Is Cruise tipping really optional? Guests on Oceania get a nudge up in recommended gratuities

ByRick Deutsch

Is Cruise tipping really optional? Guests on Oceania get a nudge up in recommended gratuities

In day of old, when someone provided a service, you paid them and walked away. A fair price for a good job.  Nowadays, the burden of providing a decent salary for the worker is partially thrust upon the consumer. It’s not unusual for a tip to be pre-entered on your dinner bill. Some even give you a printed scale of 15, 20 and 25% with the amounts pre-calculated.

<<One of my pet peeves is lately when the server brings you something and you say “Thank You.”  The new response is not: “You’re welcome,” it’s either “No problem” or “No worries.”  Hey mate, these are Aussie sayings! Have you noticed?  Thank you! But I digress.>>

All this because the employer won’t pay the staff a fair wage for the work they do. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you receive great service from an attentive, caring person, give them a tip to express your thanks for them going above and beyond to serve you.

Tip your cruise ship waiter appropriately

Tip your cruise ship waiter appropriately

The cruise industry is notorious for paying rats-wages to their wait staff and cleaning women. So they provide envelopes and strong arm you to stuff them. Ultra-Luxury lines don’t – they include gratuities in the all-inclusive package.

Now we hear that Oceania, a luxury line, is suggesting passengers pony up more gratuities. Their new guidelines are $16 per person per day for average rooms and $23 a day in the top suites. Now that’s just a buck more than the current amounts, but these will be added to your bill!  You need to squawk to remove it. Of course you’ll feel pretty small at the front desk asking.

How des this compare with other ships?  Celebrity “suggests” $12 per day per person for staterooms and $15.50 for suites. Holland America goes with $11.50 for staterooms and $12 for suites.  OK, if you can afford the cruise, you should be able to tip accordingly. However, a mandatory program stinks. We prefer to give cash to the people who humped their bump doing their “job.”

Keep tuning in daily for our blogs. Let us know what you think. We can help get you on board so you can get a free cruise – but be prepared to tip!


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