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I ask this question each time we time we sail on Norwegian and someday hopefully someone will give me a straight answer.  What do you tip the butler?

Yes, it all depends what he/she does to earn it but there must be some base that people use.  I just do not know what that is, flat fee? $5 per day? $10? a % of the fare?  These people do not receive any compensation except what tips they receive.  No pay, no portion of the daily gratuities no anything except tips.  I have no idea how many suites for which they are responsible.

We have had suites on 7 Norwegian cruises and I have no idea if I am tipping fairly for the wonderful service and attention we receive. 

I know if I go into a restaurant the standard is 20% and fluctuates from there depending on service.  Any assistance, guidance or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.  We are booked for a cruise in May '21 after having to cancel cruises last May and this month and praying we do not have to cancel again.

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14 minutes ago, Keith B. said:

I ask this question each time we time we sail on Norwegian and someday hopefully someone will give me a straight answer.  What do you tip the butler?

 

I doubt that the answers you get this time will be any different than the answers you have previously received.

 

16 minutes ago, Keith B. said:

These people do not receive any compensation except what tips they receive.

 

What leads you to believe they don't get any salary?

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10 minutes ago, ColeThornton said:

 

I doubt that the answers you get this time will be any different than the answers you have previously received.

 

 

What leads you to believe they don't get any salary?

Norwegian Cruise Line

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We tip in the neighborhood of $10 per person per day. Usually on the lower side of that because there are 4 people in the room all getting the same thing- which for a 7 day cruise would be $280. I usually tip about $200-250 for a seven day cruise depending on how much we use them for things like meals in the room. Concierge we usually tip lower, in the range of $50-$100, again depending on how many times we've needed extra help with something.

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Thank you, rjm.  Then I am in a similar range although there are only two of us.  As a side note regarding the concierge, we use his/her services rarely although on a recent cruise the concierge had been our butler on an earlier cruise and he took exceptional care of us.  Within a short time of arriving in our suite the butler knocked at the door with additional "treats" curtesy of the concierge.  He had been instructed by the concierge what and how we were to be treated. LOL

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1 hour ago, Keith B. said:

Norwegian Cruise Line

 

Are you saying that NCL has told you that they don't pay any salary to their butlers?

 

The tipping threads are normally the same but this is the first time I have seen that the butlers don't get any salary. 

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This is from Glassdoor, they have one butler reporting, and that butler says they get about 1,000 a month in salary, so the assumption that they don't get paid is wrong.  Keep in mind this is like $250US a week.  I can imagine that this is nothing compared to their weekly tips, so please don't hold your tip because they get a salary.

 

Screen Shot 2020-10-13 at 4.11.45 PM.jpg

Edited by oteixeira
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Complawyer I wouldn't feel "cheap".  That is if it is for a couple.  If you are talking a suite with a family it would be at the low end but certainly not cheap.  Now you understand my confusion and concern.  It may also depend on the level of suite.  A Garden Villa vs Deluxe Owners Suite vs Penthouse.

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Let me take this one at a time.  sverigecruiser:  I misread your response.  I thought you were asking which cruise line.  NCL simply states the butlers do not share in the daily gratuities we all pay.  As for other compensation i.e. salary that I was told on a response a couple of years ago they receive none.

Now I get a response here which states the butler, in fact, DOES receive a salary of $1K USD.  This is now opening pandora's  proverbial box.  I should have just kept my mouth shut.  Sorry folks.

Now last. Oteixeira:  Whether they get paid a salary or not is of no importance to me.  I give them what I believed was in line with what others are giving the butlers.  If thy are good I give more and if they are not I give them less.  

I just wanted to be sure my assumptions were correct.

Thanks all for your comments.

HAPPY CRUISING!!

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We pay them based on what they do for us over and above the standards of bringing snacks, etc. Rarely does a butler get more than $50 from us, because they really don't do much of anything. the concierege is a completely different matter.

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Thank You zqvol.  Our experience is just the opposite.  We spend a vast majority of our time in our stateroom which is why we opt for a suite  We rarely do excursions.  As I say "Put the ship in the middle of the ocean, drop the anchor and leave it there until we have to go back".  We enjoy dining in the variety of restaurants, comedy shows the occasional showroom show and a slow romantic stroll around the deck at night.

I want nothing to do with crowds, kids, telephones, noise, cleaning, computers, employees, internet, etc. No hairiest chest or any other contest, no swimming, no partying till 5AM, no casino bells or smoke.  You get the idea.  Sleeping, relaxing, reading and listening to easy music and eating.  If I need or want something I ring the butler and he is there in a heartbeat.

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4 hours ago, complawyer said:

now i feel cheap. i usually give our butler a $100 bill at the end of the cruise

Thats not cheap at all.

Unless of course you asked your butler for personal massages or something 😉

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5 hours ago, Keith B. said:

These people do not receive any compensation except what tips they receive.

 

I've read so much about what others tip their Butlers & Concierges; the question is, what are you comfortable tipping them?

 

Surely you've tipped the maid at your favourite hotel, the concierge/maitre de at your favourite restaurant etc.  

It's so personal.  I travel solo, so for me, it depends on whether they've actually tried to follow my instructions. I'm not demanding except that they adhere to my requests which are usually eliminating things rather than adding things. 

If they do as requested, they'll receive what I consider a good tip, if not, they'll receive less.   

 

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I think that tipping is extremely subjective. Tip what you feel is appropriate. I travel solo, and on my first cruise in the Haven, the Butler did a few things above and beyond so I felt a tip was warranted. I gave him $150 for the week. I was comfortable with that.

My steward was exceptional. He was always available, and every time I had a question he was there. He was friendly and I felt he was great. I tipped him $150 as well, as he also gets the gratuity pool.

The concierge screwed up my reservations a few times so I did not leave a tip for them. It felt harsh to me, but I reminded myself that they had not even done the main purpose of their job for me. I never received calls back from them, and they cancelled 2 of my reservations forcing me to change my plans and eat much later than I had planned. Not even an apology.

I like the scale someone else provided to me:

Stewards: $5-$10/day
Butler: $10-$15/day
Concierge: $5/ day

I think of it like this- the steward is getting the gratuity pool, and services 10-15 rooms. Butler is entirely dependent on me and the 12 rooms he/she services for tips, so I go higher. Concierge is dependent on everyone in the Haven plus anyone else who has concierge access. Sure the concierge gets you into a restaurant, but isn’t that their job?

I also tip the waiters and waitresses $1-$2. They work hard, and bartender too-$1,$2 each drink. I get a stack of ones before I go.

And I also fill out comment cards for each person who made me feel special by remembering my name or what I like. Those cards mean something to them and help them get raises and new higher contracts. So the last few days I make sure I take time to fill out cards for each of them and give to concierge on the way off the boat.

I always try to learn their names and ask them how to say hello in their language...and am always greeted with a smile each time. My steward was from India and each time I bowed my head and said Namaste, the smile was from ear to ear. I could tell he looked forward to seeing me each day.

It was horrible to see in the Haven where those few people acted ‘entitled’, leaving messes, hearing them say things like “she will clean it up” and the god awful snapping their fingers. I am indeed blessed (religious or not) to be able to have a job where I can afford a Haven suite but that does not mean I am Entitled. A little more love towards each other and caring takes a vacation from 7-8 out of 10 to a 20!

Anyway, my point is that it isn’t about the tip all the time. You’ll know what to do when it’s time.

Have fun!




Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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ok, i indicated previously that i tip our butler $100 at the end of our cruise. at the beginning when he/she introduces themselves, i ask for a morning pot of coffee and hot water for tea, some milk and pastries/sweet rolls. sometimes i ask for specific type of cookies, and for the afternoon snack, something like meats,cheese and crackers. if ive been on a shore excursion and really feel wiped out, i call and ask for an ice cold bottle of heineken. on rare occasions i might call down and ask for a late nite snack, but usually no later than 10 p.m..

 

i dont believe i abused the butler's services by asking for the above.  rarely will i utilize the concierge.  i can usually get dinner reservations on my own, but it's tough to get into teppanyaki so i'll use him for that.,

 

lastly, i speak to him the night before and make arrangements for him to get us off the ship as soon as possible, i find he can do this and we're off and at our luggage area within 15-20 minutes. i think that''s worth the price of admission and i usually give he $50 before we disembark..

 

as far as the cabin steward, i'll give him $20 when we 1st get to our cabin, another $20 mid-week, and another $20 on the last day of the cruise, again, i dont ask him for much, just extra bath towels on a daily basis. i give the bartender a buck after each drink, and our breakfast and lunch waiter/waitress $5.00. if i'm in the main dining room, usually $10.00 after dinner.

 

we live in los angels, and visit las vegas frequently. it's called the las vegas handshake and believe me it works. whether the crew gets paid or not, a few extra bucks in their pockets goes a long way to making your cruise a lot more enjoyable and hassle free.

 

i figure if i'm spending all that money for a haven suite, a little extra cash wont hurt if i can simplify what i want.  by the way, the above expressed opinions are strictly my own, after having sailed with ncl about 20 times

 

"NUF SAID"  

 

if/when you decide o sail, have a great time and bon voyage. we're booked on the spirit next april and the jade next july.hope to meet you on board

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We have only done a suite once, on Celebrity.  We don't need a lot of hand holding and never used our butler for any errands.

For a two week cruise, I tipped him $50.    I suppose if you use your butler a lot, that should be more.

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18 hours ago, complawyer said:

now i feel cheap. i usually give our butler a $100 bill at the end of the cruise

Don't this is what we do as well. He never has to do more than bring us the same snacks as everybody else. If on rare occasions we make a request of him we tip a little more depending on what we needed and if he followed through.

Next year (hopefully) we will be in the Haven so also have the pool butler who brings us fruit etc. and keeps the beverage and snack area full and clean. He gets 50. unless we have him going for drinks which is rare, then again a little more.

 

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