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Marlena

Tipping...cash vs sea pass card

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On both Oasis in 2015 and Empress, we picked out the bar/spot that was convenient to our room, got to know a couple friendly bartenders, and in spite of having the drink package, tipped in cash. For the Oasis cruise we tipped $5 bucks. Armando remembered our names for the whole cruise (having only met him once). Anytime we walked up to the bar, he would start making our drinks (if he smiled at us and gave us the thumb up, we knew he was making our favorite frozen mojito drink). On Empress, our group of 6 tipped Valentin about $80 cash the first day of the cruise (we all had the drink package)... that man treated us like kings and queens. We did not want for a drink the entire 8 nights...

(We also usually tip a buck every time we go to the bar). We normally tip 20% and since the gratuity is only 18%... it just feels right. 

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Specialty restaurants I've done both added to bill and left cash... Depends if I have the cash in my pocket, same as at home.

Since bars and stuff has been mentioned. I tip them cash. I try and carry a wad of 1's with me so I can provide tips. Not every person gets a buck or two every time (not for any reason other than they ran off or I ran out of bills or I forgot) but I try and recognize them as often as possible. Sure, it has made service better at times but honestly, they work their tails off for us impatient alcoholics and deserve it! 🙂 

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We pay the daily gratuities, and then carry cash for extra tipping. When we are out of small bills, we add it to the sea pass. $1/drink. $5-10/meal. It goes a long way. $10-20/day at the end of the cruise for the cabin steward ($10 if we are by ourselves, $20 if our kids are with us). I like giving cash because it goes directly into their pocket. We also find that we get exceptional service when we do this (on top of the amazing service we were already getting).

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Like most here we pre-pay gratuities and use cash for the dining room ($5 each for waiter & asst waiter) and $2 for bar drinks.  We also tip the room attendant $5/day.  Funny in that recently I put on a pair of pants and found some crisp fives and some singles in my pocket left over from the September cruise on Mariner.  LOL

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