The one where Carnival increased gratuities…

Carnival Cruise Lines’ travel agent web site was updated earlier this week with the news that its gratuity guidelines will increase effective from 1 December 2011.

Reported on Cruise Critic, a $1.50 increase will take the gratuity guidelines to $11.50 per person, per day, however the line has stated that passengers who are sailing after 1 December and have prepaid their gratuities will not be affected.

The line’s first increase since 2001 will bring the guidelines closer to Carnival’s competitors with companies like Norwegian suggesting $12 and Royal Caribbean $11.65 per person per day.

Whilst this amount will automatically be placed on passengers’ onboard accounts, there is still the ability to increase or decrease this amount via Guest Services prior to disembarkation on all cruises except ‘cruises to nowhere’ and voyages departing from Barbados.

The new allocations for staff are; $5.80 for the dining room, $3.70 to cabin services and $2 for alternative services including the kitchen, entertainment and guest services.

Carnival Spirit will not be affected with tipping not a requirement onboard, as part of her ‘aussification’ ahead of deployment to Australia next October.

Originally published for e-Travel Blackboard.

There has been much controversy regarding this decision by Carnival which surprises me given that the gratuities on board are only ‘suggested’.

If passengers don’t want to pay that much per day, all they need to do is visit guest services and amend the amount accordingly.

My choice when cruising is to prepay the gratuities wherever possible, that way I don’t even have to think about it when on board.

What are your thoughts when it comes to tipping?

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