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July 24, 2006

Dreaming of Europe this summer or fall?

Then act quickly, as we have seen some amazing deals that may not last:

7-night RCL Voyager Mediterranean cruises starting at around $800.

A Celebrity Century Norwegian 7-night Fjords cruise (August 26) starting at about $1,100.

Star Princess Eastern Europe 10-night August sailings starting around $1,700 with upgrades & credits.

If you do go, here are some tips for tipping in some popular European ports of call:

England . Some restaurants automatically add a 10-15% service charge to the bill and no extra tip is necessary. If no charge is included, add this percentage.

France . Restaurants and bars include a 15% service charge. It also is customary to round out your bill with small change.

Germany . It is customary to leave a 10% tip for restaurant service. Pay the waiter directly, rather than leave it on the table.

Greece . A 13% service charge is added to the price of each meal. It is customary to add an additional 8-10% tip for good service. During holiday periods, restaurants add a healthy 18% bonus for the waiters.

Italy . A service charge of 10-15% is usually included in the check; no additional tip is necessary. If service is not included, a tip of up to 10% is customary.

Portugal . Service is included in the bill, but waiters are poorly paid so any tip will be very much appreciated; 5-10% of total bill is acceptable. Tips for bar food and service are noticeably smaller.

Scandinavia . Nobody really expects a tip. Service charges, found on most restaurant bills, reward good service.

Spain . Restaurant checks do not list a service charge, but you should consider the tip included. If you want to leave additional money, do not tip more than 10% of the bill.

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