Sorry, another tipping questions

Good morning! This is only my second cruise and I was not prepared well on the first one to know to tip extra. I want to do so, as these people work HARD to make sure I don't have a care in the world.

I know that sometimes phone cards are good gifts but I have also read that they can get inundated with them and don't use them all so cash is a better gift. What about Visa Gift Cards? Can they use those?

Thank you in advance for all the advice!


Community Manager
Staff member
George is correct, somewhere there is a surcharge to deal with, it may be up front or it may be when the card is activated.

Take some cash dedicated to tips, say:$50 to $100 depending on how generous you are going to feel, then watch the service
though the cruise, mainly your cabin steward, you waiters if you eat in the dining room, a bartender if you frequent a favorite
bar. We do anytime dining so usually $100 is plenty for us.
Don't worry about envelopes, use the palm system. We use the standard cruise policy and have the tips added to our account but
then my policy is based on service. For the cabin steward if service was great to above average I give him/her $60-$40, average $20,
below average, nada, they still get the canned tip. Same can apply to the Waiter if you are in traditional dining, if you are in anytime dining
and the waiter was good $5 or in a specialty restaurant $10, per dinner, remember these guys are getting a cut of the tips anyway so you're not
short changing them. Usually you will not get the same waiter every time in anytime and you may only do one or two specialty dinners
This is just the way I do it, everybody is different in one way or another, so there is no real standard to tipping above the standards, you just
have to feel it. I had a cabin steward so good once he got $100 but that is the exception.
On our very first cruise, sixteen years ago, I had read on another board that pre-tipping the cabin steward was a good idea, so we did it. WHAT A TERRIBLE IDEA! We had pretty terrible service. We've only cruised once since, no pre-tipping, had great service, and have three cruises scheduled, and we will not pre-tip EVER! BTW, cash is the way to go. (Or so it seems)
PS New to Cruise Addicts, first post in fact! =)


Community Manager
Staff member
welcome aboard..........
ya, pre tipping is a crap shoot at best anymore. just use comments like we will really appreciate you doing this that or the other thing. they are
fast learners and yup cash is king even if you do automatic tipping or if you don't they will know that you are on the cash plan and they know
to do good.
the automatic tipping has its good points but alas the bad points that come with it

Krazy Kruizers

Holland America Specialist
Never, ever do we tip anyone at the beginning of the cruise.

We do leave the Hotel Service Charge in place which takes care of the cabin stewards, dining room staff, Lido staff and many behind the scenes staff like the kitchen workers, those who tend to the tenders, those you see cleaning all around the ship, etc.

Many of the crew have their own iPhones (and other cell phones), computers, etc. thus any kind of cards are useless to them.

Cash is the preferable tip as the crew can send that home to their families who really need it. We do tip extra to those people whom we feel has made our cruise an enjoyable one.