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  #41  
Old October 18th, 2013, 06:43 PM
sail7seas sail7seas is offline
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Originally Posted by MrsKC08 View Post
A couple cruises ago I started to leave "gifts" for my room steward. I know that everyone says cash, and by all means the all mighty dollar is something that can be used well. However, I always leave them a care package of a few candy bars, snacks, gum, word search or the like type of game book. Yes, their rooms are small, but when you are stuck on a cruise ship and only get to eat the same things like they do, having something different for the taste buds are always nice.

On our cruise in May we took some girl scout cookies and our room steward loved them!

Now, about that steward who might have diabetes or chocolate allergey or be weight concious etc

NO ONE cares more about ships' crews than DH and me. We have sailed many years on many ships and care a great deal how crew are treated and working conditions etc However, we also understand they are hardworking adults, earning a living and if you've noticed on port days those who have some time off can be seen returning to the ship carrying bags of snacks they have chosen for themselves. The cash guests tip let them make their own choices.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherlock43031 View Post
a box of cigars and a bottle of good bourbon.. I don't see how a 'gift' of some sort above and beyond $$ would offend anyone.


Many crew from Indonesia are Muslim and they do not drink or smoke. They would be offended to be given liquor.
We should never make assumptions, IMO, about other cultures and religions as to what they would 'enjoy' or welcome. Unless we are versed and have some way of knowing their beliefs, it is best to make effort to not possibly offend.
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  #42  
Old October 18th, 2013, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by walke2jd View Post
My fiance and I are going on a B2B honeymoon cruise in November. Since we will most likely have the same steward and a few other Carnival employees, I wanted to bring something to leave them in addition to a nice tip.

Any ideas on what the crew appreciates getting as an addition tip besides cash?
Money -- Money -- Money!!

They live in very tight quarters and do not have a lot of storage room.
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  #43  
Old October 18th, 2013, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by kentuckyluckyguy View Post
And unless anyone responding has been a crew member, how would any of us know exactly? We can all assume that "tips" or "cash" is the preferred method, but have any of us actually worked on a cruise ship in their capacity?

Legit question from OP and I think doing something above and beyond the cash is kinda cool, especially if you are planning to leave plenty of cash for them.
Put yourself in the shoes of the crew members. You live in a tiny cabin with two or three others. You're working to send money home. You are assigned to at least 14 cabins a week. If even half of those people give you a gift, what would you do with all that stuff? Some people insist on giving hats, t-shirts or some other trinket from their hometown. Would you want all that stuff at the end of your contract? Shipping it all home isn't something they want to do as it costs them a lot of money to do so.

As for food, you don't know their personal preferences, you don't know religious restrictions (Halal or Kosher) and you don't know if they have allergies. So giving food is not a good idea either.

When you give them a gift, of course they're going to be thrilled. What do you expect them to do? Throw it back at you and say No Thanks? Of course they're going to appear thrilled as they don't want to anger you and therefore lose their tip.
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Last edited by kitty9; October 18th, 2013 at 07:20 PM.

  #44  
Old October 18th, 2013, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by walke2jd View Post
My fiance and I are going on a B2B honeymoon cruise in November. Since we will most likely have the same steward and a few other Carnival employees, I wanted to bring something to leave them in addition to a nice tip.

Any ideas on what the crew appreciates getting as an addition tip besides cash?

they appreciate cash. that don't have room for other silly trinkets. they don't honestly care about where you are from and your hometown etc. they like cash. if i left them anything other than cash, it would be a note thanking them for a great job...with extra cash attached. Honestly, people will tell you their stories about "my steward loved my gift" blah blah blah...but seriously, think about it....they have left their family to make money. they don't care about our silly little trinkets. save your money and don't buy junk. just give them cash.
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  #45  
Old October 18th, 2013, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by latitude918 View Post
I actually lived on a cruise ship for 3 months. Did it as part of my senior thesis with one of my professors and a few other students. Got to know the crew REALLY well and even hung out with them a bit.

Cash is the way to go. Your heart is in the right place, and I am sure they'd appreciate the gesture, but if you give them cash they can get anything they want. Cash is king.
Sounds like a cool experience. I would love to do that for a little while...

BTW, is your quote "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good" because you are a Potter fan, or just a fan of the meaning?

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  #46  
Old October 18th, 2013, 07:38 PM
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Next best thing to cash is naming them in after cruise survey and telling their supervisors what a wonderful job they did. That is very valuable to them and earns them days off, promotions, new contracts etc
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  #47  
Old October 18th, 2013, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
Next best thing to cash is naming them in after cruise survey and telling their supervisors what a wonderful job they did. That is very valuable to them and earns them days off, promotions, new contracts etc
You beat me to it- mention them in the cruise line's survey, that praise means so very much.
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  #48  
Old October 18th, 2013, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
Next best thing to cash is naming them in after cruise survey and telling their supervisors what a wonderful job they did. That is very valuable to them and earns them days off, promotions, new contracts etc

This is what I was going to say, as well.

In addition to cash tips, they rely on your praise and glowing review of their services on the post-cruise survey. This is the best gift you can give them.
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  #49  
Old October 18th, 2013, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by scooterpopsnana View Post
I know I will get all sorts of nasty comments, but, here goes.

I ALWAYS do the automatic gratuity and additional cash. Always! However, I carry candy and lots of it. I give a candy dish to the guest services crew the first day and refill it each day. I also pass out candy to any and all crew I meet in the hallways and around the ship. I started this one year when we did a Christmas sailing. DH and I boarded the ship in our Santa's hats and we had a blast doing this, so we made this a tradition. As for the candy dish at guest services. That come from a personal experience I had on a cruise. Last time I even made beaded bracelets for the girls who worked there and NOT once in the week did I not see them wearing them.....and they all ran to the candy dish when I filled it. I also have candy dish in the room and tell the room stewards to help themselves. Last cruise, I had a pack of M&Ms left and I handed them to one of the stewards. She said she was going on her leave the next day and she was going to give them to her 3 year old daughter.

Like others said, space is small in their quarters.
Besides the cash, I take a few bags of individually wrappped candy bars and pass them out to the people I meet on the stairs vacuuming or cleaning handrails, the pool attendants, and others I pass in the bars. They always seem to like American chocolates.
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  #50  
Old October 19th, 2013, 12:05 AM
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The most generous thing you can do for your cabin steward is to give them a nice tip. They have families to support, small cabins with little storage the last thing they need is more clutter.

Give them an nice envelope with some money and that will be the greatest gift.

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  #51  
Old October 19th, 2013, 12:23 AM
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We have always travelled with gifts that we give to airline, hotel and cruise personnel. Gifts range from pens, candy, makeup, ties, tshirts...

We have made folks feel special ... once in Paris, we met a bus driver who said he would love to have a pair of cowboy boots when he realized we were from the USA, we were traveling with brand new pair that were his size. Another time we were in a street market in the middle east, a shopkeeper commented about a cologne my DH was wearing.. we had a small sample we gave to him. We have given gifts to airline personnel who dropped by our seat on the plane, on a long flights each and everyone of the crew comes by to see us.

For all of you who think small gifts are not appreciated, I can't tell you many times staff remember us. If we run into them on another trip they will mention the gift we gave them.

On our last cruise staff at the Customer Service had a plate of hand made chocolates and roses resent to our cabin with a thank you note.

For those who enjoy bringing small gifts as we do, we have found it is a positive experience.

It goes with out staying we tip well (in addition to auto tip on ships) and write notes/emails acknowledging excellent service for personnel. Good service and personnel need to be appreciated.

  #52  
Old October 19th, 2013, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by pris993 View Post
We have always travelled with gifts that we give to airline, hotel and cruise personnel. Gifts range from pens, candy, makeup, ties, tshirts...

We have made folks feel special ... once in Paris, we met a bus driver who said he would love to have a pair of cowboy boots when he realized we were from the USA, we were traveling with brand new pair that were his size. Another time we were in a street market in the middle east, a shopkeeper commented about a cologne my DH was wearing.. we had a small sample we gave to him. We have given gifts to airline personnel who dropped by our seat on the plane, on a long flights each and everyone of the crew comes by to see us.

For all of you who think small gifts are not appreciated, I can't tell you many times staff remember us. If we run into them on another trip they will mention the gift we gave them.

On our last cruise staff at the Customer Service had a plate of hand made chocolates and roses resent to our cabin with a thank you note.

For those who enjoy bringing small gifts as we do, we have found it is a positive experience.

Giving a stranger makeup - ummm, that's just too weird. I would take it to be gracious and immediately put it in the garbage. Thank you for the gift but seriously that is just WAY too personal.

It goes with out staying we tip well (in addition to auto tip on ships) and write notes/emails acknowledging excellent service for personnel. Good service and personnel need to be appreciated.
Crew members remember you because of "you" not what you gave them. We were on a Thanksgiving cruise where we had no luggage for 10 of the 12 days. The girls at the Purser's Desk lent underwear and miscellaneous clothes items. Other passengers lent shoes... you get the drift. A year later we were on another Thanksgiving cruise and low and behold the same girl was at the Purser's Desk. We remembered it was her birthday (she was just too kind to forget) and had them make a cake and brought it to her. She was thrilled that we remembered her. It wasn't about what we gave her, it was about remembering her. We said we were often amazed at how crew members remember us year to year and she said we are amazed at passengers that remember us.

Like anyone, they don't want stuff. They want to know that they count. They are not faceless and that they count. I applaud your generousness but think you are not coming across as you think you are. I think most are being polite in accepting your gift before they walk directly to the garbage can.

The special note to management is better then money or candy as that is how they get their raises and promotions.
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  #53  
Old October 19th, 2013, 01:13 AM
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We have done the phone cards and the WalMart cards but at the end of the day .... they really appreciate money, that is why the leave home for 10 months at a time. Oh they may thank you for trinkets and candy and that may make you feel good but much of it get thrown in the trash and phone cards get left behind. Many of them now use Skype of Face Time to communicate with their families and phone cards are not used. Most travel with a single suitcase and perhaps a carry-on, they don't have room for trinkets that you made, knit or items you may have baked. Stay with the cash and a nice thank you note.
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  #54  
Old October 19th, 2013, 04:28 AM
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1. Prepay / autopay your tips; they are reliant on these to make a full wage
2. Tip extra in cash; this is what lets them buy themselves the little 'luxuries' they want or need. You'd be surprised what falls into that category that most cruisers take for granted
3. Fill in the feedback forms; comments on these forms really ARE noted by the management. Good feedback can lead to awards, bonuses, or even promotion - which brings a higher wage and more money to send home. It is so easy to do, but also so easy to not bother. It means a huge amount to them.
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  #55  
Old October 19th, 2013, 08:46 AM
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Always money. Big gifts cause them problems because their accommodations are small with limited storage. Due to their low wages I have found the best gift to be cash.
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Old October 19th, 2013, 09:49 AM
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I am sitting here scratching my head, trying to imagine the next time I fly. As I am disembarking the plane I hand a t-shirt to the cabin stewart and says thanks! Or at a restaurant paying my bill and adding a lovely fridge magnet for the wait staff! Seriously folks? Do YOU go to your job to earn cash or a t-shirt? What would you rather have ... extra money in your pocket or some make up that you did not choose?

Being thoughtful is choosing a gift that the recipient will appreciate, not one that you think they should want because it makes you feel good.

Money and a glowing recommendation are what the staff appreciate more then anything.
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Old October 19th, 2013, 10:08 AM
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Despite all the reasons why not, people who insist on giving the crew things useless things are going to continue to do so and continue to insist that the crew loves them. It's the same argument for and against everytime this subject comes up, it's a losing battle, folks.

  #58  
Old October 19th, 2013, 12:35 PM
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Despite all the reasons why not, people who insist on giving the crew things useless things are going to continue to do so and continue to insist that the crew loves them. It's the same argument for and against everytime this subject comes up, it's a losing battle, folks.

Now why didn't I say that?
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  #59  
Old October 19th, 2013, 12:48 PM
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Despite all the reasons why not, people who insist on giving the crew things useless things are going to continue to do so and continue to insist that the crew loves them. It's the same argument for and against everytime this subject comes up, it's a losing battle, folks.
I would love to be able to read a crew member's mind when someone hands them a stupid useless gift. They are trained to make you think that they like you but basically the relationship is purely professional. That is as it should be. They are not my friend. They are there to provide a service in a professional manner. If you think that they are your friend, you are deluding yourself.

I tip fairly, treat them with respect, do not make unreasonable demands on their time, and in case of cabin stewards do not leave my cabin in a mess. That is all that is expected.

DON

  #60  
Old October 19th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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If you are planning on giving a "gift" then you are buying it before you leave on your cruise and expecting your service to be above and beyond the call of duty.

Well, I agree, they are just doing there job most of the time, and I do also agree with some, that there are a few they do perform their duties above and beyond the call of duty and are extremely friendly.

When that does happen and it did on our most recent Allure sailing....we left money in an envelpe we got in customer service for one employee.

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