Tipping is recommended on almost all cruise ships, with your gratuities serving as a ‘thank you’ for the service you have received throughout your holiday. 100% of gratuities are distributed to the crew members who have personally served you in the restaurants and bars, and also to your cabin stewards or butler.
Most cruise lines will allocate a set amount per person, per day to the on board account of each passenger, with the amount varying depending on cruise line and cabin grade. You do have the option to increase or decrease the amount added to your account when on board, though you will need to speak to the ship’s purser or reception if you wish to have it removed completely. Luxury cruise lines, including Regent Seven Seas and Silversea, often include gratuities in the cruise fare.
Some cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, offer guests the opportunity to pre-pay gratuities up front at the time of booking. Paying your gratuities in advance allows you to pay the amount in Pounds Sterling rather than US Dollars, often resulting in a lower rate and avoiding fluctuating exchange rates on board.
Most cruise lines also provide envelopes in staterooms for passengers wishing to tip certain members of staff personally at the end of a cruise.