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clw1624

Tip Your Bartenders

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We've prepaid our gratuities to make life easier but are bartenders getting a cut or do we have to tip separately? I hate having to carry cash for every single drink. 

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Do what you want but you don't have to give extra. I tip $1 cash per drink every time. When on my 15 day Panama canal trip on the Bliss in April I never saw anyone else tip once. I will say this ..... I got the best poolside service I ever had. The pool servers knew I tipped and never ever had to get out of my chair by the pool to go to the bar or find a server, they found me and for some $ singles it was worth it for the extra attention and they appreciated it as well. 

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32 minutes ago, clw1624 said:

We've prepaid our gratuities to make life easier but are bartenders getting a cut or do we have to tip separately? I hate having to carry cash for every single drink. 

All bartenders do get a cut of the pool but if there are one or two that outstanding and take really good care of you I would tip mine more.  I had one who would put up with our CC group from about 8pm till he was mopping the floor at 1am trying to get us out of there since his day started at 8am at least this is what he told me.   I would ask where and I would be there but he did not show till 11am when his bartending job by the pool started,  A couple of our group may be there with me where we would start our day if it was a sea day.  I will not tell you what ship or when since I am afraid NCL will track him down but I tried several drinks for n/c since I had the package I still think that he should have charged me  a little but he did not and I try to make it up in tips directly to him.    I think that he appreciated the extra.   Afterwards I said another NCL cruise different ship and  he was not on it as he was telling me that he wanted to be on be on a different ship but I did meet up with his supervisor who first did not recognize me even though it was only 8 months earlier then she remembered me and we talked and I had a few in her  bar.  Neither one mentioned "my bartender" so I do not know where he is.   Maybe another ship, line or went back home.

Sorry to be so long  winded but to answer your question  yes if I find a good bartender who takes good care of  you tip him a buck or two directly to him as you never know how the next drink will be,

 

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If you have the drink package, you have already paid your tips. If you don't, they add an automatic tip on to every drink that you have. No need to tip separately.

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3 hours ago, clw1624 said:

We've prepaid our gratuities to make life easier but are bartenders getting a cut or do we have to tip separately? I hate having to carry cash for every single drink. 

yes, they get a cut or that is what we have been told: no one knows for sure how the DSC pool really works. Some here think the do. We do, often tip the bar tenders and servers  buck or so, but you do not have to feel obligated to and I have watched. My guess is less do tip than don't tip. In fact I am guessing 75% do not tip above the dSC. 

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I always get a chuckle out of pax asking how THEY should spend their money. Do what YOU feel is right.

 

I have found that if you are one to tip the bartenders they do tend to notice. And service, although good either way, it tends to go up a notch. If busy they will be more attentive to keeping your drink full. 

 

I always pack $100.00 in 1's and 5's and carry 10-15 dollars a day with me. Guest services can break down bigger bills if necessary.

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Tough question.  How much do the bartenders actually get from that already large mandatory drink gratuity?  Seems like someone would actually know.   But for me, I tip the drink server $1 per drink delivered.  If sitting at the bar, will leave $3 or $4 when I get up to leave.  Just do what you wish.  No right or wrong.  

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4 hours ago, tallnthensome said:

Do what you want but you don't have to give extra. I tip $1 cash per drink every time. When on my 15 day Panama canal trip on the Bliss in April I never saw anyone else tip once. I will say this ..... I got the best poolside service I ever had. The pool servers knew I tipped and never ever had to get out of my chair by the pool to go to the bar or find a server, they found me and for some $ singles it was worth it for the extra attention and they appreciated it as well. 

Having to tip on an already tipped item is ludicrous. If you want to do it fine. But if it takes a 20% tip plus another $1 per drink to get decent service, that is more than a little annoying. If you get a $10 drink, after adding all the tipping, you are looking at $13 dollars. Unless you tip 30% at your home drinking establishment, you are overpaying for what you are getting.

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When drinking at home I usually tip $1 per drink. My daughter said that, when she was bartending, $1 per drink was customary and more than enough. On board you overpay for drinks and after adding 20% gratuity, you are, in reality, already tipping beyond a customary tip when home.

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1 hour ago, newmexicoNita said:

yes, they get a cut or that is what we have been told: no one knows for sure how the DSC pool really works. Some here think the do. We do, often tip the bar tenders and servers  buck or so, but you do not have to feel obligated to and I have watched. My guess is less do tip than don't tip. In fact I am guessing 75% do not tip above the dSC. 

Beverage servers do not get a cut of the DSC. They do supposedly get a cut of the 20% gratuity added to the drink package. 

Here is the FAQ answer on the subject:

What about gratuities?
Unlike most other ships in the cruise industry, there is no required or recommended tipping on our ships for service that is generally rendered to all Guests. While you should not feel obligated to offer a gratuity, all of our staff are encouraged to “go the extra mile,” so they are permitted to accept cash gratuities for exceptional or outstanding service if you care to offer them. Also, certain staff positions (e.g., concierge, butler, youth program staff and beverage service) provide service on an individual basis to only some guests and do not benefit from the overall service charge. We encourage those Guests to acknowledge good service from these staff members with appropriate gratuities. Additionally, there is an 20% gratuity and spa service charge added for all spa and salon services, as well as an 20% gratuity and beverage service charge added for all beverage purchases and an 20% gratuity and specialty service charge added to all specialty restaurant dining and entertainment based dining.

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4 minutes ago, SouthLyonCruiser said:

Having to tip on an already tipped item is ludicrous. If you want to do it fine. But if it takes a 20% tip plus another $1 per drink to get decent service, that is more than a little annoying. If you get a $10 drink, after adding all the tipping, you are looking at $13 dollars. Unless you tip 30% at your home drinking establishment, you are overpaying for what you are getting.

I can think of a million things on an NCL cruise that we all probably “overpay” for but to me bringing $100 in singles to get non stop service and never having to search for poolside service or going to the bar is worth it. Plus I enjoy tipping and it makes them happy. 

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Just now, tallnthensome said:

I can think of a million things on an NCL cruise that we all probably “overpay” for but to me bringing $100 in singles to get non stop service and never having to search for poolside service or going to the bar is worth it. Plus I enjoy tipping and it makes them happy. 

I totally agree. I also bring approximately $100 in 1's and 5's.

On sea days and some port days, we spend the majority of our time somewhere on a sun deck and I typically find my go to bar on the very first day. I'll tip the bartender there $10 on my 2nd drink and I'm never forgotten for the entire week. I'll add a buck or 2 every once in a while throughout the days and, as you said, I'll not have to wait if the bar is busy.

If I'm lucky enough to get some poolside service, I'll tip that person as well so the drinks keep coming throughout the day without searching. Sometimes even getting served while lounging in a hot tub. Love my sea days!

I'll also usually find another bar for pre dinner drinks and do the same there and, again, I'm never forgotten.

On the Escape last year my go to for pre dinner was on the Waterfront at the 5'oclock Somewhere bar. Such a beautiful spot to have a drink late in the day before dinner.

I also enjoy the extra tipping, as they do, and it usually leads to some interesting conversation and enhances the overall experience. And who doesn't want an enhanced experience? LMAO!

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I always tip a buck or two to the people poolside. On the bigger ships is the only way to get service! I’m willing to pay for my drinks to keep flowing! 

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You are not obligated or even expected to tip, the tip was included either in the price of the package or the price of the drink.

 

The bartenders do get a cut of the tip that is included in the drink package according to the bartender at the Mojito bar on the Escape.

 

That being said, I always bring 100 $1.00 bills and tip one per drink no matter where I am.   I don't know if it gets me better service, but it does help me keep track of how many drinks we had and helps us justify the cost of adding on the unlimited drink package.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Falckon said:

Beverage servers do not get a cut of the DSC. They do supposedly get a cut of the 20% gratuity added to the drink package. 

Here is the FAQ answer on the subject:

What about gratuities?
Unlike most other ships in the cruise industry, there is no required or recommended tipping on our ships for service that is generally rendered to all Guests. While you should not feel obligated to offer a gratuity, all of our staff are encouraged to “go the extra mile,” so they are permitted to accept cash gratuities for exceptional or outstanding service if you care to offer them. Also, certain staff positions (e.g., concierge, butler, youth program staff and beverage service) provide service on an individual basis to only some guests and do not benefit from the overall service charge. We encourage those Guests to acknowledge good service from these staff members with appropriate gratuities. Additionally, there is an 20% gratuity and spa service charge added for all spa and salon services, as well as an 20% gratuity and beverage service charge added for all beverage purchases and an 20% gratuity and specialty service charge added to all specialty restaurant dining and entertainment based dining.

yes, you are right. Shame on me for miss quoting. Of course the 20% is the tip. I do, still leave an extra buck most of the time, but 20% regardless of how it is split should certainly be enough. 

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1 hour ago, tallnthensome said:

I can think of a million things on an NCL cruise that we all probably “overpay” for but to me bringing $100 in singles to get non stop service and never having to search for poolside service or going to the bar is worth it. Plus I enjoy tipping and it makes them happy. 

My wife and I do the same thing and are remembered by the bartenders and get great service.

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1 hour ago, bkrickles1 said:

I totally agree. I also bring approximately $100 in 1's and 5's.

On sea days and some port days, we spend the majority of our time somewhere on a sun deck and I typically find my go to bar on the very first day. I'll tip the bartender there $10 on my 2nd drink and I'm never forgotten for the entire week. I'll add a buck or 2 every once in a while throughout the days and, as you said, I'll not have to wait if the bar is busy.

If I'm lucky enough to get some poolside service, I'll tip that person as well so the drinks keep coming throughout the day without searching. Sometimes even getting served while lounging in a hot tub. Love my sea days!

I'll also usually find another bar for pre dinner drinks and do the same there and, again, I'm never forgotten.

On the Escape last year my go to for pre dinner was on the Waterfront at the 5'oclock Somewhere bar. Such a beautiful spot to have a drink late in the day before dinner.

I also enjoy the extra tipping, as they do, and it usually leads to some interesting conversation and enhances the overall experience. And who doesn't want an enhanced experience? LMAO!

Right on! My poolside server would get my two daughters virgin mudslides as well, no charge. They had no drink package.  It was a *wink* *wink*. 

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6 hours ago, tallnthensome said:

Do what you want but you don't have to give extra. I tip $1 cash per drink every time. When on my 15 day Panama canal trip on the Bliss in April I never saw anyone else tip once. I will say this ..... I got the best poolside service I ever had. The pool servers knew I tipped and never ever had to get out of my chair by the pool to go to the bar or find a server, they found me and for some $ singles it was worth it for the extra attention and they appreciated it as well. 

This, this, and this again.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, tallnthensome said:

I can think of a million things on an NCL cruise that we all probably “overpay” for but to me bringing $100 in singles to get non stop service and never having to search for poolside service or going to the bar is worth it. Plus I enjoy tipping and it makes them happy. 

Exactly. When the bars are busy, especially the ones by the pools on sea days, it's nice to be able to make eye contact with the bartender, give a knowing nod, and have your drink magically appear. For this reason, I try to have a "go to" drink. Had a great bartender in 15 on the getaway, Larry. I'd give him a nod across a sea of people,then hold up 1 finger for a vodka tonic, 2 for a vodka strawberry daiquiri or 3 for drink of the day.  Total cost for bartenders and pool side servers, $100-ish for amazing service. I was happy, they were happy. IMO best value on the trip.

Edited by JamesIowa

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26 minutes ago, JamesIowa said:

Exactly. When the bars are busy, especially the ones by the pools on sea days, it's nice to be able to make eye contact with the bartender, give a knowing nod, and have your drink magically appear. For this reason, I try to have a "go to" drink. Had a great bartender in 15 on the getaway, Larry. I'd give him a nod across a sea of people,then hold up 1 finger for a vodka tonic, 2 for a vodka strawberry daiquiri or 3 for drink of the day.  Total cost for bartenders and pool side servers, $100-ish for amazing service. I was happy, they were happy. IMO best value on the trip.

 

Bingo.  I prepay everything, I don't care how it's broken out, who gets what percentage or what, or what the "appropriate" tip amount is, to me after I've paid it, it's just the cost of the cruise.  An extra dollar a drink to get amazing service? Not even a question.

 

You'll still get good service regardless, but fully agree that it's the best value on the trip.  End of the day though, you do you, the only person you've got to justify it to is yourself.

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There's no need to tip bartenders onboard. The tip is automatically applied when you buy a drink a la carte or pay for a beverage package. 

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We always tip the bartenders, and if I happen to use the "public restroom" (which I try to avoid but once or twice it usually happens on a cruise) if there is a crew member in there cleaning I tip her, they are the behind the scenes crew that rarely get recognition.

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Just to add to the snowballing conversation.

 

The perspective I take on this whole issue of the "Free at Sea" promotions and the added gratuities thing is this...

I view the total cost of the drink package and the included tips as one price and not 2 separate costs.  When I get the drink package as a "freebie", but pay the gratuity, I just consider gratuity as a discounted total price.  So if the total price of the drink package is $831  for a 7 day cruise and I only pay 139 of the $831 I am saving over $500 dollars on the package.  There is no reason I cannot share that savings with the bartenders and wait staff to ensure I get top of the line service.  

As other posters have stated, I always get much better service by slipping a dollar or two their way. There are plenty of times all I needed to do is catch the bartenders eye, point at the glass and a quick nod of my head and in 2 shakes of the martini shaker I have a fresh drink in front of me.  

A little kindness in the world goes a long, long way and makes the cruise so much more enjoyable.

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3 hours ago, coscab said:

We always tip the bartenders, and if I happen to use the "public restroom" (which I try to avoid but once or twice it usually happens on a cruise) if there is a crew member in there cleaning I tip her, they are the behind the scenes crew that rarely get recognition.

 

Never thought of tipping them.  Can't say I've seen them much.

 

I tip waiters.  Usually it takes a bit to realize that this water drinker, sitting at the cheap blackjack table, does tip. Am awaiting 1st cruise with beverage package this September. 

 

I never see anyone tipping the porters anymore.  Has that gone away?

 

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