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Gratuities, how do they work on cruises?

The amount varies by the cruise line and can sometimes even vary based on the length of your cruise or the type of room that you have. Luckily, when booking with a Vacation Specialist like me, you have someone to explain the gratuities for your specific vacation.

How much are gratuities?

  • On contemporary cruise lines (like Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean) gratuities range from $12 – $15.50 per day/person.
  • On premium cruise lines (like Princess and Celebrity) gratuities range from $11.50 – $22.00 per day/person.
  • On luxury cruise lines (like Silversea and Crystal) gratuities range from included in the price of the cruise to $13.50 per day/person.

When are gratuities paid?

  • There are several promotions that are run throughout the year by different cruise lines that offer to pay your gratuities. In this case you don’t have to worry about them!
  • You can pre-pay your gratuities through me, your Travel Specialist. This is a great way to get the gratuities paid prior to traveling so that you don’t have to worry about it.
  • If you have On Board Credit that is eligible to pay On Board Credit, you can reserve it until the end of the trip and have it used to pay your gratuities.
  • You can wait until the end of the trip, and the gratuities will be added to your room bill. You will then pay them with your credit card on file when you reconcile your bill.

Do I have to pay gratuities? What if I don’t feel I received good service ?
The short answer is no. If you have a subpar experience with an individual on board, I would recommend addressing the issue with the head of the staff for that specific person (i.e. head of the wait staff). The representatives at the main desk will be happy to assist with this. On the flip side if you have someone that really makes your experience amazing, feel free to add tip for them personally in cash. If you have a sub-standard experience, the best thing you can do is you can address it with the cruise line personell in charge of that employee while on the ship so the matter can be corrected immediately and you can resume relaxing and enjoying your vacation.  The gratuities that you pay are being split between your wait staff at all of the restaurants you go to (including all of your bartenders) and your cabin steward or stewardess as well. When you actually think about have many people it is divided by, even $22 dollars per person/day is a bargain.

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