Read before going on a cruise: How does tipping work on a cruise?

Antes de viajar leia isto. Como funcionam as gorjetas dos cruzeiros?

A recurring topic when traveling onboard a ship is tipping. Customer service-related tipping etiquette on cruises has changed over time.

Keeping fair treatment of the cruise staff in mind, many companies in the industry have established consumption and tipping rates whose sums hinge on the type of service provided.

Cruiser connoisseurs recommend that when you are planning your trip you read up on whether gratuities are mandatory or not, what are the fees for each service and how you should go about it.

Why should you tip on a cruise?

For the staff employed on cruise liners tipping makes up for a percentage of its wage. In the past it was usual to willingly give service workers an amount of money depending on the customer’s discretion.

Yet each era is different and if we think about the footfall and increasing number of service workers on ships we can see why modern societies have formalized tipping as a way to reward the service performed by the person attending to you.

In the main, gratuities given on cruise liners are shared equally among the crew managers, barmen, waitress and any other cruise staff providing services on the different areas of the vessel.


How much should you add on as tip? What are the suggested sums?

Each cruise company has its own rules and guidelines; however, there are certain standards that might help you have a clearer outlook of how much you should be tipping during your cruise trip.

Sums presented here are referential and may experience variations and adjustments, that’s why it is important to either double check with your travel agency or directly with your cruise line ahead of time to include these expenses in your budget.

The amount of money for gratuities depends on the cruise line you choose, as well as the type of cabin and the passengers’ ages. Tips are paid on a daily basis for the service performed and per person, not per cabin.



$12 per guest/day

15% added to bar and deck services tabs



$12.95 per guest/day

$13.95 per guest/Suites day

15% added to bar and deck services tabs



$13.50 per guest/day inside cabin/oceanview/balcony/junior suite

$16.50 per guest/day



$13.50 guest/day Regular cabins

$15.50 guest/day Suites and Heaven

18% added to bar and deck services tabs



$12.95 per guest/day Regular cabins

$13.95 per guest/day Suites

$15.50 per guest/day Mini Suites

$13.50 per guest/day Oceanview and Balcony



$12.50 per guest/day Regular cabins

$13.50 per guest/day Suites



$12.95 per guest/day Standard cabins

$13.45 per guest/day Concierge/Aqua.

$16.45 per guest/day Suites



$12.50 per guest/day for guests over 12

$6.25 per guest/day children under 12.  It does not apply to minors under 2 years of age. 15% added to bar and deck services tabs


What’s the best way to tip on a cruise?

There’s plenty of research and bibliography on what’s the best way to tip on a cruise. In general, bloggers and cruise travelers agree on three main forms:

  • Prepay gratuities when booking your trip
  • Put them on your onboard tab to be charged to your credit card
  • Tip in cash at the end of your trip.


Are tips and service charges the same thing?

Tipping allows you to express your satisfaction for the service performed. For example, in the United States, gratuities are regulated hovering at 15% and 20% according to consumption rates and the amount of customers; in fact, there are currently many cities in this country where gratuities are already included as part of the bill.

Service charges are fees charged in addition to a standard cost for a specific service provided or performed.

As you can realize by now, traveling on cruise from Miami is an adventure in and of itself, so don’t forget to take into account tipping and gratuity fees on cruise liners for your travel budget.