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Taylor - Answered a Question by BARNES (25 Jul 08 15:03)

Tipping again!! And the usual nonsense about rewarding those who have "made your cruise better than you could have imagined." Just one question for a, n to illustrate how ridiculous this is. Why do you only tip certain people? Why do you not tip, for example, the entertainment staff - they make you cruise very enjoyable. And why don't you tip the staff who clean and check the toilets? And why on earth should anyone who uncorks a bottle of already overpriced wine expect 15% of the purchase price for doing it? My advice is - if you are unhappy about the whole tipping business, boycott those who make these charges virtually compulsary - there are plenty of cruise lines now where tipping is not necessary. They'll soon get the message. But if you want a particular cruise ship or line, just pay up!

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Ida and Neil Down - replied to Taylor (25 Jul 08 20:13)

This is a solution that I have been advocating for a long time. If you don't like the tipping system go to the cruise lines who don't use it. Do not penalise the staff that have no redress by refusing to pay tips on those cruises that use it. .... Neil.

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a - Answered a Question by BARNES (25 Jul 08 11:39)

It is customary and traditional to pay tips on cruises - especially US lines, which this one is. Most UK travel agents should quote the price including the tips so you do not have extra to pay on board. 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: 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 Basically it works out at 9.75pp per day which is not expensive - approx Ł5.13 per day. Hope this helps.

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BLYTH - Answered a Question by BARNES (25 Jul 08 12:06)

It works out around $10 per day per person so on a 12 days cruise it would be $120 per person and allowing for the exchange rate that would work out at around Ł70 Other staff have a built in 15% added to your bill when you buy drinks, hairdresser, duty free shopping on the ship. You could cut back on the $10 per day option when you hand over the envelopes on the last night to the waiter/assistant; matitre'd and your stateroom attentdant/assistant.

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Matt - Answered a Question by BARNES (26 Jul 08 00:56)

Agree with Taylor, Ken, you don't have to tip anybody if you don't want to. I have been on several American lines and only tipped the people I think deserved it. To avoid pre tipping go to reception and tell them to take off the automatic gratuities. Envelopes are left in your cabin anyway at the end of the cruise so you can tip then. By the way, I tipped the plumber who I had to call to my cabin in the middle of the night for excessive noise from the wc. He was obviously surprised at receiving 10$, so Taylor you are quite right by saying the 'downstairs' staff should receive some acknowledgement for their services.

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Caz - Answered a Question by BARNES (05 Aug 08 21:10)

We agree that tips should be left to your own choice. On some of the cruises we have been on it has driven us mad when they constantly nag you about the amount you should give.We now make sure that our travel agent doesn't include tips in our cruise price and we always complete the form at reception to stop the automatic gratuities.On a recent NCL trip with terrible service they stopped the gratuities daily from your on board account and when we asked for it to be stopped they wouldn't refund any money until the disembarkment day and this did cause us a problem trying to get it back.If we get good service we tip well but I can never understand why we need to tip the head waiter when he never speaks to us unless it is the last evening when he expects a tip. The trouble with us British is we feel that good service should come with the price we are charged and dont REALLY want to pay extra for it.

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Roberts - Answered a Question by BARNES (05 Aug 08 21:43)

The staff on a cruise ship work very long hours and do not earn very much. They rely on their tips. Your cabin steward works extremely long hours and doesn't get more than a few hours off each day. He/she will keep your cabin spotless and tidy it whenever you are out. My husband loves the fact that he can just drop his used towels on the floor and when he returns to the cabin there are fresh ones. The restaurant staff work extremely hard as well. They usually start at breakfast time in one of the restaurants, then there is lunch and two sittings of dinner. They are always very pleasant and will do/get you anything you ask for. They deserve a tip. Tips are not mandatory; you do not have to tip and if you are on a cruise where the tips are added to your onboard account, you can ask for that not to happen. Whatever your ideas on tipping, the staff do deserve some form of tipping as they help make your holiday something to remember. If you cannot afford much, don't give much. All is appreciated. On some cruise ships all the money goes into the pot and is divided between the staff as some staff we never see - the cleaners who work at night, the people who constantly paint the ship, the people who work in the laundry or kitchens, which is fairer than just the people you see getting all the tips.

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frey - Answered a Question by BARNES (06 Aug 08 01:30)

Please keep in mind that most cruises charge a all inclusive tip per day. That is for everyone who takes care of you-from the maid,purser,waiter(breakfast/lunch/dinner/special buffets etc),bell hop, phone operator, reservations etc.-I will tell you that anthing less than $15 U.S. per day would be slavery as far as I am concerned. If you can not afford the tips...perhaps you shouldn't vacation,.

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streets - replied to frey (06 Aug 08 08:08)

Absolute rubbish,if you want to talk about slavery then you should aim your comments at the cruise line and NOT at the passengers,it should be down to personal choice who to tip and how much and if the cruise lines paid there staff a decent wage then the staff would not be on slave wages.

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MCMURDIE - replied to streets (06 Aug 08 09:34)

I TOTALLY agree with you, streets, worksop. I think we pay enough for our cruises as it is, it should be up to the cruise lines to pay their staff more and not us who have to save up all year round!!!!

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