Beating a dead horse.....

  • Thread starter Lady Jag(Bobbie)
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Lady Jag(Bobbie)

I know this subject has been gone over way too much, but at the time, I wasn't planning a HAL cruise, so I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it. So, can those of you who have cruised with HAL give me some insight into how you tip?

Do you tip everyone what you would normally tip on other cruise lines? (waiter & cabin steward $3.50 pp, per day, asst. waiter $2.00 pp, per day and head waiter .50 pp, per day) OR, do you tip more or less than what the other lines suggest? Does it depend upon what they've done for you or do you tip the standard amounts regardless of the job performed?


I always tip according to the level of service I have received, but never less than suggested by other lines. The service has always been outstanding on the many HAL cruises I have taken. Don`t forget the bar and cocktail staff, HAL doesn`t add a service charge as other lines do, and believe me, the wait staff is excellent. After the first day, they will remember your name, and what your drink preference is......jean


Hi Bobbie, When we cruised HAL our tipping was guided by what we had done on other lines. I do wish HAL would 'get over' their "tipping not required" policy. I feel that a lot of cruisers find it very confusing! jeanoh is correct about tipping in the bars and lounges as well. Since the gratuity is not added to your bar bill be sure to carry some dollar bills to reward your servers.....and yes, they are great and gracious!

Jim Munkittrick

May i offer one little suggestion?
If you enjoy a cocktail every evening before dinner and plan on patronizing the same bar, ie, the Crow's Nest, you may want to consider pre-tipping your waiter. And as you go thru the week or longer, you can add to it once the original tip is "used" up....Even though they are really great without it, it adds a little spring to their step!

Lady Jag(Bobbie)

OMG!! I hadn't even thought about bar tips! I'm so used to them being automatically added on. I think it could get tedious having to carry around small bills everyday. Which works better? Tipping the bar servers at the beginning or the end? I guess if you tip at the end of the cruise, they figure you won't tip them?

Also, does HAL have Soda Cards for those of us that are Diet Coke-aholics?


As you know we have cruised HAL a very large number of times and I have never carried currency around with me.

On the traditional "tip night", we have prepared envelopes for those bar servers who we have been with alot during the cruise.

HAL will never leave envelopes in your cabin or tell you who or how much to tip. can be sure there are plenty of envelopes available on the counter at the office and you stop by at your convenience and pick up whatever number your need. For your waiter, asst waiter, wine steward and any bar servers etc you wish to tip.

Whatever lounge a bar steward is in on the first night, they will be in for the entire cruise. They are rotated from bar to bar only for a subsequent cruise or only in the case of a rare special need during a cruise. will soon learn that once a bar steward or bartender meets you in a lounge on any HAL ship, he will remember your name, cabin number and drink. Each time you enter that bar, he/she will greet you and you will soon become friends with a number of them depending on how many lounges and how often you go to.

We normally go to the same lounge before dinner; stop by the casino bar after dinner and then up to the Crowsnest. In our case, because of how often we cruise HAL, we already know so many of the crew, that we pick up the conversation where it left off on our last cruise. For a cruiser trying HAL for the first time, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the genuine friendliness and the quality of the service that is the norm on HAL.

If you are in any of the lounges for a considerable number of times, I think you will choose to thank them appropriately. These Stewards are like none others we have ever seen on any other cruise line. Obviously, if you went to a certain bar once or twice and never saw that steward again, you probably would not tip them by envelope the last night. (There is nothing wrong with carrying around singles with you and tipping as you go if you wish, but not many people do that. Some do....and that's certainly your choice.)

The point I was starting to make about them being in the same bar for the cruise is that it is no problem at all finding them on the last night to give them an envelope...which will be very much appreciated. They will 99% of the time be in the same place you have seen them the entire cruise.

My husband and I always notice what we call "musical bars" on the last night of the cruise. That is that pax who have NEVER been in the Ocean Bar the entire cruise for their pre-dinner cocktail sand hor d'ourves are suddenly in the Ocean Bar the last night and some who have been in Ocean Bar EVERY night of the cruise, suddenly feel the urge to go to the Crowsnest. That is the way they avoid tipping the crew and think no one knows or notices. They are mistaken!

Tipping in the dining room is handled the same as on every other cruise line we have ever been on. Steward, Assistant Steward and Wine Steward (if you have used his/'her services). As on all other lines, if you feel the Head Waiter or Maitre d' has done something special for you, by all means, he, too, appreicates any and all tips.

No crew person on HAL will ever answer even if you ask how much to tip or who to tip.
It is entirely up to you and at your discretion. No one will tell you to tip the Head Housekeeper...a major gripe of mine on Celebrity.... or to tip anyone else for that matter.

They do, however, acknowledge that tipping is the universally accepted method of saying thank you and tipping is very much ALLOWED and appreciated....and yes, expected!

Hope this has been some help to anyone with HAL tipping questions.


>>>I'm so used to them being automatically added on.<<<

I think this is the essence of "tipping not required." Nothing gets added to your bill, no envelopes on your bunk, nobody hinting about it.


I am so glad I switched TA's. My old TA still tells people that 'tips are included' on HAL cruises. I would have felt really stupid on the last night when people gave the waiter envelopes and I was unprepared because I thought the tips were included in the price of the cruise.


I took Tom and Mary's suggestion and tipped half the 'expected' tip amount the first night of my cruise to my cabin steward, table waiter and assistant. I told my cabin steward that I would be tipping, never fear, and then said jokingly that he would be earning it. He chuckled then I asked for ice twice a day, an extra towel each day, and a standing order of Iced tea each morning for the cabin. Then we chatted about his family and our excitement over this being our first cruise.

This guy was sooo great. Since we had a great working relationship we told him the evening before what our cabin schedule was going to be so he could schedule our cabin cleaning accordingly. He confided that few offer him that info, and he was greatful. Seems cleaning on sea days is the toughest cause so many don't leave their cabins till late in the morning, then he has to work very late into his normal lunch break to finish all the rooms.

This guy told us one morning when we were going into port to PLEASE let him know when we return to the ship. Seems the week before he was in charge of the group who was killed on an excursion plane and all evening he worried that they had missed the ship. Indeed they had, and he and the other crew were very sad over their loss when they were informed late that night what had actually happened. Since that accident he worried endlessly when his 'friends' are late returning from shore, especially on short port days like Nassau. Seems many folks 'miss the boat' at that port since the ship sails at around noon.


Lady Jag(Bobbie)

Now that's a caring cabin steward! :)

Great tips, Mariposa. I appreciate them.

I noticed on our last 2 cruises that the cabin stewards really liked to know what our schedule was for the day. I'll have to make a point of telling him/her when we leave the cabin what our plans are. I thought they were given a schedule of who had what dining assignment, but I guess they aren't. It makes it kinda hard on them until they know when people are going to be eating so they can get in the cabins for the evening clean-up & turn-down.


Bobbie- It DEFINITELY isn't "beating a Dead HORSE" in discussing tipping on HAL if you've never cruised HAL before -Because it is JUST exactly as Sail7Seas has said; You will never be hussled for tips [ in fact, I heard that if a passenger reports that someone HAS -the employee is fired! So their job's are at stake] But the RITUAL of tipping/and THANKING still flurishes - I don't think anyone that has actually cruised HAL will disagree with me; the service is SO good -you are SO GLAD to tip!/thank! Other cruiselines are GOOD -even excellent [ not to sell ANYBODY short!] but HAL is even BETTER!
BTW -on signalling that you are out of your cabin. On Caronia in April we were bumped up to a suite [our first time EVER] and Maria -our maid. Stressed that we leave the "please Clean Cabin" card hung on the door if/when we went for breakfast or later. She could see my reluctance to DEMAND "Clean Cabin" ...But exclaimed that this REALLY helped them! as SHE didn't want to disturb us! I DO think that explaining to your stweard or stewardess REALLY helps them; and if that is your GOAL; just to clarify -You ARE doing these lovely people a favor! Just be sure you are COMFORTABLE with HOW you phrase it and a simple "Thank you VERY much" and you'll be fine!
You will LOVE LOVE LOVE HAL!!!!!!! I can't WAIT until October 22 -or whenever it is we fly off to Singapore!!!!AND the Volendam!!!!!!Anne:usa:CO:daisy


AnneS: I couldn't agree more. There isn't much WRONG in my opinion with "the others", it's just that HAL crews are so very special they really are better. The crews on HAL ships make such a difference in the mood and enjoyment aboard their ships, that we come home so much more relaxed and "content" from our cruises with them than with others.

I won't say I'd never again sail on other cruise lines...there would just have to be a particular reason why. Unless it was a matter of a special circumstance, we go to HAL.


There are a number of TA's who hawk HAL cruises by implying that HAL's "no tipping required" policy means that tips are included in the cruise price. I consider these people to be opportunistic charlatans and refuse to business with them. HAL's tipping policy does not mean no tipping is allowed, it is an effort to incentivize their crew to give the kind of service that makes people want to reward the service they have received. Many, including myself, have observed a decline in the level of service on cruiselines that automatically add tips to passengers on board accounts. This will never occur on a HAL ship. Service will always be top notch. Viva La Difference!!!!