Travel Tipping on a Cruise

Travel Tipping on a Cruise

13/05/2016 Off By Emma Gray

Travel Tipping – Proper Etiquette on a Cruise Ship

One of the biggest concerns many people have when organising their cruise holiday is the proper procedure of how to go about tipping staff. Many cruise companies have very confusing tipping policies, which leave their passengers unsure who, how and how much they should tip. So, what do you need to know about travel tipping on a cruise?

Cruise Deck

Check Cruise Line Tipping Policy

Many cruise lines include tips in the price that you pay for your cruise holiday. Check when you make your booking, whether it’s online, via a travel agent, or directly with the cruise company, as often travel tipping is added onto your final balance. If this is the case, you can normally opt out of it at the time of booking, should you wish to do so. Alternatively, you can usually opt out of this at the end of your cruise holiday simply by asking at the purser’s desk. You can also choose to alter the amount which you tip by visiting the purser’s desk towards the end of your cruise.

‘If the tip is included in my final bill can I forget about it?’

The short answer to this is, sometimes. On some cruise lines for example, Holland America, the tips are included on your final bill and will be distributed to staff in the manner in which they see fit. This means a percentage to your stateroom attendant, dining table waiter, assistant waiter and a percentage to the so-called backroom staff, whom you don’t come into contact with during your cruise, but are important none the less.

On some cruise lines, travel tipping is entirely at your discretion.

Some, although not many, cruise lines will leave tipping to passengers to decide. On this type of cruise, passengers will generally find a set of envelopes with the name of each crew member they might (or it is suggested that they might) like to tip. It is then customary to fill the envelopes with the amount which you see fit, and distribute it to the selected crew members on the last day, or evening of your cruise.

Suggested Tip Amount

There will generally be a ‘suggested amount’ or ‘guideline amount’ printed in your cruise handbook to guide you in your decision. It is your choice whether you choose to adhere to this or tip less or more. It is worthwhile to bear in mind that most cruise ship workers are not paid particularly well and rely on passenger’s travel tipping in order to make a decent living. If you’ve received great service, then you should reflect that in the amount you tip.

So, by now you’ll have realised travel tipping on board a cruise can be very different depending on which line you’re cruising with. As long as you remember to check the policy of your chosen cruise line before you travel, you’ll be able to navigate your way to a decision easily and without problems.

Emma shares all of her travel adventures, tips and advice on her two websites Emma’s Travel Tales and Emma On Board, as well as writing for a number of other online publications. She has also partnered with many large companies and tourism boards around the world. She’s busy making memories around the world…