P&O Cruises is raising its recommended daily gratuity from £6 to £7 per passenger from next month.
The increase applies to cruises departing after March 23 and comes just 12 months after gratuities were raised from £5 to £6 per passenger per day.
It applies to all passengers aged over 12.
The new recommended daily rate means couples will be charged almost £200 extra for a two-week cruise to cover tips.
However, the cruise line pointed out that the charge is discretionary.
“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 Cruises said.
Although I think by calling it a service charge it implies it is something that you have to pay?
Having worked on ships I am in two minds about the whole tipping/service charges in respect that many members of the crew rely on this to boost their wage and then send it home to their families, but on the other side should we really be paying their wages? I also object to paying for my children as I always keep the room tidy when we cruise but I guess the steward does make their beds.
On my last cruise with Princess Cruises for a two week cruise I would have been paying $1088 for my family – 2 adults and 4 children – which is a whopping £784!
However we should not demonise just P & O as other cruise lines have also increased their “service charge”!
Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises increased their rates in January and now charge between $14.50 and $18, depending on the cabin grade.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is raising its daily “voluntary” gratuity charge from £4 to £5 from March 7.
What do you think about service charges and gratuities?
Read here what the cheapest cruise lines gratuities wise are – Cheapest 5 cruise lines for gratuities.