Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by MDCruiser, Feb 7, 2012.
Do you recommend pre paid gratuities?
Pre-paying gratuities is nothing more than adding a credit equal to the suggested tip amount to your onboard account. I see no reason to give DCL my money before I need to. I can easily charge them once I am on board.
Personally I like to b/c it's one less thing to worry about once on board. It's already done and I just get the receipt with an envelope in my room on the last night. I also like having it paid before I even sail...makes me feel better about the budget. But, again, that's just me!
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Ive read a few reports where people were snubbed after leaving the suggested $12 per person/per night.
Does everyone leave the suggested or MORE?
Please explain. Do you mean people pre-paid then got bad service? Because I'm 99% sure even if you pre-pay you can go and change the amount. So that would be bad form on the servers.
Yes, that once the servers were given their envelope that their last breakfast the servers were short and snotty??
I would think that would be too late/chaotic to change tips then.
Numerous people were appalled to hear about this trip report however numerous people said that it happened to them too!
If that happened to me I would be letting DCL know. I got back on Saturday and today got an email to do a survey about my cruise. Very similar to the comment cards they ask you to fill out. Does everyone get the email survey or is it random? Regardless, I would be sending an email if nothing else.
And you are right at that point I probably would not bother. I thought you meant a person pre-paid and had bad service through out the cruise. Bad service the last morning has nothing to do with pre-paying. Also I don't think the servers know if you tipped or not until you give them the envelopes at the end.
We like to pre pay our gratuities because once on board Guest Services can get very busy with everyone trying to do the same once on board. As one of the other posters said, you receive the tickets for your pre paid gratuities and envelopes in your stateroom and you can add additional money to the envelope if you want to.
It's a personal choice.
We like to tip in cash ourselves. We bring the suggested amount (total) plus some extra and then we work the numbers ourself at the end.
We tip on service (using the suggested amounts provided by Disney as a base number). Some folks have gotten the exact suggested amount, some more, some less.
For us, we would NEVER pre pay a tip not knowing what kind of service we would get. (Just because its a DISNEY cruise, doesn't mean everyone gives the exact same service. We have gotten FANTASTIC service in some areas, MEDIOCRE in others, and just plain BAD in others)
So, its a personal choice.
Ditto. We do supplement with cash if we have gotten great service.
We were unfortunate enough to receive the poor treatment on the last breakfast...it was really awful...not one single smile, we were their only table, maybe the others had stiffed them? But we paid the recommended...we were treating my parents who were celebrating their 48th anniversary...so, I had 7 gratuities to pay, just no funds for extra. We had just come off having two house payments for 3 years, which meant no vacations for those years...this was our thank you to the kids for the tough times...
I remember a comment our server made bc he asked what my father did, my dad works for Lexus...the server lit up and smiled and oohed over Lexus and made a comment about dad having lots of dough, just rubbing his fingers together. My dad was 68 at the time, working 6 days as a car salesman, no salary, both he and my mom had major surgeries that year where he could not work for 3 months...no, not rolling in the dough. But it was all charm, personality, the 'show'....we felt like family! He introduced us to his sister on the ship who was having a birthday, we gave her a goodie bag we had made for FEs..the kids loved the servers...but on that last morning, they looked angry, no conversation, no smiles..we felt very uncomfortable and bc of that I refuse to eat breakfast the last meal in the dining rooms. We wanted to thank them and my daughter wanted to give them a picture she drew, she was so sad..they snubbed her and I just smiled and said they were very busy...ugh! i just hate to even think of it!
Poor form, and our server was promoted to the Dream, I can only hope he matured and gained some perspective.
New poster, long time lurker
I agree with paying in cash afterwards. First off, one never knows what kind of service they will receive and I think it's stupid to pre-pay to get it out of the way. Tipping is suppose to be about rewarding somebody for their service. It kinda defeats the whole tipping practice doesn't it?
Second, I have a son who has ADHD, Autism, OCD and sensory issues. We have a cruise next year and there is no way I'm pre-paying. I have no clue if I'll be even able to make it to those dinners. If our son can't handle it, we won't go and we'll have to eat elsewhere. No biggy, we're used to having to switch things around at the last minute. Nature of the beast...
Other than a few stray reports on the boards, there is no evidence that the servers know whether you have pre-paid tips or not. On some other lines they do, but not on DCL. They find out about tips on the last night when they get an envelope containing a coupon, cash, or both. In over 20 cruises, we've never been ill treated the last morning. It IS a very rushed time for the servers--they are trying to serve a lot of people very quickly, some may be leaving on vacation (we have had this...one came to us and said that he'd be leaving as soon as they gave the disembarkation announcement), they may have an hour or so off to take care of personal business on shore--no, that shouldn't affect their actions toward guests, but ....
All I can say is that I've never experienced rotten last day service. I have tipped the suggested or a bit over, never hugely over (to my thinking).
Question--did the server in question get promoted and sent to the Dream or did he just get transferred to the Dream? They are clearly two different things!
I agree with not pre-paying.
Gratuities are 100% up to you but I would like to let you know that the main dining room servers will be working all day. They work breakfast and lunch in the dining rooms or buffet. You may not see them, but the tips are meant to cover them serving you all day not just at dinner. We did see our assistant server at Topsiders once at lunch. Have you let DCL know about your needs? Also let your head server know at the first dinner that you may not be there every night and you may need to leave early, etc. They should be able to help speed up dinners if you need. I know for the show on the last night you will probably want to leave early if your DS has sensory issues. It is very loud and the change the lighting.
What do you need? A table by yourselves? A table in a corner, by a door, on an aisle, or whatever? Seriously, if there is anything you know of in advance that will make your life easier, call your TA and have it noted on your reservation AS A MEDICAL REQUEST. Medical needs are always met, other requests may not be. Do you need a certain dining time? Note that also. Allergy or special food issues? Anything you can think of that they can know in advance will help.
On day 1, talk with your head server--this is the guy responsible for your dining room section, not the dude bringing you the food. Let him know your needs. It is his job to make your dining experience work! And if he does his job well, reward him appropriately!
We have never had that happen on our cruises.
You have to remember that is a VERY busy and CRAZY time for all the cast members.......trying to get ready for the next set of guests.
I can certainly understand your concern about budgeting. We are a very budget conscience family and I see nothing wrong with prepaying for them if it makes your life easier.
We have been fortunate in using our TA and receiving shipboard credit so our tips were covered that way.
BTW...There are extra envelopes in guest services by the navigators. I went down early one morning to pay the gratuities and grabbed a few extra envelopes. The servers were so amazing that I added our leftover room service tipping money and gave it to them during debarkment breakfast.
We pre paid on our Dream sailing and will be prepaying for our Fantasy sailing. It's just a relief to have it pre paid. Our thoughts are that the suggested minimum is fair for even mediocre service(which we have only had exceptional service, btw). Some may think that is stupid, but the CM's that are tipped work primarily for tips and no matter what, it's is their work, their livlihood. I think the minimum is a bargain and we usually always add extra at the end. To us it's mostly a budgetary issue. We find that no matter what we budget to spend on board, there is always something more we want to do or purchase and having the tips pre paid just makes it easier. We have learned that while we are on vacation, to try try our best to do all the things we want. Life is short, you never know when it's your last vacation. We respect the hard work all of the CM's do. Some are just better at their jobs than others.
I also like to prepay gratuities. I use the Disney Visa and if you pre-pay before you go, the charge comes from DCL reservations which qualifies for the 6 mos. 0% financing. That is if the charge is over $300 I believe. If you pay onboard with your Disney Visa, those charges do not qualify for the promotion.
I also add cash depending on the service.
If you are worried about bad service the last morning, just give your tip envelope that morning.
We pre-pay, and then supplement with cash. We've never over-paid.
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