During the past few years, cruise lines have changed the practice of tipping the crew. Tipping used to a manual process: on the last day of the cruise, passengers would put cash tips in small envelopes and hand them out as thanks for the service they had received. This could be a problem when passengers found they didn’t have enough cash, or the right denominations, or couldn’t find the crew members they wanted to tip, or simply forgot.
Now, most cruise lines automatically add these gratuities to the onboard account you settle at the end of the cruise. The cruise line takes care of distributing tips among the crew. This is easy and convenient for you, and ensures that tips reach members of the crew, like kitchen staff, who provide behind-the-scenes service.
But, what if you would like to make changes to your automatic gratuities, or keep with the traditional practice of presenting cash tips?
· If you think the automatic gratuities are fine but would like to give additional tips to certain crew members, you can simply present those individuals with some cash in an envelope or card.
· If you want your gratuities to remain automatic, but want to increase or decrease the amount, visit the ship’s service desk and ask to adjust your gratuities. If the amount can’t be adjusted, see the next option.
· Ask for automatic gratuities to be removed from your account. This leaves you with the ability to present your own tips, in cash, to the crew members you choose.
If you decide to hand out your own cash tips, remember that it’s traditional to tip the cabin stewards, butlers, waiters, sommeliers and maître d’s who provide service to you. It’s certainly acceptable to tip other members of the crew, such as kids’ club staff or fitness trainers. You may want to give a favorite bartender or masseuse a small tip, but note that gratuities of 15% or so are usually added to onboard bar bills and spa services.
There’s more to know about cruise ship tipping; for example, some luxury lines include gratuities in your fare, so they are paid up front. For more information about the specific tipping practices on your next cruise, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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