Rumour Mill

Rumours around Carnival and FB ( I'm not on FB, someone who is posted it on Funville ) are that Carnival will soon make gratuities mandatory. No option to remove them from your account. Do you agree with this policy, or should the customer still have the right to decide on a gratuity ?

Of course, any line could turn around and call it a service charge.

Would you still be inclined to tip extra ( if you do ) ?


10 Answers

Well, I believe that the daily "tip" charge is funneled into the general revenues of the cruise line. After all they are corporations, aren't they. However when I cruise I take the time to chat with my room steward, and tip according to my expectations. If the attendant exceeds those they get more at the end of the cruise. Now I always find " My Server" the go to person that is always around. They always get extra for extra service.

We are still in contact with our bartender from out first cruise in 2009. She went home to start a family... we get pictures of the kids.

Our room steward on the Panama cruise sent us pictures of his youngest daughter graduating from university. We contributed to her book fund.

So......While they are there to serve us, they are mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers and children as well. and they all have someone to support. If they are decent folks.. I am more than willing to help. The rumours that you hear are probably true. Please take the time to chat with those you will encounter, who work very hard for lower wages than we make.


I always give the suggested tips and sometimes more to the cabin steward and/or servers. However, I really don't like being forced to give if for some reason I have received awful treatment. Luckily for me this has never happened. On the other hand, passengers have a grievance with one staffer and remove tips for everyone. Perhaps if you can't lower tips maybe you shouldn't be able to raise them either. I know that crew really rely on tips. This must be a problem if the Cruise lines are considering this measure.

I liked it better in the old days with the envelope system, then you got to tip who you wanted what you wanted. I think the guaranteed tip cuts out the incentive for some staff for good service. I typically leave the daily tips in place unless service has been bad. If I have good room steward and dining staff I give extra tip to them, not to go into the pool to be split among all the staff.

If you want good service, think of tipping the room steward the first day and letting them know the things your require, like ice twice a day or extra chocolates every night.

I also tip the room steward extra when I travel in a cabin solo, not fair to cut his tip because I like a cabin alone. He still has to do the same cleaning for 1 as he does for two.

Most ship staff work hard and long hours for the money they make. I do not have a problem giving them good tips.

We always give our steward $20 as soon as we meet him. We know my wife will need pillows and towels. We also give him another $20 during the week if service warrants, and another 20 before we leave. We tip in the restaurants just like any brick and mortar place. We almost always leave a buck extra per drink at a bar or coffee cafe.

Auto grats took a little getting used to, as we too remember the envelope system. You can still get envelopes and comment cards at the desk. I always fill out a comment card mid-week if service has been good.

I liked it better with the envelope system , I think NCL tried the mandatory gratuities a few years ago and then the stopped it

Back in the day we always enjoyed handing out the envelopes at the end of the cruise. Sadly, it was painfully obvious that many, many passengers elected not to come to the main dining room on the last night in order to avoid handing out gratuities. So I guess the auto-grats are really best for the crew overall.

We usually elect to pre-pay the gratuities now just to have them out of the way and we also give cash to any and all crew members who deserve it throughout the cruise.

If Carnival does make this change I would prefer they just fold it into the price and then advertise it as “no gratuities required” or something like that.

Same here. I'll tip the steward and then ask for fresh robes.

I like the convenience of the auto gratuities. I have always given extra to the staff I personally deal with. I am sure they appreciate cash that can go directly to their pockets. The envelope system probably let a lot more folks skip out on this. One thing I never figured out was an envelope for each staff member with suggested amounts. Why should the maître d get more than the servers when I would think their job probably paid more to start with.

Not sure how I originally missed this thread.

Whether they call it gratuity, service charge, or roll it into the price of the cruise is all the same to me.

If someone provides me excellent service, I will tip them a bit extra (ie waiters, bartenders and Stewart).

I missed it originally because I was not on this forum 3 years ago! We tip extra if we receive service above and beyond the expected. On the last cruise, no additional tip to the dining room wait staff since our meals were usually late (after sitting right where we could see them) and cold nor were food preferences remembered; but the room steward and his assistants were because the not only anticipated some of our needs but gave me animal towel folding lessons. My DH had a favorite bar waitress who remembered him and his drink after one drink, she got additional tips.


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