The subject of paying gratuities has always been controversial. While the majority of vacationers believe tipping is important, many divide around the method of paying them. When it comes to paying gratuities, you can either prepay, automatic pay, or self pay. Let’s look at each of these options. This article is geared towards cruise and resort vacation stays. But I will address a few other types of tips further on, like tipping porters so read on.

Paying Gratuities – What Works Best For You

For the sake of explanation we’re going to use cruising as the example here. At this point, just about all cruise lines will give you the option to either prepay your gratuities when you pay for your cruise, or to defer them until you board, where they will be automatically added to your account unless you co and spend time at the client services desk and ask for them to be removed. That’s pretty much the standard,

Prepaid Gratuities

Prepaying the gratuities when you pay for your cruise gets one more expense out of the way and allows you to relax and enjoy knowing that you won’t have to face that bill later on. Many people do this, and elect to give a bit of extra cash for service that is above and beyond. This is personally my favorite option.

Automatic Pay – Daily Tipping

Automatic pay is basically accumulating your gratuities each day that you sail, per person on your voyage. If you are someone who loves to have a nice little bank of onboard credit to peck away at during vacation for various items, let me want you that your automatic gratuities will eat right through that OBC. This is why we prefer to pay in advance. We like our onboard credit to be used as we decide, and we don’t like extra bills at the end of vacation.

Tipping In Cash

Of course, you can head to the client services desk and ask them to remove the automatic gratuities. They will do it, but they won’t like it. You see, while there are plenty of good people that really do pay tips in cash, there are also many people who use it as an excuse and don’t pay out tips at all.

Both prepaid and automatic gratuities go to the same place. They will pay your stateroom attendant and wait staff, but they will also pay people who assist them that you don’t see who work VERY hard. And in a nutshell, that is also the downside to removing auto gratuities and paying cash. If you pay cash only then there are just so many hard workers who will not get anything from your voyage.

Tipping is truly a powder keg type conversation. Online threads tend to get shut down fast on this topic. Regardless of how you tip, please, do tip.

Tip Your Porters

One other tipping item it tipping porters at the airports and also at the cruise terminal when they take your bags. Please tip generously. After all, these folks can keep you from your luggage. All kidding aside, they are out there in all kinds of weather, lifting and loading and doing hard physical work.