My wife and I will be first time cruisers. Having read many reviews and forums, I get a sense that many tip their stewards, even though they may already have the gratuities package. I would like to know if there is a norm. Here are my questions: Is there an expectation on the part of the stewards that they will be tipped additionally? Would our service suffer if we did not do so? Or, would we get "extra special" service if we tipped additionally? What would be considered to be a reasonable tip (for instance, I'd hate to insult the steward by tipping in a manner that was less than expectation)? I imagine that the steward would know that we have the gratuities package. We just want to do the right thing. It's hard to know what that is.
A tip should never be expected and always appreciated.
Since one normally gives a cash tip at the end of the cruise, the steward would not know that you won't leave an additional tip until the end of the cruise. If you pull the autograts off,, they will usually know about it.
An additional cash tip is up to the individual -- some will tip for exceptional service, some will always add a tip, and some will never add extra. I will usually add about $5 per day for the cabin. I have tried tipping at the beginning of the cruise, but did not notice any change in service from the norm.
We usually tip our steward on the last day of the trip and we have never had anything but stellar service. Some prefer to tip day one and tip again at the end but that almost seems more of a bribe than a tip. Each to their own. We tip what we feel comfortable with and no tip is a forgone conclusion. The crew love monetary tips but they also appreciate being treated kindly and politely and like the real people that they are. That probably goes that furthest in how you are treated is in how you treat the staff. The tip is just our way of showing appreciation for a job well done.
Tip extra if you feel it is warranted.
When a room steward is showing interest in our grand daughters like this, she deserves a big tip and real good braggin at the end of cruise survey. She got an extra $10 a day tip at the end of the cruise.(5 day cruise) and had no idea of the tip she was going to get. They treat you good, you should treat them good even tho you are charged a gratuity
Tipping is supposed to be taken care of by the "Auto gratuities". Additional tipping is up to you of who and how much you think is deserved.
Is extra tipping expected ? I think that depends on the cruise line and cabin that your in. I bet a cabin steward on the QM2 in the "Queens Grill" section expects more extra cash tips then a cabin steward on the lower deck inside cabins of Carnival or NCL.
On my last cruise my cabin steward was just not very good, my friends down the hall had a good cabin steward. They got their concert tickets day 1 I had to go to the desk to get mine on day 2 and then he put it in my cabin day 3. My cabin was not fully stocked, my bed was almost short sheetted, I had to remake the bed night one. I was in the friends cabin and mentioned I needed fresh towels, their cabin steward over heard me and went and got them for me. At the end of the Cruise I tipped the friends cabin steward extra and just left mine the auto tip. Tip who you want and what you want.
Keep in mind, ship crew work long hours 7 day a week for 6 months and make most income from tips, not wages.
At the end of a cruise we always give a cash tip to our cabin stewards. We've always gotten such great service from them that i feel it is deserved. Occasionally, my DH will also tip the wine steward in the mind dining room because we always order pre-dinner drinks.
When we get mediocre service we do not tip extra. When we get exceptional service we tip in cash at the end of the cruise. I agree with what everyone has said. If you feel you have been treated with super service or kindness, feel free to add a tip. The room stewards sometimes seem surprised when we add to the standard gratuity and some times not so much.
Enjoy your cruise!
When I meet with my Cabin steward for the first time, I will tip him while he or she is bringing ice and water. I will also ask for fresh robes after I do.