Tipping on a Cruise

If it’s your first time on a cruise, you may be confused about when and who to tip. You may also be wondering how the tipping system works on a cruise ship.


Tips on cruises vary according to the policies of the cruise companies. While it is not mandatory to pay tips on cruises, it has become a tradition for most cruise companies.


This article will show you the average price information for tips, which vary by the cruise line. You will also learn to whom the tips you pay automatically go and the services you need to tip extra.


Stay tuned to clear your questions!

Tipping on a Cruise: What Are Cruise Ship Gratuities?

It is recommended that passengers pay a certain amount for the services of the staff on cruises; this is called a tip. The crew members work hard to ensure that the cruise vacation goes well. All staff, from the kitchen to the cabin crew, provide a friendly service. Thus, it has become a tradition to give a tip as a thank you for crew members’ service.

How Are Cruise Line Gratuities Paid?

In the past, they used to put an envelope in your room on the last day of the cruise. Then, cruise passengers used to put cash in the envelope for the staff serving them. Nowadays, the old methods have left their place for automatic payment.


  • The first alternative is to pay the tips before embarking on the cruise. Tips vary depending on the cruise line you choose. A certain amount is charged per person per day.
  • The second alternative is that the daily tip amount automatically gets to your onboard account. So, you’ll find that the daily tips are credited to your final bill.

Finally, if you want an extra tip, you can give cash to any crew member you want. But don’t feel obligated to tip extra after getting good service because additional tips aren’t necessary. 

How Much Are Cruise Gratuities?

Current average tipping rates range from $15-20 per person daily. So if you’re on a cruise as a couple, you’re expected to tip a maximum of $40 per day.


In the list below, you can see the daily average tip prices per person on different cruise lines.


  • Average $14-14,50 for passengers staying in standard cabins
  • Average $16-16,50 for passengers staying in suites
  • Passengers under the age of two don't pay a tip


  • Average $15,50-16 for passengers staying in standard cabins
  • Average $16-19 for passengers staying in Concierge and AquaClass cabins
  • There is an 18 percent charge for beverages


  • Average $12 for passengers on cruises departing from the US
  • Average €10 for passengers participating in cruises departing from Europe
  • 15 percent charge for beverages
  • 50 percent discounted tips for passengers aged 4-14
  • Passengers under the age of four do not pay a tip


  • Average $11,50 for British class (standard) passengers
  • Average $13,50 for passengers staying in Grills' Suites
  • There is an 18 percent charge for beverages


  • $40,50 for passengers participating in the 3-day cruise
  • $54 for passengers participating in the 4-day cruise
  • $94,50 for passengers participating in the 7-day cruise

Holland America

  • Average $14,50-15,50 for passengers staying in standard cabins
  • Average $16-17 for passengers staying in-suite cabins
  • 15 percent charge for beverages

MSC Cruises

  • Average $12,50-14 for passengers aged 12 and over
  • Average $6,25-7 for passengers aged 2-12
  • Passengers under the age of two don't pay a tip

Norwegian Cruise Line

  • Average $15.50-16 for passengers staying in standard cabins
  • Average $18.50-20 for passengers staying in suites and The Haven
  • Passengers under the age of three do not pay a tip


  • Average $14,50 for passengers staying in standard cabins
  • Average $15,50 for passengers staying in mini-suites
  • Average $16,50 for passengers staying in club class
  • 15 percent charge for beverages

Royal Caribbean

  • Average $14,50 for passengers in junior suites and below
  • Average $ 17,50 for passengers staying in grand suites and above
  • There is an 18 percent charge for beverages.

How Can I Know How Much I Will Be Charged for Tips?

The exact amount of the daily tip is disclosed when booking your cruise. Some cruise lines offer the option to prepay the tip fee along with the cruise fee.


If you have not yet booked your cruise and are stuck between several tours, you can calculate the tip fees from some websites. Enter the cruise lines, the cruise duration, and the number of passengers you plan to travel with, and it will show you the tip you need to pay in full.

Tipping on a Cruise: Who Else Should You Tip on a Cruise Ship?

You may have thought that daily tip payments would cover everyone. But, there are some situations where you have to pay extra tips or are recommended.


As you will see in the list above, you have to tip a certain amount when buying drinks on some cruises. Typically, you tip 18-20 percent of the drink price on the menu. For example, you would pay around $12 for a $10 drink due to the tip automatically being included in the price of the drink.

Specialty Restaurants and Spa

If you choose the specialty restaurant or get the spa service, you may need to tip in addition to the cost. A fee of 18 percent is usually paid for these services. However, it can vary between 15 percent and 20 percent, depending on your preferred travel route.


Another extra tip is given to the shore excursions guide. When you dock at a port, you can tip the guide between $2-5 to take care of you there.

Crew Steward

During your cruise, you will mostly contact the cabin crew. It is recommended that you pay additional tips, especially for the services you additionally request. You can tip $2-3 extra per day. At the end of an average 7-day cruise, you’ll have paid about $15-20.

Room Service Staff

You are expected to tip the staff who brings your order a few dollars when you order in-room service.

There you have it. Generally, your daily tip is for the food and cleaning staff. That’s why you don’t have to leave an extra tip when you leave your cabin or after eating at the restaurant. Extra tips are entirely dependent on your generosity.

Tipping on a Cruise: The Bottom Line

Is it your first time on a cruise? Or were you a little too generous when tipping in previous experiences? Here we have shared information that will eliminate all these problems.


Tipping on a cruise differs according to the policies of cruise companies. Some take the tips prepaid, and others include them in the final bill at the end of the cruise. When and how much tip you pay depends on the cruise. Automatically received tips are shared among the ship’s crew.


So, would you like to give an extra tip to the staff who serve you well? This is where generosity comes into play. 

Enjoy your cruise vacation!


Frequently Asked Questions for Tipping on a Cruise

Are you supposed to tip on a cruise?

Most cruise ships expect each passenger to pay $15-20 daily. Depending on the cabin you stay in or your age, the daily tip amount changes.

What happens if you don't tip on a cruise?

Of course, you don't have to tip. The tips you give do not affect the shipping companies. But you reduce the extra payment shared by staff. In addition, tipping on cruises continues as a tradition rather than an obligation. And it is usually charged in addition to the fee.

How much are you expected to tip on a cruise ship?

For example, the luxury cruise lines of course will have more tipping. You have to tip about $15-20 per day. This amount is taken as an automatic tip. You can also give extra tips to the staff according to the service you receive.

Are gratuities mandatory on cruises?

Cruise lines will not expect you to tip if you are unhappy with the service you receive or complain. So tipping is not mandatory. However, it is recommended that you tip on trips, and it will be collected automatically.

How much should I tip my cabin steward on a cruise?

During the cruise, the most interested personnel are the cabin crew. For this reason, it is recommended to tip $2-3 per day as an extra.

Is it better to prepay gratuity on a cruise?

While some cruise companies charge for the cruise, they also charge tips prepay. In this case, no tips are added to your bill on board, and you do not have to pay at the end of the cruise. If you don't want to deal with payments on your cruise, paying the tips in advance is a good idea.

Do you need to tip at the spa on a cruise?

Generally, you have to pay an 18 percent tip when you get spa services. According to cruise companies, this rate varies between 15 percent and 20 percent. In general, it is reflected directly on your bill. So you don't need to tip extra.

How do you avoid gratuities on a cruise?

If you want to avoid tipping on a cruise, you have to stop by the guest services desk to cancel automatic tips. You should also carry cash with you to give personal tips.

Do you tip bartenders on cruise ships?

You are not expected to tip the bartenders as an extra on cruises. In addition to the drink fees, tips are automatically taken. But you can tip to thank the bartender who takes special care of you.

What should you not buy on a cruise?

I do not recommend taking electronics, medicine, or personal care products from the ship during your cruise. These products are pretty expensive on board as there is no other alternative you can get. Also, alcohol on board will be costly. I recommend bringing it with you or buying liquor at the ports.

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