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Gifts for Employees on Ship

Discussion in 'Know Before You Go' started by ABW, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. ABW

    ABW Member

    I have cruised a few times and have noticed that some cruisers like to give little gifts to their cabin steward or bar tenders to show a little appreciation and thought this was a neat idea that I would like to start doing. I was wondering if anyone knew of a good site to get little things like this since I know some cruisers do this. Like little blinking shirt pins or thanks you gifts. Any suggestions are appreciated :cheer:
  2. ABW

    ABW Member

    side note... this is the first post I have started so if I did something wrong I have no idea lol.
  3. popcorn

    popcorn Well-Known Member

    Something that the crew members can always use & that don't take up any room in their cases is phone cards.

  4. Gayle V

    Gayle V Cruiser's Compass Editor

    Hello ABW,

    You're doing fine. No worries there. It's just not very busy around here on week ends; and generally not as busy as it used to be. You'll likely get more responses later.

    About the gift idea... well the thought is really nice. And it's true that some cruisers do give gifts, but I really don't recommend it. You have to think about it from the crew member's point of view. You know that they live on the ship, well if you'd ever see their teeny, tiny cabins you'd know that they have no room for trinkets, extra clothes. Their cabins make the inside cabins that the passengers get look like the Taj Mahal. I truly believe they won't want more "stuff". Even if they sent the stuff home to family mailing would cost more than it was worth.

    That leaves the idea of giving candy, or liquor or something consumable. But you can never be sure that the crew member can eat/ or wants to eat sweets or alcoholic beverages. (Are they even allowed the alcohol? I don't know.)

    Even the ideas of giving stationary to write home, or phone cards to call home, are likely out of date ideas. Most people just call on their cell phones, or e-mail, or skype instead of writing. And how to you know which phone cards will work where they dock, even if they'd use them.

    All in all, the only gift you can be certain will be appreciated is money, and your consideration. Treat the workers considerately, thank them verbally and/or in a note. And state your appreciation of them (by name) and of their work when you write up any end-of-cruise evaluations. Those statements are a factor in promotions, and make a real difference. Those are the best gifts you can give.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
  5. Karry

    Karry Well-Known Member

    I agree 100% with Gayle! :thumbup::eek:k: Matter of fact, we usually give our cabin steward $20 on the lst day, when we lst meet him. If he has gone "above and beyond" we give him a little extra on the last day also. I have also "heard thru the grapevine" that if you use the same bartender and you tip him a little extra, he might be inclined to put a few extra drops of liquor in your drink. :whistle::evil: Keep in mind when ordering drinks that the cruise line automatically charges you 15% as gratuity on your sign and sale card.
  6. ABW

    ABW Member

    yeah I have read about phone cards and thought that was a neat idea but then read about how sometimes they can't even use the phone cards and end up throwing them out :( I definitely don't want to give them anything they will throw out but would like to show my appreciation. I always do the prepaid gratuities but sometimes id like to give just a little more. I have seen a video of their cabin and they are indeed small so I don't want to give anything that will take up space.

    Gayle V, not sure what you mean by end of cruise evaluations. can you please explain? this sounds like something I'd like to be able to do.

    And yes I have already discovered making buddy with the bartenders :cheer: and the drinks do tend to strengthen as the cruise goes on. I know about the gratuity already but every once in a while Ill throw in a couple extra if Im using the same bartender. I also will tip them extra at the end of the cruise.

    One thing I found for little gifts, with money being the best option, was money origami. I know they will have to open the money up eventually but its a fun little way to give it to them and maybe leave on a thank you note with their name on it in the room. i was thinking of doing this maybe every night since you can use whatever bill you want. heres a site I initially saw and have made a few things like flowers and tshirts and such but there are a lot of sites out there. maybe I can make a ship or something :) just thought this was neat :doubleup:
    Money Origami models A to G

    Thanks for the thoughts/suggestions :thankyou:
  7. Cruizer

    Cruizer Well-Known Member

    I know gifts seem like a great idea, but these people are far from home and working for a purpose. Give them an extra $5, $10, $20 or more and not only will they be happy, but you know it is something they can use. Phone cards are a good idea as long as they only get one or two. But if they get two per week on a six month contract, they will have 50 phone cards. They probably will not be able to use all of them and they will have trouble storing they or transporting them.

    Even worse would be a t-shirt from you home town. What would you do with 50 t-shirts. I used to buy one or two for every cruise I've been on. I had to stop that. I ran out of room to put the shirts, and I have I lot less travel and storage issues than the crew members.

    What would you get me? I have two PCs, one MAC and I do play computer games. Someone got me a computer game once. I've never played it. It was not the type I like. What size shirt would you get me? Just like the crew member, you don't my size or gender. Of course you could wait until you met the crew member, then buy something from one of the islands or the ship. Well guess what, if they wanted something from the island or ship they would get it. They have more opportunity than you for that.

    Lets say you go to a nice restaurant. What would be the reaction if you tipped the waiter or waitress with a phone card or t-shirt? These people are working for a reason. Give them the one thing that you know they want and can use and can easily transport (since they can always convert it to a check or money order or wire it home. And you don't have to worry about it being the wrong size or something they already have too much of (unless of course Bill Gates is waiter or room steward).
  8. ABW

    ABW Member

    I do normally tip extra at the end. I was just trying to think of something nice, or something more that they could use...
    I know they have small rooms and never meant anything like a tshirt or something that takes up a ton of space. I have seen different things like cards, or blinky pins for the shirt, pens, keychains from hometown.. i just meant something small like that or maybe even something they need that they can't get. Was just wondering what most people like to do other than money since I normally add a little extra of that anyways.
  9. ABW

    ABW Member

    Not sure if you were confused by my comment before but that was directed towards the money origami idea (making objects like tshirts or flowers, etc out of money). Im not looking to clutter their small spaces, just to let them know they are appreciated and get them things they might need like maybe stamps or calling cards. Im sure these examples are things they have access to but it's always easier when someone gifts them to you, especially if it's something you need/use often :smile: the money origami was just something i thought might be interesting to do while tipping them more. I didn't mean for it to sound insulting by "tipping" someone a calling card. But I already tip with money and then some more and just wanted to know if they needed stuff like cards or stamps or whatever in addition to the money, not as a solitary tip.
  10. sailaway2010

    sailaway2010 Active Member

    Quite frankly, money is the best gift for the cruise crew. They live in very tight quarters and don't need even the tiniest gift to clutter them up. The calling cards don't always work, you don't know what type of stamps would be needed. What you may think is a cute gift may not be want a crew member would want or use. They are grown men and women, no different from the rest of us. Would you want someone giving you these little gifts at your job? Rather than waste money on a trinket that may not be appreciated, I think it best to give cash and a heartfelt thank you. A few years ago I saw a movie "Up the Yangtze", about cruising in China. It was very informative, giving an inside look at the crew of a cruise ship. It didn't change my opinions of the cruise crew, it reinforced them. Viewing it may change the ideas
    some people have about the cruise crew.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  11. ABW

    ABW Member

    I agree in that money is the best gift and I am always sure to give them a little extra as I have mentioned.

    I don't think i would be upset if someone gave me a keychain from where they are from or something small as a thank you. I appreciate stuff like that, it lets me know know someone thought of me or appreciates the work I do and I can look back and remember that person and it makes me smile. I have read online where people have discussed giving little things and they will see the crew member years later and they still have the gift with them.

    I appreciate those comments that were pleasant and helped me realize some of the things i was thinking of like calling cards may not be best or may not work out but Im not sure why people think it's "childish" or inappropriate to give a small thank you. I feel as if I am getting jumped on already for something I haven't even done yet. This was just an idea I was having and wanted others to kindly share thoughts or ideas they had. Perhaps I am taking some of this wrong, I guess some of the responses looked as if they were meant to make me feel childish or stupid for even asking.

    No harm was intended by this topic.... :shrug:
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  12. Einstein

    Einstein Well-Known Member

    The phone cards seem to work very well and as a non monetary gift they serve a dual purpose of not having to be shared as monetary gifts do in the pooling of $$$.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
  13. ABW

    ABW Member

    thank you E
    I may look into the cards more perhaps
  14. Gayle V

    Gayle V Cruiser's Compass Editor

    Hi ABW, For most of the years that I've been cruising, the ships would put a little evaluation form in your cabin on one of the last few days of the cruise. It would ask you questions about how your cruise was, whether the service, food, entertainment, or whatever, was "as good as expected" "better than expected", " worse than expected" ...etc. There was room to write comments too. So you could say perhaps..."Our room steward, George, was the best ever.", or " The food in the dining room is not as good as it was on our last cruise," or something like that.

    Some of the cruise lines still do that, while some have moved to sending you an e-mail version of the same thing. Carnival does the e-mail version, but they seem to only send it to one person in the cabin. Hubby got it after our last cruise, so I haven't filled one of those out myself yet.
  15. iluvcruzin

    iluvcruzin Well-Known Member

    I think the consenses agree that $ is the best gift to be given. What you could do is write a very nice thank you note and let them know how appreciative you are of their services. Making it personal like "the animal towel you created on Thursday was amazing". Something like that would be a gift in the sense of letting them know how good their service was. Moreso than the "5 star" comment cards. I've done this in the past with an extra tip.
  16. ABW

    ABW Member

    I have never received an email from them or card. I will have to ask for my next cruise I guess cause that is something nice to do for them. Thanks for explaining since this is something I wasn't aware of. :thankyou:

    Thanks to all for great advice :)
  17. BSeabob

    BSeabob Reinststed due to good behavior-Subject to change Staff Member

    You would be surprised what your "Guys" would like if you ask them casually if they are able to get off when you dock and they are not able. Offer to get them anything reasonable. For example Potato chips were a big deal on one cruise we were on. (Sometimes it takes a bit of convincing for them to speak up.) Just don't make a big deal about it and say if you run across the item you would be happy to get it.
  18. George C

    George C Well-Known Member

    I am sure cash is what is most wanted, followed by cash
  19. Cruizer

    Cruizer Well-Known Member

    People keep saying that and I've been on twenty cruises and I check the pools at the end of every cruise and I haven't seen any money yet. However, just in case I get lucky, I'll keep checking the pools at the end of each cruise.
  20. ABW

    ABW Member

    This is a great idea actually! I may try this, of course in addition to more money :biggrin:


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