Cruise lines increase gratuities……

Starting April 1, guests onboard Norwegian Cruise Line ships will be paying more for the onboard service charge. The increase ranges from 50 cents a day for those staying in balcony cabins to $1.50 for those staying in The Haven or other suites.

“At Norwegian Cruise Line, we are committed to delivering exceptional guest experiences at every step of the cruise journey, and with the dedication of our shipboard team, we are able to turn your vacation dreams into reality,” the line wrote to travel advisors and guests booked on future cruises.

“As such, we make it easy for guests to show their appreciation for these vacation heroes with discretionary daily service charges, which provide gratuities to key onboard team members, including room stewards, restaurant servers, and behind-the-scenes support staff.”

Carnival Cruise Line is increasing its daily gratuity, the first such increase since 2018. The increase was communicated to booked passengers via an email from chief operating officer, Neil Palomba.

Starting on cruises departing on or after May 1, 2022, the gratuities will be as follows:

$14.50 per person, per day for standard staterooms, up from $13.99
$16.50 per person, per day for suites, up from $15.99
Gratuities are automatically added to passengers’ onboard Sail & Sign accounts, or currently booked guests may pre-pay the gratuities at the current rates.

“Our shipboard team members work hard to provide exceptional and friendly service, so we hope you will agree that this slight increase is well deserved,” Palomba wrote in the email.

The increase comes on the heels of the line’s busiest booking week in the company’s 50-year history. Between March 28 and April 3, Carnival saw a double-digit increase from the previous record seven-day booking total.

Tipping is still discretionary and passengers can both give more or less if the inform the reception desk.



This has always irritated me. If it’s a non-option “gratuity”, then it’s really a fee. And they should include that in the price. A gratuity is option, based on what one experiences. Those folks work really hard, and I don’t begrudge the money. I just want the cruise lines to include it in the price up-front. It’s part of the price.



We are on an RCI chartered cruise (Star Trek cruise) next year. For the chartered cruises, the gratuities are not optional and doubled from this year.

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Hopefully the increase doesn’t come at a time when they are decreasing services.

Hotels seem to be on a money grab while providing less and less basic services.

I took a look at airfares and many are sky high so I’ll pass for now.