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Ignore the ships advice on gratuities, they list all sorts of people such as Head Waiters who only 'meet and greet' in the restaurant. The main people to tip are your cabin steward and your waiters providing they give a good service. Envelopes are provided at the end of the cruise and staff seem to appreciate a personal message such as 'thanks for looking after us'. When you are in a hotel you don't let the owners tell you how much to give their staff so don't be intimated by cruise literature, only you know what the service was worth to you.
According to the brochure it's $10 which is approx £5 per person per day £10 per couple per day or you can cancel this and pay your own amount either more or less there is a 15% service charge on bar bill that covers their tip you are probably like myself it's not that we don't want to tip it's we don't do it on a regular basis and don't want to insult anyone so i think that we will probably let the tips be charged to our account at £10 per day after all that is only £140 on a 14 night cruise .
When we booked on the Sun Princess 2 years ago, we were told that the gratuities were automatically added to our final account. Our friends who are seasoned cruisers told us that they do not accept this, preferring to tip good service, etc. themselves, and told us to see the Purser to ask that this is changed to tipping direct. There was no problem with doing this and we treated those that had looked after us direct. Obviously there are those who are never seen (those who work in the laundry, kitchens, etc)., but you can put something in a gratuities envelope specifically for them. Hope this helps. We thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise and would go with the Princess line everytime - we tried P&O this January and it was not a patch on the American ship for service. P&O was so expensive for drinks etc., The only thing that P&O was better for was the comedians and entertainment - the Americans are so cheesy! Hope this helps.