Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

msquinn0908

Tipping Question

Recommended Posts

We are getting ready for our first cruise and have read several posts on tipping but we are still a little unsure about how to go about it. We have read where some cruise lines will charge like $10 per person per day directly to your room and some suggest that you pay each person when a service is provided and then some say to wait until the end of the cruise and then you will leave the tip in an envelope for each person. Our cruise will be a five day one and we were just wondering what most of you do for tipping and when to leave tips. We just want to make sure we know what to expect in that we have already planned on a budget and we need to stick to it a closely as possible. Thanks again for any insight on this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should find guidelines for tipping in your brochure or in your cruise documnets, but most definitely you will get suggested amounts on a form passed out the day before you are suggested to tip. The tipping guidelines are the same for 5 day and seven day as its a recommended per day amount for the waiter, assistant waiter, and cabin steward. I think the amounts are approximately $3.50 per day per person for the waiter and cabin steward and half that amount for the assistant waiter. You can have the tips charged to your sea pass account or you will be provided envelopes to place cash in to be handed out the last night of your cruise. Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On RCI you have the option of having the tips automatically added to your SeaPass account, or you can do it the traditional way by putting cash into the envelopes that you will receive and passing them out on the last night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can tell you how it worked on our 7 day cruise. We were given the option of adding the tips to our Sea Pass account and did so. We had a slip that was placed in our cabin early in the cruise which we filled out and turned in at the Purser's desk. On the last night we were given vouchers for those amounts and envelopes for the vouchers to which we added cash for the great service we received from our waitstaff and room steward. Envelopes said something like "for my room steward", "for my waiter" etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer to tip the old-fashioned way: Cash straight from my hand to the recipient's hand.

 

On the last day of the cruise, your steward will leave small envelopes on your bed. Each will be marked "for my waiter", "for my steward", etc. You put whatever you want into each envelope, then hand it to the individual. You can include phone cards or notes as well as cash. Don't worry about not being able to find "your people" -- they'll make themselves available on the last day! Easy. If you want your envelopes earlier, just go to customer service and ask.

 

In addition to the big tip evening, I suggest that you keep a supply of gold dollar coins, two dollar bills, or just plain old ones to give to bartenders or waiters at breakfast/lunch who go out of their way for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can someone tell me the prupose of tipping the head waiter? All our guy, Andie, onboard Mariner of the Seas did was show up and awkwardly try to strike up conversations seemingly in order to justify his gratuity.

I'm no expert but I would think the job of the head waiter is to supervise a section of waiters and asst waiters and demonstrate/teach/refine their waiting skills. All we got was meager and bland conversation. That was the only thing on my 1/23 MOTS cruise I did not like.

 

I hope others of you out there have experienced better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my Explorer cruise, the headwaiter was sort of a group manager, but very hands on. He helped a small group of waiters and was always present assisting with delivery of food, pleasant conversation, answering questions that the waiter didn't know, even helping with the lobster shells. He also got our table a special delivery of a carrot cake one night for dessert! It was a well deserved tip, in my opinion.

 

Theron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On my Explorer cruise, the headwaiter was sort of a group manager, but very hands on. He helped a small group of waiters and was always present assisting with delivery of food, pleasant conversation, answering questions that the waiter didn't know, even helping with the lobster shells. He also got our table a special delivery of a carrot cake one night for dessert! It was a well deserved tip, in my opinion.

 

Theron

 

This is exactly what I would expect a HW to do. I am glad that I had commented on his lack of service in my end of cruise critique. Our waiters on the other hand were simply outstanding and can only hope to get them or service like theirs again. Thanks for your input!

 

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to admit I am a little confused with the "tipping" threads I have read. Reading these boards has shown me some things have changed since my last cruise 12 years ago while others have not. When I cruised gratuities were given to the steward, waiter, asst. waiter (busboy or busperson back then) and head waiter. Tips were anything you chose to give above the gratuity amount. There is a world of difference between a tip and a gratuity. The gratuity was expected to be paid; if you had a problem with the service you took it up with the ship's Hotel Mgt. and/or Food & Beverage Mgt. Now I read where cruisers who are unhappy either don't pay the gratuity or "short" the gratuity. When did all this change?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello again and I would first like to say thank you to all who have replied. I guess I am having trouble with being told that I have to pay EACH of these people; suite attendant, stateroom attendant, dining room attendant, asst. waiter and head waiter a certain amount each day BY each person. I have always been one to tip very well for service that deserves it, sometimes to much as my wife says, but I leave a $3-5 tip for the three of us. I have never had to tip everyone who brought a refill to my table or pillow to my room.

 

I added it up and according to there guidelines that would be around $250.00 for the three of us for a five day cruise. Maybe this is just a shock because I have never been cruising, I don't know. thank you all again for the help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For us and the 2 kids, it's about $300US. As for the Maitre'd, he came over and entertained the kids, even cut their food for them, he was great. We tipped him extra for the special attention. He comes around to make sure everything is alright, thus tries to make small talk. It's just part of his job, so don't take it the wrong way. Everyone there just wants to make sure you're having a great time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the suggestion of putting a phonecard with the money.

 

To make it easy on us and for budgeting purposes, I prepare envelopes at home with the "suggested" tip amount for each person. Then we add more based on the service we recieve before we disburse the envelopes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello again and I would first like to say thank you to all who have replied. I guess I am having trouble with being told that I have to pay EACH of these people; suite attendant, stateroom attendant, dining room attendant, asst. waiter and head waiter a certain amount each day BY each person. I have always been one to tip very well for service that deserves it, sometimes to much as my wife says, but I leave a $3-5 tip for the three of us. I have never had to tip everyone who brought a refill to my table or pillow to my room.

 

I added it up and according to there guidelines that would be around $250.00 for the three of us for a five day cruise. Maybe this is just a shock because I have never been cruising, I don't know. thank you all again for the help.

 

If you skip the head waiter, and many do, your total tips for 3 on a 5 day would be about $135. That's $3.50 each for the waiter and cabin attendant, and $2 for the assistant waiter. A total of $9 per person per day. We usually do not tip the head waiter unless he really does something for us. Most of the time, they just bother you while you're trying to eat. The others rely on tips for their income. They make almost nothing in salary and the tips they get are their income. The only tips you pay immediately are for room service. About $3 for the 3 of you should do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to remember that these people are serving you everyday! You are not tipping as you go along like most places. If you added up what you would tip for breakfast, lunch, dinner, room service etc. on a regular vacation I believe it would add up to far more than we tip onboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't use to tip the headwaiter until I heard that they take their gratuity from the waiter if they are not tipped, the same with the head housekeeper. So, in order to make sure the people that serve me at given the approriate gratuity I also tip their supervisors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You have to remember that these people are serving you everyday! You are not tipping as you go along like most places. If you added up what you would tip for breakfast, lunch, dinner, room service etc. on a regular vacation I believe it would add up to far more than we tip onboard.

 

 

That is one way to look at it, I guess when you are on a tight budget looking at that much money at the END of your vacation is shocking. Please keep the suggestions coming and we will try and adjust our budget, maybe even fix envelopes before we leave.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To MSQUINN, from another "Ms. Quinn" -

 

I bring cash, in a separate envelope, and put it in my safe. That way I have the money available when it's time to tip.

 

Although $10 per person a day seems like a lot, it's really not, when you consider how much service you receive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You usually don't get fresh towels twice a day and your bed turned down at night at a regular hotel. It's not really fair to compare the two. We just add $300 to the price of the cruise and then we know how much we have to pay for the cruise. If you didn't get good service, then it might be an issue. But, we've always gotten good service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last cruise, when money was a little tighter than usual, we did just what you said. I made up envelopes for everyone at home and took them with us. Then, I knew I had at least the recommended amount and could add a little more if we felt service was outstanding! This time, we are in a suite so tips cost more anyway but I think they are really in line since you get so spoiled all week. Last time I just made up a new envelope every month so it didn't hurt too badly and then took them onboard, put them in the safe and enjoyed every minute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I didn't use to tip the headwaiter until I heard that they take their gratuity from the waiter if they are not tipped, the same with the head housekeeper. So, in order to make sure the people that serve me at given the approriate gratuity I also tip their supervisors.

 

No way. It could never be kept straight. The head waiters get a salary, a good one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the most part, I have always been annoyed by the headwaiter or maitre'd. This time was different. We had a headwaiter that wasn't just there with a funny little story, but pitched in and helped whenever he came by. From pouring wine when he noticed a glass almost empty, to taking the lobster tails out of their shells. He even took time to show us some napkin folding one night. We had an excellent waiter and asst. waiter, and the little touches from the head waiter made it that much better. He also was able to get the 11th person of our party seated at our 10 top. The maitre'd when asked the first day, said no.

 

If the head waiter does nothing for you but come by and try to be funny then I throw a five dollar bill in the envelope and hand it to him. This time I gave him $20 for the extra attention.

 

I also think that the guideliines are pretty low and definately tip more, especially for the waiter and cabin steward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another option with Royal Caribbean is to pre-pay your tips before you go. You can do this with RCI or your travel agent. Then it hits your credit card and you can pay it before you go, which cuts down on cash needed or the final account billing on your Seapass card at the end of the cruise.

 

I think if you pre-pay, you get the same receipt slips with envelopes that you would get if you billed the tips to your Seapass card on the ship.

 

Also, Ms Quinn - I think 3 people x $10 x 5 days is $150.00 total. The suite attendant and stateroom attendant are an either/or, depending on what type of room you have.

 

Hope that helps.

Debbi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another option with Royal Caribbean is to pre-pay your tips before you go. You can do this with RCI or your travel agent. Then it hits your credit card and you can pay it before you go, which cuts down on cash needed or the final account billing on your Seapass card at the end of the cruise.

 

I think if you pre-pay, you get the same receipt slips with envelopes that you would get if you billed the tips to your Seapass card on the ship.

 

Also, Ms Quinn - I think 3 people x $10 x 5 days is $150.00 total. The suite attendant and stateroom attendant are an either/or, depending on what type of room you have.

 

Hope that helps.

Debbi

 

Thanks Debbi for your help and I am just going from what RCCL has listed on there website, which is as follows:

Suite Attendant $5.75

State Room Attendant $3.50

Dining Room Waiter $3.50

Asst. Waiter $2.00

Head Waiter $.75

(are the suite and stateroom attendant different according to which room your in??):confused:

Total $15.50

 

Grand Total $232.50

 

unless I am missing something:confused:

 

Usually when we go to a restaurant I leave a good tip for the whole table and depending on service a pretty good one, just not 15.50 per person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ms. Quinn:

 

You would either tip your suite attendant or stateroom attendant, but not both. So go back and figure it out, depending on whether you have a suite or a regular room (ie EITHER 5.75 or 3.50 a day, plus the others.)

 

And as for your last comment about going out to dinner: imagine that your party of three goes for a nice lunch to a fine restaurant. You have an appetizer, an entree and a dessert apiece, as well as a beverage. It costs maybe $35 per person, so about $100 total. The tip would be about $15 or $20, right?

 

Then the same day, you go out to dinner at a similarly nice restaurant and order the same number of courses. The bill comes to $200 for three people. The tip would be $30-$40 total.

 

Add up $20 and $40, you get $60. Yet for your party of three, you are paying $5.50 x 3 (Waiter plus busboy), or $16.50 for the same level of service. And that doesn't count the fact that the same people are waiting on you for breakfast, midnight buffets, snacks, poolside Bar-B-Qs and so on. Believe me, once you cruise a few times, $10 a day seems quite modest and once you get used to factoring it in, quite painless!

 

PS I also give the cabin attendants and waiters gift bags filled with little fun things too - or sometimes phone cards or whatever - last cruise I did Christmas stockings with their names on them and in March I'm doing Easter baskets. (Just Easter themed paper bags, but filled with fun stuff.)

 

Having worked in the service industry, there's nothing like cold hard cash, but it's always nice to get something extra too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the suite attendants are for suites only. They have less rooms (and bigger rooms!) so it is necessary to tip them better. The stateroom attendants are for all the other rooms. You will not be paying the suite attendant tip unless you are in a suite, and if you are in a suite, you will not be paying the stateroom attendant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • Celebrity Edge in Europe Sweepstakes
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...