My wife and I recently returned from our first cruise. I must say, our trip was expensive, but well worth it! I haven’t sat down to compute the final bill for our vacation, but I know it is high. In fact, for just under 2 weeks, we spent well over $250 on tips alone!
Yes, $250 is a lot of money, but you have to realize that cruise line employees make most of their money in the form of tips. The best thing you can do is recognize the associated cost and budget for it! Here is more information about tipping cruise line workers.
My wife and I traveled on Celebrity Cruise Line, so I included an example of their recommended tipping schedule, which we followed.
Celebrity Cruise line recommended tips (These tips are per person, per day):
- Waiter – $3.50
- Assistant Waiter – $2.00
- Assistant Maitre D’ – $0.75
- Stateroom Attendant – $3.50
- Assistant Chief Housekeeper – $.050
- Total – $10.25 (per person, per day)
For a 10 day cruise, that equals $205 for 2 people. The total my wife and I paid for tips on our cruise was at least $230. (We tipped extra for a special dinner, and a 15% gratuity is automatically added to all drinks and services, including alcohol, sodas, spa treatments, etc.). Including the cruise, taxis, excursion drivers & tour guides, and other restaurants, I think we spent around $275-300 on tips for our 2 week vacation.
Well-earned money. While I thought the cruise company did everything in their power to extract as much money as possible from their customers (more on that in a later article), every crew member on the ship did everything they could to make our vacation memorable. The service was everything we expected. Because the crew members were such hard workers and pleasant people, I had no problem giving them the money they earned.
Can you save money by tipping less? You can, but I would also recommend against cutting back on tips as a way to save money. Tips represent a large portion of these workers pay, and by scaling back, you are taking money away from individual people, not some faceless corporation.
Travel Hint: When budgeting for your next vacation (especially if you will take a cruise), don’t forget to budget for tips you may incur during your travels – such as tipping bag porters, taxi drivers, waiters, hotel staff, cruise line workers, and tour guides. These tips add up quickly!
photo credit: maxsomma.