With yet another cruise line announcing that it is to include service charges within its fare, I ask the question – would you prefer if all cruise lines opted for this?
MSC Cruises revealed it will include service charges in fares for the UK and Irish passengers from 25 June.
“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.”
So, will cruise fares increase to take into account that service charges will be included?
MSC’s spokesperson said, “Cruise fares would not increase as a result of the decision”.
If you booked before 25 June then you will still be subject to the existing terms that state daily service charges will be added to guests’ onboard accounts and can be removed at the guest’s request.
When you cruise what is your preference regarding tips if these are not included in the fare?
Do you prefer to pay the suggested pre-paid tips that the cruise line suggests or remove these in order to tip those members of the crew that you want to tip?
Tips or ‘gratuities’ can be costly especially if you are a family of four or more!
For example, gratuities for a family of four cruising with Celebrity for 14 nights will cost you over £615.00 which is a fair bit to spend on what can already be an expensive trip! Also, there is no reduction for a child.
The cruise lines will argue that ‘tips’ are fair and that they will be shared amongst all crew and not just those in a guest-facing role.
To remove or not to remove, what do you do?
Do cruise lines have the right to tell you what to tip or should the choice be yours?