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  #1  
Old August 14th, 2008, 08:42 PM
xon fedaa xon fedaa is offline
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Default Should Solo Cruisers Tip Extra?

Sorry if this has been discussed before - i looked but could not find it if it had.

Should solo cruisers tip extra? Case in point: I'm taking the 32-day San Diego to Rome cruise in February 2009. With two persons in the stateroom, all those on the receiving end of the $10 per day gratuity charge would split $640 (unadjusted). But since I'm going solo (my first time!), if I don't increase the automatic $10 per day, they will only receive $320 at trip's end.

Yes, I know some will say they have less work to do for only one person rather than for two, but only to a point. For example, while the room steward will only have to change/make one bed per day, he/she will still have to clean/straighten up the bathroom, cabin, and balcony (and, believe me, I can be every bit as messy as two people, water/replace the fresh flowers, make towel animals (how I love those towel animals), and, of course, put out mints (okay, that last one was supposed to be a joke).

So, do any of you solo cruisers have any thoughts on this? Appreciate hearing from you.

Happy cruising!

Last edited by xon fedaa; August 14th, 2008 at 08:43 PM.
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  #2  
Old August 14th, 2008, 08:49 PM
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I realize that I am not directly addressing the point you made, but having already paid 50% - 100% MORE as the result of traveling solo, I would NOT feel obliged to pay additional tips (although I usually do leave something in addition to the "automatic" amounts).
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  #3  
Old August 14th, 2008, 09:19 PM
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First of all, what a phenomenal opportunity to take what will no doubt be a great cruise. Oh the things you will see and the people you will meet! How exciting!

I agree with MTWINGCPA. While I do already pay quite a bit in supplement, I do not feel obliged but I will tip extra when appropriate. My last room steward was great and I tipped accordingly. On my March cruise, the steward was only so-so and got the standard tip. The Pool Bar bartenders on AOS went above and beyond the call...always treating me like a rock star. Needless to say, they were duly taken care of.

Hope that helps...
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  #4  
Old August 14th, 2008, 09:58 PM
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I agree with you both. I rely on my feelings toward my Room Steward/ess when it comes time to tip them. 99% of the time, I feel as if I have been very well taken care of by the staff & want to tip them significant additional amounts. If I never see them, have to write them notes to get supplies replenished (soap, shampoo, etc), or have to constantly ask for the basics, I don't tip additional amounts. BTW, I am a sucker for a steward/ess who leaves me 2 chocolates each evening.
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  #5  
Old August 14th, 2008, 10:09 PM
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I double tip for the reason you state--I don't want the room steward to get less than he or she would had the cabin been full. Plus I'll tip extra for good service (just like a couple would). I think its about as much work to clean a cabin with 1 person in it as it would for two people (its the same number of floors, showers, sinks, and beds to clean/make up).
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Old August 14th, 2008, 10:28 PM
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Some lines up the daily tip by $1 per day for solos. The only one you need to include in any extra tip is the room steward, as a solo doesn't impact the number of passengers a waiter serves. I don't feel it's fair to the hard working room stewards to miss out on one full tip, because I choose to sail solo. And it's also not the room steward's fault that the cruise line charges a single supplement, so why take it out on him/her?
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  #7  
Old August 27th, 2008, 11:21 AM
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Tipping extra s/b considered if you get extra attention just as at home when service is superior, one always tips extra.
While travelling solo last March, I tipped my cabin steward extra because she was extra attentive and checked on me to make sure that I was alright when she didn't see me leave for dinner as usual one evening. As a travelling senior, the extra attention was very much appreciated and I felt warranted the extra which was put in a separate envelope & given directly to her on my last nite.
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  #8  
Old August 31st, 2008, 02:22 PM
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When I went solo on RCI in May, my dining table was 2 couples, myself and a missing "tall, dark and handsome" guy according to my waiter! We were all first-time cruisers and one of the couples asked about the auto-tipping. The waiter said he prefered it - it was like having his pay go thru a direct-deposit system. So I did the auto-tips plus some extra cash for my waiter and assistant, who were the people I saw the most and did the most for me!
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  #9  
Old August 31st, 2008, 04:38 PM
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I cruise solo about 75% of the time and I always tip my cabin service personnel extra but not necessarily the dining room personnel. That depends on the level of service there.

Also, I, too, used to prefer tipping in cash in person with personal thank you notes on the last night of the cruise, but after a close friend who is an assistant maître d' with a large upscale cruise line explained how much the dining room staff really dislike that method and MUCH prefer auto-tips, I have changed my M.O. Most of the time I end up giving extra in person in cash anyway but the suggested minimum amount is always now added automatically to my shipboard account.
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  #10  
Old August 31st, 2008, 07:20 PM
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Nadalina, we can mention cruiselines on here
I would really be curious to know who which line your
friend works on.
I have a couple of friends who work on the ship I am going
on in 2 weeks. (Sailing on Celebrity). I will ask them the same
thing as I have NEVER auto-tipped.
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  #11  
Old August 31st, 2008, 08:23 PM
nadalina nadalina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lois R View Post
Nadalina, we can mention cruiselines on here
I would really be curious to know who which line your
friend works on.
I have a couple of friends who work on the ship I am going
on in 2 weeks. (Sailing on Celebrity). I will ask them the same
thing as I have NEVER auto-tipped.
Hi Lois. He was with Celebrity for many years but has been with Crystal for the past five years. The way he explained it to me, auto-tipping accomplishes three things: 1.) It allows the crew to be more assured of their income each cruise, based on how many guests are in their section, rather than worrying and wondering how much they will make and whether some will leave without giving them anything; 2.) It allows them focus on providing the best level of service possible rather than worrying about the money; and 3.) They do not have to wait around and make themselves available to all of their guests, especially when they also have pressing duties to perform, waiting and hoping everyone in their section will give them the much-awaited envelope. My friend said it feels so embarrassing, awkward and uncomfortable to stand there, like hanging around with their hands out.

After he explained it to me like that, that's when I changed. I had honestly never given it much thought until then, but he has been part of a dining room crew on cruise ships since starting out as a busboy on the Horizon in 1992 and his experience and knowledge in this area is extensive, so I trust what he tells me completely. Plus now he has many waiters and asst. waiters under his supervision and he knows how they feel as well. Of course, this is not to say that all crew members feel the same way, but it does provide a little bit of insight as to some of their points of view. I'll be interested in hearing what you learn as well.

Peggy
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  #12  
Old December 15th, 2008, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xon fedaa View Post
Sorry if this has been discussed before - i looked but could not find it if it had.

Should solo cruisers tip extra? Case in point: I'm taking the 32-day San Diego to Rome cruise in February 2009. With two persons in the stateroom, all those on the receiving end of the $10 per day gratuity charge would split $640 (unadjusted). But since I'm going solo (my first time!), if I don't increase the automatic $10 per day, they will only receive $320 at trip's end.

Yes, I know some will say they have less work to do for only one person rather than for two, but only to a point. For example, while the room steward will only have to change/make one bed per day, he/she will still have to clean/straighten up the bathroom, cabin, and balcony (and, believe me, I can be every bit as messy as two people, water/replace the fresh flowers, make towel animals (how I love those towel animals), and, of course, put out mints (okay, that last one was supposed to be a joke).

So, do any of you solo cruisers have any thoughts on this? Appreciate hearing from you.

Happy cruising!
I haven't read all the responses but agree with Darcie that the cabin attendant should not get less b/c I'm solo cruising. Except for the cruise I just got back from on Friday I've always used the auto tip and added cash on top for the cabin attendant. My last cruise I didn't use auto tip but all cash which I actually like better b/c I need cash for the bartenders and other wait staff that aren't included in the auto tip.

Now, let me ask this: RCI has a soda card which I always buy. Generally I fall into a daily routine on cruises and find that I go to the same bars for soda. There is no tag written up, so no tip. At the end of the cruise I slip my soda bartenders a $20. Anyone else tip when using a soda card?
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Last edited by gxchan; December 15th, 2008 at 11:53 PM.
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  #13  
Old January 1st, 2009, 10:12 AM
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I don't use a soda card, but I've read here that some people do tip when using it. I think tips are included (but check that - it may depend on the line). I know I've read about someone holding out the card with an extra $1 to get his drink faster early in the cruise. Once the staff began to recognize him, he only did it every few times. I thought that was an interesting way to get service!
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  #14  
Old January 1st, 2009, 02:59 PM
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Kristen,

I see you were on Explorer to Bermuda, did you enjoy it? In 2009 I'm "breaking" my Explorer habit (last 3 cruises have been on EX) and going on other ships but will miss it.

I hadn't really thought about the faster services issue b/c the bartenders on EX quickly get to know their customers and are putting my soda on the bar as I walk up. It is the same with my evening martini or champagne, LOL!
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Old January 1st, 2009, 07:36 PM
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I loved the Explorer and Bermuda! I'm thinking of going back on the exact same cruise!! Maybe I'm picking up your 'bad' habit!!! I never made it into parts of the ship (or even outside at night once I discovered I shouldn't go out after dressing for dinner, because I'd have to go straight back to my cabin to fix my hair again!!!). As much as I think another ship would be good, some possible limits on vacation time and need to have low-stress travel I'll end up right back!!

I don't drink much, so I can't say anything about the bartenders! I don't recall which cruise line the person with the extra $1's was sailing on.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RI-Sailor View Post
I loved the Explorer and Bermuda! I'm thinking of going back on the exact same cruise!! Maybe I'm picking up your 'bad' habit!!! I never made it into parts of the ship (or even outside at night once I discovered I shouldn't go out after dressing for dinner, because I'd have to go straight back to my cabin to fix my hair again!!!). As much as I think another ship would be good, some possible limits on vacation time and need to have low-stress travel I'll end up right back!!

I don't drink much, so I can't say anything about the bartenders! I don't recall which cruise line the person with the extra $1's was sailing on.
LOL, my first cruise on EX I didn't see half of it, completely missed Johnny Rockets, that whole area in the back with the rock climbing wall, golf, etc. and the Maharaja (sp?) Lounge. I totally get the hair issue, mine goes frizzy, but I would recommend hitting the Solarium the night they turn it into a disco, everyone looks slightly frizzy and windblown so it doesn't matter. EX is habit forming and since I assume you live (Rhode Island, right?) within driving distance it would be even more attractive. For me it is a matter of better weather. Since I have to fly to the east coast I may as well to go Miami and get warm weather from day one, as opposed to losing a couple days on both ends of my cruise to the North Atlantic. The great news is EX is moving to Miami in 2010, after drydock, so I'll be back on her sometime in 2010.
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