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Old 06-01-2013, 10:23 PM   #1
scrappinginontario
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First Time Cruiser - Please help me understand tipping

Please forgive my lack of understanding. I am a first time cruiser and want to be as educated as possible. More than anything I want to ensure tips are paid and staff are rewarded well for the great service I believe we'll receive on our cruise.

Thank being said, I want to ensure I understand how it works.

As I understand it, a tip of either $10 or $12/day is charged to our stateroom, per person. So our family of 3 would be charged either $30 or $36/night. Is this correct?

Can we pay this prior to our trip since we will basically know the final amount for our group?

I've been reading other places about people tipping people like their room steward, etc.

Not meaning to be rude but, if we pay the required amount, is it expected that we'll pay an additional amount as well? Is that the norm or more so for exceptional service? I want to be fair to those deserving of tips but also want to get a better grasp of how tipping works. I have been saving for 7 years to take my DD on this cruise so I want to ensure I'm saving money for the tipping portion too.

If it's the norm to tip above the 'required' amount, who do you normally tip and how much? And, if you choose to tip these people is it because you want to or is it pretty much expected?

I know tipping is a very personal thing, i just want to get a feel for what is the acceptable norm.

Thanks!
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Amazing Trips with DD: Nov 2014 (MVMCP with Nana & Papa), Sep 2014 (10 days with Cousins), Feb 2014 (7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise on Fantasy), November 2013 (2 days with grandparents), Aug 2013 (11 Mommy and DD days. Perfect!!), Nov 2012 (2 days AoA LM with grandparents and DN), Aug 2012 (10 awesome days with just the 2 of us!), Nov 2011 (2 days with grandparents), Aug 2011 (8 days with DN and Nana), Apr 2010 (3 days), Nov 2010 (2 days with grandparents)
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:32 PM   #2
PrincessShmoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrappinginontario View Post
Please forgive my lack of understanding. I am a first time cruiser and want to be as educated as possible. More than anything I want to ensure tips are paid and staff are rewarded well for the great service I believe we'll receive on our cruise.

Thank being said, I want to ensure I understand how it works.

As I understand it, a tip of either $10 or $12/day is charged to our stateroom, per person. So our family of 3 would be charged either $30 or $36/night. Is this correct? $12.00 per day for each person in your room will be added to your onboard account. The $12.00 breaks out to $4.00 per day per person for your room host; $4.00 per day per person for your dining room server; $3.00 per day per person for your asst. server; and $1.00 per day per person for your head server.

Can we pay this prior to our trip since we will basically know the final amount for our group? You can call DCL and pre-pay your tips (that is have it charged directly to your CC so that it will already be a credit on your onboard account).

I've been reading other places about people tipping people like their room steward, etc. Other tips would be for porters at the port; room service; spa (if you use it). Be aware bar/lounge bills already have a 15% tip added.

Not meaning to be rude but, if we pay the required amount, is it expected that we'll pay an additional amount as well? Is that the norm or more so for exceptional service? I want to be fair to those deserving of tips but also want to get a better grasp of how tipping works. I have been saving for 7 years to take my DD on this cruise so I want to ensure I'm saving money for the tipping portion too. No, you don't have to pay additional above the $12.00 per day charge. But, in my experience, we have added more on occasion. The service is really good.

If it's the norm to tip above the 'required' amount, who do you normally tip and how much? And, if you choose to tip these people is it because you want to or is it pretty much expected? Again, tipping is really a personal choice. I will point out that you can go to Guest Services onboard at anytime and change/remove whatever tips you have on your account.

I know tipping is a very personal thing, i just want to get a feel for what is the acceptable norm.

Thanks!
My answers in red.

To follow up a bit. If you leave your tips in place on your onboard account, you will receive in your room with your turndown service on the second to last night, tip envelopes and coupons. The coupon is 2 part and had the person, position, and tip amount noted on it. Tear the coupon in half and place one half in proper envelope (envelopes will indicate position). At this time, if you wish, you can add more cash. Hand out the envelopes to the proper persons the next day.
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:45 PM   #3
scrappinginontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo View Post
[COLOR="red"]To follow up a bit. If you leave your tips in place on your onboard account, you will receive in your room with your turndown service on the second to last night, tip envelopes and coupons. The coupon is 2 part and had the person, position, and tip amount noted on it. Tear the coupon in half and place one half in proper envelope (envelopes will indicate position). At this time, if you wish, you can add more cash. Hand out the envelopes to the proper persons the next day.
Thank you SO much for your clear answers! I was reading in another post of someone who boarded the ship and tipped their room steward over $35 to ensure excellent service and then indicated that they tipped more at the end too. This had me concerned that possibly some of this was 'normal' and that I needed to budget a lot more for tips.

I appreciate your answers for sure! We're not drinkers so probably will not order anything from the bar/lounge but I can see us ordering room service at times so have noted that we will need a number of small bills to tip at these times. Also, the porters is a good reminder too.

Thanks for the info about the envelopes, tip sheets and how this works too. Very helpful!! Is it best to hand these envelopes to each person individually with a personal word of thanks or is it acceptable to leave them in the room? My experience is only with hotel stays where we rarely, if ever see the person who cleans our room but it sounds like room stewards on ships are much more involved and take personal care of the people within their staterooms?

Thanks again! Your help is greatly appreciated PrincessShmoo!!
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Amazing Trips with DD: Nov 2014 (MVMCP with Nana & Papa), Sep 2014 (10 days with Cousins), Feb 2014 (7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise on Fantasy), November 2013 (2 days with grandparents), Aug 2013 (11 Mommy and DD days. Perfect!!), Nov 2012 (2 days AoA LM with grandparents and DN), Aug 2012 (10 awesome days with just the 2 of us!), Nov 2011 (2 days with grandparents), Aug 2011 (8 days with DN and Nana), Apr 2010 (3 days), Nov 2010 (2 days with grandparents)
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:51 PM   #4
PrincessShmoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrappinginontario View Post
Thank you SO much for your clear answers! I was reading in another post of someone who boarded the ship and tipped their room steward over $35 to ensure excellent service and then indicated that they tipped more at the end too. This had me concerned that possibly some of this was 'normal' and that I needed to budget a lot more for tips.

I appreciate your answers for sure! We're not drinkers so probably will not order anything from the bar/lounge but I can see us ordering room service at times so have noted that we will need a number of small bills to tip at these times. Also, the porters is a good reminder too.

Thanks for the info about the envelopes, tip sheets and how this works too. Very helpful!! Is it best to hand these envelopes to each person individually with a personal word of thanks or is it acceptable to leave them in the room? My experience is only with hotel stays where we rarely, if ever see the person who cleans our room but it sounds like room stewards on ships are much more involved and take personal care of the people within their staterooms?

Thanks again! Your help is greatly appreciated PrincessShmoo!!
Regarding the bar bill thing, sodas ordered in the bars/lounges/WDT/from room service/poolside servers will also have a charge (with that pesky 15% tip added).

You can hand the envelopes directly to the person (kind of a nice way to say thanks). Sometimes kids think this is a fun thing to do.

You can leave the one for the room host on the bed in the morning, if you wish, but you'll most likely see him/her frequently during the cruise. Server tips can be left with the head server or Guest Services, if you wish.

I will point out that even if you don't give them the envelopes, they will get the tip. It's just a nice gesture (a flashback from the "golden" days of cruising) to hand the tips out personally.
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13 Cruises, 8 ships, 124 nights
Panama Canal; Alaska; Med; WB Transatlantic; Mexican Riviera; Hawaii; Baja CA; Bahamas; Eastern/Western Caribbean

DL too numerous to count WDW 1974, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2008, 2014 Tokyo DL 1984
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