Do You Need To Tip On A Cruise Ship
If you are about to set sail for the first time on a cruise, there is one question that must have been bugging you constantly – do you need to tip on a cruise ship?
Tipping is a big part of the cruise culture even today, but it functions a bit differently than tipping in normal life. You will meet and get services from a variety of people, including porters, housekeeping, waiters, and other crew members. This can leave you in a dilemma of whether you should pay any tips to these service providers and how much is the correct amount.
If you are facing this confusion as well, keep reading to know about the proper etiquette to tip on a cruise and whether you are expected to tip the crew members. Let’s begin.
What Are Gratuities On A Cruise Ship?
Gratuities are simply the tips paid to the staff on the ship that provides services to you, such as cleaning your cabin or preparing your food. While it may not be compulsory to pay gratuities in some cases, it is always considered polite and customary to pay the tips.
Nowadays, you will find that most luxury cruise tours have already set an amount to pay the gratuities, so all the customers pay equally, and some don’t have to pay huge tips while others barely pay anything.
Do I Have To Tip The Crew Members On A Cruise?
Some cruise lines might have an official policy to tip the cruise members, while others might include the service charges in your advance booking payment. Different lines have different policies for how the tips will be paid. But in most cases, you have to pay the tip money in one form or another.
In US cruise lines, tip money of about $14 to $15 is added as payment for tips per day in the bill charged to the passenger at the time of onboarding. These tips are then equally divided among the service providers on the cruise. The tips are charged at different rates to different passengers.
For people in the suite, the charges are a bit higher as they usually have the butler service.
Do You Have To Pay In All Cruise Lines?
Some luxury and high-end cruise lines have a strict policy for no gratuities. This means you don’t have to pay any tips to the crew members during the cruise. You may give the tips at your own discretion if you like the service of some of the staff too much. However, according to the official policy of some cruise lines, some of the crew members may not be allowed to accept any monetary or other gifts from the passengers.
You must read your cruise line’s policies before making any decision about paying gratuities. Cruise lines with tip money already included in your package may use different terms for describing it, such as gratuities, tips, crew incentives, or service charges. Make sure to check the policies with the said terms to ensure whether or not the tip money is included in the package.
How To Pay Gratuities On A Cruise?
This is a central question, and some people can feel confused over how to pay the gratuities. In the previous times, cruise lines used to put envelopes on the last day of your trip in your room. The passengers could put the deserving amount into those envelopes, and the staff would collect them on their way out.
In the current age, the payment systems are mostly online, and people pay via online systems through banks. If you make an advanced payment for your cruise, you will be charged the service fee per day and per person collectively with the cruise fare.
In case you are not paying advanced money, the service charges per day and per person will be added to your bill and charged to your account. When you pay the money at the end of the tour, the tips will be added to the fare.
If you want to pay more money, you can give the tips in cash to the crew members whose services you like best. But you must note that this may not be required by the cruise line if the tips are charged with the cruise fares.
How Much Cruise Gratuities Do You Have To Pay?
The gratuities will vary according to the cruise line you are traveling with, but they usually remain within the same limit – $14 to $16 per day for one person. So, two people traveling on a cruise will have to pay about $30 per day in tip money or more than $200 over the duration of the cruise, which is almost one week long.
Do All Passengers Have To Pay Gratuities?
Most of the passengers have to pay the tip money. They can be old or young, may want to get room service or eat in the dining area, or even have some other special requests. In some cruise lines, even the kids have to pay service charges.
However, there are some cruise lines that do not charge kids at certain age any tip money. Carnival does not take any service charges from kids under the age of two, and Norwegian Cruise Lines make an exception for kids under the age of three.
Will Something Bad Happen If You Don’t Pay The Tip?
It is hard to avoid paying the gratuities in current circumstances as they are already included in your cruise fare, but you can sometimes ask the cruise line to exclude the tips from your account and not pay them at all.
Not paying tips during the cruise is not likely to cause any harm to you, as most of the time, the staff won’t even know if you have paid the tips or not.
Even in case the staff knows, they will still try to give their best service as some people prefer paying in cash at the end of the trip. Keep in mind that not paying tips will not affect the cruise line but the staff members as they depend on these extra dollars. So, it may cause some stress to the crew members who have worked hard to provide services.
Tip money is usually included in the cruise fare nowadays to avoid the hassle of paying at the end in cash. But you can still pay some more in cash. It is not necessary to pay these tips on most cruise lines, but it is an esteemed tradition to honor the working people on the cruise. You can skip the online payment and pay after the trip in cash, based on the service.
For detailed payment classification, check the website and policies of your particular cruise ship.