first time princess cruise

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#1
3 Posts
Joined Mar 2018
hi im going on a cruise in july on the shapphire princess for 14 nights , ive got a balcony cabin c312 , and got the soft drinks package , dont drink alcohol with tablets im on . just wonder any tips and what the rooms are like . also afew people who ive spoken to who go on cruises say they remove the tips what get automatically added onto the bill and tip people who they choose ? do pricess add tips on and can they be removed ? many thanks for any time and help.
#2
Chico, California
11,208 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by davidoneman
hi im going on a cruise in july on the shapphire princess for 14 nights , ive got a balcony cabin c312 , and got the soft drinks package , dont drink alcohol with tablets im on . just wonder any tips and what the rooms are like . also afew people who ive spoken to who go on cruises say they remove the tips what get automatically added onto the bill and tip people who they choose ? do pricess add tips on and can they be removed ? many thanks for any time and help.
As you are on Caribe deck you have the largest balconies on the ship. Half covered and half uncovered. Very nice. As for the tips: Princess will add a daily gratuity per person to the folio. You "can" have them removed but then any tip you give to someone will be taken for the "pool". In effect you will be tipping the person almost nothing. The daily gratuity goes to all the staff - including those you don't see. If you leave that in place and tip someone for special service be sure to put it in an envelope (ask at the customer service desk) and write your cabin number and the person's name on the outside. (I include our last name as well.) They will be required to turn it in but, if you have left the daily gratuities in place, they will get it back. Employees who take cash tips and don't report them can be fired. I strongly urge you not to remove the daily gratuities but it is, of course, up to you.
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Thrak

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#4
Northern California
3,451 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Princess does automatically add tips to your onboard account. If you remove the autotips and give cash to people, those people have to turn the money in to the tip pool. Best just to leave the autotips in place and pay these when you settle your onboard account.
#5
Greenville, SC, USA
54,431 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
I also recommend that you leave on the autotips. I do suggest that if there is any problem with the service on the ship, you report it to the passenger service desk immediately.
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Paul
#7
California
233 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by Thrak
As you are on Caribe deck you have the largest balconies on the ship. Half covered and half uncovered. Very nice. As for the tips: Princess will add a daily gratuity per person to the folio. You "can" have them removed but then any tip you give to someone will be taken for the "pool". In effect you will be tipping the person almost nothing. The daily gratuity goes to all the staff - including those you don't see. If you leave that in place and tip someone for special service be sure to put it in an envelope (ask at the customer service desk) and write your cabin number and the person's name on the outside. (I include our last name as well.) They will be required to turn it in but, if you have left the daily gratuities in place, they will get it back. Employees who take cash tips and don't report them can be fired. I strongly urge you not to remove the daily gratuities but it is, of course, up to you.

Totally agree, Thrak.
As a new cruiser, davidonman, please realize that there are so many people that provide services on-board. Compared to what I tip in the USA for dinner, this is a very reasonable amount.
#8
293 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
We leave the auto-tip in place, and give an envelope with a special tip on our last day. This always includes the room steward, who work so hard that IMO even average service deserves something special, and almost always our waiter and assistant waiter in the MDR.

I think the balconies are about 220 sq. feet or so (?) but the Princess website and the youtube videos above will give you a better sense.

Others can comment on this, but I do believe that the showers on the Regal-class ships are slightly larger, thank goodness.
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#9
Colorado
2,270 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Fourteen days is probably enough to hook you for life. Just don't try to eat everything at every meal. Or do everything available.

Soft drinks available in all bars (gun only) and in the main dining room. You can either have them fill your Coke cup or get it in a glass. Remove top before handing the cup over.
#10
Los Angeles Ca.
5,659 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
The tips are pooled at corp and some are used for administration and some for employee incentives. I personally don't like this way so I reduce my tips at guest services to $10 PP PD which is what I believe goes to the crew that serves me. If I feel service warrants it I can always tip some extra in cash.
Many people state that if you remove your tips and use cash the crew doesn't keep it. This is unsubstantiated opinion. Princess chooses not to answer questions about how tips get pooled and dispersed so it's anyone's guess.
#11
pa
8,040 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
I too stress that you should not remove the daily hotel charge (auto-tip) which for your cabin will be US$13.50/pp/day or US$189/pp for the entire cruise. It is the easiest way to tip. How will you handle tipping waitstaff, cabin stewards, buffet stewards and other housekeeping staff. Fairly complicated. Also, any cash tips you provide will be turned in. If you remove the automatic tip your tips will be placed into the pool to cover these crew members. If you leave the auto-tip in place and provide extra tips then the person you tip will retain the tip. If you tip in total less than US$189/pp then you are shortchanging the crew. We always leave the auto-tip in place and provide extra to our cabin steward, and waiter/ass't waiter if we have traditional dining. We normally add an extra tip for specialty dining by writing it on the bottom of the bill.
I assume you are from the UK. This question comes up frequently. One reason for auto-tips is to provide consistency in income across different international cultures. The crew covered by the auto tip rely on tips for their income, and receive very little direct salary.
A 15% gratuity is added automatically to all beverage purchases, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and covers bar staff and servers. It can not be removed.
You cabin C312 is and excellent selection, full 6ft walk in closet, large 9foot x 9foot balcony.
#12
Chico, California
11,208 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
I always figure that the OBC we get as shareholders and for using FCD as our deposit is for the gratuities. Sometimes, such as our last cruise which was 28 days, the OBC doesn't cover the gratuities but it definitely helps. We sail on the 18th and for a change we have way more OBC than the cost of the gratuities. I know for many people this is the norm but we don't qualify for the military OBC. I figure that OBC is money I get basically for free so it doesn't hurt any to see it vanish in the form of gratuities.
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#13
Crystal, MN
1,056 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Davidoneman, hope you enjoy your cruise! One thing you may want to check is the roll call section. Further down on the boards page are the roll calls, click Princess, then find Sapphire Princess, then find the cruise you are on. You can chat with others on the roll call. Sometimes they do a meet and greet or plan other things for the people who are on the board.

It's a nice way to get to know some of the folks. If they do a meet and greet, I'd suggest going. It gives you a chance to meet the other people you chat with on the boards.

I do have to put my vote in for you to leave the auto tip on, but that's up to you. My only other suggestion is to enjoy the experience, enjoy your ports of call, and try different foods. If you don't like something you can always get something to replace it. Not sure if you're doing traditional dining or anytime dining.

I'm excited for you on your first cruise, I do agree you may become hooked!

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#14
3 Posts
Joined Mar 2018
Thanks for the replys some good ones , its a good idea about leaving tips on you just see stories that the companys keep them etc . I think the wife choose the first sitting for dinner . Ive started to diet now lol thinking of the size increase from the cruise
#15
Southeast Wisconsin
218 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Follow-up question on tips, as I will be a first-time Princess cruiser as well. Can OBC be used to pay for the tips automatically applied to your account, at the end of the cruise? I know OBC can be used to pay tips and other onboard costs while cruising on Carnival, but I wasn't sure if it worked the same way on Princess. If not, we will need to figure out other ways to use up our OBC on the ship. Thanks in advance!
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#16
Texas
2,036 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by cah14522
Follow-up question on tips, as I will be a first-time Princess cruiser as well. Can OBC be used to pay for the tips automatically applied to your account, at the end of the cruise? I know OBC can be used to pay tips and other onboard costs while cruising on Carnival, but I wasn't sure if it worked the same way on Princess. If not, we will need to figure out other ways to use up our OBC on the ship. Thanks in advance!
Yes. All your OBC is applied to your shipboard account at the beginning of the cruise. Onboard purchases as well as the daily auto tip are applied to your shipboard account as they occur and will offset first the non-refundable OBC and then the refundable OBC. If you have any refundable credit remaining after your cruise ends, you will be sent a check in a few weeks. The envelope the check comes in will not state that it is from Princess so don't assume it is junk mail and throw it away without opening.
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#17
Crystal, MN
1,056 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by davidoneman
Thanks for the replys some good ones , its a good idea about leaving tips on you just see stories that the companys keep them etc . I think the wife choose the first sitting for dinner . Ive started to diet now lol thinking of the size increase from the cruise
That reminds me of another tip. It will depend on how you feel about it. DW and I try to take the stairs anytime we go to dinner or anywhere else. I realize this isn't an option for everyone. It might keep that size increase down

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Regal Princess -- 2017 (West/East Caribbean)
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#18
Delaware, USA
2,950 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Take advantage of room service. Nothing like a leisurely breakfast and coffee in the comfort of your cabin, or a late night snack. No charge for food but do tip a couple of dollars.


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#19
Lihue HI & Calimesa CA
6,057 Posts
Joined May 2013
Originally posted by cruzsnooze
The tips are pooled at corp and some are used for administration and some for employee incentives. I personally don't like this way so I reduce my tips at guest services to $10 PP PD which is what I believe goes to the crew that serves me. If I feel service warrants it I can always tip some extra in cash.
Many people state that if you remove your tips and use cash the crew doesn't keep it. This is unsubstantiated opinion. Princess chooses not to answer questions about how tips get pooled and dispersed so it's anyone's guess.
You make a lot of assumptions.
#20
2 Posts
Joined Feb 2018
Originally posted by Thrak
As you are on Caribe deck you have the largest balconies on the ship. Half covered and half uncovered. Very nice. As for the tips: Princess will add a daily gratuity per person to the folio. You "can" have them removed but then any tip you give to someone will be taken for the "pool". In effect you will be tipping the person almost nothing. The daily gratuity goes to all the staff - including those you don't see. If you leave that in place and tip someone for special service be sure to put it in an envelope (ask at the customer service desk) and write your cabin number and the person's name on the outside. (I include our last name as well.) They will be required to turn it in but, if you have left the daily gratuities in place, they will get it back. Employees who take cash tips and don't report them can be fired. I strongly urge you not to remove the daily gratuities but it is, of course, up to you.
That's the simplest explanation I've read yet on tipping. Thank you so much. I can see how that works well in your cabin. How do you tip waiters and bartenders? Do you leave envelopes on the table/bar?