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  1. Gratuities are an accepted part of cruising and generally accepted by most passengers I have spoken to across several cruise lines. We have done it both ways but I now feel that I ndividual tipping is not for me as the individuals tipped could not perform their duties without the rest of the crew a backing them up. They are just the tip of the iceberg. As an example the lovely food you eat at breakfast could not be served by your waiter unless someone had started working at 3.00am to prepare and cook your food in the galley.
  2. Funnily enough I have only been asked this question on British cruise lines. My reply will always be "what I thought was a good price for the cruise".
  3. Princess scores again. Just paid my future cruise deposit on our current cruise.
  4. many of the people posting seem to prefer to cancel the gratuity charge in favourite of tipping individuals giving good service. I don't have any argument with that, but wonder how many tip the kitchen staff who work tirelessly to provide the wonderful food served during the cruise. After all, like the waiters and cabin stewards they are doing the job they voluntarily signed on for.
  5. We use the post office platinum card as there are no transaction fees. Use It in the currency of the country and let the Post office do the conversion to sterling. We don't use ours to get cash as there are charges.
  6. What I have to ask these hotel charge removers is diy you enjoy your food, the cleanliness of the public areas, the pool and hot tubs and all the tasks performed other than your cabin steward and the waiters at you table. Someone has to work hard on ALL the things that go to make your holiday memorable. Regular cruisers usually accept that service charges are a way of life onboard and contribute to tips that are shared by all the crew.
  7. Those of you who cancel auto tips in favour of tipping cabin stewards and wait staff should think of the many crew who contribute to the enjoyment of a cruise who are often unseen and work from dawn to dusk making sure you cruise is enjoyable.
  8. It is fine doing direct tipping but how do the people, other than cabin stewards and dining room waiters, get tipped for providing an excellent experience. For example the people who provide the excellent food we eat onboard.
  9. Hi. We were on St. Petersburg last summer and booked a 2 day tour with Viator.com who were remarkable In many ways. They were about half the price of the ship's tour and included more. They covered passengers with a group visa. They gave a written guarantee that they would cover all costs of getting you to the next port if they failed to get you back to the ship on time. The guides spoke very good English. I have recommended this company many times and have used them before in European cities.
  10. We did this trip with Princess from Southamptn and it was wonderful. We used the big red buses in most ports and they were just outside the cruise terminal. Save tickets if you use them as you can get discount on second and subsequent trips even in different ports. As for St Petersburg the two day ship's trip seemed expensive even though it did away with the hassle and expense, around £150 each, of getting a Russian visa. We used a company called Viator who offered more in the two day itinerary than the ship's excursion at just over half the price. They also cover you with their group visa and
  11. Many people don't realize that whilst the price of drinks appear more on Princess you get bigger spirit measures and the price of the mixer is included unlike other lines.
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