View Full Version : Tipping in Paolo

01-01-2002, 11:42 PM
After enjoying our meal recently in Paolo our server told us, before we left dinner, that the wait staff does not receive any of the $5 per head that we are charged for dinner reservations. She made us feel that an additional gratuity would be appropriate.
We were under the impression that the $5 fee was because the Paolo staff did not get any of the tip that we left our servers at the end of the trip. Anyone else ever hear the story from the wait staff and is it true?

01-01-2002, 11:57 PM
While I did leave an extra tip for my waitress at palo's I think it was very inappropriate for your server to approach you with this. I have only heard that the tip was split between the staff at Palo's. I really feel that I would have left nothing additional if cornered this way. I also feel that it is up to Disney to pay the staff a fair wage , so I am not left feeling guilty about how many children my tip has to feed. Don't get me wrong I am a GREAT tipper!!! I even tip good for ok service, I just think you should not be hassled for money on the ship, that happens enough when you are off the boat in port.

01-02-2002, 08:32 AM
Your $5 fee ($10 brunch) is a cover charge per se'. The server probably receives a VERY little percentage of this -- as another poster told us the fee is split between ALL of the staff at Palo's. We tipped for brunch what we felt would have been tipped at a very elite bruch stop - an extra $10 for the two of us (in additition to our $20 cover charge). I have to somewhat agree that it seemed inappropriate for the server to approach you concerning the tip. I do feel however that the general public needs to be more informed concerning the tipping process at Palo's. Possibly DCL could enclose an explanation of where your cover charge actually goes when you receive your Palo ressie confirmations in the stateroom - this way customers could better judge what they feel would be an appropriate amount for them to add as a 'tip' for their servers - and it would eliminate the need for the servers to feel that they should be explaining the procedure.

01-02-2002, 12:15 PM
Upon making my Palo reservations on board, I asked the reservation person about the tipping procedure and the service fee. They said that it is the tip and is divided between the servers. We left extra, but if you think that the suggested amount for your regular server is about $3.75 a day, this is fair.

Of course tipping is a personal thing and should be decided by each individual.

01-02-2002, 12:22 PM
We left $10 for dinner and $10 for brunch. The servers do deserve it and Disney (or any cruise line) do not pay fair wages. They do depend on tips for their livelihood.

01-02-2002, 01:10 PM
Yikes! While I have every intention of leaving a good amount extra when we eat there, if our server makes a comment like that to me, they wont get any extra. To me thats bad service, and I wont tip for bad service.
Does anyone know if the "extra" tip gets divided up between all the waitstaff, like the 5.00, or does it just go to your particular server?

01-02-2002, 01:35 PM
We have always tipped extra at Palo (other than the very first time we were there, when we didn't really know how things worked). We figure out how much we would normally tip at a restaurant of that quality. Our servers have never said anything about leaving additional...we just learned about things work via the message boards. A couple of trips ago, I seem to recall there was a little card given to us with the slip for the cover charge that explained how the cover charge worked. I don't recall whether they still give that, but I think it's a good idea. It gives you an understanding and the option to leave more without feeling pressured.
Visit the Platinum Castaway Club at: www.*****************

01-02-2002, 03:06 PM
Hi all,

If it's not being to personal maybe it would help if everyone could give an actual or estimated amount of how much they do tip there. I am guessing $10 per couple is the going rate so far...I would put my two cents in, but I haven't eaten there yet and so I too am curious.

Mmketeer 'Wonder' Jan.20th

Cathy K.
01-02-2002, 03:59 PM

On our last cruise in October the service we received at Palo's was so exceptional that we tipped an extra $20 for dinner and $20 for brunch which we were able to attend twice.

I also handed our server $10 cash after tea. I brought the cash with me because there is no cover charge for tea so I knew there would be no slip where I could give an extra tip.

Palo's was one of the highlights of this cruise so I was happy to tip the extra and everyone seemed very appreciative especially the server at high tea. When we went for our second brunch towards the end of the week several of the servers made a point of stopping to chat with us.

01-02-2002, 04:24 PM
While on our last cruise in Oct. on the Magic we enjoyed dining at Topsiders for dinner. There is no cover charge there and the service was just as good as it was at Palo's. We did tip but we were also confused with the thought of just how much.

We had dinner at Palo's twice and brunch once I also did the High Tea once. We tipped $20 for each Dinner and Brunch. I gave $3. at High Tea, it was just me and that's all the money I had on me.

01-02-2002, 10:33 PM
I kept our guest account from our Feb '01 Wonder cruise and my husband and I tipped $12 for each of us when we ate at Palo. We had great food and service and must have really been feeling the magic that night - lol!!! I don't feel this was excessive considering the meal and service we received. I know we tried to guess what the meal would have cost and tipped accordingly. But JMHO.

01-02-2002, 10:58 PM
Just wondering...
Are the amounts being posted in addition to the $5, or do they include the $5?
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Cathy K.
01-03-2002, 10:17 AM
My amounts were in addition to the cover charge.

01-03-2002, 11:31 AM
The Disney Cruise Line website, under their Q&A section regarding adult dining at Palo, says that "There is a service charge of $5 per guest for gratuities."

So either Disney is misrepresenting that $5 charge on their website or the servers are angling for extra. If they deserve extra and you want to pay it, fine. But Disney leads us to believe that the $5 fee is for gratuities at Palo.

01-03-2002, 11:34 AM
We gave $10 in addition to the surcharge

01-03-2002, 12:26 PM
I have the same question as CamColt~does the "extra" tip get divided also or does it go to your particular server? I would think that it goes to your server as you tip for the service that they provided to you. Does anyone know for sure?

P.S.~If it had been my server that had told me the procedure for the $5 cover charge, I would not feel guilty at all for not leaving an extra tip. In the first place it is not the servers place to explain that, as Barb said, it would be nice to continue the card of explanation. That is a subtle way to confront the facts. I feel that the server made the couple feel that an extra gratuity was expected and I'm sure that made the couple feel uncomfortable~I would feel that way. In the second place, it is bad manners to imply (sp?) that the service that you provide to someone deserves a reward. If it had been me, no matter what wonderful service was provided, that comment would have sealed the decision for me: NO EXTRA TIP FOR YOU! JMHO~I hope that I haven't upset anyone.

01-03-2002, 01:32 PM
I'm just wondering - if cruise ships don't pay a decent wage, why are there so many people working on them? I'm sure that a cruise ship "suggests" certain amounts for tipping that are alright with the staff. Otherwise they wouldn't work on the cruise ship.

Over and beyond that is up to the customer.

Sometimes it feels like we are in a tipping challenge on the DIS boards to see who can tip more.

Also, I understand that in a lot of countries there is a no-tipping practice.

01-03-2002, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by Thumper1

I'm just wondering - if cruise ships don't pay a decent wage, why are there so many people working on them? I'm sure that a cruise ship "suggests" certain amounts for tipping that are alright with the staff. Otherwise they wouldn't work on the cruise ship.

Most of the cruise ship staff comes from countries where the pay scale is very low. The pay on cruise ships is very low by U.S. standards, but the international crew finds this to be very good money by their home standards, especially since they get paid in U.S. Dollars. It is an industry standard practice to pay the lowest possible wages, usually off-set by what the cruise line "charges" the staff for room and board, so that they can keep their fares competitive. Thus, the only real income the tipped staff receives is from tips.

01-03-2002, 01:53 PM
My point is that it must be an ok place to work though. Nobody is forcing them into slavery. To suggest to a guest to tip them more is totally out of line.

01-03-2002, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by Thumper1

To suggest to a guest to tip them more is totally out of line.

No argument there.

01-03-2002, 04:14 PM
When we went on our first Disney Cruise, our server Georgia, explained that the cover charge was divided between the entire dining room staff and kitchen. She did it in such a tactful way that we weren't in the least offended but were grateful to know so we could reward such outstanding service. I wish I could always put things in such a tactful manner.

01-03-2002, 08:24 PM
Our tips were in addition to the $5 cover charge at Palos - to answer Barb's question.

To Thumper1 - we tip what we feel is appropriate and I didn't post it to impress anyone on the DIS boards! My opinion on the whole thing - I feel very fortunate to even be on the cruise and when I consider what we spend to travel and be there, the tips look pretty insignificant to me. We want to reward the people that are working hard to wait on us and make our trips a wonderful experience. Keep in mind that these people work 7 days a week for 4 - 6 months at at time (with no days off). I do agree that servers show bad judgement to suggest that you owe them tips or even to bring it up.

01-04-2002, 03:01 AM
There is a difference between Topsiders / Beach Blanket and Palos -

The tips we pay to the waitstaff in the regular dining rotation also compensates them for the time they put into breakfast and lunch - whereever it is and whomever they serve. I have never, ever contemplated tipping at any lunch or breakfast.

The Palo servers also work breakfast and lunch - but they do nto share in the "payday" at the end of the cruise. Also, look at how many tables the regular staff handles for dinner - and most of those have kids. Palos is typically 2 or 4 to a table.

The personal service Palo's offers calls for additional gratuiites. We went twice this week - each time, the servers pretty much stated that the $5 isn't for them. So, I agree, Disney needs to communicate it better.

01-05-2002, 06:56 PM
Hi all,

Great comments and I think I am going with a $10.00 tip when I dine there in a few weeks (on top of the $5 charge). I would do $15 if we order a bottle of wine or if we have the server go out of their way for us etc. A normal gourmet meal around here in Florida without alchol and the extras is about $55 or so depending on the restaurant for a couple, so I think $10 should be okay and it seems to me to be the min. most folks here on the forum would do. I'll let ya know if when I dine there I change my tipping, but that should be between 15% and 20%. Thanks again for all your comments, I would have hated to go there and disappointed the CM's with my tipping! LOL!

Mmketeer "Wonder" Jan.20/2002

01-05-2002, 07:23 PM
This ain't no $55 dinner!

You can compare Palo's to a 5 star restaurant. The meal would easily go for $100 - $125 for a couple in a stateside restaurant.

But, $10 is reasonable - I've moved between $10 and $20 and think the $10 amount is right where it's at.

Also, keep in mind with the wine comment - there is a 15% autogratuity added to your bar bill all over the ship. I would think carefully before adding another tip on top - though the line is on the slip for it.

Have a wonderful experience - it is an extraordinary experience

rack of lamb + souffle = happy gscott

Eric, Julie and Hailey
01-05-2002, 07:54 PM
At Palos we tipped $15 for 2 people - on top of the cover charge. On the last day of our cruise, we got a thank you note from our waitress - Katya. She deserved the tip -- she was wonderful.

By the way, we felt it was not appropriate to tip both Katya and our dining room waiter for that night -- so we took $5 off our waiter's tip and $3 off our asst. waiter's tip at the end of the cruise. (I know this is an unpopular choice -- but, it felt right to me.)

I think Disney does a horrible job explaining the tipping situation at Palos. the staff clearly cannot get by with the $5 cover charge -- so why not set a suggested amount for Palos dinner and brunch and end the confusion?

01-05-2002, 08:23 PM
I respect everyone's personal tipping decisions except those that scram without leaving anything for anybody.

I would keep in mind that it was your choice to eat out of rotation. You are paying your regular server for not only your dinners, but for the work they do at breakfast and lunch for everyone else. Your servers at breakfast and lunch were probably not your regular servers - and you did not tip them. The folks that have them at dinner take care of them for you.

If the service is good, I think the server and asst server should receive the suggested gratuity amount regardless if we are there or not.

Whether if our kids go to the kids club or if we eat at Palo's, we were assigned to them for the entire cruise. I didn't see it that way when I went on my first cruise and we pro-rated like you did. DIS changed my view completely.

Again, I respect your decision -

01-05-2002, 08:49 PM
Slightly off-topic, but DW, DS and I ate at a Lexington, NC BBQ restaurant yesterday, and in the confusion of various road-stop activities, we <i><b>forgot</b></i> to leave a tip for our waitress. We were a hundred miles down the road when it hit us. What a horrible feeling!

01-05-2002, 08:54 PM
I will revise my previous post thusly:

"I respect everyone's personal tipping decisions except those that scram without leaving anything for anybody..unless they are in a mad rush while on a roadtrip!!!

There Dave, you are now officially respected!


01-05-2002, 09:05 PM
This is interesting, I have eaten at Palo MANY times and have never had a server explain the gratuity process to me. That does seem a little crass. We do tip generously there; we almost always get a bottle of wine and tip an addditional $25 or more on top of the regular "cover charge". We also tip the regular dining room servers more than the minimum, regardless of how many times we eat there, if the service warrants (and 99% of the time it has, I'm glad to say). :)

Dave, I guess that's one restaurant in NC where you can't show your face again... ;)