Cruise Tipping

by Claire Valenty on April 9, 2010

in Tipping

tipping cruise etiquette

Confused by proper etiquette when it comes to cruise tipping? You’re not the only one! Considering that a cruise involves you been served by a multitude of people every where you turn, you need to make sure you have everyone covered!

The good news is that these days, cruise ships have recognized the complexities of tipping. To take the hassle out of figuring who gets what, most cruise lines include an automatic gratuity for each person traveling which is added to your bill at the end of your cruise. Of course, you are more than welcome to adjust this tip higher or lower, depending on the level of service you believe you were provided. This tip is divided amongst the porters, house cleaning staff, entertainment staff, kitchen staff, dinner waiters; basically, everyone on the ship.

However, on the last dinner of your trip, the maitre d’ expects a tip. In my cruising experience, he or she will always make a big show of going around to each table and asking how everything is going. The rest of the time, you probably won’t see them. The cruise line will talk a lot about how they do a lot of behind the scenes things, like organize the entertainment during dinner, set the menu and assign the tables, but, to me, that’s their job. If you want to tip someone extra, tip the waiters that have been serving you dinner every night (if they’re good, which means, they address you by name and are very pleasant) or the steward who makes sure your room is always stocked with whatever special requests you have made. For the waiters, you can present them with an envelope on your last dinner of the cruise. For the room steward, you can visit the steward room on your floor and hand the steward an envelope with your cash. Leaving the envelope in your room might mean that your tip ends up with housekeeping!

Photo: Dreamstime/Patrick

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