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Old 02-05-2013, 07:47 AM   #1
RGLakatos
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Tips Question

Morning;

Can anyone tell me who and how much do you generally tip throughout your cruise journey.....please start from the embarkation process. I went on a cruise when I was 17 and am now 35. I've seen general numbers for tipping online but I would like to get a consensus instead of what websites have told me....just don't want to look like an idiot when tipping.
Thanks....
Roy
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:57 AM   #2
nzdisneymom
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According to DCL, the recommended gratuities are:

Dining Room Server $4 / night
Dining Room Asst $3 / night
Dining Room Head Server $1 / night
Stateroom Host $4 / night

Everything else is at your discretion (Dining Room Head Waiter, Palo, Spa Services, Excursions, Room Service that doesn't have a charge on it).

I think for bar drinks that the tip is included.

We budget for tips for the porters at the cruise terminal both going and coming (we don't always use one when we return but we plan for it in case we do). We budget tips for room service - $1-$2 for each delivery, more if we've ordered more food.

We budget for tips for excursions, usually $5-10 for half-day for our family of four... really depends on what we're doing.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:59 AM   #3
RGLakatos
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Thank you very much for this thorough information.....this helps a lot!!

Roy
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:00 AM   #4
Boos14
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Tips

We also left our room attendant a prepaid phone card. He did such a great job looking after us.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:02 AM   #5
RGLakatos
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A prepaid phone card? Strange gift but I am sure it has meaning!!

Roy
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGLakatos
A prepaid phone card? Strange gift but I am sure it has meaning!!

Roy
The phone cards are so they can call home. They really appreciate little tokens like phone cards, chocolate, and even alcohol.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:07 AM   #7
RGLakatos
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That's pretty cool.....I was unaware they can accept gifts.....might just do that myself.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
According to DCL, the recommended gratuities are:

Dining Room Server $4 / night
Dining Room Asst $3 / night
Dining Room Head Server $1 / night
Stateroom Host $4 / night
I should have also said that this is per guest per night - so figure $12/night per person - for my family of four, it's $48/night times however many nights we sail (oh yikes - I just added that up for our B2B this summer - 24 nights!!)
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:50 AM   #9
LasseKjus
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You also need to be prepared to tip the porters at the beginning and end of the cruise too. That needs to be done in cash.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:53 AM   #10
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Tips charged to onboard account
Palo/Remy
Drinks from bars or roaming bar servers
Stateroom host
Dining Room Server
Dining Room Asst
Dining Room Head Server
Spa services

Tips paid in cash
Room service
Porters in the port
Excursion drivers and guides

If you would like add extra to the tips for your stateroom host or dining room servers that can be done with cash or added to your onboard account.

Near the end of your trip, you will receive four envelopes and four tickets in your stateroom. These are the tips for your Stateroom host, and the three dining room positions. You can add extra to the envelopes but they need to be handed to these CMs personally.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:04 AM   #11
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$12/person/night is automatically added to your account payable at the end. It is done for convenience and at any time you can go to Guest Services and lower or raise this amount according to the 4 CM who are getting this.

Ours was for 4 of us, 5 nights = $240:

Stateroom Host $80 (does your room)
Head Server $20 (chats with you)
Server $80 (does your food)
Asst Server $60 (does your drinks)

The same CMs follow you throughout your cruise at least through your dinner rotations, sometimes at breakfast and lunch depending on where you eat. The same CM Stateroom Host does your room every day/night.

At the end you get a little envelope for each CM where you can just sign off the cards reflective of the auto tip, and add more if you wish.

It was WAY easier to leave the auto tip alone than to try to tip every session which is why I like this process. At the end, I just signed the cards and put them into their respective envelopes. I then added a bit extra for everyone except the Head Server who was a bit of a clown and didn't really "do" anything for us other than talk to us at each sitting for less than a minute. He seemed drunk all the time, lol, and it wasn't info, just small talk, entertainment I guess.
It's the Server and Asst Server who bust their butts at your whim.
And the Stateroom Host who does an amazing job keeping your room in order and invisibly unless you want him for anything.

The only time we needed cash was as noted, the beginning and end for the porters. Also whenever we got room service, and off the ship when ported of course.

Gratuity is included in your drink cost, and the fee for Palo is basically gratuity as well, you can add to that if you wish.

I also gave token gift bags, nothing fancy, just small things, to the 4 CMs, and Guest Services for signing our 4 items (2 bags, 2 frame matts).

This was our first DCL and I was apprehensive of the auto tip in case of subpar service but I think that would be very rare from what we experienced and saw.

We got nothing but the exceptional.
They will do anything within reason to make you happy
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ancaster View Post
...
Head Server $20 (chats with you)
...the Head Server who was a bit of a clown and didn't really "do" anything for us other than talk to us at each sitting for less than a minute. He seemed drunk all the time, lol, and it wasn't info, just small talk, entertainment I guess.
Just a bit of info about the Head Server's responsibilities. Sounds like everything went smoothly so you had no particular reason to need his services. He will assist with food allergies or special diets, he will intervene if you have a complaint about the Server or Assistant Server or any other complaint about the meal. If you need to change your table assignment (anytime after embarkation afternoon) you can speak to the Head Server. The Head Server's responsibilities are primarily in the background unless you have a problem that he/she will then address. The quick visit at the table each night is just to give face-time so you know whom to speak with in the event you need to do so.

I agree that since most of us have minimal interaction with the Head Server it can seem like a cushy position getting a tip from us. However, I'm glad you had no issues that required the Head Server's attention - that likely means he did his job well!
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:37 AM   #13
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Just a bit of info about the Head Server's responsibilities. Sounds like everything went smoothly so you had no particular reason to need his services. He will assist with food allergies or special diets, he will intervene if you have a complaint about the Server or Assistant Server or any other complaint about the meal. If you need to change your table assignment (anytime after embarkation afternoon) you can speak to the Head Server. The Head Server's responsibilities are primarily in the background unless you have a problem that he/she will then address. The quick visit at the table each night is just to give face-time so you know whom to speak with in the event you need to do so.

I agree that since most of us have minimal interaction with the Head Server it can seem like a cushy position getting a tip from us. However, I'm glad you had no issues that required the Head Server's attention - that likely means he did his job well!
Yes, excellent additional info, I remember reading those responsibilities in another post. I'm glad we didn't need him.

A couple of nights he was slurring, could not maintain eye contact and had difficulty following the conversation. Perhaps medication related. It did not negatively impact us at all, amusing if anything.

The whole experience was unbeatable. Not sure if I can try another cruise line.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:19 PM   #14
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Question.....Porters. How much is appropriate??? They are at the beginning and end but what do they do exactly......forgive me for sounding stupid but I gave no idea who they are and any info for a 1st time cruiser would be appreciated....I don't want to look like an idiot when it comes time to cruise!!

Roy
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGLakatos View Post
Question.....Porters. How much is appropriate??? They are at the beginning and end but what do they do exactly......forgive me for sounding stupid but I gave no idea who they are and any info for a 1st time cruiser would be appreciated....I don't want to look like an idiot when it comes time to cruise!!

Roy
We always use porters. They certainly are not required. When we drop our luggage at the curb, they pick it up and get it to the appropriate boarding area. We tip $2 a bag getting on the ship.

On the way out, we come off the escalators and grab the nearest porter. He helps us to locate our bags, puts them on a great big dolly and takes us through customs. We hand him our passports and declaration form. The customs agent glances through everything, makes his obligatory comment and we are through and on our way to the car. The porter walks everything out to the car. He would help load but DH has a system so he leaves it at the tailgate. We usually try to tip around $3 a bag on the way back because they always seem heavier but $2 is sufficient as well.

And the gifts for the stateroom hosts and what not are not really necessary. Phone cards were a nice gift back when everyone didn't have their own cell phones. Instead of a $20 phone card, stick in an extra $20 in cash. Just my 2 cents though.
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