Couple’s Controversial Request Shocks Cruise Ship Passengers

A Cultural Perspective on Gratuities: Cruise Ship Edition

Every day, across various online platforms and social media, people find themselves at the receiving end of criticism and disdain for their opinions and practices around gratuities, specifically onboard cruise ships. Today, however, we’re here to shed some light on a request that surely has not been addressed before.


Hello there! We are Jordan and Jared, famously known as JJ Cruiz, and we couldn’t be happier that you’ve tuned into our story today. Just for the uninitiated, we are travel agents, which, as you could imagine, puts us in the line of some truly curious requests. Every day brings new peculiar demands, each more surprising than the last. But before we delve into today’s curious tale, do take a moment to subscribe to our channel. We are all about cruising, exploring the world via grand, majestic cruise ships. So, if you share our love for this niche yet fascinating aspect of travel, hit that subscribe button right away!

Cultural Differences: A Key Theme

Currently, we’re having a ball in Europe, cruising through the breathtaking Norwegian Fjord and appreciating every bit of the experience. However, an essential part of travelling is encountering and understanding cultural differences. A primary distinction between Europe, other countries and the United States is tipping etiquette.

Tipping, for many across the globe, is seen as an extra gesture, recognizing and rewarding extraordinary service. A few countries even deem tipping as offensive, viewing it as an undermining doubt about the service providers’ professional commitment. Conversely, in the United States, tipping is not only expected but necessary, particularly in the service industry.

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The Root of the Controversy

The said cultural differences around tipping become quite pertinent while cruising. On cruise ships, daily gratuities or service charges are charged to your stateroom, which take care of the tips for your stateroom attendant, restaurant servers, and a few others who serve you onboard the ship.

Celebrity Cruises – the cruise line we’re currently on, includes an all-included rate package, whereby the drinks, Wi-Fi and importantly, gratuities, are included. However, the controversy sparks when people request or ask to get those gratuities refunded or taken off. Such requests generally come from people who prefer paying in cash, or those who are unsatisfied with the service received.

A Peculiar Request Unveiled

We recently witnessed a rather peculiar incident at the Next Cruise office. A couple was fervently negotiating for a significant time, trying to buy a cruise with the all-included package sans the gratuity portion. They wished to take advantage of the bundled up lower cost while opting out of gratuity.

The Dilemma of Choice

Now the back-and-forth negotiation revolved around one crucial point, the right to choose. They wanted the freedom to select the services they wished to pay for, understandably influenced by their cultural perspectives. However, the all-included package either accommodated no perks at all, letting passengers pay gratuities on board, or it offered everything – the drinks, gratuities, as well as the Wi-Fi.

A Window to Cultural Differences

This incident served as an interesting case study reflecting the cultural differences between people from Europe and the U.S. It emphasized the difference in the norms associated with tipping and how they play out on cruise ships.

Community Thoughts and Cultural Exchange

Now, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Where do you stand on removing gratuities and paying cash instead? Or do you prefer sticking with the automatic gratuities and tipping extra for the service providers?

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Your opinions would offer insights into the cultural norms prevalent in your respective countries. Maybe, in your area, opting out of gratuities is widespread practice, or perhaps it’s the anti-thesis of that. Either way, enlighten us and let’s get the conversation going.


The intent here is not to point fingers or shame any party. We believe conversations help us understand, empathize, and learn from one another. So, let’s delve into the realm of gratuities – the norms, the assumptions, and the practices. We’re excited to hear your thoughts on the matter, especially those of you hailing from a culture where tipping is out of the ordinary. Until next time, enjoy the cruise and take care. See ya!