Hi we go on our first cruise in oct and we have paid £100pp upfront ,personally i think this is alot,is it normal to have to pay upfront before you even know whether you think it is deserved,and also it will seem as if we are being tight if we dont tip individuals whilst we are sailing
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Paying gratuities upfront
I'm wondering if you were charged that way because you used a European travel agent and paid in currency other than dollars. Most of the people who post here have more cruises under their belts than I do, in my time I've never had gratuities "forced" on me or been "forced" to prepay them. Because I know my gratuity is being shared by people I'll never see (as has been mentioned) I always give a small but respectable tip to the key people with whom I'm going to be in the most contact at the beginning of the cruise. I explain that there will be more at the end of the cruise regardless of how I do in the casino. This includes my favorite bar waiter(s), cabin steward, waiter, the maitre d' and masseuse. On the last night (or day) I track down those people and slip them a few bucks. Even on relatively impersonal lines like Royal Caribbean I receive superb personal service worthy of a Seabourn or Azamara.