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I’m from the US but will be leaving on a Mediterranean cruise leaving out of Southampton, England next month (Independence, RCCL). I have a few questions

 

1) What currency should I be tipping on board when I wish to tip extra in cash? (USD, euros, pounds?)

 

2) What currency is accepted in the casino? I know typically you’ve had to use cash so how does this work in this situation?

 

3) What are some of the earliest times people have been able to board on embarkation day?

 

4) I’ll be staying at the Holiday Inn in Southampton, can you walk from the holiday inn to the ship?

 

5) Is it customary to tip the porters you drop off your bags with when boarding the ship from a UK sailing? If so, how many pounds?

 

6) What currency will prices on board be listed as?

 

7) it’s my understanding that sailings from the UK include the gratuity in the listed price of drinks (as in it’s built in), how would the drink package work in this case? Typically on a freedom class ship has a max of $12 covered by the package, how would this work with them listing the prices with the included gratuity?

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I can answer just a few of your questions. I don't remember needing any cash on board to tip anyone in cash. And we don't do the casino. We did stay at the Holiday Inn. My husband, our 13 year old son and myself were able to easily walk over to the ship from the hotel. We walked over I would guess around 1100 a.m. and we were able to check right in. It wasn't busy at all. I'm guessing we tipped the porters, we usually do. I know we had gotten some pounds, euros, and Norwegian Krone before we left the US, just so we had some small amounts to pay for little things on our stops. I'm guessing we tipped a few pounds to the porter, but I can't say exactly.

 

I can't remember what things were listed as, but for some reason I feel it was listed in dollars. But not sure on that! And we don't do drink packages, just the soda one, so I can't answer that either! LOL!

 

Here's my trip report though, which may help in other ways...

 

 

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2 hours ago, Docbizarro said:

4) I’ll be staying at the Holiday Inn in Southampton, can you walk from the holiday inn to the ship?

 

You most certainly can, as Cindy says above.  We did just that last fall; here are my comments on the Holiday Inn, along with photos and tips for walking over:

 

 

As for some of your other questions: you may be able to board as early as the 10:30-11:00am range.  We tip porters in local currency.  We probably gave the porter who took our two bags £5.  

 

Enjoy your cruise!

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The Holiday Inn is next to the dock gates, which seem to open to traffic around 10.30am for in coming. We wheeled our luggage along the walkway at around 10.30, and asked the stevedores who were by their mini bus if we could leave it and they pointed to the right area- they weren't looking for a tip.If you want to tip, then perhaps a pound if they go out of their way to help... tipping isn't very common in the UK unless someone's gone the extra mile.

Because Indy was boarding people according to deck, our time was given as 12.15pm, so we walked back to the HI for coffee, and left at the right time.

Check if they're still boarding by deck- some lines in S'ton are doing that now.

RCI's ships deal in $$ only, but as you're at the beginning of Indy's season here, the crew are happy with £ or even €, but everything else is in $$  

Yes, tips are included in the drinks; you'll also find a kettle and tea tray in your cabin, so if you've any special brew you prefer....we sometimes take favourite tea bags.

If you're an early riser, you can watch Indy, and any other cruise ships, arriving from the bedroom windows at HI. I've even gone outside at 5am, into the park across the road to watch them approaching. 

Enjoy everything about the experience!🙂

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21 hours ago, Docbizarro said:

5) Is it customary to tip the porters you drop off your bags with when boarding the ship from a UK sailing?

 

Whenever I've sailed from Southampton and had a bag big enough to drop off with the porters, they've vanished with the bag before I've even had time to think about getting any money out to tip them.

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4 hours ago, Globaliser said:

 

Whenever I've sailed from Southampton and had a bag big enough to drop off with the porters, they've vanished with the bag before I've even had time to think about getting any money out to tip them.

Totally agree , no tipping required or expected here. Don't even consider it !!

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On 5/16/2019 at 12:37 AM, Docbizarro said:

I’m from the US but will be leaving on a Mediterranean cruise leaving out of Southampton, England next month (Independence, RCCL). I have a few questions

 

1) What currency should I be tipping on board when I wish to tip extra in cash? (USD, euros, pounds?)

 

2) What currency is accepted in the casino? I know typically you’ve had to use cash so how does this work in this situation?

 

3) What are some of the earliest times people have been able to board on embarkation day?

 

4) I’ll be staying at the Holiday Inn in Southampton, can you walk from the holiday inn to the ship?

 

5) Is it customary to tip the porters you drop off your bags with when boarding the ship from a UK sailing? If so, how many pounds?

 

6) What currency will prices on board be listed as?

 

7) it’s my understanding that sailings from the UK include the gratuity in the listed price of drinks (as in it’s built in), how would the drink package work in this case? Typically on a freedom class ship has a max of $12 covered by the package, how would this work with them listing the prices with the included gratuity?

I think the max price is raised to $16 to account for the included gratuity.

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On 5/16/2019 at 8:28 PM, GrJ Berkshire said:

Totally agree , no tipping required or expected here. Don't even consider it !!

That was our experience also.  Totally polite and accommodating.  No hassle to leave your bag as long as your tag is on it.

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