We get asked about tipping A LOT here at Windstar. How much, and when? Where is it expected, and when is it already included? So we decided to pull together a basic primer, a Tipping 101 shall we say, to help guide you in your travels particularly while dining at local restaurants and traveling on board our yachts.
Tahiti – Tipping in Tahiti is not required or expected, but it’s certainly appreciated when given for great service. In Tahiti, most restaurant menus are all inclusive, meaning that service has been included in the price. Be sure to check your menu/check just in case, as some restaurants deviate from this norm but will alert guests that additional tipping is suggested.
Europe – Typically, tipping 5-10 percent in Europe is normal, across the board! See, that’s not so hard. Again, be sure to check the menu or your check first to see if service is included on the bill, as is often the case. Usually, fixed price menus (such as a tourist prix fixe) already include gratuity.
Caribbean – Here’s another place to check you final bill. Restaurants in the Caribbean can often include the gratuity, which is around 10 percent of the total cost of the meal. If the gratuity isn’t included already, it’s expected to leave roughly 10-15 percent for your server. For drinks at the bar (and we know you might be having a round of Mai Tai’s!), it’s similar to the U.S. to tip a few dollars per round of drinks.
On Board – On Windstar Cruises, a $12 per day gratuity fee is added per guest and placed on the credit card on file to most easily and efficiently allow tipping for all Windstar services; however additional tips for crew are always welcome on an individual basis. It is entirely at the discretion of the guest as to how, when, and how much the guest would like to tip!
Due to the small size of the yacht and the close crew to guest ratio, many of our guests grow quite attached to “their” crew. You may develop a special relationship with a certain bartender or their cabin steward, so it’s more than a welcome gesture for additional tips to find their way to these superstars of service. Cash is always appreciated in these instances.
Hope this helps offer some clarity during your travels. Any other tipping stories or tips to share from your travels around the planet? Leave them in the comments!