Cruise NewsRoyal Caribbean Raises Daily Gratuities

Royal Caribbean Raises Daily Gratuities

Royal Caribbean is raising the amount that passengers will be charged each day for gratuities.
royalautismEffective for all cruises departing on or after May 1, 2016, passengers will now be charged the following each day:

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  • Standard staterooms (inside, oceanview, balcony) – $13.50 per day (previously $12.95)
  • Suites – $16.50 per day (previously $15.95)

This 55 cents per day increase ($3.85 per passenger on a 7 night cruise) will not apply to guests who have prepaid gratuities before April 14, 2016.  The automatic gratuities will be charged daily to each passengers SeaPass account and will cover their room steward, servers at all meals, and a few crew members who work behind the scenes.

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Royal Caribbean has the following on their website under “adjusted automatic gratuity amount”: Effective on cruises departing on or after May 1, 2016, Royal Caribbean will automatically add a $13.50 USD gratuity for standard staterooms, $16.50 USD for Suite guests, to each guest’s SeaPass® account on a daily basis. This gratuity replaces our previously recommended gratuity guidelines($12.95 USD standard statrooms, $15.95 USD for Suite guests), and will apply to all guests who did not prepay gratuities before April 14, 2016. The new daily gratuity amount is $0.55 USD more than the previously recommended daily gratuity amount.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise NewsRoyal Caribbean Raises Daily Gratuities


  1. there is a big mafia issue with the gratuities. if it is a gratuity, then it is up to guest discretion whether he is willing to pay or not. but if passenger is charged for the any service aboard the ship and he can’t refuse to pay for it, than that isn’t a gratuity but service charge and passenger should get an invoice. for the passengers the difference doesn’t matter, but for the cruising companies it matters a lot, because the money received as gratuities are not taxable.


    this gratuity money goes in the tip pool, and on the end of the cruise is given to the crew as tax free salary, that is shared by the management proportionally to all tip crew. the share depend of the positions and not necessary represents the individuals efforts and the work. the crew salaries in the hotel area (the tip personnel) in their contracts are usually very small and represent tiny percentage of what they really receive monthly and unfortunately no crew has any clue or control how the sharing is made.
    this subject is really in the dark waters and good luck figuring it out because system is changing very fast and varies between different cruising companies.

  2. I have NEVER stiffed a cabin steward or waiter etc. That being said, mandatory FEES are NOT gratuities. I don’t like it. When I am forced to do something that I used to do freely, I resent it. Guidelines are one thing but these don’t sound like guidelines to me.

  3. Totally understand, gas goes up, milk goes up. Prices will never be like a 25 cent candy bar. I always pre-pay my tips and just tip extra if I feel like a crew member stood out.

    I do not have any problem tipping. A dime in US is a lot to them, majority of these crew members are not US citizens so giving some money for their hard work is no problem. If you cannot afford to tip on cruise, you are probably the type that does not tip well at a restaurant. Cannot afford it then stay home.

  4. The base salary for most room attendants is roughly $500/month. Each room gets two attendants.

    The cost of cruising has become so inexpensive to remain competitive that this is the only way the companies can realistically guarantee income specifically to their crew members that live on commission.

    It’s no better in Food & Beverage. I had a girlfriend who worked in Bar that got paid $630 in a month because the ship was chartered twice, and the charters don’t tip.

    Working on ships can be very tough. I was lucky enough to have worked a salary position, but it’s not common at all for a crew member to be on salary rather than commission.

  5. They don’t work tirelessly for me for 6-9 months! Grateful ? Explain please. Paid my fare don’t need to be grateful. Are you for real?

    • I agree. Their employees know what the job pays when they take it. We should have to have the gratuity taken off. It should not be put on our bill to begin with. I have taken a few cruises and I tip everyone that I come in contact with. I realize that I don’t see a lot of the employees but that is not my fault. I don’t see workers that package frozen foods but I’m not going to mail them a check. It should be total up to the one that is cruising.

  6. Tips are not mandatory, they pay the crews wages instead of the cruise line paying. A real rip off as an add on. Been discussed thousands of times. Tipping is for outstanding service, not all countries around the world tip. Most hotel staff around the world work same hours as ships crews for far less money and don’t get a tip every time they hand over a glass of water like cruise line staff do. If you want to tip, then do if you don’t then don’t, no rules apply.

  7. Hello, Hello, yes I know am being informed about my upcoming Cruise in September.
    Well, no matter what: I love cruising!!”

  8. If you cannot afford 55 cents per day, you have no right to be on a cruise. The crew members work tirelessly for you 6-9 months at a time. Pay it and be grateful!

    • I cruise often to know that the crew can make or break a cruise, I do not mind paying the extra 55 cents a day but I sure wish the cruise lines would start paying the crew better wages, it is like they are bowing to me I am uncomfortable with that.

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