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Tipping on a world cruise


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I know different companies have different policies about tips. I know different countries have different practices towards tips. My questions are about the situation when you are with the ship's crew for a very long time on a WC. These crew over time become people with whom one has a longer relationship.

 

Many cruise lines or travel agents are now "including all tips" in the price you pay. Still how does one deal with the people you come to care about with their exceptional service?

 

Is it possible to throw a party for the crew?

 

Is it nice to bring a gift for our special crew? What would be an appropriate sort of gift?

 

Should we tip early in the cruise to sort of grease the skids or will that seem excessive?

 

The whole issue of tipping is very personal. We just want to be gracious. We don't want to seem pompous or showy. Veterans and new to WC folks please share your experience and point of view with this issue.

 

There is no right or wrong answer here. I just am interested in being a gracious guest and get your point of view.

 

thank you,

Ilene

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Gratuities are included in my upcoming world cruise but I will leave more for excellent service.

 

I've read on Cruise Critic of people bringing gifts for the crew but most live in very small quarters and don't have room for much "stuff". The best gift they can receive (and really use) is money.

 

Personally, I do not give a tip early on. I wouldn't tip my waitperson in a restaurant at home when I first sit down - I wait to see what kind of service I get.

 

Some cruise lines have a fund for crew parties. This might be something to check into at Guest Relations.

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Is it possible to throw a party for the crew?

 

YES BUT JUST REALIZE IT CAN BE VERY PRICEY.

 

Is it nice to bring a gift for our special crew? What would be an appropriate sort of gift?

 

WE USUALLY PICK UP GIFTS FOR STEWARDESS, ASSISTANT STEWARDESS, BUTLER ALONG THE WAY. ALSO REALIZING THEY CAN BE VERY BUSY WE WILL SOMETIMES ASK IF THERE IS SOMETHING WE CAN PICK UP FOR THEM IN PORT AND SOMETIMES WE JUST GIVE THEM THAT ITEM AS A GIFT SINCE IT MIGHT BE A LOT MORE PRACTICAL FOR THEM SUCH AS ITEMS THEY CAN USE ON THE CRUISE. THEY DON'T HAVE MUCH ROOM IN THEIR BAGS FOR GIFTS TO TAKE HOME AND OFTEN THE LITTLE ROOM IS FOR GIFTS THEY ARE GETTING FOR FAMILY MEMBERS. ALSO ON EASTER AND VALENTINE'S DAY WE OFTEN GIVE SOMETHING TO NOT ONLY THEM BUT TO SOME OF THE OTHER PEOPLE SUCH AS FRONT OFFICE DESK, WAIT STAFF AND A FEW MORE PEOPLE.

 

ON A FEW WORLD CRUISES WE BROUGHT SOME GIFTS TO SOME OF THE MEMERS OF THE CREW FROM HOME SUCH AS T-SHIRTS OF A COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAM THAT WE KNEW THEY WOULD WEAR AND TO THIS DAY WE SEE SOME OF THEM IN THEM.

 

Should we tip early in the cruise to sort of grease the skids or will that seem excessive?

 

HAVE NEVER TIPPED EARLY, LIKE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE VOYAGE, BUT I DO RECOMMEND TIPPING AT THE END OF EACH SEGMENT. REMEMBER NOT ALL OF THE CREW WILL BE ON FOR THE ENTIRE TIME AND YOU WILL SEE SOME COME AND GO.

 

Keith

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Gratuities are also included in my upcoming world cruise but I will leave more for excellent service. If I ask for something extra to be done outside their normal duties, I will tip right then.

 

On a recent cruise, we asked for two lounge chairs for our balcony. Within 10 minutes our cabin attendant had them and he received a nice tip then.

 

As others have stated, gifts are not a good idea as they have little storage. I figure, cash is king, they can do with it as they please.

 

Have a great trip.

 

Don

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  • 4 months later...

Just give them money if you feel the need to.

 

Who wants stuff that you may like but won't be appreciated - like the gift Great Aunt Maude gives you for Xmas ?

 

£££££££ $$$$$$$$$$$

 

The Universal Language !

 

Koo

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

We are from Fort Lauderdale and it is easy to stop by local stores and pick up tee-shirts and other trinkets that have Florida on them.

 

Any tee-shirt (always get large) with football (Dolphins), baseball (Marlins) or just 'Florida' on it has been a terrific 'special' gift and appreciated.

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  • 1 month later...

While Princess tack on an automated tip to your bill, for your convenience, the first thing we do is go to the Purser's Desk and remove it. Our preference is to tip personally. I note we always do traditional seating for dinner and also try for the same waiter/waitress in the dining room at lunch and breakfast. In the lounges we normally get to know a couple of the good bar staff and always use them for ordering drinks. So basically most of the time we are working with the same crew members.

 

We also go to great lengths to chat with these crew members and learn when they are paying off the ship. We will ensure we tip them a couple of days before they leave. Note- some crew leave from almost every port of call.

 

How much we tip depends on level of service, but over all we tip a fair bit more than if we accepted the automatic option. The crew also appreciate the personal tips, as they receive your entire tip immediately and don't have to wait for their portion of the tip pot from the company.

 

The only gift/tip we give is hard cash as having worked on ships for many years that is all most of the crew want.

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  • 2 weeks later...
While Princess tack on an automated tip to your bill, for your convenience, the first thing we do is go to the Purser's Desk and remove it. Our preference is to tip personally. I note we always do traditional seating for dinner and also try for the same waiter/waitress in the dining room at lunch and breakfast. In the lounges we normally get to know a couple of the good bar staff and always use them for ordering drinks. So basically most of the time we are working with the same crew members.

 

We also go to great lengths to chat with these crew members and learn when they are paying off the ship. We will ensure we tip them a couple of days before they leave. Note- some crew leave from almost every port of call.

 

How much we tip depends on level of service, but over all we tip a fair bit more than if we accepted the automatic option. The crew also appreciate the personal tips, as they receive your entire tip immediately and don't have to wait for their portion of the tip pot from the company.

 

The only gift/tip we give is hard cash as having worked on ships for many years that is all most of the crew want.

 

On Princess each person you tipped HAD to put the money in the pool. If he was caught not doing so he would be terminated. You did no one any good by taking off the auto tip. It might have made you feel warm and fuzzy but it did nothing for the crew. They turned that money into the pool (the don't want to be fired for not doing so) and any extra money that should have gone to them probably did not. For example: if the tip per day was $11.50 and you tipped the guy $11.00 - all the money went into to the pool. If you tipped him $12.00 all that money went into the pool. At the end of the cruise IF you tipped more then the daily amount requested each day the money eventually came back to the crew member.

 

The only one that won, was no one. You felt great - they wondered if you were going to tip them properly. Leave the auto tip on, tip extra and everyone is happy. Don't try to be clever. The system works great the way it is.

Edited by notentirelynormal
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  • 1 year later...

Have started to provide the additional tips (the hotel service charge is prepaid) at different times during the long cruises so the 'special' crew have something extra when they go ashore. When we do an overnight in port, the crew almost always gets off even if 2 am, so give the extra tips the evening before we dock in for an overnight, and finish the tips on the last night before disembarkation. Sometimes they will pull me aside and discretely (and smilingly) tell me what they used the money for while ashore - it is usually a meal. Holland allows additional tips to be kept by the recipient, which I like.

 

Also, I believe the 'best gift is cash' for the crew so they can do what they want or take care of what they need.

Edited by take us away
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  • 1 year later...

Hello. On our world cruise, tips weren't included and we just happily paid the suggested daily amount. For those crew members who became very special to us (our waiters, reception etc) we either asked their manager if we could treat them to a meal in the speciality restaurant on board or to a meal in one of the ports ashore. permission was granted and we all had a great time. happy cruising. :)

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Bazboy, What a great idea about specialty restaurant meals. I have been told by longtime crew they throw away tacky tourist souvenirs. Lets face i,t they need money. Many support families who live in abject poverty.

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Bazboy, What a great idea about specialty restaurant meals. I have been told by longtime crew they throw away tacky tourist souvenirs. Lets face i,t they need money. Many support families who live in abject poverty.

 

Thanks zoncom. :)

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I know different companies have different policies about tips. I know different countries have different practices towards tips. My questions are about the situation when you are with the ship's crew for a very long time on a WC. These crew over time become people with whom one has a longer relationship.

 

Many cruise lines or travel agents are now "including all tips" in the price you pay. Still how does one deal with the people you come to care about with their exceptional service?

 

Is it possible to throw a party for the crew?

 

Is it nice to bring a gift for our special crew? What would be an appropriate sort of gift?

 

Should we tip early in the cruise to sort of grease the skids or will that seem excessive?

 

The whole issue of tipping is very personal. We just want to be gracious. We don't want to seem pompous or showy. Veterans and new to WC folks please share your experience and point of view with this issue.

 

There is no right or wrong answer here. I just am interested in being a gracious guest and get your point of view.

 

thank you,

Ilene

 

My comment would be to leave the auto tips in place, period. Nothing more is needed or required. At the end of the cruise (or segment) you could lay couple of jacksons on a favorite. But please, no tee shirts, magnets, crocheted hats, oranges, candy, deodorant, shampoo. These are just a few of the things posters have said they give the staff.

 

Better than these trinkets and almost better than an extra $20 would be a positive comment card to the Hotel Manager.

Edited by PoppyandNana
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  • 5 months later...
My comment would be to leave the auto tips in place, period. Nothing more is needed or required. At the end of the cruise (or segment) you could lay couple of jacksons on a favorite. But please, no tee shirts, magnets, crocheted hats, oranges, candy, deodorant, shampoo. These are just a few of the things posters have said they give the staff.

 

Better than these trinkets and almost better than an extra $20 would be a positive comment card to the Hotel Manager.

 

OMG. Years ago there was a lady that came on here and told us what she did was give everyone those sample lipstick and mini makeup things. She said she gave them to the flight attendants and female crew members. She refused to believe that she was wrong and stated she would continue to do so as all the air crew and ship crew just loved them in lieu of money.

 

I was kind of hoping this thread would be about WORLD cruising and tipping not the usual "I take the tip off and tip myself" thread. Just hoping to learn something pertinent to doing a 4 month cruise instead of a week cruise.

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We are from Fort Lauderdale and it is easy to stop by local stores and pick up tee-shirts and other trinkets that have Florida on them.

 

Any tee-shirt (always get large) with football (Dolphins), baseball (Marlins) or just 'Florida' on it has been a terrific 'special' gift and appreciated.

 

I am quite sure your room steward from the Philippines, with a wife and three kids, must have been brought to tears by the incredible generosity and thoughtfulness your tee shirts represented. I'm sure he sends them right home so his wife can get a buck or two at the flea markets for milk for the children.

 

I am very proud of you for thinking of your staff member friends in such a benevolent way. By the way, another FL resident is so proud of her state's oranges she brings a ton on board and hands them out like favors to staff members who have gone above and beyond in their level of service. Maybe you could do the same. Wow, just think of it: a tee shirt with the words "FL" on it AND a genuine FL orange. He would be the envy of the 1st deck.

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  • 2 months later...

I was kind of hoping this thread would be about WORLD cruising and tipping not the usual "I take the tip off and tip myself" thread. Just hoping to learn something pertinent to doing a 4 month cruise instead of a week cruise.

 

Ditto. Most of the responses appear to be directed to a non-WC or Grand Voyage. If the usual tip to a dining steward on a 7 - 14 day cruise is, for instance, $20.00, I can't see tipping the same amount for 16-week cruise. So, please, all of you who have been on lengthy cruises, please provide some insight or at least clarify that your stated tipping practice was on such a cruise. Thanks.

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Ditto. Most of the responses appear to be directed to a non-WC or Grand Voyage. If the usual tip to a dining steward on a 7 - 14 day cruise is, for instance, $20.00, I can't see tipping the same amount for 16-week cruise. So, please, all of you who have been on lengthy cruises, please provide some insight or at least clarify that your stated tipping practice was on such a cruise. Thanks.

 

How much, if any, additional gratuity is offered to staff is clearly one's own decision.

 

For me, I did offer additional gratuities to my MDR Stewards, Wine Steward, Cabin Steward (only had one in 2008), and the most attentive Bar staff. I offered gratuities at the end of each published segment of the cruise.

 

Often, I was the last person on Lower Promenade Deck in the late afternoon when the Deck Steward removed the padded cushions for night-time storage. I became friendly with him and he always allowed me to remain on my padded deck chair until I was ready to leave. Then, came and retrieved the pad. On the final afternoon of the cruise, I got up to leave as he came around for the first time. I thanked him for his kindness and consideration during my cruise and gave him a gratuity. I have never witnessed any service personnel as he so appreciative! If one uses the service of such a crew member, may I suggest that one does not forget recognizing what that crew member has done for you.

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When my DH and I did the 2016 HAL 30 day South Pacific cruise, we of course paid the standard tips that accrued each day on our ship account. There's no way we can know all the people who made our voyage so very enjoyable, but the young lady who polishes the brass handrails and the young fellow who chops veggies in the galley deserve a cut from the tip pool. Then on the last night, we gave our two cabin stewards, two servers in the main dining room, and maitre 'd $100 each. The service had been excellent and we were glad to recognize it. We also made sure to mention their names in the comments of the cruise questionaire we filled out after we returned home.

 

So now we're booked on the 94 day 2018 Princess World cruise--3 months instead of 1. Does that mean we should budget $300 extra for crew members who are directly involved with us? I too would love to know how others have handled extra tipping for very long voyages.

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I gave about $1 day extra to my cabin stewardess and the main server (both were on for the whole cruise). Unless the Maitre 'd has actually done something above and beyond, he does not get anything extra. I don't drink wine at dinner so nothing for the wine steward either.

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We did the standard tip plus paid extra to our room stewards, Ocean Bar waiters (happy hour), the Pinnacle wine steward, two Lido waiters and the omelet lady. Based on what I have read and been told by others we may have been overly generous but I think some forget they have been on the ship for four months not four weeks. Take the room stewards for example, if you would pay them $25 for a week long Caribbean cruise, why would you not pay them $400 for a sixteen week world cruise?

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