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Just now, 1Cruiser1 said:

I cancelled my pre paid gratuities and instead tipped accordingly to the waiter directly etc. 
 

Then again I am European and tipping is not something we do over here.

Going to Europe for the first time this fall. This will be hard for me. Just not used to that. I just have to realize, that's not how they do it.

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1 hour ago, FManke said:

Going to Europe for the first time this fall. This will be hard for me. Just not used to that. I just have to realize, that's not how they do it.

If you feel they deserve a tip please do. Not everywhere or every occasion warrants it but in my opinion I would never say it’s “just not done”.

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Just now, Spang1974 said:

If you feel they deserve a tip please do. Not everywhere or every occasion warrants it but in my opinion I would never say it’s “just not done”.

And from what I've read it's not all the same throughout Europe. We'll be in England, Italy, Greece and Montenegro for parts of our trip. It's a lot to keep straight.

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15 hours ago, Tmorin said:

How much are the gratuities for the dining staff staff room steward etc?  Is it a set rate like 18% for drinks or depends on what you pay for the cruise?

If you look at the break out of the tip money, you'll see that for the dining room staff to get 18% (in the aggregate), the daily meal value is $47-$50 (about $9 per person per day for the wait staff and the balance for Stateroom Attendant/Housekeeping in non-suite rooms).  If you price out all of the meals, snacks, and free drinks you consume it's probably at least $50 value, if not more for "resort prices".  Normally, the service we receive is worth a 20% tip, so we give a cash gift at the end in most cases - not a lot, but enough to make up the difference.  What you do is up to you.  Have a great cruise!

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@Hypno3, that is correct, the gratuities are not included in the price. They are 14.50 pp in a cabin or 17.50 pp in a suite per night. You can choose to pre-pay them any time before you sail or with final payment or wait and they will be charged to your on board account, payable at the conclusion of your sailing. So yes the gratuities are also "extra" Knowing this I just factor it into the cost of my sailing. Enjoy your cruise!

When you experience the amazing people on this line working so hard to make your vacation so special, maybe like a handful of us you will actually want to give a little more, I was shocked at the constant desire from the crew to make sure every aspect of our sailing was amazing, we wanted for nothing! I brought some little thank you cards to slip a bit of cash in with a heartfelt note, they also leave you an envelope at the end if you so desire. 

Edited by Neesa
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13 minutes ago, Neesa said:

@Hypno3, that is correct, the gratuities are not included in the price. They are 14.50 pp in a cabin or 17.50 pp in a suite per night. You can choose to pre-pay them any time before you sail or with final payment or wait and they will be charged to your on board account, payable at the conclusion of your sailing. So yes the gratuities are also "extra" Knowing this I just factor it into the cost of my sailing. Enjoy your cruise!

When you experience the amazing people on this line working so hard to make your vacation so special, maybe like a handful of us you will actually want to give a little more, I was shocked at the constant desire from the crew to make sure every aspect of our sailing was amazing, we wanted for nothing! I brought some little thank you cards to slip a bit of cash in with a heartfelt note, they also leave you an envelope at the end if you so desire. 

Thank you, so this is USD? and where in the cruise planner do I find this please

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Yes, I believe this is USD listed. It is not listed on cruise planner, to pre-pay if you used a Travel agent they will arrange it, if not you must call Royal to pay ahead of time. I wish it was on cruise planner also. If you go to the RCCL website and place gratuities in the search it will direct you to the amounts charged at this time. Hope this helps! 

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21 hours ago, FManke said:

We always tip on top of the pre-paid gratuities when warranted. A couple of bucks here and there go a long way and the hardest workers aren't always the ones who get the lions share of the tips. That's just us.

We do the same whenever we experience an amazing interaction with a RC employee. The positive karma created with staff members by being generous with gratuities enhances the entire trip. 

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11 hours ago, Hypno3 said:

Ok I'm super confused now! 1st timer cruiser this year August on Explorer of the Seas. Are gratuities not included in the cabin/cruise cost? (Im in Australia). Understand the drinks package is extra...

As others have mentioned, it does depend on the regional rules where you booked your cruise.  Most people on this site are in the US so we know those rules best (and yes, we pay the gratuities separately either before the cruise or as daily charges).  In other regions, the gratuities are built into the total cost and you won't see a daily charge.  What makes it especially confusing is if I book an Australian cruise using the US website, I get the US rules and I will see a lower price but have to pay gratuities.  If I book that same cruise using the Australian website, I should see a higher price but no gratuities.  (Assuming the other posters are correct that Australian rules are gratuity built-in.)

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16 hours ago, Hypno3 said:

Ok I'm super confused now! 1st timer cruiser this year August on Explorer of the Seas. Are gratuities not included in the cabin/cruise cost? (Im in Australia). Understand the drinks package is extra...

I’ve been told by other Aussies that gratuity is included with bookings made in Australia 

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