Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Stranger101

RCI gratituities/drink packages/new cruiser

Recommended Posts

I've never set sail with RCI before, I've only sailed once before with another cruiseline. I noticed I can prepay gratuities. Gratuities are not usually customary in Australia, so I'm wondering if people pay this? I normally leave money in my storeroom on my final day as a thank you. I'm not sure if I should do this or how much? My room is never left filthy, just the bed needs making and drink staff I never tip, its something I never think about. 

 

Also, do they have drink package sales? I booked for February 2020 to New Zealand. I'm not a huge drinker but I might have one big night and have a few cocktails throughout the day and soft drinks. I'd rather pay a bit more in advance than be left with a big bill at the end. If they have sales when should I look out for them? 

 

I can't find the cost of internet packages, the page keeps crashing or doesn't show the price. I like to be super organised so it's in the back of my mind what I'm doing. 

 

I have done a few searches and can't find anything for room 6192 on Ovation of the Seas. Does anyone know if it's a quiet room as there is a bar possibly underneath etc. I'm going solo so I opted for an obstructed view room as it's very expensive going solo. 

 

Thanks in advance  😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn’t matter what is “customary” in your country. Gratuities are paid on a cruise because they are customary for a cruise and are part of the salary paid to the crew. They depend on it. Sure many feel the amount of the gratuity should be added to the cruise fare, but they are not. Just pay upfront and consider it part of the cost of your cruise. When you purchase a drink, an 18% gratuity is automatically added - same with buying a drink package. Package prices go up and down but you can always cancel and rebook if the price you pay goes down. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are sailing from Australia, they include the tips in your fare...they KNOW you're not accustomed to paying tips.  If you're sailing from the USA, then they ADD the tips to your onboard account.  AT any rate, your tips will be covered.  No need to leave cash in the cabin!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Stranger101 said:

 .... Also, do they have drink package sales? ...

😊

 

The cost of the drink and internet packages vary.  Look at the Cruise Planner on Royal's website.  It could be that it is too far in advance for you to see your prices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, that came across harsh. As I said I always tip at the end of the cruise, I have read many forums where people don't. I don't necessarily agree with you that we are obligated to, but that's my option which I'm entitled to. My intention was that I will tip, but do I have to pay the gratituity or can I leave the money in my storeroom for the person who is attending to my room? I'm not sure what to do, or how much is expected or what most people do. My understanding is the crew get paid the hourly rate set by the country they are from, so from Australia the hourly rate is much higher than the US. I'm not saying you don't tip at all, but people in Australia are very relaxed about tipping. It's not a thing like it is in the US. I'm not saying we don't tip but it's different here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, if you are sailing in the Australian, New Zealand region and you purchased the cruise in Australia, yes the gratuities are included in the price.   I have two RCCL cruises purchased in Australia and they both show gratuities included.   Princess only charges Australians gratuities at the purchase point of the cruise if the cruise is in the Australian region.

 

The crew do not get Australian wages, it depends which country the ship is registered with i.e. Celebrity ships are registered in Malta.

 

If you wish to tip your cabin crew extra at the end of the cruise, that is entirely up to you but you are paying them in your fare around $12US a day.

 

Enjoy your cruise and go to any functions that they may have for solo cruises to meet others on their own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tips are spread farther than just your room stewards.  Many people behind the scenes also benefit from the gratuities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frankly, its whatever you see fit.   It is true that the wage for the crew in board is relatively low, and gratuities help raise their wage to something more respectable.   Cultural habits from country to country vary and that is understandable.   I'm from the states and there is an obscure movie quote here that says..."I don't believe in tipping.   I believe in over tipping."    I try to abide by that.   I pay the automatic gratuity they add to my statement but I also bring cash to tip the bartenders a little extra, as well as my dining room waitstaff and room steward at the end of the cruise.     I feel a little better, and whether is real or not, I feel like I get better service.

 

Whatever you choose, choose what makes you most comfortable.  Enjoy your cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm confused.  If the tips are included in the fare because the OP is from Australia, why is the OP given the option of pre-paying the tips that are supposedly already covered? Makes no sense.

 

OP, in the US we are charged around $13.50 per day per person for gratuities.  They are not optional.  We can pre-pay, but if we don't, they show up as charges to the cabin. Some travel agents or cruise lines will offer gratuities included as a perk, but for the most part, we just consider them an added expense on the cost of the cruise.

Edited by EeyoreRN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly! I assumed things I probably shouldn't have. Why are we given the option of choosing to pay gratuities? Sorry, I didn't intend this to become a debate on gratituities, I was just curious. 

 

I completely agree with zdad59 each to their own, and basically give where you can and be generous to others. Its all about respecting one another. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Stranger101 said:

 

I have done a few searches and can't find anything for room 6192 on Ovation of the Seas. Does anyone know if it's a quiet room as there is a bar possibly underneath etc. I'm going solo so I opted for an obstructed view room as it's very expensive going solo. 

 

Thanks in advance  😊

 

That's a good location.  There should be no noise issues whatsoever.  

 

And as others said, gratuities are included in your cruise fare that you pay up front.   No need to worry about grats at all.

 

🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EeyoreRN said:

I'm confused.  If the tips are included in the fare because the OP is from Australia, why is the OP given the option of pre-paying the tips that are supposedly already covered? Makes no sense.

 

OP, in the US we are charged around $13.50 per day per person for gratuities.  They are not optional.  We can pre-pay, but if we don't, they show up as charges to the cabin. Some travel agents or cruise lines will offer gratuities included as a perk, but for the most part, we just consider them an added expense on the cost of the cruise.

Because the web sites suck (most cruise lines web sites suck in fact) and they don’t tailor it to the market it’s set for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Stranger101 said:

Wow, that came across harsh. As I said I always tip at the end of the cruise, I have read many forums where people don't. I don't necessarily agree with you that we are obligated to, but that's my option which I'm entitled to. My intention was that I will tip, but do I have to pay the gratituity or can I leave the money in my storeroom for the person who is attending to my room? I'm not sure what to do, or how much is expected or what most people do. My understanding is the crew get paid the hourly rate set by the country they are from, so from Australia the hourly rate is much higher than the US. I'm not saying you don't tip at all, but people in Australia are very relaxed about tipping. It's not a thing like it is in the US. I'm not saying we don't tip but it's different here. 

 

Tipping is a very sensitive subject here on CC. 

 

I think some people start foaming at the mouth as soon as they see the word "gratuity:"

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

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance w/ Steve Dasseos of the TripInsuranceStore.com June 2020
      • New Cruisers
      • 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

Announcements

×
×
  • Create New...