Advice

How to Tip on a Cruise Ship

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

A standout cabin steward, attentive waiter, or superior bartender can make a big impact on your cruise. But how should you compensate them for their hard work?

Tipping on a cruise ship depends on the line. Many cruise lines automatically add a gratuity to your onboard account that covers stateroom and dining services, so you don’t have to tip at the end of the voyage. Other lines, including Silversea Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, take tipping out of the equation entirely and include gratuity in the standard cruise fare. Here’s our breakdown of each line’s policy:

Cruise Line  What’s Included  Price  How to Pay 
Azamara Club Cruises Stateroom, main dining room, and spa services.

Gratuities are included in the standard cruise fare; 18% is added on to all spa services.

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 Stateroom and main dining room services.

$11.50 person/day and 15% on beverages. Guests determine tips for spa services.

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.

Celebrity Cruises Stateroom and main dining room services.

$12 person/day in staterooms, $12.50 person/day in Concierge Class and AquaClass staterooms, $15.50 person/day in suites, and 15% on beverages and spa services.

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

Costa Cruises Stateroom and main dining services. $11 person/day, $5.50 person/day for ages 14 and under, and 15% on beverages. Guests determine tips for spa services. Included gratuities are automatically charged to your shipboard account. You may tip in cash for spa services.
Crystal Cruises Stateroom, main dining room, and spa services. Gratuities are included in the standard cruise fare, and 18% is added on to all spa services. Stateroom and main dining room gratuities are paid in cruise fare at time of purchase. Tips for spa services are added to shipboard account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard.

Cunard Line

Stateroom and main dining room services. $11.50 person/day in standard cabins, $13.50 person/day in suites, and 15% on beverages. Guests determine tips for spa services.

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

Stateroom and main dining room services. $12 person/day, 18% on salon and spa services, and 15% on beverages. All gratuities are automatically charged to your shipboard account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard. You can prepay gratuities up to three days before sailing.
Holland America Line Stateroom and main dining room services. $11.50 person/day in standard cabins, $12.00 person/day in suites, and 15% on beverages. Guests determine tips for spa services.

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.

MSC Cruises Stateroom and main dining room services. Rates depend on itineraries, In the Caribbean, for example, you’ll pay: $12 person/day, $6 person/day for children, and 15% on beverages. Guests determine tips for spa services.

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

Norwegian Cruise Line Stateroom and main dining services. $13.50 per guest per day for any category up to a Mini-Suite stateroom, and $15.50 per guest per day for any suite category. Recommended gratuities are 15% on beverages and 18% on spa services. Service charge is added to onboard account, gratuities on beverages and services is in cash at own discretion. 
Oceania Cruises

Stateroom, main dining room, and spa services.

$15 person/day in standard cabins, $22 person/day in suites, 18% on beverages, spa services, and dining in La Reserve.

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

Princess Cruises Stateroom and main dining room services. $11.50 person/day in standard cabins, $12 person/day in suites, and 15% on beverages. Guests determine tips for spa services. Included gratuities are automatically charged to your shipboard account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard. You can prepay gratuities up to six days before sailing and may tip in cash for spa services.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises All services. Gratuities are included in standard cruise fare. Paid in cruise fare at time of purchase.

Royal Caribbean International

Stateroom and main dining room services. $12 person/day in standard cabins, $14.25 person/day in suites, and 15% on beverages and spa services. All gratuities are automatically charged to your shipboard account and can be adjusted upon request while onboard. You can choose to prepay gratuities.
Seabourn Cruise Line All services, from housekeeping to dining, and even bar staff. Gratuities are included in standard cruise fare.  Paid in cruise fare at time of purchase. 
Silversea Cruises All services except the spa. Gratuities are included in standard cruise fare. Guests determine tips for spa services. Paid in cruise fare at time of purchase. You may tip in cash for spa services.
Windstar Cruises Stateroom and all dining services. $12 person/day. Guests determine tips for spa services.

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.

 

This article was republished on February 10, 2015 with revised informaiton.


Join the discussion

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

Posted by ark

Norwegian charges a $12 per day service charge, that is in line with what the other lines refer to as gratuity. It basically covers gratuity for cabin stewards and various restaurant staff.

Posted by coal189

Author: Please update your info on Norwegian Cruise Line. I wonder if you swapped the info with a different cruise line by mistake. As Ark stated in the previous comment, NCL charges $12 per day and %15 on beverages. I am not sure about the spa.

Posted by TaraBonVoyage

Thank you! We have updated the article accordingly.

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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