Nive to see someone concerned about this. The $10 pre passenger per day covers your dining room waiter and asst waiter (aka bus boy) and your cabin steward. Drinks ordered from the bar have the tip added on automatically.
Room service is not really covered. We take a bunch of singles with us, tipping a dollar for some coffee, up to whatever seems to match the amount they bring. I don't try to get fancy about calculating this, but if they are carrying a huge tray, I tip more.
Otherwise, it depends entirely on service received. I do not automatically tip the maitre d' or anyone else in spite of the cruise line always trying to get us to do that. Unless, of course, they do something extra for us. And, I rarely carry cash around on board anyway. But, if someone gives me service above and beyond, I tip at the end.
As an example, we were on a 16 day HAL cruise. I smoke, hubby had quit, so I would go up to this one bar when I wanted a cigarette. The first two times, I aske for ice water. From then on, the waiter would ask if I wanted my "usual" and bring ice water, which I found funny. But, he treated me asif I was the biggest spender in the place, in spite of the fact that I never spent a dime. So, at the end, I went back up and palmed him a nice sized bill. He gave me an origami bird with the signatures of the entire bar staff as decoration. I still have it.
So, use your own best judgement. Tipping is supposed to be a matter of thanking someone, not etiquette. Keep that in mind and you will be fine.
The "tippin" subject came up numerous times on our just completed 38 day Holland America crusie to South America. Holland America has raised the daily rate to $11.00 per passenger howver the number of staff now sharing in that "tip pool" has increased. It used to be waiter, bus boy and cabin attendant. The real problem with "tip pooling" is that you as a passenger will more than likely see more than one waiter or bus boy especialaly on HA for the "anytime dining". We had the same waiter for about 50% of the time on this cruise and his service was excellant, therefore we gave him a very nice "extra" at the end of the crusie. We had the same bus boy for only about 25% of the time and since his service was excellant we gave him some extra.We noticed around us that no other passenger gave him any additional tip. He was most apprecitive of our tip. On room service we usually give $1 or $2 and the waiters always seem to appreciate it. We decided to ask one what his expierence was and he told us most people don't give him anything. By the way he also participates in the $11 per day "tip pool". We left no tip in the "pay to eat" dining room as there was a service charge of $20 already imposed on the meal. The bartenders get an extra 15% tip added to the on board bill when you order. We were a little disappointed when we learned that the "tip pool" covered some additonal emplyees. Your wine steward will get the 15% tip added onto your cabin bill for the wine. In addition to those people I have mentioned, expect to tip the people who take you on shore tours. We noticed that about 50% of the people on tours tip with the amount being from $1 to $5 per persos. Some folks don't tip these people at all. Also on this cruise there were a lot of docks in industrial sections of the port and the cruise ship or the port offered a "free" shuttle bus from the ship to the dock entrance. The drivers of these shuttles expect a ip and in many cases there was a basket full of $1 bills so you would not miss seeing they expected a tip. Now my TIP to you. Take along a stack of $1 or $2 bills so you will have change to provide those tips.
I realize this is an older thread, but maybe someone is reading this for the first time like I was :-)
Checking with friends who cruise frequently, she suggested the following.
Pay the "recommended" amount that is billed to your account. In addition she recommends leaving a dollar per cabin guest on the pillow every day for the people caring for your room. She also left an envelope with a tip for the waiter who served you all week. Also remember those loading your luggage are usually not employees of the ship, so giving them a $1 per bag might help ensure you get your luggage safely to your room.
It would depend to your kindness. But in cruises it is something traditional. Your 10$ is fair tip rate. Airline fees are a hassle and as a result, some people wonder about various kinds of getaway, like a cruise. It will not save everyone from being nickel and dimed, as ***Edited to remove commercial reference*** are just as numerous, lying in wait around to ambush one's wallet.
Last edited by Donna; September 17th, 2012 at 06:39 AM.
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