Questions on Prepaid Gratuities and other questions

My family and I will be going on our first cruise vacation via the Oasis of the Seas on Dec 11. I chose the "My Time Dining" and the prepaid gratuities.

Since we are new to cruises, I was wondering if anyone can help with prepaid gratuities? Does it mean that all gratuities are covered? How about for the restaurant or services where we pay out of our own pocket?

I also see the prices on water and juices package (seems expensive.) My question is whether if those are necessary. Can we get water/juices from the buffet area or other locations in the ship?

Sorry for the newbie questions and thanks in advance for any help.


Well-Known Member
No Apology Necessary ...

... we all asked the same questions (or worse, did not ask)! Let's see if we can help ...

Your prepaid gratuities cover your waitstaff and room steward. If, of course, you find the service to exceed your expectations (as we usually do), feel free to tip additionally ($10 to $20 per stateroom usually works for us). The prepaids are pooled, with each individual receiving a predetermined proportion. Any cash you give them is theirs to keep. If you choose to eat in a specialty restaurant, you'll probably feel like shelling out a few extra bucks, as the service is likely to be over the top.

Get used to the $4 bottles of water, etc. It's not much different from a hotel. We find the water produced by the ship's filtration system more than adequate to drink (after all, you'll be using ice cubes from the same source). Add that it's a new ship, and you should be fine. We normally pack a bunch of empty bottles in our checked luggage and fill them as needed. You can get juice from the buffet areas at certain times (usually breakfast). We usually pour several into larger glasses, take them back to the room, and fill the bottles there. You can also order some from room service ... there's no charge, but a $2 tip is sort of customary.

As you continue to cruise, you'll come across additional ways to save ... enjoy!!



Well-Known Member
The normal gratuities on Royal Caribbean go to the wait staff, head waiter, Windjammer (buffet) staff and the room steward. So that is what you have prepaid.

If you order a drink that you have to pay for (alcoholic and soft drinks) a 15% gratuity will be added to the total. You have not prepaid these tips.

If you order something from room service, the person bringing you the order will expect a small tip. You have not prepaid this.

The driver and guide on the shore excursions will expect a tip. You have not prepaid this.

I believe the people in the spa also expect a tip. This has not been prepaid.

The porters at the dock will expect a tip. You have not prepaid these either.

If you go to one of the optional extra cost restaurants, the tip is included in the extra costs.

In all the above cases, you can tip extra if you wish.

Tap water is free and quite good. Some juice in the Windjammer is free. I believe there is some fresh squeezed orange juice (squeezed as you wait) that cost extra.
Thank you all the replies. The empty bottle to carry water, etc is a good tip since I do have a toddler with me (hence the juice question.)
While I am at it, I might as well ask a few more newbie questions.

I have read that one lesson is bring half the clothes you plan to bring because there is usually on board laundry services in a cruise ship. However I have also read RCI doesn't provide much service in that area. Is that a general practice or it varies from ship to ship?

Secondly, I plan to stay the night before in FLL because the priceline deal I got includes a cash coupon for two free nights of hotel stay. I oculd only use one due to scheduling conflict. Can someone recommend a nice hotel that provide transportation to the terminal?

Thanks in advance.



Awaiting results of mental evaluation
RE: Hotels w/cruiseport shuttle.

Most hotels which provide airport shuttle also offer cruiseport shuttle, since the two venues are only about 1.5 miles apart. If you have any doubt, give the hotel (not their national office) a call. Speak to staff at the actual hotel front desk.

If that fails, there are many other ways to get over to the ship ... taxi, limo, commercial shuttle. Additionally, you may also want to get a one-day rental car in the port. Just as some "will pick you up" some will also "drop you off". Gives you the option of touring the port city and out-lying area.


Well-Known Member
While none of Royal Caribbean's ships have self-service laundry facilities, there's usually an all-you-can-stuff-in-this-tiny-bag special for $25. Items are limited to underwear, socks, pj's, t-shirts, swimsuits, etc. If you include something not on the list, you'll be charged the regular price ... not cheap. And the bag really isn't very large. What you're basically getting is a small white load washed, dried and somewhat folded for $25 ... again, not much of a bargain. So pack accordingly ... and most important, have a great cruise!

Thank you all for the info. Regardless, it ought to be a great cruise vacation.

Expectation are running high in the family since it will be our first cruise experience, on the largest ship no less. :clap:

red stripe

Well-Known Member
Thank you all for the info. Regardless, it ought to be a great cruise vacation.

Expectation are running high in the family since it will be our first cruise experience, on the largest ship no less.

You have chosen a great ship for your first cruise. Everyone has given you some good advice here.

Have you entered your cruise in the cruise tracker on this site?
if you have, then you will be on the "Bon Voyage" post for that time.
and if you
send a full sized photo to
for inclusion into the Cruise addicts "Faces" gallery.
then your photo will be in the Bon Voyage also.

link to Cruise addicts faces A through K

link to Cruise addicts faces L through Z

remember to scroll down past the first set of photos that are "most popular selected at random.

then in those small boxes along the bottom. select.
file name,
select now.

Most of these options may be already selected.. but if not.. these settings allow you to see the photos in order.

We would love to add everyone's photo in there.
We usually buy a few gallons of water when we reach our first port and replenish as needed. Also, the spa personnel are not RCCL employees.