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rav4lcrv
03-16-2009, 09:58 PM
Just wondering if anyone has skipped the sit down dinners? We were on the Magic last year and decided to eat all our meals on the deck or buffet. The head waiter called our room 3 times looking for us. We decided to save on the tux, not have to eat with a group of strangers and just do what we want, very casual. On our first cruise we did the whole meal thing and the food was very good, good company and enjoyable.

tjbaggott
03-16-2009, 10:23 PM
We never skipped any sit down meals in the restaurants on board, although some of our children did. For my husband and me, dinner in the restaurants were one of the best parts of our vacation (ONE OF MANY parts).
On the formal night, we didn't go all out formal. My husband doesn't own a tux not even a full suit. He wore dress pants, a shirt and tie, I wore a casual dressy skirt and top. So though it says Formal night on one night of the cruise, no one has to dress formally. We found meals times (once we had our toddler booked into the nursery), were very relaxing and enjoyable.

lbgraves
03-16-2009, 10:56 PM
If you are not going to go to the dining room, it is considered to be considerate to contact the head server and let them know so that your serving team will be able to have other guests assigned to their section and not lose out on the entire week of tips for those empty chairs. Also, if you are in the early seating you will make someone else very happy since there is always a waiting list of people wanting to be moved from early to late. It is quite possible that is why the head server was calling to check with you and see if they could seat someone at your table. They try to accomodate families by seating them at a different table each night to be in early seating. On our fourth cruise we told our servers that we would be going to Palo the following night at our 8 top and the head server later asked us if we minded if they seated another family there that night.

BibbidyBobbidyBoo
03-16-2009, 11:19 PM
I think it would be considerate to let them know- however you're still supposed to tip even if you don't use the dining rooms for dinner, correct? I always thought so.

TiaMaria
03-16-2009, 11:51 PM
We LOVE the dining rooms. That is pretty much one of the top 3 things we like the most.

I do not mean to imply that you are in any way wrong however.

Did you know that you can request a table for just your family/traveling companions? You can call ahead and request this (keep in mind that the CM on the phone will note your reservation, but cannot guarantee it) and have it confirmed upon boarding.

Don't let fear of getting placed with someone you have nothing in common with deter you from the dining room experience.

DisneyCruiser83
03-17-2009, 02:47 AM
I hope you let your server know you were not eating when they called. Like the other poster stated they can seat others at your table. Also, if the server does not know you are skipping the dinning room, they will hold the table to wait for you. I hope you keep this in mind if you plan on skipping in the future.
And yes, a full tip is proper protocol even if you don't eat in the main rooms.

nic_x
03-17-2009, 06:48 AM
We skipped out on formal night (we decided to save packing space!) We also missed one night for Palo.

But we did let our servers know. No idea if they seated anyone else at our table those nights--we were the late seating--but they said they really appreciated the info.

skohrs
03-17-2009, 10:11 AM
We have never skipped the main dining rooms on DCL (except for Palo night, and even then we went to the dining room just to let the kids eat there and spend time with our servers - and yes even had an appetizer). However, on one 8-night cruise we took on RCCL, we actually skipped the dining room every single night after the first two nights. Our servers were so bad and made it so unenjoyable that we opted to the buffet each night. We even spoke with the head waiter about the situation after the first night and he said he would take care of the situation, but our servers were actually worse the second night. Needless to say, those servers got tipped for only two nights on that cruise.

Never had such a problem on DCL and don't expect to.

5lilfish
03-17-2009, 10:22 AM
We have never skipped the main dining rooms on DCL (except for Palo night, and even then we went to the dining room just to let the kids eat there and spend time with our servers - and yes even had an appetizer). However, on one 8-night cruise we took on RCCL, we actually skipped the dining room every single night after the first two nights. Our servers were so bad and made it so unenjoyable that we opted to the buffet each night. We even spoke with the head waiter about the situation after the first night and he said he would take care of the situation, but our servers were actually worse the second night. Needless to say, those servers got tipped for only two nights on that cruise.

Never had such a problem on DCL and don't expect to.

Our Royal servers were AWFUL too. I should say that we've been on 2 RCI's. The first time we had a great server. The second time was truly awful. If it had just been DH and I with the kids, and not my parents too, we may have skipped it.

On DCL, dining is one of our highlights.

Jess

kcashner
03-17-2009, 11:01 AM
Even if you don't plan to dress "formal," you can dress nicely and go to the dining room on formal night. There are even people who go "counter-culture" and wear jeans, although I'd never advocate that. We're doing a cruise where luggage space will be a real premium. I've suggested that the young men wear a nice shirt and tie (skip the jacket), and the young ladies wear "church dresses." Of course, I have at least one who feels it more appropriate to get another wearing out of her prom dress even if she has to sit on her suitcase in the car!

Mickey's Best Girl
03-17-2009, 01:14 PM
I think it would be considerate to let them know- however you're still supposed to tip even if you don't use the dining rooms for dinner, correct? I always thought so.

OK, please don't flame me, I'm new to this whole cruise thing.
My question is:
If you are not doing sit down dinners and you inform the staff so they can fill your dining space, why would you still be required to tip the servers? I would assume if the space is filled then those people would be the ones who will be tipping...... I'm a little confused. If it is the proper thing to do, then I will by all means tip, it just seems odd to me to tip for a service we won't be using. Could someone explain it to me.... nicely:blush:

5lilfish
03-17-2009, 01:23 PM
OK, please don't flame me, I'm new to this whole cruise thing.
My question is:
If you are not doing sit down dinners and you inform the staff so they can fill your dining space, why would you still be required to tip the servers? I would assume if the space is filled then those people would be the ones who will be tipping...... I'm a little confused. If it is the proper thing to do, then I will by all means tip, it just seems odd to me to tip for a service we won't be using. Could someone explain it to me.... nicely:blush:

You are using their service. Only part of the dining service is the evening meal. You are using the service of the dining staff every time you eat on deck, have lunch, etc. All of that service is calculated into figuring out the recommended daily tip for your server and assistant server (who also work lunches/buffets/Cookies). Instead of tipping each time you eat, it's all rolled into this one tip.

Jess

BibbidyBobbidyBoo
03-17-2009, 01:31 PM
You are using their service. Only part of the dining service is the evening meal. You are using the service of the dining staff every time you eat on deck, have lunch, etc. All of that service is calculated into figuring out the recommended daily tip for your server and assistant server (who also work lunches/buffets/Cookies). Instead of tipping each time you eat, it's all rolled into this one tip.

Jess

right- what Jess said.
Because they don't just do the dining rooms- those same servers are serving all over the ship on all meals breakfast/lunch/dining rooms/etc. We only tip the dining service but that's just where they basically get PAID- you're still using their service all over the ship (and/or using the service of OTHER wait staff who someone ELSE will tip because they are THEIR dining servers. KWIM? What I mean is you may not personally see YOUR servers during the day- but you're using the services of someone ELSE'S servers all day long when you eat any other time of the day anywhere else- and someone else is using the services of YOUR dining servers all day long too. It's different than regular restaurants because like in a regular restaurant if someone worked breakfast lunch and dinner- they'd get tipped by everyone they served that day. So if you didn't use their services for dinner- you wouldn't tip them. HOwever on the ship they are working to serve food in a variety of areas all day long- without tips- and rely on the dining tips to pay them for all the work they've done all day. So when everyone tips their dinner servers- they are tipping them for them working all day, not just dinner. KWIM?)

If you don't tip them because you don't eat in the dining room- they get paid less yet still have to do the same amount of work pretty much (minus you few ppl who aren't eating in the dining rooms at night). From what I hear they work really long hours too- so that would be a bummer to have their income cut so much yet still doing the majority of the work.

I understand it being confusing though. I remember the first time I heard that even if you didn't eat in the dining room, or your kids didn't, etc. that you should still pay the tip I was confused why too!

Mickey's Best Girl
03-17-2009, 01:31 PM
You are using their service. Only part of the dining service is the evening meal. You are using the service of the dining staff every time you eat on deck, have lunch, etc. All of that service is calculated into figuring out the recommended daily tip for your server and assistant server (who also work lunches/buffets/Cookies). Instead of tipping each time you eat, it's all rolled into this one tip.

Jess

Thank you for clearing that up, I thought the tip was ONLY for the staff who wait on you at dinner. This makes sense to me now.

BibbidyBobbidyBoo
03-17-2009, 01:37 PM
Thank you for clearing that up, I thought the tip was ONLY for the staff who wait on you at dinner. This makes sense to me now.
I edited to explain more in my post. Hope that helps! You are still tipping only your staff at dinner- but basically tipping them for all day since the rest of the day they work but don't get tipped (or atleast it's not standard or mentioned by DCL to tip them all day) :)

Sinderelly
03-17-2009, 01:41 PM
KCashner I am threatening DH I want to take my wedding dress for formal night to get one more wearing out of it...hoop petticoat and all. :rotfl:

SLK1
03-17-2009, 01:45 PM
We went to Palo's one night, so told our servers, then found out they did in fact seat someone at our table...some of the staff from the spa ate dinner together at our table! I guess there's nothing truly wrong with that, but if the argument is you still have to tip whether or not you're there, then the servers are making quite a bit of extra money! And I am fairly certain the spa people didn't tip if they knew we, the "owners" of those seats, were still going to tip. Just seemed weird.

BibbidyBobbidyBoo
03-17-2009, 02:45 PM
I doubt very seriously the other staff members (or spa or whatever) tip fellow employees on the ship. Maybe I'm wrong but I doubt it? Who knows.
But they do assume you will still tip. Nowhere does it say this is the standard amount to tip IF you use the restaurants for dinner- that last part is nowhere on there. It also doesn't say pp only for those that eat dinner in the dining rooms. Doesn't say that either. It's standard whether you, or your children, eat there for dinner every night or not.

disneychic
03-17-2009, 03:28 PM
We've never skipped dinner in the main dining rooms. We look forward to the excellent service/atmosphere/food.

MiknMinMouse
03-17-2009, 03:37 PM
I said for sure that this time I was going to try room service or topsiders one night. Didn't happen. My kids once again got really attached to the servers so we went every night. We did skip the breakfast on the last morning and the character breakfast but we let our servers know we wouldn't be there.

As for the whole tipping thing. They really don't make that much money. I'm sure people stiff them on tips as well. But they work their butts off. Our assistant server was working 14 hour days. How do we know because we saw him at topsiders in the morning, at dinner at night and on CC during the day. Also, we know they had a late seating table.

sunshine state kim
03-17-2009, 04:45 PM
We frequently skip our scheduled dinners as that's just not the big draw for us when cruising. We usually go to formal and semi-formal night with the kids, Palo's once without the kids, but then enjoy the wraps and salads and other goodies on deck 9 or room service. We usually stop by our table the first night and let our severs know they likely won't see a lot of us and not to take offense. We always tip the full amount for our family of 4. It's your vacation! Do what's fun. If you like dinner every night - enjoy! If you like to get all dressed up - go for it! If you prefer a pantyhose-free vacation - be a little more casual on formal night. If you like a burger and fries on the veranda - that's OK too. Don't worry about anyone else's opinion, just do what's best for you!

frdeb1999
03-17-2009, 05:13 PM
We skipped a couple times this past trip and went to topsiders and absolutely loved the food and service there. It's a nice change from the regular dining rooms and does'nt take nearly as long. We still however tip our normal waiters and let them know when we won't be there. :)