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Do you tip on top of the pre-paid gratuities?


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Hi everyone! I plan to pre-pay my gratuities, but am wondering if I should tip cash to specific staff on top of that. If so, how much is the norm (ON TOP of the already paid gratuities)?

 

Thanks!

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We tipped our porter as well as our stateroom attendant.

We have also tipped some bartenders who went above and beyond (had our drinks ready when we go there, knew us by name, etc).

Tipping amount is really up to you. Give whatever you are comfortable with. I believe at Guest Services they have envelopes where you can write their name and their job title to make sure that tip goes directly to them.

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Yes we do tip above an beyond the pre-paid gratuities.  Having worked a decent part of my life in the service industry, I always tip better than average/expected.    I divided the pre-paid numbers across what I thought it would cost to stay in a nice hotel, eating in restaurants, etc.  Lets just say that the numbers came out below 10% and I'd be the worst tipper ever.  The beauty of tipping on board is that it improves the already fantastic service, and for so little money.  Giving the room steward $20 on embarkation day will pay off for the duration of the cruise.  Tipping bartenders and waiters will only make them even more attentive.

The crew is away from their families for months at a time just trying and earn a living and provide, and I am sure none of them are getting rich doing so.  A few bucks here and there isn't a huge expense for me, but it may make a very big difference in their lives.  It's just the right thing to do. 

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** I do not work in the service industry so this is not coming from someone working for gratuity. I answered a question as to my Genie gratuity a few weeks ago and was "verbally scolded" by someone as trying to sway people etc, etc. to give more money because "I must be working for tips" 

So personal, but here is what we do. Before a sailing we go to our local bank branch and get a pack of 50 singles as well as a great deal of 5's and 10's. We usually have 20's on hand as that is what the cash machine spits out. (sometimes Publix will change out to small bills for us also. 

Porters and room service always get gratuity. We use @WAAAYTOOOsuggestion as a base line & set aside 5.00 for breakfast if sitting down to dine, 10.00 for lunch and 20.00 for dinner. We tip along the way, now this amount changes if the service which is few and far between is lacking. * One time on the Oasis Thanksgiving 2021 we received terrible service for dinner in CK and our gratuity was adjusted to reflect that. Please note that was just one sailing and our timing was off because @wordell1was on the same sailing with a later reservation time and he had great service. Ours was probably a one off sailing, time and staffing probably to blame. 

We usually connect with our cabin steward & tip extra in the middle and then the end of the sailing. 

Do what you feel is comfortable, please don't ever feel pressure from what we share here. everyone of us has unique experiences, don't stress over it and enjoy every minute of your sailing. Time is the most priceless thing we have. Be present & enjoy.

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We do but we also know it's not mandatory.

On packing night of the cruise, we think about the people who we felt went above and beyond and really only tip extra on that. We may also tip at the bar on the rare occasions we stop there.

For example, on our last cruise, the Next Cruise agent had no idea who just sat in her chairs when my mom and I went over to talk about our plans. The more we cruise, the more we know what we do and don't want but don't have an unlimited budget and sometimes it's hard to get those things to align. I think we were a lot to handle, bouncing around between 5 different itineraries and then even coming back the next day to change again! She put up with our himing and hawing like a champ and got us our second best deal ever (the first being said Odyssey for the price of Indy due to a ship change). So she for sure got a tip. We also enjoyed that our room steward and waitstaff did a couple extra little things simply based on noticing that we liked or used them a lot (such as ice twice daily in the room or extra cheese bread in the basket because it's my favorite).

We generally do about 20-30 as the highest amount, but no less than 10.

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Servers, not bartenders, always get a couple of $ from me.  Bartenders, I generally just wait until I'm done, figure how much I've spent there, figure the difference between the already added 18% and how good I think the service was and leave additional amount.  So, that's an addition of between 2% and 7%.  Specialty restaurants, I try to compare my meal if I had bought it in a comparable restaurant, off ship, and leave a 20% tip based upon that.  

For the most part, crew members are trying to survive and at the same time support their families back home, they're away from their families for months at a time, working hours that most of us wouldn't.  So, I try to treat them really good.  I also try to talk to them and listen to their story.  Some are heartbreaking.  

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I always tip extra but I started waitressing at 15 so it has become ingrained in me. That being said I am not just tipping off of empathy and societal pressures. Were I at home, in a bar/restaurant I would tip, the same for the housekeeper at a hotel. I don't tip everybody. The fact that crew member is without family, X, Y, and Z shouldn't factor in. As I believe service matters and not the other circumstances. My whole belief is that you do what feels comfortable and right to you. 

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9 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

I always tip extra but I started waitressing at 15 so it has become ingrained in me. That being said I am not just tipping off of empathy and societal pressures. Were I at home, in a bar/restaurant I would tip, the same for the housekeeper at a hotel. I don't tip everybody. The fact that crew member is without family, X, Y, and Z shouldn't factor in. As I believe service matters and not the other circumstances. My whole belief is that you do what feels comfortable and right to you. 

Not that you mention me in particular, I must say that if any server of any type, from anywhere, from any social standing, in any venue gives me less than good service, I won't hesitate to leave a single penny on the table as a statement and if they are bad enough, I'll have words that may make it a SEE (a Significant Emotional Event).  I just tend to give crew members a little more positive feedback and latitude.  

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@SLJ Good question.  For us the answer is yes!  We cruised before the pre-paid gratuities (like many of us) and we tip now just like we did then.  The only difference is that Ceil and I pay an additional $30 per day!  I bet my case is exactly what the cruise lines were hoping for when they implemented the new policy !!!  😉  Whoa is me.  Can I have a little pitty please... 🙂

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2 hours ago, SLJ said:

Hi everyone! I plan to pre-pay my gratuities, but am wondering if I should tip cash to specific staff on top of that. If so, how much is the norm (ON TOP of the already paid gratuities)?

 

Thanks!

We've also traditionally tipped over and above (and I build it into our travel budget), but to reiterate everyone else it's not necessary to do so.

As for how much over and above... I don't know that there's a "correct" way to do this.

For the stateroom attendant, it ends up being slightly more than what I would tip housekeeping at a hotel.

For the servers, it's a few dollars, per person, per day, and rounding to the nearest 10. For us, a family of four, it works out to a decent amount.

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2 hours ago, FoxboroCruiser said:

Yes we do tip above an beyond the pre-paid gratuities.  Having worked a decent part of my life in the service industry, I always tip better than average/expected.    I divided the pre-paid numbers across what I thought it would cost to stay in a nice hotel, eating in restaurants, etc.  Lets just say that the numbers came out below 10% and I'd be the worst tipper ever.  The beauty of tipping on board is that it improves the already fantastic service, and for so little money.  Giving the room steward $20 on embarkation day will pay off for the duration of the cruise.  Tipping bartenders and waiters will only make them even more attentive.

The crew is away from their families for months at a time just trying and earn a living and provide, and I am sure none of them are getting rich doing so.  A few bucks here and there isn't a huge expense for me, but it may make a very big difference in their lives.  It's just the right thing to do. 

We also started tipping the steward on embarkation day. And then at the end of the cruise. Usually starting with a $20. If its a nicer room like a junior suite then more. It does seem to improve the service.

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I always tip the stateroom attendant, that's a given for me, I start at a few dollars a day and go from there depending on service. Bartenders and servers will get for good service. If you remember my name/drink order or make it a point to be extra helpful I tip for that. I bring a certain amount just for tipping purposes.

 

I think everyone should do whatever they feel, this is just what makes me feel good. 

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As Europeans, the tipping culture that is commonplace for the majority of you is largely alien to us. That said, DH worked as a stateroom attendant for eight years in his younger days, and I worked as a tour guide, so we do understand the importance of tips for the crew.

With that in mind, we are usually prepared to give our MDR wait staff and our stateroom attendant a small additional tip if we feel their service merits it. However, having worked in the industry ourselves, we are not forgiving of sub-par service and that extra tip has to be genuinely earned. If we feel someone is just going through the motions or - worse - is actively fishing for tips then no extra will be forthcoming.

 

ETA: We always always tipped the Adventure Ocean staff even though they're not generally on the tipping radar because, boy, do they earn it!

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We tip the porters at the terminal of course. Onboard, we may give a nice tip if we frequent a specific bar and get excellent service. On Allure, we had great bartenders (Carlos and Yuda) at the Trellis Bar in CP. We tipped up front (as a group) and tipped again at the end of the cruise because they were exceptional.

We always tip the room attendant at the end. We also will tip the MDR team (head waiter, asst waiter, and beverage if app) at the end of the cruise if we spend most evenings in the MDR vs. specialty dining. The service in the MDR has always been excellent in our experience and we feel they deserve something extra. I also would consider tipping any crew member that goes out of their way to take care of you and make your cruise amazing.

Also, don't forget the end of cruise surveys. Positive surveys play a major role in career advancement and pay increases.

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