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wombat50

pre paying gratuities

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hi, looking at a Princess cruise in Europe. Was told by a TA that I must pre pay gratuities when I pay for the cruise.

have never heard this about princess before. is this correct

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1 hour ago, wombat50 said:

hi, looking at a Princess cruise in Europe. Was told by a TA that I must pre pay gratuities when I pay for the cruise.

have never heard this about princess before. is this correct

I doubt it. I am in the booking stage for a Princess cruise in the Northern hemisphere and there has been no mention of gratuities in the pricing of the package (flight/hotels/cruise).

 

I will mention that stewards on these cruises are on a minimal salary with the majority of their remuneration coming from the tips pool. This is a different remuneration system to the one that applies on the Aussie ships. On our cruise, we will leave the auto gratuity in place.

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Not true but sometimes worth doing depending on what exchange rate Princess is using to convert the USD to AUD compared with the current exchange rate. 

 

Like Aus Traveller, we either prepay or leave the auto gratuity in place when cruising on ships where the gratuities aren't build into the fare.

 

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I'm on a Europe cruise later this year and have elected to prepay grats. One less hold on my credit/debit card.

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22 minutes ago, lyndarra said:

I'm on a Europe cruise later this year and have elected to prepay grats. One less hold on my credit/debit card.

Which cruise line? It sounds like you had the option of prepaying rather than being required to do so.

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I'm booked on the Regal Princess Singapore to Sydney cruise next year, which is a USD onboard price cruise. In the Personalizer, under payments and credits, there is a heading "Optional Gratuity Pre Payment", at a rate of AU $20.27 per night. US rate is $14.50 for an inside cabin so that AU price is a fair conversion (current conversion is $20.93). I will decide closer to that cruise whether to prepay or not, as it depends what the exchange rate does in the meanwhile. If the AUD keeps nosediving I'll definitely pre-pay, plus I'll buy OBC to cover our drinks etc.

 

But, just to double-confirm, it is optional to prepay, not mandatory.

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Note: Princess sets the exchange rate for your booking at the time the booking is made, and it does not change. That can be advantageous when the AUD is nosediving. My booking has a 0.71 exchange rate and today's XE rate is .69 so if my cruise was departing soon I'd be paying grats and buying OBC but as my cruise is not until Nov 2020 I'll wait and see what happens. i don't lose anything by waiting as the Princess rate doesn't change.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

Which cruise line? It sounds like you had the option of prepaying rather than being required to do so.

MSC. My TA advised I had the option to prepay. AUD300 for 20 days sounded like a good deal so I took it.

Edited by lyndarra
added info

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We generally prepay the gratuities to counter a dropping AUD and also avoid bill shock at the end of the cruise. So much easier to budget for up front. 

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1 hour ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

I'm booked on the Regal Princess Singapore to Sydney cruise next year, which is a USD onboard price cruise. In the Personalizer, under payments and credits, there is a heading "Optional Gratuity Pre Payment", at a rate of AU $20.27 per night. US rate is $14.50 for an inside cabin so that AU price is a fair conversion (current conversion is $20.93). I will decide closer to that cruise whether to prepay or not, as it depends what the exchange rate does in the meanwhile. If the AUD keeps nosediving I'll definitely pre-pay, plus I'll buy OBC to cover our drinks etc.

 

But, just to double-confirm, it is optional to prepay, not mandatory.

 

 

If you are worried about the exchange rate for the gratuities and OBC we are only talking about a few dollars so I would not let it worry you too much - all part of the cruising experience as well as credit card fees etc which often causes some people distress when the alternative of carrying lots of cash or taking travellers cheques which may or may not be cashed these days has inherent dangers as opposed to a card.

 

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1 hour ago, lyndarra said:

MSC. My TA advised I had the option to prepay. AUD300 for 20 days sounded like a good deal so I took it.

I don't know what the MSC grats are but that works out just over US$10 per day which seems very good.

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16 minutes ago, Bpos said:

 

 

If you are worried about the exchange rate for the gratuities and OBC we are only talking about a few dollars so I would not let it worry you too much - all part of the cruising experience as well as credit card fees etc which often causes some people distress when the alternative of carrying lots of cash or taking travellers cheques which may or may not be cashed these days has inherent dangers as opposed to a card.

 

At the moment it's only a few dollars but on one cruise we did a few years back we saved heaps by prepaying and buying OBC. We had an excellent Princess exchange rate, about 0.15 better than the actual rate at the time.

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We have certainly taken advantage of currency exchange movements in the past. Hopefully, there isn't too much more change to happen.

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1 hour ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

I don't know what the MSC grats are but that works out just over US$10 per day which seems very good.

MSC gratuity is EUR10 per day which is about AUD16 x 20 = AUD320 at today's rate. (about USD11).

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I think it would be interesting to see the difference in booking price (and promo) for the exact same voyage depending on buying it from US site (where gratuities are add-ons) vs Australia site where gratuities are included in the fare. 

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Yes, it would be interesting although they may have a bit of give and take with daily currency exchanges

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On 5/29/2019 at 11:44 AM, wombat50 said:

hi, looking at a Princess cruise in Europe. Was told by a TA that I must pre pay gratuities when I pay for the cruise.

have never heard this about princess before. is this correct

Hi, I have a Princess cruise booked not beginning or ending in Australia, Onboard folio is USD and in the payment section there is an Optional pre payment of gratuities, this is optional, if not pre paid the gratuities are added daily to your shipboard account.

A couple of years ago, the gratuities had to be pre paid if Anytime Dining was chosen but they stopped this, perhaps the TA is thinkinh of this......

I dont usually pre pay anything, this cruise is two years away, but as time gets closer I will work how our AUD is doing and see if it is beneficial to pre pay them before boarding.

 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, cheznandy said:

Hi, I have a Princess cruise booked not beginning or ending in Australia, Onboard folio is USD and in the payment section there is an Optional pre payment of gratuities, this is optional, if not pre paid the gratuities are added daily to your shipboard account.

A couple of years ago, the gratuities had to be pre paid if Anytime Dining was chosen but they stopped this, perhaps the TA is thinkinh of this......

I dont usually pre pay anything, this cruise is two years away, but as time gets closer I will work how our AUD is doing and see if it is beneficial to pre pay them before boarding.

 

 

 

Do the math and keep an eye on it. If it looks like it is good value, prepay, otherwise leave it for the cruise. Also look at purchased OBC to pay it off, sometimes the exchange rate may be worth doing it that way

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21 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

I don't know what the MSC grats are but that works out just over US$10 per day which seems very good.

Sounds like a bargain tome.

Cheers Carole

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On 5/29/2019 at 11:44 AM, wombat50 said:

hi, looking at a Princess cruise in Europe. Was told by a TA that I must pre pay gratuities when I pay for the cruise.

have never heard this about princess before. is this correct

Another case of a TA knowing little about the cruise industry.  One wonders if pre paid gratuities are commissionable to the agent !!    No way grats on Princess have to be paid up front.  Pay them on board or go to purser and 'amend.'

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Unless it is a condition of using that travel agent you do not have to pre-pay. I do prepay mine just to get them out of the way and consider it as part of the cruise fare. I wait until final payment is due and pay at the same time. As I see it I am personally against gratuities but if I prepay it then it is out of the way and not a problem because I have paid for it regardless of what service I get. I am not like some people who withhold tips based on service. I just prepay the things and get it out of the way much like the service charges added to hotel fares in Asia.

 

I did receive an email from Princess recently about a price increase and advising to avoid the gratuity increase it is advisable to prepay all gratuities for existing bookings after the date of the gratuity increase to lock in the cheaper gratuities and avoid paying the higher rates when they are introduced.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Brisbane41 said:

Unless it is a condition of using that travel agent you do not have to pre-pay. I do prepay mine just to get them out of the way and consider it as part of the cruise fare. I wait until final payment is due and pay at the same time. As I see it I am personally against gratuities but if I prepay it then it is out of the way and not a problem because I have paid for it regardless of what service I get. I am not like some people who withhold tips based on service. I just prepay the things and get it out of the way much like the service charges added to hotel fares in Asia.

 

I did receive an email from Princess recently about a price increase and advising to avoid the gratuity increase it is advisable to prepay all gratuities for existing bookings after the date of the gratuity increase to lock in the cheaper gratuities and avoid paying the higher rates when they are introduced.

Young Tony....Might I say if you are 'personally against gratuities' then why pay them?   After all at the end of the day they are a 'wage subsidy.'

Edited by NSWP

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On 6/4/2019 at 11:27 AM, NSWP said:

Young Tony....Might I say if you are 'personally against gratuities' then why pay them?   After all at the end of the day they are a 'wage subsidy.'

I view them as part of the fare. The last thing I would want is my name on the "blacklist" that crew get to see of those who have not paid. As I see it paying up front when I pay the fare is not a condescending way of saying "do the right thing or you wont get a tip" (I hate that attitude), in fact what I am doing is factoring it into the fare, paying up front and when I board I will not pay anything more or take anything back. I expect the service to be as advertised in the sales brochures or website.

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