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germanyboy

Viking river cruise tipping cost

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I am confused.  Looking at my upcoming April Viking Lofn  river cruise, and my account offers prepaid tipping for $126 dollars per person. Viking site says 12 euros a day for ship staff, 2 E per day for Program Director, total 14 E, which comes to approx $16.00   16 X 7 nights is $112.00 I called Viking and they said they are doing that as 8 days of cruising, 16 X 8 equals $128, so a $2 savings.  But why do they consider 1 meal, and maybe 4hours onboard the last day a full day.  We already are paying a full day tip for embarkation day, which starts at noon. So for 21 hours, first day on and last day off,  they charge 2 days of tips? 

 

What do others think and what have you done about it.  Ocean cruises , you end up tipping for number of days, which equals number of nights.

 

And I am not a tip stiffer, I will tip onboard, but just wondered about this. And I do always tip my steward and main waiter additional cash.

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I tip based on nights on board.  Some trips I have seen [not Viking] calculate total days based on when you leave US – would you tip for the time you are in the air?

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I agree with Jazzbeau--tip based on nights on board. The only exception for me would for the Cruise Director if he/she was involved in pre- or post-cruise activities. Then I would tip the CD for those days as well.

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I guess it depends on why you are doing pre-paid gratuities....  is it for the ease of the tipping process?  Or, is it to save a few bucks?  

 

The amount for the staff is shared among all staff - except for the cruise director.  Staff you are not aware of will be involved in many ways - serving wine, cleaning the interiors, transporting luggage etc.  The "extra" day of gratuities (about $16 USD) does recognize the work done behind the scenes.  If you tip your cabin steward and "main" waiter more, why not (just a suggestion here....) - put the money instead into the staff tip? The main waiter is only for dinner - and yet you will be eating 2 other meals/day  with other wait staff.  And, if you don't eat in the same zone in the dining room each night, you may not have a "main" waiter. 

 

You can always wait and pay on board - but then either need to have cash, or do a credit card charge.  Do you pay a conversion fee on your card?  By pre-paying, you know what you pay, as it is in your home currency.

 

We will almost always pre-pay if it is an option (it wasn't, when we started river cruising...).  And, only once had a cruise director that we didn't feel "earned his keep" --> but that was on Scenic, so gratuities included in the price.   It is nice to know all that is taken care of before we board.

 

Fran

 

Edited by franski

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Franski, I have more ocean cruises under my belt then river cruises, so I hope that the ocean cruise lines don’t start picking up on the extra day’s Tipping.But I do see your point on the behind the scenes people getting the ship ready for us.

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germanyboy, I have long since given up trying to work out how any cruise company - I have only travelled small ship ocean and river cruising - counts first and last day as a 'day'.  I know all the arguments that it is nights, not days, but day one can hardly be considered a 'day too' in my opinion when no boarding can occur until 4.00ish, except for the few that sit in the lounge and have a coffee.  For our cruises we now delete the first and last day and work out the cost of the cruise based on the middle days.

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I'm still on board only 7 x 24 hours.  Somebody else stayed the night before I boarded, and somebody else is staying the night I leave.  So the crew gets paid for every day even if every guests only pays for the nights on board.

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1 hour ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I'm still on board only 7 x 24 hours.  Somebody else stayed the night before I boarded, and somebody else is staying the night I leave.  So the crew gets paid for every day even if every guests only pays for the nights on board.

That is assuming that everyone does tip...  There is no "automatic" amount added to your on-board account as on ocean cruises (or at least this happened when we did the big ship cruise...).  It is a suggested amount - and no way of knowing  who paid-  and how much - if you pay cash, and put it in the envelope.  Even if you pay on board by credit card, you have to tell them how much you want to tip.  I have seen many passengers get off a bus and never leave a tip, so I would imagine there are people that do not tip (or tip much less than suggested) for the cruise itself.   

 

I get combining first & last to equal one day, but if you completely write those days off (as suggested by Yggdrasil98 above) then you are not recognizing the work done to get you safely boarded, and then disembarked when the cruise is over.  

 

Gratuities are always a touchy subject...  People will tip what they want to - and will often try to explain and/or justify their decision if it is less than suggested.  No one knows what you have left as a gratuity - so not sure why people feel a need to explain. 

 

We look at what is suggested - and pay it (if the service has met our expectations) - or perhaps even more if the service was stellar.  When I am paying thousands of dollars for a vacation - and my enjoyment has been enhanced by the service - I don't begrudge the crew the equivalent of a day's tips (ie: less than $20).

 

Just my approach...

 

Fran

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2 hours ago, franski said:

That is assuming that everyone does tip...

 

I can't control anybody else, and I don't assume responsibility for their sins [I have enough of my own!]

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19 hours ago, germanyboy said:

Franski, I have more ocean cruises under my belt then river cruises, so I hope that the ocean cruise lines don’t start picking up on the extra day’s Tipping.But I do see your point on the behind the scenes people getting the ship ready for us.

Viking Ocean automatically picks up the extra day's tipping.  Ironic because their onboard booking discount is based on nights aboard, not days.

You can meet with them onboard and have it taken off.

 

Back to river cruising.

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Like some of the others, I’ve been an ocean cruiser up to now. And have never sailed Viking. Ocean or river. Wife and I are on the Viking Helgi this May/June from SPB to Moscow. 

 

From what I’m reading here, there will be no auto-grats added to our on board account? Is this correct?

If we choose not to pre-pay, what is the proper procedure for tipping to the tip pool? Do we go to the purser’s desk and request a form of some sort? Is there a way to do it electronically via an onboard account ap? Or some other method I’m just not thinking about?

 

I’m good with the old fashioned envelope route for the extra spiff but not sure how to deal with the basic stuff as I’m not comfortable with pre-pay anything

 

Thanks! 😃

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Unless you tell them otherwise, Viking will automatically add 15€ per person per day to your on board account. You may adjust this amount up or down. See the folks at the Reception Desk. It has been a while since I've been on the river ships and then sometimes things are handled differently in the different markets, but there is a way for those who wish to pay in cash. In general,  the gratuities are pooled and distributed among the entire hotel staff.

 

Viking FAQ has more info about gratuities and there will be a parageaph about it in the cruise booklet you receive prior to departure (aka "cruise docs")..

 

 

 

 

Edited by Peregrina651

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On 3/8/2019 at 1:01 AM, Peregrina651 said:

Unless you tell them otherwise, Viking will automatically add 15€ per person per day to your on board account. 

 

Well, they've never done that on any of the river cruises we've done (see sig for list)

 

You get two envelopes,one for Programme Director and one for rest of staff. You can stuff them with cash and stick them in the slot by reception or leave them empty, its up to you. Or you can see reception with your credit card and pay the suggested amount (which is what we've done) or any amount you like.

 

This next trip is 'gratuities included' so we're taken care of this year.

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I love the option of prepaying gratuities.  One less thing to worry about.  We have always done it on our ocean cruises.  Jusgt tip extra to those who we feel go out of their way 🙂

 

baf

 

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On ‎3‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 4:22 PM, Ep010835 said:

Like some of the others, I’ve been an ocean cruiser up to now. And have never sailed Viking. Ocean or river. Wife and I are on the Viking Helgi this May/June from SPB to Moscow. 

 

From what I’m reading here, there will be no auto-grats added to our on board account? Is this correct?

If we choose not to pre-pay, what is the proper procedure for tipping to the tip pool? Do we go to the purser’s desk and request a form of some sort? Is there a way to do it electronically via an onboard account ap? Or some other method I’m just not thinking about?

 

I’m good with the old fashioned envelope route for the extra spiff but not sure how to deal with the basic stuff as I’m not comfortable with pre-pay anything

 

Thanks! 😃

I was told by Viking that they will leave two envelopes in your room, one for the regular tip andtheother envelope is in case you had a special person you want to tip on their own.. everything is shared except the personal envelope with the personal name on it.  I've always been hesitant to prepay a tip anywhere. It seems they don't feel the need to please! This is what I've lived in daily life, not specific to cruising..

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I left the Viking Skirnir yesterday.  I was given an option to prepay gratuities (...which I planned to do until I forgot!).  Viking automatically added the daily gratuity to my account and I had the option of increasing or decreasing the amount at check out.  There were no envelopes provided in my room.  

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On 3/29/2019 at 6:49 PM, knoxclone said:

Viking automatically added the daily gratuity to my account and I had the option of increasing or decreasing the amount at check out.  There were no envelopes provided in my room.  

 

Thanks for the info. That's a change then in their policy from all the previous years, including our cruise last April.

 

But Viking seem to be moving to a 'gratuities included' model. That's what our June 2019 trip has and the other trips we're looking at in 2019 and 2020.

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5 hours ago, pontac said:

But Viking seem to be moving to a 'gratuities included' model.

That's a UK and probably also AUS thing at the moment. Something nice to discover when I recently checked up on my July cruise which I booked in January last year when tips definitely weren't included. 

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