Gratuity Breakdown & Optional Choice

I was told on the Royal Princess that the daily gratuity breaks down to 35% for housekeeping/stewards and the other 65% going to all other services that do not automatically include a gratuity (e.g. spa).

I had asked out of curiosity at the front desk and after replying, they quickly said you are welcome to remove the daily gratuity and tip at your own accord. I was very surprised to hear that - but left it on my bill and tipped extra where deserved as usual.

8 Answers

Carnival also allows you to remove the auto grats and tip crew personally.

I prefer to leave the autograts and tip extra as you did. It would take a lot for me to remove gratuities, but I don't mind showing my displeasure by not giving anything extra if service isn't up to speed. I just don't want to stiff someone who deserves their money and there is no way I could know every person who helped make my cruise special.

I would rather have the tips and such added right into the cruise fare at the start. Even with the drink packages you are still paying tips every time you order. While I believe that the tips go into general revenue for the cruise line, and some service do receive a portion of the tip. I don't believe it's all that fair. I will always tip for the extra service I get whether on a cruise or not, so unless something was really, really bad, I won't be removing the item from my bill.

I agree -- unless the cruise was horrendous (in which case I would be looking for a full refund anyway) I would never think of removing the tips.

I am a bit disturbed by seeing that the spa personnel are on the auto-tip list though. If one does not use the spa (as many passengers fit the list) should they be on the auto-grat list?

(Although I do guess that they are also in charge of keeping the gym up and running, so maybe so).

I tip a few of my good bartenders about a buck extra in cash per drink. I also prepay the gratuities as well.

Bartenders always get a cash tip, as do MDR waiters and Stuart (or Stuartess, as the case may beBig Smile)

We've talked about tips many times here but I wasn't aware of the percentages. I did know that gratuities may be removed from one's folio. NCL makes it more difficult than other cruise lines to do this but it can be done.

I mainly inquired about the percentage because I was curious how much the hard working stewards receive - the work they do when people disembark to prepare for new guests in such a short period of time is amazing. And having witnessed the process twice, I can tell you that the cleaning is thorough! By request, one can have their mattress & carpet steam cleaned which adds to the process. They each have 18-20 cabins to basically care for 24/7. Many are working for 6-9 months away from families they are supporting in other countries. True they are making more than they might be able to make at home but by US$ standards, it is about $500/700 per week. My steward admired a tote bag I bought that is common throughout the islands, so I got one for her and put an International Calling card (a very coveted tip) and cash in the wallet attached inside. She cried when I gave it to her.

I did not inquire about having the gratuity removed - this information was freely offered by the desk clerk who was ready to remove it then and there - I commented on this because of the ease in which it was offered and her comment that many people prefer to tip throughout the cruise rather than a lump sum.

Writing a positive review for a staff member is an additional "tip" in their eyes.

Yes, I agree.


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