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Tipping on Ships: An Australian Culture Clash
Tipping on Ships: An Australian Culture Clash
Tipping on a Cruise: Your Complete Big-Ship Tip Guide
Wonder of the Seas (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

Tipping on a Cruise: Your Complete Big-Ship Tip Guide

Tipping on a Cruise: Your Complete Big-Ship Tip Guide
Wonder of the Seas (Photo: Royal Caribbean)
Jeannine Williamson
Contributor
Kerry Spencer
Contributor
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If you’ve been left scratching your head wondering about the ins and outs of tipping on a cruise ship, we’ve got you covered with a comprehensive list of what to expect. Read on for your tipping guide aboard the world’s most popular cruise lines, from a complete breakdown of Royal Caribbean gratuities to Carnival, Norwegian, and every cruise lines' policies in between.

Editor’s Note: Fees are listed in USD -- unless stated otherwise -- and were accurate at time of publication.

On This Page

Carnival Cruise Lines

The Roller Coaster on Carnival's Mardi Gras (Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival cruise gratuities are automatically added to onboard accounts for those in all rooms. In standard cabins, Carnival charges $14.50 per person, per day in tips. Travelers in suites are charged $16.50 per person, per day. The amount does not apply to passengers younger than 2. An automatic 18% gratuity is added to all bar bills, specialty restaurant cover charges and spa services.

Passengers who want to adjust the amount of their cabin auto-gratuity in either direction can do so at the guest services desk. However, you cannot remove the automatic 18% tip on drinks, specialty dining and so on.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Solstice

Are gratuities included on Celebrity Cruises? Technically, yes, though Celebrity -- like most mainstream cruise lines -- insists these tips are only suggested. Expect gratuities added to your account in the amount of $15.50 per day, per passenger for standard cabins on Celebrity ships, $16 for Concierge Class and AquaClass cruisers and $19 per person, per day for Suite passengers. If you wish to adjust the amount you pay, this can be done onboard at guest relations.

A 20% gratuity is added to all beverages, mini bar purchases and beverage packages. An 18% gratuity is added to all spa and salon purchases onboard. These cannot be altered.

Costa Cruises

Costa Smeralda  (Image: Costa Cruises)

Costa Cruises applies a fee of €11 euro per passenger, per night for all travelers aged 15 and over. Children aged 4 to 14 are charged €5.50 per passenger, per night. A charge is not applied to children under the age of 4.

Gratuities are added automatically to each passenger's onboard account. Be warned: Costa states that "the service charge is an integral part of the total price of the cruise and therefore the amount cannot be altered." Aside from that, you are not expected or required to tip extra while onboard, though a 15% gratuity is added to beverage purchases.

Cunard Line

TA Queen Elizabeth Grand Lobby2

Cunard charges gratuities of $11.50 per person, per day to passenger accounts in Britannia accommodations. That amount is $13.50 for passengers in Grill Class accommodations. Cunard's gratuities apply to both adults and children. To adjust the amount of your automatic tips or to tip independently, see the purser's office.

Casino dealers do not receive a cut of Cunard's automatic gratuities, so consider tipping deserving staff. An automatic 15% charge also applies to spa treatments and services as well as all bar bills.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney's new Worlds of Marvel is the line's most ambitious dining venue to date.

Disney Cruise Line gratuities start at $14.50 per person, per night for regular cabins and rise to $15.50 per person, per night for Concierge-class and Suite guests.

Tips can either be prepaid up to three days prior to the start of your Disney cruise or will be automatically charged to onboard accounts. To adjust the amount of your automatic tips or to tip independently, see the purser's office.

An automatic 15% gratuity is added to Disney's bar, beverage, wine and deck service tabs. An 18% tip is added to spa services. It is suggested that cruisers tip a couple of dollars for room service as it's delivered, as this is not included.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

fred olsen inline

Fred. Olsen gratuities are entirely at the discretion of each passenger. The recommended amount is £5 per passenger, per day, to be divided equally between the cabin stewards and waiters. This amount is automatically added to passengers' onboard accounts toward the end of the cruise, but it can be adjusted at reception at any point during the sailing. There is no charge for children under 12 on Fred. Olsen cruises.

Passengers are at liberty to tip staff members personally if they wish to do so, and envelopes for this purpose are available at reception. All bar bill gratuities are included in the cost of the drink.

Holland America Line

CC Nieuw Statendam Signature Suite

Holland America gratuities are automatically charged at $15.50 per person, per day for regular cabin passengers and $17 for suite passengers. Gratuities on HAL apply to both adults and children. Passengers should visit guest services to adjust these if they want. An automatic 18% gratuity is added to beverage packages, specialty dining, spa services, bar packages and main dining room wine purchases.

MSC Cruises

MSC Meraviglia Activity/Entertainment

Although MSC Cruises removed auto-gratuities for U.K. & Ireland passengers from October 2019, gratuities are still applied to U.S. cruisers’ bills. Auto-gratuities vary by destination and onboard currency.

Amounts are as follows (per person, per night):

The Bahamas and Caribbean: $14 for passengers ages 12 and over and $7 for 2 to 11 year olds.

South America and Grand Voyages from Caribbean (northbound): $12.50 for ages 12 and over and $6.25 for children 2 to 11 years.

Grand Voyages from Caribbean (southbound): €10 euro per night for passengers aged 12 and over and €5 per night for children 2 to11 years.

South Africa cruises: $8 for ages 12 and older and $4 for ages 2 to 11 years.

Westbound and southbound grand voyages: €10 per person, per night, and €5 per night for children 14 and older.

Europe (Mediterranean, Canaries and Northern Europe) cruises, "Antilles" and "Emirates" voyages of eight nights or less: €10 per person, per night, and €5 per night for children 14 and older.

MSC does not permit adjustments to the amounts listed above; however, if you deem service unsatisfactory, you can have the charges removed from your onboard account by contacting the guest relations manager while onboard. An automatic 15% gratuity is added to bar purchases. Gratuities are not added to spa bills, so passengers can tip at their discretion.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Sky Activity/Entertainment

Norwegian Cruise Line has some of the highest gratuities at sea with passengers staying in all regular cabins automatically billed $16 per day; Club Balcony Suite passengers are billed $18 per person per day and The Haven and suite passengers $20 per day. There is no charge for children younger than 3.

Passengers sailing to Hawaii will be charged an additional 4.275% Pre Paid Service Charge GET Tax.

Should you wish to adjust NCL's service charges, you must contact the onboard reception desk. A 20% gratuity is added to bar bills, specialty and entertainment dining, and spa services. Norwegian suggests that passengers who use concierge or butler service provide a gratuity "commensurate with the services rendered."

P&O Cruises

Britannia (Photo: P&O Cruises)

In May 2019, P&O Cruises scrapped its daily service charge. Passengers are welcome to tip cruise line crew as they see fit.

P&O Cruises Australia

P&O Cruises Australia Alcohol Policy (Photo: Cabeca de Marmore/Shutterstock.com)

P&O Cruises Australia does not automatically add gratuities onto passengers' accounts or spa or bar bills. Cruisers can leave tips for crew members who offer outstanding service by handing cash directly to the crew members they want to thank. Passengers need not carry cash if they don't want to, as they can add the tips to their onboard accounts.

Princess Cruises

Balcony Stateroom on Pacific Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

Princess Cruises gratuities are automatically added to passenger accounts. They start at $14.50 per day to cover cabin and free dining crew. Passengers in mini-suites and club class are charged $15.50 per day, and suite passengers pay $16.50 per day. The amount is the same for children and adults, and it can be prepaid up to six days prior to the start of your cruise.

You can adjust your Princess automatic gratuities upward or downward, or eliminate them altogether, at the purser's office. A 17 to 18% gratuity is automatically added to all specialty dining, bar bills and spa services. Casino staff do not receive a cut of auto-gratuities.

Royal Caribbean International

Wonder of the Seas (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

Royal Caribbean gratuities are automatically added for passengers. These start at $14.50 per person per day for Junior Suite passengers (and categories below that). Tips on Royal Caribbean rise to $17.50 per person per day for passengers in Grand Suites and above. The daily gratuities are applied to all passengers, regardless of age.

The tips, which can also be prepaid, are shared by dining services staff, cabin attendants and other housekeeping personnel. Passengers who opt for Royal Caribbean's flexible My Time Dining must prepay gratuities. Guidelines are the same for all passengers, regardless of age.

Passengers can request to adjust the daily amount if they have not received satisfactory service by visiting guest services onboard. An 18% gratuity is automatically added to all bar bills, including the mini-bar, as well as salon and spa services.

Updated August 10, 2022

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