Author Topic: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?  (Read 32441 times)

TheAnonOne

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Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« on: May 04, 2016, 08:40:28 PM »
Hello,

My Wife and myself will be going on short cruise in October. We are self proclaimed 'travel hacking credit card churners' and have $400 in gift-cards with RC (the total is around $900)

My question is centered around "Gratuities" which I liken to an optional payment if the service was great. Much like a restaurant, the tips SHOULD be optional. However, in my research it seems like gratuities on cruise ships are mandatory?


What's the deal? How is it a "tip" if its forced? Why isn't this just in the cruise fare? Am I missing something?

You can prepay them when you book the cruise, is there a reason to do this?


Thanks!

seattlecyclone

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2016, 10:22:26 PM »
I've only gone on one cruise but did read up on this issue beforehand. The gratuity is technically optional but it is added to your bill by default and the staff does depend on most people not asking to take it off.

While I agree that it would be nice to live in a world where peoples' employers gave them a fair wage that rendered tips a bonus for exceptional service only, that is not the world in which we live. If you can't afford the customary tip for a service, you can't afford that service.

elaine amj

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2016, 10:25:39 PM »
I pay the recommended gratuities. I give the customary account and prepay it so I don't have to think about it again. It's customary and just like tipping in restaurants, part of what the staff expect and rely on as their pay. I wouldn't feel right "stiffing" them of it. That said, I'd prefer it to be a mandatory service charge and to leave it at that. But then, I'm not a fan of the whole tipping culture and find it adds more stress than it is worth.

I've been on both Royal Caribbean and Disney and the service on both was excellent :)

Did u get the RCCL credit card too? When I cruised RCCL, I found it was pretty worth adding to my travel hacking and got about $200 or so in on board credits - which I used for the tips (since I didn't spend on any extras).

okits

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2016, 10:43:27 PM »
Why isn't this just in the cruise fare?

If one cruise line can advertise "$289 per person reasonable wage to workers not included!" they'll garner more attention and business than the cruise line that advertises "$429 per person!"  And once one starts advertising prices that exclude labour cost, the rest need to do it to keep the playing field even.

Quote
You can prepay them when you book the cruise, is there a reason to do this?

So you don't have to handle additional cash and worry about it later. 

If the service is bad you can probably complain and get your prepaid tips back.  That said, I think cruise workers generally give great service as they know guest satisfaction figures heavily into what they earn.

forummm

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2016, 08:06:26 AM »
I also hate tipping in general. Fortunately I don't use many services that require it (and avoid restaurants generally). Maybe we could have some reasonable truth in advertising laws that require language about "we underpay our staff and expect you to add more to this price in order for them to have a minimum wage existence" if tips are expected. That would level the advertising playing field.

JoJo

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2016, 09:44:41 AM »
I've been on a few cruises.  The going rate for tips is around $11 per day per person, billed to the room and paid when you settle your bill, which is by credit card so you'll get miles.  While technically, you can go to the office and get them removed but IMO, this would be evil.

The waiters, room attendants, cooks, etc work their @sses off - they work 6-7 days a week for months at a time, often working from 5 in the morning to 10 at night, with just short breaks in between and make way lower than minimum wage.

themagicman

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2016, 09:58:36 AM »
I have been on many cruises and the tip is not mandatory. They automatically change it to your sign and sail account (What you use to buy everything on the ship) but if you go to guest services and ask them to remove the tip they do it no questions asked. I had to do this one time and just gave the employees cash for the tip.

boarder42

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2016, 10:12:50 AM »
dude you're going on a vacation - have you seen what these people working on cruise ships make and how hard they work.  most are from third world countries.  yeah go ahead and ask them to remove it but you're just hurting other people.  if you're travel hacking. then get a barclay arrival card or a capital one venture and use that for all onboard expenses.   

or in the future book a cruise with tips included.

boarder42

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2016, 10:15:07 AM »
i would be interested to know how you "travel hacked" RC dollars i havent seen an awards card for them with a bonus.

elaine amj

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2016, 10:32:12 AM »
I don't remember what the bonus was back when I took my RCCL cruise. The current bonus is:

Apply now for the Royal Caribbean Visa Signature® card and start earning MyCruise® Rewards toward onboard credit, cruise discounts, upgrades and cruise vacations.

10,000 bonus points after you make a transaction in the first 65 days§ — redeemable for $100 onboard credit
$50 statement credit will be applied to your credit card statement after making at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 65 days§§
(offer valid 2/23/16 - 8/13/16)
Earn double MyCruise Points for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases with Royal Caribbean® and our sister brands, Celebrity Cruises® and Azamara Club Cruises®.§§§ Redeem points on all three cruise lines!
Earn one point for every $1 spent on your everyday purchases§§§
Zero Liability for Fraudulent Charges, which helps protect you from fraudulent transactions
Perks like Visa Signature Concierge Service*, lost luggage protection, emergency cash worldwide, common carrier travel accident insurance and more*
$50 Air2Sea Airfare Discount** after making at least $3,500 in purchases with your Visa Signature® card within first 90 days of account opening (students and Platinum Plus® accounts are not eligible)
No annual fee†

So that's $150 back right off the bat for applying and spending $1k. We paid for our cruise (and the friends we traveled with - they gave us cash) so had $5k in spend earning 10,000 points. Which currently redeems for another $100 OBC.

Total was $250 worth of bonuses - which paid for the tips for our 5 day cruise. $11 x 4 people x 5 days - $220.

It all depends what other credit card signup bonuses you have though and a whole bunch of other factors so ymmv

Cassie

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2016, 11:15:56 AM »
The workers come from poor countries and are not paid well at all. They really depend on tips.  You will be amazed at the pampering and great service you will get. We went on one in Nov and have another planned for aug. 

boarder42

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2016, 11:25:53 AM »
I don't remember what the bonus was back when I took my RCCL cruise. The current bonus is:

Apply now for the Royal Caribbean Visa Signature® card and start earning MyCruise® Rewards toward onboard credit, cruise discounts, upgrades and cruise vacations.

10,000 bonus points after you make a transaction in the first 65 days§ — redeemable for $100 onboard credit
$50 statement credit will be applied to your credit card statement after making at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 65 days§§
(offer valid 2/23/16 - 8/13/16)
Earn double MyCruise Points for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases with Royal Caribbean® and our sister brands, Celebrity Cruises® and Azamara Club Cruises®.§§§ Redeem points on all three cruise lines!
Earn one point for every $1 spent on your everyday purchases§§§
Zero Liability for Fraudulent Charges, which helps protect you from fraudulent transactions
Perks like Visa Signature Concierge Service*, lost luggage protection, emergency cash worldwide, common carrier travel accident insurance and more*
$50 Air2Sea Airfare Discount** after making at least $3,500 in purchases with your Visa Signature® card within first 90 days of account opening (students and Platinum Plus® accounts are not eligible)
No annual fee†

So that's $150 back right off the bat for applying and spending $1k. We paid for our cruise (and the friends we traveled with - they gave us cash) so had $5k in spend earning 10,000 points. Which currently redeems for another $100 OBC.

Total was $250 worth of bonuses - which paid for the tips for our 5 day cruise. $11 x 4 people x 5 days - $220.

It all depends what other credit card signup bonuses you have though and a whole bunch of other factors so ymmv

correct i found that.. OP said they have 900 dollars in RC money.  much much more than 250.  if they got it spending on that card it likely wasnt worth it since most MS costs 1%.  and the only other way to get it would just be traditional spending on it to get that 900 in RC dollars and there are a lot more lucrative CC Cashback offers and sign up bonuses that can be had for regularly spending enough to get 900 RC dollars. I dont think i'd put my self in the travel hacker ring if i was using this card every day to get a cruise.  more money could be had by just getting a barclay card each and spending 6k to get 920 travel dollars vs the 90k dollars it would take to get there with regular spend on this card.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 11:29:55 AM by boarder42 »

MNBen

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2016, 11:49:52 AM »
My question is centered around "Gratuities" which I liken to an optional payment if the service was great. Much like a restaurant, the tips SHOULD be optional. However, in my research it seems like gratuities on cruise ships are mandatory?

What's the deal? How is it a "tip" if its forced? Why isn't this just in the cruise fare? Am I missing something?

Any other example in the world, and I'd totally understand why you have this question.   However, I've been on 10+ cruises and will give you this suggestion...

If you haven't been on a cruise, I recommend you become very friendly with your room steward and one day just ask them a little bit about themselves.  For example, two cruises ago, my room steward was back working his first week back on the boat during his contract.  So this was his first week away from his family and he won't get to see them again until the contract is over.  Oh, he might be allowed off the boat after a few weeks, when he can quickly call them, but otherwise he's on the ship for many months (usually 7-9 months).  He loved talking about his children, and it was obvious he was going to miss them.  Yet he enjoyed making the children in our party smile and laugh.  They loved him too and loved seeing him and saying hi to him. 

On another cruise, we got to know our room steward.  One day we asked how she was, since she didn't seem herself, and she said she wasn't feeling well -- had a headache.  We asked if she wanted any ibuprofen and then could tell she couldn't really answer.  We assumed they weren't allowed to ask for anything, and I'm guessing it was overpriced for them, or also she was doing everything she could to save every penny.  And here I am, at the time an employee of a generic drug company that could probably get near-expiration ibuprofen for $1 for 500 pills.  Needless to say, we gave her as much as she needed for that day, and told her we had more for her anytime, and I can't even explain how much her face lit up.  In fact, the next day she kept thanking us with a big smile on her face.  All for 4-5 ibuprofen.

Like many here, we watch our money closely, but the more of these workers you'll meet, you'll likely feel these tips are very well deserved - especially if we knew how much they get divided up.  The service is usually amazing! I could never imagine taking a tip away.

In fact, the opposite... we often hand the people who made our trip extra special some extra cash when we leave or bring a blank card and write them a nice thank you and leave money with it.   An extra $20 goes a lot further in their life than in mine!

I'm a red panda

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2016, 12:27:13 PM »
Just pay the recommended gratuities. Chances are the service you receive you will want to give them extra too.

You can go and remove gratuities (I have done this once- we waited 30+ minute in the dining room without even getting a menu, despite flagging down multiple waiters to ask for someone to send somebody to our table, we finally just left and ate elsewhere. I only removed that day's dinner gratuity, which was like $3 a person...if guest services had a line, it wouldn't even have been worth it) and some people say they do this and just hand out cash tips. Here's the thing- there are many people in the tip pool who you never ever see, but without them your service would not function. You shouldn't only pay the front people!

We've always left extra, even though on first glance the tips seem insane.  (When you consider 3 meals a day, plus twice daily room service, it really isn't that much!)

Note there are extra tips on drinks. I've never bought one, so that doesn't bother me.

Catbert

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2016, 12:28:40 PM »
Of all the gratuities in the world this is not one to skimp on.  Minimum wage and overtime laws don't apply to them.  They get paid peanuts to work 12+ hour days 6-7 days a week.  Maybe one afternoon a week off in port.  Their contracts are typically 8-9 months.  They are the reason you can cruise for $100 a day a person!

If you want to avoid gratuities and have it all included in the base price look at some upscale lines.  I think Crystal, for example,  doesn't allow tips.  But you aren't cruising for $100 or $200 a day.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2016, 12:30:31 PM »
---------------------------------
OP HERE
---------------------------------

First off, thanks for the replies!

There are a few points I want to hit. . .

1. I am not trying to 'stiff' the tip, I have never been on a cruise and it seemed odd that the tip was in the original bill. Mostly because, in every other instance the tip is post-experience. It would hit you off guard if the waiter asked for a $10 bill before taking your order....

2. The cruise COSTS about $900 for the 4-5 days (for my wife and myself combined) and I have $400 off of that making the total out-of-pocket about $500. The card I used for that $400 was the '"Thank You PREMIER" by CITI' with a 40k bonus points offer after 3k in spending. (10k pts redeems for a $100 gift card with RC)

Technically, my wife could have gotten a 2nd card and we could have got the whole cruise nearly covered but oh-well.... We are using spend for quite a few things and are 2-3 trips planned out by now. (Cruise and FL in Sept, Tokyo in spring 2017, Fuji/aus/New Zealand in late 2017 or early 2018)


Thanks!

« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 12:36:13 PM by TheAnonOne »

I'm a red panda

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2016, 12:37:31 PM »
I am not trying to 'stiff' the tip, I have never been on a cruise and it seemed odd that the tip was in the original bill. Mostly because, in every other instance the tip is post-experience. It would hit you off guard if the waiter asked for a $10 bill before taking your order....


The auto-gratuities are because so many people DO stiff the cruiseline staff.  It used to be the final day of the cruise everyone got envelopes, which they could put their (still discretionary) tips in and give to the waiters.  The dining room on the final day would be half-empty, because people were skipping out on giving a tip, and didn't want to be embarrassed to no hand over an envelope!

I personally never pre-pay my gratuities, because budget isn't an issue for me (some people pay a little each month leading up the the cruise for instance) and I think if i ever had to cancel it would be one more hassle to get a refund of. If you don't pre-pay they just show up on your bill which is settled (almost always by credit card, but could be cash account) when you leave the ship.


I personally like how NCL handles it. They just call it a mandatory service charge. They still don't bundle it into the fare, but at least they've stopped using the "tip" phrasing.


(I cruised a tip free ship once- the Celebrity Xpedition. They even declined extra tips at the end of the cruise. Most Celebrity ships are not tip free, but the Xpedition is all inclusive.)

boarder42

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2016, 12:43:15 PM »
I am not trying to 'stiff' the tip, I have never been on a cruise and it seemed odd that the tip was in the original bill. Mostly because, in every other instance the tip is post-experience. It would hit you off guard if the waiter asked for a $10 bill before taking your order....


The auto-gratuities are because so many people DO stiff the cruiseline staff.  It used to be the final day of the cruise everyone got envelopes, which they could put their (still discretionary) tips in and give to the waiters.  The dining room on the final day would be half-empty, because people were skipping out on giving a tip, and didn't want to be embarrassed to no hand over an envelope!

I personally never pre-pay my gratuities, because budget isn't an issue for me (some people pay a little each month leading up the the cruise for instance) and I think if i ever had to cancel it would be one more hassle to get a refund of. If you don't pre-pay they just show up on your bill which is settled (almost always by credit card, but could be cash account) when you leave the ship.


I personally like how NCL handles it. They just call it a mandatory service charge. They still don't bundle it into the fare, but at least they've stopped using the "tip" phrasing.


(I cruised a tip free ship once- the Celebrity Xpedition. They even declined extra tips at the end of the cruise. Most Celebrity ships are not tip free, but the Xpedition is all inclusive.)

yeah for the price of the xpedition it better be free. my parents are taking us all on the galpagos cruise in 2018. pretty stoked for that.

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2016, 12:48:56 PM »

yeah for the price of the xpedition it better be free. my parents are taking us all on the galpagos cruise in 2018. pretty stoked for that.

Definitely not a mustachian way to see the Galapagos, but it was really wonderful.  Would have done much better to get my "money's worth" if I drank alcohol. 

boarder42

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2016, 01:03:32 PM »

yeah for the price of the xpedition it better be free. my parents are taking us all on the galpagos cruise in 2018. pretty stoked for that.

Definitely not a mustachian way to see the Galapagos, but it was really wonderful.  Would have done much better to get my "money's worth" if I drank alcohol.

i dont know if being hammered the whole time would have gotten your monies worth out of this adventure.

JoJo

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2016, 02:13:07 PM »

yeah for the price of the xpedition it better be free. my parents are taking us all on the galpagos cruise in 2018. pretty stoked for that.

Definitely not a mustachian way to see the Galapagos, but it was really wonderful.  Would have done much better to get my "money's worth" if I drank alcohol.

i dont know if being hammered the whole time would have gotten your monies worth out of this adventure.

That reminds me of the time I went snorkeling in St Johns to the national park.  It was snorkeling, then rum punch, then to a beach for lunch and unlimited rum punch.  I did some very-buzzed snorkeling off the beach and it was really trippy.  Then I got back to the cruise ship and yakked in front of my parents.  Fun times.

dragoncar

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2016, 02:17:46 PM »
Yup, it's a completely valid question if you aren't already aware of working conditions on a cruise.  There's good info above, but I also suggest doing further searching/reading into just how bad conditions are.  Most ships are registered out of countries with little/no wage or employment laws for a reason.  It might just make you rethink cruises at all.

I personally would tip the default unless I had a major problem with service (unlikely) and tip above that for good service.  Most employees will give you outstanding service due to just how much they depend on tips.  In the future, mentally include the cost of these tips before you book (just like you would mentally include the tip before considering whether you can afford a restaurant)

I think this is a good place to start: http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=132

TheAnonOne

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2016, 02:25:31 PM »
Yup, it's a completely valid question if you aren't already aware of working conditions on a cruise.  There's good info above, but I also suggest doing further searching/reading into just how bad conditions are.  Most ships are registered out of countries with little/no wage or employment laws for a reason.  It might just make you rethink cruises at all.

I personally would tip the default unless I had a major problem with service (unlikely) and tip above that for good service.  Most employees will give you outstanding service due to just how much they depend on tips.  In the future, mentally include the cost of these tips before you book (just like you would mentally include the tip before considering whether you can afford a restaurant)

I think this is a good place to start: http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=132

The money isn't the issue, I was just curious as to why it works this way. I will probably just prepay the gratuities and tip in addition if it seems warranted.

elaine amj

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2016, 02:56:41 PM »
correct i found that.. OP said they have 900 dollars in RC money.  much much more than 250.  if they got it spending on that card it likely wasnt worth it since most MS costs 1%.  and the only other way to get it would just be traditional spending on it to get that 900 in RC dollars and there are a lot more lucrative CC Cashback offers and sign up bonuses that can be had for regularly spending enough to get 900 RC dollars. I dont think i'd put my self in the travel hacker ring if i was using this card every day to get a cruise.  more money could be had by just getting a barclay card each and spending 6k to get 920 travel dollars vs the 90k dollars it would take to get there with regular spend on this card.

Lots of other ways to do it too - especially after you have used up the "easy ones" and need more cards. There are many systems where you can redeem for a RCCL gift card. I have redeemed points for gift cards (I don't do this often since its not usually the best use of most point systems) and you can often cobble together something good. I typically always have a card I'm working on a bonus spend for (although this year I have slowed down quite a bit). I agree that I rarely rely on the 1-2% cah/points back for normal spend. That's not where the big payout is.

In this case, the OP used the Barclay points for $400 off.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2016, 03:00:24 PM »
correct i found that.. OP said they have 900 dollars in RC money.  much much more than 250.  if they got it spending on that card it likely wasnt worth it since most MS costs 1%.  and the only other way to get it would just be traditional spending on it to get that 900 in RC dollars and there are a lot more lucrative CC Cashback offers and sign up bonuses that can be had for regularly spending enough to get 900 RC dollars. I dont think i'd put my self in the travel hacker ring if i was using this card every day to get a cruise.  more money could be had by just getting a barclay card each and spending 6k to get 920 travel dollars vs the 90k dollars it would take to get there with regular spend on this card.

Lots of other ways to do it too - especially after you have used up the "easy ones" and need more cards. There are many systems where you can redeem for a RCCL gift card. I have redeemed points for gift cards (I don't do this often since its not usually the best use of most point systems) and you can often cobble together something good. I typically always have a card I'm working on a bonus spend for (although this year I have slowed down quite a bit). I agree that I rarely rely on the 1-2% cah/points back for normal spend. That's not where the big payout is.

In this case, the OP used the Barclay points for $400 off.

No... I didn't.

I used a Citi premier card.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2016, 03:24:00 PM »

yeah for the price of the xpedition it better be free. my parents are taking us all on the galpagos cruise in 2018. pretty stoked for that.

Definitely not a mustachian way to see the Galapagos, but it was really wonderful.  Would have done much better to get my "money's worth" if I drank alcohol.

i dont know if being hammered the whole time would have gotten your monies worth out of this adventure.

Despite all alcohol included, I don't think there was a single person who was hammered at any time on that trip - it just isn't that kind of crowd. But most people had a drink or two with dinner, and a drink or two after dinner.  Maybe an afternoon drink, etc.  It "adds up" (if you compare it to the price you'd pay on a normal cruise, not if you compare it to the price it cost the ship; though their selection was at least brands I recognized, not complete crap.) 

I did have a number of hot chocolates though :)

elaine amj

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2016, 04:11:51 PM »

No... I didn't.

I used a Citi premier card.

Oops..sorry, my bad.

Enjoy your massively discounted cruise! I love travel hacking.

Capsu78

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2016, 04:51:46 PM »
In defense of the cruise lines, these jobs provide wages well above what many of these same people could earn staying at home...or they would never be able to staff the industry and it is a mega industry.  I agree with the folks above that encourage you to have some interaction with the staff- where they are from? how long is your contract ? When is the next time you see your kids?  By the time I get to know them, I want to treat them at least as well as they expect and sometimes better. 
My international travel plans usually focus on avoiding being around others from my country and it amazes and amuses me when some folks seems to travel to critique what is different from what they are used to.  I have some childhood friends who put together some "once in a lifetime" trips as a big group and wonder why I don't want to participate... It appears to me they end up going to Ireland or Italy and never make contact outside their own travel group.  I want to create opportunities to interact, whether its a pub in Ireland, a family coffee shop in Tokyo or a B&B in a working neighborhood in Italy.

BTW- my service gratuity for my med cruise this summer on NCL is $13/person/day.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 04:53:18 PM by Capsu78 »

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2016, 05:17:08 PM »
We've done 3 cruises over the years and never pre-tipped. They have a guest services room you can go to at the end of the cruise and tip there. I found the services we received over the top and well deserving of the suggested tip for each day.

We found that they go out of the way to treat you special. I think cruises can be a very mustachian way to spend a vacation if you price it right. All the food you can eat, coffee, soda, entertainment included, they even had a soft serve ice cream machine on the pool deck.

Its been 6 years since our last cruise......might be down for a Caribbean cruise soon!


On another note about the hard work cruise attendants do, they also have less then desirable living conditions in the live/work lives. One told me that they bunk 6 to 10 workers in one cabin. Some even alternately share bunks with other workers doing different shifts....ugh!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 05:21:28 PM by fishnfool »

boarder42

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2016, 06:01:24 PM »
We've done 3 cruises over the years and never pre-tipped. They have a guest services room you can go to at the end of the cruise and tip there. I found the services we received over the top and well deserving of the suggested tip for each day.

We found that they go out of the way to treat you special. I think cruises can be a very mustachian way to spend a vacation if you price it right. All the food you can eat, coffee, soda, entertainment included, they even had a soft serve ice cream machine on the pool deck.

Its been 6 years since our last cruise......might be down for a Caribbean cruise soon!


On another note about the hard work cruise attendants do, they also have less then desirable living conditions in the live/work lives. One told me that they bunk 6 to 10 workers in one cabin. Some even alternately share bunks with other workers doing different shifts....ugh!

Just an FYI it doesn't work that way anymore. You pretip or they just come on your bill.

dragoncar

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2016, 06:42:58 PM »
Despite all alcohol included, I don't think there was a single person who was hammered at any time on that trip - it just isn't that kind of crowd. But most people had a drink or two with dinner, and a drink or two after dinner.  Maybe an afternoon drink, etc.  It "adds up" (if you compare it to the price you'd pay on a normal cruise, not if you compare it to the price it cost the ship; though their selection was at least brands I recognized, not complete crap.) 

The average person can metabolize one drink per hour.  So that's 24 drinks per day times typical $10/drink (for captive consumers) and you're talking $1680/week!

I think cruises can be a very mustachian way to spend a vacation if you price it right. All the food you can eat, coffee, soda, entertainment included, they even had a soft serve ice cream machine on the pool deck.
...One told me that they bunk 6 to 10 workers in one cabin. Some even alternately share bunks with other workers doing different shifts....ugh!

I'm booked for a cruise next summer where my in-laws could come almost for free if they bunked with us.  Some people couldn't handle it, but on a per-person basis, certainly mustachian.  I'm guessing they expect to earn the money back by selling us pricey excursions or the like.

boarder42

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Re: Going on a cruise (Royal Caribbean) - Gratuities?
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2016, 06:51:43 PM »
Despite all alcohol included, I don't think there was a single person who was hammered at any time on that trip - it just isn't that kind of crowd. But most people had a drink or two with dinner, and a drink or two after dinner.  Maybe an afternoon drink, etc.  It "adds up" (if you compare it to the price you'd pay on a normal cruise, not if you compare it to the price it cost the ship; though their selection was at least brands I recognized, not complete crap.) 

The average person can metabolize one drink per hour.  So that's 24 drinks per day times typical $10/drink (for captive consumers) and you're talking $1680/week!

I think cruises can be a very mustachian way to spend a vacation if you price it right. All the food you can eat, coffee, soda, entertainment included, they even had a soft serve ice cream machine on the pool deck.
...One told me that they bunk 6 to 10 workers in one cabin. Some even alternately share bunks with other workers doing different shifts....ugh!

I'm booked for a cruise next summer where my in-laws could come almost for free if they bunked with us.  Some people couldn't handle it, but on a per-person basis, certainly mustachian.  I'm guessing they expect to earn the money back by selling us pricey excursions or the like.

Book off ship excursions they are cheaper and way more fun.