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I think the bigger cruise companies make a standard charge per day per person and add it to you on board bill at the end of the cruise. Amounts seem to vary, but thay are shown in the brochure.
What cruise line are you on? Some lines say no tipping as it is included [the high-end ones], some automatically add around $10pppd to your room account - and others leave a letter 'suggesting' the expected ammount. Personally I think you can't go wrong with the $10pppd guide.
Why is this question always coming up in the UK. ....Look at the brochure or your sailing information booklet when it arrives. Those companies who do not expect you to tip (or pay gratuities) will say so. Some companies will add the tips into your booking cost and they will say so or again the brochure will give the amount they hope you will give to various and named members of the crew. It's all so simple but we seem to have a lot of wobblies thrown about it. I hope this doesn't sound too patronising.....Neil Dow.
The cruise line I use add about 6 euros per day or $10 depending on where they are sailing, to your account. They give you the option to change this to whatever amount you want and then it gets split up as they decide. They also give you the option to have it removed from your bill, which is what I usually do ,,, and before you start accusing me of being a stingy Scot.... I do this so as I can tip the staff who have actually served me and most impressed me and oftem I tip far more than the recommended amount. I am aware of how little some of the crew earn yet their attitude and service can often put those working in the service industry, earning much more to sham.
On our cruise there was a standard tipping of $10 per person per day, that was to cover everything except the bar staff and the use of the spa and health activities. But at the end of our cruise we gave our steward a $50 tip for all of his help.
If you sail P&O the suggested daily amount is given in a booklet in your cabi.
We found that on the American Owned cruise lines you are constantly nagged about tips. They give suggestions on the amounts and who you should tip. We prefered our cruises some years ago when tips were never mentioned but if you were pleased with your services you could make your own mind up on how much to give. Unless you give what they say these days you are made to feel guilty. Perhaps if they paid their staff proper wages they would not have to rely so much on their tips.I do not agree with these amounts being stopped on your account we should be given a choice.