Another Cruise Line has joined the no gratuities bandwagon recently scrapping their on-board service charge from 25th June 2019.
Thumbs up from me MSC, this definitely makes things easier from a Travel Agent perspective. I think with P&O also scrapping gratuities from May this year and now MSC following it will only be a matter of time for more lines to follow suit.
I would most certainly say gratuities are a key factor to which Cruise Line passengers choose to travel with. It is one of the most common questions I get asked when passenger book their cruise.
I am not one for pre-paying gratuities upfront and try to wherever possible discourage customers to do so. It is very much an American trait I find, tip and you will give me good service. I’m a believer in ‘Good service’ always being delivered, if I receive good service then it is my choice as to whether I will tip or not.
When we traveled on Royal Caribbean last year I can safely say the service we received was not the best, this was mainly due to drinks packages being offered on mini-cruises and not a sufficient amount of staff to serve. We waited over an hour in one bar to get served, in the end we left and went to bed early. It was the same in most of the bars on-board. Glad to say Royal Caribbean did listen to the feedback given by passengers and have since scrapped drinks packages on mini-cruises since. I’m so glad I never pre-paid my grats else I would have been asking for them back.
Many people have implied by cruise lines scrapping gratuities, they will just add this gratuity charge onto the cost of the cruise but I have to say having sold many P&O cruises over the last 6 months I have not found that to be the case.
Let’s see who will be next to join the no gratuities trend………………