An Insider's Guide to Cruise Tipping
An Insider's Guide to Cruise Tipping
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I have taken my grandson on a cruise. I spoke with one of the children's staff at the Cruise critic meeting. We spoke at length and I saw her a few other times(she appears in my youtube/smeyer418 website in the Waters on the Majesty)....I asked about tipping. She tells that most people don't tip them at all and they are paid somewhat better than the crew. I asked what she considered a good tip and she told me and I left that for my grandson. It wasn't $15 per day per kid.....Appreciate your insight, smeyer. The author, who without a doubt is one of the most generous tippers afloat, doesn't have kids -- thus the inclusion of comments from Ms. Koubek, a family cruise expert whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Budget Travel and, of course, Cruise Critic.
I am going on my first cruise and it is on the NCL SKY. So with Freestyle Cruising I was curious how tipping would work. I thought the $12 per day would be enough and just tip a few dollars if I got room service. Am I being cheap? Should I be tipping bartenders, waiters, and room steward too? The author does seem very generous.The $12 per day covers the dining room staff and the cabin attendants. If you buy a drink, and drink that you pay for, including soft drinks, a 15% gratuity will be added to the bill. The only one you have to go out of your way to tip (because the food is free) is room service. $1 or $2 should cover it.
Appreciate your insight, smeyer. The author, who without a doubt is one of the most generous tippers afloat, doesn't have kids -- thus the inclusion of comments from Ms. Koubek, a family cruise expert whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Budget Travel and, of course, Cruise Critic.LOL I always love experts...because sometimes they know so little. $15 a day is almost what my son pays for preschool...and no tips there. Its just too much when these are salaried employees. When NCL raised its DSC from $5 to $12 for 3-12 year olds, the tipping suffered. I wrote NCL and suggested that at least a portion of the increase should go to the Kid's crew. It was considered and rejected. But I do think they should be tipped. If the recommended amount for the Butler is $5pdpp(per day per person) $15pdpp is just not an amount that most people will leave. I was told about what some people left but I don't want to get the staff in trouble and sometimes it was less than $15 per child for a week or more....
Added to the complexity of all this is that many cruisers buy their cruise package from a travel agent, who will offer as an incentive to sell you the cruise at a price that includes the payment of the automatic gratuity. I have wondered whether the money for the gratuity is used by the cruise line to pay ship staff or not.
I believe most cruisers want to pay their fair share of added gratuity for salaries to ship staff. The policies on tipping need more transparency and explanation. This article doesn't do that.
Well, the author is entitled to his opinion regarding tipping. I don't agree with everything he said and I'll just leave it at that.That sums it up very well for me.
On my upcoming cruise I am tempted to give the cabin steward a 20 on the first day to ensure better than average service. Does this sound like enough for a 14 day cruise? And how should I approach the topic? I can not say here is some money now I expect great service.... Some ideas???Why don't you just be honest and tell the cabin steward that you are offering this bribe (which is what payment before the service is rendered is - since a tip is supposed to be thanks for good service) since you don't think (s)he will provide you good service unless you offer the bribe.
I reckon that tipping is a throwback to the days of slavery. People should be paid a proper wage and that's that. I feel awkward giving a grown fellow-man or woman a few dollars.
The cruise line, showing no pity, demeans them by paying them peanuts for being from a less fortunate country; then they tug at our sensibilities to give these people charity, when what they crave for, and should be getting, is equality.
Tipping makes me feel an accomplice in demeaning their worth as human beings; by tipping I am confirming their inferiority and that they are not worth a proper wage in the first place.
But having said all this, I know I must tip and I do; otherwise I would be robbing them.
I hate the idea of tipping but there is no way I wouldn't pay it in these circumstances. I also advise other first time Aussie cruisers to pay it even though it is so much against the grain of Aussie sensibilities and workplace culture-where everyone gets a proper wage. (Restaurant waiters would get $30+ per hour in Australia). Some cruise lines operating out of Australia are now adding the tip into the overall price of the cruise.
A few times I considered "doing my own thing" on tipping but I was told that whatever I give one person in their hands has to be put into the "tipping heap" and shared equally any way. I was told this by senior pursers on Holland America and Princess more than once.
The author's "Tipping Table" is just too hard. I don't want to go round the ship dropping cash and envelopes so I just pay whatever the ship says I should pay and let them work it out. I don't care if they double it or triple it as I know that really it's part of the price of the cruise and they separate it to make the advertised price look cheaper.
I also don't believe that the Europeans started this but that it is a US custom.
I would much happier to pay a bit more for my cruise to enable the cruiseline to pay the crew a proper wage.