Removing gratuities

I know this can be done as its not legal to enforce you to pay gratuity. However, has anyone ever done this? I don't like giving money and not knowing where its going. I like to pay my own tips. Anyone else like this?

80 Answers

I just found this article on Cruise Fever:

Carnival Cruise Line Dispels Rumor About Extra Gratuities to Cabin Stewards Carnival Cruise Line’s popular brand ambassador John Heald addressed a rumor about cash gratuities that guests often give to their room stewards who go above and beyond on their cruise.

The rumor that has been circulating around the internet the past few years is that when a guest gives an additional cash gratuity to their room steward, the room steward has to turn that money into a tip pool.

John Heald posted the following response to the question “What is Carnival’s policy if I personally hand my room steward an additional cash gratuity in addition to the ones I have already paid?”.

“This seems to be the question of the day as many are asking me in reaction to a post made by someone on another page that states that there is a tip pool for state room stewards.

Please ignore any rumour that you may have read as it is false.

Any cash you give our crew is kept by the state room steward 100%. It is not pooled. He or she may give some to their assistant that helped clean your cabin but again, it is not pooled.

And a massive thank you to everyone who does tip our crew, you are very kind and I know our brilliant crew will continue to strive to exceed your expectations.”

The Facebook post is embedded below

If your room steward goes above and beyond on your next cruise, you can now be 100% sure that they will receive 100% of everything that you give them.

Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for posting, but I have a hard time believing the source is 100% reliable.

He, as the brand ambassador, does not have a hand in, or first hand knowledge of, current operating procedure.

I do hope, however, that he is correct in this matter.

(Also, the article does not differentiate between those who leave the autograt in place as opposed to those who pull them. Is there a difference?)

How can there be a difference when there would be no way of knowing.

Like I said I know it's not pooled on princess. That's 100%

Know what I love ? John Heald thinks the stewards still have assistants.

Any cash you give our crew is kept by the state room steward 100%. It is not pooled. He or she may give some to their assistant that helped clean your cabin but again, it is not pooled.

Our room steward had two on our January sailing on the Conquest. I was surprised!

Now am am curious, are gratuities added when sailing in Europe?

a lot do

He cruises often, and is always visible on the ships chatting with crew and guests alike. He also spends a lot of time in meetings with the Management teams when not cruising, so he is definitely on top of all current procedures.

Kergan66 - we’ve been on 5 Carnival cruises and all of our stewards have had at least one assistant.

According to John Heald, if guests leave extra gratuities for their steward, it is up to the individual whether he/she shares with the assistant or not.

I don’t know......we were on the Splendor 4 years ago, and our steward didn’t have one. Not that I saw anyway. Unless.............maybe HE was the assistant ! Yummy OMG Surprised, who did we tip ! Oh yeah, the guy that made up our cabin.

Now, on NCL, if there are assistants to the stewards, they keep a very, low, profile.

Hey, remember when there was an assistant waiter ?

Have seen an assistant once only on NCL and that was for two days. The steward departed and the assistant became the steward.

* is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. is not responsible for content on external web sites.