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We are also travelling on 4th April. Our fourth cruise with Princess and we have opted out every time - choosing to tip steward/maid - main waiter/assistant. Controversial I know! We go to the Purser's desk and tell them we want the automatic tipping removed. I have never found the service we receive after that to be anything other than fantastic - so scaremongers who say that the staff know you have removed the tip and therefore get rubbish service are talking rot! I also have never had a member of staff tell me that they rely on our tips - the only thing they seem to want you be concerned about is giving them a positive comment in the end of cruise questionnaire. Enjoy your cruise!
Go into Tips and gratuities there are loads of answers to your question.
We have been on Sea Princess several times , the first we opted for automatic tips. After that we opted out & tipped who we belived to have looked after us.
Some crew do inforce telling you that the tips make up their wages & they need them !
Opt out! we kept ours on incase the staff knew and the service quality would suffer but friends at our table opted out and received the same standard of service a we did.they tipped at the end of the cruise and don't let the matre de see as the waiters have to hand over all tips.