One of the things which people get very confused about is tipping on a Disney Cruise. Here we break everything down for you. It really isn’t that complicated once you know the basics.
Who do you tip on a Disney cruise and how much? How do you pay gratuities on a Disney cruise and can everyone even accept a tip?
Tipping on a Disney Cruise
When we think of tipping on a Disney cruise there are really four main Cast Member positions that you will tip. This is what is included in the automatic gratuities.
As you will see later, there are other times that you will be charged a tip.
However, when we are talking about the automatic gratuities which are charged at the end of your Disney cruise, these are given to these four people:
- Stateroom Host. This is the person who cleans your stateroom every day.
- Server. This is your main server in your rotational dining restaurant.
- Assistant Server. The is the one who will get your drinks and assist your main server.
- Head Server. In each rotational dining restaurant, there are 4 head servers. You will be assigned one who will make sure you are happy with your dining experience overall.
These people work incredibly hard and rely on your gratuities to make a living. They work very long hours with little time off.
And most of the time there are smiling! Like our fabulous server Netasha who is pictured below.
Each of these four people is allocated a specified amount of automatic gratuities. You can see how these are calculated in the next section.You can pre-pay these gratuities up to 3 days before your cruise starts. You can do this using your Disney Cruise Personalizer.
If you do not pre-pay them this is fine. They will simply be added to your onboard account. You can change this by either increasing or decreasing the amount – we will talk more about this later.
Do I Need Cash On A Disney Cruise?
You really don’t need cash on a Disney cruise. You will be required to link a credit card to your stateroom before you check in.
You can do this on your Disney Cruise Navigator.
You can’t use cash on a Disney Cruise to pay for things directly. Everything is charged to your Key to the World Card.
If you want to use cash or gift cards to pay your onboard account you have to visit Guest Services as soon as you board your Disney Cruise.
You simply give them the cash or the gift cards that you want to use and this will be put onto your account.
At the end of your cruise, you will need to visit Guest Services if there is a balance to pay or if you need any money back.
If you paid in cash this will be given back in cash.
If you paid with a Disney Gift Card or Rewards Card be sure to keep your card. The reason is that if you have credited it will go back on this card – not much use if you have thrown it away!
Disney Cruise Gratuities Calculator
This Disney Cruise Gratuities Calculator below shows the amounts which will automatically be added to your stateroom account.
These amounts are per person.
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That includes children of any age. I know that some guests object to children being included in this.
However, consider how much more work your server probably does for your child. Or all the cleaning up that your Stateroom Host does to clean up after your toddler.
You can adjust these amounts if you want to. This can be adjusted either up or down.
They can be adjusted by visiting Guest Services and asking them to charge your account for extra or to reduce the charges.
We really do strongly suggest you don’t reduce them unless you have truly received substandard service.
If it is something to do with your dining team, always try and resolve the matter with your Head Server first.
If it is an issue with your Stateroom Host mention your issue to Guest Services or directly to your Host. Most things can be resolved.
Disney really does go above and beyond with customer service. If you encounter any problem at all, tell someone. You will probably be amazed at just how good they are when problems arise.
Disney Cruise “Hidden” Gratuities
Aside from the automatic gratuities, there are some services which you will pay an automatic tip if you incur a charge.
The two main areas where this will happen are for drinks purchases and at the spa.
If you purchase a drink at any bar or in a restaurant, you will automatically be charged an additional 15% gratuity.
This will be shown on the bill that you are asked to sign. There is also space for you to add an additional gratuity if you like.
The one area where I often make the mistake of factoring in a tip is when calculating the price is at the spa. Probably because at 18% on already inflated prices this makes a big difference!
For any spa service, an 18% charge will automatically be added.
This includes the Disney Cruise Rainforest Room.
Another one that you may not realize is if you go to any of the Beverage Tasting Seminars.
Most of them cost around $25 ranging up to $38 for the Champagne Tasting. The gratuity is not automatic, but it is customary to leave at least an additional 15%.
The Cast Members are extremely knowledgeable and often very entertaining – they deserve the gratuity.
Disney Room Service Tips
Most items on the Room Service Menu are free. There are exceptions, such as alcohol and bottled water, but mostly you will not be charged for room service.
However, it is customary to give a tip to the Cast Member who brings your food to you.
You can use cash for this – so keep some $1’s and $5’s handy in a drawer by the door. Or they will give you a bill with zero charges and you can add a gratuity if you wish.
There is no set amount to tip for room service, but I would suggest at least $1 to $2 per plate. But it really is up to you.
This is one of the only times when you might use cash to tip on a Disney cruise. The other is if you add an additional tip to any of your Servers or Stateroom Steward.
You can do this at the end of the cruise – more about that later.
Tipping at Palo and Remy
There is no automatic gratuity at the adult restaurants on a Disney cruise. However, you will most likely receive exceptional service at Palo and Remy.
An additional 18% is a suggested starting point.
Disney Cruise Concierge Tipping
How much do you tip Disney Cruise Concierge? Unfortunately, there really aren’t any guidelines, except to say that it is entirely at your discretion.
The Disney Cruise Concierge Team does an exceptional job, so it really is up to you to decide how much you should add as a gratuity.
Who You Can’t Tip on a Disney Cruise
There are certain Disney Cruise Cast Members who are not permitted to accept gratuities.
- Kids Club and Nursery Staff are not permitted to accept gratuities.
- Bibbidi Boppidi Boo Staff are not permitted to accept gratuities.
Tipping at the End of a Disney Cruise
On the last day of your Disney cruise, you can see all your stateroom charges on your account. This will include the automatic gratuities unless you have already prepaid them.
Your Stateroom Steward will leave some envelopes in your room. These are for your Server, Assistant Server, Head Server, and Room Steward.
Along with the envelopes, you will have a sheet of card which shows how much is going to each person. You can use these to put them in the envelopes to give to each person.
You can also use the envelopes to put additional cash in to give to your team as well.
You do not have to use the envelopes at all unless you want to.
To explain more about getting off the ship at the end of your cruise you can see this Disney Cruise Disembarkation article.
All of the automatic gratuities will be charged to your onboard account. Always double-check that you agree with your final charges.
Ideally, don’t wait until the final evening of your cruise to do this. Everyone else will be doing this, so the lines for Guest Services will be longer than at any other time on the cruise!
Do you have any questions about tipping on a Disney Cruise? Leave me a comment below and I will answer whatever questions you have.
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