Understanding Gratuities on Your Disney Cruise

It is customary to give gratuities in recognition of exceptional service, which you’ll receive in abundance aboard the ship.

There are 4 main cast members on your cruise that you generally would provide a nice tip to at the end of the cruise. Generally, gratuities are handed out the last day of the cruise. These cast members  are your three dining room servers (Head Server, Server, and Assistant Server), as well as your Stateroom Host or Hostess. Now if you’ve never cruised before, the Head Server is kind of like the maitre d’, the Server is in charge of your personal table service team, and the Assistant Server is just that, the assistant to your lead Server. The Stateroom Host/Hostess is the person who keeps your cabin clean, makes your bed, turns your bed down at night, makes those awesome towel animals, leaves you chocolate (!), and generally ensures you have everything you need in your room.

You have the option of leaving cash for them, or prepaying for these gratuities before you even sail. Disney has set “recommended” amounts to leave each cast member.

If you wish to pay the suggested gratuity amounts  for your travel party, based on the length of your cruise, you have 2 easy options:

  • Pay the suggested gratuity in advance by contacting your PPV agent no later than 3 days before your cruise begins
  • Pay by automatically having the suggested gratuity added to your onboard account prior to the end of your cruise

*** Please note- Disney Cruise Line will automatically include gratuities to your onboard account during sailing if you do not prepay prior to sailing. If you wish to have this removed or change the amount of a gratuity or pay the gratuity in cash, stop by the gust service desk  located on Deck 3, Midship.



Are there any Cast Members that should be receiving a tip that aren’t included in the pre-paying service? Yes. Here are a couple of exceptions.

  • Spa Treatments- When you book in a treatment at one of Disney Cruise Lines luxurious Spas, an 18% gratuity is automatically included.
  • Dining Manager – He or she is not included in the pre-paying option, tipping for them is at your discretion
  • Concierge Team – Again, they won’t be included in the pre-paying service but they will accept tips on board.
  • Palo or Remy Servers – Since these dining options are not included in your rotational dining, tips are not included and should be given to your server on the day.
  • Bartenders – If you are visiting one of DCL’s amazing night spots and are ordering drinks at the bar, then you should leave your server a tip as their services are not included in pre-payed gratuities.
  • Babysitters – Gratuities are not expected.
  • Port Adventures – Gratuities for Port Adventure guides are not included in the price and are at the discretion of the guest.

What if my service is amazing and I decide that I want to tip more? Then you certainly have the ability to do that.  You can always pay Cast Members gratuities in addition to the pre-payed ones that you have arranged.  Just let them know on the day or let Guest Services know during your cruise.

What if I pre-paid, but I’m unhappy with my service. Can I get a refund? Disney is world-renowned for its Customer Service but if for whatever reason you are unsatisfied, please speak to a Cast Member first who will work hard to rectify your concerns.  However, should you decide that you want to make an adjustment to you pre-payment,  you should speak with the Guest Services Team aboard your ship.

I’ve decided I do want to pre-pay for gratuities. How do I set this up? Simply let your PPV agent know if you would like to add prepaid gratuities to your reservation at least 3 days prior to sailing.

Adding pre-paid gratuities to a reservation will eliminate the need to stop by Guest Services to take care of this customary tradition and an be added to your reservation up to 3 days prior to sailing. We do recommend this prepaid option- one less thing to hav to think about while enjoying your cruise.

Happy Sailing!!