A Helpful Guide to Tipping On A Cruise

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Tipping On A Cruise

A Few Helpful Suggestions for Tipping On a Cruise Vacation

I would like to touch on the subject of Tipping On A Cruise and the importance of including Gratuities into your holiday budget.  Unfortunately, this is a most often ignored subject when planning that fabulous family cruise vacation. Gratuities are important and definitely something you should be prepared for and should include in your holiday budget.

When booking a cruise, for some reason many people just assume that gratuities for staff are included in the overall cruise price. This assumption is Incorrect 🙁

Staff work very hard and rely on gratuities to help support themselves and their families back at home.

First, take a quick look at this informative video from my favorite leading travel expert on basic tipping guidelines to follow most anywhere.

View on …

Tipping On A Cruise Holiday

 I always made sure to include cruise gratuities when saving for the all inclusive cruise specials our family have enjoyed in past years. Of the few cruises my family and I have taken in past years, the service has always been exceptional on all the major cruise lines that we have had the pleasure of taking.

” Tipping is not included with the majority of cruise lines and you should be prepared to pay a certain amount per day per person while on your cruise.”

The staff work very hard to ensure top quality service and deserve to be rewarded for this.  Just as you would tip a waiter or waitress for good service in a restaurant, would it not seem appropriate to offer the same gratitude to those serving you while on board ship while enjoying your holiday?

Our Cruise Holiday on the Carnival Valor

Carnival Valor Cruise Ship Anchored

Tipping On A Cruise and Gratuities

Definition of Gratuity:


[gruh-too-i-tee, -tyoo-]

noun, plural gra·tu·i·ties.

 1. a gift of money, over and above payment due for service, as to a waiter or bellhop; tip.

2. something given without claim or demand.  (dictionary.com)

Things You Should Know About Tipping On A Cruise

Waiter Serving on Cruise ShipFor most of the major cruise lines, your cruise gratuities are normally added to your shipboard account.  It’s convenient and can be charged to your credit card without having to worry about having cash available for tipping at the end of your holiday.

Check out Carnival Cruise Lines for an example of their tipping policies. These guidelines are pretty standard for most of the other major cruise lines out there. Type in the search word “tipping” for more complete information. Typically, $10 to $12 per day per guest is standard. This daily amount is designed to cover your …

Daily In – Cabin services;

Dining services performed by waiters and bus staff;

All other on board services performed by ships staff.

When you experience the exceptional service first hand, the cost is minimal per guest for all that is included and for what you are receiving.

When you consider all the meals you may be served in one day while on your cruise, your cabin serviced throughout the day, cleaned and set for you nightly, the continuous work staff perform 24/7 to ensure cleanliness throughout the entire ship and so on. When you take all this in to factor for just one day, the cost per person as a reward for their hard work is minimal.

With our experiences with staff while on our cruise vacations, finding service as good as what you receive on these fabulous cruise ships, would be pretty hard to match most anywhere else!

Outstanding Service in the Dining Rooms!

Cruise Ship Dining Room Staff

A Guide to Tipping On A Cruise

The information that I have gathered from ships employees and others, show wages to be minimal for service staff,  and they do rely heavily on cruise tips as part of their overall income.  This is much the same for service employees most anywhere in the world, working for minimum wage. This especially true for staff on board coming from foreign and less fortunate countries.

These gratuities do help support their families back home in a huge way!

Cruise Ship Clipart

If for any reason you are not happy with any staff service, immediately contact the front desk on board ship and they will offer assistance right away. Should you not wish to have your cruise tips automatically charged, you must contact the pursuers office once you get on board ship.

Staff do their utmost best to keep you happy at all times. As well, if you have received exceptional service worthy of reporting, do take the time and fill out a customer survey card, or make a note of the person and the service received and leave it at the front desk on board ship. This gesture is extremely helpful for the employee and they can eventually be rewarded with staff promotions and/or salary increases as a result of their hard work and having being recognized as one offering exceptional customer service. 🙂

For more detailed information and feedback on cruise tips, check out the website known as  Cruise Critic . Their site is chocked  full of very useful and reliable cruise holiday information and is definitely one of my favorites!

“Dining Room Staff Preparing for Dinner”

Cruise Ship Dining Room

Tipping On A Cruise – Policies Will Vary with Each Cruise Line

I suggest you check with your selected cruise line for their own cruise tip policies prior to departure, to avoid any confusion and stress while on vacation. If you and your family have not taken a family cruise vacation yet, I strongly suggest you consider this option for your next holiday.  There are some wonderful cruise specials just waiting for you to take advantage of!

Today, many cruise lines offer amazing incentives thrown in, to have you book your cruise with them.  Once such incentive and one that we recently took advantage of on our last South Pacific Cruise,  was the offering of Free Paid Gratuities just for booking with them.  This means that your gratuities have been included in your overall purchase price. For a couple traveling on a 14 night cruise at $12 per person per day, is a great savings!

So shop around, look for those great deals and don’t forget to include gratuities when planning your next holiday!

Safe travels and happy sailing!

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Did You Know …

“Cruise ship staff typically share a cabin with two to four in bunk beds.”

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