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"What many may not realize is >>>>>>all tips are pooled on Ren >>>>>EVEN those given privately to staff HAVE to be pooled >.....if they are caught, spotted or suspected of not putting tips in the pot they are fired.  So the difficulty is that all staff get rewarded whether good or bad and there is little incentive for the poor ones to improve conversely the exceptional staff remain unrewarded for their efforts and attention to detail"  Pat Davis

Diane and Buil's Experience:

Renaissance and many other cruise lines automatically add 15% to your bar bills as a tip and charge it to your shipboard account and you should see it as part of the bill shown to you each time you purchase.                                

Renaissance Recommended Tipping

You might tip more or less than the recommend amount, as always, and you might tip others who gave special service as well.  This is only a discussion of the recommended figure.  With Renaissance open seating and the alternate restaurants, you will have many different waiters (pooled dining tips), although the same number of meals as other cruise lines.  

The tipping was said by the Ren agent to be $9 for dining and $4 for room steward (total $13 per person per day).  Two additional Ren documents we received before the cruise also stated the $9-4,$13 numbers.  Before the Ren cruise: Total recommended tips for 2 people for 10 days: $260.

This is higher than the recommended tips by many other cruise lines:   $3.50 per person per day for the room steward, making it $35 per person total ($70) at the end of a 10 day cruise.  The waiter would be the same.  The recommended tip for the waiter's assistant (bus boy) would be a little over 1/2 of that given to the waiter.  Tips to other dining room people, Maitre d, Head Waiter, etc, would be much less if at all.  Many times they only show up at each table for a moment each night.  Occasionally, they do deserve a tip for some special attention or exceptional service.  At the end of the cruise, an envelope would be given to each individual you are tipping.  This would be about $9-$11 per person per day for both the dining and room steward tips.  Many other cruise lines: Total recommended tips for 2 people for 10 days: $180-$220.  The $220 figure assumes a tip given to both the Head Waiter & Maitre 'd.     

At the end of the cruise, we were given a paper with $12 for dining and $5 for the room steward (total of $17 per person).  The cruise director also stated the same figures in his talk.  At the end of the Ren cruise: Total recommended tips for 2 people for 10 days: $340.  This is $80 more than Ren's recommended tips before you arrive at the cruise and $120-160 more than many other cruise lines.   

On the day before we disembarked, the cabin steward left, in our cabin, two envelopes, one marked dining and the other marked room steward.  The dining figure covers all the dining people including the Maitre d, Head Waiters, etc (the dining room tips are pooled and someone other than the cruiser determines the split).  Ren says you can drop the envelopes off in a box at the main desk.  Ren also allows you to prepay your tips or to put them on your credit card anytime during the cruise.

We are not saying that Renaissance service people do not deserve a good tip.  In our experience they were generally above average and some exceptional.  However, we consider the variation in recommended tipping guidelines (before and during) to be deliberate as it apparently has existed for some time.  If deliberate, we consider it highly improper.   Guidelines on cruise ship tipping....  More Guidelines....
dest.travelocity Tips  Still more...               Another opinion on tipping Ren_New_Board message 4848    Room Service Tipping

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