Royal Caribbean Raises Cruise Tipping Guidelines

Posted Dec 9th 2010 10:33 AMUpdated Dec 9th 2010 01:37 PM


Royal Caribbean says it is raising its suggested crew gratuities by nearly $2 per passenger, per day. Since most cruise passengers follow the tipping guidelines, that amounts to an increase $13.30 per person - or $53.20 for a family of four - for a seven-day cruise.

The recommended gratuities cover dining room and housekeeping staff. The change basically amounts to a raise for crew.

Under the new guidelines, which take effect July 1, guests in standard cabins would pay $11.65, up from $9.75; guests in suites would pay $13.90, up from $12.

The cruise line says the increase is its "first gratuities guideline adjustment in 13 years."

"This adjustment is the result of a long period of consideration and assessment that places the cruise line's recommendations in line with its competitors," Royal Caribbean says in a prepared statement.

Top competitor Carnival Cruise Lines suggests gratuities of $10 per person, per day. Other lines recommend as much as $12 per day, plus an extra tip for the butler in top suites.

The gratuities are at the discretion of guests – you can raise them up or down as you see fit.

The majority of passengers pay "at or above" the recommended levels, says Royal Caribbean spokesman Harry Liu. Guests can prepay the tips before the cruise, pay by credit card during the cruise or pay cash at the end of the cruise, he adds.

For those who book Royal Caribbean's My Time Dining open-seating meal plan, gratuities are automatically added to accounts, but passengers have the option of going to guest services on their ship to have the amount changed.

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Albert J. Reine

Larger Cruise Ships, Service has gone down, the quality of food, customer service, the Floor Shows have gone to a new low, more like high School theater shows,, and then their is less, and less quality help. The Crusie Lines have become great with advertising, and now charge way to much for their drinks, and even soft drinks, and coffee. The Crusie lines have become more like the Crusie of Fools, because the Crusie lines have been marketing their Ships and Crusises to people whgo do not know what Real Service WAS ! A Tip should be rewarded for Great Service, not just because your a Waiter, Steward, wine Captain, or hous/Cabin Maide or Steward ! Even the food is no longer a dinning Experience, unless you pay extra for a special eatery dinning place on the ship ! People your Crusine line is no longer your Grand Parents Crusine line, they are all sinking like the Ttitanic, and No longer like the Movies or the Ships of the pass. Even the old love boat Crusine ships have become nothing but floating Ships of passangers and crew that have forgot wat a Real Crusine line was like ! SaD BUT TRUE !

December 27 2010 at 7:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Albert J. Reine's comment
Jeff Kuske

I just think $5 per person per day for room attendants is absurd. We usually hang the do not disturb sign the entire cruise. We re-use our towels and make our own beds. You can slip the itinerary under the door or I can pick it up at the cruise desk. Aren't we paying for the bed and towels? Also, the dining room tipping should be based on the days you are actually there. We don't always eat in the dining room. Some days we eat on shore or have a late lunch in the buffet and skip dinner. The cruise wants to dock us for the full duration of the cruise even if we don't eat. This is gauging.

December 18 2011 at 9:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I bet RCI made corresponding decreases to the salaries of those who get these "gratuities". They aren't fooling anyone. It's all a scam to get customers to pay their salaries direct instead of the cruiseline.

December 13 2010 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We love RCL for its service and friendlymcrew. Ww got fogged in Galveston for three days and went back home to return on a FREE CRUISE AT A LATTER DATE!We have cruised eight times and never regreted going1 we are waiting for a Newship to come to Galveston so we can go cruising again!Bon Voyage!

December 13 2010 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The headline states "tipping guidelines" revised. Tipping is a gratuity and is supposed to be left to the discretion of the traveler, not charged to your on board account! It is up to the traveler to decide how much and if it is deserved, it's not supposed to be mandatory!! Anything to sock it to the client instead of paying a decent wage. Note to corporate headquarters.....if you paid your emplyees a decent salary and gave them decent benefits, they would be happier and perform better and "tipping" wouldn't have to be automatically added to an on board account! Geez get with it....stop making the client responsible for paying YOUR employees!! By the way can the traveler deduct for lousy service??? Didn't think so.

December 10 2010 at 2:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Cruise ships are now hotbeds for bed bugs! To protect myself, I use Greenbug for People as it kills and repels bed bugs. I spray my luggage down before the cruise line takes it (great place to get bed bugs is luggage compartments) and when I get to the room, I inspect and lightly spray Greenbug for People on the linens, beds and any nooks and crannies around the bed. This forms a barrier that bed bugs will not cross. I choose to spray each night before I go to sleep as those bed bugs hide in the darnedest places but my wife thinks that is a little overkill. When they gather the luggage the night before, I again spray my luggage down. On one cruise, the room next door had bed bugs and although we requested to change rooms, "there was no other available" but I had my Greenbug for People and felt okay about it. Sure enough, we didn't have any evidence and brought none home. Get it online at

December 10 2010 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to arterrainc's comment

Yea sure arterrainc.....your either a sales man for these people or the most paranoid on the planet. Everyone and there mother bitches about the littlest thing on cruise ships. IF there was ever a bed bug break out I guarantee you it would have been on the news. Or do you have a conspiracy about that too?

December 10 2010 at 2:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We have been on 15 cruises and all of them with CCL, I do wish the jokes were changed ,,,its the same old jokes every time in the lounge. I know there is new material out there,,,and someone needs to find it,,,so hopefully there will be a few cruise dirrectors out there that will ready this,,( right John H ?)
In general we have always had a good time but I agree with the reader that discussed the photographers,,they are really annoying.
As far as tipping,,I sometimes give more if I have a good cabin steward,but recently that hasnt been the case,,however,,,the wait staff has always gotten more than recomended,
I think cruising is the best value for the money,,,but as in any business, customer service should be of the utmost priority.

December 10 2010 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We haved cruised on RCCL 13 times and always tip well over the suggested amount.These people really work hard,It's about time the guidlines were increased

December 10 2010 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Cruise's suck in general. They have gotten so glitzy I could vomit. On my last cruise ( just a year ago) There were at least 20 photographers begging for business (felt like it was a flea market), the food sucks ( tastes like "old Shoneys" at best) entertainment is worse than a Jr. High performance. Who could sleep with the smell of Disel fuel billowing through the hall way. Getting off and on the ship is such an endeavor its not worth it. Oh and the main reason why I'm writing.. The tipping. We couldn't find someone to help us if there was a fire on the ship! I am usually an excellent tipper but ONLY for excellent service. For me and my family we PREFER a wonderful hotel with plenty of ROOM to roam.

December 10 2010 at 12:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to Alison's comment

Tipping is suppose to be volunteer! Little,by little there going to make in mandatory.Suckers are born everday!

December 10 2010 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
david bayliss

We have cruised over 35 times with all the cruise lines. On our last cruise with carnival we went to a big question and answer time in the show theater
one of the questions was do the cruise lines pay the
ships help ? we sometimes give extra tips.
the answer was yes / it all started with california
work laws. the cruise lines must pay for time worked
plus what ever extra tip the passangers pay for.
it is a fair job for some / more money than they
can make at home countries. Most americans will not
do this hard work for the pay.
david bayliss claremont ca.

December 10 2010 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply