Tips to Cruise By: Packing, Drinking and Cash Handshakes

When a Cruise Critic member takes the time to write a bang-up review, we all benefit. Earlmarie, one of five member reviewers of the week, cruised on Ruby Princess to “de-stress and relax with no schedule.” There was one thing she planned on doing: help future cruisers. Sprinkled throughout her comprehensive write-up are packing tips [...]

Tipping Points: What Do You Give When a Crewmember Goes Above and Beyond? You Tell Us.

Sometimes you need a drink. And when you’re Lido Deck reader Sabrina, sometimes that drink is tomato-clam juice with vodka. And sometimes the pool bartender may have to dig for the clams to procure the juice. There’s a point here: As we close out Tipping Week, we want to highlight those special requests and above-and-beyond [...]

Tipping Points: Do I Tip the Head Waiter or Maitre d’?

Mega-ships may have hundreds or even thousands of crewmembers (the Oasis-class duo have almost 2,200), many of whom are mostly invisible to passengers. Some of these shadowy figures may even get a cut of the tips … which prompted Larry to ask the Lido Deck: “Why does the head waiter get tipped if you use [...]

Tipping Points: 7 Times When You Shouldn’t Tip

We’re constantly fielding questions about when, whom and how much to tip. But when should you slap away the outstretched hand, figuratively speaking? Many first-timers may be perplexed by what palms need to be greased … and which don’t. Lisa Lubrano e-mailed the Lido Deck asking: “If someone helps me carry my food in the [...]

Tipping Points: Cruising Single … Tipping Double?

It’s Day 2 of Tipping Week, during which we’re tackling your most pressing concerns about onboard gratuities. Today we’re answering a question about one of the most overlooked demographics in cruising: the solo cruiser. On Cruise Critic’s Facebook page, Rosemary Kennedy Manning asks: “If I travel as a single, do I tip my cabin steward(s) [...]

Poll Position: Tipping Tumult

Tipping. It can be one of the most awkward and tricky aspects of cruising. With services like autogratuities (which are automatically added to your onboard tab at the end of each sailing) and the ability to prepay, it’s becoming easier and more mechanical. But, what if you feel like your cabin steward or dining room [...]

Tipping Points: Will I Get Bad Service if I Opt Out of Auto-Gratuities?

Is there spit in my soup? When cruise lines introduced “auto-tipping,” I was thrilled. The ye-olde tradition in which passengers expressed gratitude by handing out fistfuls of cash at the end of a cruise seemed crass. I get it, though: It doesn’t bother everyone and in fact some people prefer it that way. That’s why [...]

Tipping Points: I’ve Already Paid $30 — Do I Have to Tip at the For-Fee Alternative Restaurant?

Welcome to Tipping Week at Cruise Critic. After reaching out to our readers, we received dozens of questions in the past few days regarding gratuities, and we’ll be answering a number of them in this space through Friday. Not surprisingly, one of the most common queries regarded alternative restaurants. Lileesa asked the question first on [...]

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