Passengers on Celebrity Cruises will be slugged with higher gratuities of up to US$17 per person per day – up 55 cents – for sailings after July 1, the line confirmed this week.
Those staying in standard cabins will also have to pay more – $13.30 per person per day up from $12.95. Passengers in concierge class accommodation will pay $14 and Aqua suites $17.
“The adjustment has been made to help bring Celebrity in line with its competitors,’’ the line said in a statement.
The latest price increase comes on top of an eight per cent hike introduced last year.
Celebrity’s sister line Royal Caribbean International also raised its gratuities by 55 cents per person per day from May 1. RCL passengers pay US$16.50 per person per day for those staying in suites – up from $15.95 while those in standard cabins pay $13.50 – an increase of 55 cents per person per day.
The price hikes on Celebrity and RCL will make the lines two of the most expensive gratuity rates for Australians travelling overseas. Carnival in America suggest charges of US$12 per person per day, P&O UK Stg5 and Cunard’s Britannia US$11.50 and Norwegian Cruise Lines US$13.50.
MSC Cruises will also increase its gratuities for all passengers, regardless of whether they are in standard cabins or suites to 10 Euros per person per day – up from 8 Euros – for cruises starting in 2017.
“The price increase is because of the gradual weakening of the Australian dollar,’’ an MSC spokeswoman said. “The new price will only apply to sailings in the Mediterranean, North Europe, Cuba and the Arabian Peninsula from 2017. Passengers cruising the Caribbean will pay US$12.50 per person per day – up from $12 – for sailings next year.’’
A Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson told Cruise Passenger, “Norwegian Cruise Line undertakes review of its service and gratuities charges regularly, adjusting these in line with service offering, industry standards and inflation as required. The cruise line last adjusted its service charges in August 2015.”
The price of the line’s gratuities was increased to US$13.50 per person, per day for guests staying in studio, inside, oceanview, balcony and mini-suite categories and US$15.50 per person, per day for suite and The Haven categories.
MSC is still waiting for confirmation whether gratuity prices will increase for cruises in South America and South Africa.
Carnival Australia, P&O and Princess Cruises in Australia does not have gratuity fees.
“It’s a personal choice for passengers who decide to leave a tip for cruise staff because they were pleased with the standard of service,’’ said a spokeswoman for the lines.