Do not forget to add tips into the cost of your vacation or into your cruise budget. The overall cost of your vacation should include the base price of your vacation, extras, and tips.
Tipping Suggestions For Your Cruise Vacation:
I have created this suggestion guide to give you a basic idea about which crew members you should tip and for how much you should tip based on the level of service you feel you have received. Please note, the way this set up is the better service you receive from a crew member will earn him or her a higher tip. In some areas you may want to tip higher for exceptional and great service, but in others you may want to lower tips because you feel the crew member did not to their job well.
I. Baggage Handlers
These are people who take your luggage at the cruise terminal and bring it to be loaded onto the ship. Baggage handlers are often not employees of the cruise line or of the cruise terminal. In some places they rely solely on tips to make their money.
I recommend tipping these people based on the number and size of the suitcases/bags you give them:
Small Bag: $3 Suitcase: $5 Important Baggage or Medical Equipment Bags: $6 - $10
Note: Baggage handlers are usually never included in a cruise line's auto gratuity. If you choose to use your cruise line's auto gratuity, you should still tip baggage handlers separately because they are probably not included. I recommend giving your baggage handler cash before he or she takes your luggage away.
II. Stateroom Stewards & Stewardess
These are the people who clean your room during your cruise vacation. On many cruise ships tips are supposed to be shared between head & assistant stewards. I recommend on deciding a total amount you want to tip your steward or stewardess team for the entire cruise vacation and then splitting that total amount to include something for all members of the team. Be careful not to leave a stateroom steward or assistant out that cleaned your room.
High Level of Service (Above & Beyond) - $4.50 - $6.00 per person per day
Excellent Service (Performed Duties Well) - $4.25 - 4.50 per person per day
Average Level of Service - $3.75 - $4.25 per person per day
Poor Service - $3.25 - $3.75 per person per day
Awful Poor Service - Consider Removing Tip or Giving Little
III. Dining Room Team
These are the people that serve you in the main dining room. On some cruise ships you are assigned to a specific table with specific servers, but on other cruise ships you have flexible options that don't give you the same service staff each night. If you do not think you will have the same service staff each night, leave auto-gratuity on. Most cruise lines will give you the option to increase (or decrease) the auto-gratuity for certain staff, teams, or departments.
Above & Beyond Exceptional Service - $7.50 - 9.00 per person per day
Excellent Service (Performed Duties Well) - $6.00 - 7.50 per person per day
Average Service, But Still Good - $5.00 - 6.00 per person per day
Poor Service - $3.50 - $5.00 per person per day
Terrible Poor Service - Consider Removing Tip or Giving Little
On some cruise ships you may have an option to eat at a specialty restaurant. Don't forget to leave a tip for these crew members too!
IV. Shore Excursions and In Port
Tour Bus Driver - $5 - $10
Tour Guide - $5 - $10
If the tour bus driver is also your tour guide I would give $10 - $15, assuming this person have you a safe quality tour. Sometimes shore excursions require tipping, but if not the amount you tip is up to you.
V. Other People To Consider Tipping
These people are sometimes included in auto-gratuities and work hard during cruises. Consider giving these people a tip to show your appreciation for their hard work:
Dining Room Maitre D' - $5 - $8
Entertainment Staff Member - $2-$5
Kitchen Staff - $3-$4 per cruise
Bar Staff - 15-25% off bar tab (note: this is sometimes included in price with some cruise lines)
Laundry - $1-$3 per bag of laundry
Any Crew Member (Not Already Mentioned) Who Provided You With Excellent Service - Your Choice ($ 2 - 10)
SPA Treatment Crew Member - $4 - $7, depending on service and quality of treatment
Room Service - $2-$8 depending on size of order. For small orders give less and for larger orders give more.
Some services require tipping and other crew positions may require tipping. If a position was left off this blog post that does not mean that you should not tip the crew member. Use this Tipping page as a general reference only. Tipping will vary by cruise line, ship, and the individual service. If you plan on tipping crew members individually, do not leave tips on tables or counters. Hand your tip to that crew member in an envelope if possible. Tips that are left out could be stolen by a guest or another crew member.
If you feel more comfortable leaving the auto-tips on, don't worry about any of the information on this page! The cruise line will take care of the dividing out of the tips!!