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Tipping on Cruise Ships

Corporate Tips by Donald Burleson

Tipping on Cruise Ships

Every cruise line has different standards for tipping and many of these are set according to the clientele of the cruisers:

  • No Tipping - Holland America does not encourage tipping, perfect since many of their clientele are European (where tipping is not customary) and old folks on a limited income.

  • Tip Shakedown - Norwegian Cruise Lines had a tipping ceremony designed to embarrass low-tippers whereby the passengers must personally present their server an envelope containing the tip.

  • Suggested tip - Cruise lines such as Celebrity and Carnival have an envelope-based method, but their tip suggestions are very reasonable averaging only $10 per day total ($3-$4/day for the stateroom steward, and $3 per day for the waiter).

Many servants on cruise ships size-up their arriving passengers, and one veteran waitress told us that they shun Europeans because they are notoriously bad tippers (not because they are cheap, but because they assume that the servant staff has an adequate salary, just like in Europe). 

The lady we met said that she was only paid $100 per week and they could not survive without tips.  Our stateroom attendant said that they earned only about $50 per week and also relied on tips for their survival.



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