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Requesting Tips on top of Gratuities


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I just got back from an Alaska Cruise and seen something in my cabin that I have not seen before.  They left me 3 envelopes allowing/asking me for additional tips on top of the Gratuities I have already paid.  I normally give extra cash to the people that go beyond for me but this asking for an extra tip rubbed me the wrong way.

Two Questions:

  1. What do you think about asking for extra tips?
  2. When you have Unlimited Dining do you add an extra tip when you have dinner?
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9 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

Were you verbally asked for extra tips or were the envelopes just left in your room?

 

I've always been given envelopes near the end of the cruise

I have not had envelopes in the room in the last 4 or 5 years.  They automatically take the Gratuities out of my onboard account and do not leave envelopes anymore.  I have seen on the message boards where people request envelopes, but I have not seen them in a very long time.   These were envelopes that has something about "Tips on Tips" They state something about they are for if you want to give additional tips on top of Gratuities.

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This does not make sense.  I just finished my 5th cruise with 3 different cruise lines in the past year and not one envelope.  

Edit:   I just found this post that talks that it is hit and miss if you get envelops.  It is up to the Cabin Stewart.  I always give him a large extra tip at the begging of the cruise so there is no reason for him to ask for more.  Gratuity Envelopes? - Royal Caribbean Discussion - Royal Caribbean Blog

 

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Of the dozen cruises I’ve done this past year on Royal I’ve always gotten 1 tip envelope left for me, which is fine.  I give extra cash to the waiters and don’t feel I need an envelope to do so.  I’ve written my cabin stewards name on the envelope and put in $ and have it on my desk for last day.  One time the steward found it, I guess when cleaning and moving my papers,(it is not stored on top)and took it,  so there’s that.  

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There are still some people who have the automatic tipping removed from their account. For whatever reason. Rarely do these folks admit this.
 

If they chose to instead tip with cash directly to individuals the envelopes will come in handy.

 

I would still like to know if cabin/dining room staff know whether or not you are auto tipping.

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Last cruise this June only one envelope was left in the room with Seapass statement as reported above.  I got two more from Customer Relations because we always give something extra to waiter, assistant waiter, and stateroom steward.  The amount we give varies with service, but I can only recall one cruise when we didn't give extra.

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7 hours ago, Ray said:

Envelope left on cabin bed along with statement showing any onboard spending. 

Personally i don't see it as a big deal! If you want to give extra you put it in the envelope if you don't you just ignore it. 

 

The problem I had was it was not just an envelope for tipping.  The envelope said it was for an additional tip.

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The tip envelopes had largely disappeared for the last couple of years of our cruising life...but I am reading that they have made a comeback.  Since we tip on-the-spot and as-we-go, we never used the envelopes unless there was some special person that we missed during the cruise.  Casino management personnel are forbidden to take cash tips on the casino floor...so if you wish to tip a pit boss or the casino manager or pretty much anyone other than a dealer, server or the casino host, you must provide that tip in an envelope and leave it at the GS desk or in a drop box which is sometimes set up for this purpose.  That is the only way they can accept a tip.

We always tip at the end of a specialty dining meal even though a standard gratuity has already been incorporated into the cost of your specialty meal.  Since we tip-on-the-spot, we leave it with the server at the time we receive the service.

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We only use tip envelopes when we may not personally be able to give the money. Sometimes the wait staff in the MDR are busy when we're ready to leave so we would use the envelope there. And rarely do we see our room steward on the last morning so that's another use for the envelope.

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32 minutes ago, Traveling Mike said:

The problem I had was it was not just an envelope for tipping.  The envelope said it was for an additional tip.

Yeah mine also. Still wasnt a problem because if you dont want to tip you just file it in B for bin.

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11 hours ago, Traveling Mike said:

It is up to the Cabin Stewart.  I always give him a large extra tip at the begging of the cruise so there is no reason for him to ask for more.  Gratuity Envelopes? - Royal Caribbean Discussion - Royal Caribbean Blog

 

I don't believe this is the cabin steward personally asking for extra.  They are there to use wherever you want around the ship.  I wouldn't look into it that deeply.

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12 hours ago, Traveling Mike said:

I have not had envelopes in the room in the last 4 or 5 years.  They automatically take the Gratuities out of my onboard account and do not leave envelopes anymore.  I have seen on the message boards where people request envelopes, but I have not seen them in a very long time.   These were envelopes that has something about "Tips on Tips" They state something about they are for if you want to give additional tips on top of Gratuities.

I'm the opposite.  I don't like having to go to guest services to get them.  I'm all in favor of having some left in my room.

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11 hours ago, Traveling Mike said:

This does not make sense.  I just finished my 5th cruise with 3 different cruise lines in the past year and not one envelope.  

Edit:   I just found this post that talks that it is hit and miss if you get envelops.  It is up to the Cabin Stewart.  I always give him a large extra tip at the begging of the cruise so there is no reason for him to ask for more.  Gratuity Envelopes? - Royal Caribbean Discussion - Royal Caribbean Blog

 

I even clicked on the other blog link you provided and it confirmed what I thought I remembered from a few years back, that we referred to them as WOW envelopes. (to tip extra to someone that provide the Royal WOW experience)

Personally I believe that your providing your cabin steward with a "large extra tip at the begging of the cruise" has made them think you are a Big Extra Tipper and they want to make sure you have every opportunity.

Now each of us has our own opinion and belief on Tipping and all are valid.  Myself I have decided that in principle anytime a business either adds a tip automatically, offer an option to prepay the tip, or says tip is included that is all that they get.  Are there exceptions, Yes but rarely.

 

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We just started cruising in 2019. We’ve taken enough that we’re close to Diamond. 

We’ve had envelopes left on the last night of every cruise we’ve taken.  I would’ve thought it strange if we didn’t see one. 
 

As I recall, they are printed with, “Tip Tip Hurray!”
 

 

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Every cruise that I've taken I've always without fail had envelopes left in my stateroom on the last night for any additional tips that I wished to leave.  

I've never had any crew member ask me for any additional tip I will leave an additional tip at my discretion but the envelopes are always there in the room on the last night of the cruise. 

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The last couple of cruises I've taken I had to go to Guest Services to get the envelopes.

There was a time that the envelopes where for service above and beyond and I think if you gave one to a crew member they could take it to their supervisor and get a reward of some type.  The print on the envelope stated sometime to that affect.  Those envelopes I have not seen in a long while. 

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I always prepay Gratuities and in my happy little cruising world I want to believe it is devided fairly to all of the "behind the scenes" service staff as well.  I have had both occasions occur 1. Leaving envelopes in the cabin 2. Go to Guest Services and ask for them.  99% of the time there are good reasons to leave a little extra for them going beyond ordinary service like when I sit in the MDR and the waiter already has a pitcher of Tea pouring my drink before I ask!  I have also tipped the Ice cream cone server for remembering that I like a very LARGE portion on my cone. 

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13 hours ago, Ray said:

Envelope left on cabin bed along with statement showing any onboard spending. 

Personally i don't see it as a big deal! If you want to give extra you put it in the envelope if you don't you just ignore it. 

 

This. I don’t see it as pressuring, just a courtesy for those who want to tip additionally. It is not there specifically for the steward, but anyone we would like to tip on top of prepaid tips.  
 

We have always had an envelope or two provided. 

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6 hours ago, Traveling Mike said:

The problem I had was it was not just an envelope for tipping.  The envelope said it was for an additional tip.

 

17 hours ago, Traveling Mike said:

I just got back from an Alaska Cruise and seen something in my cabin that I have not seen before.  They left me 3 envelopes allowing/asking me for additional tips on top of the Gratuities I have already paid.  I normally give extra cash to the people that go beyond for me but this asking for an extra tip rubbed me the wrong way.

Two Questions:

  1. What do you think about asking for extra tips?
  2. When you have Unlimited Dining do you add an extra tip when you have dinner?

I, too, asked on this site about tipping on top of the prepaid (for waitstaff, etc).  The answer was all over the board, so my takeaway was that prepaid gratuities are enough and adding more is a nice move.

Can you share exactly what your envelope said?  That seems to be what is hitting you wrong.  We have cruised 3 times since Jan 2020, and have always had exactly one envelope, and it said "Tip Tip Hooray" and said it was for honoring a staff member who went above and beyond.

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27 minutes ago, barbeyg said:

This. I don’t see it as pressuring, just a courtesy for those who want to tip additionally. It is not there specifically for the steward, but anyone we would like to tip on top of prepaid tips.  
 

We have always had an envelope or two provided. 

That sums it up for me as well.

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21 minutes ago, PRMLVM said:

Can you share exactly what your envelope said?  That seems to be what is hitting you wrong.  We have cruised 3 times since Jan 2020, and have always had exactly one envelope, and it said "Tip Tip Hooray" and said it was for honoring a staff member who went above and beyond.

I did not keep the envelope or take a picture.  I did know it said, "Tip Tip Hooray".  It also said something about giving additional tip.  My family owned a restaurant and I understand tipping and I over tip most of the time because I know how hard they work.  What hit me wrong is them asking for a tip on top of the tip. 

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18 hours ago, BigKarl said:

I have also tipped the Ice cream cone server for remembering that I like a very LARGE portion on my cone. 

That the way to do it! Remembering names and preferences for thousands upon thousands upon thousands of cruisers is no easy feat.  Thank you for appreciating effort with kindness! 

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17 hours ago, Traveling Mike said:

I did not keep the envelope or take a picture.  I did know it said, "Tip Tip Hooray".  It also said something about giving additional tip.  My family owned a restaurant and I understand tipping and I over tip most of the time because I know how hard they work.  What hit me wrong is them asking for a tip on top of the tip. 

The assumption is that guests have already paid the normal gratuities (either pre-cruise or added daily to their stateroom account).  So anything put in that envelope would, by definition, be an "additional" tip.  Providing the envelopes is simply a way to make it clear that the money was meant for the recipient, not accidentally forgotten or left in the room during packing.

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OK...to the original post:

1. We have cruised 3 different cruise lines and all three had these envelopes.  Not gonna argue whether the OP did or did not get envelopes in the past.  What is the issue though?  These guys work hard and its not like the actual stateroom attendant hand wrote an envelope asking for additional tips.

2. My policy is: If the person worked hard and went above and beyond, I will reciprocate with kindness and generosity WHEN AND IF I CAN.  If anyone else does not find that they can afford it or if anyone else thinks that their service was worthy of only pre-paid tips, that is okay.  

3. These cruise workers mostly come from places with wages that are substandard to many first world countries.  Not saying that our minimum wage in the US is great, but some people come from countries where they work for pennies.  For me personally, its NOT a pity thing.  These people are generally hard working.  In the overall scheme of things, if I got an extra pillow or prompt attention, if someone remembered my name and gave me an extra large ice cream, or if my kid fell from the rock climbing wall too soon and the attendant let him go a couple of extra minutes, I will tip those who went above and beyond.

4. No one is asking for handouts.  

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Also, asking for an additional tip on top of a tip....I often ask for extra parmesan cheese in addition to the cheese on my pizza/pasta.  What's wrong with that? And again, the stateroom attendant is NOT personally asking on the pre=printed envelopes.   

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20 hours ago, PRMLVM said:

 love this!  You tip him at time of service though, right?   I'm picturing an envelope labeled "ice cream guy"!

Yes, we tip at time of service.  Sometimes the person serving us changes and I want to make sure we get the right "Ice Cream Guy/Gal"

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I’ve seen this envelope on every sailing and it’s normally placed on the bed that last evening of the cruise. I usually toss it in the trash because I “tip tip Hooray” on the first day when I’m flush with cash. By the final night I’m broke and one keyboard click away from re-mortgaging my house. I don’t think the prepaid gratuities are enough for these hard working crew members and I tend to excessively tip everyone. To each his own.

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I have gotten these on every one of my cruises since the restart and even prior to that. I don't see the big deal, but OP perception was that they were asking for the tips, that actually isn't the case. In most instances the cabin steward is given a packet of stuff to leave with the guest. Odds are that whoever made said packet put those envelopes with the other documents and the cabin steward just delivered it. 

I pre-tip my cabin steward because I want ice all the time, I then give them something at the end. I tip everyone else as I go. I see those envelopes and disregard, if need be. 

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I've had envelopes on every cruise as well. 

I think OP is reading WAY to much into this.  There is a huge difference between leaving a blank envelope where you can choose to use it or not and write any crew member's name in there if you so desire, and the cabin steward sitting outside his cabin door on the last night with a cardboard sign saying "Anything will help".

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