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Old 07-31-2012, 08:06 AM   #181
mom+3girls
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Originally Posted by over50visits View Post
I'm a big believer that your experience is usually what you expect it to be. We expect to have a wonderful cruise, with great service, and we ALWAYS get that. We treat the CMs with respect, don't expect them to be our servants, and are genuinely interested in their well being. They return that in spades. It's easy. I've seen some pretty inconsiderate guests with strange requests (really demands), and feel so sorry for the servers.

No, the level of service has not gone down. The Golden Rule works like a charm on the cruises...what goes around comes around.
I have never had a bad experience with any of the servers or room attendants that we have had. I'm in a service industry and understand how demanding people can be. I think with Disney there is an expectation of service and it is usually met or exceeded. In fact I had one server on one of our cruises notice that my one of my daughters kept ordering the same thing and he asked why, it was a baked potato plain, I told him she has severe heart burn, he was a doctor in his home country and gave us some helpful pointers on how to combat the problem with natural things, she continues to use some of these helpful hints. Who knew that going on the Disney Cruise could lead to us finding these helpful hints.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:59 PM   #182
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I am a newbie to this forum, but I am thinking about going on a Med cruise next year. I wonder why they had problems with the tipping during their last Med cruises. Because of the non-tipping history of some Europeans? What do you think?
In defense of Europeans...tipping is not the same in Europe as it is in the states. We (US) tip 15-20% as wait staff in America earns their salary mainly through tips. In Europe they are paid much better and do not make their living off of tips. So please don't think negatively about Europeans...while they do tip, they tip about 1/4 of what we would tip in the states as that is their custom. They could be the cause of low tips on the Med cruises but it is only because they might not be aware of US tipping customs/practices. Where we would leave a $5-6 tip for a $28 meal, it is custom for them to leave $1-2 at the most. This is not a lecture...I have lived overseas and thought I would pass on their tipping customs so that we can all better understand different cultures.

If it helps wait staff to be paid for their hard work...it isn't such a bad thing for tipping to be automatically included. If you know up front that it will be taken out then you will be prepared for it. This is pretty standard across the cruiseline industry. You can even pre-pay them so you have less of a charge on our sail and sign card at the end of the cruise.

If you think your wait staff did an extraordinary job then give them a little bit more in cash.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:07 AM   #183
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It is part of the cruise and as we found it is a way of life in the USA, this makes the servers provide excellent service and this we can verify as we just returned from the Dream on Sunday.

If their is a problem, the head server wants to know, we had a slight misunderstanding with the server and it was rectified immediately.

We had been assigned to dine with another family of 3, and on the first night we got on so well on the second night the family was delayed having massages at the spa and the server kept delaying taking our order until I asked him to, the server thought we were a party of 6 already friends! Quickly and professionally resolved so definitely worth the tips!
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:56 PM   #184
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I like that it is already handled - one less thing for me to worry about. We usually tip very well if the CM deserves it. On our last cruise we handled it but now that it is automatically billed, if we want to give an extra tip, do we go to guest services and ask that more be added or do you just hand the CM an extra envelope?

Also on disney.com's website it lists the gratuity tipping recommendation but I wasn't sure if the amount listed was a "total" amount or amount "per day" - anyone know?

Thanks,
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:01 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by Sharonstamps View Post
I like that it is already handled - one less thing for me to worry about. We usually tip very well if the CM deserves it. On our last cruise we handled it but now that it is automatically billed, if we want to give an extra tip, do we go to guest services and ask that more be added or do you just hand the CM an extra envelope?

Also on disney.com's website it lists the gratuity tipping recommendation but I wasn't sure if the amount listed was a "total" amount or amount "per day" - anyone know?

Thanks,
Sharon
The recommended gratuities is $12 pp/per night. So on a 7 night cruise it is $84 pp.

If you want to add more you can go to guest services at any time to add it.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:26 PM   #186
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I apologize that I didn't read the entire thread but just to clarify for my laziness- if I prepay the CM knows that I paid the minimum but if I add on at GS during the cruise will the CM know that we added to it?
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:28 PM   #187
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I was wondering if you could help me figure something out here. I went to prepay my gratuity for my upcoming 7 day Fantasy cruise I'm taking with my mom (just the 2 of us) and the amount came to $168. Did I get robbed? Can you help me with the math?
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:47 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by Nikki'sMommy View Post
I apologize that I didn't read the entire thread but just to clarify for my laziness- if I prepay the CM knows that I paid the minimum but if I add on at GS during the cruise will the CM know that we added to it?
I don't think they know if you repaid of not. I think the only way they know exactly who paid what is if you give them the paper slips at the end of the cruise.

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I was wondering if you could help me figure something out here. I went to prepay my gratuity for my upcoming 7 day Fantasy cruise I'm taking with my mom (just the 2 of us) and the amount came to $168. Did I get robbed? Can you help me with the math?
The recommended amount is $12 pp/per day. That covers all 4 tipped positions. A 7 night works out to $84 pp, or $168 for two people.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:12 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by Sharonstamps View Post
I like that it is already handled - one less thing for me to worry about. We usually tip very well if the CM deserves it. On our last cruise we handled it but now that it is automatically billed, if we want to give an extra tip, do we go to guest services and ask that more be added or do you just hand the CM an extra envelope?

Also on disney.com's website it lists the gratuity tipping recommendation but I wasn't sure if the amount listed was a "total" amount or amount "per day" - anyone know?

Thanks,
Sharon
You can either go to Guest Services and add additonal to your tips, or just include cash with the tip voucher you receive at the end of the cruise, that you hand out to the respective positions.

The recommended amount is $12 per guest per day. The breakout of the $12 is: Room Host - $4 per guest per day; Dining Room Server - $4 per guest per day; Asst Dining Room Server - $3 per guest per day; and Head Server - $1 per guest per day.

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Old 11-01-2012, 08:37 PM   #190
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We prepaid on our last RC cruise and we found it so much easier. It wasn't mandatory, but we decided to try it. We are looking to prepay this time too (before we even leave)
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:57 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by Cari2109 View Post
I took a Carnival cruise a few years ago and that is how they handled their tips.
Yes it was like this on our carnival cruise also. You do have the option of removing them if you want.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:21 PM   #192
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You can go to GS and adjust your tips up or down....or you can increase tips by adding cash to the envelope along with the tip coupon. It is totally up to you. If you do nothing, the suggested tip will be added to your onboard account. No, the CMs don't know if you pre-paid or if you made any adjustments until you give them the envelope on the last night.

My guess is that the CMs are happy with this policy change. Yes, it was started on the Magic in response to decreased tipping on the Med cruises, but it was continued after the Magic returned to the US and later expanded to all ships.

This is no different than what we experienced on other lines.

And the math above is correct. $12 per day X 7 days = $84 per guest. For 2 people, that's $168

Last edited by kcashner; 11-01-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:03 PM   #193
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Just got off the Fantasy where they automatically charged the "recommended" tips to our stateroom for the servers and stateroom host. When did this start? While we are very good tippers I REALLY didn't like the liberty taken to just charge us automatically. That's not so much a tip as a service charge. Yes it can be changed but it's a hassle.

Do other cruise lines do this?
This *change* was disclosed some time ago. Some cruise lines mandate you pay gratuities in cash.

Are you REALLY saying it is a hassle to make a change to a gratuity? Do you realize, the previous way, you had to fill out a form, and drop it off at Guest Services? Now, if everything is okay, you do nothing. If you want to make a change, you can do it via your stateroom phone ... whether you are increasing or decreasing your gratuity!
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:17 PM   #194
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This *change* was disclosed some time ago. Some cruise lines mandate you pay gratuities in cash.

Are you REALLY saying it is a hassle to make a change to a gratuity? Do you realize, the previous way, you had to fill out a form, and drop it off at Guest Services? Now, if everything is okay, you do nothing. If you want to make a change, you can do it via your stateroom phone ... whether you are increasing or decreasing your gratuity!
We were NOT able to change via phone on our 11/24 Fantasy cruise. You do need to go to Guest Services in person to adjust, either or up or down. And just for the record, we were adjusting up.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:10 PM   #195
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I agree that it was a hassle in my experience to change our tips. I wanted to increase ours, so on the paper that was left in our room with the amounts that were going to be auto charged, i just crossed those out and wrote in the higher amounts I wanted to do, thinking I could just drop that off at Guest Services and have them easily change it. Unfortunately, it was at least a 15 minute process. They couldn't just add to the auto tips. The CM had to go get a manager CM to assist her with voiding the original ones, having me sign off on that, then I had to fill out a completely new form with the amounts I wanted to give, then she had to run that, and reprint the tickets. I know 15 mins might not sound like a lot, but when you are on vacation on a beautiful ship and/or waiting to head out to a beautiful island like CC, you dont want to waste a minute, especially on something that should have been much more seamless.

I understand the idea of the auto charge for tipping and I'm not totally against it, but I do think they should make it easier for guests to change the amount. Like, when the form is left in your room, it should say something like 'do nothing and this is what will be charged' or 'if you want to increase/decrease, please fill out your corrected amounts and drop off to Guest Services.' Then, the drop off could work just like before, where you leave it in the box, they process it, and return it to your room fish mail holder so you haven't taken any of your time to wait in line to do it.
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