When it comes to tipping, most cruise companies are happy to pass the buck. Strangely, it seems to be the high-end liners which include tips as part of the ticket price. Otherwise, your service attendants rely heavily on the supplementation of their income. Of course, tips are discretionary, but it seems to be a sensitive point for most employees, and if you are signing up for the cruise experience, you will have to pay for the whole shebang.
How Much Should I Tip?
The rule of thumb seems to be $10 – $12 per passenger per day in tips. Dissect that sum and it comes down to $3.75 for your main waiter, $5 for housekeeping, $2.15 for the assistant waiter, and $0.75 for the head waiter. If you have a butler, then you will be expected to pay this guy too.
If you don’t want to get stressed out over the mental maths, you can always opt for an automatic tips tab, where the recommended amount will be settled at the end of your stay. You, of course, have the option to either increase or decrease this amount; however, it’s advisable to pay at least the recommended total unless your service really was poor.
Paying in Person
If you prefer to hand over your tips in person, you can opt out of this gratuity scheme and take a bunch of envelopes with you. In each of these slots you can distribute the tips for your journey and hand them out to the correct people on the final night of your cruise.
Should I Tip The Luggage Guy?
If a porter stows your luggage on the ship for you, it’s customary to tip $1 per bag, and then rinse and repeat at the end of your cruise.
Should I Tip Bartenders?
Fortunately, 15% service charge is automatically added on your entire bar and drink tabs (hence why it’s so expensive). Of course, if you are feeling like Ms Money Bags, you can hand them over some extra tips, but that’s really going above and beyond what’s expected.
Should I Tip Spa Attendants?
Again, a gratuity charge is already added to your bill: usually between 15-18%. You can remove this tip if you weren’t happy with the service you received, and likewise, if there’s no additional tip charge, you can feel free to add one.
So Much Tipping – Does it Ever Stop?
The majorly luxurious liners will not charge you a dime for tips. You can give additional gratuities, but there is no pressure to do so whatsoever. Tipping is such a traditional pastime for people with plenty of money, and seeing as cruises tend to attract affluent customers, cruise liners have really embraced this trend. You may find hints for tips where tips are not due, but don’t feel pressurised, even if everyone is glumly reaching for their wallets. This is your holiday and it’s down to you what you pay for your service.