What tips are expected on a cruise?

Tipping practices on cruises can vary depending on the cruise line and region. Some cruise lines automatically add gratuities to your onboard account, while others may leave it to the discretion of passengers. Here are some general tips regarding tipping on cruises:

Research the Cruise Line’s Tipping Policy: Check the cruise line’s website or contact their customer service to understand their tipping policy. Some cruise lines automatically charge a daily gratuity fee, while others may leave it to your discretion.

Understand Inclusions: Review what services are already covered in your cruise fare. Some cruise lines include gratuities in their pricing, while others may charge additional fees.

Budget for Tipping: Plan your budget accordingly, considering any automatic gratuity fees, as well as additional tips you may wish to provide for exceptional service.

Cash Tips: While many cruise lines now have a system of automatic gratuities charged to your onboard account, you may still encounter situations where you wish to provide cash tips for specific services or individuals, such as room stewards, waitstaff, or bartenders. Have some small bills on hand for these situations.

Envelope System: If cash tips are expected or preferred, some passengers opt for the “envelope system” by preparing a set of envelopes labeled for different service providers and leaving them in the cabin on the last day of the cruise or handing them directly to the staff.

Exceptional Service: If you receive exceptional service from specific crew members, you may consider providing an additional tip or note of appreciation to show your gratitude.

Specialty Restaurants and Bars: Check if gratuities are already included in the bill for specialty restaurants or bars. If not, you may choose to tip your servers separately.

Spa and Salon Services: Gratuity is often automatically added to spa and salon services. However, you may consider providing additional tips for outstanding service.

Follow Cultural Norms: If you’re visiting regions with specific tipping customs during your cruise, such as tipping porters or local guides during shore excursions, it’s important to adhere to the local practices.

It’s always recommended to check the specific tipping guidelines of your chosen cruise line and destination to ensure you adhere to their expectations. Tipping practices can change, so it’s essential to stay informed about the most up-to-date policies.

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