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Tipping tips...

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On another thread regarding drink orders it was posted: "Each evening as I order my first drink, I wrap a two dollar bill around my cruise card as I hand it to the server.  A two dollar bill is unusual and I've found that it helps them remember my name and my drink."

 

In addition to our HAL shipboard account standard gratuities, my DH used to handle any other cash tipping and I was blissfully ignorant of his practices. My DH is able to travel with me but, due to health issues, he no longer remembers (nor can teach me) what he used to do. I know to tip Room Service and the above drink tipping idea is very helpful. I realize practices vary and are individual, but any other onboard tipping suggestions (who, when, why, how) would be appreciated as I navigate one of my new roles. Many thanks...

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We leave a tip at the end of the cruise for the cabin steward and his/her assistant, as well as the dining room waiter and assistant.  If we've made use of the wine steward throughout the cruise, we also give them a monetary gift.  The amounts are up to you.   I wish both of you, many lovely days cruising in the future.

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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5 minutes ago, ger_77 said:

We leave a tip at the end of the cruise for the cabin steward and his/her assistant, as well as the dining room waiter and assistant.  If we've made use of the wine steward throughout the cruise, we also give them a monetary gift.  The amounts are up to you.   I wish both of you, many lovely days cruising in the future.

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

 

We do the same.  We don’t tip early unless we have ordered room service or are having a wine social for CC friends and then, of course we tip for that.

 

If there is a special bar tender, waiter, yum yum man, etc that has gone out of their way to make our experience good we tip them at the end of the cruise as well.  If we are in a Neptune Suite, we usually tip the concierges and the PG staff.

 

If we dine in specialty restaurants and are impressed we typically tip there as they won’t receive the additional tip at the end.

I’ve never tipped with the first drink or pre-service.  I was in the service industry and got tipped at the end.  

 

Now, with all this said none of this is necessary if you choose not to as long as you leave your HSC in place.  If anyone chooses to tip above and beyond their HSC is an individual choice.  It is not obligatory nor expected.  

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46 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

We do the same.  We don’t tip early unless we have ordered room service or are having a wine social for CC friends and then, of course we tip for that.

 

If there is a special bar tender, waiter, yum yum man, etc that has gone out of their way to make our experience good we tip them at the end of the cruise as well.  If we are in a Neptune Suite, we usually tip the concierges and the PG staff.

 

If we dine in specialty restaurants and are impressed we typically tip there as they won’t receive the additional tip at the end.

I’ve never tipped with the first drink or pre-service.  I was in the service industry and got tipped at the end.  

 

Now, with all this said none of this is necessary if you choose not to as long as you leave your HSC in place.  If anyone chooses to tip above and beyond their HSC is an individual choice.  It is not obligatory nor expected.  

 

kazu states it well and her suggestions reflect my practices.

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I tip extra at the end of the cruise only. I bring a package of Thank You note cards with me, decide who and how much each person get, then write a note to that person, with the extra inside. 
For lounges, since usually who serves me varies and rotates, and since they usually pool tips within a given lounge, I write one note addressed to all of them, and include the extra tip for them to share. 

The individual notes having something the person did that was special, and can be added to their personnel file, if they choose to request that. 

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5 minutes ago, RuthC said:

I tip extra at the end of the cruise only. I bring a package of Thank You note cards with me, decide who and how much each person get, then write a note to that person, with the extra inside. 
For lounges, since usually who serves me varies and rotates, and since they usually pool tips within a given lounge, I write one note addressed to all of them, and include the extra tip for them to share. 

The individual notes having something the person did that was special, and can be added to their personnel file, if they choose to request that. 

We also bring thank you cards from home and write personal notes to those we choose to tip extra. 

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28 minutes ago, RuthC said:

I bring a package of Thank You note cards with me, decide who and how much each person get, then write a note to that person, with the extra inside. 

 

Thank you for this post.  I neglected to mention this in my post and yes, we do the same.

 

The other thing that helps crew is do those navigator feedbacks or “let us know what you think” cards.  It really helps and matters to them.

 

Those I do throughout the cruise and they are truly appreciated.

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1 hour ago, taxmantoo said:

We also bring thank you cards from home and write personal notes to those we choose to tip extra. 

 

I bring manage to remember to bring envelopes for additional gratuities.  Somehow, my feeble brain never remembers to include some note paper.  The note pads that are now being provided in the staterooms serve the purpose of note paper.  Not quite as elegant, however.

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I just leave the Hotel Service Charge in place.  I don't believe in over-tipping.  However, I do tip for room service and if or when I have a "special" request of a crew member.

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We do leave the Hotel Service Charge in place so that any extra tips we give, those individuals can keep those tips.

 

People to tip: cabin stewards, dining room stewards, bar servers, wine stewards, specialty restaurant waiters, room service deliveries, and I probably have missed some people.

 

We tip extra to people at the end of the cruise who have made our cruise an enjoyable one.

 

Forget the $2 bills -- many banks no longer take them and the crew can't cash them in.

 

You don't need to bring tons of small bills with you -- you can always get change at the front desk.

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31 minutes ago, Oakman58 said:

I just leave the Hotel Service Charge in place.  I don't believe in over-tipping.  However, I do tip for room service and if or when I have a "special" request of a crew member.

 

We also leave the service charge in place and sometimes add a little for truly exceptional service.  My two dollar bill tip for the first drink each evening serves me well since it an unusual currency and the server remembers my drink and is attentive for refills.  It also results in a more generous pour and usually a better Scotch off the upper shelves.  Yes, it is pre-tipping, but it works for me.  And, since I wrap my two dollar bill around my cruise card when I hand it to them, I suspect that the server is directly compensated, if you get my drift.

 

"Forget the $2 bills -- many banks no longer take them and the crew can't cash them in."

 

I've never had a problem obtaining or cashing in two dollar bills. They are legal tender and banks are obligated to take them.  In my experience, the crew's eyes light up when they see a two dollar bill - especially if they are from the Philippines.

Edited by SargassoPirate

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most nights we eat in the Lido (for various reasons!).  We pick a spot and go to the same spot each evening, we get to know the server and beverage attendant in that are in that area and on the last night give them a tip.  They are always delighted.  

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Re: Personal notes....Not as good as you filling out the cards you get at night or can request a stack from the front desk to fill out about various people who help make your journey better. Those are IMPORTANT! They allow people to get extra time off, participate in crew excursions, etc. Even not tipping and filling those out are more important to crew! You can also (if you're more IT savvy, fill them out via the Navigator.) We try to fill out one or two a day as we cruise. Crew mention this as we travel along that it has made a difference!

Edited by janmcn

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3 hours ago, SargassoPirate said:

They are legal tender and banks are obligated to take them. 

That's true in the US, but they are looked at with suspicion by much of the world, especially if they look new.  I can't speak from personal experience but have often heard that the crew would much rather have two $1s.

Edited by catl331

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I'm glad this topic came up (again). We booked very last minute and are in open seating. We leave the hotel service charge in place, but always tip extra -- cabin stewards, dining stewards, wine stewards. However since we will for the first time in 24 cruises, have open seating and will most likely have different dining/wine stewards, I'm not sure how to tip. We will be sailing with DH's DB and SIL. I'm sure they will want to sit at a larger table than 4 top.

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23 minutes ago, Moonlight Beach said:

I'm not sure how to tip.

We do Open seating, but use the seating charts available on halfacts.com to choose a few table locations that we would like, and then right after boarding we make a reservation for one of them. If we like the servers we get, from then on we reserve the same table, or one of that team's tables, for three nights at a time. (Sometimes they will let you reserve for the entire rest of the cruise, sometimes not.)  If we don't hit it off with the first night's team or location, we'll try a different one on the 2nd or 3rd night until we decide which we like best.   The wine stewards have the same table(s) for the cruise, so you will have the same one for the whole time if you follow our strategy.

 

Or, if you want the flexibility of Open seating to go at different times on different nights, just ask at the door for any table belonging to your favorite team.

Edited by catl331

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As the OP, thank you to all that have taken time to help me and also to those that have come to my inquiry's defense. (I did not intend to cause a kerfuffle.) Your responses have been like a warm hug in the midst of my/our new reality.

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On 2/26/2020 at 3:36 PM, HAL Sailer said:

 

 

In addition to our HAL shipboard account standard gratuities, my DH used to handle any other cash tipping and I was blissfully ignorant of his practices. 

 

Your DH had a very nice idea. I have some leftover Philippine pesos from a recent trip, they can be put to good use for the drink servers on my next HAL cruise (yes, I am aware of the exchange rate and which crew are from the Philippines, and will tip accordingly).

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18 hours ago, vicd1969 said:

 

Your DH had a very nice idea. I have some leftover Philippine pesos from a recent trip, they can be put to good use for the drink servers on my next HAL cruise (yes, I am aware of the exchange rate and which crew are from the Philippines, and will tip accordingly).

 

Great idea on the pesos.

 

Several of the servers on a recent cruise were from Ukraine.  The cruise was roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale.  They seemed to have no problem with my two dollar bills either.  

 

I went to the bank yesterday and picked up some more two dollar bills for an upcoming cruise.  Small bank - three tellers.  Each one of them had two dollar bills in their drawers and they were able to assemble a stack of what I needed.

 

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I'm going to steal that idea of $2 bills for my upcoming Alaskan cruise and any future cruises that originate in the U.S.  I don't think I would use them for cruises from Europe or Asia though.  I like the idea of carrying fewer dollar bills.

 

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3 hours ago, Oakman58 said:

I'm going to steal that idea of $2 bills for my upcoming Alaskan cruise and any future cruises that originate in the U.S.  I don't think I would use them for cruises from Europe or Asia though.  I like the idea of carrying fewer dollar bills.

 

Take fifties or hundreds.  Guest services or the concierge can make change.

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On 2/27/2020 at 8:57 PM, HAL Sailer said:

I did not intend to cause a kerfuffle.

Oh, it wasn't your fault! 😃

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On 2/27/2020 at 7:49 AM, Krazy Kruizers said:

We do leave the Hotel Service Charge in place so that any extra tips we give, those individuals can keep those tips.

 

People to tip: cabin stewards, dining room stewards, bar servers, wine stewards, specialty restaurant waiters, room service deliveries, and I probably have missed some people.

 

We tip extra to people at the end of the cruise who have made our cruise an enjoyable one.

 

Forget the $2 bills -- many banks no longer take them and the crew can't cash them in.

 

You don't need to bring tons of small bills with you -- you can always get change at the front desk.

How can a bank refuse to take legal tender?

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In U.S. ports the porter who takes your bags at the cruise terminal expects a tip and in some cases they may even tell you to tip them.  Cruise terminal porters are the only people that I absolutely hate to tip. 

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