Are gratuities included and how much do I give?

Gratuities, also known as service charges or tips, are a common practice on cruise ships. The policies regarding gratuities vary among cruise lines. Here are some general guidelines:

Inclusion of Gratuities: Some cruise lines automatically include gratuities in the cruise fare, meaning they are pre-paid as part of your booking. This is often the case with luxury or all-inclusive cruise lines. In such instances, you do not need to provide additional gratuities unless you wish to acknowledge exceptional service.

Daily Service Charges: Many cruise lines charge a daily service charge per person, which covers gratuities for the crew members who provide services throughout your cruise, such as your cabin steward, dining room staff, and other service personnel. These charges are typically added to your onboard account or included in the final bill. The amount varies depending on the cruise line but can range from around $10 to $20 per person per day.

Discretionary Gratuities: In addition to the daily service charges, you may have the option to provide additional discretionary gratuities to individual crew members who have provided exceptional service. This could include specific staff members such as your cabin steward, waiter, or bartender. The amount is entirely at your discretion and can be given in cash or added to your onboard account.

Specialty Services: Some cruise lines may automatically add a gratuity or service charge to specialty services, such as spa treatments or specialty dining. These charges are typically stated in the pricing or menus for those services. If you receive exceptional service, you may choose to provide an additional gratuity directly to the service provider.

It’s important to check the specific gratuity policies of the cruise line you are sailing with, as they can vary. The cruise line’s website, pre-cruise documentation, or guest services desk on board should provide detailed information about gratuities and how they are handled.

If you have any concerns or questions about gratuities, it’s advisable to contact the cruise line directly or consult with your travel agent for clarification. They can provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding gratuity policies and expectations for your specific cruise.

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