10 Most Frequent Cruise Tipping Errors I’ve Seen

Tipping on a cruise ship is a subject that causes confusion to first-time cruisers. It can be a bit controversial. Who do you tip? How a lot do you tip? And with auto-gratuities do it’s essential to tip in any respect?

I’ve listed 10 widespread cruise tipping errors which can be simply avoidable.

I do know this generally is a sensitive topic, however regardless of your perspective with reference to tipping I hope you possibly can study a pair issues that can be useful.

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Even seasoned vacationers who cruise typically could make a number of of those cruise tipping errors which can be talked about beneath.

Keep in mind, you possibly can take pleasure in an incredible cruise due to an incredible crew. The individuals behind the scenes, ensuring your trip is as easy as doable, work lengthy and arduous hours. Crew members are the unsung heroes of each cruise ship, so ensure you replicate your gratitude by avoiding these cruise tipping errors.

That being mentioned, tipping is considerably subjective. I’ll tip somebody you wouldn’t and vice versa. The interactions with the crew each day will fluctuate passenger by passenger. Quite than being iron-cad guidelines, these are merely some ideas I’d make for many cruisers.


Tipping fundamentals on a cruise

On most cruise strains you’ll be charged a every day gratuity between $15 and $20 per individual per day. That is usually paid forward of time, however you possibly can wait till your cruise and pay it then if you want. In the event you wait to pay for gratuities will probably be added to your invoice every day, and you’ll settle it with a bank card on the finish of your voyage.

The place does the cash go if you prepay gratuities?

The every day gratuities get divided up between a number of crew positions in your ship. A few of it goes towards your cabin steward, some to the primary eating workers, and a few to different housekeeping crew members. The auto-gratuity system that almost all mainstream strains have carried out was to deal with the problem of passengers making an attempt to run round with envelopes of cash at hand out to completely different crew members.

The system of automated gratuities is easier, however nonetheless causes confusion to some who surprise if they should tip on prime of it. I hope we are able to deal with that in the present day.


Listed below are the largest cruise tipping errors I’ve seen individuals make.


1.  Not bringing money

I just lately wrote about why I at all times convey money on a cruise, and a variety of it comes all the way down to tipping. One of many first issues it would be best to do earlier than you board your ship is tip the bags porter, the one that takes your massive baggage and will get them on the ship for you.

You will want money to do that because the porters don’t stroll round with bank card processing machines or Venmo QR codes. The quantity you tip is as much as you, however wherever from $2 – $5 per bag is typical. Porters work arduous each day on the cruise terminal and rely closely on the ideas they obtain. Deliver some money and ensure you’re ready.

Baggage porters aren’t the one ones it’s possible you’ll need to tip in money. A few of the factors beneath clarify different conditions through which a money tip is finest.

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2.  Solely bringing massive payments

stack of 20 dollar bills in front of a norwegian cruise line cruise ship
Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever

So, you’ve handed step primary and have money to your cruise, however what about smaller payments? In the event you solely have 50s or 100s, you may need a tough time getting change. I at all times attempt to guarantee that I’ve a pleasant mix of denominations with my money.

I like to recommend bringing alongside a bunch of one-dollar payments along with fives, tens, and some twenties as properly. Don’t anticipate to get change if you tip, and even asking for change when tipping might be thought-about impolite. I’ve by no means regretted having smaller payments to indicate my gratitude on a cruise. It’s at all times good to have some five-dollar payments on you.


3.  Solely tipping for distinctive service

Some have the point of view that tipping ought to solely be completed when service is surprisingly past evaluate. However this can be a mistake. We will debate about whether or not or not cruise members are paid sufficient for all they do, however the merely fact is that ideas are a big a part of their earnings.

And whereas you’ll virtually at all times have unbelievable service on a cruise, don’t withhold a tip for those who weren’t precisely blown away. Some passengers set expectations so excessive that it helps them justify not leaving a tip in any respect. The crew will often make errors, however a form phrase and a small tip regardless of it could go a great distance.


4.  Forgetting in regards to the eating workers or room steward

Main dining room on Norwegian Epic cruise ship

Your pay as you go gratuities already go towards your stateroom attendant and eating wait workers, so that you won’t really feel the necessity to tip any additional. And that’s properly inside your prerogative. Possibly it’s simply because it’s in my American mindset to tip for companies like this, however I at all times like to go away the cabin steward some additional money within the room earlier than the cruise is over.

If I did use the primary eating room most of the time on a cruise I’ll go away them some additional as properly. In fact with my-time eating choices will probably be tougher to do that as you will have a unique wait workers every time.

Be aware: Your automated gratuities do go in the direction of the wait workers and cabin steward already. In the event you’re financially strained don’t’ really feel like it’s important to tip any additional on prime of this. However for those who do have ideas eliminated out of your account (as talked about in one other level beneath) ensure you at the least tip these two crew members.


5.  Forgetting to tip for room service

room service food on a tray on cruise ship balcony

With cruise strains just lately making adjustments with reference to room service charges you may suppose tipping is non-obligatory with room service. And whereas a few of the main cruise strains are including gratuities mechanically to a room service invoice, you possibly can nonetheless go away few {dollars} in money to your supply individual. In some circumstances you possibly can add it to the receipt, relying on the cruise line.

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Room service remains to be free on a number of of the key strains and virtually at all times complimentary on an all-inclusive cruise. Whenever you obtain room service free of charge it’s possible you’ll not even suppose to tip or know what to tip, and that’s primarily why I’m making this level. Be sure to present your gratitude for having that scrumptious meals introduced proper to your cabin.

Some cruise strains like Carnival and Royal Caribbean nonetheless supply a continental breakfast free of charge on their room service menu. So, it may be straightforward to overlook to tip for those who’re used to having the cost already put in your account.

Associated: Cruise ship room service and what every cruise line expenses


6.  Tipping within the flawed forex

This one is very true when tipping whereas in port and off of the ship. Tipping within the flawed forex could cause a number of points whereas on a cruise or in a cruise port metropolis. First, it may be an inconvenience for the recipient as they could must change the forex, which may end up in dangerous change charges and additional charges.

Additionally, it may be seen as disrespectful to the native tradition and forex. So, it’s at all times finest to tip within the native forex to keep away from any misunderstandings or offense.

To keep away from tipping within the flawed forex, it’s a good suggestion to do a little analysis earlier than your journey. This fashion, you possibly can be sure that you’re following the native customs and displaying respect to the tradition. Keep in mind, respecting native customs is a necessary a part of touring, and tipping in the suitable forex is an easy method to present that respect.


7.  Pondering for those who prepay gratuities you’ll get decrease high quality service

Some individuals mistakenly suppose that in the event that they prepay gratuities by means of the cruise line forward of time it can lead to poor service. We talked about this in one other article about cruise tipping that leaving a money tip on day considered one of your cruise just isn’t essential to get high quality service.

I do know some cruisers that like to begin their cruise by tipping proper out of the gate. That is tremendous for those who simply need to pay ahead your gratuity, however don’t do that for those who’re motivation is to be handled like royalty. Normally, you’ll obtain wonderful service regardless.


8.  Forgetting to tip tour guides and drivers

Viking river cruise tour bus in Portugal

At all times convey a few of that aforementioned money with you if you go on a shore tour. In the event you do a tour or make a journey on a bus ensure you tip each your tour information and bus driver. These staff are sometimes neglected on many cruises I’ve been on.

The identical goes for tipping taxi drivers if you’re in port. Once more, money may be the one factor they’ll take, and in a lot of the Caribbean you possibly can tip in U.S. forex.

As a facet observe, it may be good to have some money in your cruise so you may as well tip individuals like road performers whereas in port. A very good rule of thumb is that for those who cease to take an image or take heed to a musician on the road you must put a bit one thing within the tip jar.


9.  Eradicating gratuities

Sure, you’ll be able to have all gratuities eliminated out of your invoice. However that is one thing I’d not advocate except you then proceed to handsomely money tip the various crew members in your ship that helped make your trip occur. In the event you didn’t obtain the service you anticipated you must discuss to visitor companies about it and they’re going to make it proper, however crew members depend on these tricks to make ends-meet. And the very last thing you need to do is take away the auto-gratuity after which overlook to tip your cabin steward and eating workers in individual.

I’ve heard of circumstances the place some cruisers selected to not prepay for ideas, however then after seeing the fees added to their account they acquired a bit sticker shock and requested to have them eliminated. That is why I like to recommend prepaying for gratuities forward of time, so precisely what you’re paying.

Additionally, remember that for those who ask to take away ideas out of your account since you weren’t pleased together with your cabin steward you’re additionally taking away the ideas from the eating room workers and others that divide these gratuities.


10.  Feeling like it’s important to tip when the gratuity was already added

bar on sky princess cruise ship on the pool deck
Bar on Sky Princess. Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever

After ordering a beverage or service on a cruise ship you might even see a service cost added to the precise value. If a gratuity has already been added don’t really feel that you simply completely should tip additional on prime of it. You possibly can, after all, tip additional for those who really feel the crew went above and past.

Some first-time cruisers really feel pressured to tip additional on prime of those gratuity expenses, so I need to ensure that they know that is non-obligatory. A number of factors beneath will clarify conditions through which a tip just isn’t important.


A number of circumstances if you don’t have to tip

Tipping is voluntary, so you possibly can nonetheless tip in these conditions if you want. However there are a number of circumstances the place it’s not vital.

  • After spa service: Cruise strains will usually add an 18% gratuity cost to your invoice. You possibly can tip extra if you want, after all.
  • If the crew helped with a particular request: You aren’t anticipated to tip if a crew member will get you additional hangers to your room or padding to your mattress.
  • Child’s membership staff: This service is obtainable free of charge on most cruise ships and also you’re not anticipated to tip, however slipping that employee a twenty for permitting you to have a date evening together with your particular somebody is at all times appreciated.
  • Leisure: Whether or not it’s a magic present or comedy present you don’t must tip these staff. You possibly can at all times tip the pianist on the piano bar for those who loved the efficiency or have a tune request.
  • Upkeep workers: If one of many crew fixes that leaky faucet in your stateroom you don’t have to tip, however hey, it’s as much as you.


Ultimate ideas

The idea of tipping is pretty American in a variety of methods. In the event you’re from one other a part of the world you may suppose tipping is pointless and unusual, and maybe it’s. Nevertheless it’s a giant a part of the cruise business and the way these ships are operated.

A few of the crew members on a cruise ship are from very poor nations and spend six months or extra away from their households. Even a bit tip can go a great distance.

I hope you discovered these pointers useful.

Acquired any ideas on tipping on a cruise ship? Tell us within the feedback beneath, even for those who disagree with 100% of what I mentioned. I’m simply glad you got here by.

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