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Gifts for crew

Discussion in 'Carnival Cruise Lines' started by Lady2fan, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. Lady2fan

    Lady2fan Guest

    Thank you Deb, but I'm not sure I understand the point of giving the card later, do you do this when you give him or her their tip at the end of the cruise?
    I suppose if they really had nobody to call, they could always sell it to a fellow crew member. The ones I spoke with all had family in their home country, they spoke of their wives and children and parents in some cases.
    Have a great day,
  2. beccabt

    beccabt Guest

    I say do whatever makes you happy. I'm sure anything is appreciated........whether or not they can use it isn't the point. It IS the thought that counts. I';ll stick to money and lots of thank yous myself but it is so sweet of some of you to give gifts. I think any show of kindness is a good thing and I don't understand why people are freaking out about it.
  3. Let me clarify..... I have given phone cards at the end of a cruise to my headwaiter and busboy ( occasionally to the people that take care of my room if they have treated me extra special...) in the same envelope the tip was in. I do not do this all of the time. They have been really great ,or for example, I went on a christmas cruise and I gave it on christmas day. When I give them a phone card or even just a thank you card I do it the last night because by then I have usually found out if they have family and where they are from etc.... It shows I have taken the time...and gladly so, to aknowledge there hard work and my appreciation.... If they treat me like crap then believe me nobody is getting a phone card,lol.....

    I know that for alot of them we are just more faces that are there for the week.....They can take us for granted just as much as we take their services for granted....there have been, at least for me many people over the years that have treated me and my family and or friends like we were the first guests ever on the cruise...MAybe it is because they want a great tip at the end but who wouldn't,lol....... Never the less...If I want to give someone something I will and thats that....

    How can you go wrong when you do something out of kindness? We need more of that in this world for sure!

    This is in no way the norm or something you must do..
  4. megamind

    megamind Guest

    We take some collectable NASA Kennedy Space Center spoons. I can get them free from NASA, and they make nice collectable items. They have the NASA logo on it, and at times I will take collectable thimbles. I print out a small biz card about the trip and when and where etc., with only our email address. They may wind up in the garbage, but, they are so small I don't think so. So far, everyone seems to like it, and it can go to a male or female. The other thing we do is to give one to each dinner table guest as a remberance of the cruise. I don't know! It just seems the fun thing to do.

  5. marleejean

    marleejean Guest

    When we cruised around Halloween, I brought some little pumpkin things with candy that was in a sealed package. What they did with it was their choice, but I think they appreciated the fact that I bought it especially with them in mind........I bring notecards that say "Wisconsin" on them with a picture of cows and farms to write a thank-you note, plus if they went above and beyond the call of duty, i always put some extra cash inside. You couldn't pay me enough to do what these folks do....and with a smile on their face.......being away from their loved ones for what......6 or 9 months at a time??

    Of course, this is all "Just In My Humble Opinion.") :grin

  6. beccabt

    beccabt Guest

    I just want to add something here..........yes the crew deserve to be treated with kindness and respect but can we please stop talking as if they have been drafted and forced into slavery?please...... I'm sure it is a difficult and demanding job at times but nobody is chained to the ship. Treat them nicely but don't act like they are victims, its the job they want to do and probably enjoy most of the time. Give gifts if you want to, tip extra if you want to, as I said before kindness is always appreciated, just keep things in perspective.
  7. Dan40

    Dan40 Guest

    I guess I'm one of the $$$ only folks. The crew is not working on a salary with some tips and trinkets thrown in. They are working for tips only. Any gift you give replaces money and money is what they work for. Plus as has already been stated, they don't have the room [or desire] to keep your gifts. Their cabins are less than half the size of our rooms and they have up to 4 people in them. Their personal space is probably about one cubic foot, if that. They can't feed their families with t-shirts and non-functional phone cards. Give them cash and let them decide what to do with it.
    The best gift is to treat them like human beings.
  8. megamind

    megamind Guest

    Just a side note. What you do or don't do is up to you. I would like to give you a point of view you may not be aware of. Living in the Port Canaveral area, I have volunteered my time to the Seafarers Ministry. This is a place close to the ship that any shiphand may come and spend time away from the ship. I understand most ports have a simular theme. The most popular place here is the phones. Second are the computers. They use phone cards to call home. You can buy them here or use ones that were given as a thank you gift. We shuttle them back and forth to the ships. Usually when they get here they head straight to the phones. I'm sure not all of them go ashore while at the dock. I have talked to a lot of them and they look forward to getting off the boat. So, from my own personal experience, I would say a phone card would be quite OK.

  9. Lady2fan

    Lady2fan Guest

    Thanks so much for this info. I'ts good to know that many of them will use a phone card. Now dare I ask another question? Has anyone had experience with phone cards, and which would be the best to purchase. My daughter bought one from Sams Club to send to Iraq to her boyfriend, however he hasn't used it yet.

    Thanks, JoAnn
  10. lizardstew

    lizardstew Guest

    I don't understand what all of this fuss is about? Who doesn't enjoy the experience of receiving a gift? No one is talking about shorting the tip amount and giving a gift in place and no one is talking about giving a small token instead of treating people with respect. So....either they get their tip and that's it or they get their tip + a gift. Who loses in this situation?

    I have never given a gift (other than extra $$ when deserved) to a crew member but I think it's a nice gesture that anyone would appreciate. If it's something they don't want or can't use, I am sure they will find some one who wants it or can use it. For those of you who give gifts or are thinking about it....do it if you wish! The crew member may throw it in the trash because they don't want it, don't need it, whatever. Or...they may be so touched by your kindness whether they need/want it or not. If you don't want to give a gift...don't!

    Personally, if I was going to do this, I would wait until the end because if I was going to give a gift, I'd do it as a thank you, not as an expecation for things to come. I would feel weird giving it up front....like the crew member may think I was trying to "bribe" better service out of them. Doing it up front may result in better service, but I would be afraid that I might insult the person and they may think I'm trying to say that they wouldn't provide good enough service without the gift. I hope that ramble made some sense! :)

    Lady2...about the phone card... I know that a lot of the regular ones can't be accessed from the phones there. For example...I know that a lot of the cards you buy here in Arizona can't be used in Mexico because the pay phones in Mexico can't access the 800#s used with the cards. So, you have to buy special ones. I'm sure if you searched around on the net you could find something that would work.
  11. Belizemama

    Belizemama Guest

    On our last cruise, our dining room guys were so sweet, and they really bent over backward to make our experience memorable. We asked them what they would do in the port the next day. They said they couldn't get off the ship because they had to work. So we decided they needed a gift. Not being able to think of anything better we got them really nice t-shirts (not the 3 for $10 kind). At dinner that night we gave them to them, and they almost cried (seriously). They said no one had ever brought them something back like that :(. We figured they could always use a t-shirt, and it doesn't take up much room. Their reaction just made our week:)
    Later on during the cruise, we saw one of them wearing the shirt while he was off duty.

    We will probably do something similar again if the situation is the same.
  12. thenipster

    thenipster Guest

    Hi - I have always tipped at the end of the cruise and have done it willingly. They do work very hard and on one cruise we were pretty friendly with the waiter. He told us that they only made like $60/week plus tips and most of that was sent home to their family. True, this job is better than they would have in their home countries, but still, they work morning, noon and night and are away from family. I think they deserve the tips. I never thought about a personal gift from home, but I like the idea. Will consider it for this cruise. As for phone cards, a good idea as long as it is good for any country. We have no idea where our waiters/busboy or cabin steward are from. They are from all over the world.

    What does anyone think about the wine steward or Head waiter? I have never used their services and therefore don't tip, but I wonder if we are supposed to just because they stop by our table?

    Good cruisin, all. Lynne and Gary
  13. I never would have thought of giving a little gift. I think it is a very cool idea. The crew members that my hubby and I interacted with were terrific. We even made friends with a few and exchanged e-mail addresses with them. Yes, they are members of the crew, but they are interesting people who we had more in common with than the people of our dinner table. A lot of them joined Carnival to travel, and being the world traveler myself, I have visited many of the countries they are from, like Bali, Romania, England, Europe, etc. They were so happy to talk to someone who has visited their motherland (they get homesick), and were curious about the US, as it is so large and diverse. There are many good ideas that were posted for little trinkets to give, and I think anything you give them is very much appreciated.
  14. bcs819

    bcs819 Guest

    Please be sure that if you give phone cards they are good for INTERNATIONAL calls. FOr my first cruise, I thought this was a great idea, and bought several phone cards at CVS. I didn't even realize till I was on the ship that they were only good in North America.
    On the Pride, we spent quite a bit of time with our head waiter. We had late seating and lingered and he would hang around and talk to us. He said that in the course of a week long cruise he gets one afternoon off. He said that his entire family is back in his homeland and that while many people bring the crew lots of goodies and knickknacks, and they do appreicate the thought, they can't store most of it in their cabins. They share a small cabin with 3 or 4 other people. They get candy and alcohol at cost, and get free internet to email home. They all want as much money to send home as possible. They hate automatic tipping. So here's what I do since then and forever more, I take the time to write a detailed thank you note, remove auto tipping, and give them the recommended amount and however much extra we feel is appropriate. (It is my understanding that when you remove auto tipping, they make out much better) As someone who works with the public all day everyday, I know that nothing makes me feel better about my day than someone who takes the time to make a sincere thank you!
  15. steph_texas

    steph_texas Guest

    I like to do "special" things for people just to make them smile... although it might be difficult doing so for a perfect stranger. I will probably grab up something small and let my son give it to the various people. (We also take deserts to the fire station, police station, etc on the holidays) just to let these people know we appreciate them. I know most of the crews for most of the lines are foreign nationals... I really look forward to that cause you learn things about other countries... I was born in UK and adopted my son from Romania - I was there a long 5 weeks... but still love hearing about it now....

    I even send thank you notes & or deserts at holiday time to my our family Doctor and her staff... they are there when we need them & for that IM GRATEFUL ! - just to let her know we appreciate her... yeah, its her job... but so what ? no matter if you are a pauper or a millionaire.. its nice to know people appreciate you ! By letting my son hand out the gifts... it shows him its nice to be thoughtful... and yes Im planning on tipping graciously and freely....

    Happy trails (sails) to you & yours !

    CELEBRATION 05-03-04
  16. dreamer

    dreamer Guest

    Excellent thread....wow....
    Never thought of giving a gift before reading all this.....surely cash is appreciated in the minds of all employees.....but....
    when we cruised...we had two female attendents in the dinning room and my two girls grew very fond of them...
    It was near Christmas and we had spent the day shopping.....without me even knowing ..they picked up cute Christmas ornaments (decorated carribean style of course) and gave them to each of them on the last night.
    As has been mentioned....they were thrilled and very touched...to the point of tears.

    this situation was perfect for such a thing....
    I think the thought is great...but in this case...coming from the girls and the personality of our servers...it just made sense to do it!!!

    I am sure we will do this again if the situation is right.

    happy cruising!!!
  17. beccabt

    beccabt Guest

    You all seem like like such thoughtful people, steph-texas all I can say is WOW and by the way, your post made me smile
  18. steph_texas

    steph_texas Guest

    beccabt -
    Im glad... its hard to make a stranger smile...

    smile @ someone for no reason... its contagious... I bet they'll smile back !
  19. cruisegary

    cruisegary Guest

    Wow - some real opinions here.

    TIPPING in general is a strange animal. We give it to someone AFTER the service. So, in reality they never know if the good service will get rewarded any different than the average or poor service. Sure, sometimes we all tip a little less or a little more but so often they get the standard tip. (ever watch somebody with a calculator to make sure it is exactly 15%?)

    I generally tip extra, especially if we have some kind of deal, like happy hour drinks. On the other hand, if the dinner check includes some expensive wine, does 15%+ really make sense? Really, do they work harder because it costs more? NOT

    Anyway, as many posters have said. These folks have little room for goodies. The collectable spoons might sound nice, but what do you REALLY think they will do with them. They don't have a storage area onboard. Cash is the answer.

    How about the guys in the boiler room that work so hard. Don't forget to tip them too.

    Just some food for thought.
  20. Lady2fan

    Lady2fan Guest

    bcs, thanks for the info. If I decide to do the phone card, I'm pretty sure it will get used and it doesn't take up much room. ( I'll be sure that it can be used internationally) However, it's good to know about them prefering NOT having tips left on the S&S card. I'll make sure to remove it and give each a nice tip, personally.


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