Home TIPS Senior Sailor: Tips For Tipping On Cruises
Senior Sailor: Tips For Tipping On Cruises PDF Print E-mail

While cruising is usually a fun, trouble-free vacation, many people who book their first sailing are confused or intimidated by the tipping system. It can be simplified by understanding what is expected and what voluntary choices you have.

1. Ask your hometown or online travel agent about current tipping practices and amounts you’ll need on the cruise line you’ll be sailing. Add that amount to your budget, so you’ll know how much tipping will cost beyond other expenses.

2. Tipping begins at the dock. If you arrive in a taxi, tip the driver extra if you get help with bags. For pre-boarding help and when you depart at the end of the cruise, tip helpers $1 or $2 for each bag.  3. When you check aboard, stop at the purser’s desk and ask for a copy of the ship’s tipping practices. You may be given envelopes and with printed job titles of each person to be tipped.

4. Generally, you’ll be expected to tip your room steward $5 for each day aboard, $5 for your regular dining room waiter, $3 per day for your bus boy. and $3 for the dining room maitre d’.

5. Liquor and sodas are extra when you roam around the ship. Tips of $1 per drink are expected for services at bars, theater, casino, spa and poolside.For individual spa treatments, considers 20% tips.

6. For excursions at ports, you’ll be expected to tip up to 20% for taxi drivers, tour bus drivers and on-bus escorts. If your shore excursion includes activities such as snorkeling, sailing and other activities, the same tip expectations apply guides and one-on-one instructors.

Originally tip initials indicated To Insure Personal Service. Remember that tips are always voluntary. However, on cruise ships, those providing services depend on tips as an important part of their income. Incentive to earn tips usually makes your cruise experience pleasant and convenient. When that happens, feel free to tip accordingly, or if you choose, generously.

Stay in-the-know about the latest Sports, Life, Money, Tech, and Travel stories. You'll get your first 2 months of USA TODAY for $25 (charged monthly). All print subscribers receive the e-Newspaper included with their subscription.