How to tip on a cruise

How to tip on a cruise

in Cruise Tips

How to tip on a cruise can be confusing.  Knowing what is the proper or best way to tip on a cruise is one of those questions if you ask five different people you’ll get six different answers.

For first-time cruisers as well as seasoned travelers may find it very difficult to understand how or when to tip on board a cruise.  The guidelines for tipping vary from one cruise line to the next. Officially there are no really hard rules to follow when it comes to tipping but it would be wise to ask your cruise agent what the tipping policy is for the cruise line you are going on and consider the options that you can take.

Generally, giving tips (or gratuities) on cruises are classified into three categories:

Automatic Tipping

To remove the trouble of figuring out what the proper tips to give is at the end of your trip, many cruise lines are adding tips automatically to your on board account. Some of the lines, such as Carnival and Norwegian, add ten to thirteen dollars per day, per guest to cover gratuities.  These are pooled and split between all crew who are eligible to receive tips. In some cases you can even prepay these charges before you even board the ship.

It is important to not however these are not mandatory. The amount of the tips is controlled  by you when the account is closed. If you desired you could with hold the entire gratuity.  Not something we would recommend unless you happen to have the worst experience imaginable.  Keep in mind that part of the crews compensation is tied up in receiving these tips.

Tip Recommendations

Some cruise lines simply give out gratuity suggestions. Cruise ships offer you the alternative of paying your tips in cash at the end.  You can also include them in your on board account, which is finalized before you disembark.

No Tipping Policy

Most luxury cruise ships let you know that giving gratuities is not needed. The tips are sometimes built into the price of these upscale cruises. Sometimes it’s really quite good if you’ll award a tip for a quality service. Next if you have decided to wait until you are on the ship then you need to talk with the on board help desk to find out what is the standard tip that should be left and who should be tipped. It is standard to tip your waiter and his helper in the dining room. Also you want to tip the steward that cleans your room.

Take time to plan out your tipping options because cruise lines can really drain a lot of your money if you’re not aware of how things work. Going on a cruise is like walking inside a floating Las Vegas casino. Everything inside the ship is designed to make you spend lots of money. It is also common to tip the person who is in charge at your dinner. They are usually the head waiter and you should leave them a little something. It is standard to tip your waiter and his helper in the dining room. Also you want to tip the steward that cleans your room.

You want to let the people who serve you know that you appreciate their hospitality. It will benefit you to tip because the service will improve and be the best each time you take a cruise. These are the 3 categories of how cruise tipping works but you’ll get all the benefits once you’ve known what crew members actually think about the passengers. There are only 2 simple rules that can make you the most favored passenger on any cruise ship.

We're here to help you make the most of your next cruise adventure. We are avid cruisers who believe that how you cruise is as important as where you cruise. Take a look around and let us know if you have any questions.

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