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The Gratuity Lowdown: Top Five Cheapest Cruise Lines For Tipping

The Gratuity Lowdown: Top Five Cheapest Cruise Lines For Tipping

There’s no denying that gratuities are a part of cruising that’s here to stay, whether you choose to tip or not.

Whilst some of us may begrudge certain ways of dealing with gratuities (and the bravest of us may head to guest services to ask for these auto-tips to be removed from our accounts), it’s an undeniably good way to ensure that the hard-working staff are rewarded with extra cash in their pay packet.

Tipping isn’t a natural part of British culture like it is for our American cousins and due to the big difference in tipping prices, Cruise.co.uk have to be here to save any onboard embarrassment with our cheap-gratuity-guide!

5 – Costa Cruises – €10 per person, per day

Costa says that they use this mandatory tipping charge to incentivize their staff members who perform hotel duties, making sure that the quality of service is always top-notch for guests.

These gratuities will automatically be added to your account so unless you have nerves of steel at Guest Services when requesting to remove them, they’re on your bill to stay.

However, at 10 euro per person per night, it’s one of the cheaper automatic service charges on the ocean waves!

costa cruises

Children between the ages of 4 and 14 pay 50% of the adult charge, while under 4’s are free.

There is also a 15% service charge added to drinks, so remember that when you order that extra cocktail, or three. Maybe let someone else get a round in every once in a while…

4 – Cruise & Maritime – £7 per person, per day

For any cruise duration up to 16 nights, gratuities cost just £7 per person per day – nice and simple, just how we like it.

However, choose to sail for that little bit longer with Cruise & Maritime (16+ days) this drops to £6– even better! It may not sound like much of a difference but over the course of those 16 nights, it’s another £16 in your pocket.

For Astor $12.00 per person per night ($10.00 per person per night for cruises of more than 11 nights duration) and for Vasco Da Gama €7 per person per night (this amount reduces to €6 per person per night for cruises of greater than 16 nights duration).

3 – Fred Olsen – £8 per person, per day

The £8 daily tip that Fred Olsen request is split down the middle for your cabin steward and waiter, so, per day, they each receive £4.00.

However, if they’re doing a splendid job and you wish to vary the amount (or, conversely, if they’re not up to scratch), you can alter this value as you see fit.

It’s automatically added to your guest account but we imagine Freds wouldn’t mind too much if you decided you’d prefer to tip the team members personally, instead.

Just contact the trusty Guest Services and stock up on those traditional brown tipping envelopes!

2 – P&O Cruises– Scrapped all together! (Previously £7 per person, per day!)

As a British line, P&O Cruises know full well that, as a nation, we don’t ‘do’ tipping like other parts of the world do – but they also know that we’re far too polite to grumble (and we love to grumble) about a charge that’s less than you’d pay for a beer at the bar.

And they actually announced in August 2018 their decision to cease charging a gratuity fee all together from May 2019 onwards!

P&O Cruises commented, “We take huge pride in giving you a holiday that’s truly memorable and special and our team on board is committed to providing exceptional service during your time with us.” 

 1 – MSC Cruises– Also scrapped all together! 

As of June 2019 MSC Cruises now include the daily service charge as part of the cruise fare!

Antonio Paradiso, MSC‘s Managing Director UK & Ireland, stated: “The decision has been made in order to simplify the booking process and ensure the best possible onboard experience for our guests.” 


That was your official guide to the cheapest gratuities out there! Which is your favourite cruise line out of the five? Are you satisfied with those prices or do you think they should be even lower? Leave us your thoughts and comments…

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