Tipping Questions



Hi There!

I've been reading up on cruising, in anticipation of my upcoming, first cruise. and have a few questions about this tipping thing and how it is different on the "free style" cruising. thank you for any and all insight...

let me just say that i was a waitress for 8 years so I am a good tipper...lol

I just want to understand. I read "somewhere" the 'suggested' tipping amounts are busboy: $2/pppd, waiter: $3.50 pppd, Room Steward: $3.50 pppd, and maitre d: $1.50 pppd.

Now, with freestyle cruising I wouldn't imagine you'd have the same waiter and busboy every day...so how does that tipping work? Do you tip them after every meal instead? (hardly convenient) And what about a Maitre D'? Do you even have a maitre d' with freestyle?

And how about room service? How does the tipping work for that? Is it your room steward who brings it to you so you can just take into account your room service utilization when tipping him/her a the end of the week? Or does this standard include your using room service? Which is what I'm assuming. Because when you add it up - $49 does seem like a rather large tip for cleaning the room for a week. After a week in a hotel, a $20 is usually a sufficient tip, no?

and what about the bar tenders?? Do they really just add 15% percent onto the cost of every drink? I'd so much rather tip my bartender cash, in person. (but maybe this rule is so they don't treat us good-tippers, better? as they do in resorts?) Just seems weird, especially since we'd just charge the drinks to our room...meaning that right bartender may not get the right tip when it all flushes out at the end of the week.

As you can see i'm just a bit confused about all this - and want to make sure the right people are getting tipped the right amount!



The tipping is added to your sign and sail card (credit card), the tips add up to $70.00 per person. Room service is extra, 1-2 dollars per service is about average. I have tried to tip the bartender extra but they just put the tip in a cup for all to share anyway.
Sometimes I wait for the last day on the cruise to tip for some great service. I bring along some plain envelopes and hand the tip to the waiter or room attendant.


We tipped the bartender extra on NCL. She asked for our names, remembered them & gave us fantastic service for the whole cruise.

You do not have to tip the waiter at every meal. They all share the automatic tips from everybody at the end.

Just like on land, tipping matre'd's can make tables "magically" appear. Todd always had a big smile for us even though our group was always difficult to seat.


Hi, As the others said, they charge each person $10 per day and this is divided among all the staff. Any other tipping is up to you. When we cruised NCL in March of this year, we gave additional tips to some staff who were just above and beyond. So you should just use your own judgement, keeping in mind about the automatic amount being charged to your account already. Have a great time!