Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > River Cruising
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

River Cruising Find Others on Your River Cruise! River Cruising Roll Calls

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old December 11th, 2013, 06:44 PM
ghstudio ghstudio is online now
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,676
Default Tipping cruise director

We're thinking of taking a river cruise on AMA/Viking/Uniworld ships in Europe. One thing I checked, out of interest, was tipping guidelines. I found that with some variation, these lines recommended around 5-8 euros per day per passenger to the cruise director...and a separate amount to the crew.

I did a quick calculation and for a 10 day cruise (actually 7 nights on the boat), the cruise director would get a tip of roughly $12,000 for a 12 night cruise (7 nights on the boat). That's figuring a 160 passenger boat (AMA). And then they recommend that you give the tour guides and drivers for tours off the boat an additional gratuity.

I don't' know about you, but assuming the cruise director can work at least 1/2 a year, that's over $200,000 per year in tips....and some just turn around and work more cruises.

That seems beyond excessive....especially since I think it's reasonable to assume that the cruise lines actually pay their cruise directors.

I have no problem with the $12-16 a day for the crew....or tipping guides off the boat...but the tip to the "tour guide" seems way overboard.

Any thoughts....

We may just skip river cruising and stick to ocean cruises....perhaps sailing on Regent, Crystal, etc.

Last edited by ghstudio; December 11th, 2013 at 06:47 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old December 11th, 2013, 07:14 PM
HDS HDS is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 397
Default

ghstudio,
I have done the arithmetic myself and come to the same conclusion.
Some passengers have suggested that the guides are not paid by the company, they work almost 24/7 while on the cruise for board and lodging (on some lines a cabin on a passenger deck) and tips.
You won't be the only one not to pay the suggested amount. Or you could try a company that includes tips in the fare, but make sure that does include all the tippable staff.
It's not suprising that tourist guides around the world say: "I used to be a schoolteacher but the tips for guiding/cruise directing make my take home pay much better."
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old December 11th, 2013, 07:25 PM
rjscott rjscott is online now
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 6,800
Default

On Viking, the recommended gratuity for the Program Director is 2euro pp per day. On our cruise, our Program Director was marvelous. She gave the pre-dinner updates of the next day's activities, gave presentations, filled in as concierge and tour guide, with great enthusiasm, all with a smile on her face and in her voice. She was Viking's best ambassador.
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old December 11th, 2013, 07:44 PM
Ozjohnno's Avatar
Ozjohnno Ozjohnno is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Mackay Australia
Posts: 646
Default

Many cruise companies today, particularly in Australia are including the tips to everyone in their cruise price. I too have done my sums and I prefer to have the gratuities included in the price. Others don't.
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old December 11th, 2013, 10:15 PM
Host Jazzbeau's Avatar
Host Jazzbeau Host Jazzbeau is offline
Cruise Critic Host
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 2,656
Default

The Cruise Director is the real make/break point on your cruise. If you have a good one, s/he is worth his or her weight in gold. I had no problem following AMA's guidelines for Reka -- she was worth every penny to us.
__________________
Email me: HostJazzbeau@CruiseCritic.com

I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone.


Just completed:
Walking the Camino de Santiago (4 Star Guided Tour) --https://jazzbeauxcamino2014.shutterfly.com/pictures/5

Booked:
Celebrity Eclipse Southern Carib 3-1-2015
Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos 5-10-2015
AMA Provence 9-3-2015
Azamara Quest Norwegian Fjords 8-11-2016
Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii 10-8-2016

Sailed:
Crystal Serenity Mediterranean 5-7-2014 / Coral Princess Panama Canal 1-19-2014 / AmaCello Rhine 8-30-2013 / Coral Princess Alaska 6-26-2013 / Norwegian Dawn Caribbean 3-3-2013 / Celebrity Summit Caribbean 1-28-2012 / Oceania Insignia Mediterranean 5-17-2011 / Fair Dinkum (Erie Canal bareboat) 7-18-2003 / Costa Italia Caribbean 5-18-1974
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old December 12th, 2013, 01:48 PM
CPT Trips CPT Trips is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New Jersey, the Philly end
Posts: 4,376
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjscott View Post
On Viking, the recommended gratuity for the Program Director is 2euro pp per day. On our cruise, our Program Director was marvelous. She gave the pre-dinner updates of the next day's activities, gave presentations, filled in as concierge and tour guide, with great enthusiasm, all with a smile on her face and in her voice. She was Viking's best ambassador.
And on AMA
Quote:
Europe: For good service, we recommend 3 Euros per passenger, per day for the Cruise Manager and 12 Euros per passenger, per day for the crew, which will be divided up among the ship's personnel. It is also customary to acknowledge a particularly good performance of a local guide by leaving a tip of 1-2 Euros per tour. Gratuities on most vessels, but not all, may be charged on credit card as well as cash.
OP may want to revisit the research . . .
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old December 12th, 2013, 02:13 PM
CaroleSS's Avatar
CaroleSS CaroleSS is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 1,682
Default

We have the option on Avalon of prepaying our gratuities. It is $128pp total. That comes to $256 for both of us for an 11 day vacation!!

There are 128 passengers. 128 * $128 = $16,384 for EVERYONE (not sure how many employees on the ship).

If we did €3 for the CD (3 * 2 * 11) = €66 *1.35 (conversion) = $89.10 and
€12 for the staff (12 * 2 * 9 [only on the boat for 9 of those 11 days]) = €216 * 1.35 = $291.60

89.10 + 291.60 = $380.70!!

We plan to prepay the gratuities and bring extra to tip extra where we feel appropriate. Also some extra for bus drivers, tour guides and the like.

Last edited by CaroleSS; December 12th, 2013 at 02:14 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old December 12th, 2013, 04:20 PM
cruzsnooze cruzsnooze is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Los Angeles Ca.
Posts: 2,588
Default

We did a river cruise last summer and was told suggested gratuity was $60 per person per day. I gave half thinking that was way too much. This river cruisewas already costing $300 PP per day. I think it's gouging the generosity of Americans who are used to tipping.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old December 12th, 2013, 04:59 PM
CPT Trips CPT Trips is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New Jersey, the Philly end
Posts: 4,376
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzsnooze View Post
We did a river cruise last summer and was told suggested gratuity was $60 per person per day. I gave half thinking that was way too much. This river cruisewas already costing $300 PP per day. I think it's gouging the generosity of Americans who are used to tipping.
Really? What line? Who told you?
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old December 12th, 2013, 05:06 PM
tassietravellers's Avatar
tassietravellers tassietravellers is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 520
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaroleSS View Post
We have the option on Avalon of prepaying our gratuities. It is $128pp total. That comes to $256 for both of us for an 11 day vacation!!

There are 128 passengers. 128 * $128 = $16,384 for EVERYONE (not sure how many employees on the ship).

If we did €3 for the CD (3 * 2 * 11) = €66 *1.35 (conversion) = $89.10 and
€12 for the staff (12 * 2 * 9 [only on the boat for 9 of those 11 days]) = €216 * 1.35 = $291.60

89.10 + 291.60 = $380.70!!

We plan to prepay the gratuities and bring extra to tip extra where we feel appropriate. Also some extra for bus drivers, tour guides and the like.
We prepaid with Avalon last year, its so much easier than having to worry about working it all out. Plus alot cheaper I see, I hadnt actually done the math, just presumed it was the same.
We did tip a few people directly too, we had a fantastic drink waiter who remdmbered our drinks, names and cabin number from day 1 and was so nice, plus the young guy who did our room, he was lovely and nothing was ever a probldm. This was our choice though, didnt really need to tip ontop of the prepaid. A euro or 2 here and there if we had a bus and for tour guides, but I noticed alot of people didnt do that.
__________________
Avalon Panorama, Magnificent Europe, Budapest to Amsterdam August 15 -29th 2012
Avalon Scenery, Grand France , Cote D'Azur to Paris, 30th June - 8th July 2014
Avalon Creativity, Grand France, Paris-Normandy Beaches-Paris, 8th - 15th July 2014
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old December 12th, 2013, 05:11 PM
tassietravellers's Avatar
tassietravellers tassietravellers is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 520
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzsnooze View Post
We did a river cruise last summer and was told suggested gratuity was $60 per person per day. I gave half thinking that was way too much. This river cruisewas already costing $300 PP per day. I think it's gouging the generosity of Americans who are used to tipping.
Omg $60 per person per day..what company were you with. Just doing the math on our 15 day one last year..doubling it for 2 of us...$1800. !!!!!!!
__________________
Avalon Panorama, Magnificent Europe, Budapest to Amsterdam August 15 -29th 2012
Avalon Scenery, Grand France , Cote D'Azur to Paris, 30th June - 8th July 2014
Avalon Creativity, Grand France, Paris-Normandy Beaches-Paris, 8th - 15th July 2014
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old December 12th, 2013, 05:20 PM
CaroleSS's Avatar
CaroleSS CaroleSS is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 1,682
Default

tassietravellers, We are looking forward to a wonderful experience on Avalon! From your comment, I will assume we made a good choice. Thanks for the reassurance!

Tipping is such an individual thing. There are guidelines and we don't tip less than those, but often pay extra for the added value that someone provides to our vacation enjoyment.

Don't stress about the tips. Do as you feel comfortable and enjoy your vacation!
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old December 12th, 2013, 06:28 PM
tassietravellers's Avatar
tassietravellers tassietravellers is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 520
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaroleSS View Post
tassietravellers, We are looking forward to a wonderful experience on Avalon! From your comment, I will assume we made a good choice. Thanks for the reassurance!

Tipping is such an individual thing. There are guidelines and we don't tip less than those, but often pay extra for the added value that someone provides to our vacation enjoyment.

Don't stress about the tips. Do as you feel comfortable and enjoy your vacation!
Carole, we had a great time with Avalon last year and have booked with them again for June next year.
Tipping isnt a big thing in Australia, so we were quite happy to prepay.
Enjoy your trip
__________________
Avalon Panorama, Magnificent Europe, Budapest to Amsterdam August 15 -29th 2012
Avalon Scenery, Grand France , Cote D'Azur to Paris, 30th June - 8th July 2014
Avalon Creativity, Grand France, Paris-Normandy Beaches-Paris, 8th - 15th July 2014
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old December 13th, 2013, 10:36 AM
AttilaTheFun's Avatar
AttilaTheFun AttilaTheFun is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 1,670
Default

Uniworld suggests 3 euros per day for the Cruise Manager and 10 euros per day for the rest of the crew. On the SS Antoinette, they said that all 60-some crew members split the tip pool evenly, regardless of position or seniority, which was interesting. The tips for our 7-night cruise added 91 euros or about $123 to the total bill, but the Cruise Manager and the crew were all excellent and earned every penny.

For 2014, all gratuities are included in the cost of sailings for Uniworld, along with open bar during the whole cruise.
__________________
Upcoming:
Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas - Inaugural CTN

Sailed:
HAL Eurodam - Baltics
Norwegian Getaway - E. Caribbean
Norwegian Getaway
- Inaugural CTN
(Pics)
Celebrity Reflection - E. Caribbean
Uniworld SS Antoinette - Rhine Christmas Markets
NCL Breakaway
- Bermuda
NCL Breakaway - Inaugural CTN (Review w/ pics)
Uniworld River Beatrice - Danube (Review w/ pics)
NCL Epic
- E. Caribbean
NCL Star - Bermuda
Ruby Princess - Grand Mediterranean
(Review w/ pics)
NCL Epic
- W. Mediterranean (Review w/ pics)
Crown Princess - S. Caribbean (Review w/ pics)
NCL Gem - Bahamas (Review w/ pics)
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old December 14th, 2013, 02:59 PM
bobandjo bobandjo is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: B.C.
Posts: 137
Default

CaroleSS, we were on the Avalon Vista this summer and tipping was as suggested above 3E and 12E per passenger per day. I had a tooth problem while on the ship and had to have a root canal in Regensburg. Our Cruise Director made all the arrangements for an appointment with a dentist, walked my wife and I to the office, introduced us to the dentist and translated all the documents for us. At the end of the trip we tipped him an extra 20/30 Euros and for 3 of our waiters and maid an extra 10 Euros each. We gave the extra to them personally rather than in the provided envelope. They earned every penny.
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old December 14th, 2013, 04:52 PM
CaroleSS's Avatar
CaroleSS CaroleSS is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 1,682
Default

I will admit that most cruise staff deserve more than the recommended amount, but it seems like your CD went way above the call of duty!!! Good for him (hope we get him in July!!!).
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old December 14th, 2013, 08:05 PM
pully8 pully8 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 237
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjo View Post
CaroleSS, we were on the Avalon Vista this summer and tipping was as suggested above 3E and 12E per passenger per day. I had a tooth problem while on the ship and had to have a root canal in Regensburg. Our Cruise Director made all the arrangements for an appointment with a dentist, walked my wife and I to the office, introduced us to the dentist and translated all the documents for us. At the end of the trip we tipped him an extra 20/30 Euros and for 3 of our waiters and maid an extra 10 Euros each. We gave the extra to them personally rather than in the provided envelope. They earned every penny.
sounds like a good outcome. root canal work is expensive here. was it covered by travel insurance?
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old December 14th, 2013, 09:53 PM
Lobes1 Lobes1 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 94
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzbeau View Post
The Cruise Director is the real make/break point on your cruise. If you have a good one, s/he is worth his or her weight in gold. I had no problem following AMA's guidelines for Reka -- she was worth every penny to us.
I agree that the CD makes or breaks the cruise. On our AMA Waterways cruise, our CD was worthless, and we gave her what we considered an appropriate gratuity......nothing!
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old December 15th, 2013, 06:17 AM
caviargal caviargal is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: FL
Posts: 12,451
Default

The CD is an important part of the river cruise experience and we have no problem tipping the recommended amount.

We had two of the best CDs ever on our two cruises with AMA, Pili and Csaba, and in both cases tipped more than the suggested amount as they were fabulous and made the overall experience even more exceptional.

On our other river cruises, we have had efficient and hard working CDs as well and fortunately never had a bad experience, though some were better than others.
__________________
136 cruises since 1964, 7 on the river - AmaDagio Wine Cruise in Provence, November 20, 2014, AmaReina Holiday Cruise, December 28, 2014 , AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, November 25, 2015

email me here: kf95704@gmail.com

Last edited by caviargal; December 15th, 2013 at 06:18 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old December 15th, 2013, 11:29 AM
rogerdawhip rogerdawhip is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 460
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobes1 View Post
I agree that the CD makes or breaks the cruise. On our AMA Waterways cruise, our CD was worthless, and we gave her what we considered an appropriate gratuity......nothing!
I also had a worthless CD on my one and only AMA river cruise. She constantly ignored me and seemed more interested in the suite passengers than the rest of us. Needless to say she got zilch from me.

I do want to travel on AMA again but their high costs for singles has prevented this. I keep looking for deals and hopefully will find one in the coming years.

Last edited by rogerdawhip; December 15th, 2013 at 11:30 AM.
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:00 AM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.