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19 hours ago, TinaLouise said:

What is the ballpark figure for gratuities? I saw that they can be pre-paid and I would like to do that and would like to know what to expect.

As a practical matter, it's about $100 per 7 night cruise non-suite, plus the extra you might give at the end of the cruise.  It is factored at 18% (now), which means that Royal assumes you are eating about $50 worth of food per day (based on what the wait staff receive in prorated tips).   You really don't need $1 bills for bartender tips if you are paying by the drink and can add an "extra" gratuity when appropriate.  I find the service I receive is well worth the default amount, and I usually give some extra $$ (in the provided envelopes) at the end of the cruise.  There are other threads which discuss tipping strategies in great detail.

One note about prepaying gratuities.  If you carry trip insurance on the total amount of the voyage, the prepaid tips change the covered amounts, which may or may not affect your premium.  Despite that, we usually prepay our gratuities.

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