Figuring out which of your cruise staff to give gratuities and how much you should give can be a conundrum.

But cruise lines have removed the guess work and applying crew appreciation amounts to your stateroom account.

Costs vary depending on the stateroom category. Also, tipping fees – averaging US$15-$20 – are generally paid per guest, per day. In addition, most cruise lines also add a standard gratuity percentage rate to specialty dining, bar, beverages, salon and spa purchases – sometimes as much as 18 per cent. 

Waitstaff serving cruise ship guest.
Princess Cruises staff serve guests with a smile and appreciate tips in return.

Here’s an overview of current tipping policies by cruise lines. All figures are in US$:

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises calls it “Crew Appreciation” referring to the daily amount automatically added to guests’ onboard accounts. The standard gratuity rate for Interior, Oceanview, and Balcony categories is $16. On the other hand, $17 is charged for guests booked in Mini-Suite and Club Class. Moreover, the Suite category is at $18. 

Also, a non-refundable service charge of 17%-18% of purchases is charged to several optional purchases. So, for Specialty Dining and Specialty Food Items, the charge is 17%. Meanwhile, drink packages, drinks, corkage fees, private group functions and spa services are charged at 18%. 

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean International has started charging passengers $18 per guest, per day for non-suite staterooms, up from $16. Passengers in suites will pay $20.50, increasing from $18.50. In addition, an 18% gratuity is automatically added to all beverages, mini bar items, and spa and salon purchases. 

The gratuity policy in Royal Caribbean applies to all individual passengers regardless of age and stateroom categories. 

Celebrity Cruises

Service gratuity for Celebrity Cruises is automatically applied to each passenger’s SeaPass account. For guests booked in Inside, Ocean View, and Veranda staterooms, an $18 rate per guest, per day is applied. Additionally, for passengers in the Concierge Class and AquaClass staterooms, an 18.50 rate is charged. Meanwhile, a $23 rate per guest, per day is charge to guests booked in The Retreat. 

Also, there’s an 18% gratuity added automatically to spa and salon purchases and a 20% gratuity is added to specialty dining, beverage, beverage package, room service, and mini-bar purchases.

Costa Cruises

Costa Cruises charges 10 to 11 Euros per passenger, per day. This rate applies to guests 15 years old and above. On the other hand, guests aged 4-14 years old are charged half of the adult gratuity rate. 

Additionally, a 15% gratuity is added to beverage purchases onboard. 

Cunard Line

Cunard Line gratuities apply to all guests and differ according to accommodation. For guests in Britannia staterooms, the charge is $14.50 per passenger, per day. In addition, a $16.50 service charge applies to passengers in Grill Suites. 

The ship also adds a 15% gratuity to bar and wine bills. 

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line doesn’t have an automatic gratuity charge but recommends $14.50 per person, per day for guests staying in most cabins. Also, Disney suggests a $15.50 gratuity amount per day, per person for guests staying in Concierge Staterooms and Suites. 

In addition, an 18% gratuity is automatically added to bar, wine, deck service tabs, beverage, and spa services. 

Holland America Line

Holland America Line applies an “appreciation charge” of $16 per guest, per day for non-Suite passengers and $17.50 per guest, per day for Suite guests. 

Moreover, an 18% gratuity is automatically applied to beverage purchases, specialty dining, bar retail items and Salon & Spa services. 

MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises has an automatic gratuity of $13 to $14. For cruises to and from the US, a gratuity charge of $14.50 is applied, except for voyages with euro pricing. On the other hand, kids aged between two and 11 years old are charged half the adult rate. Moreover, gratuities do not apply for children younger than two years old. 

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line charges $20 to $25 per passenger, per day. Guests who stay at the Club Balcony and below are charged $20 while The Haven and Suites guests are charged at $25. 

In addition, a 20% gratuity is also added to bars, specialty dining, and spa bills. This cruise line’s gratuity only applies to guests three years old or older. 

P&O Cruises Australia

P&O Cruises Australia does not have an automatic service charge. Guests may give tips to crew members who give them satisfactory service.

Carnival Cruise Line

Passengers in standard Staterooms on Carnival Cruise Line are charged $16 per person, per day in gratuities. On the other hand, guests in Suite Staterooms pay an $18 per passenger, per day rate. 

Additionally, an 18% service charge is added to beverage purchases, and cover charges for the Chef’s Table and Bonsai Teppanyaki restaurants. Moreover, children under two years old are exempted from gratuity charges. 

Viking Cruises

In Viking Cruises, guests are charged a $17 gratuity fee regardless of accommodation. An additional 15% service charge is added to bar bills. 


There’s no automatic gratuity charge in Azamara as gratuities are already included in the fare. However, an 18% gratuity is added for spa bills onboard. 

On adjusting gratuities

Most cruise lines allow passengers to adjust the amount of the daily gratuity depending on the guest’s satisfaction with the services rendered by the crew. Additionally, for guests considering reducing the gratuity rates due to service dissatisfaction, concerns must be raised early to give cruise lines ample time to address the complaints. 

On tipless cruise lines

Some cruise lines do not have automatic gratuity charges to passenger’s onboard accounts as service charges are already included in the guest’s fare. Cruise lines such as Azamara, Seabourn, Silversea, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Crystal, P&O Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, and Ponant are doing this. 

Additionally, it should be noted that each cruise line does not prohibit passengers from giving tips to crew members who provide outstanding services.