2 In Cruises

A Guide to Cruise Ship Tipping: Everything You Need to Know About Gratuities

Booking a cruise is always a fun idea but then there comes the load of questions that probably start circling in your brain. One of the biggest questions on everyone’s minds tends to be about gratuities and how they work. In this post, you’ll find a guide to cruise ship tipping that will help to answer any and all questions about tipping on a cruise that you might have!┬áIf you liked my post on cruise ship packing hacks then you’ll want to read this informative post.

cruise ship tipping

Everything You Need to Know About Tipping on a Cruise

Figuring out how to tip on a cruise ship can be downright maddening. And if you’re feeling a bit frustrated and lost about the whole thing, you’re not the only one. Luckily, there are guidelines and “rules” that you can easily follow that can make the whole cruise ship tipping experience a lot more simple. 

Do you have to tip on a cruise?

Technically, no. Your “set” rate that you’re going to pay depends on the length of your cruise but you can expect a final fee of anywhere between $50-$80 in expected and mandated tips. 

Is it better to prepay gratuities for a cruise?

This all just depends on your budget and what you want to do. If you prepay, it’s the same price as what you’ll pay at the end of the cruise so there is no difference in the overall cost. Prepaying just means that you can get everything paid for before you leave while paying at the end of your cruise means that you’ll have a few more expenses (depending on the size of your party) that you’ll have to pay. 

Are children expected to tip the cruise employees as well?

Yes, the tipping fee that is added on at the end of the bill applies to children, too.

Now that you know a few of the main questions that people have about cruise ship tipping, let’s dive into a couple of tipping hacks that you should be aware of before you board your cruise ship as well. 

Cruise Ship Tipping Hacks To Know 

Cruise tipping is something that you might be nervous about but here are some tips and hacks that will help.

Extra tipping is encouraged throughout the ship

Even though you’re paying a set fee for tips per passenger for your trip, extra tipping is always encouraged. This is because that lump sum tip that you’re paying out as a tip at the end (or beginning if you prepay) is spread out among ALL the cruise workers that had interaction with you throughout your cruise. (and when you think of it that way, that’s not much of a tip at all, right?!)

Tipping your bartenders a few bucks here and there is a simple way to say things and might even get you a bit more heavy-handed pour in your drinks. (win/win for all!)

 At the end of the cruise, leaving a little something extra in your room specifically for your cabin steward is a great way to show appreciation as well. And if you go to the sit-down dinners at night, you can leave something extra on the table specifically for your waiter or waitress, too. (and really when it comes down to it, they do a great job at making every dining experience totally awesome and personalized)

Save tipping for the last day of your cruise

That way you can decide if it’s worth it to tip more or not and you can leave a lump payment rather than have to worry about a whole bunch of smaller bills.

Always check your bill for extra charges

Places like the spa or extras such as that typically automatically add in a whole other gratuity for each and every service. This means that this is already an extra tip that you’re paying in addition to the mandated tip that is going to be added to your bill at the end of your cruise. So if you decide to tip them even more for your massage (or haircut) or whatever you choose to do, you’re going to be tipping them quite a big chunk of change for that service. 

Tipping on a cruise doesn’t have to be overly complicated but it can become that way quickly. Just know that if you’re going to be tipping for all the services one way or another and it’s up to you if you’re going to go above and beyond and tip more. 

More travel tips you might like:

Do you have any cruise ship tipping advice or experiences to share?

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  • Reply
    Tara L
    February 13, 2020 at 3:38 am

    What I’ve learned about Gratuities and Ship Sales Gratuities you can waive it at the end of the trip and get a check for the difference or the full amount..

    • Reply
      February 19, 2020 at 8:52 pm

      that’s interesting. How do you waive it?

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