Tipping etiquette on a cruise

One of the great things about taking a cruise is that they are often all-inclusive and once you step foot on the ship, you don’t have to worry about spending extra money. Sleeping accommodation, entertainment, food and even some drinks are all taken care off. But do you still have to tip? Here is a guide on the rules about tipping while onboard a cruise ship.

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Simply put, tipping depends on the cruise line you are taking your trip with. There is no standard rule regarding tipping so it is very important to read the cruise line's tipping policy. Most lines add an automatic 15% bar and spa gratuity if these services are used. Some label tipping as a 'service charge' and others a 'gratuity', but they mean the same thing.

Celebrity has a recommended gratuity of £7.40 per day per person. This though varies depending on what class you are travelling in. Those staying in a suite are recommended to leave £9.70 per day. This may not seem like a lot, but over the course of a 14 day cruise, this adds up quickly to over £135.

In 2013, Caribbean Cruises implemented similar prices with an automatic £7.81 per person per day for lower cabin categories and £9.27 for those availing of suites. This amount covers tips for dining service staff, housekeeping staff and staff providing other services. You can choose to pay the tip total beforehand or pay in cash at the end of your cruise.

Norwegian Cruise Line have also started daily service charges where guests staying in any room up to the mini suite stateroom are charged £8.42 per guest per day and £9.72 for suite guests. Staff are able to accept cash gratuities as well if you feel that they need extra recognition. The recommended bar gratuity is 15% and spa treatments approximately 18% while on your cruise.

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