Thursday, November 15, 2012

Some tips for a successful cruise

Most of us accept that tipping on board a cruise liner is part and parcel of the cruise holiday experience. But how much should you tip, and when? Sometimes, the cruise company gives a few tips about tipping in their brochure to give you an idea. For example, it really depends on how long your cruise is for, obviously the longer the voyage; the larger the overall tip should be given. The timing is optional, although I've been on cruises where an initial tip was given at the start to the cabin steward, and then, if performance was satisfactory throughout the cruise, another tip would be given at the end. I once went on a Caribbean cruise in which gratuities were pre-paid in the cost of the actual fare. Nevertheless, once on board it was apparent that tips over and above this 'down payment' were expected. When it came to getting my suitcase put on board the ship at Miami, I found that it wouldn't be loaded unless I gave the porter five dollars to take it out of my hands, and then put it on the conveyor leading to the ship! He was on to a fairly lucrative income, because there were literally thousands of passengers lining up to embark. Maybe I should stop being a cartoonist, and get a job on the Miami wharves, loading suitcases!

It amazes me how much is spent just in tips on a vacation. I tried to figure out if there were any vacations I went on where I didn't have to tip every other person I saw and the only one that comes to mind is a rail vacation to Alaska. I should probably stop going on cruises. All the money I save not having to tip the cruise workers would be better spent on a train tour!

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