What are the gratuity rates for a Disney Cruise?

If you are considering booking a Disney Cruise, you may be wondering about the gratuity rates. It’s always helpful to have an idea of what to expect when it comes to additional expenses, and gratuities are an important factor to consider. In this article, we will provide you with the necessary information regarding the gratuity rates for a Disney Cruise, helping you plan and budget for your upcoming vacation with ease and confidence.


What are gratuities?

Gratuities, also known as tips, are additional payments given to service providers as a token of appreciation for their exceptional service. On a Disney Cruise, gratuities are customary for the hardworking crew members who go above and beyond to ensure you have a magical experience.

Why are gratuities expected?

Gratuities are expected on a Disney Cruise because they play a crucial role in recognizing and rewarding the excellent service provided by the crew members. They serve as a way to express your gratitude for their efforts in making your cruise enjoyable and memorable.

Are gratuities mandatory on a Disney Cruise?

While gratuities are not mandatory on a Disney Cruise, they are strongly recommended. Disney Cruise Line has set standard gratuity rates, and most guests choose to pay gratuities to acknowledge the exceptional service they receive. However, if you feel that the service did not meet your expectations, you have the flexibility to adjust or remove gratuities.

Gratuities Rates

Standard Gratuity Rates

The standard gratuity rates set by Disney Cruise Line are based on the length of your cruise and the stateroom category. As of 2021, the standard gratuity rates per guest per night are as follows:

  • $13 for stateroom hosts/hostesses
  • $13 for dining room servers
  • $9 for assistant servers
  • $8 for head servers
  • $1 for dining room manager

For example, if you are on a 7-night cruise and have a stateroom with two guests, the total standard gratuity for the cruise would amount to $420 ($13 x 7 nights x 2 guests).

Concierge Services Gratuity Rates

If you’re staying in a Concierge level stateroom, higher gratuity rates apply. The gratuity rates for Concierge services on Disney Cruise Line are as follows:

  • $18 for stateroom host/hostess
  • $18 for dining room servers
  • $13 for assistant servers
  • $12 for head servers
  • $2 for dining room manager

These rates are per guest per night and are separate from the standard gratuities.

Adjusting Gratuity Rates

If you wish to adjust the gratuity rates during your Disney Cruise, you can do so at the Guest Services desk. You have the flexibility to increase or decrease the gratuity amounts, or even remove them entirely. However, it is encouraged to only make adjustments if the service received significantly deviated from your expectations.

Who Receives the Gratuities?

Crew Members Eligible for Gratuities

The gratuities you pay on a Disney Cruise are distributed among various eligible crew members. The stateroom hosts/hostesses, dining room servers, assistant servers, head servers, and dining room manager are the primary recipients of the gratuities you provide. These hardworking individuals play a vital role in creating an exceptional cruise experience for you and your fellow guests.

Crew Members Not Eligible for Gratuities

While most crew members are eligible to receive gratuities, there are a few positions that do not participate in the gratuity distribution. These include members of the entertainment team, youth counselors, and spa therapists, as they are already compensated differently for their services.

How are Gratuities Paid?

Pre-Paid Gratuities

Disney Cruise Line offers guests the option to pre-pay their gratuities before embarking on the cruise. This allows you to budget your expenses and ensures that your gratuities are taken care of in advance. If you choose this option, the gratuity charges will be added to your total cruise fare, and you won’t need to worry about making payments during your cruise.

Onboard Payment Options

Alternatively, if you prefer not to pre-pay your gratuities, you can settle the charges onboard. These charges can be added to your stateroom account and paid at the end of your cruise. The suggested payment methods include cash or credit/debit cards. Simply visit the Guest Services desk to make the necessary arrangements.

When to Pay Gratuities?

Gratuities on a Disney Cruise

Gratuities on a Disney Cruise are usually distributed at the end of your cruise. The charges for gratuities will be added to your stateroom account, and you’ll have the opportunity to settle the payment before disembarking. Whether you choose to pre-pay your gratuities or make the payment onboard, it is important to settle them in a timely manner to show your appreciation for the exceptional service received.

Adjustments and Changes

If you decide to make adjustments or changes to your gratuity rates during the cruise, it is advisable to do so before the last night. This ensures that the crew members receive the appropriate recognition for their efforts. Visit the Guest Services desk and inform them of the changes you would like to make, and they will assist you accordingly.

Gratuities vs. Tipping

What is the difference?

Gratuities and tipping serve the same purpose, which is to reward and acknowledge exceptional service. The term “gratuities” is commonly used on Disney Cruise Line to refer to these additional payments. However, it’s important to note that gratuities on a Disney Cruise are automatically added to your account based on the standard or adjusted rates, whereas tipping is a more discretionary act where you choose to give additional cash directly to the crew members.

Additional Tipping Options

While Disney Cruise Line has a recommended gratuity policy in place, it is not uncommon for guests to express additional appreciation for outstanding service by providing extra cash tips. If you feel that a particular crew member went above and beyond, you can choose to offer them a personal cash tip as a token of your gratitude.

Gratuities for Special Services

Room Service

For room service orders on a Disney Cruise, a suggested gratuity of $4.50 per order is recommended. This gratuity is separate from the standard gratuity rates and should be given directly to the crew member delivering the order. If you choose to adjust the standard gratuity rates, it’s essential to allocate a separate amount for room service gratuities accordingly.

Spa Services

When indulging in spa services onboard a Disney Cruise, an automatic 18% gratuity will be added to the total cost of the services. This additional gratuity covers the exceptional service provided by the spa therapists and ensures that they are recognized for their efforts.

Port Adventures

For Port Adventures, which are Disney’s shore excursions, gratuities are not required or expected. However, if you feel that your Port Adventure guide or driver provided exceptional service, you can choose to provide an additional tip at your discretion.

Dining Reservations

While gratuities are primarily associated with the service provided by dining room servers, it’s important to note that they do not apply to dining reservations at specialty restaurants onboard a Disney Cruise. These reservations typically require an additional fee, and gratuities for such experiences are not expected.

How to Calculate Gratuities?

Guidelines for Calculating Gratuities

To calculate the gratuities for your Disney Cruise, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the length of your cruise.
  2. Identify your stateroom category (standard or concierge).
  3. Use the standard gratuity rates provided by Disney Cruise Line to calculate the gratuity amount per guest per night.
  4. Multiply the per guest per night rate by the number of nights of your cruise.
  5. If staying in a Concierge level stateroom, add the gratuity rates specific to that category.
  6. Multiply the rates by the number of guests in your stateroom.
  7. Total up the amounts to get the overall gratuity for your cruise.

Examples of Calculating Gratuities

Here are a few examples to help you understand how to calculate gratuities for a Disney Cruise:

Example 1: Standard Stateroom, 4-Night Cruise, 2 Guests

  • $13 (stateroom host) x 4 nights x 2 guests = $104
  • $13 (dining room server) x 4 nights x 2 guests = $104
  • $9 (assistant server) x 4 nights x 2 guests = $72
  • $8 (head server) x 4 nights x 2 guests = $64
  • $1 (dining room manager) x 4 nights x 2 guests = $8

The total gratuity for this example would amount to $352.

Example 2: Concierge Stateroom, 7-Night Cruise, 3 Guests

  • $18 (stateroom host) x 7 nights x 3 guests = $378
  • $18 (dining room server) x 7 nights x 3 guests = $378
  • $13 (assistant server) x 7 nights x 3 guests = $273
  • $12 (head server) x 7 nights x 3 guests = $252
  • $2 (dining room manager) x 7 nights x 3 guests = $42

The total gratuity for this example would amount to $1,323.

Gratuities Etiquette

Tipping at Your Discretion

While gratuities are recommended on a Disney Cruise, it is ultimately up to you to decide the amount and whether to make additional cash tips. Tipping serves as a way to express your gratitude, and it’s important to remember that these hardworking crew members rely on gratuities as a significant part of their income.

Seeking Assistance during the Cruise

If you require any assistance during your cruise, whether it’s a special request, a question, or even a problem, it’s perfectly acceptable to seek help from the crew members. They are there to make your experience as magical as possible, and they will appreciate your interaction and gratitude.

Expressing Gratitude

In addition to gratuities, expressing your gratitude verbally or through kind gestures can go a long way in showing appreciation for the exceptional service provided on a Disney Cruise. A simple “thank you” or a note of appreciation to a crew member who made your experience memorable will make their day and further reinforce the friendly atmosphere onboard.

Gratuities and Discounts

Discounted Cruise Fare

If you booked your Disney Cruise with a discounted fare or took advantage of a special offer, the gratuity rates are still calculated based on the standard rates. The discount applied to your cruise fare does not affect the gratuity amounts.

Gratuities and Reservations

It is important to note that gratuities are not directly associated with the reservation process of a Disney Cruise. They are separate charges that need to be settled during or at the end of your cruise. Make sure to review the gratuity rates, guidelines, and payment options to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience when paying your gratuities.

In conclusion, gratuities on a Disney Cruise are an important aspect of showing appreciation to the hardworking crew members who contribute to your memorable vacation. Understanding the gratuity rates, who receives them, and how to pay them is essential for a seamless experience. Remember, while gratuities are recommended, the amount is discretionary, and you have the flexibility to adjust or remove them based on your experience. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy your magical Disney Cruise, knowing that the exceptional service you receive is well worth the gratuities provided.

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