Passengers cruising with Cunard, including on the new Queen Anne, will pay a bit more in hotel and dining service charges, up US$1.50pp per day (AU$2.10) from the end of April.
Like many other cruise lines, Cunard levies a service charge to guests on top of the price of a voyage “to provide flexibility to guests, fairness to crew members and a greater level of transparency”.
The rise is less than the US$2 per day that Royal Caribbean increased its gratuity charge by in November. Those charges were also absorbed into the fare price in Australia, Royal Caribbean said.
But you can ‘adjust’ your preference
“Guests are free to adjust the amount based on their personal preferences once on board at the Purser’s Office,” the Cunard Line website says.
Each day a passenger is on board, a set amount is added to your account to cover hotel and dining service charges.
“This ensures that all the efforts of the crew are recognised, from the head chef and your stateroom steward, to those who work behind the scenes to help make your voyage experience the best it can be. The service charge applies to all guests, and differs according to which accommodation you’re staying in.”
The rise applies to voyages departing on or after April 26, 2024 for Queen Elizabeth, and April 28, 2024 for Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. The service charge for Queens and Princess Grill Suites will be US$18 per person per day, and Britannia Staterooms will be US$16 per person per day, up from its current US$16.50pp per day and US$14.50pp per day, respectively.
The increases calculate to 9 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively which can add up over the course of a longer sail or for family groups.
The service charges apply to all guests, regardless of age or loyalty status.
Queen Anne will debut in early May, and therefore her gratuity charges will be assessed at the higher rate.
At the time of the increase, Queen Elizabeth will be homeporting in Tokyo, while Queen Mary 2 will be on a transatlantic cruise from Southampton to New York. Meanwhile, Queen Victoria will be departing from Southampton on a 7-night “Cities of Western Europe” tour.
Other Carnival line increases
It is the second Carnival-Owned cruise line to raise gratuities in 2024. The first was Holland America Line, at $17pp per day for non-suites and $19pp per day for suites from February 14, 2024.
Costa Cruises charges $12 for all stateroom types while Princess Cruises adds $16 for interior, oceanview, and balcony cabins while $17 is added for mini-suite and Reserve Collection and $18 per person per day for suites.