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Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ships?

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Aft just means towards the back. Some people have a preference for forward, mid ships or aft, whichever is not better than others. A balcony is a wonderful addition.

Gratuities are either prepaid or not. If they are not included, it is expected that they tip. Even cruises where gratuities are included in the price, some people esp Americans will still tip.
 

straitman

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So family members left today..... On Princess Cruise.... They were upgraded to balcony cabin?????
But in the aft lvl 7....

I have seen the invoice and $480 fees and taxes..... Is this the prepaid gratuities?

They believe cruises from Australia don't charge gratuities?
Is this correct?



YouTube videos say that princesses cruises don't include drinks in boarding price????

Also how bad is aft room location on ship?
Correct. Australian cruises with Princess do not attract gratuities.

The taxes I cannot comment on without more info and I’m not sure what your drinks query is.

Beer, wine etc is not included if that you mean. Also make sure they get any on board credits they are entitled to. Any ex military etc?

We have had a balcony looking out at the wake and that is interesting though it can be a little noisy.
 

PLANT

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So family members had a good time in Sea Princess Cruise..... Due to booking via American website.... The bill came with gratuities...... Asked to be removed and were..... They paid table service and cleaning room staff money at end (tipped)

Now gold level.
 

cqtiger

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I have been on nearly every brand and as long as you are in a suite they are all great
 
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I have seem a few comments and threads by people here but I'm interested in getting some more detail so as to be able to compare the various lines.

We have done a few cruises now with 3 on Princess (5*) with one each on Norwegian (5*), P&O International (4*) and P&O Australia (3*). Princess have been good to great, P&O International was good with P&O Australia acceptable but nothing to rave about.


*These rating are mine alone and have no basis other than my opinion.
Asking about the best cruise company is hard. It will totally depend on what you want from the cruise. Whether its a 5 or 6 star or a south pacific cruise.Then its easier to give advice
 

YSSY

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So family members had a good time in Sea Princess Cruise..... Due to booking via American website.... The bill came with gratuities...... Asked to be removed and were..... They paid table service and cleaning room staff money at end (tipped)

Now gold level.
I would say thats pretty bad form. The an Australian pricing takes into account the gratuities in line with Australian custom. The US pricing doesn't and is in line with US expectations, there are more people involved than just the customer facing service staff. The automatic gratuities isn't some scam with the cruise line creaming off the top or the Captain taking a slice of the cut, the gratuities are split between the various hotel crew. I know its not the done thing in Australia, but it is the done thing on US cruise lines and in the US.
 

Pushka

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I would say thats pretty bad form. The an Australian pricing takes into account the gratuities in line with Australian custom. The US pricing doesn't and is in line with US expectations, there are more people involved than just the customer facing service staff. The automatic gratuities isn't some scam with the cruise line creaming off the top or the Captain taking a slice of the cut, the gratuities are split between the various hotel crew. I know its not the done thing in Australia, but it is the done thing on US cruise lines and in the US.
I like to think the back end people get their dues too. Like dishwashers, engine crew, laundry people, chefs and kitchen hands, tender crew and so on. So my tips stay on.
 

straitman

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I would say thats pretty bad form. The an Australian pricing takes into account the gratuities in line with Australian custom. The US pricing doesn't and is in line with US expectations, there are more people involved than just the customer facing service staff. The automatic gratuities isn't some scam with the cruise line creaming off the top or the Captain taking a slice of the cut, the gratuities are split between the various hotel crew. I know its not the done thing in Australia, but it is the done thing on US cruise lines and in the US.
I would like to believe that 'automatic gratuities isn't some scam with the cruise line creaming off the top' but to my knowledge there is no accountability for tipping within the 10 cruise lines of the Carnival Corporation Group. I know of several people who have chased them for the information however it appears to be unavailable and the amount of money we are talking about is astronomical.
 

YSSY

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I would like to believe that 'automatic gratuities isn't some scam with the cruise line creaming off the top' but to my knowledge there is no accountability for tipping within the 10 cruise lines of the Carnival Corporation Group. I know of several people who have chased them for the information however it appears to be unavailable and the amount of money we are talking about is astronomical.
Although it's been a while, I did spend several years at sea with one of the Carnival Corp brands (and still have friends/colleagues sailing in command there) and they were transparent to the crew onboard about the gratuities and the numbers certainly seemed to stack up. The potential fall out from a cruise line being found to be taking gratuities would be disastrous. I personally prefer the Australian setup, where it's all paid up front, but when in Rome...
 

drron

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I like to think the back end people get their dues too. Like dishwashers, engine crew, laundry people, chefs and kitchen hands, tender crew and so on. So my tips stay on.
On Silversea gratuities are included.They do however have a crew fund which we donate to.It does indeed go to all crew but used for their amenities such as the crew quarters,trips and special events.The crew do tell us things they have received.
 

Pushka

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On Silversea gratuities are included.They do however have a crew fund which we donate to.It does indeed go to all crew but used for their amenities such as the crew quarters,trips and special events.The crew do tell us things they have received.
Viking does the same for Australians. Not sure about the crew fund. On our last Viking cruise while everyone did their work there was no one outstanding. In fact there were service issues. For the first time we didn’t tip extra.
 

eric2011

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IMO with many of cruise lines including gratuities in the cruise price and gratuities included in the beverage packages many/some/not all crew now realise they dont have to go out of there way and provide exceptional service as they know they will get gratuities anyway
I am sure many of us "old timers" remember the old days of cruising where you had half a dozen envelopes with money in and you handed them out to the waiters in the dining rooms (back then no buffets) and to cabin stewards etc. That was before cruising became popular and cruise lines streamlined things for easier use
 

eric2011

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I like to think the back end people get their dues too. Like dishwashers, engine crew, laundry people, chefs and kitchen hands, tender crew and so on. So my tips stay on.
I think you will find that these people mentioned do not receive any of the gratuities and their wages are a little higher to reflect that, although in our world it is still a very small wage
 

Pushka

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I think you will find that these people mentioned do not receive any of the gratuities and their wages are a little higher to reflect that, although in our world it is still a very small wage
Maybe but I’d heard differently that the gratuities applied by the ship went into a pool for all crew except those in professional capacity.
 

eric2011

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Maybe but I’d heard differently that the gratuities applied by the ship went into a pool for all crew except those in professional capacity.
Wish we could get a response from the horses mouth, so to speak, (crew member)

edit
Just a quote from a cruise line source......"The fee is usually between $12 and $15 per passenger, per day, and the cruise line then divvies up that money between all service-oriented crew."

who knows Puska ;)
 

YSSY

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Wish we could get a response from the horses mouth, so to speak, (crew member)

edit
Just a quote from a cruise line source......"The fee is usually between $12 and $15 per passenger, per day, and the cruise line then divvies up that money between all service-oriented crew."

who knows Puska ;)
The comment is correct for the cruise line I worked for. Engine/Deck crew and Officers didn’t get the gratuities, but all service crew (including laundry and galley) received a share.
Some of the Filipino cabin stewards for the suites were making more in tips than the Captains salary.

I don’t like to defend the cruise lines, because quite frankly the reason I stopped working there was because the salary as a navigator and subsequently captain was appalling. But, the gratuities do go to the crew and are a part of US culture.
 

moa999

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Some of the Filipino cabin stewards for the suites were making more in tips than the Captains salary.
Sounds bizarre
Why only some, if the tips were that large and evenly distributed wouldn't all of them make more?

Presumably also though the officers are on a salary, whilst the staff only get paid when they are on voyage?
 

Pushka

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Sounds bizarre
Why only some, if the tips were that large and evenly distributed wouldn't all of them make more?

Presumably also though the officers are on a salary, whilst the staff only get paid when they are on voyage?
Dare I say the USA suite occupiers are very heavy tippers to individuals. Even well before the service is provided. Which is in my books, bribery.
 

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