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SummerJoy72

Always Windjammer, so gratuities still?

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First time poster, so please be kind! 

Only one cruise under our belt (the allure) and loved it. We prepaid gratuities and plan to do so for our 2020 cruise. I was talking with a friend today who also happens to be a travel agent. She made the comment that she prepays gratuities but depending how many nights they end up in MDR, then she has it adjusted at the end of the cruise.  I was shocked. I had never considered that. We only ate in MDR one time because we liked the flexibility of Windjammer.  Anyway...has anyone done that before?  Is that common?  

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Welcome aboard Summer! I totally agree with Skid above. The gratuities you pay is just NOT for the MDR staff and I would not consider downgrading the prepaid gratuity unless someone didn't do their job to our satisfaction. That has only happened once in our 10+ years of cruising with Royal and that cabin attendant was not good. :27_sunglasses:

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The gratuities go to the whole ship crew not just the MDR staff. It also goes to Windjammer staff, the housekeeping staff, the servers in Sorrento pizza- everyone who served you at any time on the ship. Shame on the travel agent for not knowing that and almost leading you astray. Very uncool!

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For me the prepaid gratuities are the bare minimum.  I always budget extra money for great service.  People work very hard in the service/cruise/tourist industries and can all have a bad day .  Instead of leaving less of a tip, use the comment card to call out individuals that did not meet your expectations, also use the comment cards to recognize great service.  During the cruise write down peoples names/positions so when it is time to fill out the card you have the info in front of you. 

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MDR staff also take morning and afternoon shifts in the WJ when most meals are consumed.  Dinners in the WJ see a reduced staff there since many WJ crew are in the MDR in the evenings and since not as many guests eat dinner in the WJ.

I've gotten to the point now where I eat most meals in the WJ yet I leave my auto-gratuity alone.  

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To echo what others have said, MDR staff do rotate to other venues, like WJ.  This seems to be true of assistant waiters in particular.  We were told this by wait staff we got to know.  So we prepay the full gratuities and then add a little extra to a few people for special service (we believe in 20% rather than 18%).  Everywhere you go on the ship, someone is helping you or looking out for your interests, whether it is collecting towels, serving pastries and coffee, or attending to you in a restaurant.  Again, others have pointed this out, but a little  reinforcement doesn't hurt.  

When you get to the point of using the Diamond Lounge, remember the free drinks aren't billed to your SeaPass, so there is no gratuity for your drinks unless you provide it.  Some folks tip in cash along the way (discreetly), while others wait until the end of the voyage and provide envelopes.  When in Australia, the latter is preferred, as their customs are different (less tipping, higher wages, value-added tax, etc.).

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I know for sure that in other lines like Princess the staff knows when someone cancel the gratuities. What happen next is that if someone gives a waiter or a barman an extra tip in cash they have to pool in that money to "compensate" the gratuity lost from the guest that canceled. I assume in RC it happens something similar.

I wouldn't cancel or adjust the gratuities at all.

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On 6/4/2019 at 7:07 AM, Pima1988 said:

I know that I have seen many of the MDR staff from the dinner service working in the WJ the next a.m

Yep, see it all the time.  Once,  I remember one of our MDR waiters working the Cafe Promenade overnight.     I wouldn't/don't cancel the auto gratuities.

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Royal should really reword how they display gratuities. On our honeymoon cruise we never ate at the main dining room at all either (just bounced between Windjammer, Cafe Promenade and Sorrentos as well as a night at Chops). It was only our 2nd cruise and we were still kinda confused as to who got what tips and how it all worked. Because of the wording on the tips for food service, we almost gave those tips as extra to our room attendant as we thought those only went to the main dining staff. Luckily we talked to some other Honeymooners we had met on the ship and they explained that it basically was shared between all of the cooks and wait staff.

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