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Gratuities.

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Tipping has become clumsy. We believe tips are gratis, that tipping is for above-expected service. I can think of only two cases when service on a ship wasn't above our expectations: in the dining room the entire 6 nights with Norwegian Cruise Line,and for 10 of 14 days in our stateroom on Royal Caribbean. We brought a good amount of cash and fancy envelopes for tips and took the tip charge off our account at some point in the cruise as usual. We prefer this traditional way of showing appreciation. It worked out well on 20 other cruises. We have since learned that tips are put in a pool and shared among the service crew, that on some ships lists are posted in service quarters with names of guests who removed their tips from their accounts. Now we leave the company recommended tips on our account and, if needed, go to the purser's desk to adjust the amounts up or down the night before the last day in fear of getting poor service. Has anyone had this same problem, and is there a better way to reward the best service?

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