The long debate I have with customers travelling with MSC are the gratuities, are the included? Are they compulsory to pay on-board? What do they charge? Are drinks packages include the service charge?
Clearly MSC have also had this debate with disgruntled customers, mainly from the UK. time and time again. So to put everything to bed once and for all, MSC has now announced from the 25th June 2019, all new bookings made with MSC will include the gratuities within the fare price. This is for UK and Irish passengers only.
An MSC Cruises spokesperson said: “As of June 25, MSC Cruises will include the daily service charge as part of the cruise fare.
“The change will affect bookings made from this date and any bookings made after this date will be subject to the new terms and conditions regarding service charge.”
More good news, the cruise fares have not increased due to this change, and drinks packages are not subject to further service charges. The spokesperson continued to say “Bookings made before June 25 would be subject to the existing booking terms that state daily service charges are added to passengers’ on-board accounts and can be removed at the passenger’s request.
This change was initially announced earlier this year with a date set for 2nd April for the change, however that date came and passed and was delayed, the spokesperson explained.
“In order to ensure a seamless transition from our existing policy we took the time necessary to do so. “The decision has been made in order to simplify the booking process and ensure the best possible on-board experience for our guests.”
So what do you make of this change? Personally I think, as MSC say, it simplifies everything and it is always a bugbear with UK customers. In the US they are used to the service charges, tips, gratuities the nature is all about tipping. However in the UK we generally tip if and when we have good service. P&O set the trend earlier this year and included all service charges as part of the cruise fare, will others now follow suit?
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