Hi, just returned from caribbean cruise. We did include the tips in our holiday package. Only thing I didn't like is that there is a tip included for the head waiter, assistant waiter and some other waiter in the dining room. As we ate mostly in the Windjammer, would have preferred if these staff got same. I do think you should be given vouchers for you to give to whom you choose as it is your money in the first place. It is stipulated as to who you tip. State room attendant, you don't mind as room top shape and smile from him each time you saw him no matter what time day or night. $3.95 per guest per day is recommended for each of these so you may think at end of holiday, it is expensive if you don't include in your package. Service fabulous on ship.
You do not 'have' to pay a charge up front for tips, although that is an option you may choose to take. Alternativley you will recieve a form part way through the cruise advising you the recomended tipping procedure to which you can repond to accordingly. The only other charges you 'have' to pay is 15% on drinks etc.
When we booked our first cruise for next year on Brilliance of the Seas we were advised not to prepay gratuities by our Agent.
Wow! You found a good agent there - Stick with them!
15% will be added to each drink you buy, speciality coffees and teas, ice creams, speciality restaurants, shore excursions, spa treatments and casino - that covers most extras onboard i think.
I think that you ought to have a word in your agent's ear and say to them that you understand that paying tips "up front" is an option and not obligatory and is there anything else they may have said that is dubious. Your agent is acting on your behalf despite what they may think. The others have mentioned the other charges but I will say that if I know the staff on Brilliance you will be only too pleased to tip the suggested amount. Great ship, have a great cruise. ... Neil.
Tipping is customary on board. Tip by cash at the end of the cruise and only give to who you think deserves it i.e. Stateroom attendant, Main waiter and ass. waiter and maybe the Head Waiter if you think he has done a good job. I always undercut the amount stated by a few dollars and give the money to them in an envelope in their hand otherwise the money goes into one big pot and I am not sure the relevant people receive it.
When we went on our first cruise last year we paid our tips at the end of the cruise. You can opt out and only pay tips to whoever you want to. We gave an extra tip to our steward as he did a grand job, as it was a special occasion, our 25th wedding anniversary and my birthday, we had balloons and invites left inside and outside our cabin and other special things. Get a brochure and read about tipping it will give you a idea as to what to do.
We have just returned from our first cruise we sailed with voyager of the sea.You do not have to pay the tips up front .We recieved envelopes on the last night steward ,head waiter ,waiter , and assistant waiter there is a recomended amount of money you put in to the envelopes.Other wise if you feel that one of these people have been more than helpfull with you and you would like to give them extra you may not want to if you have already paid the tips up front.
I would suggest not paying the tips up front, the figures are a suggestion and not set in stone, get back in touch and ask for them to be removed. You may want to tip less or more and it is up to you it is your money to do with as you like. I would hope the cruise line should be reinbursing you for the extra fuel charges they have inposed now that fuel has gone down. It should be the customer who should decide as and how they spend their money. Hope you enjoy your first cruise its usually always the best.