Cruise Tipping Etiquette

3 Key Tips for Cruise Tipping Etiquette | Why and How to Tip?

Cruise Tipping Etiquette; Why Tip? 

While tipping on a cruise ship is not mandatory, guests tip on a cruise for a variety of reasons, with one central motivation being the high level of personalized service they receive. The staff on cruise ships work tirelessly to ensure that every guest’s needs are met, and tipping is seen as a way to show appreciation for their hard work.

Additionally, guests may tip because they want to build relationships with the crew members who take care of them during their voyage. By tipping generously, guests demonstrate their gratitude and hope to receive exceptional service in return.

Another reason why guests tip on a cruise is the belief that it contributes to a positive working environment for the crew. Many passengers understand that these employees often rely on tips as a substantial part of their income and see it as an opportunity to support them financially.

Moreover, tipping can also foster a sense of camaraderie between passengers and crew members. Guests feel good knowing that they have helped make someone’s life on board more comfortable or assisted them in achieving personal goals such as saving up for further education or supporting family back home.

How to Tip onboard a cruise


Since tipping is technically voluntary, many cruise lines allow their guests to opt out of the automated service charge, whilst guests can tip by themselves in cash. There are both advantages and disadvantages of this. On one hand, automated tipping systems promise convenience and fairness, ensuring that all crew members receive their fair share. Passengers can simply relax knowing that they don’t have to worry about carrying cash or deciding on individual gratuities.

However, some argue that this automated process takes away the personal touch of expressing gratitude for exceptional service.

Some people find the automated system a win-win situation for both passengers and crew members. It guarantees transparency in distribution and eliminates any biases or oversights in tip sharing among employees who work tirelessly behind the scenes.

Additionally, it allows passengers to enjoy their vacation without fretting over whom to tip and how much to give. However, others contend that unautomated tipping provides an opportunity for guests to personally acknowledge exemplary service and build meaningful connections with crew members.

While automation may seem like a convenient solution, put into consideration the importance of human interaction during our cruise experiences. Engaging with fellow travellers, communicating with ship staff, and showing appreciation can create lasting memories on such journeys.

So next time you find yourself on a cruise ship contemplating whether to opt for automated or unautomated tipping, consider striking a balance between efficiency and genuine human connection- after all, acknowledging someone’s dedicated service is an art worth preserving! Note that, on most cruises, there are gratuities applied automatically and separately to some services and which are charged on your credit card when checking out.

See Also: 8 Tips for Royal Caribbean Specialty Dining Dress Code | Cruise Guide

How much do you tip ship staff?


Note that, most cruises have automatic, daily gratuities that range from $16 to $18 for an individual. This amount is applied to your ‘SeaPass account’ or charged on your credit card. Guests who have pre-paid their gratuity will not see a daily charge during their cruise. The gratuity applies to individual guests of all ages and stateroom categories.

For waiters, its suggested that you tip around 15-20% of your overall dining bill. This is similar to what you might tip at a restaurant on land. However, since waitstaff on cruise ships often serves multiple tables simultaneously and provides exceptional service around the clock, some argue that tipping slightly more is appropriate. After all, the waiters are not only attending to your needs but also customizing dishes according to personal preferences.

Another consideration is whether you enjoyed any additional services from the waiter throughout your trip—such as accommodating dietary restrictions or providing valuable recommendations. In such cases, expressing gratitude with a higher tip could be justified since these actions go beyond their regular duties.

Overall, one approach to knowing how much to tip is considering the crew’s hard work and dedication throughout your voyage. From the room stewards who meticulously clean and maintain your cabin to the waitstaff who cater to your every need in the dining room, these individuals often go unnoticed amidst the luxurious surroundings. Tipping generously not only acknowledges their efforts but also serves as an incentive for them to continue providing outstanding service.

You may use the cruise gratuity calculator to determine what amount to tip.

How much to tip baggage handlers?

While there is no hard and fast rule, it is customary to tip around $2 to $3 per bag. However, the dynamics for every sailing can be slightly different and you may find that at times, the baggage handler has a more demanding role. They not only handle your luggage during embarkation but also assist with delivering it to your cabin.

Some experienced cruisers recommend tipping $5 per bag or even offering a lump sum at the beginning of your voyage for all their assistance throughout. Ultimately, while the specific amount may vary depending on personal preference and budget constraints, acknowledging the hard work and dedication of these individuals who ensure your belongings are safely transported is always appreciated

See Also: 8 RV Campgrounds in Upper Peninsula Michigan |Michigan Camping Guide

Cruise Tipping Etiquette


Tipping etiquette is an important aspect of any cruise experience, and understanding the right way to tip can enhance your overall enjoyment. While each cruise line may have its own guidelines, there are a few general rules that apply across the board.

1. Familiarize yourself with the gratuity policy of the cruise line you’re on.

Some ships automatically add gratuities to your onboard account, while others leave it up to your discretion. In either case, be aware of the suggested amount per day and plan accordingly. However, even when there is automatic gratuity, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tip in addition to this amount. It’s still customary to give extra cash tips for exceptional service or when using certain services like room service or specialty restaurants.

2. Consider rewarding outstanding service above and beyond the expected standard.

If a crew member goes out of their way to make your experience exceptional or displays exceptional skill or friendliness, gifting them with additional tips can go a long way in showing your appreciation.

3. Try distributing your tips throughout different departments instead of solely focusing on waitstaff or room stewards.

Many deserving crew members work behind the scenes to ensure you have an unforgettable trip – from kitchen staff preparing delicious meals to maintenance workers maintaining cleanliness and safety onboard. By dispersing gratuities across various areas, you acknowledge their contributions too.

Wrap Up

Tipping etiquette is more than just offering a reward for good service; it’s about recognizing hard work and showing gratitude for those who make your cruise experience memorable. By following these suggestions and taking a proactive approach towards tipping, you can ensure that you leave no area unacknowledged while showing appreciation for all the extraordinary team members who contribute to making your cruise unforgettable.

Remember that cruising provides an opportunity not only to visit incredible destinations but also to interact with new people whilst forming meaningful relationships with people that serve you on board might go a long way.

 See Also:

5 Tips for the Best Experience with Royal Caribbean Unlimited Dining Package

7 Types and Costs of Massage on Carnival Cruise 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *