Tips Question

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by RGLakatos, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. RGLakatos

    RGLakatos Mouseketeer

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    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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  3. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  4. RGLakatos

    RGLakatos Mouseketeer

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    Thank you very much for this thorough information.....this helps a lot!!

    Roy
     
  5. Boos14

    Boos14 Earning My Ears

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    We also left our room attendant a prepaid phone card. He did such a great job looking after us.
     
  6. RGLakatos

    RGLakatos Mouseketeer

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    A prepaid phone card? Strange gift but I am sure it has meaning!!

    Roy
     
  7. jmarsh

    jmarsh Mouseketeer

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    The phone cards are so they can call home. They really appreciate little tokens like phone cards, chocolate, and even alcohol.
     
  8. RGLakatos

    RGLakatos Mouseketeer

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    That's pretty cool.....I was unaware they can accept gifts.....might just do that myself.
     
  9. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

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    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!!)
     
  10. LasseKjus

    LasseKjus Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  11. wendyoconnor

    wendyoconnor DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  12. Ancaster

    Ancaster Mouseketeer

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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 :goodvibes
     
  13. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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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!
     
  14. Ancaster

    Ancaster Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  15. RGLakatos

    RGLakatos Mouseketeer

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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
     
  16. Eeyore'sthebest

    Eeyore'sthebest DIS Veteran<br><font color=darkorchid>Not So Tagle

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    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. :thumbsup2

    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.
     
  17. RGLakatos

    RGLakatos Mouseketeer

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    I just came back from Georgia where my daughter and I literally used 1 bag between the 2 of us for our clothes. I also had a backpack with a few things in it. The way I pack I'm not thinking about bringing more than 1 bag between the two of us.....does that seem pretty light for a 4 day cruise?

    I might bring 2 bags but 2 bags seems like a lot for only 4 days of fun.

    Will they go over what exactly needs to be declared upon our return??
     
  18. Eeyore'sthebest

    Eeyore'sthebest DIS Veteran<br><font color=darkorchid>Not So Tagle

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    It's on the form and then the CD will have a briefing.
    Basically you need to total up how much you spent on souveniers that are coming back into the country. They don't care if you drank $2000 at sea as long as it stays out there.
    I believe you probably need to declare any cigarettes/cigars over a certain amount and liquor over a certain amount. I don't drink enough to bring any back and DH only brings back his allotment for cigs (1 carton per adult). And no cuban cigars!!! Then the obvious stuff - no firearms, no fresh fruit or open food items, no animals, etc. Fairly straightforward. You provide a dollar number by family or traveling party. On the back they ask you to itemize - "souveniers" fits that bil usuallyl. One cruise we purchased about $800 in DCL artwork. As we carried it off the ship, it was disclosed along with the dollar amount we spent.
    My mom purchased jewelry one cruise and disclosed that along with the dollar amount. The customs guy made a joke with my dad. :goodvibes
     
  19. Princess Denise

    Princess Denise Mouseketeer

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    When we made our reservation we were asked if we wanted to do the per-pay gratuity..... Then we don't have to worry about it at the end of the cruise :)
     
  20. RGLakatos

    RGLakatos Mouseketeer

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    I am looking to possibly buy jewelry for my daughter and myself.....hopefully the prices n the Bahamas are good but oddly enough I want to buy a conch shell to bring back....I love them!! Obviously it will not have a creature still in it......are there plenty of places over there to purchase a conch shell?
     
  21. Eeyore'sthebest

    Eeyore'sthebest DIS Veteran<br><font color=darkorchid>Not So Tagle

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    I believe (but please double check) that once the items have been washed/sterilized, etc. they are okay. I know they don't want anything picked up off the beach with possible contaminents. I would just double check the customs page before you leave. I'll try to find the page for you.

    found it:
    Seashells are generally allowed into the U.S. if they are not taken from endangered or threatened species (CITES protected), and they are completely sanitized from the creatures that inhabited them, and any other agricultural material such as sand, clay, soil, etc. A traveler may bring in a reasonable amount of seashells for personal use as a memento of their trip. Large quantities of seashells being brought into the U.S. for the purposes of using them in crafting, landscaping, or for commercial use are prohibited.

    And the weblink: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/de...ls,-sand,-pebbles,-driftwood-for-personal-use
     

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