Prepaying gratuities and extra tips.

Anybody do it?? I suppose theres gonna be quite a number.   Less of a bill at the end....On the other hand, I just can't bring myself to do it. Mebbe its the cynic in me to prepay what is essentially a tip for services rendered...which in this case haven't been rendered yet.   I suppose you can express your displeasure over something by lining up at the end and complaining about it...Ive never done that, we get off hauling our own stuff, (the good ol walkoff trick) but I always get a laff at the end at the number of folks who are either lining up to complain, or pay...and the looks on their faces at the size of their bill...being thirsty can get expensive heheheh.  On the other hand, I occasionally leave an extra tip for what I consider excellent service in a restaurant, or in a bar.  I remember one cruise where, after our first "continental" breakfast delivered to our cabin, we ALWAYS went to O SHEEHANS for a real one...(yep, OSHEEHANS has an excellent breakfast, and theyre usually empty, even on seadays..)  and the same waiter was there every day....HE set up our day the right way...what a hoot he extra 20 in the palm that second day when we asked if he would be there every day ( and he said yes obviously) went a looong way...

32 Answers

We always pre pay the gratuities since we consider them to be an inevitability and in most cases we believe that they are well earned. I would prefer to see the hidden charges like these all added into the upfront cost but such is the way it is. We would not stiff the crew on something like this so if we have to pay it we much prefer to do so before sailing. Extra tips we still do as well. Bar tenders, wait staff and or cabin steward will get a tip as warranted. In our case the steward has always received an additional tip.

I prepay before the cruise. I also leave an extra tip for the room steward each day. At the bars I always seek out a female for service and tip her well. (It’s the only way I can get a female to acknowledge my presence! I’m such a loser.)

I also tip when I eat at the specialty restaurants but not the MDR which maybe I should start doing???

I’m a generous person and have a good paying job so there’s no need for me to be stingy. These cruise ship employees work their butts off and get treated like crap by their employers so I think they deserve extra.

I loved O SHEEHANS the two times I was on the NCL Pearl. One of the great open secrets of NCL, breakfast at O SHEEHANS. MDR dishes (abbreviated menu) without the crowds. There was always a window seat available.

Generally agreed with both of you so far. The cabin steward is a special case IHO...he (and sometimes its a team) usually show up embarkation day...theyre up to their you know whats in alligators. I make sure he (they) know this aint our first rodeo, and yep, those 20 add up, but theyre special. I don't leave a daily tip...a matter of style I guess...but I make sure they get one the day b4 debark...chances are you wont see them THAT ugly day, and besides, we're gone with the sun...hopefully...

Usually, we don't prepay but we factor it into our onboard budget. We tip additionally when we feel it is earned. There have been a few sailings that the room steward was not even up to what we considered minimum expectations, sad but true. We had one sailing where the room steward was outstanding and he was a joy to be around. He got more than twice what we would normally tip. So the answer is, it depends......

I’ve only had one bad experience with a room steward. Interestingly enough it was my first ever Princess Cruise and left a sour taste for me. But after several more Princess cruises that line is my favorite.

I loved the staff on Carnival. I was ready to sign over my 401k, IRA, and stocks to the Female Ukrainian Barrista on the Carnival Inspiration! LOL! Unfortunately she’s married and moved on to another ship. (Or maybe fortunately!).

Always pretty but only tip extra to MDR wait staff and room steward.

Well, shame on me...the secrets out...(j/k)

Sorry bout that...missed your "query" bout tipping in the MDRs... I don't, that's just one of the places I believe should be written off by passengers as part of the shipboard gratuity. The servers in there are completely at the mercy of the cooks in the kitchen..all 276,315 of em… you tell the maître d about a surly waiter when you leave, if you feel the need, and if its bad enuff, have the waiter call him or her over...they'll invariably try to fix the problem..happened exactly once to us on NCL...and for the life of me I cant remember the ship....not sure how exactly they did it...but we got an extra $50 OBC, THAT I remember hehehe....and I didn't ask for anything either...

Besides, maybe an on board dating service would be a big money maker for them??? I think they have on board meet n greets for solo traveler?? If I even thought about "mingling", MY Queen would most definitely lop of my...head....

I will, at a minimum leave the auto grats in place, often prepaying them. The only time I would remove them would be if it were a cruise from Hades, which I have yet to experience.

Although I do believe they are mis-named, the autograts go to a lot of people behind the scenes that provide me a superior vacation - the bus people, cooks and servers in the buffet, behind the scenes hotel staff (laundry, etc), and others who on land would be a part of the tip pool.

I also will normally leave a cash tip for the wait team in the MDR and the Steward team assigned to my cabin - the amount depends on the service.

I will also normally tip the waiter $1.00 per drink, much as I do on land.

I have never had sub-par (or even par) service -- always top-of-the-line regardless of what cruise line I am on.


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