Well – it’s “Déjà vu” all over again – (sorry, Yogi)!
Norwegian did it (they for the second time in five months) – Princess did it – Celebrity did it – now Royal Caribbean is doing it?
What? Why increasing their “suggested” (automatic) daily gratuities, of course! Looks like they’ll soon all be in “lock step” at a rate of some $13.50 per person per day!
Oh, Lorraine knows the drill – “in order to continue excellent service (yada, yada, yada)” while attempting to “sugar-coat” the fact that cruise prices are going up, folks!
It’s a matter of reality! THINGS COST MORE! But, why, Lorraine asks, can’t they just increase cruise costs rather than “nickel and dime” passengers to death? Well, it’s a ploy of marketing.....keep the fares as low as possible and add the “frills” on top! We’re all familiar with the line “double your order FREE (just pay separate shipping and handling)” – LOL!
The lines do advise that these “automatic” gratuities can be “adjusted” by a visit to the passenger service desk – but how many cruisers are really going to stand in line to do that? You’re on a cruise – you want to be by the pool enjoying a “cool one” or exploring ports – not hassling over gratuities.
The “luxury” cruise lines do include gratuities in the fares – but, have you checked into those fares? Most are way out of reach of the average cruiser – and the concept of “luxury” to many connotes an idea of “stuffy” – not one of shorts and flip-flops!
So – the bottom line is to just “bite the bullet” and not let it ruin your vacation! Lorraine is of the mindset that if you’re going to stress over fifty cents to a dollar a day you probably shouldn’t be on a cruise anyway – but that’s just her personal opinion.
You will notice that Carnival is the single hold-out in these increases.....but betcha it won’t be for long! We all know by now that among the “mainstream” cruise lines – it’s MONKEY SEE – MONKEY DO!