Do You Have To Pay Gratuities On Royal Caribbean Cruises?

Cruising on a Royal Caribbean ship is an amazing experience, with top-notch dining, entertainment, and service. But one question many cruisers have is whether you need to pay gratuities on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Yes, Royal Caribbean automatically adds daily gratuity charges to your onboard account for dining room and stateroom attendants. However, you can adjust these pre-paid gratuities if you wish.

Read on for a detailed look at Royal Caribbean’s gratuity policies.

In this comprehensive 3000-word guide, we’ll provide everything you need to know about paying tips on Royal Caribbean. We’ll cover how gratuities work, daily charges per passenger, options for prepaying gratuities, making changes onboard, suggested additional tipping, and tips on providing great service.

Background on Cruise Gratuities

Gratuities, also known as service charges or tips, are a common practice in the cruise industry. They are additional fees that passengers pay to recognize and reward the hard work of the cruise staff who provide exceptional service throughout the voyage.

While some cruise lines include gratuities in the upfront cost of the cruise, others leave it up to the passengers to decide how much to tip.

Cruise Line Gratuity Policies

When it comes to gratuities on Royal Caribbean cruises, the cruise line has a specific policy in place. They automatically add a daily gratuity charge to each passenger’s onboard account. The amount of this charge varies depending on the cabin category and the length of the cruise.

The gratuity charge is distributed among the stateroom attendants, dining room staff, and other crew members who provide services to guests.

It’s important to note that while Royal Caribbean automatically adds gratuities to your account, you do have the option to adjust or remove them if you feel the need to do so. However, it is generally recommended to keep them in place as they serve as an acknowledgment of the hard work put in by the crew members to make your cruise experience memorable.

Benefits of Prepaying Gratuities

One of the benefits of prepaying gratuities on Royal Caribbean cruises is that it allows you to budget your expenses more effectively. By paying the gratuity charges upfront, you won’t have to worry about setting aside cash for tips during your cruise.

Additionally, prepaying gratuities ensures that the crew members receive their fair share of tips, even if you forget to leave cash gratuities at the end of your cruise.

Another advantage of prepaying gratuities is that it can help streamline the check-out process on the last day of your cruise. With gratuities already taken care of, you can focus on enjoying your final moments onboard without having to worry about settling any outstanding payments.

Daily Charges for Stateroom & Dining Staff

The daily gratuity charge for stateroom and dining staff on Royal Caribbean cruises is typically around $14 to $20 per person, per day. This charge may vary slightly depending on the length of the cruise and the cabin category.

It is important to check with the cruise line or your travel agent for the exact gratuity amount applicable to your specific cruise.

By paying the daily gratuity charge, you are contributing to a pool of funds that are distributed among the stateroom attendants and dining room staff who work tirelessly to ensure your comfort and satisfaction throughout your cruise.

These hardworking crew members play a crucial role in making your cruise experience unforgettable, and tipping them is a way to show your appreciation for their exceptional service.

For more information on Royal Caribbean’s gratuity policies, you can visit their official website here.

Royal Caribbean’s Prepaid Gratuities

When planning a cruise vacation, one important factor to consider is the cost of gratuities. Gratuities, also known as tips, are customary payments given to service staff onboard to show appreciation for their hard work and excellent service.

Royal Caribbean, one of the world’s leading cruise lines, has a policy regarding gratuities that passengers should be aware of.

Prepaid Daily Charges Per Person

On Royal Caribbean cruises, gratuities are automatically added to each passenger’s onboard account as a daily charge. This charge covers the services provided by the stateroom attendant, dining room waiter, assistant waiter, and head waiter.

The amount of the daily charge varies depending on the type of stateroom and the length of the cruise. For example, as of 2021, the daily gratuity charge for a standard stateroom is $14.50 per person, while for a suite, it is $17.50 per person.

Gratuities Added to Onboard Account

It’s important to note that gratuities on Royal Caribbean cruises are automatically added to the passenger’s onboard account. This means that the charges will be applied to the credit card or payment method associated with the account.

This allows passengers to conveniently pay their gratuities without having to worry about carrying cash or settling the bill at the end of the cruise. The prepaid gratuities are distributed among the service staff, ensuring that everyone receives their fair share.

Prepaying Gratuities Before the Cruise

If passengers prefer to prepay their gratuities before the cruise, Royal Caribbean offers this option as well. By prepaying, passengers can have peace of mind knowing that their gratuities are taken care of in advance.

This can be done during the booking process or by contacting Royal Caribbean’s customer service. Prepaying gratuities can be a convenient way to budget for the overall cost of the cruise and avoid any surprises when settling the onboard account.

Customizing Prepaid Gratuities

When booking a Royal Caribbean cruise, one of the considerations passengers often have is whether they have to pay gratuities. Gratuity charges are common in the cruise industry and are intended to compensate the hardworking crew members who provide exceptional service throughout the voyage.

Royal Caribbean offers the option to prepay gratuities, which allows passengers to customize the amount they wish to pay in advance. This gives passengers the flexibility to adjust and manage their expenses while ensuring the crew members are appropriately recognized for their efforts.

Changing Prepaid Amounts Onboard

If passengers choose to prepay gratuities, they have the ability to modify the amounts once onboard the ship. Royal Caribbean understands that circumstances can change, and passengers may wish to increase or decrease the prepaid gratuity amounts based on their experience during the cruise.

Whether it’s exceptional service from a particular crew member or any other reason, passengers can easily adjust the gratuity amounts by visiting the guest services desk. This offers a great level of flexibility for passengers and ensures that crew members are fairly compensated for their hard work.

Opting Out of Prepaid Gratuities

While prepaying gratuities is a common practice on Royal Caribbean cruises, passengers do have the option to opt-out of this service altogether. Some passengers may prefer to personally reward the crew members based on their individual experiences rather than prepaying a set amount.

However, it is important to note that opting out of prepaid gratuities does not exempt passengers from tipping. It is customary to tip the crew members for their exceptional service, and passengers can do so at their discretion throughout the cruise.

Reinstating Prepaid Gratuities

If passengers initially choose to opt-out of prepaid gratuities but later decide to reinstate them, Royal Caribbean allows for this flexibility as well. Passengers can easily reinstate prepaid gratuities during the cruise by visiting the guest services desk.

This ensures that crew members receive the recognition and compensation they deserve for their hard work and dedication throughout the voyage.

It is worth noting that while prepaid gratuities are a convenient option, they are not mandatory on Royal Caribbean cruises. Passengers have the freedom to choose whether they want to prepay gratuities, modify the amounts onboard, opt-out, or reinstate them as they see fit.

However, it is always appreciated to acknowledge the exceptional service provided by the crew members by tipping accordingly.

Additional Tipping Recommendations

While gratuities are automatically added to your onboard account on Royal Caribbean cruises, there may be instances where you would like to provide additional tips for excellent service. Here are some additional tipping recommendations to consider during your cruise:

Extra Tips for Excellent Service

If you have received exceptional service from any crew member, it is always appreciated to show your gratitude by providing an additional tip. Whether it’s your cabin steward who went above and beyond to make your stay comfortable or a bartender who consistently served you with a smile, a little extra thank-you can go a long way.

It’s a great way to show your appreciation and acknowledge their efforts in making your cruise experience memorable.

Gratuities for Specialty Dining & Spa Staff

While gratuities are typically included in the cost of specialty dining and spa services, it is customary to tip these staff members separately. If you have enjoyed a wonderful meal at one of the specialty restaurants or received an excellent spa treatment, consider leaving a gratuity for the server or therapist.

The amount you choose to tip is at your discretion, but a general guideline is around 15-20% of the total cost of the service.

Tips for Cruise Ship Officers & Crew

It’s important to remember that the automatic gratuities added to your onboard account are mainly distributed among the crew members who provide direct services, such as your cabin steward and dining staff.

However, if you would like to acknowledge the hard work of the cruise ship officers and crew members who work behind the scenes to ensure a smooth sailing experience, you can provide them with a tip as well. This can include the ship’s captain, the entertainment staff, or the technical crew.

Again, the amount you choose to tip is discretionary and can vary depending on your level of satisfaction.

Remember, tipping is a personal choice, and while it is customary to show appreciation for exceptional service, it is not mandatory. Royal Caribbean strives to provide excellent service to all guests, and the gratuities included in your fare help to ensure that the crew members are fairly compensated for their hard work.

So whether you choose to provide additional tips or not, rest assured that you will receive excellent service throughout your cruise.

Ensuring Great Service on a Royal Caribbean Cruise

When embarking on a Royal Caribbean cruise, it’s important to ensure that you receive the best possible service throughout your trip. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your cruise experience:

Communicating Special Requests & Needs

To guarantee a smooth sailing experience, it’s crucial to communicate any special requests or needs to the cruise staff. Whether you have dietary restrictions, require special accommodations, or have any other specific requirements, notifying the cruise line in advance will allow them to make the necessary arrangements.

Royal Caribbean has dedicated customer service teams that can assist you with any queries or concerns you may have before your trip. Their website provides detailed information on how to reach out to them.

Onboard, you can also speak directly with the guest services desk to address any concerns or make additional requests during your cruise. The staff on Royal Caribbean cruises are known for their exceptional customer service, and they will do their utmost to accommodate your needs.

Providing Feedback to Management

If you encounter any issues or have suggestions for improvement during your cruise, it’s essential to provide feedback to the management. Royal Caribbean values guest feedback and actively seeks ways to enhance their services.

By sharing your experiences, both positive and negative, you contribute to the ongoing efforts of the cruise line to deliver an outstanding experience for all guests.

You can provide feedback by filling out a comment card available at the guest services desk or by completing an online survey after your cruise. Additionally, Royal Caribbean has a dedicated customer support email [email protected] where you can share your thoughts and experiences.

Your feedback will be reviewed and taken into consideration for future improvements.

Showing Appreciation to Staff

One of the best ways to ensure great service on a Royal Caribbean cruise is by showing appreciation to the hardworking staff. The crew members work tirelessly to ensure that guests have an unforgettable experience. A simple thank you or a kind gesture can go a long way in making their day.

Consider leaving gratuities for the staff members who have provided exceptional service. While not mandatory, gratuities are customary on cruises and are an important source of income for many crew members.

Royal Caribbean provides guidelines on their website regarding recommended gratuity amounts, which can be found at Alternatively, you can also tip individual staff members directly for exceptional service.

Remember, by communicating your needs, providing feedback, and showing appreciation to the staff, you can help ensure great service on your Royal Caribbean cruise. This will not only enhance your own experience but also contribute to the overall satisfaction of fellow passengers.


While prepaying gratuities takes care of most tipping obligations on a Royal Caribbean cruise, cruisers can customize the amounts and provide additional tips for standout service. Following the cruise line’s recommended gratuity guidelines helps ensure dining room servers, stateroom attendants, and behind-the-scenes crew are rewarded for their hard work enhancing your cruise experience.

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