Bryce - Answered a Question by Mac (02 Nov 08 19:40)

We are in our early 50's and went on OV this year for our first cruise. We went during school term time so not many children or families. Although there was a wide age range the average was probably somewhat older than us. In the evenings in particular people dressed 'smart casual' for dining. No shorts or tatoos but not many ties either.

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Kennedy - Answered a Question by Mac (02 Nov 08 21:09)

Hi - Thomson offer a great range of ports of call and might be your cup of tea. They have a casual eating area in the evening but most cruisers go to the restaurants which are full waiter service. If you book early you can get a drinks all inclusive package and tips are included. However I have an issue with people taking this literally as I am unsure how much goes to the staff and I regularly see people either "stiff" the waters on the last night or go to the bistro in order not to have to face the waiters who have served them all nights. Tips included it says in the brochure but a small recognition of service is always welcome to staff. If you don't get the all inclusive there is no 15% on drinks bills but again the bar staff are so great they deserve something.

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New - replied to Kennedy (02 Nov 08 23:31)

I am sorry, but I would definitely take it literally, if it says 'tips included'. To my mind, a further tip would only be called for if a member of staff had done something for me which was clearly beyond the call of duty. I certainly wouldn't 'stiff the waiters' or go and hide! It simply would never occur to me to be necessary, since it defeats the whole object of paying for a cruise where the tips are included! Why pay the tips twice? Of course if people follow your example, then the staff will expect a further tip. I haven't been on a Thomson cruise, but this is what I would expect to be the position.

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Aldrich - Answered a Question by Mac (02 Nov 08 21:12)

NCL perhaps. Tips are a straightforward $10pp pd added to your account so you know what you have to pay. Optional formal night, eat when you want.

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Hulstrom - Answered a Question by Mac (03 Nov 08 10:10)

I totally agree with Kennedy on this subject. Regarding the Thomson cruises, all tips are included in the price that you pay and if you can get the free All Inclusive upgrade, then, that's another worry off your mind in not having to budget for your drinks for the whole of the cruise and this also includes all your tea and coffee as well. I too would like to take the tightwad diners who have the Restaraunt waiters run ragged with all sorts of requests throughout their cruise then as he says 'stiff' them on the last night by not giving them a tip and it doesn't matter how small the tip is, the waiters are really grateful for what they receive. The Bar staff are the same, they really go out of their way to make your cruise enjoyable, so they also deserve a little bit of recognition in the same way, as do the cabin stewards for keeping your cabins clean and tidy. Even if you gave these people 10 euros each, that equates to about 50 Euros, which is about £45, a lot less than a bar tab at the end of the cruise.

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Wigg - replied to Hulstrom (03 Nov 08 13:16)

Look's like Thomson will have to be reported to Trading Standards under the Trades Description Act. Obviously 'tips included' is an untrue statement! It seems that one is expected to pay tips anyway, despite this statement, in which case it might be simpler to cruise with a line that adds on a set amount.

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be kind - replied to Wigg (03 Nov 08 19:27)

You are under no obligation to tip and you are not expected to pay tips - it is entirely up to you - there is no pressure (that I have found anyway). It's just that the waiters and bar staff (and entertainment staff)are SO lovely and put UK customer service staff etc to shame (harsh words but probably true) that we ALWAYS WANT to tip because they make our time on the cruise so pleasurable. We don't HAVE to but we alway feel we WANT to (believe me I don't usually give tips lightly) but the staff on board go a long way to making our holiday feel special and actually they make it a big part of the reason why I want to return each year on the same fleet of ships ie: Thomson. So they must be doing something right!! On a last note, if I didn't want to tip I wouldn't - nobody would point you out and name and shanme you, so Thomson are not issueing untrue statements.

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Wilba - Answered a Question by Mac (03 Nov 08 21:21)

I have not cruised with Thomson but I am very aware that they offer good value for money, just read the reviews, on standards of food & dress codes & optional all in drink packages. I'm also very aware that another reason for their popularity is that tips are included, a big issue with the British cruising public, so to tip again is neither a requirement nor the norm. Once again read the reviews. ..Wilba.

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