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Who do you tip in cash?


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I always bring a pile of $1 & $5s. If I am on some kind of drink package, (prepaid or complementary) I will give the drink server 1 or 2$ each time I get a drink.  They do seem to appreciate it and also seem to watch the level of my beverage and appear when it is low.  As there are 3 of us and are usually at a 4 seater in the MDR, We will give $20 each to the server and assistant on the last evening.  I also will tip the MDR bar server if we have used him/her during the week.  Our room steward/assistant usually get $20-$40 tip.  Specialty restaurants I usually add $10-$20 for the 3 of us. Our reason for mainly cruising with HAL and RCCL is the excellence of their crews.  I will continue to tip the crew.

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I occasionally tip the lovely ladies who manage the ladies restrooms and keep them pristine and supplied. They usually speak very little English, and judging by their surprise to be handed $ 5.00  as I leave  they are often forgotten. I appreciate them, and try to acknowledge several during our week.  Just put a bill in your pocket…you’ll find someone that day! 

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With the $15-17/person/day service charge plus the 18% on specialty dining and beverages (including packages) it is not expected and is entirely up to you.

 

That being said we like to tip anyone we saw regularly that had a positive impact on our trip or went above and beyond. If we had fixed seating we usually give $20 each to the waiter and assistant waiter. Our cabin stewards and the Neptune Concierges will also get $20 each. Other folks like the Maitre'd or head waiter may get $5-10 if we had a lot of interaction with them. Same with Pinnacle breakfast folks unless there were one or two who we had every day or made a special impact in which case we give more. We often will keep a few $5s in our pocket to give out if anyone goes above or beyond or at specialty dining if we feel it is warranted. This last trip my mom had a wheelchair and we would give $5 each to anyone who helped pushed her on or off the ship.  

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If you need envelopes for tips on the last day you can get some at the front desk or just save the small envelopes that some invitations may come in and repurpose them for tips.  Room stewards, dining room staff that are especially attentive, room service delivery.  Also, write down the names of those who are especially helpful or you notice working really hard and give them special recognition on the comment cards supplied by HAL.  These kudos from you will be passed on to those staff members and their supervisors.

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As it is warranted, I will provide cash tips to my Stateroom Stewards (now giving them one envelope and allowing them to divide the amount among themselves since there are two of them), my Dining Room Steward will have an envelope than contains more dollars than the Assistant DR Steward, and if I am a "regular" at a particular bar, the bartenders will be given one envelope at the at the end of my cruise that, I expect, will be appropriately divided among them and/or the others in that Lounge.  

 

There have been other crew that I have tipped.  Deck Stewards, the ones who put the cushions on/off the chairs and keep blankets available in cold climates, and who are unfailingly kind in allowing me to keep sitting in my cushioned deck chair while they are collecting the cushions at the end of the day, then, have to return to my chair and store the cushion after I have left:  such a Steward deserves a reward.  I remember the first time that I did that--Volendam, 2002, Asia Pacific Cruise--the Steward was in shock that last afternoon before we arrived in Los Angeles.  

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Unless the rules have changed, the HSC [or whatever it is called now] is semi-voluntary.  That is, guests may opt out of it in all or part.  Ship staff are supposed to add cash tips to the community pool if the money comes from passengers who have opted out, but I am not sure [1] how the crewman would know and [2] how their supervisors would know.

 

We tend to take longer cruises and tip mid-way and at the end when the crew has a chance to go ashore and spend their money.  When in Europe, we tip in euros but use USD elsewhere.

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3 hours ago, dobiemom said:

Room service: Be sure to have your tip ready. I usually have the money on the table where the tray will be put. They don’t wait around with their hand out. 

So true.  I often put a tip in the slot on the door the night before so I do not forget.

 

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Posted (edited)

We’ve always tipped extra along the lines others mentioned here. I cruise with a 70-pound Labrador service dog which I know means a bit of extra vacuuming in the stateroom, so we make sure our room stewards know we appreciate them with extra gratuities during the cruise.

 

DH always speaks to the maitre d’/dining room manager right after embarkation to reconfirm the table we ask for in advance (against a wall so the dog & her tail will be out of the traffic patterns), and tips $20 or so to thank him.

 

We usually carry $1 bills to give the cocktail servers (whether we have a drink package or not).

Edited by Caribbean Chris
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11 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

As it is warranted, I will provide cash tips to my Stateroom Stewards (now giving them one envelope and allowing them to divide the amount among themselves since there are two of them),

 

I now give 2 envelopes (one to each steward) as I learned the hard way that one may not pass any to the other.  I had time to rectify it because I was on a Collectors but from there on in, I give separate envelopes just as I do to my MDR stewards.

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1 hour ago, kazu said:

 

I now give 2 envelopes (one to each steward) as I learned the hard way that one may not pass any to the other.  I had time to rectify it because I was on a Collectors but from there on in, I give separate envelopes just as I do to my MDR stewards.

 

Totally agree with you Jacqui.  It's much better for you to determine the amount each person receives and give them individual envelopes.  That's what we do.  If you give a sum of money to one of them and expect them to do the splitting, they would feel compelled to split it half and half, IMO.  In many cases, that's isn't how I would have judged the service from them.

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12 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

Room service: Be sure to have your tip ready. I usually have the money on the table where the tray will be put. They don’t wait around with their hand out. 

On our recent Alaska cruise, I brought a small magnetic clip (Walmart) that I placed near the door.  In the evening when I put out my breakfast room service order, I clipped my the $3 tip so it was at eye level when I opened the door for the waiter.  It worked great - no searching for the tip when I'm still half asleep. The clip also was useful to put a note on the outside of the door. (Do not disturb, etc.)

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Does anyone have a method of tipping the laundry staff?  I have not figured out a way to make sure that my tip gets to the person who actually does the laundry. (I rarely see anyone from the laundry dept.) If I leave $ with the bag of laundry, the room steward is the person who delivers it to the laundry.   IMO these people do an amazing job and I would like to reward them.

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7 minutes ago, Cajuntraveler said:

Does anyone have a method of tipping the laundry staff?  I have not figured out a way to make sure that my tip gets to the person who actually does the laundry. (I rarely see anyone from the laundry dept.) If I leave $ with the bag of laundry, the room steward is the person who delivers it to the laundry.   IMO these people do an amazing job and I would like to reward them.

I’ve put it in an envelope with a note in with my laundry.  I hope it gets to them.

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In addition to all that has been posted already, we always leave a tip for the gal who makes my morning coffee in the Explorations Cafe. It's a morning ritual for us on cruises.  DH (who doesn't drink coffee) goes to the Explorations Cafe to pick up some special brew for me so I'll have it while getting ready for the day.  🙂  

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Petrocelli said:

Just so I understand this... So I have the "Have it all package" which includes drinks and gratuities.  So If I order a $10 beer, does the bartender actually get $1.80?

 

19 hours ago, kazu said:

 

YES. 🙂 

 

I am not sure it works that way; doesn't it do into a pool to to be divided amongst beverage servers? If I order a beer from a waiter, why should the barman get all the tips if the waiter is the one serving it?

Edited by Boytjie
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26 minutes ago, Boytjie said:

 

 

I am not sure it works that way; doesn't it do into a pool to to be divided amongst beverage servers? If I order a beer from a waiter, why should the barman get all the tips if the waiter is the one serving it?

 

I assumed the poster was at the bar ordering - I guess I answered too briefly. - yes, the gratuity goes into a pool and is divided among the bar servers/wine server & bar staff.  There is some difference in what they get based on volume of sales, etc but I don’t know the breakdown.

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Here is how we usually tip extra:

 

We give an envelope to the cabin stewards on the last day; since two started tending the cabin we give two envelopes and while at times we could not find both, we try to give each one their own (which happened on our recent cruise). A note about ice: our cabin steward asked us if we wanted ice and we said yes, twice a day. The first was delivered during their morning cleaning and the second was delivered in the evening; that was enough ice for us. We declined evening turndown service, which worked OK except we did not get chocolates after Day 1! 😮 We did not tip them less because of not taking turndown service.

 

We had the Have it All Signature package which we upgraded to the Elite package when we boarded. We ended every night at the Gallery Bar for nightcaps and on the second last night I tipped the barman that spent time with us, discussing and recommending bourbons, whiskeys and other spirits.

 

This cruise we never ordered room service for breakfast or morning coffee, mainly because we preferred to start the day with a large Americano with an extra shot from the Explorations Cafe.  

 

We never had the same table or waiters in the Dining Room so felt no need to tips extra. I do not carry money around on a cruise, so I am happy to have gratuities take care of tipping, and tipping also those that are not on the "front line".

 

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1 hour ago, Cajuntraveler said:

Does anyone have a method of tipping the laundry staff?  I have not figured out a way to make sure that my tip gets to the person who actually does the laundry. (I rarely see anyone from the laundry dept.) If I leave $ with the bag of laundry, the room steward is the person who delivers it to the laundry.   IMO these people do an amazing job and I would like to reward them.

 

1 hour ago, Florida_gal_50 said:

I’ve put it in an envelope with a note in with my laundry.  I hope it gets to them.

The first time I did this (years ago), I wrote “For laundry” or something on the envelope. When my laundry was returned, the employee had the envelope with him and with a very quizzical look on his face asked what it was for. I explained it was for the laundry personnel. 
I guess not many people did that at that time. (Hasn’t happened since.)

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8 minutes ago, dobiemom said:

(Hasn’t happened since.)

What hasn't happened since? 

(a)You didn't send an envelope with your laundry? :

(b) The envelope came back?

(c) The employee had a quizzical look on his face?

(d) none of the above?

😁

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12 minutes ago, VMax1700 said:

What hasn't happened since? 

(a)You didn't send an envelope with your laundry? :

(b) The envelope came back?

(c) The employee had a quizzical look on his face?

(d) none of the above?

😁

B and  C. 😄

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Cajuntraveler said:

Does anyone have a method of tipping the laundry staff?  I have not figured out a way to make sure that my tip gets to the person who actually does the laundry. (I rarely see anyone from the laundry dept.) If I leave $ with the bag of laundry, the room steward is the person who delivers it to the laundry.   IMO these people do an amazing job and I would like to reward them.

 

I don't think there is only one person doing the laundry (thinking back to the time we got a behind the scenes tour of the ship) , so I doubt that there is a way to get a tip to specific people.

Edited by Boytjie
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25 minutes ago, dobiemom said:

 

The first time I did this (years ago), I wrote “For laundry” or something on the envelope. When my laundry was returned, the employee had the envelope with him and with a very quizzical look on his face asked what it was for. I explained it was for the laundry personnel. 
I guess not many people did that at that time. (Hasn’t happened since.)

I usually address it to the laundry staff then put I short note inside saying how much I appreciate their great service.  I just don’t want them to think I accidentally dropped something in there which it could easily happen with me.

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What some people may not know is that any prepaid gratuities or anything extra that comes out of your onboard account goes to the general pool, to be split up among all the crew. When you tip with cash directly to the crew, they get to keep it. We always tip each room steward at least $20; this time we did $50 each. We did the same for the two stewards at our retreat cabana. Throughout the week we have gotten to know them and hear their stories about families left behind. Although we are far from rich, we want to help them in any way we can because of the sacrifices they make and also for their great service. 

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I think we fall into the “over tipping” group 🤪. We tend to take long cruises, 45-48 days. We tip at the end of the cruise in envelopes requested from the Neptune Lounge. We enjoy great service and want to show our appreciation. 

Generally, For our two room stewards we give $300 each, and Neptune Lounge concierge $100-$150 depending upon what s/he helps us with. We’ve been lucky that we’ve had the same main person through the cruise. We give the relief person $50.

We request a specific table at a specific time in the MDR for dinner at the start of the cruise and give the Maitre’d $50 tip at that time. And if our table is available every night we tip midway as well. We used to tip the wine steward $50 but we won’t apparently have to worry about that anymore.  We tip our MDR waiters $150 - $200 each.

We don’t go to the bars and rarely use the Lido or room service but if we do we don’t tip extra. We try to have breakfast in the PG most mornings and we tip them various amounts. 

As always the crew is thankful for what ever they receive. 

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Depending upon the length of the cruise, I tip mid-cruise and at the end to a certain extant.  I’ve seen the staff get off at different ports and want them to have some extra cash if needed.  I will leave two envelopes on my bed, one for each cabln steward, and give some cash to the bar tenders and/or servers who have been my “regulars” up to that point.

 

I have also tipped the Front Desk folks, if they have done something extra for me.

 

The amounts listed by everyone are pretty on par with what I tip.  The only difference is, I’ll split it up and give it out roughly mid-cruise and then end of cruise.

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