There is a 15% gratuity charged for bottles of wine with dinner!

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#1
Rochester, NY USA
974 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
I just wanted to make you guys aware that if you order a bottle of wine with dinner, you will be charged a 15% gratuity on that bottle. This suprised me, as it's the first time I've ever been charged an extra gratuity for wine ( I figured I was already tipping my waiter, and this would fall under his normal "service", but I was wrong!). We ordered a bottle of wine (on Mariner), and were charged almost an extra $6 for gratuity. The more expensive the wine, the more gratuity, obviously. I've never been charged a gratuity for wine on any other cruiseline.
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#2
3,939 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
This reminds me of a comment my brother made to me about his first RCCL cruise this past February. He's a long time Princess cruiser and has a certain bottle of wine that he orders in the dining room every other day. (Each bottle lasts for two dinners.) He liked his cruise - said that there were some things Princess definitely did better but his only major complaint about his RCCL cruise was that the same bottle of wine cost him $11 more each time than on Princess. That's a pretty big difference considering this is not an expensive bottle to begin with - just an average bottle of wine available on a cruise ship dining room menu. Anyway, not trying to start a 'which line is better' thread - I've never cruised Princess so I have no first hand knowledge but I thought that was an interesting observation. Maybe the gratuity was part of that difference.
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#3
Georgia
5,624 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
I thought I read here on this board that there is an automatic 15% gratuity on all for-consumption beverage purchases aboard ship. Isn't that the case?
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#4
Michigan
1,696 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
bicker - As far as I know, yes. Same as if you'd bought a mixed drink, or a beer, or an aperitif at dinner. If it's a beverage and you pay for it, 15% gets added, regardless of when, where, how, what.
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#5
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Originally posted by bicker
I thought I read here on this board that there is an automatic 15% gratuity on all for-consumption beverage purchases aboard ship. Isn't that the case?
Except those drinks are brought by someone who's job is to take your order and run and get your drink. Susanita's point is that on RCL the wine is handled by your waiter not the bar man/woman. I would have assumed the 15% would not be charged as my weekly tip would have covered the wine order too.
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#6
Georgia
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Joined Jun 2004
Okay, now I'm really confused. What you're saying seems to be the opposite of what MGoBlue2 said.
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#7
Savannah, GA
752 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
OK, here's the thing. If you order a cocktail at dinner, or in a bar for that matter, you get charged the 15%. If you were to buy a whole bottle of wine or liquor in the shops you would not. So I suppose the OP was looking at the order of a bottle of wine with dinner as a "bottle" and not a "drink". If you think about it, it makes sense. If you ordered say 4 glasses of wine instead of a bottle, you'd pay the 15% on each one. If not consumed in your cabin, you are going to pay gratuity, period.
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#8
3,939 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
I know that on at least one of our cruises that the gratuity was already included in the price quoted on the wine list. I'm not sure which line that was - sorry I know that doesn't move the discussion along much. Is it Carnival that does it that way Susanita? Can't remember.
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#9
Pensacola, FL
1,314 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
My experience with Carniva is, no..they didn't charge you a gratuity when you ordered a bottle of wine at dinner.
#10
Michigan
1,696 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by bicker
Okay, now I'm really confused. What you're saying seems to be the opposite of what MGoBlue2 said.
I think what Auntie is saying is that, like SUSANITA, she would have assumed the gratuity wouldn't have been charged, not that it actually isn't.

I know they add it to the Wine & Dine package, I would be really ticked if they charged me 15% when I bought that, but didn't charge it when you bought wine by the bottle/glass.
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#12
Ocala, FL
1,003 Posts
Joined May 2004
Bicker, it might help you a little to know that in the dining room, when you order wine your waiter and assistant handle the order. All other alcoholic drinks are handled by the bar waiter (who is different than you regular waiter). They will have a bar waiter go table to table asking if you want drinks. From what I see eveyone saying, there is no problem with the 15% when the bar waiter takes the order, but in the case of wine when you standard waiter takes the order, the tip should be included with what you are already tipping them. I agree.
#13
TX
143 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
The wife and I are 'tweeners. One glass of wine may not be enough, but one bottle would likely be too much. How much of a hassle is it to store an unfinished bottle of wine? Is this a commonplace thing to do?

Thanks.
#14
Ocala, FL
1,003 Posts
Joined May 2004
You can order a bottle and if you do not finish it they will store it for you and you can use it on other nights at dinner. They do it all the time.
#15
SC, USA
17,203 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
We were on the 09/12/04 sailing of the Mariner. We had early seating for dinner and the ship was a little late leaving port so we were still docked when our dinner rolled around. The DW and I got a bottle of wine for dinner and not only were we charged the 15% gratuity, we also had to pay sales tax. I assume this was because we were still docked. By the time dinner was over we were sailing and when we got the receipt to sign at the end of the meal, that's when we noticed the sales tax. That does make sense,I guess, and had we known ahead of time about the tax I doubt it would have influenced our decision. It just wasn't something I'd ever seen or noticed before.
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#16
Apex, NC
326 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
rchauv,

Just tell your waiter you want to split the bottle between two nights. They will store it for you and it will be available for you the next night. We often do this as we are just like you a couple glasses but not a whole bottle.
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#17
Rochester, NY USA
974 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Like the above poster, we were also charged sales tax on our wine, but we were most definately out to sea by that time. So, our $30 bottle of wine with tax and 15% gratuity was actually almost $38. (This is the same bottle we can buy at home for $12). It's not that I minded the gratuity so much, it just suprised me due to the fact on my previous cruises, if I ordered a $30 bottle of wine, my receipt was for exactly $30.

Also, just so you know, later in the week I tried to order just a "glass" of merlot from our bar waiter as he was taking the tables beer order, and was told that he could not get me wine, that would HAVE to go through our waiter. Since when are waiters also bar runners? Only on RCI have I seen or heard of this.
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#19
Rochester, NY USA
974 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
It may seem simple to some, but on every other cruise I've been on, I've paid 15% gratuities on drinks but NEVER on a bottle of wine with dinner. It was suprising to say the least. I suppose that all of you that cruise RCI frequently expect this 15% gratuity to be charged on bottles, and you would be equally suprised if you sailed another line and they didn't charge it??
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#20
29,432 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Originally posted by SUSANITA
It may seem simple to some, but on every other cruise I've been on, I've paid 15% gratuities on drinks but NEVER on a bottle of wine with dinner. It was suprising to say the least. I suppose that all of you that cruise RCI frequently expect this 15% gratuity to be charged on bottles, and you would be equally suprised if you sailed another line and they didn't charge it??
My surprise would depend on the lines policy regarding adding gratuities or not.
But well that´s life always expect the unexpected.