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First Cruise-tip question

My wife and i are going on the Allure May 6 2012, for our first cruise and really first vacation ever. My question on gratuities is ----better to pay them in advance or the last night? Or a mix of both with above average service being rewarded in addition to the prepaid amount?


Well-Known Member
We pay the standard in advance, but we also will reward those who offer stellar service with an additional envelope on the last day, plus we carry some ones around with us for waiters/servers/bartenders who remember our names, what we drink, etc. These people work very hard.

Paul S


Well-Known Member
Tips are paid at the end of the cruise, usually on the last night. You can have them automatically added to your shipboard account, in which case you'll get a slip to put in the "tip envelope" (which will appear about three nights from the end) or you can put cash into it. Recommended guidelines are provided with the envelopes. You can "up" the tips or stiff the help, as your conscience allows. We've never been on a cruise where everyone doesn't rate AT LEAST the recommended amount. Tipping "in advance" isn't a tip; it's a bribe. If I were doing my job, I think it'd be insulting to be told, in effect, "I figure you won't give me decent service unless I bribe you first." All your bar tabs and services will automatically include a 15 per cent gratuity, so you can add a buck here and there to it, or add additional gratuity on the charge slip when it's presented to you for signature.
Hope this helps.
THERE is AUTOMATIC tipping system with the cruise line.they will take off each day . I think its about $11.00 a day each person. Its call a service charge`you do not have to do anything`
They will happyly do it for you. you can only on the last day`increase or decrease the amount.


Well-Known Member
I don't know if it has changed but it has been my experience that Royal Caribbean (and Celebrity) do not automatically add tips to you on board account as some lines do. That may have changed since my last trip with Royal Caribbean. The only time you have to pre pay the gratuities on RCCL is if you choose the "my time" dining option.

When cruising on RCCL I always go down to guest services and have them add the tips to my on board account which they will gladly do. Like most, I always put some extra in at the end as well.

Enjoy! :beach:
We always tip at the end of the cruise on the last night.

The only exception to that is for the server in the CL lounge. I usually tip them on the second day to make sure they keep me from getting parched. ;-) and then again on the last night.
My wife and i are going on the Allure May 6 2012, for our first cruise and really first vacation ever. My question on gratuities is ----better to pay them in advance or the last night? Or a mix of both with above average service being rewarded in addition to the prepaid amount?
You can prepay the standard tips as part of your final payment for your cruise (which must be done if you choose My Time Dining) or make arrangements to do so once on board. The daily amount is $11.00 for your cabin attendant, head waiter, waiter and assistant waiter. Tipping is, IMHO, a rather personal thing, some people like to tip at the beginning or near the beginning and again later in the cruise, others prefer to tip the last day and still others don't tip at all.

I always sign up for the standard tips and add onto that amount as the service deserves. For example, about mid-way through a cruise I will tip the bartenders/waiters and will tip them again at the end of the cruise. The exception is the waiters in the pool area whom I tip a dollar or two per order, mostly b/c I rarely have the same waiter more than once or twice. I distribute the tip coupons provided by RCL, along with additional cash, on the second to the last night of the cruise because I like to say a personal thank you to the waiters in the main dining room and my cabin attendant and the last day/night always seems too busy. I tip $2 per room service call and 15% of the cost of spa treatments (on top of the tip they automatically add).

Some folks have suggested I "over tip" but I believe in taking care of the people who take care of me. Having said that, I have, on one occasion, only tipped the standard amount for my cabin attendant b/c the service was far below par (the cabin wasn't clean when I boarded, past passengers trash left in the drawers/closet, and I had to hunt him down for toilet paper, among other things).

Now for a little story that you may find interesting. On my first cruise I was confused about the appropriate amounts to tip bartenders but I ball parked it and later found out that it was on the low side. However, I was so impressed by one bartender in particular I wrote a letter to the cruise line saying how great he was. My next cruise almost a year later this same bartender was on the ship and ran up to me saying, "Thank You! I saw your letter!" He had won employee of the year and the cruise line gave him a copy of my letter and said "this is what we like to hear." He was awarded a significant cash bonus. So, if you receive great service be sure and mark it on the comment cards and/or send a letter giving the name of the crew member.

Enjoy your first cruise. I'm sure it will lead to many more.