Celebrity Prepaid Gratuities

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#1
Phoenix, Arizona
25 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
We are traveling on Celebrity's Infinity in a couple of months and have a question on the prepaid gratuities. We are booked in a CC cabin and the flex-time dining. With the flex-time option, we were required to pay the gratuities upfront which is fine by me. Many other post say that the staff will know who pre-pays gratuities. What doesn't the prepaid gratuities cover so we can make sure that we don't stiff anyone (i.e. baggage porter..etc)? And, if the service is good, should we add a little extra at the end of the cruise?

And maybe I should of asked in a separate post, but with flex-time dining, the Celebrity agent said they would probably be able to get me a table for two (just that my wife and I want some quiet time together) with the flex-time dining option, is there a number of tables for two on these ships or is it limited? Many Thanks! Steve
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Steve (HAZMAT9)

#2
Richardson, TX
71,088 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Yes, with flex time you walk up and just say you want a table for 2 and they will take you to one.

The prepaid takes care of waiters and cabin steward ... but not room service, porters, shuttles.
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Celebrity Summit, 11/30/13, Celebrity Summit, 12/7/13, Celebrity Constellation, 2/7/14, NCL Epic 3/2/14, RCL Allure 5/4/14, Allure 11/2/14, Quantum 12/12/14
#3
Moon Township, Pa
23,136 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Celebrity's dining is called Select Dining. You can ask for the same table every night, if you want. You can also make a reservation for dining at the same time every night. We did that on Solstice---yes, I know that doesn't sound like Select, but we think early seating is too early and late is too late, so we choose Select and go at the same time every evening, 7:15.

There will be a list of those who pre-pay so the staff knows. The other tipping you might find is for porters at the cruise terminal, the auto tip every time you order something from a bar waiter, and the couple of dollars you tip if you order room service. If you take tours, you might want to tip the guide and bus driver.
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Darcie
#4
Phoenix, Arizona
25 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Thanks for the info! Good to know that "Room Service" is an added tip. And I forgot, "Select Dining" is the name of Celebrity's (maybe Flex Time was Princess). That sounds great, we just wanted to have a bit of privacy especially dealing with so many people all day at work, the Select Dining" options sound like it will work perfectly for us. Thanks!
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Steve (HAZMAT9)

#6
16,994 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by SeaboundQT
We've also prepaid gratuities (on celebrity) and it's my understanding that it DOES cover the cabin/room attendants. Can someone please clarify?
Yes it covers your stateroom steward. No one who replied to this thread said it didn't, so I don't know why you're confused.

It is customary, however, to tip a dollar or two per person to whomever delivers a room service order. (Perhaps even a few dollars more if you're getting a full meal rather than just a snack or some morning coffee.)
#7
Raleigh NC
24,462 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
I have never understood why X collects tips up front for those who take any time dining. I am not aware of any other line that does that. It is not a big deal, we have paid it before but I just have always been curious why they do it.

Kirk
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Kirk


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#9
Moon Township, Pa
23,136 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by KirkNC
I have never understood why X collects tips up front for those who take any time dining. I am not aware of any other line that does that. It is not a big deal, we have paid it before but I just have always been curious why they do it.

Kirk
There's a very simple reason for that----you're not being served by the same wait staff every night with Select Dining, so how would you tip unless it's pre-paid and that money goes into a pool to give to everyone? And, NCL has pre-paid tipping with their Freestyle dining, as does RCI and their My Time Dining. Actually, any line where you select their freestyle type of dining has you pre-pay the tips. Otherwise, like I said, how would you handle tipping, unless you give waiter A a few bucks, waiter B the same and on and on. Terrible hassle.
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Darcie
#10
Moon Township, Pa
23,136 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by dsrdsrdsr
What I can't understand is why they call it a gratuity when it obviously isn't. Or can you opt out if you wish?
Of course you could opt out, but it's considered bad form to do so. I guess you could call it a service charge. Would that make it more palatable?
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Darcie
#11
Lancashire
2,815 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by kitty9
Of course you could opt out, but it's considered bad form to do so. I guess you could call it a service charge. Would that make it more palatable?
If you can opt out, then I suppose it is a gratuity in a sense. It just bugs me slightly that a gratuity means something given freely, without obligation, when this appears to be nothing of the sort. But yes, service charge would be more accurate IMO. Not that it matters, just a linguistic niggle.

Not that I'd opt out, anyway, if any of my lines did that. (P&O usually, and they don't.) The only time I did opt out was when they landed us in freedom dining, which we strongly disliked (it was very badly run), and so we didn't dine in the restaurant. Their tips went in the buffet box instead.
#12
16,994 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by kitty9
There's a very simple reason for that----you're not being served by the same wait staff every night with Select Dining, so how would you tip unless it's pre-paid and that money goes into a pool to give to everyone? And, NCL has pre-paid tipping with their Freestyle dining, as does RCI and their My Time Dining. Actually, any line where you select their freestyle type of dining has you pre-pay the tips. Otherwise, like I said, how would you handle tipping, unless you give waiter A a few bucks, waiter B the same and on and on. Terrible hassle.
Not so. Unless you specfically elect to prepay your Daily Service Charge (and the prepay option was only added by NCL within the last two years or so), it is charged to your onboard account on a daily basis and paid at the end of the cruise along with your other onboard charges.

We have never prepaid our tips (Daily Service Charges) on any of our NCL cruises.

As best I can tell from reading Carnival's FAQs, they also do not require prepayment of service charges if you select the "Your Time" dining option. Carnival only mentions mandatory prepayment for cruise to nowhere and Barbados itineraries. Otherwise they use a system similar to NCL's...the daily service charge is added to your onboard account unless you opt for preapyment.
#13
21 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by njhorseman
Yes it covers your stateroom steward. No one who replied to this thread said it didn't, so I don't know why you're confused.
fyi, there was a post on here earlier that said it didn't - it must have gotten removed.