• Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips
You may also like
The Truth About Gratuities (Photo: Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock)

Are Cruise Lines Increasing Gratuities in 2023?

The Truth About Gratuities (Photo: Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock)
Fran Golden
Melinda Crow

Jan 16, 2023

Read time
3 min read

(Updated 11:40 a.m. EDT) -- It’s early in the new year, but some cruise lines are already raising standard gratuities. Lines with early increases include Carnival, Holland America Line and Princess, along with Norwegian Cruise Line and Oceania Cruises. Nearly all mainstream cruise lines, and some premium lines, have raised daily per-person gratuity amounts for 2023, as companies continue to deal with the impact of economic disruption globally, as well as increased debt loads due to the global health pandemic.

With staffing problems sitting near the top of the list of challenges, increasing overall compensation is a logical move.

Gratuities may generally be prepaid during booking. If not paid in advance or bundled into an “all-in” style package, the amount is charged to the stateroom account daily, adding to the total bill due at the end of the cruise.

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises Increased Onboard Gratuities Late in 2022

Explorer of the Seas (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

Royal Caribbean increased the daily per person gratuity rate for its passengers in September 2022. The rate increased from $14.50 per person per day in standard cabins to $16.00, and from $17.50 to $18.50 per person for suites. It was the first increase the line has had in daily gratuities since 2018.

Premium sister brand Celebrity Cruises followed suit in October, raising gratuities to $17.50 for inside, oceanview, and balcony cabins, $18 for Concierge and Aqua Class staterooms, and $21 for suite guests in The Retreat.

Carnival, Norwegian, and Sister Lines All Increase Gratuities in 2023

Carnival Sunshine (Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line (as well as their sister lines) recently increased their gratuity amounts for 2023.

Carnival's daily gratuity goes from $14.50 to $16.00 for standard cabins, and from $16.50 to $18.00 for suites. Holland America Line implemented a modest .50 increase, effective February 1, 2023. Standard cabins go from $15.50 to $16.00 per person per day, while suites rise from $16.50 to $17.00. Princess announced increases in early December, increasing tips to $16 for interior, oceanview, and balcony staterooms, $17 for mini-suites and Club Class, and $18 for suites.

Princess also offers two all-inclusive bundles that include “crew appreciation.” Princess recently increased 2023 prices for both bundles but added new perks to offset the increase. Princess Plus went from $50 to $60 per person per day, while Princess Premier went from $75 to $80. Add-ons new to the packages include premium desserts, juices, free pre-cruise Medallion shipping, and fitness classes.

Norwegian also announced increases in early December, effective January 1, 2023. Suites in The Haven will have daily gratuities of $25 per day, up from $20. Club balconies go from $18 to $20 per day. All other guests go from $16 to $20.

Premium Lines With Higher Gratuities For 2023

Oceania Inline

Starting in January 2023, Oceania Cruises, owned by Norwegian Cruise Holdings, increased daily gratuities from $16 to $18 except in Penthouse, Oceania, Vista, and Owner's Suites, all with butler service, and all now incurring a $23 gratuity.

Oceania is not the only premium line that increased gratuities, but others have been more subtle about announcing the change. Viking quietly bumped daily gratuities from $15 to $17 per person per day. Late in 2022, Windstar also increased their recommended amount from $14.50 to $16.00, if tips are paid separately. Windstar’s All-Inclusive package that bundles Wi-Fi, drinks, and tips rose by $10. The package now costs $89 per person per day.

If you're wondering who gets these daily gratuities, it's broken down between three positions in the rotational dining rooms -- the head server, assister server and server -- along with the steward that cleans and services your room.

Cruise Lines on the Watch List For Increased Gratuities in 2023

MSC Seaside (Photo: MSC Cruises)

If other cruise lines are going to follow these lines in increasing gratuities, one worth watching for any possible increases is MSC Cruises. MSC's website states that the amount of the daily Hotel Service charges cannot be modified but can be removed should service be unsatisfactory. In the Caribbean, MSC's service fee has remained at $14 per person, per day for age 12 and up and $7 for children 2 and up (with no charge for under age 2). In the Mediterranean, it's 10 Euros (about $10.88) for 12 and up and 5 Euros (about $5.44) for kids.

"The Hotel Service charge serves to ensure we maintain the highest quality standards of service to our guests," MSC says on its website. In the current economic climate, it would not be out of the question for any line to implement new tipping policies as the year moves forward.

Lines that currently package gratuities in their cruise fares include Silversea, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Virgin Voyages, Azamara, and Scenic, the latter even including tips for onshore tour guides and drivers.

Updated January 16, 2023
How was this article?
About UsCruise DestinationsFirst Time CruisersFind A Cruise

International Sites

© 1995—2023, The Independent Traveler, Inc.

  • Privacy and Cookies Statement

  • Terms of Use

  • Site Map