Monday, February 1, 2010

Cruise Ship Tipping

So after my last comment about Cruises and tipping on them I got really curious as to that specific topic. I’ve been on a cruise before but I was a teenager and didn’t pay much attention to what my parents were leaving at the end of the week. All I remember is the really cute boy I met during that trip…hehe.

A handful of friends have recently told me about their planned cruise vacations, which surprised me because I thought cruises were mostly geared toward retired couples and families. I think part of it is the great deals people are finding, so rock on cruisers.

Peggy Post actually has a lot of information to share about tipping on cruise ships…so maybe that trip wasn’t so affordable after all? Yikes…read on.

Most cruise ships know that people are confused so some provide envelopes and guidelines to their guests. Other cruise lines add a substantial service charge to the fair, in which case only extra-special service calls for a tip. To be sure you know what’s expected, discuss tipping amounts and procedures with the travel agent or cruise line agent who books your trip. Tipping customs can differ depending on the nature of your trip, but in general tips will add fifteen to twenty percent to the cost of your cruise.

Take that fifteen to twenty percent of your fair and divide about half of this allowance between the cabin and dining room stewards and distribute the rest to others who served you. Put tips in separately addressed envelopes and hand them to each person at the end of the cruise, with a note of thanks if you wish.

  • Lounge and bar stewards are tipped fifteen to twenty percent of your bar bill at the time of service. It’s preferable to pay and tip order by order, but if you run a tab and pay periodically, you tip when you pay.
  • Wine steward should receive fifteen percent of the total wine bill each time you use his/her services.
  • Hairdressers, manicurists, and other service people are tipped at the same rate as on land.
  • Dock porters should receive at least $1.00 per bag.

On Long Cruises – Two Weeks or More

Peggy Post tells us that if you’re traveling on a cruise for more than one week you should tip weekly, generally on Friday evenings. The rate will vary according to whether you’re traveling first class, cabin, or tourist class:

Tips to…

First Class



Cabin steward

$25 per week

$20 per week

$15 per week

Deck steward

$20 per week

$15 per week

$12 per week

Dining-room steward

$25 per week

$15 per week

$15 per week

Chief DR Steward

$20 per week

$15 per week

$12 per week

Assistant DR Steward

$10 per week

$7.50 per week

$6.00 per week

Busboys (tips shared among them)

$6-$8 per week

$5-$6 per week

$4-$6 per week

Who Not to Tip on a Cruise

Never tip the ship’s officers, but do thank them for their courtesy if you cross paths with them near the end of the trip. Also, don’t tip the ship’s doctor if you’ve consulted with them while on board. You’ll probably receive a bill for medical services. You aren’t expected to tip a bridge instructor, children’s activity director, aerobics instructor, or similar ship personnel, although doing so is perfectly okay.

Have you been on a cruise lately? Please share your tipping experiences!

Remember, these are just guidelines to follow. If you're traveling with less or more people then remember to adjust accordingly.

1 comment:

  1. Matt and I went on a cruise for our honeymoon - a choice, if given the chance again, that would probably NOT be made again. However, we didn't know much about cruises as we never went on one prior, but it was nice knowing everything was all-inclusive ... including our tips. We honestly didn't have to worry about that as they included it in our overall price. I think we may have given a couple of extra $$ to our maids and what not, but in regards to anyone who worked on the ship itself, it was all taken care of prior to even stepping aboard.