November 18, 2016

Tipping Your Servers- Cruise Style

Many people love to travel the world by cruise. From small luxury yachts to large mega boats which are destinations in themselves, a cruise is a great way to unpack once and visit many destinations with unique experiences available. If you are new to cruising or it has been a while since your last one, there are aspects about life on a cruise ship which can be confusing. One such daunting subject is tipping protocol. America is a land of hard workers, whom we as a society, reward through monetary tips for good services rendered.  Below is a summary of what you can expect when it comes to tipping while on a cruise vacation.

While many amenities on cruise ships are included in the cost of your stateroom, there are often specific restaurants, excursions or services which cost extra. Most cruise companies offer an on-board account to cover these incidental purchases. You add funds from your personal banking account, and then sign off on charges to your stateroom throughout your cruise. These accounts are a hassle free way to cover these charges. Shipboard accounts often include an automatic charge to cover a "tip fund" for the cruise personnel who see to your customer service needs and requests. Typically this includes restaurant workers, cabin stewards and other personnel who serve passengers. The tips are split among these personnel as a group, with around $10-$15 per day, per passenger being the standard charge. Some cruise lines allow for guests to adjust this amount based on their experience with the service received.

Examples of cruise companies which include an automatic tip charge to on-board accounts:

Celebrity Cruises
Cunard Line
Disney Cruise Line
Fathom Impact Cruises
Holland America Line
MSC Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line
Oceania Cruises
Princess Cruises
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Windstar Cruises

There are some cruise companies which have kept the "old tradition" of accepting gratuities from passengers in the form of cash tips on the last day of the trip. Some cruise companies also accept credit card payments for these tips as well.  It is up to you as the guest to determine how much you want to tip your servers for each day of your cruise. The typical recommendation for discretionary tipping ranges from $8- $15 per passenger, per day. Whatever you tip, the monies received are divided among the crew as a whole.

Examples of cruise companies which request cash tipping at the end of a cruise :

Ama Waterways
Star Clippers
Viking Cruises
Un-Cruise Adventures

If you are wanting to leave the worry of tipping behind, there are a few cruise lines which offer truly all-inclusive pricing, and yes, this includes tipping. There will be gratuity charge included in the final price of your cruise, this is just one way some luxury cruise lines differentiate themselves. When travelers are seeking true luxury and pampering, there is sure to be a ship with your name on it. Examples include:

Azamara Club Cruises
Emerald Waterways
Scenic Cruises

Of special note to keep in mind, on most cruises, bartenders, wine stewards and spa attendants typically receive tips in the standard fashion, with 15% being the standard for these services. Some
cruise lines will automatically include the gratuity charge on your bill, covering those services not paid for through an on-board account.

When you are ready to plan a cruise, working with a travel professional who understands the fine print and details of cruising, can make a big difference. For a small feel, C.P, Trips is here to help you enjoy the vacation of your dreams. Call or email us today at 503-658-5646 or

November 7, 2016

Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!)- Travel Made Easy

I am excited to announce the re-launch of a travel program dear to my heart. C.P. Trips' Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!) is a series of hosted vacations ranging from around the state, to around the world. Classy Ladies Getaways provides a fun way for solo traveling women to join up with others who are ready to explore a destination or enjoy a specific experience.

We say couples too as my husband Tony and I host some of these trips ourselves.
We truly love to travel, and enjoy being able to share our experiences with others. These small-group vacation packages are geared toward independent women who love to travel, or are ready to begin a new adventure, yet friends or partners are always welcome along.  We are working up 2017 and 2018 itineraries over the coming weeks. Check back here often as I post details of what you can expect on the various Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!) packages.

You may wonder if one of our getaways will be right for you. Ask yourself a few questions to get an idea. Do you often travel solo but don’t want to go it truly alone? Do you have a group of friends ready to travel somewhere together, but have not decided where? Are you looking for a unique way to celebrate a special occasion? If you answered yes to any of these questions, or simply have your curiosity peaked, a Classy Ladies Getaway is worth checking out. Let us take care of all the details while you enjoy a vacation like no other. Some itineraries in the works include:

o   Exploring Cuban culture
o   The Yukon by Sea & Land
o   Whale Watching & Gardens in Victoria B.C.
o   Fiesta Siesta & Balloons in Santa Fe
o   New York: Broadway & Fall Foliage
o   Southern Hospitality in Savannah
o   Shakespeare & River Rafting in Ashland
o   San Francisco Long Weekend
o   Cook Island Tropical Retreat
o   Tahitian Paradise Getaway

Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!) offers concierge services with your travel plans, to ensure all your needs are met and you have a memorable vacation. Physical Limitations are not a restriction or disability when it comes to travel, and Classy Ladies Getaways are all about helping you have a wonderful and memorable experience. Whether you have dietary needs, or accessibility concerns, or room & board specifics,  I will work directly with you to ensure your travel on  a Classy Ladies Getaway is worry free. I have set up this unique travel program of specific destination itineraries to help make travel easier for you. I am passionate about travel, and my clients too, both of which are the inspiration behind Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!). Call or email C.P. Trips today to learn more: 503-658-5646/ You can also check out more travel ideas, including Classy Ladies Getaways (& Couples Too!) itineraries, at our website.