The services you receive on a cruise ship or during an all-inclusive resort vacation are very relaxing, so much so that you might not be prepared for the bill you get at the end of the week tallying up the daily gratuities, or tips, you need to pay.
The structures in place for tipping at resorts and cruise tipping are often much different from those at non-resort hotels and restaurants, leaving some travelers with several hundred extra dollars added to their credit card bills at the end of the vacation. However, with a bit of research, you can figure out what to expect on your next vacation.
Holiday Tipping Guide: Cruise Tipping
When you book a cruise, the cost of gratuities often isn’t included in your price quote. On many cruise lines, $10 to $15 per day, per person, is added to your bill automatically for gratuities.
On other cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean, tipping is left up to the discretion of the guests. Such cruise lines may issue their tipping “guidelines” to guests, quoting suggested daily tip amounts for waiters, porters and other workers. Be aware, however, that gratuities may be automatically added to your bar or wine bill or to certain dining plans.
Be sure to read the fine print on your cruise contract or ask your travel agent to explain the cruise tipping practices for the cruise line you’re booking.
Holiday Tipping Guide: Tipping at Resorts
Policies for tipping at resorts differ from property to property, so it’s important to do your homework before you book your vacation. Some all-inclusive resorts include the cost of gratuities in your bill upfront, with no surprises when you pay your bill at the end of your vacation.
At other resorts, tipping is left up to the guests’ discretion. In such cases, you may add the tips to your bill at the end of the week or pay them in cash as you go. If you choose to pay your gratuities daily, be sure to keep small bills on hand for this purpose.
Some resorts follow the mandatory tipping structure used by some cruise lines. Be sure to know what is expected at the resort where you’ll be staying before you go.