Tipping Butler and Concierge

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#1
14 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
I am sailing on the NCL Jade in Dec 2011. I have the SC/AB Suite (2 bedroom) and noticed there is a butler service available. I have never been in a suite that had this option. Do I tip the butler every time he performs a task for me or just keep track and tip him the full amount at the end of the cruise when I tip everyone else. Thanks for the help!
#2
S/E Wisconsin
769 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Welcome to CC. You might want to do a search, plenty of past chats about this topic.

Here is a link to one past discussion:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...hlight=tipping
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#3
East Coast US
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Joined Jan 2009
Tip at the end if he/she goes beyond what you have paid for.We had one butler who did nothing for us except bring in coffee and yogurt in the am. We tipped him as we would have for anyone bringing room service. Some people have the butler serve them many meals from different restaurants or organize parties etc.
#5
Miami
4,510 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
You want to set a good tone for your cruise. When I met my butler on the Sky earlier this year, he introduced himself and immediately began to explain the coffee/expresso/Lavassa machine. I gave him $10 then and it set the tone for the rest of the cruise. He looked at me in surprised that I gave him $10 for just showing the machine but it was a nice introduction. This way, you may get better service but it is up to you. Of course you should time anytime they bring food you ordered to your room. But it is up to you how much. The butler will not just wheel in a cart, they will bring things in and set up everything on your balcony. It is really a nice touch.
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#6
4,299 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by samplecd01
I am sailing on the NCL Jade in Dec 2011. I have the SC/AB Suite (2 bedroom) and noticed there is a butler service available. I have never been in a suite that had this option. Do I tip the butler every time he performs a task for me or just keep track and tip him the full amount at the end of the cruise when I tip everyone else. Thanks for the help!
Well for starters, NCL uses the daily service charge as a tip for the room stewards and restaurant waiters. You don't have to tip them at the end of cruise, unless you want to add to their service charge tip.

That aside. Almost everyone tips at the end of the cruise. I can tell you that our butler was fantastic, and tipping him at the beginning couldn't have made the service better.
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#7
Wynnewood, PA
2,014 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I don't know for myself, but the threads I've read, including the one referenced above, say not to tip the butler & concierge until the end of the cruise and that's exactly what DH and I plan to do.
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#8
Dallas, TX
8,431 Posts
Joined May 2008
Read as many suite reviews as you can and then use the searc function to peruse one of the many threads on the subject and then you will know what to expect... Which functions the butler and concierge can do for you and which ones are those you wish to take advantage of. Then budget accordingly and go on your cruise and enjoy!

Then at the end you can determine how the butler and concierge met your expectations AND enhanced your vacation experience AND then you can tip accordingly.
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Donna (Dallas, Texas)

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#9
Dallas, TX
8,431 Posts
Joined May 2008
Read as many suite reviews as you can and then use the search function to peruse one or two or three of the many threads on the subject and then you will know what to expect... Which functions the butler and concierge can do for you and which ones are those you wish to take advantage of. Then budget accordingly and go on your cruise and enjoy!

Then at the end you can determine how the butler and concierge met your expectations AND enhanced your vacation experience AND then you can tip accordingly.
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Donna (Dallas, Texas)

Previous Cruises:
NCL Epic - Forward Owner's Suite (17004) - Eastern Caribbean (after
being cancelled TWICE by NCL)
NCL Jewel - aft PH - Western Caribbean from Tx - 4/15
Carnival Magic - aft balc - Caribbean from TX - 11/14
NCL Sun - aft PH (9076) - So. Caribbean - 03/13
Carnival Paradise - Baja Calif - 03/11
NCL Sun - aft PH (9076) - So. America (& Antarctica) - 2/09 (Favorite)
NCL Dawn - NYC to Nowhere -04/08 -
NCL Jewel - TransAtlantic to Greece - 04/07
RCI Monarch - Baja Calif - 03/05 - Family Reunion Cruise!
Celebrity Summit - Alaska - 08/03
Carnival Ecstacy - Bahamas - 5/00
NCL Norway - broom closet (Inside) Caribbean - 7/86 My 1st!!!
#10
long island
5 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
If they start on the right foot, 20. to the butler and Steward is a good start on the 1st day, you can do 10. or 20. (only if they are exceptional) the average tip, if you tip at the end is about 50 or 60. unless you have a herd of needy kids like me that wreck the place they consider 50. average 60+ good, but if your had to work as hard as Josephene and Victoer did for us on the Dec 11 Gem out of NY, much more. I think tipping as you go gives them incentive, make sure you ask for an envelope with their name on it for a tip at the end of the trip, some of them have names that are you cant pronounce, or remember to spell right.
We are not crazy, we were generous because the took care of our family when we had a fever and stomach virus! They were non stop running.
#11
Manasquan, NJ
4,262 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by krzjaz11703
If they start on the right foot, 20. to the butler and Steward is a good start on the 1st day, you can do 10. or 20. (only if they are exceptional) the average tip, if you tip at the end is about 50 or 60. unless you have a herd of needy kids like me that wreck the place they consider 50. average 60+ good, but if your had to work as hard as Josephene and Victoer did for us on the Dec 11 Gem out of NY, much more. I think tipping as you go gives them incentive, make sure you ask for an envelope with their name on it for a tip at the end of the trip, some of them have names that are you cant pronounce, or remember to spell right.
We are not crazy, we were generous because the took care of our family when we had a fever and stomach virus! They were non stop running.
In my view, $60 is a very low tip for a butler for even a couple.. We average $150 for the butler, $100 for the concierge, and $40 for the stewards for two people on a seven day cruise. We don't like to tip for incentive, preferring to pay it all in the end..

Robin
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#12
central PA
100 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
From discussions on various threads I was of the impression that the room stewards were part of the DSC pool. Concierge and butler are not.
Am I mistaken?
Thanks.
#13
8,028 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by Law5Guy
From discussions on various threads I was of the impression that the room stewards were part of the DSC pool. Concierge and butler are not.
Am I mistaken?
Thanks.

You are correct.

PE
#14
Manasquan, NJ
4,262 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by Law5Guy
From discussions on various threads I was of the impression that the room stewards were part of the DSC pool. Concierge and butler are not.
Am I mistaken?
Thanks.
Absolutely correct. We tip the stewards extra as our suite is larger and I feel they spend more time in there than in a smaller stateroom, but it's a purely personal thing.

Robin
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#15
PDX
249 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
How much additional would gratuities be for an 11 day cruise, 2 adults and 2 kids so four total, in a penthouse? In a suite? I am trying to compare a 'gratuities included' price with a non gratuities price.

From reading threads it seems like $12 per person per day, plus the butler and concierge. That sounds like $550 plus butler and concierge so say $850 total???
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#16
Manasquan, NJ
4,262 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by psychtobe
How much additional would gratuities be for an 11 day cruise, 2 adults and 2 kids so four total, in a penthouse? In a suite? I am trying to compare a 'gratuities included' price with a non gratuities price.

From reading threads it seems like $12 per person per day, plus the butler and concierge. That sounds like $550 plus butler and concierge so say $850 total???
The Daily Service Charge would be $12 per person per day, and covers most onboard staff. Additional tips for: Butler, concierge, kids' club staff, drink orders (automatically put onto the bill), spa services, plus the Haven butler if you use him/her. We also tip extra to the room stewards for our suite since the room is larger and requires more work, and to the waitstaff in the specialty restaurants, since the service is always so good - but these are completely optional. Concierge and Butler tips are discretionary - ranges vary according to usage. We generally start our tips at $10 per person per day to the butler and $10 per cabin per day for the concierge and go from there. But it is completely up to you as to what you feel is appropriate. There are a lot of more recent threads on here asking the same questions with a lot of answers.. Hope this helps!

Robin
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NCL Sun - Russia and the Baltic Sea With the Whole Family - May/June 2012 (Owner's Suite and Aft Penthouse for six)
NCL Epic - Eastern Caribbean Relaxing for Two - February 2012 (Two Bedroom Haven Villa S4)
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#17
Scotton UK
663 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
We spent a lot of time in Cagney's at breakfast and lunch on our recent Jade cruise, got the names of the eight from the Concierge, and put a personal note in with our tip to be shared amongst them. Given on the last day. Fairer than trying to tip one or two. We also tipped Concierge, Butler and Room Steward, they made our celebration very special.


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#18
Ontario, Canada
793 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
I always bank on $10 per person per day for the butler. Then nearing the end of the cruise I kind of think in my head of how much we used him and what would be fair and reasonable. And adjust accordingly. On our recent 12-day Dawn cruise, I gave him $300 because he did go out of his way a few nights for the two of us. A lot of days it was simply coffee in the morning and nothing else for the rest of the day. I thought $300 was fair and he looked like he was quite happy with it.

The room steward I gave $250. She was like a ninja, getting in and out of our cabin in a short period of time most days. Also, I could hear her out in the hallway singing most days, which was nice. And she was such a pleasure to talk to. In hindsight, I should have given her $300 too because she did more work than the butler. I don't know why I never realized that before, and now I kind of feel a little bad about it.

I don't understand why some people tip the concierge as much as the butler. Unless they use him/her constantly, I just don't see the high workload and resulting high tip for the concierge.

Okay, on our Dawn cruise she got us a reservation at Cagneys one night, and booked a last minute excursion for us. She was always nice and pleasurable and always sent invites and stuff to our cabin. Some we took her up on, some we just weren't interested. (She also said she'd get us a nice quiet 2-top in the Venetian, away from the crowd and worthy of a romantic honeymoon dinner for 2. Pffffft. Didn't happen. We were elbow to elbow with the strangers beside us.) She also escorted us off the ship, bypassing the long line up on the morning of disembarkation. That's about it.

I gave her $60 and thought that was pretty high, in my opinion, considering she didn't really do all that much for us.

EDIT. I also go to guest services and get the tip vouchers added directly to my onboard account. I saves me from hanging onto that much cash for the duration and it gets the funds put directly into the employees account. Both my butler and room steward said they prefer it to be done that way. It's more safe and secure for them.
#19
Plano, TX
2,568 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Originally posted by rajones007

EDIT. I also go to guest services and get the tip vouchers added directly to my onboard account. I saves me from hanging onto that much cash for the duration and it gets the funds put directly into the employees account. Both my butler and room steward said they prefer it to be done that way. It's more safe and secure for them.
I don't know how I didn't know about this! Last December, we had an envelope taken from our cabin on the next to last day of the cruise. We had it sitting out (foolishly) ready to hand to our Haven butler a bit later. When I went to retrieve it, it was gone. I reported it, but, of course, lost cash is, well... gone forever. Now that I know it can be added to our onboard account we will never have the issue arise again. Even after all of our cruises, I am still learning from the helpful people on CC! Thanks so much for your post!! Just to clarify, is there a form to fill out stating the amount to be paid to each person, or do you just go to the front desk and make a verbal request? Thanks again!
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#20
6,392 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by DebbieCruises
I don't know how I didn't know about this! Last December, we had an envelope taken from our cabin on the next to last day of the cruise. We had it sitting out (foolishly) ready to hand to our Haven butler a bit later. When I went to retrieve it, it was gone. I reported it, but, of course, lost cash is, well... gone forever. Now that I know it can be added to our onboard account we will never have the issue arise again. Even after all of our cruises, I am still learning from the helpful people on CC! Thanks so much for your post!! Just to clarify, is there a form to fill out stating the amount to be paid to each person, or do you just go to the front desk and make a verbal request? Thanks again!
I'm sorry that happened to you!

When you go to the Purser's Desk they will fill out the old-fashioned manual slips indicating how much $, and to whom. There will be individual slips for each person you choose, and you will be given one of the sheets from each voucher. We usually place that sheet inside a Thank You Card, with a hand-written note, so the recipient knows that the funds will be in their account, how much is there, and who it is from.

I have to say this is the easiest, safest, and most hassle-free way to tip ever!
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