Are you going on a cruise? You might find this helpful…
When you’re at all an inclusive resort, you know that you can pretty much, put your wallet in the safe and leave it there. You also know that, for the most part, you won’t have a bill at the end of your vacation. While cruises are making strides in options to become more “inclusive”, tipping is still expected on cruise ships. Many of the cruise lines will automatically charge your credit card on file around $12 per person per day for gratuities. This on board gratuity includes tips for your hard working waiters, bus boys, cabin steward and Maitre d, but there will be a few others that might expect tips:
Porters – just like skycaps at the airports, will expect to be tipped. Generally, a couple of dollars per bag will do so take some small bills with you.
Room service– Service charges added for middle of the night room service deliveries are not for the delivery person and while tipping is NOT required, it is always a good idea to give the room service delivery person a dollar or 2. This may also ensure that you’ll get even faster delivery next time.
Spa- So you’ve booked your massage and you aren’t sure what to do in terms of tipping. Check the receipt as you leave the spa. If it lists a gratuity or tip (and many will) you don’t need to give extra, unless your therapist was fabulous. If it doesn’t list the tip, you can add it to the bill or pay the therapist in cash. 15-20 % is typical but again- at your discretion.
Tour guides– If you’ve booked a shore excursion, either through the cruise or separately, the tour guide is not a cruise employee. If you felt that they did a good job, $5 per person is probably adequate for a group excursion, more if it’s private. .
Shuttle driver– if you are taking a transfer to and from the airport, a couple of dollars is fine for the shuttle driver, if he helps with the luggage.
Tipping is always discretionary and Americans are known to tip more generously than Europeans but if you feel that you have received good service, tips are always welcome on a cruise. It’s always a good idea to travel with about 20 singles for tips.
Once you begin cruising, you may find that you’re hooked on it. Cruising is a wonderful way to travel. My Vacation Lady can help you plan the right cruise for you based on your dreams and budget.