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Everyone is different and there is no right or wrong answer! 

If you decide to do as above and tip $1 every round or every drink thats your choice. 

Same if you decide just to hand over $5 , $10 or even $100 to your favourite bar person at the end of cruise.

Or you may decide youve already paid the 18% gratuties so they are not getting anymore.

Its your choice and you do what you feel is right for you 🙂 

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I usually carry around a few singles in my pocket, and by the end of day 2 I have usually found my bar, my spot and my favorite bartender.   Those singles go a long way in finding that spot.  😄  I don't always give the extra, but when I can I do - especially if my spot is in an underused area and they aren't getting a lot of tips.  Those same evening bartenders that in the daytime are at a crazy busy pool deck will see you in the crowd and often bump you ahead by making your drink - we had one on our 12 night Serenade that knew our cabin number by heart around day 3-4 so she took good care of us at the pool, just handing over the drink (we had the drink package) and she'd type in the cabin number.   

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5 hours ago, USFFrank said:

I have the DBP on our next cruise. I've always gone with the notion in regards to further tipping with, how strong would I like my drink to be?  

Just as a word of note generally I do not tip any more than I have to as all beverage packs come with the usual 18% gratuity. spa services come with that plus a service charge. So honestly a drink is a drink. I would gladly tip if there wasn't a tip already added. I disagree with tipping more than that. Of course one is welcome to tip but I feel tipping is too North American. In most parts of Asia southeast TIPS are frowned upon. I've also been on Star Cruises in my formative years and tipping there was not practiced as per the culture on that line which is now owned by NCL. MY RULE of thumb is if theres a prepaid gratuity or service charge or BOTH no more TIPS. If there is none I'd gladly be generous:) 

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We spend a lot of time near the pool bar and by day 2 I know who my favorite bartenders are.  I find a little friendliness and appreciation plus an extra $20 or so early in the cruise makes a huge difference.  (We’ll usually give those same another additional tip near the end).  Always good to have a friend or two behind the bar. 

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16 hours ago, Ogilthorpe said:

Or not being asked ...because they already know who you are 🍸😁🍸😁

I've never really known a bar tender to offer personalized drink service. Only in the MDR was there personalized service from main waiter and assistant. Most bar stuff were swamped and busy and didnt do much chatting. I personally would not TIP any bartenders considering we already prepay gratuities for a cruise much less an 18% service charge any any other misc fees. Keep in mind the bars are also more expensive than on land and if one buys a beverage package theres the usual gratuity added in also. So sometimes I think they are really over tipped when a drink is just a drink. Tipping in excess seems overrated 

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Generally most people agree the tips and service charges on ships are inflated compared to on land hence shopping or visiting the spa on land is by far cheaper than paying inflated rates on board. Steiner Leisure that operates spa services on almost every mainstream cruise line has a monopoly for spa services at sea. Each year their basic treatments keep. going up in price by A lot. Also tipping for a one Colada or a cocktail from a bar on board... seems quite excessive considering all the tips already paid. I can understand tipping the cabin staff a bit more. But their from developing countries and are crew. Bar staff are staff and get higher wages. So keep this in mind. It's more back breaking to make beds and clean cabins than to mix several cocktails:)

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55 minutes ago, crisgold52 said:

Bar staff are staff and get higher wages. So keep this in mind. It's more back breaking to make beds and clean cabins than to mix several cocktails:)

Bar staff compensation is set with the understanding that gratuity is part of their total compensation.   I'd argue making a bed isn't back breaking work.  Hauling bags of ice and cases of beverages around the ship to keep the bars stocked is different but also physical work, possibly more so than cleaning a bathroom.  

Bar positions require a higher level knowledge, interacting continually with guests the entire shift and mastering drinks with all the variances of guests from dozens of countries order the same drink using 10 different names.   I've had cabin attendants who were early with learning english but we managed just fine, a waiter who can't comprehend well is a disaster.  Bar staff language skills are essential to the job as is their personality, much more so that a cabin attendant you might see once a day or you might see every few days.  

Unlike wait staff on land, not all of that 18% auto-gratuity goes to the server.  In fact only a small portion does.  Like or it not the rest goes to other purposes as set by management.

As far as the spa and pricing you have two factors in play.  The cost of doing business on the sea is higher than on land but also they know they have a captive audience and people are more likely to splurge on vacation so they capitalize on that.  Spa services in a resort town at a resort aren't bargain prices either for the same reason and don't compare to spa services in your hometown.  I don't recall spa services on board going up "a lot" year over year, no more than increases on land.  

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13 hours ago, crisgold52 said:

I've never really known a bar tender to offer personalized drink service. Only in the MDR was there personalized service from main waiter and assistant. Most bar stuff were swamped and busy and didnt do much chatting... 

I’ve had bartenders know my name and preferred drink and I order by confirming I want the same as before. (Vodka Ginger with a lime please)  I do usually present my cards because I’m getting a drink for the wife too.  Maybe I’m ordering too many drinks from the pool bar. 😇

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Bar staff compensation is set with the understanding that gratuity is part of their total compensation.   I'd argue making a bed isn't back breaking work.  Hauling bags of ice and cases of beverages around the ship to keep the bars stocked is different but also physical work, possibly more so than cleaning a bathroom.  

Bar positions require a higher level knowledge, interacting continually with guests the entire shift and mastering drinks with all the variances of guests from dozens of countries order the same drink using 10 different names.   I've had cabin attendants who were early with learning english but we managed just fine, a waiter who can't comprehend well is a disaster.  Bar staff language skills are essential to the job as is their personality, much more so that a cabin attendant you might see once a day or you might see every few days.  

Unlike wait staff on land, not all of that 18% auto-gratuity goes to the server.  In fact only a small portion does.  Like or it not the rest goes to other purposes as set by management.

As far as the spa and pricing you have two factors in play.  The cost of doing business on the sea is higher than on land but also they know they have a captive audience and people are more likely to splurge on vacation so they capitalize on that.  Spa services in a resort town at a resort aren't bargain prices either for the same reason and don't compare to spa services in your hometown.  I don't recall spa services on board going up "a lot" year over year, no more than increases on land.  

Yes gratuity is part of their compensationt but with the social classes and hierarchy of the way cruise ship company is organized, aka Crew, Staff, Officers, generally the lowest on the food chain do the most labor intensive work. Guest services for instance, talk and talk and basically there's lesser of them than cabin stewards. Cabin stewards do more manual labor while guest services don't really do manual labor but they also get compensated more.

 

When I was on the Panorama with CCL in January, my ship had only 120 staff which consisted of entertainers, guest services, etc. But over 1000 crew. A ship's company relies on its crew more than its staff but ironically bar tenders and casino workers and 'staff' get higher wages. Steiner Leisure is a bit of a different structure as they are compensated with full appointment logs as per their company website. Long story short, tipping for service is a double standard since not everyone tips, but one always gets the same level of service. I've visited multiple bars on my cruises, and UNLESS UNLESS you are on a ship like a VIKING or Crystal, where they KNOW your likes and dislikes, a mainstream cruise line never gets to that level.

 

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6 hours ago, crisgold52 said:

UNLESS you are on a ship like a VIKING or Crystal, where they KNOW your likes and dislikes, a mainstream cruise line never gets to that level.

Very different experience for me.  I can cite many Royal ships where the bar staff know exactly what I like and in some cases have it ready for me as I approach.  

6 hours ago, crisgold52 said:

Yes gratuity is part of their compensationt but with the social classes and hierarchy of the way cruise ship company is organized, aka Crew, Staff, Officers, generally the lowest on the food chain do the most labor intensive work. Guest services for instance, talk and talk and basically there's lesser of them than cabin stewards. Cabin stewards do more manual labor while guest services don't really do manual labor but they also get compensated more.

You have in a nutshell defined the entire service industry in Canada.  Oh, and I guess it works that way on a ship too.  

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On 7/13/2020 at 9:51 PM, twangster said:

Very different experience for me.  I can cite many Royal ships where the bar staff know exactly what I like and in some cases have it ready for me as I approach.  

You have in a nutshell defined the entire service industry in Canada.  Oh, and I guess it works that way on a ship too.  

Yep there are many 'classes' of people on a cruise ships' company. I personally would not want to tip a bartender, when we already pay tips. Why spoil the market? The vast majority of passengers I've seen have never tipped and most of the bartenders I've found are never willing to 'chat' but are hurriedly rushing between patrons at the counter which is also often times a gong show. Often times I find it less crazy to simply order alcohol in the MDR.

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14 minutes ago, crisgold52 said:

Yep there are many 'classes' of people on a cruise ships' company. I personally would not want to tip a bartender, when we already pay tips. Why spoil the market? The vast majority of passengers I've seen have never tipped and most of the bartenders I've found are never willing to 'chat' but are hurriedly rushing between patrons at the counter which is also often times a gong show. Often times I find it less crazy to simply order alcohol in the MDR.

What's the difference between a canoe and a Canadian?  A canoe tips.  

Canadian myself who happens to live in the US so I understand the tipping differences between the US and Canada.

Far from a bar fly I've spent enough time at bars that I do see them slammed at times, no different than a popular bar on land compared to a ship.  Hang around a bar long enough and there are times any bartender can chat, on land or at sea.  

I've rarely found the MDR bar service to be better than elsewhere, possibly never.

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7 hours ago, twangster said:

What's the difference between a canoe and a Canadian?  A canoe tips.  

Canadian myself who happens to live in the US so I understand the tipping differences between the US and Canada.

Far from a bar fly I've spent enough time at bars that I do see them slammed at times, no different than a popular bar on land compared to a ship.  Hang around a bar long enough and there are times any bartender can chat, on land or at sea.  

I've rarely found the MDR bar service to be better than elsewhere, possibly never.

Canadians tip too as well but one has to question how much is too much. If there was no mandatory gratuity or added service charges then by all means  but why spoil the market when its their job to serve and mix drinks? Plus their already getting tips. I'm thinking back to my previous five cruises. Sat at the bar twice. Gong show with tons of people around me all jockeying to get drinks. Yep no personalized service. But MDR... different story the wait staff is assigned. Now in that situation seeing as one develops a rapport with the waiter and assistant waiter then one can feel free to leave a little something on the last day. They even have envelopes for that. I have no issue there as it's the MDR. and bar service in the MDR is prompt since its your waiter and their assistant .

 

An interesting article I've read indicates that theres situations and staff one wouldn't TIP on a ship such as the Cruise director and their staff, guest services or any of the officers or operations staff as that would be akin to tipping one doctor or lawyer. Of course its these people who keep the floating city running so one could also argue their higher on the food chain to be more deserving of tips since they keep the lights on and the plumbing in order on board 🙂

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4 hours ago, crisgold52 said:

 Sat at the bar twice. Gong show with tons of people around me all jockeying to get drinks. Yep no personalized service.

 

When you tip at a bar on a ship, even a little, especially early in a cruise, they see you coming, even if it's busy. Service becomes much more personalized. At least that's been our experience on every cruise to date.

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