We are taking our first cruise. Cruising on Carnival Paradise. We have opted to prepay the gratuities which is 17% or 18% of our bill and I read gets divided amongst the different people we come in contact with - the room steward, the waiter, etc. The bartender’s tip is added to each bill. My question is, should I tip extra? If so, how much? And do I give it at the end of the cruise or throughout the cruise while someone is being accommodating? Do I have to tip extra? I’m not a cheapskate I just need to know if I do tip extra and on top of the 17/18% what a good amount is.

10 Answers

Well that depends entirely upon you. We usually will tip our cabin steward at the end of the cruise if he did a really good job which almost always happens. I carry ones with me on every cruise. I will tip as I go for really good service.

All in all it is totally up to your discretion. I have found a few singles here and there go a long way.

If you want to, do it. If you don't, don't. Very simple. We are on a cruise now. There are some bar staff we have been tipping. We will tip our waiter a little. His assistant not at all, because she was never around. Our cabin attendant is a real gem and will get a nice tip. Every cruise is different and everyone has different ideas about tipping. We have had cruises where only the cabin attendant got a tip. It is up to you

There are a few schools of thought on this. Some like to tip their cabin steward at the start to ensure good service and then at the end if they got it. We prefer to tip at the end and it is based on the quality of the cabin steward. Tips can vary depending on how you feel.

We prepay our gratuities prior to cruising. We tip extra if we receive exceptional service. At the bars the tip is automatically put on your drinks. Again we only tip extra depending on the service.

I also choose to prepay gratuities. I also tip as I go. I'll give a 20 to my room stew when me meet and at the end of the cruise. If I have the same waiter the entire cruise then my group will collect and tip. And my favorite bar tender will always get extra. Cheers.

#22 is coming up and we have it down to a science. Room stew gets $20 when we meet him, then $20 more at the end...bartenders "might" get an extra buck or two depending on how much we're drinking, but, they rotate them so often its almost pointless..but ships we've been on lately we tend to stay in a private area with the same two bartenders all week...when we board, we go up there, make sure the one (or two) we meet (and introduce ourselves to) are the regulars for the week, and each one gets $20 then and there. Works just fine. didn't feel the need to give them any more either, and believe me I know my bar manners. Waiters in specialties may get an extra couple bux (up to $5) IF and its a big IF they deserve it. yes they're busy, and I know they don't cook the stuff...but even can always tell the ones who know what they're doing from the ones who don't, or don't care. MDR waiters sometimes work the same tables, sometimes not. If you're on a line that has the same wait staff in your area all week, make sure you give the head waiter enough to cover them all...usually at the end...IF they deserve it...if they don't then don't feel the need...BTW, if you ARE on a line that has the same staff in the same place all week, then you'll be stuck with them ALL week..if they're not performing at the start, don't be shy, ask the maître d' to move you. Concierges...well...what have you done for me lately? Unfortunately they come with the territory, sometimes anyway.

Whenever we cruise, I make sure Ive got about $50 in SMALL bills, (not counting the 20's) and stash a handful in whatever I happen to be wearing. Yes, technically you don't need cash AT ALL on board....well...yes, you do....Sometimes it enhances the entire experience....sometimes it doesn't seem to matter...but given what you're probably spending to TAKE the cruise in the first place...well......

Thank you for all of this information. We are sailing Carnival and opted and prepaid gratuities $140 something. I read it gets divided amongst the room stew, head waiter, etc. The gratuities for the bartenders supposedly are included on the bill. What you quoted is in addition to any and all pre charged tips right? I want to make sure I do the appropriate protocol.

That's correct...all this is in addition to that. Your call....some folks don't pay a dime over and above...if you had any idea how those folks on board are worked, you probably couldn't look them square in the eye. It was learning experience for me too. Some folks even resent the autogratuities, prepaid or not...They can stay home for all I care...Im on board to "feel good" and enjoy...if throwing a few extra greenbacks here n there helps that, that's fine with me...

We prepay our gratuities and tip accordingly to our room steward and dining room staff that deliver outstanding service as on our last cruise at the end of the cruise.

We just returned home from a Carnival cruise, we did pay the standard gratuities and added a bit more for outstanding service. Our room steward and assistant were outstanding and the waitstaff in the dining room top notch. Only once did we get poor bar service and she did not get an extra tip. These people are covered under your prepaid gratuities so if your service isn't above the basics, don't feel obligated to tip them. There have been several times in the last 20 years where we didn't tip above the standard.

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