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The option of pre-paying tips is to ensure a stress-free cruise for passengers and is in reaction to the various views on cruise ship tipping.
Traditionally passengers would pay tips at the end of a cruise and would pay waiters, bus-boy, cabin stewards etc... But as cruising has been growing more popular and among many people from different backgrounds the operators have adapted this to make things easier. On some cruise lines they auto-tip (taking out £10 per day from your onboard account). This idea ensures you can see how much you are spending as the cruise unfolds and you can budget for the tips without having to worry about having a lump some at the end.
This has now been taken one step further and tips are being offered to be paid by passengers before they embark the ship. This is an excellent solution for people that dont want to worry about tipping when onboard and just want to get the payment sorted with no hassle or worry come the end of a cruise.
Cruise ship staff always offer excellent service for several reasons
1) You may give them an added tip at the end of the cruise
2) They want the repeat custom
3) Surveys and comment cards at the end of the cruise give them a rating. If there rating is consistantly good they could be promoted. If bad there jobs could be in jeopardy.
The descision of the tipping is entirely up to you and whatever suites you best. It will have no bearing on the service you recieve though. (I can confirm this as I currently work for one of the large international cruise companies).
No, the waiters do not throw your dinner plate at you, or stick a thumb in your soup just because you have prepaid the tips..... The excellent quality of service will be exactly the same.
I appreciate what you are saying and we always pay our tips, in full or more, when we get onboard. We do not like to put more money than is necessary in the cruise lines pockets before it's due, so we always refuse to pay up front but paying tips is part and parcel of the deal so don't be stingy when it comes to paying. The service you get will be exemplary and if it isn't ....change your cruise line....Regards.....Nei.
Thank you all for your replies. However just one more thing...Is it best to pay our tips in sterling or would it be better to pay in USD? Just so I know what to take with me. I wouldn't want to pay in currency that causes problems for the staff.
US Dollars or Euros are both happily accepted on Constellation on which I cruised the Baltic last summer. Enjoy.