Advice

How to Tip on a Cruise Ship

how tip on a cruise ship
Should you tip the waiter on your cruise? Read on to find out. - Photo by Silversea Cruises

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for when to sail: It depends on your own personal priorities. Whether you’re looking to avoid the rough seas or score a bargain deal, there’s a time of year that’s best for you. If you’re looking for low prices, shoulder season — the time between peak and low season — is a great option, but it may come with trade-offs like rainy weather or fewer wildlife sightings. Check out our breakdown of the best time to cruise based on destination, weather, and price:

Azamara Club Cruises

What's Included: Stateroom and main dining room services.

Price: Gratuities are included in the standard cruise fare; 18% is added onto all spa services.

How to Pay: Stateroom and main dining room gratuities are paid in cruise fare at time of purchase. Tips on spa services are added to your shipboard account.

 

Carnival Cruise Lines

What's Included: Most goes to stateroom stewards and main dining room servers, with a small amount for other key crew members.

Price: $12.95 per person/day and an automatic charge of 15% for beverages and the Chef's Table dining experience.  For the spa and room service staff, you can tip at your discretion.

How to Pay: Included gratuities are automatically charged to your shipboard account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard or, you can pre-pay gratuities ahead of embarkation day.  You may tip in cash for spa treatments and room service.

 

carnival cruise tipping alchemy bar bartender

Bartender at the Alchemy Bar - Photo by Carnival Cruise Lines

Celebrity Cruises

What's Included: Stateroom stewards, restaurant servers, and a small amount to other key crew members.

Price: $13.50 per person/day in regular cabins, $14 per person/day in Concierge Class and Aqua class cabins, and $17 per person/day in suites.  18% is also added on for beverages and spa and salon services.

How to Pay: All gratuities are automatically charged to your shipboard account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard.

 

Costa Cruises

What's Included: Stateroom and main dining room services.

Price: $12.50 per person/day, $6.25 per person/day for ages 4-14, and guests ages 0-3 incur no gratuity charge. 15% is automatically added to the shipboard account for beverages.  Guests determine tips for bartenders and spa services.

How to Pay: Included gratuities are automatically charged to your shipboard account.  You may tip in cash for spa and bar services.

 

Crystal Cruises

What's Included: Stateroom, bar, and all dining staff.

Price: Gratuities are included in the standard cruise fare, and 18% is added onto all spa and salon services.

How to Pay: Stateroom, bar, and dining gratuities are paid in the cruise fare at the time of purchase. Tips for spa services are added to the shipboard account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard.

 

Cunard Line

What's Included: Stateroom, dining, and other key crew members.

Price: $11.50 per person/day for Britannia cabins and $13.50 per person/day for Grill cabins. A 15% gratuity is automatically added for beverages.  Guests determine tips for spa services.

How to Pay: Included gratuities are automatically charged to your shipboard account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard.  You may tip in cash for spa services. 

 

Disney Cruise Line

What's Included: Stateroom and main dining room services.

Price: $12 per person/day, 18% of salon and spa services, and 15% on beverages. For room service and specialty dining staff, you can tip in cash at your discretion.

How to Pay: All gratuities are automatically charged to your shipboard account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard.  You can pre-pay gratuities up to three days before sailing.

 

holland america server tipping cruise tips

Paying tips all at once means you don't have to tip at the end of every meal. - Photo by Holland America Line

Holland America Line

What's Included: Stateroom, main dining room, and other key crew members.

Price: $12.50* per person/day in standard cabins, $13.50* per person/day in suites, and 15% on beverages. Guests determine tips for spa services.

How to Pay: Included gratuities are automatically charged to your shipboard account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard.  You may tip in cash for spa services. 

*On May 1, 2017, the gratuities will rise to $13.50 and $15, respectively.

 

MSC Cruises

What's Included: Stateroom and main dining room services.

Price: Rates depend on the itinerary. In the Caribbean, for example, you'll pay: $12 per person/day, $6 per person/day for kids, and 15% on beverages.  Guests determine tips for spa services.

How to Pay: All gratuities are automatically charged to your shipboard account and can be removed upon request while onboard.  You can also pre-pay gratuities at the time of booking. You may tip in cash for spa services.

 

Norwegian Cruise Line

What's Included: Stateroom, dining, and other key staff members.

Price: $14 per person/day for guests aboard all ships except Norwegian Sky staying in up to a mini-suite, and $17 per person/day for guests staying in a suite or The Haven.  For Norwegian Sky, the charge is $19 and $22 per person/day, respectively.  It only applies to guests 3 years and older.  Recommended gratuities are 18% on beverages, spa, and salon services, as well as for specialty dining.

How to Pay: The service charge and 18% gratuity for select services is added to your onboard account. The service charge can also be pre-paid up to 24 hours before sailing.  

 

norwegian room service champagne butler

Tipping covers room service as well. - Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Oceania Cruises

What's Included: Stateroom and main dining room.

Price: $16 per person/day in standard cabins, $23 per person/day in suites, and 18% on beverages, spa services, and dining in La Reserve.

How to Pay: All gratuities are automatically charged to your shipboard account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard.

 

Princess Cruises

What's Included: Stateroom and dining services.

Price: $13.50 per person/day in standard cabins, $14.50 per person/day for mini-suites and club class, and $15.50 per person/day for suites.  A 15% gratuity is added for beverages and spa services. 

How to Pay: Gratuities are automatically charged to your account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard.  You can also pre-pay gratuities before sailing.

 

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

What's Included: All services.

Price: Gratuities are included in standard cruise fare.

How to Pay: Paid in cruise fare at the time of purchase.

 

Royal Caribbean International

What's Included: Dining, stateroom, and other key crew members.

Price: $13.50 per person/day in standard cabins, $16.50 per person/day in suites, and 18% on beverages and spa and salon services.

How to Pay: Gratuities are charged automatically to your shipboard account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard.  You can also choose to pre-pay gratuities.

 

tips seabourn room steward cleaning

Tips are included in the cruise fare on luxury lines like Seabourn. - Photo by Seabourn

Seabourn Cruise Line

What's Included: All services.

Price: Gratuities are included in standard cruise fare.

How to Pay: Paid in cruise fare at the time of purchase.

 

Silversea Cruises

What's Included: All services except salon and spa treatments.

Price: Gratuities are included in standard cruise fare. Guests determine tips for spa and salon services.

How to Pay: Paid in cruise fare at the time of purchase. You may tip in cash for spa and salon services.

 

Windstar Cruises

What's Included: Stateroom, bar, and all dining services.

Price: $12 per person/day. Guests determine tips for spa services.

How to Pay: Included gratuities are automatically charged to your shipboard account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard.  You may tip in cash for spa services.

 

Updated on March 7, 2017 with reporting from Sarah Bretz.

 


Join the discussion

What’s the best service you've received on a cruise ship?

Posted by glomarrone

The best service that we have received on a cruise was on our recent Grand Voyage on the ms Amsterdam. Our cabin stewards were wonderful doing additional things for us that they didn't have to do and did them daily. Our servers at dinner were always there to pull out our chairs, refill our water glasses, made suggestions, even bringing extra food for us to try. They were attentive, polite and helpful. So were all the bar staff in the lounges - even bringing water to us without us asking ahead of time. Debbie Bacon in the piano bar was so friendly and accommodating. I can't rave enough about the service on board.


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