Going on vacation means tipping. That’s a good thing because you will be rewarding for good service and can receive more of that service in kind. What about tipping on a cruise ship? You will certainly encounter a lot of crewmembers who will be assisting you in dozens of ways from bartenders to blackjack dealers. Keep in mind that personnel on a cruise depend on a good portion of their income on tips. Be sure to pay attention to your receipts especially at any of the alternate dining venues. Often they will include the gratuity as part of the final charge. You can tip more if you felt the service was truly exceptional. The automatic tip is there to protect the crew from oversea travelers who don’t embrace the concept of tipping. Do you want to show your appreciation? Here are some tips for cruise tipping to keep you on track.

The Best Approach to Tipping

A cruise will have automatic service charges that you can prepay when you book. These are backed by your credit card much in the same way that you would be charged for incidentals at a hotel. This tip goes into a general pool that is shared by all the applicable service folks at the end of the trip. These automatic tips are totally voluntary. You can also make any adjustments up or down before the end of the cruise. It will all be part of your final bill.

You might feel like you don’t want to tip people you won’t come in contact with. If you prefer to opt-out, you can. That means tipping the old-fashioned way with cash in hand. You can also bring envelopes with you and disburse your tips that way.

When You Should Tip

The last day of the cruise is a good time to hand out your tips. You don’t want to wait until the morning when you’re disembarking because everyone will already be busy. You might not even be able to find the person you want to tip.

Pre-tipping is also a good idea because it lets the important crewmember know that you’re hoping for a little extra attention. You can tip your assigned steward upon meeting them. This will insure that they’re looking out for you. If you get room service or have baggage handled, then those folks should be tipped right on the spot.