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Celebrity Constellation Day Ten at Sea

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Day at Sea

I spent the day at sea to prepare for post cruise transportation and a visit to the Swiss alps. I also used this day to enter in receipts and accounting, since I had been away for three weeks.

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Tipping Gratuities Ship Guidelines

Gratuities (tipping) is a point of contention for many cruisers.

The old school method was to divy out cash tips on the last night of the cruise to your room stewards, and other individuals who were above and beyond.

Sometime in the early 2000's, the cruise lines got wise, and started adding automatic 20 percent tips to drinks and other services as tips.

I asked the room steward if he got the tips, and he confirmed he did.

On this cruise, we ate exclusively at the specialty restaurants and the buffet. We didn't eat once in the main free restaurants.

I elected to pay individuals separately who provided service above and beyond, including our room steward and a few bar personnel.

On this cruise, had I paid the automatic gratuities, then I would be double tipping restaurant personnel, which didn't make much sense to me.

A better method is to include tips and gratuities in the workers salaries, since the tips go into a pool fund anyhow (which means exemplary workers don't get additional pay for their hard work).

Personally, I think the cruise lines should do away with tipping and gratuities altogether, since all the added costs really add up and make you feel like you've been baited and switched.

On this cruise, there was a staff shortage, which meant for the buffet, I had to go to the bar to get my own drinks, and I paid a 20 percent tip to have a drink made at the bar (no service provided). In many cases, there was a long wait. In some cases there was a shortage of Coke (none for a day) and strawberry daiquiri mix (none for several days) because of resupply issues.

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Do Servers Actually Get Drink Tips

Hard to say. I have yet to see where this 20 percent tip actually goes.

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Specialty Restaurant

You pay a automatic 20 percent tip on any of the specialty restaurants. That's up and above your automatic tipping for restaurant services (i.e. double tipping).

The Sushi was average, nothing great.

Luckily, they did accept our drink packages, unlike MSC cruises who does not at specialty restaurants.

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