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"gifts" for cabin stewards, etc?

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Has anyone given any small gifts to their cabin steward or waiter? If so, what types of things do these employees seem to like best? I know on Disney, candy was a popular gift (for some reason the employees did not have access if I remember).

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We were on the 6/5 sailing with husband's parents who are HUGE Phoenix Suns fans, so they gave our Head Waiter, Waiter and Asst. Waiter Suns ball caps. They were appreciative and wore them for the remainder of dinner.

 

I am not sure if they gave their stateroom attendant a gift as well, we really didn't interact with him.

 

I like the idea of a small gift that is from your hometown. Who knows, they all might have quite a collection of unique gifts from all the passengers they have met over the years.

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We were on the 6/5 sailing with husband's parents who are HUGE Phoenix Suns fans, so they gave our Head Waiter, Waiter and Asst. Waiter Suns ball caps. They were appreciative and wore them for the remainder of dinner.

 

I am not sure if they gave their stateroom attendant a gift as well, we really didn't interact with him.

 

I like the idea of a small gift that is from your hometown. Who knows, they all might have quite a collection of unique gifts from all the passengers they have met over the years.

 

These crew members live in very tight quarters and have very little room in their cabin for trinkets. Of course they are going to act appreciative if you give them something because that is what they have to do......smile and act pleased. They most likely do not care about a gift from your hometown. They are working on a cruise ship to support their families back home. Be sensible folks....cash is the best thing you can give them.

Think about this......would you be pleased if your boss gave you a baseball cap, key chain, or tee shirt as your bonus for doing a good job? Wouldn't you rather have a cash bonus???

 

Please don't be one of the "trinketeers".

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I like to give phone cards, and cash. On our next port, we are going to be starting in Miami and ending in Spain - I am going to pick up some international calling cards from our pots of call, and add them in as a little extra. :D I hope they are as well re'ved on RCCL as other cruiselines.

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These crew members live in very tight quarters and have very little room in their cabin for trinkets. Of course they are going to act appreciative if you give them something because that is what they have to do......smile and act pleased. They most likely do not care about a gift from your hometown. They are working on a cruise ship to support their families back home. Be sensible folks....cash is the best thing you can give them.

Think about this......would you be pleased if your boss gave you a baseball cap, key chain, or tee shirt as your bonus for doing a good job? Wouldn't you rather have a cash bonus???

 

Please don't be one of the "trinketeers".

 

I agree with BOTH of these posts. Where I agree that the gift is thoughtful, the extra cash bonus, on top of what is the norm is what is MOST appreciated. I always overtip and back in the day, (when the lines allowed people to bring booze back to your cabin), I left a bottle of rum for the guys or perfume for the ladies in my room with a signed note. I REALLY do appreciate all the staff does to make my vacation a great one. Heck, even in the Windjammer you'll get a guy or two that will stop by and smile, say 'good morning', and ask us what we wanted to drink. So, if I get lucky with service there as well and find myself tipping them a little something too at the end of week. :)

Edited by ChiMimi69

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Cash. Cold, hard cash.

 

I've read that even the phone cards don't always work as planned. For some reason, the user sometimes doesn't get the minutes that were purchased.

 

I'd be cautious about a consumable (liquor, perfumes).

 

Many of them support family members back home, and $$ certainly helps with that. I've talked to some who are working the ships for a year or two, just to earn money to fund their own education, so, again, CASH IS KING!!

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Actually I've heard the same thing about phone cards...sometimes they don't work. Also please keep in mind that all women do not wear perfume and if they do, they may not care for your brand. Crew members may not be alcohol drinkers(although I'm sure many are) so be careful when giving a gift of alcohol to someone.

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I know they have to buy their own shampoo and soap and razors and such...we leave cash but usually also bring these types of items...things we know they can use and can save some of their cash by not having to buy it...tootbrushes, toothpaste, little things like that...makes a nice little gift bag to put your tips in...

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As others have said, cash always works. Often so does a smile and being genuinely friendly. A waiter once told us that it made a difference to him that we were nice people. Another time, we had a newbie waiter who was trying really hard but still struggling a bit. When he came around during the march before they sang O Sole Mio, our section cheered for him louder than anyone else's. He turned beet red but was obviously pleased.

 

These men and women work 7 days a week, more than 6 months at a time. While we might think we're doing something good by giving them something tangible, sometimes the gift they need is a small moment of human connection.

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As others have said, cash always works. Often so does a smile and being genuinely friendly. A waiter once told us that it made a difference to him that we were nice people. Another time, we had a newbie waiter who was trying really hard but still struggling a bit. When he came around during the march before they sang O Sole Mio, our section cheered for him louder than anyone else's. He turned beet red but was obviously pleased.

 

These men and women work 7 days a week, more than 6 months at a time. While we might think we're doing something good by giving them something tangible, sometimes the gift they need is a small moment of human connection.

 

ABSOLUTELY could not have said it better myself. I always find it amazing the number of people that treat these servers like their servants act and like they are beneath them...we always have fun with our server, we give him a nickname, we clap when he comes to the table each night, we hug him on our last night...we treat him like a member of our group...they see that so little it does go a long way...

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I know they have to buy their own shampoo and soap and razors and such...we leave cash but usually also bring these types of items...things we know they can use and can save some of their cash by not having to buy it...tootbrushes, toothpaste, little things like that...makes a nice little gift bag to put your tips in...

 

 

This is a great idea. I was always trying to thinks of "things" overlooking the obvious. They do have to supply all their own "goods". When we were just in Cozumel, we saw several employees heading back to the ship with large shopping bags (we could see through the bags) filled with laundry det, shampoo etc. I will definitely keep this in mind for our next cruise.;)

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We always ask our stewards if they want anything from port. On Oasis, our steward, who was amazing!!!, asked us to take pictures in Costa Maya since she'd never been there, and she wanted to see what was there since she'd be able to take time off when the ship was there in two weeks. She also wanted to know if there was a Senor Frogs since a relative liked to have her send shirts from each port. We offered to pick up a shirt, but she said she liked to pick them out herself.

 

We had a lot of fun showing her the pictures from Costa Maya so she could get a feel for it. Turns out there is no Senor Frogs, but we could show her what stores are there so she could plan for something else. We thought she'd be bored looking at our pictures because we literally just walked around and got a drink, but she was telling the other stewards on the hall about the pictures and how excited she was to go see the port. I think just asking if they want something can go pretty far. They are people just like us and kindness goes a long way.

 

We also gave her a big cash tip at the end and wrote a huge nice thing about her in the comment card. :) Apparently the bosses take the comments on those cards very seriously, and they can lead to promotions, so if someone does a good job, definitely take the time to mention them!

Edited by bluegirlum

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I guess I'm old-fashioned. I always leave Cash and above the 'suggested' amount and with it a hand written note. The personal note is either on paper provided by me and not the in-cabin stuff or on a postcard from where I come from. As far as trinkets go - I'd be one of those that say No.

 

Windjammer -- you are spot on I think --

sometimes the gift they need is a small moment of human connection.

 

A truly genuine Thank You goes a long way.

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We didn't give our cabin attendant anything tangible on our last cruise, but I did write her a little note just saying thank you for all her hard work and for all the towel animals.

 

We of course, tipped her well at the end as well, but the note was a little thing that hopefully brightened her day and even if it didn't it took up no space and cost no money that could've otherwise gone toward her tip. I personally think something like that is a nice way to make someone feel appreciated in a more "human" way in addition to just a tip.

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Another vote for cash and/or thank you note. I can vouch that the calling cards are usually a rip, I don't think I have purchased one while cruising that has given us the promised minutes. Its really nice to bring something for the crew, but as mentioned the problem is they live in this environment for 6+ months at a time:

 

2005-6-19__Crew_Cabin_CIMG1454001.jpg

 

barely enough room for each person's personal stuff, let alone room for trinkets- in a worst case, if it was two waiters, each would have 30+ clients each week (2 sittings), each couple give a tshirt as a gift, that is 15 tshirts each per week, 26 weeks means each waiter has 390 tshirts. The room would be overflowing with tshirts and the poor guys would have to find a way to carry them all home on top of their personal kit. That is a lot of tshirts.

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We didn't give our cabin attendant anything tangible on our last cruise, but I did write her a little note just saying thank you for all her hard work and for all the towel animals.

 

We of course, tipped her well at the end as well, but the note was a little thing that hopefully brightened her day and even if it didn't it took up no space and cost no money that could've otherwise gone toward her tip. I personally think something like that is a nice way to make someone feel appreciated in a more "human" way in addition to just a tip.

 

In addition to a personal note, please write their names on the comment cards. This is how they get promotions.

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In addition to a personal note, please write their names on the comment cards. This is how they get promotions.

 

I agree - cash and good comments for those who were good to us.

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There is nothing better than cold hard cash. :-) Always tip well!

 

When they do a good job :) On our first cruise, Kevin was our stateroom attended and he was AMAZING and we tipped him over and above the recommended amount. However, on our last cruise our attendant left a lot to be desired. He could never be found, was always on the phone when we could find him and we had to ask "where are our towel animals????" We tipped him because that is how he makes his living but it was only at the recommended amount.

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Definitely a cash person! I loved the idea of writing a personal note on a postcard from home. I'll have to remember this for our next cruise.

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What does anyone think about itunes gift cards? Are they able to download with the slow wifi on board? Does staff have personal computers and ipods? Is it good to give a small gift at the beginning of the cruise to set the right tone, or to be honest, to suck up?

 

Being a cruise newbie - do I have to let the ship (NCL Jade) know in advance that I will do cash tips as opposed to the automatic gratutities?

 

Thanks!!

Meghan

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What does anyone think about itunes gift cards?...

 

Meghan, welcome to Cruise Critic and to cruising.

 

That's what this thread is about - no gifts - cash is best and it's really all the staff wants, regardless of how grateful they appear to the passengers. For any other questions it might be best to post on the specific board for your cruise line.

Edited by Langley Cruisers

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