Cruise Ship Tipping: Is It Their Way Or The Highway?

September 9, 2016

Cruise ship tipping is always one to divide passengers like the red sea. Whether you are a customer who thinks gratuities are fair and a great way to reward hard working staff, or whether you are someone who thinks gratuities should be optional and removes them at the end of your cruise, we can all agree it’s a divisive topic!

With that in mind, we started to wonder whether this issue will ever be solved.

Some cruise lines have addressed people removing grats by including them in the price of your cruise. For example, Thomson, Azamara and Crystal cruises all include these charges in the cruise fare.

Other lines have combatted guests removing them by making guests pre-pay grats before they get on-board, and make it very difficult to get them taken off once you’re on the ship.


So the big question is, do you pay your grats?

Yes, I do


No, I don't


But whether or not you pay them, the next question is – are grats the right way to reward staff? We all know that in the old days guests would leave envelopes in cabins for the staff to take. Did you think that this was a better way to do things? The argument here is that you are served by lots of people below decks and they miss out when tipping works this way.

Our specialist cruise consultant Jane told us: “The reality of it is, the staff really do rely on the tips and gratuities. Most mainstream cruise lines pay the men and women who serve their passengers a low base wage, so tips do make up for the lack of pay.” You can read more from Jane here. But should guests really be guilt tripped into tipping?


So our next question is – would you like to see a change to the way tipping works?

Yes - I'd like to see the tipping system change


No - I like the tipping system how it is


Want to find out more about gratuities? You can read our guide to grats here or find out which are the five cheapest cruise lines for grats here!

As always, we want to hear your views! Which cruise lines do you think have the fairest tipping policies? Do you resent paying your tips? Are guests who remove gratuities in the right? Let us know in the comments below…