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OK you asked for adice, here it is:-
Never ever prepay tips. You would not dream of doing this on anything other than a cruise ship, and the sooner people cease this ridiculous practice the sooner the cruise companies will get rid of it.
Would you book a meal at a local restaurant and give then a tip beforehand - of course not - so why do it on a cruise ship?
That is a very good point. I have to admit, we never pre-pay our tips. I respect the fact that tips make up a large part of the crew's wages so I would never not give a tip (unless the service had been extremely bad!). However, I feel tipping should always be seen as rewarding for good service. It is rare to be given poor service on any ship, but I think you should always have the right to give what you feel is appropriate, bearing in my mind the guidelines.
Do the same as you did 5 years ago.
You normally get provided with vouchers to put in the tip envelopes rather than cash. One voucher for your stateroom attendant, one for your waiter, one for the assistant waiter and one for the head waiter.
No your not expected to tip twice but can if you wish?
Yes your attendant and servers will know as will anyone else thats on the list?as Anderson has said you get envelopes and vouchers to give to the staff as you thank them you can add more if you wish.And all the money is given out and with deductions by the cruise company.
We will never pre pay tips if we have a choice.........we take our own envelopes and put dollars in and hand them out on the last day of our cruise.......however.........im not quite sure where ive heard this but i think it is going to be a compulsary act that RCI do in the future.........the same as......at the end of the cruise you get the option to allow RCI to finalise your bill in dollars to english pounds while onboard..........i prefer to have the bill in dollars so MY bank/builing society exchange..its cheaper that way......howvere......even though we told them that is what we wanted on our last cruise.....they still did it their way!
Yes, they know who has prepaid the tips and who hasn't. Yes there is a 15% tip automatically added to each drink bill - no there is no need to pay more. Just please remember that staff on the tipping scheme earn $50per month - they rely on the tips to make up their salaries, so please play the game and pay the tip as recommended. Personally I always prepay - makes the end bill smaller and as I am going to pay anyway I get it out of the way.
Go to Vacancies on cruise ships... $50 per month, I don't think so....You can see how much everyone earns.. low wages.. its a mythe..