Jump to content
davidoneman

first time princess cruise

Recommended Posts

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to see videos of similar staterooms, check out you tube. For example

is cabin C236 just down the hall from your cabin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

 

Counting down the days!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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 :)

 

Counting down the days!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

 

Bar staff are tipped with a 15% gratuity added to every purchase. If you want to tip more, just hand them cash when you are served.

 

 

The waitstaff (buffet, dining rooms, specialty restaurants, room service, food counters on the pool deck, etc.) are included in the automatic daily gratuity. You can always tip extra if you wish. Only the extra $$$ given to the dining room staff need to be put in an envelope with your cabin number on it. Just hand the envelope to the staff you want to give the extra to.

 

By the way, if you use spa services, there is a 15% gratuity automatically added.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the additional info. I did not know that there was a 15% gratuity included when we order bar drinks. That's good to know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about tipping excursion guides. When I go on tours in various cities I usually give around $10 and if they are really good I’ll hand over a $20. My first cruise is to Alaska and I found these excursions to be a bit pricey. In one port on a single excursion we’ll be on two boats and then eat at a lodge.... all of which I assume to be at least three different people. Getting a bit pricy tip wise. Would like to hear views / experiences of others on this.

 

BTW, thanks to the OP for kicking off this string all all that have added in their advice.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The automatic spa gratuity on ships that use Steiner to run their spa services is 18% (not 15). There is an automatic 15% on bar items, alcoholic or not.

 

As to tipping tour guides, that's totally at "your discretion." It isn't really expected. As to whether you'll have different guides or one guide who will stay with you, that depends on the excursion. But on boats, you'll have multiple personnel on the boat, whether serving as a tour guide or otherwise. You've also paid a lot of money for these excursions and these personnel are being properly paid. On a boat, are you going to tip the captain, the assistant, and the tour guide? And yes, they will put out a tip jar!

 

I guess I'm cheap, but unless someone is way beyond expectations, I don't tip the guides.

 

I understand that in the US, restaurant servers are permitted to be paid way below minimum wage and depend on tips for their livelihood. Unfortunately, the idea of tipping has spread to all sorts of positions. In Europe and Asia, tour guides are college educated, must pass exams on the areas where they are leading excursions, and are paid accordingly. I don't know about US guides. But the dude who drives the boat, bus, or whatever is not an underpaid worker.

Edited by moki'smommy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You've also paid a lot of money for these excursions and these personnel are being properly paid. On a boat' date=' are you going to tip the captain, the assistant, and the tour guide? And yes, they will put out a tip jar!

 

[/quote']

 

In some tender ports local boats do the tendering. Sometimes they even have a tip jar for the tendering and also make an announcement encouraging you to tip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×