be distributed among all ship employees.  There's a better chance the tips in cash is shared with just the bar staff

According to "my bartender":

- mandatory tips (famous 18%) are shared among entire food and bar division

- cash tips (in the jar) are shared among particular bar stuff

- additional tip on the receipt goes directly to the person who serves you

 

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9 hours ago, Matt said:

Unrelated but useful tip, the bartenders can break bigger bills with the tip jar money upon request.

I found this out too as I was among several folks last week asking the bar staff to break bills.  And no ATMs were working on Rhapsody last week.  The only place to get cash was at the casino, which would have been inconvenient for those that weren't playing.

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