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Paulchili

Viking Europe Tipping Question

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We have cruised with Viking in the past but I do not remember the details.

What is the daily tip/pp for the ship staff (CD, etc). This is a river cruise in Europe.

Can this be paid with the OBC?

TIA

Edited by Paulchili

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On my July river cruise, it was 15 euro per person per day.  They now auto-charge it to you final invoice.  As previously stated, this amount can be adjusted.  You can also pre-purchase it at the $18 recommended rate.

No separate rate for the cruise director.  Everyone apparently will share your generosity.

 

In the past, I have been able to use the OBC (from both Viking and a TA) for tipping.  But only if I do it while on board.

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3 hours ago, Paulchili said:

We have cruised with Viking in the past but I do not remember the details.

What is the daily tip/pp for the ship staff (CD, etc). This is a river cruise in Europe.

Can this be paid with the OBC?

TIA

 

It may depend on the itinerary. The information will be supplied in your final cruise docs or if you are thinking of prepaying the gratuities, you can find out on MVJ (under menu/before you go/prepaid gratuities).

 

As for using OBC for paying gratuities, OBC seems to come in flavors and some can be used for gratuities and others can't. Just to be absolutely sure what your OBC will cover, I suggest that you contact Viking directly in writing to clarify.

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20 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

As for using OBC for paying gratuities, OBC seems to come in flavors and some can be used for gratuities and others can't. Just to be absolutely sure what your OBC will cover, I suggest that you contact Viking directly in writing to clarify.

Thank you.

We will have both - refundable and non-refundable OBC.

Which one of these can be used for gratuities?

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Just now, Paulchili said:

Thank you.

We will have both - refundable and non-refundable OBC.

Which one of these can be used for gratuities?

 

I don't know and that is why I suggested that in order to get correct information that you contact Viking and ask. There are sometimes when polling the audience still gets you the wrong answer and the words "But they told me on Cruise Critic" won't get you very far if we give you the wrong information.

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14 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

I don't know and that is why I suggested that in order to get correct information that you contact Viking and ask. There are sometimes when polling the audience still gets you the wrong answer and the words "But they told me on Cruise Critic" won't get you very far if we give you the wrong information.

Thank you for that honest answer and I certainly understand what you are saying.

I will follow your advice and contact Viking about this.

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2 hours ago, MikeyB said:

On my July river cruise, it was 15 euro per person per day.  They now auto-charge it to you final invoice.  As previously stated, this amount can be adjusted.  You can also pre-purchase it at the $18 recommended rate.

No separate rate for the cruise director.  Everyone apparently will share your generosity.

 

In the past, I have been able to use the OBC (from both Viking and a TA) for tipping.  But only if I do it while on board.

Thank you for your answer. It seems to be a very recent and therefore current info.

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12 hours ago, MikeyB said:

On my July river cruise, it was 15 euro per person per day.  They now auto-charge it to you final invoice.  As previously stated, this amount can be adjusted.  You can also pre-purchase it at the $18 recommended rate.

No separate rate for the cruise director.  Everyone apparently will share your generosity.

 

In the past, I have been able to use the OBC (from both Viking and a TA) for tipping.  But only if I do it while on board.

On a Viking Ocean cruise taken this past  November, tips were charged $15 a day (not Euros). Any remaining OBC we had was applied first - but the Viking agent made us aware this would happen before we got the bill. I just checked prepaid tipping on MVJ for my upcoming  ocean and river cruises. Everything is in $ - but the amount for a river cruise is $18 pp each nite versus $15 PP each nite for the ocean cruise.My river cruise is in 2020 and ocean cruises are in 2019, 20 & 21. Noi difference for each year on ocean.

 

I'm not sure how all this figures as 15 Euros is a little over $16 - but not $18.

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40 minutes ago, Squawkman said:

I'm not sure how all this figures as 15 Euros is a little over $16 - but not $18.

Given this info, it makes more sense to just pay for it on the cruise rather than pre-pay - especially if you have a CC that does not charge extra for foreign transactions.

In addition, if one has OBC it appears that the only way to use this for gratuities is to pay for them onboard.

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14 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Given this info, it makes more sense to just pay for it on the cruise rather than pre-pay - especially if you have a CC that does not charge extra for foreign transactions.

In addition, if one has OBC it appears that the only way to use this for gratuities is to pay for them onboard.

I totally agree - and that's exactly what I did on my ocean cruise last November. I had $200 in OBC and my CC was billed $10 for the 7 night cruise

My last river cruise was November, 2018, and one of the perks for booking was paid tips - and I don't remember what the cash equivalent was (or even if I ever knew). 

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Just chiming in with my experience - during our Rhine cruise last April, we could pre-pay in USD or let Viking invoice gratuities in Euros to our account when we checked out. I think the amount was roughly equivalent after converting Euros to USD. Note that Viking counted all 8 days of the trip, even if the first and last day were abbreviated due to embarktation and disembarktation. That didn't bother us too much, but others may feel differently. 

 

If you want to give anyone their own tip, maybe a favorite waiter or bartender, etc., you must do so with cash handed directly to them. There's no way to single someone out if you pre-pay or charge gratuities to your room account. 

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17 minutes ago, 3rdCoastFan said:

Just chiming in with my experience - during our Rhine cruise last April, we could pre-pay in USD or let Viking invoice gratuities in Euros to our account when we checked out. I think the amount was roughly equivalent after converting Euros to USD. Note that Viking counted all 8 days of the trip, even if the first and last day were abbreviated due to embarktation and disembarktation. That didn't bother us too much, but others may feel differently. 

 

If you want to give anyone their own tip, maybe a favorite waiter or bartender, etc., you must do so with cash handed directly to them. There's no way to single someone out if you pre-pay or charge gratuities to your room account. 

Thanks for sharing this. We're taking the Rhine cruise next November - if I prepay, its $18 for 7 nights ($126). We usually give extra to our steward and favorite waiter(s), but I'll decide whether or not to prepay after I see how tips are handled on board during our ocean cruise in November. I do not have OBC for this cruise, so I will pay on board to see if it differs from the prepaid amount ($105).

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On 8/27/2019 at 12:14 AM, Paulchili said:

We have cruised with Viking in the past but I do not remember the details.

What is the daily tip/pp for the ship staff (CD, etc).

 

Isn't this info on the FAQs on Viking's website? Whatever the recommended amount is they add it to your account that appears on the bill left in your room before the end of your trip. You can pay that or ask for it to be adjusted/removed.

 

Tip info used to be on the Viking UK site so I went there  but it has been removed now that all UK booked trips include gratuities.

 

As to whether OBC can be used to pay, this is a question that has come up many time before and as I recall from the replies, usually you cannot but sometimes you can and the policy on Ocean cruises doesn't relate to River cruises.

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Just came off from a 7 night Viking France river cruise this past wkend.  Total gratuities were $105 Euros per person, or $210 Euros for our cabin.

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6 hours ago, NavyCruiser said:

Just came off from a 7 night Viking France river cruise this past wkend.  Total gratuities were $105 Euros per person, or $210 Euros for our cabin.

Thank you. That confirms the 15 Euro/pp/day. Were all 7 days on the ship or did you have any pre/post cruise days on land (not likely on 7 day cruise)?

Did you have any OBC? If so, could you have charged the gratuities to the OBC? (others have indicated that it is possible).

TIA

Edited by Paulchili

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We paid the $210 Euros in cash for the 7 nights Viking river cruise portion only.  Did not use OBC, since we didn't have any.  Waited 30 seconds for them to print out Zero balance receipt.

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On 8/31/2019 at 5:02 PM, NavyCruiser said:

We paid the $210 Euros in cash for the 7 nights Viking river cruise portion only.  Did not use OBC, since we didn't have any.  Waited 30 seconds for them to print out Zero balance receipt.

Thank you.

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Last year on our 2018 Viking Danube Waltz cruise, we were provided two envelopes, one for the Program Director and the other for the rest of the staff, and could anonymously leave the amount of tip we wanted.  If you wanted to stay within the overall tipping guidelines but reward some staff a little more (your room steward, especially outstanding servers in the dining room, etc.), you could leave less in the envelope and give the balance to these people.  This August, on our Cities of Light cruisetour, our cabin was charged 210 euro for the 7 night cruise portion, which was automatically added to our final bill.  We weren't charged anything extra for the pre- and post-cruise hotel extensions.  To me, this no longer feels like a "tip" anymore but has become a mandatory "service charge."  I supposed you could technically dispute the amount and have all or some removed from your final bill; however, our Program Director on the disembarkation talk did not mention that this was an option (not that we would do this).  Why don't they just raised the cost of the cruise by 105 euro per person and do away with tipping? I overheard a rather bold waiter in the dining room on the last night telling a guest that the staff don't make that much extra with these automatic tips, hinting that "extra tips" to individual staff are still appreciated. 

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Seems like a focused ploy by the rather bold waiter.  What about the "unseen" folks like the deck crew?  The dishwashers? The laundry workers? The front desk staff?
Agree that the billing at checkout is a service charge, but how different is it than the old system where envelopes with "recommended" amounts were used?  In both cases, you can alter if you wish.  And as always you can hand extra cash to favorite folks. It's the many behind the scenes workers that I like knowing my "service charge" goes towards.
A great way to reward exceptional service is to phone or speak directly to department heads giving the person's name.  They get recognized at staff meetings, a notation put in their record and it helps them be considered for promotion.

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24 minutes ago, philw1776 said:

Seems like a focused ploy by the rather bold waiter.  What about the "unseen" folks like the deck crew?  The dishwashers? The laundry workers? The front desk staff?

Agree!  Why not then raise the cruise cost by 110 euro per person (they can call it a "service charge" if they like) and pay all the staff more?  It's no longer a "tip" when automatically added to your final onboard bill.

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1 hour ago, Moonlion said:

Agree!  Why not then raise the cruise cost by 110 euro per person (they can call it a "service charge" if they like) and pay all the staff more?  It's no longer a "tip" when automatically added to your final onboard bill.

This would be a good move by Viking in my opinion, but alas I do not run Viking.  A step towards being "all inclusive"  But maybe Viking likes cruise searches coming up less expensive than the competition like Uniworld, etc. which has no tipping, not even for excursions (although I tipped guides on my Uniworld cruise).

Edited by philw1776

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On 9/4/2019 at 3:29 PM, philw1776 said:

A step towards being "all inclusive"  But maybe Viking likes cruise searches coming up less expensive than the competition like Uniworld, etc. which has no tipping, not even for excursions (although I tipped guides on my Uniworld cruise).

 

I think its more of a cultural thing. The USA is (in my experience) a tipping society, and Americans are generous tippers and like to have it under their control* . If they made it all exclusive I expect many American would still tip.

 

However other societies are not so oriented towards tipping, and so  cruises booked with Viking Australia and Viking UK include gratuities.

 

Before they did, suggested gratuities were added to the end of cruise invoice but there was no problem having them adjusted or removed - for instance if you wanted to personally tip individuals.

 

*OTOH the subject of how much and who to tip is a perpetual question on these forums, and only raised by Americans, so perhaps they are not as confident with tipping as I'm giving them credit for. 🙂

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1 hour ago, pontac said:

 

*OTOH the subject of how much and who to tip is a perpetual question on these forums, and only raised by Americans, so perhaps they are not as confident with tipping as I'm giving them credit for. 🙂

I think people (Americans) ask because we are outside of the country and we want to know what is expected of us. For example, I was surprised that tipping on my AMA cruise was much more than tipping on an ocean cruise. Glad I was prepared before I left. I always go with the theory (when in Rome, do as the Romans do) so I want to know what is proper wherever I am at. Another example is I am glad I had researched tipping before I went to Japan as they won't accept tips over there.

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8 hours ago, pontac said:

*OTOH the subject of how much and who to tip is a perpetual question on these forums, and only raised by Americans, so perhaps they are not as confident with tipping as I'm giving them credit for. 🙂

 

Actually, my impression is that there have been more questions raised by Australians [when they are on a US ship that doesn't include gratuities], because they have no experience with tipping.  Since it's somewhat anxiety-induced for me (an American), it must be really scary for them.

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On 9/7/2019 at 2:39 AM, Host Jazzbeau said:

  Since it's somewhat anxiety-induced for me (an American), it must be really scary for them.

 

And for UKers in the USA...

 

Here we tip on few occasions and 10% is standard in restaurants.

 

Mrs P and I take it turns to pay for dinner when abroad. A few years ago we were in Missouri and ate in the same restaurant for the week we were in one small place. I added 20% rounded up, next night she added 10%, next night I added 20%, then her 10%. I  only saw what she added at the end and she wouldn't believe me that 20% was the minimum she should add. (I insisted, and we had a big 'discussion' in our room that night).

 

Goodness knows what the restaurant staff thought - tho' they were never less than welcoming.

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