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Cruise-tipping is an important and necessary expense of your trip. When determining what your total cruise will cost, do not forget to include this expense.

There are many variables, and different tip recommendations, due to differences among cruise lines.

Carefully read the information on your ship’s policy, and suggestion for tipping.

Most Passengers Follow Cruise-Tipping Guidelines.

Normally, you tip your cabin steward, waiter and bus boy. Usually, the Maître D’ (headwaiter) is optional. You may also receive suggestions for tips to certain other staff members, for example, the Assistant Maître D’.

Some Cruise lines may provide recommendations as to whom and how much to tip. They may also provide you with envelopes to place your tips, usually the last evening of the cruise. You are not required to follow their recommendations.

Note however, leaving cruise-tips in envelopes will probably end for all cruise lines, in the near future. They have begun to automatically add cruise-tips to the package price. Not all travelers believe in tipping. These “non-tipping” practices seem to be especially true for international travelers.

This practice of adding tips to the package price may be in an effort to equalize the pay for their employees. They work and stay on board ship for months at a time.

Your package price may include a set amount for each day of your cruise. Double check with your travel planner about the tipping policies associated with your cruise.

Passengers however do tip extra for exceptional service.

They especially tip their cabin steward extra money for the "around the clock" (24/7) service provided. Remember, your cabin steward will always be available to you. You can order food to your cabin at any time. All food and services are part of your package price. If you wake your cabin steward in the wee hours of the morning, that person would appreciate the extra tip.

Of course, you may not need cabin service at three o'clock in the morning. But, if you're calling your cabin steward for services you may want to show your appreciation by way of an extra tip.

By-the-way, servers may automatically add tips to alcohol tabs as you incur them. If you plan to order drinks, have in mind some dollar amount above which you will not go. Otherwise, you may get surprised by the amount of total tips you have paid.

You will have control of your bar tab. With cruise tips of 15 to 20 percent, your bar tab can increase rapidly. Take care when ordering alcohol from servers.

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