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Hi All,

 

We are on our first cruise in August. As first timers, are there any unexpected costs we should allow for ??

 

We booked a Junior Suite and we have the Ultimate Drinks Package with our Cruise Price. We have also pre paid Gratuities and also purchased The Key.

 

We will also do some Shore Excursions but we will price separate.

 

Thanks

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Posted (edited)

Oh my yes.  You have covered two big items:  tips and booze. Just remember that if you like fancy pants booze it will cost additional. 
 

Shore excursions are another big one. Where are you cruising?

 

The last is speciality dining. You may want to buy the 3 night package depending on your tastes. 
 

other items would be shopping, arcades,  the casino, spa, and room service. But those depend on what you like. 

Edited by jakeil7
More stuff!

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Specialty restaurants, shops onboard, casino, photos, upcharge MDR items.

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I’d say you pretty much have everything covered except for any extra tips you may wish to provide to any specific crew members or if you are interested in specialty dining.

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5 minutes ago, blackshirt said:

I’d say you pretty much have everything covered except for any extra tips you may wish to provide to any specific crew members or if you are interested in specialty dining.

Just on the extra tipping as I know there are different views on paying extra tips once you pay pre paid gratuities in advance of not knowing what type of service you may receive.

 

Do you pay the extra tips at the end if you have received good service from any particular on board.

 

For instance, I was thinking of going to the Head Waiter on the first night to see can we get a Table for 2 in a very good location. Other tips depending on service would of course be the Cabin attendant. Let me know who I should be tipping extra to.

 

Thanks

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3 minutes ago, Baggies58 said:

 Do you pay the extra tips at the end if you have received good service from any particular on board.

 

For instance, I was thinking of going to the Head Waiter on the first night to see can we get a Table for 2 in a very good location. Other tips depending on service would of course be the Cabin attendant. Let me know who I should be tipping extra to.

 

The Dining Room Manager or Maitre' D are the folks you should approach prior to seating on the first evening for specific seating requests. One of their representatives should be at the MDR entrance after you board.

The Manager and Maitre' D are adequately compensated by the cruise line for their supervision. There is no tipping necessary for this service. 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Baggies58 said:

Just on the extra tipping as I know there are different views on paying extra tips once you pay pre paid gratuities in advance of not knowing what type of service you may receive.

 

Do you pay the extra tips at the end if you have received good service from any particular on board.

 

For instance, I was thinking of going to the Head Waiter on the first night to see can we get a Table for 2 in a very good location. Other tips depending on service would of course be the Cabin attendant. Let me know who I should be tipping extra to.

 

Thanks

 

Near the end of the trip your cabin attendant will leave envelopes if you want to give additional cash tips. Give the envelopes out in person. I usually give an additional cash tip to the cabin attendant, our waiter and our assistant waiter (we use traditional dining, so we have the same table and staff for every meal). I give the waiters their envelopes at the last evening meal and the attendant I usually see after that last dinner.

 

p.s. if you use traditional dining your table is assigned in advance and printed on your Sea Pass card.

Edited by SG65CB

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13 minutes ago, Baggies58 said:

Just on the extra tipping as I know there are different views on paying extra tips once you pay pre paid gratuities in advance of not knowing what type of service you may receive.

 

Do you pay the extra tips at the end if you have received good service from any particular on board.

 

For instance, I was thinking of going to the Head Waiter on the first night to see can we get a Table for 2 in a very good location. Other tips depending on service would of course be the Cabin attendant. Let me know who I should be tipping extra to.

 

Thanks

We typically tip extra our cabin steward, waiter and assistant waiter on the last night. 

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19 minutes ago, Baggies58 said:

Just on the extra tipping as I know there are different views on paying extra tips once you pay pre paid gratuities in advance of not knowing what type of service you may receive.

 

Do you pay the extra tips at the end if you have received good service from any particular on board.

 

For instance, I was thinking of going to the Head Waiter on the first night to see can we get a Table for 2 in a very good location. Other tips depending on service would of course be the Cabin attendant. Let me know who I should be tipping extra to.

 

Thanks

You can email Royal dining a week or so before cruise date to ask for table request... Someone will give you the email address in the next few minutes.  a tip for the porters and a dollar or two for room service, other than that you are covered. happy cruising. ps what ship

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, taglovestocruise said:

You can email Royal dining a week or so before cruise date to ask for table request... Someone will give you the email address in the next few minutes.  a tip for the porters and a dollar or two for room service, other than that you are covered. happy cruising. ps what ship

rcldining@rccl.com   ...3 weeks before Cruise, any further out and request can be lost.

Edited by ONECRUISER

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7 minutes ago, taglovestocruise said:

You can email Royal dining a week or so before cruise date to ask for table request... Someone will give you the email address in the next few minutes.  a tip for the porters and a dollar or two for room service, other than that you are covered. happy cruising. ps what ship

Serenade Of The Seas

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2 minutes ago, Baggies58 said:

Excellent, Thank you

When you board make MDR your first stop to verify.  No tip needed, they will bend over backwards to make you happy. 

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Posted (edited)

What others have mentioned, porters, room service, room attendants, arcade, spa, shopping, casino, specialty ice cream (not the soft serve from the pool deck), specialty coffee not included (such as Starbucks). 

 

Not sure how long your cruise may be, but if you want to get laundry done.  I assume Serenade doesn't have self-serve laundry either.  They often will do a 'Fits in the bag for $25' special.  You can squeeze quite a bit in the bag.

 

Even though the gratuity is included in the drink package, I take dollar bills to give the bartenders when I order drinks.  They always appreciate it and remember me later.  DH finds a bartender or two he really likes and then tips them at the end of the cruise.  It's really your choice.

 

Enjoy your cruise!!

Edited by jk04
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6 minutes ago, Baggies58 said:

Excellent, Thank you

Your Welcome! Last 6yrs have had Great Luck with this on Serenade, only one Table out of 20 on her I didnt like... Get an off nite or dont feel like going to Main Dining for Dinner, check out the Wind Jammer. Though hours are limited they have wide Selection items for Dinner. You picked good ship, nice size, great staff. Cruised on her myself over 200nites last 6 yrs... Enjoy!

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7 minutes ago, Baggies58 said:

Excellent, Thank you

When you send this request quote your names plus the name of the ship you are cruising on the sail date and how large a table you would like to be seated at 2 4 6 8 or however many and if you are on traditional first or second sitting.

Tables for 2 persons may be limited so if this is your preference do not forget to add it to your email.

We also add our stateroom number although not sure if that’s necessary.

 

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Does someone have a ballpark figure on how much extra tip is expected above the prepaid gratuities?  I am pretty much a neat freak and keep the cabin tidy. We eat in the MDR most nights, but never really have special requests or food allergy concerns.  I didn't give an extra tip last cruise, but maybe I was expected to do so . . .

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50 minutes ago, Baggies58 said:

For instance, I was thinking of going to the Head Waiter on the first night to see can we get a Table for 2 in a very good location.

 

A word of caution:  Many of the tables for 2 are inches away from other tables for 2 (or 4).

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4 minutes ago, ONECRUISER said:

Your Welcome! Last 6yrs have had Great Luck with this on Serenade, only one Table out of 20 on her I didnt like... Get an off nite or dont feel like going to Main Dining for Dinner, check out the Wind Jammer. Though hours are limited they have wide Selection items for Dinner. You picked good ship, nice size, great staff. Cruised on her myself over 200nites last 6 yrs... Enjoy!

 

4 minutes ago, Norwich Cruiser said:

When you send this request quote your names plus the name of the ship you are cruising on the sail date and how large a table you would like to be seated at 2 4 6 8 or however many and if you are on traditional first or second sitting.

Tables for 2 persons may be limited so if this is your preference do not forget to add it to your email.

We also add our stateroom number although not sure if that’s necessary.

 

Thank you both again. This cruise is for our 40th Wedding Anniversary and the first night of the cruise is the actual date of our Anniversary so hoping to make this our first cruise very special

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Also don’t forget parking at the port. I glad that they collect that on the way in, so I don’t need to worry on the way home!  

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5 minutes ago, luv2sailAgain said:

Does someone have a ballpark figure on how much extra tip is expected above the prepaid gratuities?   ...

 

Nothing is expected by the stateroom attendant over the standard gratuity.  Anything extra you want to give is totally up to you.

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8 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

 

Nothing is expected by the stateroom attendant over the standard gratuity.  Anything extra you want to give is totally up to you.

Nothing is also expected by your waiter or assistant waiter.

Should you decide to give any extra no matter how small I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.

In the past I have tipped extra and on other occasions chosen not to do so it’s completely down to your own choice.

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Thank you again for all your help and replies, I really appreciate you all taking the time to help us out.

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Seems like everyone covered the budget here.  Local transport can be a bigger ticket on top of airfare (not mentioned but I assume they know they need to get to the port).   We drive and parking costs can add up but you can shop that.

 

We almost always buy one picture and hand out a few cash tips - but it's not a big cost.

 

The shore excursions can add up if you want to do a lot of stuff.  There you can save using local tours instead of ship tours (we do it) but talk about an "unexpected cost" if a local tour fails to get you back to the ship...  Along that line - if there is a medical emergency getting that sorted out can be costly.  We have skipped insurance on the Caribbean trips but get medical evac insurance on the longer trans-Atlantic and Med trips.

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28 minutes ago, Baggies58 said:

 

 This cruise is for our 40th Wedding Anniversary and the first night of the cruise is the actual date of our Anniversary so hoping to make this our first cruise very special

 

If you let them know you will get cake and a song.  It is a generic song used for both birthday and anniversary... along the lines of "hoppy-versedah oo yoo"  🙂

 

BTW - other things you can pay for (but optional) are the spa services.  Assume they are double the cost of the same thing on land.

And... you have not cruised?   So at each port you can get a FREE charm from Diamonds International - go find them!  They are exactly what you expect for free - but they are a memory of the fun of celebrating 40.  (we've got 5 more to get there - and congrads)

 

Oh yes...  we also take EVERY opportunity to get our picture taken (it's free).  When you are walking the ship you can go find yourself in the gallery and laugh.  Like I said before - we buy one each cruise just for the memory.

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