How Much Do Waiters Get Paid on a Cruise Ship?

By Anna Duncan

Cruise ships employ hundreds of waiters to feed their thousands of passengers. But how much do these waiters get paid?

Cruise ship waiters are paid a basic wage, plus tips. Most cruise liners will pay their staff members a base wage of between $1000 and $1500 per month.

This is for a full-time position, working 8-12 hours per day, 7 days per week. On top of this base wage, waiters are also expected to earn tips from passengers as part of their salary. Tips can vary significantly depending on the quality of service and the number of passengers on board at any given time.

What Factors Affect How Much Waiters Earn?

The size of the cruise ship will dictate how many passengers it can host, therefore the number of waiters required will depend on its size. Waiters can expect to earn more money in tips if they are working on larger ships with more passengers than if they were working on smaller ships with fewer people. The length of the voyage also has an impact; longer cruises mean that more money can be earned in tips during the course of the voyage.

What Other Benefits Do Waiters Receive?

As well as a salary and tips, cruise ship waiters usually receive other benefits such as free meals and accommodation during their contract period. They may also be eligible for bonuses or other incentives from their employer; these could include additional vacation days or discounts on future cruises with the same company.


Waiters employed by cruise ships typically receive a basic salary plus tips for providing excellent service to passengers during voyages. The amount earned in tips depends largely on factors such as ship size and length of voyage, but all staff members should expect to receive additional benefits such as free meals and accommodation during their contract period.