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John - Answered a Question by Merry (22 Nov 07 09:42)

You can make the tips payment when you book. Don't do that if you want to tip who you (and not the company) want you to tip. A couple of days before the cruise finishes you will receive from your cabin attendant a form asking if you want the recommended tips to be deducted from your Sea Pass account or, and this is important, if you don't want the sum deducted from your Sea Pass and make the payments yourself. On a recent October cruise many passengers seemed to be tipping those who they wanted to tip and not allowing the company to deduct the money from the Sea Pass.

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Aldrich - Answered a Question by Merry (22 Nov 07 10:53)

All UK Travel agents should quote the price including tips. If your price ends with a sum such as .85p or .36p then yes this will include tips. The previous poster from Ryde is totally incorrect when they advise 'tip who you want' - as this is not correct - the tips go towards 4 members of staff who do not get a salary - they live off their tips. If you decide that you are not going to tip these 4 people then they will not be paid for their weeks work. All other members of staff are paid a salary - they do not need tipping. The 4 who are not paid a salary are the room steward, waiter, asst waiter and head waiter. Please bear this in mind and please tip correctly.

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John - Answered a Question by Merry (22 Nov 07 13:22)

The "tip who you want" advise is actually correct. You can and people do that. The customer has the choice and should have the choice. The question was are tips included. The original reply was correct as the question did not ask who the tips that are paid at booking go to. A further question might be should cruise lines expect their customers to pay their staff's wages. But that was not the =original question. It's a little arrogant to tell someone to tip correctly in the form of an instruction .It is for the individual to decide.

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Green - Answered a Question by Merry (22 Nov 07 13:53)

Taken from the FAQ section of the RCI website: Q: What are gratuity guidelines for cruises? A: So that you can thank those who have made your cruise vacation better than you could have imagined, we've developed these gratuity guidelines: Suite attendant: $5.75 USD a day per guest Stateroom attendant: $3.50 USD a day per guest Dining Room Waiter: $3.50 USD a day per guest Assistant Waiter: $2.00 USD a day per guest Headwaiter: $.75 USD a day per guest Note: These gratuities apply to guests of all ages. Gratuities for other service personnel are at your discretion. A 15% gratuity will automatically be added to your bar bill or wine check when you are served. Envelopes for gratuities will be provided in your stateroom on the last night of the cruise. Gratuities may be paid in the following ways: Pre paid by having them added to your reservation by your booking agent. Added to your onboard SeaPass account. Paid in cash at the end of the cruise .

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morris - Answered a Question by Merry (22 Nov 07 17:00)

All Thomson cruises include tips in the price...I believe Ocean Village do as well....however at the other extreme Costa add 'compulsory' tips to their prices which cannot be removed!!!!

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Neil and Ida Down - Answered a Question by Merry (22 Nov 07 21:08)

Question:- "Are tips included in the price?" Answer:- Sometimes.... this will depend on the agent with whom you made you booking and if they are added then somewhere in your notification it should say so. If they have not been prepaid Royal Caribbean will certainly propose that life becomes easier if you allow them to add tips to your onboard account and in general this is a very easy and satisfactory way to proceed. We all know that the staff that receive these tips receive very little other remuneration and tips are very important to them and I would suggest that unless you have found real fault with the service you go along with it. There will be others who say "I tip who I want to" and as we have so often found, from previous skirmishes with this subject, they are often people who use this excuse to save themselves money under that pretext. Although there are some differences throughout the various cruise lines, it is the way things are done on cruises and if you don't like it then write to the cruise lines and don't unnecessarily rob the men and women who do their best to make sure your cruise is good and allow that the money they so often send home is as much as we well off people can afford. Regards Neil Down .

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scales - Answered a Question by Merry (28 Nov 07 14:07)

To neil's answer, I am one who tip only those who I want to, Cabin steward, busboy & table waiter, we love doing that at the end of a cruise, but my main reason for telling you this - as I have answere this many times in answer to other such questions - is that we are NOT the sort of people who save money by doing so, a very offensive throwaway remark from a normally loved writer. On a recent Sun Princess 30-day cruise, we paid out more doing it our way that if left to the auto tips.

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Green - Answered a Question by Merry (28 Nov 07 18:45)

Scales - Neil, Ida, Fallen and I are very glad to hear that - but as a T/A I face people every day who say 'take off the tips' and I can tell you here and now 70% of them are of the attitude 'well, they will never see me again so it doesn't matter if we don't tip'......I try and explain but it falls on deaf ears. It gives us Brits a bad name and I can tell you that when ships are redeployed to the UK staff do not want to go as they know they simply will not earn the money....

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