Other things to note:
- Occasionally when booking your cruise the gratuities will be included in part of the package, this could be for booking far in advance, through a third-party or for another reason. Pre-paid gratuities are normally worth having. Paying your gratuities up front can avoid any nasty surprises when you get back from holiday. On board credit is also offered on lots of promotions which can, sometimes, be used towards paying gratuities.
- The ‘service charge’ can quickly add up, especially if you’re travelling as a family. It is possible to remove this charge but is normally seen as being a bit mean to do so. Unless you have particularly bad service I wouldn’t recommend removing this charge, the staff on board cruise ships already earn very little by western standards and work so hard for what they do get.
I find it easier to view gratuities as part of the cruise cost and believe that it would be easier to just include them in the cost. However, I do see why cruise lines do it this way, as having it as an add on makes the base price lower, which is the price that they advertise.
There are better ways to save money than removing gratuities, click here for 10 tips for cruising on a budget.