15% tip



Oh, I know no one will get anywhere convincing any jim's out there about this subject, but it just blows my mind that you can be in an S Suite on a HAL ship (yes, one of the jim's is booked in an S), spending big bucks, but still nit-pick on tipping a bartender. It has nothing to do with opening a can or not; it's these little 'rules' these cheapskates set- when someone has done enough for them to warrant a measly few coins- yes, 15% of a 'dam' can of soda is about 40 cents! To them it's the principle that they can open the can themselves; to the rest of us who would put down at least an extra dollar +, it's rewarding someone who is doing his damndest working 70+? hours a week for months at a time and making our vacation very special.

Now I'm wondering--- how many feet from the bar would a table in a lounge have to be before these guys would tip? Is 5 feet from the bar far enough, 10 feet, across the room? Where is the magic no tip/do tip line??? I find these tipping threads fascinating learning how some pax think.

jim vegas


I got news for you, i tip big at the end of the cruise, i just don't like anyone telling me how much to tip.

I don't feel sorry for the help on the cruise,they knew what they were getting into before they were hired.

I work and no body gives me a tip to do a good job, the trouble with a lot of people is they think they are big shots so they tip like it is going out of style.



'I think because of all the cheap skates out there we the tippers have to go along with the better policy.'

It was you, sir, who called other people cheap skates in your very first post. Then of course you went on to list the reasons you don't tip bartenders. I simply said to look in the mirror if you are going to call other people cheapskates. I can't speak for why others tip, I only know that we tip on the ship the same as we do at home; for service, not to be big shots.


Five words here folks .... "Different Strokes for Different Folks" Its OK to express opinions but lets keep the forum guidelines in mind here. No one has verbally abused anyone directly YET but it IS bordering on a REAL thin line. Lets just agree to disagree and move on.



'I think because of all the cheap skates out there we the tippers have to go along with the better policy.'

Peaches, I agree with you, if HAL(the Cheap Skates) had have the guts to rise the cost of the fare by 15 or 20% then they would not have had to change there tipping policy. Which by the way was only confusing to the people who wanted it to be, not to any of the people who really read it.
If HAL wants to tell you how much to tip and who I should tip, then we have gone the way of Carnival, and they should be charging for coffee and ice cream soon, If they had gone the way of some of the top lines as Seaborn, then the tips would be included in the price oh the cruise fare.
I was hoping that HAL would move itself up a spot and be in the same league as say a Oceania, and quit trying to be something for everyone and get back to there main reason why most of us cruise on her SERVICE.



Barry, I hope you realize the quote about 'cheapskates out there' was said by jim- I was simply commeting on it.

Yes, I agree with you. HAL can't be something for everybody and that is what they are trying to be. I would much rather see HAL go upscale and try to woo the Seabourn, Crystal, Oceania cruisers rather than try to appeal to both those who will only cruise with very discounted fares and the more traditional HAL pax at the same time. They are going to end up satisfying nobody.


I wish this subject didn't have to fall into such ugly slime so often. It's disheartening to say the least.

I would say that I agree with Peaches (and no doubt many others) that if indeed HAL is moving to widen it's net and attract more passengers it will no doubt suffer (at least in the short term) some loss of its historic passenger base. When a company tries to be all things to all people it seems that no one is served well.

IMO, the current scene is probably more reflective of the evolution of the industry where "vista-class" and "voyager-class" equate to the advent of the 747. The 747 changed aviation in many of the ways that these ships are changing cruising. Mass appeal carries its own price tag. Perhaps not all of the dynamics of ships relate well to airlines - but the trends, events, marketing gimmicks and operational realities bear a striking (and sometimes eerie) similarity.

Just my $.02


Steve in Houston


First, I see a few new names with not many posts, so to those, Welcome to our HAL forums.

Second, you seem to be starting out on what is probably one of the most controversial topics that there is for cruisers short of what to wear on formal night.
But please, let's keep in mind that it is OK here to argue but it is not OK to fight, and yes when it gets to downright name calling, some posts or a whole thread, well, POOF is a good word. So if you want to make your point, your welcome to do that but make sure you attack the issue not the person.



Ok, here's MY 2 cents worth...I just got back from my first cruise ever..on the zaandam...I'm not too enthused by the thought of tipping some good old boy who sits on a stool behind a bar handing you a can of beer while watching his tv....but I assure you, this is NOT the case on the Zaandam! Every single person you will see working on serving drinks is smartly attired in their spotless uniform...walking around bringing you drinks or snacks to eat...giving you their complete attention at all times...being accessible at YOUR convenience if you should need anything. They also smile and address you in a friendly manner...they make it obvious that their sole purpose there is to serve you...they are so good at their job...I would feel guilty if I didn't give them a decent tip! They all earn it, I guarantee! And when you order a soda in the restaurant... they don't just toss a can of soda on the table..they deliver it with a glass of ice on a napkin..end of the straw still covered..and they open the can and fill the glass for you..EVERY time! And still, I know many people still have not given them a penny. That is ridiculous! Dave



I posted earlier that I was disappointed in HAL's decision to automatically include a 15% tip. My thought was that, if the service is as good as what we have received on previous HAL cruises, surely the guys and gals who always go the extra mile will get the short end if 15% is automatic.. However, now from reading the boards, I understand that the people that do not tip may out weigh the people that do tip.

Therefore, I am adjusting my opinion, only because I thought everyone would give these wonderful service professionals at least 15%. I

Do I now only give 5% to my favorites??? How do I know they get my extra special thank you? Will they still get the 15% deducted from our bill?

Bye the way.... I like chasing down those special guys and gals at the end of the cruise to give them our special appreciation. Is that work???? After what they have done for us?

Just my opinion.......................


We usually single out a couple of bars, usually the Crows Nest, (what else) and in most cases the piano bar, usually are in them about the same times every day, so we zero in on a bartender and a waiter(ress), that after the second day knows our likes and dislikes, that's how good they are. We will not tip for every service but on the way out at the end of the evening, we all make sure that the tip exceeds their expectations. During the day I usually carry a pocket of ones for the various bars and the little roller bars in the lido. I for one am glad to see it happen, this way you don't have to keep track of every encounter, just the extras for your special people. I will still keep the cabin steward and waitstaff on a personal level.


Having been a bartender in college (a long time ago), I can tell you that I NEVER received a tip from anyone! Maybe I was a lousy bartender, but I never expected a tip anyway. I just did my job and received no complaints from my boss, who owned the place. Fast froward to today and we find that we are expected to tip everyone from the baggage handlers to those that vacuum the passageways on the ship. Let's be practical; if one is afforded service that is above and beyond what is normally expected, then a reward in the form of a gratuity is appropriate. I object to automatic gratuities primarily because I have personally experienced a significant decline in service on cruise lines that have implemented this policy; Carnival and Princess immediately come to mind. Hopefully this will not happen on HAL.


Just because you do not see people leaving tips each time they have a drink, please do not assume they are not tipping.

It has always been our habit to frequent the same lounge for before dinner cocktails (Ocean Bar) and Crowsnest after dinner. We never tip each time we are served a drink but we always tip on the last evening with an appropriate sum in an envelope for all of the folks who took such good care of us during our time aboard.

We just returned from b-to-b's on Maasdam and tipped at the end of our first segment and then again after the second cruise. We happily extended tips to all of those who truthfully "COULD NOT DO ENOUGH FOR US" throughout our cruises. We knew many of them from previous cruises and it was a delight to see old friends again. We left more in tips than many people paid for their entire cruise......

So when one ASSumes, they often are incorrect. If anyone had nothing else to do but observe it we tipped each evening, they probably would have thoughtout us the "so-called cheapskates" when they would not have had a clue!!


Having never frequented bars, I did not know it was customary to tip bartenders. I have learned something from this thread. Thanks all for explaining their viewpoints.

I have never quite understood tipping. Why it exists, and why and whom you are suppose to tip. Maybe my dad was a bad tipper, but when I was growing up, I thought you only tipped at sit down restaurants, and then I thought 10% was the guideline. Now a days, if someone makes you an espresso, they expect a tip. If they cut your hair, they expect a tip. But no one tips the guy who does their oil change, or clerk at the grocery store, or the friendly, helpful receptionist at the doctor's office. (I think, like I said, I don't understand tipping.)

How do you decide who you tip, and who you dont?

Why is it that the tip guidlines used to mention amounts for the room steward, and dining room staff, but they did not mention the bartenders?

I also have a question for peaches and other folks who tip generously. Do you tip at a buffet, or fast food restaurant? I did not think that you were supposed to, and never have at those. If I stand in line to order, and carry my own food to my table, like at a fast food restaurant, I do not tip. A buffet, I typically put in that same class. (Although one of the guys at the front of the buffet line on the Rotterdam I was pretty amazed with, and did tip him.) Now, back to the current topic: I think for some in this thread, if they walk up to the bar, order a drink, and get it handed to them, and they walk back to their table or drink it at the bar, it is basically self service.

Post Edited (12-03-03 03:00)


I think the rule of thumb should be in your own mind, who has affected your vacation such that it is more enjoyable than if they were not there. You are absolutely on the right track IMO when you tipped the guy at the front of the buffet line.

We did the same on the last trip we took...and it was the first time I did that. I have not generally tipped the guys dishing out the food behind the buffet counter, but the guy at the front recognized us every day, called us by name after the first day, and joked and chatted with us every morning. It was certainly a fun way to start the day. When my dad was ill, Lido guys would help carry his tray to the table and bring him things that were not on the buffet line, like soft boiled eggs that he wanted...I tipped those guys.

Bartenders are a little different sort since they don't bring you a drink...but most land bars have a tip jar for the bartender, so at sea is about the same. And on HAL, these guys do really seem to work at making pleasing conversation, fun drinks, and more than just opening a can of beer for you. But again, I personally tip based on if the person has enhanced my cruise experience. On HAL, that does extend to more than the table waiter and cabin steward because more people are truly working to make my trip memorable.