If you’re planning a Carnival cruise, you’ll want to know what you can expect concerning tipping. Find out more about Carnival gratuities, including prepaid gratuities, how much to tip, who to tip, and more.
What are Cruise Gratuities?
Cruise gratuities are tips given by passengers to the crew of the cruise ship. Daily gratuity charges range from $11 to $23 per person per night, depending on the cruise line. While we often think of tips as optional, gratuities on a cruise ship are expected. In fact, on most cruise lines, gratuity charges are automatically added to each passenger’s onboard account. Cruise lines with automatic gratuities include Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, MSC Cruises, and Princess Cruises.
The ship’s crew relies on passenger gratuities to supplement otherwise low salaries. Gratuities are shared among a broad pool of crew members, including many that you don’t see, such as room attendants.
Tipping on cruises is hot top among passengers. On one side, some cruisers view gratuity charges as a means of rewarding the hardworking crew for great service. On the other side, some passengers view it as disguising the actual cost of cruise vacations. While this is a valid criticism, automatic gratuities are standard practice on today’s cruise lines. As a result, it’s essential to understand how cruise gratuities work before taking a cruise.
Are gratuities mandatory on Carnival cruises?
Gratuities are automatically added to every guest’s Sail & Sign account unless they were prepaid before sailing. While gratuities are not mandatory, they are expected by the ship’s crew. After embarkation, passengers can adjust their auto gratuity charges up or down at the guest services desk aboard the ship.
Do I have to pay gratuities on Carnival Cruise?
Gratuities are added automatically to your onboard account for every passenger aged 2 and older. Tips are common in the cruise industry, and Carnival is no exception. To adjust or remove the gratuity charges, visit the guest services desk.
Remember that the cruise industry likes to call tips’ gratuities, but there’s no difference; it’s still just a fancy name for a tip.
Can you opt out of gratuities on Carnival cruise?
While gratuities are added automatically to your bill on a Carnival cruise, you can opt-out if you wish to.
How do I opt out of gratuity on a cruise?
To opt-out of paying gratuities on a cruise ship, you will need to visit the guest services desk once onboard the ship. Remember to request that the charges be removed before the end of your cruise because after you have disembarked, gratuities are non-refundable.
What happens if you don’t tip on a cruise?
If you don’t tip on a cruise, you could receive bad service. Poor service is particularly true if you remove the tips long before your disembarkation.
While cruise lines say that the service you receive shouldn’t change if you remove your gratuities, word travels quickly among the crew about non-tippers. As a result, the crew often knows which cabins have removed automatic gratuities.
Cruise line staff receive the majority of their income from gratuities. Without your tips, they receive far less than minimum wage while working long hours. While this might seem unfair to you, the fact is that cruise line staff receive the majority of their income from gratuities. When you choose to opt-out of tipping, you’re essentially decreasing their wages while asking them to provide you with the same level of service as passengers that tip, for free.
Can I change the amount charged?
If you want to change your onboard account’s gratuity amount, talk to a crew member at the guest services desk. You can make adjustments to the gratuity charges to better reflect the onboard service that you received. Any changes must be made before the end of the cruise.
Who Must Pay Gratuities on a Carnival Cruise?
Gratuities are paid by every passenger aged two and older. These tips can be paid before departure as prepaid gratuities. Otherwise, they will be automatically added to your onboard account and paid before the end of the cruise.
How Much Are Carnival Gratuities?
Carnival gratuities are $13.99 per person per day for passengers in a Standard Stateroom and $15.99 per person per day for passengers in a Suite Stateroom. Passengers under two years old are not charged.
Since tipping is expected on Carnival Cruise Line, you’ll need to budget on spending this much per passenger per day. Hopefully, you knew about these daily gratuity charges, but first-time cruisers often find these sneaky fees surprising.
How much are gratuities on a 7-day Carnival cruise
On a seven-day Carnival Cruise, gratuities are $97.93 per person for passengers in a Standard Stateroom and $111.93 per person for Suite Stateroom passengers. Passengers under two years of age do not have to pay gratuities.
What staff is covered by gratuities?
Your cruise gratuities are shared by your cabin attendant, dining room staff, and culinary staff. They cover most, but not all, of the people that take care of you while you’re on your cruise ship.
What staff is not covered by automatic gratuities?
Automatic gratuities do not cover room service staff, porters, bartenders, bar waiters, wine sommeliers, casino dealers, spa staff, and kids’ camp counselors.
Room service staff should be tipped $2 per room service delivery. Bring dollar bills to make tipping them easy.
The porters that load your bags on and off the ship should be tipped $1 to $2 per bag.
Bartenders, bar waiters, wine sommeliers, and spa staff receive tips through the 18% automatic service charge that’s automatically added to your drink or spa services bill.
How do I pay the gratuities?
You can prepay gratuities at the time of booking or any time up to the day of sailing. If you don’t prepay your gratuities, they will be automatically added to your onboard account and paid at the end of the cruise using your saved payment method.
Can I tip more if I want?
Yes, you can tip more if you want to. If you’re going to tip a particular crew member, tip in cash. Otherwise, you can tip more by visiting the guest relations desk to increase your gratuities.
Do you tip waiters on Carnival Cruise?
The tips for waiters on Carnival cruises are included in the automatic gratuities charged to your onboard Sail & Sign account. You do not need to tip any of the dining team separately as that would be double tipping.
Are Carnival bar tips divided?
If your bartender is behind the bar, the 18% service charge on your alcoholic beverage purchases will be split among all of the ship’s bartenders. When a bar waiter serves you instead, the tip goes directly to them. As a result, bar waiters can make more money than bartenders on Carnival cruises since they keep all the tips on bar bills.
Can I adjust the 18% that’s automatically applied to services and drinks?
There is no way to adjust Carnival’s automatic 18% charge on services and drinks. To add an extra tip, bring dollar bills with you.
What Are Carnival Prepaid Gratuities?
Carnival prepaid gratuities are a popular way to pay your gratuities in advance of your cruise. When booking your cruise vacation, you have the option to prepay your gratuities which are tips shared by your cabin attendant, dining room staff, and culinary staff.
What does prepaid gratuities on a cruise mean?
Prepaid gratuities on a cruise mean paying for your gratuities before taking your cruise.
How much are Carnival prepaid gratuities?
Carnival tipping rates are $13.99 per person per day for passengers in a Standard Stateroom and $15.99 per person per day for a Suite Stateroom. Passengers that are under two years old are not charged. Since these gratuities are not optional, you’ll need to budget on spending this much per passenger per day. Hopefully, you knew you would have to pay this but first-time cruisers are often surprised by these additional fees.
Should I prepay cruise gratuities?
Generally, you should not prepay your Carnival gratuities, but there are certain cases where it makes sense.
Is it better to prepay gratuities on Carnival Cruise?
It can be better to prepay gratuities on a Carnival cruise if you want to simplify your life, gift the cruise to a loved one, or pay in a different currency.
Prepaying gratuities when booking simplifies your life since you don’t have to worry about gratuity charges anymore. You can focus on enjoying your time on board the ship rather than worrying about tipping.
Another reason to prepay is if you are gifting the cruise to a loved one and don’t want them to pay for the gratuities themselves. In this case, it makes sense (and is a great gift) to prepay their gratuities.
If you take a cruise where the gratuities are paid in a different currency, such as euros in Europe, prepaying allows you to lock in the exchange rate today. Exchange rates are not constant and can fluctuate quite a bit out of – or in – your favor.
Reasons not to prepay
Prepaying cruise gratuities now means giving Carnival your money today, even though your cruise might be months away. Carnival will be glad to have the money now, but you didn’t receive any services yet. By prepaying, you are essentially loaning Carnival your cash. Spend your money while on the cruise by not prepaying your gratuities and earn some interest in the meantime.
Another reason not to prepay is that we usually give tips to reward good service. There is no connection between the service you receive on board and the gratuity you paid by prepaying. Prepaying gratuities can result in rewarding lousy service.
Do I have to tip if I prepaid gratuities?
Prepaid gratuities cover your room attendant, the main dining room staff, and culinary staff, so you don’t need to tip these crew members if you prepaid gratuities. You will still need to tip the room service staff, porters, bartenders, bar waiters, wine sommeliers, casino dealers, spa staff, salon workers, and kids’ camp counselors.
The bartenders, bar waiters, and wine sommeliers receive tips through the 18% automatic service charge added to drink orders. This service charge applies to spa treatments, salon hair styling, and when having your nails done. You don’t need to tip them anything extra on top of this.
The luggage porters that load your bags on and off the ship are tipped $1 to $2 per bag.
Bring dollar bills to tip the room service staff $2 per room service delivery.
How do you prepay gratuities on Carnival?
You can prepay gratuities for your Carnival cruise at the time of your booking or before the date you sail.
What happens if you don’t prepay gratuities on Carnival?
If you choose not to prepay your gratuities, they are added automatically to your onboard Sail and Sign account. Your onboard account will be paid automatically using your linked credit card at the end of your cruise.
If you want to change the gratuities automatically charged to your Sail and Sign account, you can talk to a crew member at the guest relations desk. You might want to change these amounts to reward a crew member who treated you particularly well or lower the gratuity rate for a crew member who treated you poorly.
Do All Cruise Lines Charge Gratuities?
Most major cruise lines charge gratuities, but there are exceptions. When a cruise line already includes gratuities, you’ll save money by only paying the listed cruise fare while avoiding a ‘hidden’ gratuity charge.
Which cruise lines include gratuities?
Passengers are not charged gratuities on the following cruise lines because they are included in the cruise fare: Azamara, Celestyal, Crystal Cruises, Marella, P&O Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Saga, Seabourn, Silversea, and Virgin Voyages. By booking a cruise vacation with any of these cruise lines, you’ll benefit from an all-inclusive package that includes gratuities at no extra cost.
Which cruise lines charge gratuities?
If you are taking a cruise vacation on the following cruise lines, you will be charged gratuities: Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Viking Ocean Cruises, and Winstar Cruises.
Frequently Asked Questions About Carnival Cruises
People often have specific questions about Carnival Cruises and cruise gratuities. Here are some of the most common questions people ask.
Can you pay gratuities with onboard credit?
Yes, unless they are prepaid, Carnival Cruise’s gratuities are automatically charged to your onboard credit account, called Sail & Sign. Sail & Sign is a cashless onboard credit card available on all of Carnival’s cruise ships. Passengers can charge all their onboard purchases and gratuities directly to a personal account for convenience.
When do you get your Sail and Sign card?
Depending on your ship and departure location, you will either receive your Sail and Sign card at check-in at the cruise ship terminal or in your mailbox at your stateroom.
What can Carnival onboard credit be used for?
Carnival onboard credit can be used for any onboard purchases plus automatic gratuities and service charges.
Can onboard credit be used for excursions?
Yes, Sail & Sign onboard credit can be used for Carnival cruise shore excursions.
What happens to unused onboard credit carnival?
Carnival will return unused onboard credit to the passenger using the same payment method that was used to make the initial deposit into the Sail & Sign account.
What is included in Carnival cruise fare?
Included in every Carnival cruise fare are a stateroom, production shows, entertainment, lounges featuring live music, fitness center, swimming pools, hot tubs, waterslides, youth programs for children aged 2 to 17, breakfast, lunch, brunch, afternoon tea, dinner, late-night dining, 24-hour pizzeria, 24-hour ice cream and frozen yogurt, and certain beverages 24 hours a day.
What is a stateroom on Carnival cruise?
A room on a Carnival cruise ship is called a stateroom which can be thought of as your onboard hotel room. Carnival offers seven different categories of stateroom, ranging from an interior stateroom with no window, oceanview staterooms, and specialty suite staterooms.
What is in a carnival stateroom?
A Carnival stateroom includes one or two beds, comfortable linens, individual climate control, a closet, drawers, a television, bathrobes on request, an in-room safe, and a dedicated room steward.
What is a Cove balcony on Carnival Mardi Gras?
A cove balcony on the Carnival Mardi Gras is a balcony that provides more privacy than a regular balcony while getting you close to the waterline. Since cove balconies are close to the waterline, you will have a great view of the ship’s wake and seafoam. It’s a better ocean view than the regular balcony cabins.
Do Carnival cruise staterooms have refrigerators?
Most, but not all, Carnival cruise ships have mini-bar refrigerators in every stateroom. These mini-bar refrigerators are unstocked and designed to keep beverages cold.
Carnival ships with a mini-bar refrigerator in every stateroom and suite are the: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Celebration, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Dream, Carnival Elation, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Legend, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Magic, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Panorama, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Pride, Carnival Radiance, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Splendor, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Valor, Carnival Vista and Mardi Gras.
Do Carnival staterooms have irons?
No, Carnival staterooms do not have irons for safety reasons. If you need an iron, the self-service laundrettes on every stateroom deck have an iron and ironing board for your use. Passengers are not permitted to bring their own iron on board.
Are there hairdryers on Carnival cruise ships?
Hairdryers are available in every stateroom and suite on the following ships: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Celebration, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Dream, Carnival Elation, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Legend, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Magic, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Panorama, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Pride, Carnival Radiance, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Splendor, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Valor, Carnival Vista and Mardi Gras.
The Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Sensation only have hairdryers in the Grand Suites and Extended Balcony Suites. Passengers in standard staterooms on these ships can request a hairdryer from their room steward.
Passengers can bring their own hairdryers, curling irons, flat irons, and shavers as long as they don’t pose a hazard.
Can you upgrade your stateroom on Carnival?
Subject to availability, you can upgrade your stateroom before the day of departure by calling the guest services team at 1-800-438-6744 or your travel agent. Stateroom upgrades are not available on the day of departure.
Are Carnival cruise cabin doors magnetic?
Yes, Carnival cruise cabin doors are magnetic, which makes placing decorations on them a breeze. If you plan on decorating your cabin door, please review Carnival’s decoration policy as it has changed recently. Door decorations must be made from fire retardant materials and can only be placed on the door itself, not the door frame, walls, or railings.
How wide is a standard carnival stateroom door?
A standard Carnival stateroom door is 22 to 24 inches wide, depending on which ship you are sailing on. Call Carnival cruises before booking for confirmation of the door width on your cruise ship’s standard cabins.
Can I carry my own luggage on Carnival cruise?
Yes, you can carry your own luggage onto your Carnival cruise ship as long as it fits through the security scanning machine. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to drop off your luggage in your stateroom until they are opened, so consider checking larger luggage with a porter.
How much luggage can you take on a Carnival cruise?
You should limit your luggage to one bag per person for 3 to 5 day cruises and two bags per person for cruises longer than 6 days. Each luggage item can weigh up to 50 pounds and bags must not exceed 16 inches high by 24 inches wide. There is no limit to the length of the bag.
Large coolers are not allowed on Carnival cruise ships. You are permitted to bring a small cooler for non-alcohol beverages or medicine that measures no larger than 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches.
You will need to print your luggage tags, provided during online check-in, before arriving at the cruise ship terminal. If you forgot to print your bag tags or don’t have access to a printer, you can request bag tags from your luggage porter.
Checked baggage service closes two hours before your ship’s departure time, so plan on arriving early. If you arrive less than two hours before departure, you will need to carry on all of your luggage yourself.
How many pools on Carnival Mardi Gras?
The Carnival Mardi Gras has five swimming pools plus five outdoor jacuzzis.
Are there dentists on carnival cruise ships?
No, there are no dentists on Carnival cruise ships because dental problems rarely result in an emergency. In case of a serious dental problem, visit the ship’s doctor at the onboard medical clinic and seek dental treatment at the next port of call.
Are drones allowed on Carnival cruise ships?
Camera drones are allowed on Carnival cruise ships but can only be used on land and never onboard the boat. When using the drone on land at a port of call, ensure that you follow all local drone laws.
Remember that onboard misuse of a drone will result in its confiscation so ensure you use your drone responsibly by only taking it out once on land.
Does Carnival Cruise Line require covid vaccine?
Yes, Carnival Cruise Line requires proof of covid vaccination for all passengers aged 12 and over. Passengers must be fully vaccinated, with the final vaccination having occurred at least 14 days before sailing. In addition to showing proof of covid vaccination, all passengers must present a negative covid test result (PCR or antigen) taken within three days of embarkation.
Vaccine exemptions for cruises to the Caribbean will only be accepted for children under 12 and those with a letter from a medical provider stating that the passenger cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons. Keep in mind that vaccine exemptions are not guaranteed and are based on the total number of vaccinated passengers onboard a ship.
When the FDA approves covid vaccinations for those under the age of 12, you should anticipate that Carnival will update their vaccine requirements accordingly.
How much do Carnival cruise housekeepers make?
Carnival cruise housekeepers, called cabin attendants, make between $650 and $1150 per month. These amounts do not include tips, which is why the housekeeping staff rely on gratuities to supplement their income.