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A Yank With a Tipping Question


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I am a Yank preparing for my first cruise on P&O.   I am excited about the "no tipping" policy. My question regards etiquette on P&O.  I will not have a drink package and prefer to have a glass or two of scotch at whatever venue I find myself in the evening.  Is there a tip automatically added to the price of the drink?  If so, would it be bad form to add a small cash gratuity for the server?

 

The reason I ask is that I usually give a little cash to the server at the start of each evening and find that I get a better pour and from a higher shelf.

 

What say you?

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1 minute ago, SargassoPirate said:

I am a Yank preparing for my first cruise on P&O.   I am excited about the "no tipping" policy. My question regards etiquette on P&O.  I will not have a drink package and prefer to have a glass or two of scotch at whatever venue I find myself in the evening.  Is there a tip automatically added to the price of the drink?  If so, would it be bad form to add a small cash gratuity for the server?

 

The reason I ask is that I usually give a little cash to the server at the start of each evening and find that I get a better pour and from a higher shelf.

 

What say you?

Drink prices on P&O have the gratuity element included, and have done for some time  even before the recent decision to also include tipping in the price. Some people will tip  most won't, but many leave it to the end of the cruise to give any tips, whether to bar staff, stewards or waiters.

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2 minutes ago, SargassoPirate said:

I am a Yank preparing for my first cruise on P&O.   I am excited about the "no tipping" policy. My question regards etiquette on P&O.  I will not have a drink package and prefer to have a glass or two of scotch at whatever venue I find myself in the evening.  Is there a tip automatically added to the price of the drink?  If so, would it be bad form to add a small cash gratuity for the server?

 

The reason I ask is that I usually give a little cash to the server at the start of each evening and find that I get a better pour and from a higher shelf.

 

What say you?

Tips are not added to the drinks price. It is personal choice if you want to tip extra. We tip the bar staff/servers accordingly at the end of the cruise. In general Brits wouldn't tip after each drink as that is not our culture.

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Just now, yorkshirephil said:

Tips are not added to the drinks price. It is personal choice if you want to tip extra. We tip the bar staff/servers accordingly at the end of the cruise. In general Brits wouldn't tip after each drink as that is not our culture.

Ever since auto tips were introduced drink prices have always been advertised as including a gratuity element. I have not seen anything to indicate this changed when auto tips were dropped.

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I agree with previous posters, gratuities are included,  our culture isn’t to tip upfront, additional show of appreciation would be at the end of the cruise as a thanks for the service received.

 

that said, I imagine they would gratefully receive your tip at any time.

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I believe the bar staff benefit from bar sales - so it is in their interest to keep an eye open for thirsty people with empty glasses!  US style tips are really not usual,  nor are they required to secure good service

 

If you find yourself receiving service ‘above and beyond’ then you could  follow the example of some cruisers and give a cash gratuity sometime towards the end of the cruise.

 

As far as I am aware there is no ‘tip box’ for bars, whereas you will find one at the entrance to the dining room on the last night.  As I said, the bar staff get their “extras” from bar turnover

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2 minutes ago, Eddie99 said:

I believe the bar staff benefit from bar sales - so it is in their interest to keep an eye open for thirsty people with empty glasses!  US style tips are really not usual,  nor are they required to secure good service

 

If you find yourself receiving service ‘above and beyond’ then you could  follow the example of some cruisers and give a cash gratuity sometime towards the end of the cruise.

 

As far as I am aware there is no ‘tip box’ for bars, whereas you will find one at the entrance to the dining room on the last night.  As I said, the bar staff get their “extras” from bar turnover

Interesting comment that a "tip box" is at the MDR entrance on the last night, I have never seen one including our last P&O cruise on Aurora in May 2019, but I agree it would be a good idea, especially in the freedom dining restaurants.

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28 minutes ago, SargassoPirate said:

If so, would it be bad form to add a small cash gratuity for the server?

Not exactly bad form,  but not the "done" thing, and I doubt that it would have any influence on the service levels. As has been said, it is in the best interests of the bar staff to offer good service, so no tipping required.

 As for the "top shelf" comment - as you are not buying the package, you will ask for a specific brand, and that is what you will get, tip or no tip!

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32 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

Interesting comment that a "tip box" is at the MDR entrance on the last night, I have never seen one including our last P&O cruise on Aurora in May 2019, but I agree it would be a good idea, especially in the freedom dining restaurants.

I’ve never seen this either. Our last cruise was Arcadia October 2019. We don’t do freedom dining though so maybe that is why I have never seen a “tip box” as of course with club dining you always have the same waiters throughout the cruise and would wish to personally give them any additional gratuity for exceptional service.

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Thanks for the responses.  I have traveled in the UK and Australia and usually round up the price of a drink or "buy" one for the bartender.  Haven't been thrown out of any pubs for bad form so far.

 

I appreciate good service from the servers and like to show my appreciation.

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1 minute ago, SargassoPirate said:

I appreciate good service from the servers and like to show my appreciation.

But you have already shown your appreciation by way of the gratuity (service charge) included  in the price of the drink. Obviously,  if you want to double tip, that's your prerogative,  but I think most P&O cruisers would only tip if the service was over and above the norm. I'm certainly not going to tip the bar staff £1 just for bringing a pint to my table.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SargassoPirate said:

The reason I ask is that I usually give a little cash to the server at the start of each evening and find that I get a better pour and from a higher shelf.

 

What say you?

 

I think you will find that the waiter or waitress will take your drinks order and cruise card

for payment and whilst they are processing this the bar staff get your drinks ready , which

are sold by the measure in most cases , so giving a tip at the outset should have no effect

as everyone expects good service . Giving a cash tip as way of a thank you is up to you .

 

 

 

Edited by kalos
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23 minutes ago, SargassoPirate said:

Thanks for the responses.  I have traveled in the UK and Australia and usually round up the price of a drink or "buy" one for the bartender.  Haven't been thrown out of any pubs for bad form so far.

 

I appreciate good service from the servers and like to show my appreciation.

That would be quite normal ,the same as leaving the change in a coffee shop/cafe. The difference is, on board their is no cash transaction and a gratuity has already been factored into the cost.

 

 

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40 minutes ago, SeaJane said:

I’ve never seen this either. Our last cruise was Arcadia October 2019. We don’t do freedom dining though so maybe that is why I have never seen a “tip box” as of course with club dining you always have the same waiters throughout the cruise and would wish to personally give them any additional gratuity for exceptional service.

You’re right, of course

Fixed dining you can easily tip the waiters who have looked after you all cruise long.  Freedom dining you might, possibly, never have the same sever twice.

So, contributing to a tip box, the contents of which are divi-ed up between all the waiters, is a way for pax to show appreciation, if you wish.  
As has been said, P&O fares are inclusive of gratuities, so tipping is absolutely, totally, 100% at the individual’s discretion

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present, after a long absence, a rare beast, though something no-one was bold enough to declare extinct, - A Tipping Thread

 

 

(SargassoPirate - please excuse these weird Limeys, with their even more weird sense of humour.  This board used to abound with threads on tipping, smoking and dress code … oh how we have missed them and the circular arguments they brought!)

 

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Another side this was on my first ever cruise, not with P&O, I followed the “American” approach and tipped my drinks waiter up front at the end of the first night with a sum that should have brought me room service for the whole cruise let along good service at one bar. I never saw that drinks waiter again!😡

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So glad tipping has gone from P&O , it's an anachronism. I love places (e.g Japan) where a tip is seen as an insult ,  "I do not need a tip to give good service".   of course no tipping needs companies to pay good wages.

 

If only other carnival lines would go that way, e.g. Cunard. However some people like tipping , some for the pleasure of giving which is good, some because of a feeling of power

 

The best way to get good service is to take an interest in the staff and speak to them nicely, have a joke.

 

So much better than talking about cancellations and Covid 

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21 minutes ago, Windsurfboy said:

The best way to get good service is to take an interest in the staff and speak to them nicely, have a joke.

Absolutely.

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48 minutes ago, MX-Drew said:

Another side this was on my first ever cruise, not with P&O, I followed the “American” approach and tipped my drinks waiter up front at the end of the first night with a sum that should have brought me room service for the whole cruise let along good service at one bar. I never saw that drinks waiter again!😡

He probably jumped ship and retired.

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On Marella it's AI but we had a table near the same bar every night so I went to the bar direct.The same guy got to know me and had our drinks ready as soon as we walked in.After that I bunged him a fiver every few days in appreciation.

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1 hour ago, Windsurfboy said:

The best way to get good service is to take an interest in the staff and speak to them nicely, have a joke.

That's my method now and it never fails.

I'm in touch with a waiter from Britannia and received an email from him yesterday and he said "I had a nice time with you on Britannia. You were very nice to me." (His exact words). 

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4 hours ago, SargassoPirate said:

I am a Yank preparing for my first cruise on P&O.   I am excited about the "no tipping" policy. My question regards etiquette on P&O.  I will not have a drink package and prefer to have a glass or two of scotch at whatever venue I find myself in the evening.  Is there a tip automatically added to the price of the drink?  If so, would it be bad form to add a small cash gratuity for the server?

 

The reason I ask is that I usually give a little cash to the server at the start of each evening and find that I get a better pour and from a higher shelf.

 

What say you?

Do not think you will be expected to "tip" as they are included in the price of the cruise fare that you have paid. With regards to getting a better pour and from a higher grade you will be served the brand of whisky that you have asked for and be prepared to smaller measures to what you normally get in US as P&O serve all spirits to UK measures a single=25 ml and a double=50ml.

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2 hours ago, Windsurfboy said:

The best way to get good service is to take an interest in the staff and speak to them nicely, have a joke.

Not only does it get you good service, it's also basic good manners.

Avril

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16 minutes ago, Adawn47 said:

Not only does it get you good service, it's also basic good manners.

Avril

Absolutely and they love nothing more than to be asked about their families at home….. 

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The best two tips I ever got  was .. 1/ Keep quiet when your wife is talking.

2/ Don't talk when your wife is quiet. ..Ok they are not cash but have proved 

so rewarding to me .:classic_love:

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