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We travelled with RCI around the med on Legend of the Seas. It was our first time too. We didn't pay the gratuities before hand, which is an option. On the last evening of your cruise, if I remember correctly, you are given envelopes for you room attendant, head waiter, and one other waiting staff member, there may be one other but I cannot recall this. Anyway,RCI recommend an amount per person travelling ti giveand you purchase vouchers or notes (again can't quite remember the detail) and you put these into the envelopes and give to the relevant member of staff. I felt that I didn't want to give a tip to our head waiter as i didn't know who they were. I would have prefered to tip other staff instead who were much more involved in our cruise. So, we have just booked our second cruise and this time we will decide ourselves at the end of the cruise, how much and to whom we will give the gratuities to.
On all our ships, it is customary to offer tips to staff members who you feel have given you good service and personal attention. An approximate daily total of £6.65 per guest, per cruise day, will cover stateroom and dining room service for adults and children.
We do offer the option to pre-pay your on board gratuities in advance of your holiday. If you wish to decline this service, you must do so at the time of booking and gratuities will be payable in U.S. Dollars on board or GBP on Legend of The Seas Southampton sailings. Additionally, a service charge of 15% for all beverage bills is automatically added to your SeaPass account.
*Gratuities are subject to change
Note: These gratuities also apply to infants and children of all ages. Bellboys are tipped as service is rendered. A 15% gratuity is automatically added to all bar and wine bills. Guests can also pay their gratuities onboard the ship with cash or charge them to their SeaPass account.
I hope this answers your question.
Have a wonderful first cruise!
I don't usually give the amount that the cruise line recommends as this can be quite expensive, I just put an amount in an envelopethat I can afford and give to whom I think has given good service eg, cabin crew and waiters who have served you at meal time.