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Tipping for Room Service


DSJ28
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I'll be traveling on the MSC Divinia in September - fingers crossed - and I've selected the Fantastica experience because I enjoy room service breakfast on the balcony.  This is my first time on MSC and I've heard tipping can be a bit different than on other cruise lines.  I typically bring small bills for cash tipping room service delivery.  Is this and customary and acceptable practice aboard MSC ships?

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2 hours ago, DSJ28 said:

I'll be traveling on the MSC Divinia in September - fingers crossed - and I've selected the Fantastica experience because I enjoy room service breakfast on the balcony.  This is my first time on MSC and I've heard tipping can be a bit different than on other cruise lines.  I typically bring small bills for cash tipping room service delivery.  Is this and customary and acceptable practice aboard MSC ships?

On the two mornings we had breakfast delivered in cabin, we tipped $5 each time.

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22 hours ago, Dgshooter said:

It is not expected, but I tip a couple of bucks to room service or waiters/waitresses in the bars. I'm sure it is welcome.

 

Tipping for room service?  Yes, I do that as well.  $2/person seems about right to me, unless I have ordered a full breakfast which is something that I don't often do when using room service.  

 

Once upon a time, I would tip a dollar or two in the bars.  After reading many, many posts on CC about tipping, I decided to stop doing so.  Service and drink quality didn't seem to change when I stopped.  I do offer the bartenders and/or stewards an end of the cruise gratuity usually.  

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5 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Tipping for room service?  Yes, I do that as well.  $2/person seems about right to me, unless I have ordered a full breakfast which is something that I don't often do when using room service.  

 

Once upon a time, I would tip a dollar or two in the bars.  After reading many, many posts on CC about tipping, I decided to stop doing so.  Service and drink quality didn't seem to change when I stopped.  I do offer the bartenders and/or stewards an end of the cruise gratuity usually.  

This is the norm for me as well, $5 for a full breakfast - which is my favorite way to enjoy a balcony on any cruise.  I read that tipping individual crew members was discouraged on MSC - so I wanted to know the standard practice.  I recall decades ago when a popular grocery chain stopped permitting tipping for baggers - I wasn't happy about that, but looking back, I think it was a good decision and helped to elevate shopping experience somehow.  I don't want to step on the culture the cruise line wants to establish/maintain if I can help it.  

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19 hours ago, DSJ28 said:

I read that tipping individual crew members was discouraged on MSC

 

When Holland America Line was once branded as Holland America Cruises, gratuities were "included in the fare", supposedly.  Tipping was discouraged.  Tipping still took place.  

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An eye-opening discussion. We've always had breakfast delivered, coffee at the very least, maybe a croissant, every day on all of our cruises as its always included in the experience and its never once occurred to us to consider tipping.

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On 3/29/2021 at 4:16 PM, DSJ28 said:

I'll be traveling on the MSC Divinia in September - fingers crossed - and I've selected the Fantastica experience because I enjoy room service breakfast on the balcony.  This is my first time on MSC and I've heard tipping can be a bit different than on other cruise lines.  I typically bring small bills for cash tipping room service delivery.  Is this and customary and acceptable practice aboard MSC ships?

I always tip a couple of bucks to room service on MSC  it is always greatly appreciated.

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9 hours ago, knight2096 said:

I always tip a couple of bucks to room service on MSC  it is always greatly appreciated.

This kind of feedback is really helpful - knowing the tip was appreciated and not uncomfortable or awkward makes me happy.  Breakfast room service is the service I probably enjoy most on cruises - and it's such an extra treat I think it warrants an extra tip.  

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23 hours ago, CruisingFox27 said:

its never once occurred to us to consider tipping.

 

An example of the difference in the culture between your country and mine.  

 

Whose practice is proper?  Makes no difference.  Offering a gratuity is based upon what one chooses to do and thinks is proper.

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30 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

An example of the difference in the culture between your country and mine.  

 

Whose practice is proper?  Makes no difference.  Offering a gratuity is based upon what one chooses to do and thinks is proper.

 

It was precisely the difference which I found eye opening as I was aware of the tipping culture being more pronounced by some for lots of services but this one did surprise me. No suggestion either is proper, just noting the difference. 

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In all of our cruises on Norweign, Princess, Holland American and MSC we have never tipped for room service.  Always figured it was included in the cruise fare. If they provide any service like clearing a table, setting up the dishes etc.,  I might give a tip.

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17 hours ago, CarolnLarry said:

In all of our cruises on Norweign, Princess, Holland American and MSC we have never tipped for room service.  Always figured it was included in the cruise fare. If they provide any service like clearing a table, setting up the dishes etc.,  I might give a tip.


Right, or turning down the bed, or cleaning up your stateroom, or bringing you food, or memorizing what you're drinking and keeping it filled ... or .........

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7 hours ago, MotownVoice said:


Right, or turning down the bed, or cleaning up your stateroom, or bringing you food, or memorizing what you're drinking and keeping it filled ... or .........

Your point?  

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Posted (edited)

Tipping discussion always remind me of holidays/vacations we used to enjoy in the all-inclusive sea resorts in Egypt (before the plane bombing).

 

It was common to tip a waiter a British £1 coin every few drinks - the GBP £1 was welcome as it didn't fluctuate like their currency did - if you gave them US $$$ then I think you could have married their daughter lol 

 

It really did improve service to the extent that you'd struggle to stop drinking as they'd always bring another drink before you'd finished the one you had lol

 

Anyway, the staff were either informed or just knew when you were due to leave - and they'd approach you asking if you could exchange their pockets full of £1 coins for Egyptian notes. I actually heard some transactions take place which had the result of cancelling any tips the Brit had given as the exchange rate negotiated was so favourable lol

 

The point of the story is that fully qualified Doctors were leaving Cairo to earn more money as waiters in these resorts  - and left a shortage of medical staff in the Capitol.

 

So - after all that...........

 

My view is that MSC prefer you NOT to tip as it allows them to control salaries and wage expectations onboard. (crew pay is a wholly separate discussion)

 

Now that the USA is catching up to the modern World with minimum wage legislation, if you guys don't start to control your tipping customs, you'll find your wait staff are earning more than you are too lol

 

Edited by Couple-Somerset
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I don't normally weigh in on tipping threads, but in US, but the suggested tipping goal posts move every five to ten years.  It was 10% for long time, then 10-12 then 10-15 then 15-18 and now 15-20.  Heck, even NCL surcharge on free packages is 20% if IIRC.  Right or wrong, it is a long term mindset in the US and in other countries not.

 

I know when MSC started out of the US, there was discussion here and the brochures were specific tipping not needed.  It would be interesting what actually happened purely from what else to talk about but we don't see much from the crews.

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Good discussion.  Now, I'm less certain of what I'll do.  The idea of not tipping is uncomfortable for me, especially for room service.   But, I also want to be respectful of the culture MSC has or is building.  

 

I'll be prepared to tip (I always take my tip out the night before and I have it ready to go for room services) - but, I think I'll take my queues from the crew.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DSJ28 said:

Good discussion.  Now, I'm less certain of what I'll do.  The idea of not tipping is uncomfortable for me, especially for room service.   But, I also want to be respectful of the culture MSC has or is building.  

 

I'll be prepared to tip (I always take my tip out the night before and I have it ready to go for room services) - but, I think I'll take my queues from the crew.  

I will do this same.

, I do remember that first time room service came with breakfast, he looked shocked and embarrassed when I offered tip.
Now,  I, wait to see if they linger before going forward with tip.

Edited by phissy
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, phissy said:

, I do remember that first time room service came with breakfast, he looked shocked and embarrassed when I offered tip.
Now,  I, wait to see if they linger before going forward with tip.

 

When I tip for room service for breakfast, if I don't have my cash available at the ready, the Steward will be almost out the door before I can give it to him.

 

Never witnessed any embarrassed stewards, but have witnessed surprised stewards.  As well as those stewards who are obviously appreciative.  

 

Remember folks, these people who serve us are not working "for their health and enjoyment".  

Edited by rkacruiser
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  • 1 month later...
On 3/31/2021 at 6:59 PM, CruisingFox27 said:

An eye-opening discussion. We've always had breakfast delivered, coffee at the very least, maybe a croissant, every day on all of our cruises as its always included in the experience and its never once occurred to us to consider tipping.

In the USof A one tips everyone who provides a service because the servers are paid minimal wage and appreciate the tip.

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11 hours ago, dgreeney said:

In the USof A one tips everyone who provides a service because the servers are paid minimal wage and appreciate the tip.

I think that is history with regards to minimum wage.  Labor is so tight fast food is paying $15  an hour.  Applebee's $20.  Even more in big markets.

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On 3/30/2021 at 9:43 PM, DSJ28 said:

I recall decades ago when a popular grocery chain stopped permitting tipping for baggers - I wasn't happy about that, but looking back, I think it was a good decision and helped to elevate shopping experience somehow.  I don't want to step on the culture the cruise line wants to establish/maintain if I can help it.  



Sure, sure.  As long as they don't try to make a change like that at the expense of the crews' income. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just noticed:

   Not only does MSC not REQUIRE tipping of individual crew and staff ... they refer to it as "not recommended."

   That's a little different than just a casual statement of un-enforcement.

"During your cruise, you will meet staff throughout the ship who provide you with excellent service. They are supported by just as many staff and crew who work hard behind the scenes to ensure you enjoy every moment on board. For your convenience, MSC Cruises will automatically add a daily Hotel Service Charge to your shipboard account, based on your chosen itinerary and the number of days for which the services are actually provided.

The Hotel Service charge serves to ensure we maintain the highest quality standards of service to our guests. The daily amounts below have been calculated with this in mind and cannot be modified. However, should you wish to remove any of the daily Hotel Service Charge in the unlikely event that you do not receive satisfactory service, you may do so by contacting the Guest Relations Manager onboard. If you wish, the daily Service Charge for your cruise can be added to the price of your cruise at the time of booking, rather than added to your onboard account during the cruise. Please let your booking agent know if you would like to add the Service Charge to your cruise price.

TIPS: MSC does not recommend tipping individual members of staff."

https://www.msccruisesusa.com/manage-booking/before-you-go/service-charges

 

I still intend to tip as I feel appropriate, but that seems foreign to me based on the attitudes on other cruise lines.


 

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