Cruise Line Policies: Tipping / Gratuities

Tip the piano man
Creative Commons License photo credit: bandita

Carnival Cruise Line:  

$10.00 per guest, per day

Automatically charges the gratuities for dining and stateroom staff to your onboard Sail & Sign account. The total amount is as follows:
$3.50 Per Day Stateroom Services             
$5.50 Per Day Dining Room Services        
$1.00 Per Day Alternative Services: distributed to other kitchen and hotel service staff
For Cruises-To-Nowhere, gratuities of $10 per guest, per day must be prepaid.

For beverage purchases, 15 percent of the bill is automatically added to the Sail & Sign charge. Room Service staff may be tipped as service is rendered. Tipping your Maître d’ is at your discretion, based upon the service you receive.
Of course you may contact guest services if you feel that the tip should be reduced.

Celebrity Cruises:

$11.50 per person per day for guests in staterooms (higher for concierge and suites)

Gratuities for your dining and stateroom services will be automatically charged to your onboard Seapass account on a daily basis in the following amounts, which may be adjusted at your discretion.

Waiter $3.65
Assistant Waiter $2.10
Dining Room Management $1.00
Stateroom Service  $3.50
Other Service Personnel $1.25

Beverage Service personnel are acknowledged with a 15% service charge which will be automatically added to the bill.

Disney Cruise Line:

$12 per person per day recommended

Per Guest per Day 
Dining Room Server $4
Dining Room Asst. Server $3
Dining Room Head Server $1
Stateroom Host/Hostess $4
Dining Manager - Your Discretion    
Room Service – Your Discretion    
Palo – Gratuity included    
Vista Spa & Salon - Your Discretion    
Babysitting Gratuity – not expected    
Shore Excursions - Optional; not included in shore excursion price.    

15% gratuity is automatically added to bar, beverage, wine and deck service tabs.  All gratuities can be charged to your room charge.

Holland America:

$11 per person per day

Hotel Service Charge is automatically charged to each guest’s shipboard account. If our service exceeds or fails to meet your expectations, you are free to adjust this amount at the end of the cruise. The Hotel Service Charge is paid to Holland America Line crew members, and represents an important part of their total compensation package.

15% gratuity is automatically added to bar charges and dining room wine purchases

MSC Cruises:

Caribbean and North American Cruises (including spring transatlantic cruises):
$12 day per adult; $6 per day per child under 18

I am almost positive that children 3 and under are free.

Mediterranean and Northern Europe cruises:
- 8 days or less: 7 Euro/day per adult
- more than 8 days: 6 Euro/day per adult including autumn transatlantic cruises
There is no service charge for children under the age of 14, whereas guests between the ages of 14 and 17 will be charged 50% of the above rates.

Their website states that the service charges are fixed, but I know that when we went on the MSC Poesia in November 2009, my father adjusted the gratuity because he was not pleased with the maitre’d (we did not get seated together!).

Norwegian Cruise Line:

$12 per person per day ages 3+

Children under 3 are NOT charged a gratuity!

Tipping is called Onboard Service Charge.  It can be prepaid or paid on your onboard account.

Beverage staff are automatically tipped 15%.  Spa services have an 18% service charge.

You may adjust your service charge amount at your discretion.  Please note that the Kid’s Crew staff is not in the tipping pool!  They will provide an envelope the last day to give the staff a cash tip.

Princess Cruises:

$10.50 per person per day (including children) – $11 for suites and mini-suites

The discretionary Hotel and Dining Charge will be automatically added to your onboard account each day.  The Casino dealers and spa personnel do not share in this charge.

15% is automatically added to bar bills and dining room wine purchases.

Royal Caribbean International:

$11.65 per person per day (as of July 1, 2011) – $13.90 for suites

Waiter: $3.75
Assistant Waiter: $2.15
Head Waiter: $.75
Housekeeping staff: $5.00  (Suite Housekeeping staff: $7.25)

Gratuities are voluntary and at the discretion of each guest.  Envelopes for gratuities will be provided in your stateroom on the last night of the cruise. Gratuities may be paid in the following ways:  Prepaid by having them added to your reservation by your booking agent,  added to your onboard SeaPass account, OR paid in cash at the end of the cruise.

15% is automatically added to bar and wine bills.


Family Cruises from $599pp

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