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2 hours ago, Matt said:

I absolutely see a big difference in the speed and friendliness of service when waiters/bartenders notice tips coming their way.  You don't have to "make it rain" by any means, but I definitely have seen a difference with even customary tips.

100% in agreement, we tip on every drink..  I dont think $3.00 here and there makes a huge difference, not even on my bar bill.

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38 minutes ago, Andy & Sheryl Unwin said:

lol, have at it, but only from an intellectual stand point. It will be interesting to see how much benefit can be gained from the drinks package on an 8 day

My first sailing was an 8-nighter on Freedom of the Seas like @JT2 is taking, including 3 port days plus a stop in Labadee. I did a semi-live blog of that (link in signature) and gave my daily drink tallies there; definitely came out ahead with the package. Didn't even have to drink that much, but that trip the DBP was only $42/night -- a price I haven't seen in a heck of a long time now.

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20 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

My first sailing was an 8-nighter on Freedom of the Seas like @JT2 is taking, including 3 port days plus a stop in Labadee. I did a semi-live blog of that (link in signature) and gave my daily drink tallies there; definitely came out ahead with the package. Didn't even have to drink that much, but that trip the DBP was only $42/night -- a price I haven't seen in a heck of a long time now.

My math was wrong, we'll only be in Aruba and Curacao plus Labadee so 4 days at sea. Right now price for DBP is $61 at 20% off so will wait to see what Black Friday/Cyber Monday brings. I checked out your blog, loved it, very informative! 

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6 hours ago, crisgold52 said:

Tipping spoils the market. We already pay prepaid gratuities.  No difference whatsoever. Of course when one TIPS they think they see a difference but it's always subjective. I've tipped twice when I first started cruising. No differences. But if people have cash to spend on Star Class and UP then sure it's good. But otherwise most of us average folks who stick with Inside Oceanview or Balcony then tipping or not is debatable. Tipping seems very Americanized however I dont see people tipping grocery clerks or cashiers. Service is service. Minimum wage there also. 

The people working on these ships are busting their butts doing whatever they can to make us comfy, happy, and entertained while working 16+ hour days, and I highly (and boy do I mean HIGHLY) doubt even half of us are even polite to them, so the very least we can do is tip.  

For what it's worth, I worked my way through college by waiting tables at a national chain diner where I worked 12 hour shifts not being tipped, being spit on, verbally abused, GROPED, and looked down on because "it's minimum work", so I get incredibly angry (it's been 13 years since I waited tables!) when I see this.  To you it may be just minimum work, but to them it's their lifeline and how they are feeding their families, and it sure as heck isn't your job to judge.  And that brings me to my next point, why are we looking down on grocery store clerks?!  They are essential workers where I live and are the reason why my grocery stores are open, therefore I can feed myself and my other half, and in my honest opinion, can't get paid enough considering the amount of harassment I see them get every time I get groceries the last seven months. 

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

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1 hour ago, Thecatlady said:

The people working on these ships are busting their butts doing whatever they can to make us comfy, happy, and entertained while working 16+ hour days, and I highly (and boy do I mean HIGHLY) doubt even half of us are even polite to them, so the very least we can do is tip.  

For what it's worth, I worked my way through college by waiting tables at a national chain diner where I worked 12 hour shifts not being tipped, being spit on, verbally abused, GROPED, and looked down on because "it's minimum work", so I get incredibly angry (it's been 13 years since I waited tables!) when I see this.  To you it may be just minimum work, but to them it's their lifeline and how they are feeding their families, and it sure as heck isn't your job to judge.  And that brings me to my next point, why are we looking down on grocery store clerks?!  They are essential workers where I live and are the reason why my grocery stores are open, therefore I can feed myself and my other half, and in my honest opinion, can't get paid enough considering the amount of harassment I see them get every time I get groceries the last seven months. 

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

May I also point put that the USD AND CAD have more power when converted to Rupees and Rupiahs and Pesos and for instance so many of these people who work on the ships despite being paid lesser than what one would make stateside or in the western countries can go home and buy houses and cars.

Theyd also rather work on ships than work as domestics servants in Singapore or Hong Kong and both those countries have domestics from these countries who would only dream to work as a cruise worker instead.  Tipping spoils the market because many budget conscious travellers who can't afford to shell out additional tips on top of prepaid gratuities are according to this logic... receiving less favoritism than those who seem to have money to throw around for more favoritism from bartenders. If by this logic one can tip a bartender then let's start tipping everyone for everything and grocery clerks by the same logic should be tipped for every bag of groceries they bag also though I doubt many of us do this.  Service is service and unless one is getting preferential butler treatment or on a high end line like Regeant Seven Seas or Crystal Cruises or Silversea... they go out of their way to help others as one pays more than market value for those kinds of cruises. This is something most North Americans don't realise how conversion rates work when converted to currency in poorer nations. They are already well to do once they return to their homes in those countries.In fact I think we should start tipping cabin attendants more than bartenders since they keep the whole ship running. 🙂

 

But back to cruising. TIPPING can be a touchy subject so the only thought I have is... if one wants superior preppy favoritism service why tip a bartender on a mass market line (bar tenders are staff not crew and ones cabin attendant has more back breaking work and keep the whole operation running rather than a bartender who is just here for entertainment purposes) because by this same logic if one can shell out for Loft suites or Star Class then theyd would also be able to afford a cabin on a luxury line where everything is all in and one can get all the pampering there they want. Stuff that makes you think 🙂 Me, I tend to avoid bars and I know it's a personal choice but it's a given alcohol sans package or not is still costlier than on land. Just like anything. But as long as one has cash and coins to throw around on a mass market line 🙂

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I generally tip a $1 with the DX.  First of all not all of that 18% goes to the server.  They get an amount per swipe of the card but it isn't the full gratuity you or I pay.   

Secondly, I tend to use the DX a fair bit.  The more you use it the less your effective tip is.  If you drink one drink per day with the DX then you have contributed a good amount to the tip pool.  If you drink 10 or more drinks per day, alcohol, coffee, water, juice, etc. then not so much.    Everyone I know who scored the $18 DX deal committed to tipping extra because they recognized they weren't contributing very much.  If you get it on sale your tip contribution is lower compared to buying at full price.

It's funny because so many express concern that crew wages are low but when you introduce the topic of tipping they clam up and shut their wallets.  "The company should pay".  But the company doesn't pay, it is what it is.  Don't like it, don't cruise but by removing tips or avoiding them you aren't hurting the company, you hurt the crew, the very crew people claim they care about.  

Regardless I've definitely noticed better service when tipping extra.  On more than one ship I've had a bartender recognize me months later and know my drink months later when I return.   On another occasion I had the DX on cruise #1 of a B2B but not on cruise #2.  During C&A happy hour on cruise #2 my drinks were often never empty and made with something I prefer.  That would not have happened otherwise.  Take care of your bartenders and they will take care of you.

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I just wanted to throw out there that maybe food consumption should be added to the spreadsheet.  I know whenever I have a drink package I typically eat waaay less due to being liquid full!  So put a few dollars back on the cruise lines side of the scale.

Side note, if I'm on a drink package I typically tip a bit if the bar tend goes above normal duties like remembering what I was drinking or coming around more often to make sure you are never empty.  I will say though when I've traveled through Europe that dining is much more enjoyable than stateside, due to the laid back atmosphere with the waitstaff not in a hurry to move the table along.

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When I travel internationally I research before leaving home and I strive to follow local cultures and expectations.  I am a visitor in their country, it's the least I can do.   I don't try to learn all the socioeconomic factors involved or try to understand healthcare systems, taxation, wage laws and so on.  I research what the locals do and do my best to follow their lead.

It's not my place to judge other cultures, traditions or expectations so I don't.  The U.S. is different than many regions.  Which is better or right is a complex question.  Tipping norms vary by region.  I probably overtip in other countries now including Canada.  That's better than failing to meet local norms and expectations.

When sailing mass market cruises or "the big three" it is distinctly an American experience.    Rightfully so, America made the cruise industry what it is and even small foreign lines benefit from that momentum.  

Tipping beyond the included gratuity is a choice no different than tipping anywhere in the world.  Everyone is free to choose an approach they are comfortable with.  I choose to exceed the included DX gratuity that I consider to be low even by Canadian standards when I travel there.  You're money, you're choice.  

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11 hours ago, Pima1988 said:

This is also why I think wait staff around the world loves the US because we automatically tip.  

 

 

Got to disagree with this, now i am not saying everyone from the US does not tip , there are some who do and do so extremely generously however the majority do not as its a case of when abroad " do as the Romans do "  having worked many years ago as a taxi driver i can honestly say that most US customers were seen by taxi drivers   hotel staff and restaurants as being tighter than 2 coats of paint because there were no tips. 

Thing is it should not matter about tips, no one should need to rely on tips just to survive, companies on land and at sea should pay the correct wage and not rely on customers tips for their staff to survive 

 

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11 hours ago, Pima1988 said:

This is also why I think wait staff around the world loves the US because we automatically tip.  

 

 

Got to disagree with this, now i am not saying everyone from the US does not tip , there are some who do and do so extremely generously however the majority do not as its a case of when abroad " do as the Romans do "  having worked many years ago as a taxi driver i can honestly say that most US customers were seen by taxi drivers   hotel staff and restaurants as being tighter than 2 coats of paint because there were no tips. 

Thing is it should not matter about tips, no one should need to rely on tips just to survive, companies on land and at sea should pay the correct wage and not rely on customers tips for their staff to survive 

 

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27 minutes ago, Ray said:

Got to disagree with this, now i am not saying everyone from the US does not tip , there are some who do and do so extremely generously however the majority do not as its a case of when abroad " do as the Romans do "  having worked many years ago as a taxi driver i can honestly say that most US customers were seen by taxi drivers   hotel staff and restaurants as being tighter than 2 coats of paint because there were no tips. 

Thing is it should not matter about tips, no one should need to rely on tips just to survive, companies on land and at sea should pay the correct wage and not rely on customers tips for their staff to survive 

 

Just curious as I have been told over and over tips are not a thing in the UK as if I'd be crazy to tip.

As a taxi driver, what would a local normally tip you above the fare?

What would a server in an Edinburgh restaurant expect to be tipped on a dinner in a typical full service restaurant?

What do you tip at a local pub for a pint? 

Not trying to provoke, trying to learn more for a future visit.

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6 hours ago, twangster said:

Just curious as I have been told over and over tips are not a thing in the UK as if I'd be crazy to tip.

Tipping in UK is not expected, however you tip if you get good service or food etc. 

If service or food is rubbish you dont tip, if you decide it merits a tip you leave what you feel it was worth...no 18 or 20% just what you think it deserves.

 

As a taxi driver, what would a local normally tip you above the fare?

Again this depends on the service, a taxi driver who just sits in cab, doesnt assist with bags or luggage wont get as much as a driver who assists.

With regards locals tipping every customer was different. An old lady returning home from getting her shopping may tip £2 on a £5 fare the next one may round up to the nearest £ 

I once got £50 for a £2.40 hire as guy was just happy he didn't have to walk home in the rain 

 

Quote

What would a server in an Edinburgh restaurant expect to be tipped on a dinner in a typical full service restaurant?

As stated previously this all depends on the level of service and quality of food, We brits do tip but in our country tips must be earned not just expected.

What do you tip at a local pub for a pint? 

Nothing or just round up to nearest £ ! We Dont have to tip to get faster service as barstaff know whos next in line and if someone tries to jump q they will be pulled up for it.

Q jumpers are not tolerated anywhere

 

 

Not trying to provoke, trying to learn more for a future visit.

As said its all about the level of service you get and whatever you leave is a bonus so is appreciated 

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I lived in the UK for 4 yrs.  I don't think we never didn't tip.  However, let me preface and say that my husband and I during our college years worked in the restaurant business, thus we know how hard they work and the long hours they endure for every shift.  It really would have to be absolute disgusting service for us not to tip.  Our tips are always tied to the level of service, it increases with the quality.  

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I tip a bit for almost every drink/coffee on every cruise. I have absolutely noticed the level of service changes - the staff makes it a point to know my name immediately (which I actually hate for some reason but I do 100% appreciate the effort) and make sure to come back to me. My friends noticed it at the pool - the bartenders would always come to me for my drink order. I don't tip more than a dollar or two, I'm not a huge drinker - it's a smile and a buck. I appreciate someone waiting on me and they appreciate me appreciating them. To add - I notice this with female and male servers/bartenders. As someone mentioned before $30 isn't going to break me and I consider it part of my cruise bill.

 

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I would suggest that if you have a spot that you expect to hang out in more than others (for me, the Solarium) - then I would tip nicely on the first day and let them know that they'll be seeing a lot of you.  Cash is best, but however you do it, just do it.  Also, if you're lounging around or in the hot tubs, and a waiter comes and services you, he should get a good tip, as well.   In this case, he's doing all the work.

 

For me (and I'm not a guy with much disposable income), if we get to go into ports and not be on an excursion, I intend to be a tipping fool.   After all, they're the ones who have really taken it on the chin all these months.  

 

I'm just so excited to be able to go (hopefully in 74 days) that I'll be the most thankful, masked-up person onboard!

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I always slip a $10 to the server on the first night when they open up a bottle of wine I brought on board. While I've never encountered a a corkage fee yet, this makes for some incredible service as the week progresses. I also like to give our cabin steward $20 on the first day as well...it's amazing what that investment will do for you during the rest of the cruise.

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3 hours ago, JimnKathy said:

I always slip a $10 to the server on the first night when they open up a bottle of wine I brought on board. While I've never encountered a a corkage fee yet, this makes for some incredible service as the week progresses. I also like to give our cabin steward $20 on the first day as well...it's amazing what that investment will do for you during the rest of the cruise.

The $20.00 to the cabin attendant is a sound investment as far as we are concerned.  We learned of it towards the end of our first cruise on Brilliance. Thereafter its something we do as a matter of course.

 

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20 hours ago, crisgold52 said:

TIPPING can be a touchy subject so the only thought I have is... if one wants superior preppy favoritism service why tip a bartender on a mass market line (bar tenders are staff not crew and ones cabin attendant has more back breaking work and keep the whole operation running rather than a bartender who is just here for entertainment purposes) because by this same logic if one can shell out for Loft suites or Star Class then theyd would also be able to afford a cabin on a luxury line where everything is all in and one can get all the pampering there they want.

Before switching our business from DCL, we explored several other cruise lines but Royal star class was the best fit for our family.  We chose star class for several reasons; exclusive service, amenities, experiences, stateroom and the genie. Honestly, the included gratuities were not among them. There are lots of opinions on tipping; so I will not wade into that discussion but I will say, we tip where we are comfortable and it has nothing to do with the category of stateroom we are in.  

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