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calicakes

Extra tips at the end of the cruise

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I know that money is a really touchy subject to a lot of people.  I'm not one of them.  So with that being said, I would like to know if you tip extra( and specifically how much) at the end of the cruise? 

 

We just returned from 10 days on Equinox and we did tip extra.  I wasnt sure how much extra to tip.  A few months before we left, I ordered men's leather wallets from Ebay.  I got a ridiculously good price on them.  If you want to know, I'll tell you.  They look much more expensive than they were.  I wrapped those up with cash inside for the server and his assistant in Blu.  I gave the wallets( no extra cash) to the few people in Blu who served us 1 or 2 times.  I gave a wallet and cash to the main pool server( we spent every single sea day at the pool).  For the women, I assembled makeup bags with makeup purchased with coupons and received in subscription boxes.  Those went to the gals at Cafe Al Bacio, the hostess in Blu, the pastry gal in Blu.    I'll add a picture to the next post. 

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Your generosity is to be applauded, but I suspect that your gifts may not have been a great choice in some cases. I'm a male, and no longer carry a wallet. When I did, I was quite particular about the style. Based on my sister, wife, daughter and daughter-in-law, makeup is a pretty personal choice too. After reading countless threads on various CC boards over the years, it seems that the best choice for extra tips is always cash.

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1 minute ago, Fouremco said:

Your generosity is to be applauded, but I suspect that your gifts may not have been a great choice in some cases. I'm a male, and no longer carry a wallet. When I did, I was quite particular about the style. Based on my sister, wife, daughter and daughter-in-law, makeup is a pretty personal choice too. After reading countless threads on various CC boards over the years, it seems that the best choice for extra tips is always cash.

I don't really want to debate my choice of gifts.  It is what it is.  I tend to pick out items of makeup that are pretty one size fits all.  Mascara, neutral lip colors, chap sticks, black or brown eyeliner.  Nothing crazy and the pastry gal was soooo thankful.  She was on and on and on about how great it was.  I would assume she isn't tipped that often, same for the gals in the cafe.  The wallets did contain cash as well.  Except for those 2 wallets for the servers we had 1 or 2 times. 

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Yes, we usually tip extra to our cabin attendant, server, assistant server and sommelier. How much depends partly on the length of the cruise and whether they've provided above average service. DH will usually tip his favorite  bartender at the end of each night.

 

But I don't give gifts, as I don't presume to know what they might need or want. Those items that they do need can be purchased with the tips I give them. 

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41 minutes ago, calicakes said:

I don't really want to debate my choice of gifts.  

 

Problem is you posted description & pictures of what you gifted.  By doing that on a message board you are asking for, or at least should expect, some comments on the items.  That being said, while indeed was a nice gesture I would presume that a majority of the staff would prefer cash vs a gift.  Just one person's opinion.

 

I will tip extra if someone has gone above & beyond what my expectations were - the amount depends on how far beyond they went.

 

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I'm answering your question  - yes I tip extra in cash. These folks are there to make money. 

 

A cheap empty wallet is not a tip. 

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Just now, JFontaine said:

I'm answering your question  - yes I tip extra in cash. These folks are there to make money. 

 

A cheap empty wallet is not a tip. 

Uncalled for. It was inexpensive. Not cheap. 

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7 minutes ago, mitz18 said:

 

Problem is you posted description & pictures of what you gifted.  By doing that on a message board you are asking for, or at least should expect, some comments on the items.  That being said, while indeed was a nice gesture I would presume that a majority of the staff would prefer cash vs a gift.  Just one person's opinion.

 

I will tip extra if someone has gone above & beyond what my expectations were - the amount depends on how far beyond they went.

 

Of course staff will express gratitude for any gift, but cash is what they really want so they can use it to support their families, for example, or use it in other ways they deem appropriate. BTW, some cultures consider it extremely gauche to give a wallet/purse as a gift without at least a small amount of money in it.

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One thing, good or bad, the OP will be well remembered and even discussed because of these unique gifts.   I believe the OP has scheduled additional cruises with Celebrity.

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The thought was nice and OP isn’t the first guest to give gifts, with or without cash.

I suspect the crew expressed thanks and then did what many of us do regifted or donated the items that didn’t need.

 

A few years ago we ran into an assistant  cabin attendant that we had on a previous cruise.  He recognized DH and asked where our cabin was.  The next evening he appeared at our cabin with a bottle of red wine for us.  The wine was Kirkland brand (Costco) since he had never been to the US we figure he was given the wine by a guest and regifted it to us😊

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I was really looking for specific dollar amounts that people give, however I guess no one wants to share that. 

 

Everyone has an opinion( me especially).  

 

I think a wallet is super nice for someone who served me breakfast 1 or 2 times.  As I stated I gave a generous cash gift and the wallet to my regular waiter and assistant.  

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Your question was do we tip extra (above and beyond) at the end of the cruise. My answer is - "It depends.".  IF someone goes out of their way for us, then yes, we tip extra (we tipped $20 to a cabin steward who went out of his way and fixed a broken item for us, and on Celebrity my husband always makes friends with the "ice cream girl" in the buffet, and he always tips her on the last night 😄). If the service was as good as expected, we leave the auto-gratuities in place and thank our cabin steward with a handshake and a comment on the survey. We do not eat in the dining room anymore so no additional tips there.

 

While I appreciate your kind heart, remember that all these hard-working crew want is cash. With that cash, they can purchase the items they need and want, or send it home. You will get comments like mine and others here because you chose to post the details here. I don't think it's fair to post something and then dictate what we can and can't/shouldn't say. Hope that makes sense. 🙂

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Hi Calicakes,

 

First, let me say how thoughtful and nice you were to come up with gift ideas for the hard working crew members who served you so well.  My experience tells me that all of those people appreciated you thoughtfulness.  Personal gifts are always appreciated by the crew.

 

There was an excellent thread on MSC about tipping in the Yacht Club and many posters came clean about tipping amounts.  The average butler tip was around $100.  One couple was so overwhelmed with the level of service that they gave their butler a $400 tip for the week!  Tipping is a personal choice and you must go with what you think is appropriate.  We usually leave an envelope with cash and a personal note of thanks.  Waiters/waitresses are anywhere from $20 to $100 depending on how many times they served us...assistants $20 to $75 depending.  Restaurant manager gets $20 to $50 depending on service level.  Hostesses and bartenders get $20 to $40 depending.  Bartenders in Concierge Lounge could get $100 to $120 as a group tip if they have served us throughout the cruise.  If the cruise is two weeks we will tip each Saturday about the same as above.

 

I hope that gives you a rough idea.

 

🙂

 

 

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51 minutes ago, calicakes said:

I was really looking for specific dollar amounts that people give, however I guess no one wants to share that. 

 

Everyone has an opinion( me especially).  

 

I think a wallet is super nice for someone who served me breakfast 1 or 2 times.  As I stated I gave a generous cash gift and the wallet to my regular waiter and assistant.  

I see nothing wrong with what you did. It was very unique and thoughtful! 

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To answer OP question of how much?  We tip extra and things range, but for a 7 night trip when we choose to tip at the end we have done $20-40 for the "bread girl" in Luminae, 60-100 for our waiter, 0-40 per night to Specialty Dining waiter, 20-60 to Sommelier, 0-60 for Luminae Hostess, 60-100 for cabin steward, 60-150 for butler.  Bar tenders are done per night 0-20 depending on how long we're there and what they have done.  I'm sure there are others such as restroom attendents, band tips, tour guide, or concierge that will also be given something during the week, but usually not at the end of the week

 

I don't recall any cruise when the max of a range was done for more than 1 or 2 people.  Sometime we don't do any extra.  Really depends upon the service we have and the relationship we develop with each person.  For 7 nights total is usually 250-500.

 

Just curious, since a few of us have given some specific amounts, what did you end up adding inside the gifts you provided?

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We tip extra in cash as that is what they really want.  Many are supporting families or can buy what they want with it.

 

I think giving wallets and make-up  items as a nice gesture but tacky.   If you can afford to go on a cruise, then give something that the hard working crew  will really appreciate.  $$$

Edited by keesar

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I'll have to admit that some of these amounts are more than I typically do.  I try to use the auto tip breakdown as a guideline and will do extra 50 to 200% on top of that.   Usually that amounts to an overall amount close to the the standard tip amount over and above.  Most of the extra goes to the dining room as DW has dietary restrictions which are always satisfied with a smile.  Lately we haven't been doing much extra for a Butler as we have stopped having breakfast in the room and really don't use them for anything.

 

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We always tip extra in cash at the end of our trip as well, though I will admit not as much as garyl62 does!!  Since the automatic gratuities came to be, we've always looked at cash tips as "extra" rather than primary tips and have adjusted accordingly.

 

What is the general thought for specialty restaurant tipping though?  There's the cover charge per person, is some of that the tip that we're simply supplementing with extra, or are we needing to provide the entire tip?  

Edited by Mauidiver

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We normally book AQ or a Suite and have been told by multiple staff, (servers, MaitreD, hostess) that the extra tips are pooled.  The pool doesn’t include the Sommeliers who are in a separate pool.  So we give one envelop with a Thank you card and cash  to the hostess/MaitreD/ waiter whoever is available when we are leaving.  The amount of $ varies by the service & length of cruise.  Ranges from $30-$100.  There was 1 cruise in Blu where service was so slow we left no extra tip.

 

We have only sailed  in  Suites on long (14 + night) cruises and tips for the Butler have ranged from $50-$150 again based on service.  We did bump that up when we had RS and had a group in for pre dinner drinks and appe’s. 

Cabin attendant normally in the range of $30-60, once I sprained ankle mid  cruise and our cabin attendant brought ice  & extra towels 3x day so extra for that.

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1 hour ago, garyl62 said:

To answer OP question of how much?  We tip extra and things range, but for a 7 night trip when we choose to tip at the end we have done $20-40 for the "bread girl" in Luminae, 60-100 for our waiter, 0-40 per night to Specialty Dining waiter, 20-60 to Sommelier, 0-60 for Luminae Hostess, 60-100 for cabin steward, 60-150 for butler.  Bar tenders are done per night 0-20 depending on how long we're there and what they have done.  I'm sure there are others such as restroom attendents, band tips, tour guide, or concierge that will also be given something during the week, but usually not at the end of the week

 

I don't recall any cruise when the max of a range was done for more than 1 or 2 people.  Sometime we don't do any extra.  Really depends upon the service we have and the relationship we develop with each person.  For 7 nights total is usually 250-500.

 

Just curious, since a few of us have given some specific amounts, what did you end up adding inside the gifts you provided?

25 for the servers and 10 for the pool server. 20 for the room attendant. He didn’t do anything really extra for us. Of course we have the other gratuities as well. I can’t imagine anyone saying they don’t want to add the daily tip.  I just wasn’t sure how much was appropriate. 

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3 hours ago, calicakes said:

 For the women, I assembled makeup bags with makeup purchased with coupons and received in subscription boxes.  Those went to the gals at Cafe Al Bacio, the hostess in Blu, the pastry gal in Blu.    I'll add a picture to the next post. 

 

No doubt your intentions were good, but realistically, makeup is an inappropriate gift to give a total stranger, since there are so many individual differences in skin color and tone, skin type, eye color, etc. 

 

Additionally,  some woman may prefer a liquid, others prefer a powder, and still others a cream for similar products.

Then there are the ingredients in different products to consider.

Different people are allergic to different things, and different women like different brands.

 

It would be so much better to give cash, or even gift certificates that they can use to select the products they really want.

 

Now if you know that your stateroom attendant or waitress loves a certain makeup product in a particular color and you get it for her, then that would be a different situation entirely.

 

To paraphrase the golden rule:

    If you do a good job at work, would your rather receive a cash bonus, or would you prefer some makeup or other trinkets that a stranger selected for you without even knowing your personal likes or dislikes?

                            

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OK, I am absolutely gobsmacked (astounded) at the additional tips mentioned by some here. We always pay the auto-tip but that's it.  We've never tipped a barman or a waiter etc.  Mind you we hardly eat at the MDR and if we do we never get the same staff.  We did tip a butler years ago when he did go over and above for us and also a room steward on a recent short cruise.  I'm blown away by the amounts given over and above the auto tip.  

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