tips/gratuities on river cruises

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#1
Upstate NY
348 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
What is customary for people to leave as gratuities per day/per person on a river cruise?
On board, are the gratuities charged automatically to your bill the way they do it on ocean cruises?
How about for the shore excursions? How much do you usually tip the guides?
We are trying to figure out how much of a difference it can make if a company offers all the gratuities included in the price.
Thanks for your help.
#2
San Francisco, CA
951 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Originally posted by top of the world
What is customary for people to leave as gratuities per day/per person on a river cruise?
On board, are the gratuities charged automatically to your bill the way they do it on ocean cruises?
How about for the shore excursions? How much do you usually tip the guides?
We are trying to figure out how much of a difference it can make if a company offers all the gratuities included in the price.[Thanks for your help.
Just got back from the AmaCello. This is the procedure for AMA, but I suspect the lines are similar.

No tips were pre-charged - this includes bar drinks. Your tip is up to you, but they do provide guidelines at the end of the cruise. In our case, it was 12 euro per person per day to cover all service staff and 3 euros per person per day for the Cruise Manager. Envelopes were provided to drop into boxes at the main desk. Gratuities could also be charged to your account - arranged at the end of the cruise.

On our cruise all excursions were included. If there are optional excursions, the cost should be charged to your shipboard account. We also personally gave each guide a courtesy tip of 1 or 2 euros on each tour (mostly depending on the change we had at the time).

For what it's worth, so much was included, that given the complementary wine and beer at lunch and dinner, we wound up paying for just a few drinks and laundry (both reasonably priced) that our bill at the end of the week was about 100 euro. Quite different than the usual multi-page statement I'm used to seeing slipped under our door on the last night on our ocean cruises!
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.Mark Katzenberger

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#3
Nebraska
345 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Our Russian TA suggested 5-10 rubles per person per day for general crew end of cruise tip (envelope provided on the 2nd to last day). We gave 10 per day. Then we gave private tips to our ships guide and waiter and housekeeper , 1000 rubles, 500 rubles and 350 rubles. Most people tipped the hired daily tour guides about 100-200 rubles pp pd. Bus drivers were tipped around 50 rubles pp/pd.

The American run agencies and ships seem to have a much higher suggested tipping policy. (Russians in general do not tip at all which might be why we were given suggestions much lower than that of other cruise lines) Ours was a Russian ship line and booked by a Russian TA.
#4
Milton On Canada
938 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
As stated above, 12 and 3 euro seem to be a good guideline for the onboard services per person per day, plus your bar or room service. 2 or 3 euro for the tour guides.
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Judy

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#5
Mackay Australia
786 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Australians, thank heavens, don't have to worry about this issue anymore as all the river cruise companies down here, except Viking, include the tips as part of the overall cost of the cruise.
#6
Tasmania, Australia
654 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
We went on our first river cruise last year and it was with Avalon, bookings in Australia include tips to crew and CD, which was great.
We tipped local guides around 1-2 euros, depending on what change we had.
We also tipped the lovely lady that served us every night in the bar and our cabin guy, they would have been included in our prepaid tips but we wanted to tip on top of that.
At the end of the cruise we had coupons that we had received with our tickets and cruise info, to put into the tipping boxes.
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#7
Florida
18,980 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by Ozjohnno
Australians, thank heavens, don't have to worry about this issue anymore as all the river cruise companies down here, except Viking, include the tips as part of the overall cost of the cruise.
On a side thought ,Any thoughts on a river cruise in Australia? THANKS.
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#8
Ontario, Canada
319 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
It's one of the many, many reasons why we sail Scenic ~ no worries about gratuities to ship staff nor onshore excursion guides!!!
#9
Mackay Australia
786 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by we're sailing away....
On a side thought ,Any thoughts on a river cruise in Australia? THANKS.
River cruising down here is very limited. In fact the only big river that is navigable is the Murray. You may wish to look at these two sites ...
http://www.murrayrivercruises.com.au...FQxepQodmFoALw
http://www.southaustralia.com/region...FYhfpQodmDAAyA


Many Australians, myself included, like to hire individual cruisers or houseboats and self-cruise. This is a big part of the Australian tourism industry particularly where I live in North Queensland.

If there is anything else I can help you with to sell my Countries attractions please ask or you can email me at [email protected]

Rod
#11
Australia
76 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
The Murray River cruises are a very relaxing way to see a beautiful part of Australia, mostly rural. It is a great way to wind down after the more hectic pace and long distances of land tours.
There are also cruises along the Kimberley Coast which are ocean cruises but in name only! They go between Broome and Darwin in very tranquil waters with lots of land excursions. It is a truly amazing part of the world!
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