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Do the automatic gratuities cover specialty dining servers?

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Hi All!  We are planning to eat at several specialty dining restaurants on our upcoming HOS cruise.  Do the automatic gratuities cover servers in these restaurants or are we expected to tip additional as well?  We usually will add a small additional gratuity for excellent service but it's helpful to know if they are getting a portion of our "regular" tips as well?  

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No, the auto gratuities do not cover specialty dining.

 

However, there is some debate on whether the fee for specialty dining includes tips.  If you purchase specialty dining on board, they add 18%.  If you purchase pre-cruise, they don't add the 18%.

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Specialty restaurant servers do not receive any of the auto-gratuities.  We always purchase specialty dining pre-cruise at discounted rates and without the 18% gratuity added so we do leave a cash tip, typically $20 for the two of us.  If we were to purchase on board with the 18% gratuity automatically added, we would not tip additional.  

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33 minutes ago, Tulsacoker said:

Wonder how the auto-gratuities work if you dine in the Coastal Kitchen vs. MDR? 


Every night you enter, they request your cabin number leaving me to imagine it is for tip allocation.  

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1 minute ago, CruiseKeeper said:


Every night you enter, they request your cabin number leaving me to imagine it is for tip allocation.  

could be .. thought that was only to check us off the reservation list

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40 minutes ago, Tulsacoker said:

Wonder how the auto-gratuities work if you dine in the Coastal Kitchen vs. MDR? 

 

I asked the CK manager this very question a few days ago.  "CK wait staff are part of the pool that MDR wait staff also participate in."

 

So yes, they get part of the auto gratuity.  My waiter has been fantastic so he'll get a little more in an envelope from me.  

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We also give our waiter in Coastal an envelope at the end of our cruise.  We also tip the manager.

 

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I don't worry about the mystery of the tips.  Tips on a ship, are not like tips in the USA and definitely not like tips in Europe.  Therefore the ship has it's own tipping culture.  Cruise lines tell you how much is "expected" and gives you the option of prepaying it.  The specialty restaurants, clearly say tip included, and many other items an 18% is added.  So whatever they charge me, I paid it or prepaid it.  After that, I never think about it, or worry about it because I did what the tipping culture said to do. It is part of the cost of my trip.....and I'm satisfied

 

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4 hours ago, crusingcouple said:

Hi All!  We are planning to eat at several specialty dining restaurants on our upcoming HOS cruise.  Do the automatic gratuities cover servers in these restaurants or are we expected to tip additional as well?  We usually will add a small additional gratuity for excellent service but it's helpful to know if they are getting a portion of our "regular" tips as well?  

We always do the D+ BOGO first 2 nights and usually other nights too with a good discount included.

The service is always excellent so I always give our waiter at least $10 cash tip and they are always pleased with this.

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3 hours ago, grapau27 said:

We always do the D+ BOGO first 2 nights and usually other nights too with a good discount included.

The service is always excellent so I always give our waiter at least $10 cash tip and they are always pleased with this.

Do you purchase the D+ BOGO before sailing or is it done after boarding?  I'm new to this perk.  I assume being solo I can use it for the first two nights??

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5 minutes ago, squadron said:

Do you purchase the D+ BOGO before sailing or is it done after boarding?  I'm new to this perk.  I assume being solo I can use it for the first two nights??

 

It can only be used onboard, but they usually allow a pre-cruise reservation to take advantage of the BOGO coupon.

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I always tip additional for all specialty dining waiters, regardless if the tip is included. The specialty waiters are often top-notch and they deserve it. 

 

Jonathan

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everything i have read on specialty dining states "Tips" or "Gratuity" is included in the cost , that is the same whether you see it as a separate item or not.

 

also i have seen the specialty waiters in the dining room at off hours so i assume they are also include in the pool.

 

either way my tips have been paid

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2 minutes ago, cruisegus said:

everything i have read on specialty dining states "Tips" or "Gratuity" is included in the cost , that is the same whether you see it as a separate item or not.

 

also i have seen the specialty waiters in the dining room at off hours so i assume they are also include in the pool.

 

either way my tips have been paid

As Bob stated in post 2 if you purchase Chops at $45 pre cruise the gratuity is included. If you make a reservation at Chops on board they will add 18% to the $45.  

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9 hours ago, Host Clarea said:

No, the auto gratuities do not cover specialty dining.

9 hours ago, dplusd said:

Specialty restaurant servers do not receive any of the auto-gratuities.  

 

Unless something has changed in the last year, I believe the above is incorrect. All of the servers I have ever known in Specialty also work in the Windjammer or other venues (I have seen and spoken with them many times in different venues other than specialty) during their morning and/or afternoon shifts, and they are a part of the auto-gratuity pool. Am I wrong here? If so, please explain.

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8 hours ago, CruiseKeeper said:


Every night you enter, they request your cabin number leaving me to imagine it is for tip allocation.  

I'm glad they check.  I was erroneously charged for an adult beverage ordered in the MDR but I dined in the WJ that evening.  None the less, the charge was removed.

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9 hours ago, Tulsacoker said:

Wonder how the auto-gratuities work if you dine in the Coastal Kitchen vs. MDR? 

 

8 hours ago, CruiseKeeper said:


Every night you enter, they request your cabin number leaving me to imagine it is for tip allocation.  

 

Correct.  Your CK servers are getting their "share" of your gratuities.

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8 hours ago, squadron said:

Do you purchase the D+ BOGO before sailing or is it done after boarding?  I'm new to this perk.  I assume being solo I can use it for the first two nights??

I go straight to Chops or Giovanni's when we board and book our BOGO dining times.

BOGO is for the first 2 nights for D+ and Pinnacle only so you will be charged for 1 night at full price and the second night will be FOC but let the restaurant manager know as soon as you can after boarding.

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On 1/15/2020 at 10:16 AM, Ourusualbeach said:

As Bob stated in post 2 if you purchase Chops at $45 pre cruise the gratuity is included. If you make a reservation at Chops on board they will add 18% to the $45.  


I just purchased an UDP today and when you go to order history and expand the order details it shows what you paid pp and on my invoice it shows gratuities....included.  
 

So after you book you can confirm gratuities this way.  It did not show the breakdown on the Emil receipt or mentions gratuities either.  

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I really wish we knew this info before our last cruise!  We did UDP, and tipped a little, but had I known this, I would have tipped more!

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How do frequent cruisers adjust their auto-tip when they end up going to MDR say only once or not at all (whatever reason - bad experience/got sick/whatever) ?  

 

Can you reduce auto-tips going to MDR and increase portion going to stateroom attendant?

 

Separate but related question: How do you tip extra to WJ staff through on-board account?

 

 

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The "fee" you pay to dine in the specialty restaurants includes tips for those servers.

 

Your "included" tips (that they charge daily) cover your cabin attendant, WAITERS, ass't waiters and head waiter...do even if you eat at the buffet, that waitstaff gets tips.

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5 minutes ago, cb at sea said:

The "fee" you pay to dine in the specialty restaurants includes tips for those servers.

 

Your "included" tips (that they charge daily) cover your cabin attendant, WAITERS, ass't waiters and head waiter...do even if you eat at the buffet, that waitstaff gets tips.

But if you buy UDP online, do they still get a tip at the specialty restaurants, out of that fee?

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