Carnival Cruise Line Becomes Latest Company to Raise Onboard Gratuity Fees

The cruise line is following in the footsteps of Royal Caribbean and Princess.

Carnival Sunshine
Carnival Sunshine . Photo:

Courtesy of Carnival Cruises

Carnival Cruise Line is increasing the cost of onboard gratuities in April, becoming the latest major cruise line to up the prices.

Starting April 1, the company will automatically charge guests $16 per person, per day for standard staterooms, and $18 per person, per day for suites, a Carnival spokesperson confirmed to Travel + Leisure. That is an increase of $1.50 per person, per day for each category.

“Our shipboard team members work hard to provide exceptional service and the friendly, welcoming, and outstanding work of Carnival crew is widely recognized across the industry and amongst cruise fans,” the spokesperson told T+L. “We believe our guests will agree this slight increase is well-deserved. While gratuities are automatically added to guest’s shipboard accounts, the amount can be adjusted on board at the guest’s request.”

Passengers can choose to either pre-pay the gratuities before they sail or add them to the onboard account and pay on the second to last day of their cruise. Guests can request the gratuities be adjusted by contacting the guest services desk while on the ship, according to the company.

Like many other lines, Carnival also charges an extra 18% service charge on beverage purchases as well as on the bill at specialty restaurants.

In addition to gratuities, Carnival will raise the cost of its onboard Wi-Fi starting Jan. 16, the company spokesperson told T+L. The company's Social internet plan, which allows access to many social media sites but restricts access to other websites, will increase from $10.20 to $12.75 per day; the company’s Value plan, which allows passengers to surf the internet, but does not allow streaming, will increase from $14.45 to $17 per day; and the company’s Premium plan, which supports video calls, will increase from $17 to $22 per day.

Carnival is the latest cruise line to adjust onboard gratuities, joining companies like Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line. Other luxury lines, like Regent Seven Seas Cruises, include onboard gratuities in the cost of the cruise fare.

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