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Tipping is a fact of life on most cruise lines. Some luxury cruise lines do not permit tipping or include it in the basic cruise fare, but most cruise lines automatically add $10-$12 per person per day to your shipboard account to cover tips for your personal cruise staff (cabin steward, waiters and assistant waiters). In addition to cruise staff tips, a 15% gratuity is added to all alcoholic beverages and sodas.
If you do not want charges applied automatically for your personal cruise staff, notify the purser's desk and they will delete the charges allowing you to tip cruise staff personally. Whether you choose to accept the convenience of automatic tips on your shipboard account or prefer to tip on your own, please do not neglect to tip your personal cruise staff. They typically do not earn a salary. They work long, hard hours to make your cruise special and rely on tips for their livelihood. On most cruises, it is also customary to tip the headwaiter or maitre d', favorite bartenders or cruise musicians a few dollars at the end of the cruise if they have performed special services for you during the cruise.