P&O Cruises has just announced the news that it will raise the gratuity charge by 17 per cent next month.
The charge will increase by £1 from the current £6 fee; guests on a two-week trip will be billed for almost £100 per person, providing they don’t request for the charge to be removed.
The current fee of £6 per guest per day will be chargeable to cruises departing before the 22nd March 2018, however cruises departing on and after 23rd March will be charged £7 per guest per day.
P&O has written to passengers booked for cruises departing March 23rd onwards to say: “We have recently made a small change to our Service Reward Programme.
We know that rewarding really good service as it happens just isn’t convenient so our Service Reward Programme provides a simple one-off way for you to say thank you for all the service you receive.
“For cruises departing 23rd March 2018 onward, this amount changes for each guest (over 12 years of age) to £7 per day.”
P&O reiterate in their statement that the charge is not mandatory: “If you wish to vary the amount or let us know about the service please contact reception onboard.”
A spokesperson for the line said: “The service charge is reviewed periodically and is given directly to reward the waiters, cabin stewards and other staff on board for the exceptional service they provide to guests. It is a discretionary charge.”
P&O have always had a historically low service charge compared to their competition but last raised their gratuities in March 2017, bringing the daily charge from £5 to £6.
Another line increasing their service charge this year are Fred Olsen, with the fee increasing from £4 per guest, per day to £5.
Our forum member, Parsman, spoke out on this: “I have been cruising with Fred. Olsen for more than 25 years and I can’t remember an increase in the staff gratuities. The staff are one of the best things about FOCL cruises and I have no complaints about this increase.”
Haworth felt differently: “As they put the price of the gratuities up then more people will remove them, and it goes on until they have a tipping point and roll them into the fare, if P&O do that then I would suggest the rest (those that mainly serve the UK Market) will follow very quickly.
In reality what actually matters is the total cost of the cruise door to door.” Click here to read more of the debate…
But what are our thoughts? Do you think P&O has raised their gratuities too soon or was it only a matter of time? How about Fred Olsen? Is it impressive this is the first time they’ve raised their daily service charge? Leave us your comments…
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