Newbie, What Do I Have to Tip at the End of a Week Cruise for Three?

Discussion in 'Royal Caribbean' started by Princess Katelet, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. Princess Katelet

    Princess Katelet Mouseketeer

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    Hey, new here, sticker shock and all... Now I'm finding out you need to do a massive tip at the end of the week? How does that work? Cash? Check? Credit card? Who does it go to? One tip or many tips? And how much for a week cruise for three guests in one cabin?

    Thanks and feel free to donate, lol!
     
  2. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

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    It’s a bit misleading as you are in fact not required to tip at all, but given that the staff make very little in base salary it’s a bit unfair to do that.

    With that said, the base gratuities are added to your on board bill every day. I believe it’s $14.50 per person per day, and that gets split between your 2 dinner servers, your stateroom attendant, and everyone else on the “hotel” staff. I don’t remember exactly what the breakdown is, but the bulk goes to the first 3 people. It may be pooled among all the stateroom attendants, all the dinner servers, etc. but I’m unsure on that.

    IMO, this is a fair and just amount. You are, of course, free to tip over and above this to anyone you’d like. We usually do as we’ve never had less then great service on a cruise. But again, optional.
     
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  4. Princess Katelet

    Princess Katelet Mouseketeer

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    I know it's not mandatory, yet you say it gets automatically added to your bill?? How would you then not pay at all, or pay less than what they added, or pay more than what they added??
     
  5. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

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    It’s an opt-out process. If you don’t want the tips added automatically, you need to go to guest services and ask to get it removed.
     
  6. Denise W

    Denise W Disney Veteran

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    And if you wish to give someone more, you can give cash to them near the end of the cruise. I always pay my gratuities before the cruise so I don't have to worry about a larger room bill at the end of the cruise.
    Denise
     
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  7. msjprincess

    msjprincess DIS Veteran

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    If you prefer you can call before your cruise date and pay them beforehand. I usually add mine a week or two before sailing. I know there's really no difference but I like to have as small of a bill as possible at the end of the cruise.
     
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  8. Laz

    Laz DIS Veteran

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    Usually, we find that some of our attendants (wait staff, cabin attendants, for example), do such a great job that we want to tip a little extra. I get some envelopes from guest services to pass the tips along. On a recent Holland America Cruise, the two piano players in the Billboard bar were outstanding. However, they told us they were not allowed to place a tip jar or accept tips. I palmed them each some money and they did not refuse.
     
  9. agavegirl1

    agavegirl1 DIS Veteran

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    I like to prepay the gratuities and tip extra in envelopes prior to the disembarkation day for service above and beyond.
     
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  10. Capt_BJ

    Capt_BJ So Many Times

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    welcome to cruising :sail:

    the 'tip thing' is buried in the cruise culture! (been cruising since the early 80's and family WELL b4 that)

    some 'top end' cruise lines today are 'no tipping' which simply means the tip is already in the price you pay (why the price is higher than other cruise lines)

    for MOST cruise lines the tip is NOT included in the fare and, sad to say, is how a significant number of the crew <especially the ones you see> get paid.

    On Royal you can prepay the standard (aka recommended PER PERSON PER DAY) tip amounts. Or they will be automatically charged to your daily account. If you go to customer service desk (aka the pursuer) you can remove the automatic charge. Some do this because they believe if they hand a cash tip to THEIR waiter, the tip goes to THEM and not 'the tip pool' ..... this may be true. I've also seen comments where a 'crew' receiving a cash tip caught not turning it over to 'the pool' would be immediately released from their contract (aka fired)

    To not tip at all is not nice ..... to say the least. Your room steward and the food waiters get most of their $ from this tip pool including the folks at the buffet or beach party. Bar tenders are a different story as most drinks already have an 18% tip built in (including the drink package)

    For OP ... if this is your first cruise I can only suspect that someone helped you book .... If a friend forgot to mention cruise tips .....

    if a TA forgot to mention tips as a part of the price ..... well, I'd get a new TA next time.

    ********************
    in the old days you would get a note in your room a couple of days b4 the cruise ended

    it outlined what the standard tip (per day) was for your room person, waiter, busboy and head waiter and there were envelopes (for your convenience)
     
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  11. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

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    I feel like the "old days" were as late as the Aughts, as I remember doing the mental math on a Princess cruise. It is, in all honesty, nice that things are in place that will do all of this calculations for us. Sure, it's a bit lazy, and it sucks to see your on board bill go up every day, but the staff gets paid, and you don't need to think about it. Can't complain about that.
     
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  12. Searc

    Searc Mouseketeer

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    We added our tips when we booked, so our recommended tips are already paid before we board. We bring cash for extra tips during the cruise.
     
  13. Mrsjvb

    Mrsjvb DIS Veteran

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    its 14.50 per person per day( regardless of age so yes children/infants are charged) in most cabins. 17.50 pp/pd in suites.

    this fee covers:

    your twice daily cabin servicing( morning cleanup and replenishment of towels and toiletries plus evening turndown)
    ALL meals throughout the ship in included venues( MDR, Buffet, Poolside, Promenade, Park Cafe, etc) you will see assistant waiter from Dinner pouring OJ at breakfast in the MDR and handing out utensils in the Buffet at lunch.
    a portion of the fee also covers the back of the house people whom you never see but nevertheless make your cruise better

    it does NOT cover:

    the Concierge or Genie if applicable.
    Room Service delivery ( a $7.95 flat fee per delivery)

    anything you purchase on board the 18% gratuity is automatically added.. specialty coffee, hard scoop ice cream, specialty dining, anything purchased at the bar. If you have a drink package, you have already paid the gratuity. spa services I believe are 20% automatically added.

    you can opt to pre pay the daily charge before you even board, and many choose to do so as it is an established fixed cost of the cruise. otherwise, it is added daily on your on board account. you are required to put some sort of payment option upon boarding. don't use a debit card or pre paid card.

    you are in no way obligated to pay any additional on top although it would certainly be appropriate if someone goes over and above for you.
     
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  14. HopperFan

    HopperFan "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."

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    We always book cruises via a TA and we book with deals that provide us OBC and extras (like a dinner at a fee restaurant). Our upcoming cruise we got OBC from Royal Caribbean, from our TA based on cost of cruise and from our TA as a repeat customer. All this OBC will cover all our gratuities (for 3) with some extra for a dinner if we want. So in a way ours was included in cost of trip by booking during OBC offers. (And our cruise was on sale as well as the extras we booked like excursions & drink packages).

    I would NEVER have my gratuities removed. The folks on that ship work hard, we have only had top notch service from everyone (how they remember our eating/drinking habits by day 2 is beyond me) and they earn every penny of it. And many of the folks have more than one job so you might not be aware how hard they do work. EX: One of our dinner servers works the buffet at lunch, some of the bar staff worked promenade tables during sales, the cruise line beach day food and bars are worked by ship employees ........

    The only time I would consider is if something glaringly awful happened, and I would discuss it directly with a manager before I pulled gratuities that are shared. Gratuities are part of the cost of cruising, so you budget it in.

    AND we budget extra cash for our dining table servers (2), our steward and a few dollars here and there for bartender/servers who we visit regularly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
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