How Much To Tip A Baggage Handler On A Cruise

Cruising is one of the most enjoyable ways to vacation, with amazing destinations, entertainment, and dining options. But one question many cruisers have is how much to tip the behind-the-scenes crew like baggage handlers.

If you’re wondering about cruise tipping etiquette for baggage handlers, this comprehensive guide will provide recommendations on cruise line tipping policies, suggested tip amounts, when to tip, and tipping methods to thank baggage handlers for their cruise ship luggage services.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The recommended tip for baggage handlers on a cruise is $2-5 per bag. It’s customary to tip at the beginning and end of the cruise when baggage handlers are actively handling your luggage.

Background on Cruise Ship Baggage Handlers

When it comes to cruising, many passengers rely on baggage handlers to ensure their belongings are safely transported from the dock to their cabins. Baggage handlers play a crucial role in the smooth operation of a cruise ship, as they are responsible for handling and delivering thousands of pieces of luggage efficiently and securely.

Who Are Baggage Handlers on Cruises

Baggage handlers on cruises are typically part of the ship’s crew or contracted by the cruise line. They are trained professionals who have experience in handling various types of luggage, including suitcases, bags, and even larger items like strollers and golf clubs.

These handlers work in teams to efficiently load and unload luggage from the ship’s storage areas, ensuring that each piece is delivered to the appropriate cabin.

They are often easily identifiable by their uniforms and name tags, and they are always ready to assist passengers with any questions or concerns related to their luggage.

Responsibilities of Baggage Handlers

Baggage handlers on cruises have a range of responsibilities to ensure that passengers’ luggage is properly handled and delivered in a timely manner. Some of their key responsibilities include:

  • Receiving luggage from passengers at the dock and issuing luggage tags
  • Organizing and categorizing luggage based on cabin numbers
  • Loading luggage onto trolleys or carts for transport to the ship
  • Unloading luggage from the ship and delivering it to the appropriate cabins
  • Ensuring the security of passengers’ belongings throughout the process
  • Assisting passengers with any luggage-related inquiries or issues

These handlers work diligently behind the scenes to ensure that passengers’ luggage is handled with care and delivered to their cabins promptly. Without their expertise and efficiency, the embarkation and disembarkation process would be much more chaotic and time-consuming.

If you’re curious to learn more about cruise ship baggage handlers, you can visit cruisecritic.com for additional information and insights from experienced cruisers and industry professionals.

Cruise Line Policies on Tipping Baggage Handlers

When going on a cruise, it’s important to know the policies regarding tipping baggage handlers. Each cruise line has its own guidelines, so it’s best to familiarize yourself with them before embarking on your journey.

This will ensure that you are prepared to show your appreciation to the hardworking baggage handlers who assist you throughout your trip.

Prepaid Gratuities

Many cruise lines offer the option of prepaid gratuities, which are added to your overall cruise fare. This means that a portion of the fee you pay for your cruise goes towards compensating the baggage handlers.

The advantage of this system is that it eliminates the need for you to carry cash and tip individually. It also ensures that the baggage handlers receive a fair and consistent amount for their services.

It’s important to note that the amount of prepaid gratuities varies from cruise line to cruise line. Some may include a set amount per person per day, while others may calculate it as a percentage of the total cruise fare.

To find out the specific details for your cruise, it’s best to check the cruise line’s website or contact their customer service.

Additional Tipping

While prepaid gratuities are common and convenient, it’s still customary to provide additional tips to baggage handlers if they go above and beyond their duties. For example, if a baggage handler helps you with heavy or oversized luggage or provides exceptional service, it’s a nice gesture to show your appreciation with an extra tip.

The amount of additional tipping is at your discretion, but a general guideline is to tip around $1 to $2 per bag. However, if you have particularly heavy or bulky bags, or if the baggage handler has gone out of their way to assist you, you may want to consider tipping a bit more.

Remember, tipping is a personal choice and should reflect your level of satisfaction with the service provided. It’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for these situations, as not all cruise lines allow you to add additional tips to your onboard account.

To get a better understanding of the tipping policies of the specific cruise line you will be sailing with, it’s recommended to visit their official website. Cruise line websites often provide detailed information on tipping guidelines, including specific amounts or suggestions for various services on board.

Suggested Tip Amounts for Baggage Handlers

Tipping Per Bag or Per Cruiser

When it comes to tipping baggage handlers on a cruise, there are a few different approaches you can take. Some people prefer to tip based on the number of bags they have, while others prefer to tip per cruiser. Let’s explore both options:

  • Tipping Per Bag: If you choose to tip per bag, it is recommended to tip around $1 to $2 per bag. This is a standard amount that many travelers find appropriate for the service provided by baggage handlers.
  • Tipping Per Cruiser: Another option is to tip per cruiser instead of per bag. In this case, it is suggested to tip around $5 to $10 per cruiser. This takes into account the number of people in your party and is a convenient way to determine the overall tip amount.

Tip Amount Guidelines

While the suggested tip amounts mentioned above are a good starting point, it’s important to note that tipping is ultimately a personal decision. The amount you choose to tip should be based on a few factors:

  • Service Quality: Consider the level of service provided by the baggage handlers. If they were attentive, helpful, and went above and beyond, you may want to consider tipping on the higher end of the suggested range.
  • Baggage Quantity: If you have an excessive amount of bags or oversized items, it is customary to tip a bit more to compensate for the additional effort required.
  • Destination and Cruise Line Guidelines: Some destinations or cruise lines may have their own tipping guidelines. It’s always a good idea to check with your cruise line or do some research on the recommended tipping practices for the specific location you are traveling to.

Remember, tipping is a way to show appreciation for the service provided. It’s always a nice gesture to thank the baggage handlers for their assistance with your luggage, regardless of the tip amount.

When to Tip Baggage Handlers on a Cruise

When embarking on a cruise, it’s important to know when and how much to tip the baggage handlers who assist you with your luggage. These hardworking individuals play a crucial role in ensuring that your belongings are safely transported to your stateroom.

Understanding the appropriate tipping etiquette will not only show your appreciation but also contribute to a positive cruise experience.

Beginning of Cruise

When you first arrive at the cruise terminal, you will encounter baggage handlers who will take your luggage for you. It is customary to tip these individuals, as they handle your bags and ensure that they are delivered to your room.

The general guideline is to tip around $2 to $3 per bag, but this can vary depending on the size and weight of your luggage. If you have particularly heavy or oversized bags, consider tipping a bit more to show your gratitude for the extra effort.

It’s important to have some small bills or change readily available to tip the baggage handlers. You can hand them the tip directly or place it in an envelope labeled “Baggage Handlers” and give it to them.

Remember to smile and say thank you as you hand over the tip – a little kindness goes a long way!

End of Cruise

At the end of your cruise, you will need to disembark and retrieve your luggage. During this time, you may encounter baggage handlers who assist with carrying your bags off the ship. It is customary to tip these individuals as well, as they help ensure a smooth and efficient disembarkation process.

Similar to the beginning of the cruise, the recommended tip is around $2 to $3 per bag.

It’s worth noting that some cruise lines include baggage handling fees in their overall pricing, so it’s always a good idea to check with your specific cruise line beforehand. Additionally, if you have utilized any special services, such as porters or valet luggage services, tipping these individuals is also customary.

Be sure to have some cash on hand to express your appreciation for their assistance.

Tipping baggage handlers on a cruise is a common practice and is greatly appreciated by these hardworking individuals. By following proper tipping etiquette, you can show your gratitude and contribute to a positive experience for both yourself and the baggage handlers.

Keep in mind that these guidelines are just suggestions, and it ultimately comes down to your discretion and the level of service you receive.

Methods to Tip Baggage Handlers

Cash Tips

One common method to tip baggage handlers on a cruise is by giving them cash. This is a straightforward and traditional way to show appreciation for their service. When deciding how much to tip, a good rule of thumb is to give $1 to $2 per bag.

So if you have three bags, consider tipping between $3 and $6. However, if you have larger or heavier bags, you might want to consider tipping a little more to acknowledge the extra effort. It is important to keep some small bills handy to make tipping easier.

Prepaid Cruise Card

Another convenient method to tip baggage handlers is by using a prepaid cruise card. Many cruise lines offer these cards, which act as a form of currency onboard the ship. These cards can be loaded with a specific amount of money before the cruise, and they can be used to tip various staff members, including baggage handlers.

When using a prepaid cruise card, it is recommended to check with the cruise line for their suggested tipping guidelines. This way, you can ensure that you are tipping the appropriate amount based on their policies.

It is worth noting that some cruise lines automatically add gratuities to your onboard account, which may include tips for baggage handling. In such cases, you may not need to tip baggage handlers separately, as the gratuity charge already covers it.

However, it is always a good idea to verify with the cruise line’s website or customer service to confirm their tipping policies.

Tipping baggage handlers is an important way to acknowledge their hard work and ensure a smooth and enjoyable cruise experience. Whether you choose to tip in cash or use a prepaid cruise card, showing gratitude for their service is greatly appreciated by these hardworking individuals.


Tipping baggage handlers is a kind gesture to thank the hardworking crew that handles your luggage on a cruise. While not mandatory, tips are certainly appreciated. The recommended amount is $2-5 per bag at the beginning and end of your cruise.

Tipping your baggage handlers in cash or adding to your prepaid account helps ensure excellent luggage delivery and handling throughout your cruise. With these cruise tipping guidelines, you can confidently reward baggage handlers for their services.

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