Royal Caribbean Raises Gratuity Prices

Royal Caribbean has raised the prices of its daily gratuities for all passengers by $2 per day.

Royal Caribbean ships

The price hike comes into effect from 11th November 2023 and applies to all cruises. This means that the new rate will be $18 per day for guests in an Interior, Ocean View or Balcony Stateroom or a Junior Suite, and $20.50 per day for guests in all other suites.

The rate was last increased in September 2022, when $1.50 was added to the stateroom gratuity price and $1 was added to the suite price.

The increased rate does not impact anyone who has already pre-paid their gratuities, and guests who have a cruise booked can also prepay their gratuities before 11th November 2023 to secure them at the lower rate.

However, guests waiting until 11th November will be asked to pay the new higher rate, even if they prepay.

These new increased rates mean that Royal Caribbean is charging more than rival cruise lines – Carnival charges $16 for cabins and $18 for suites, while NCL has a sliding scale from $16 to $20 depending on the stateroom/suite choice.

While these are the daily gratuity rates guests are expected to pay, it’s worth noting that, in theory, anyone can choose to reduce the amount they pay by visiting Guest Services, if they have an issue with the service they have received.

And technically, you don’t have to pay the daily gratuity fee at all if you don’t want to – you can ask for it to be removed from your account at Guest Services onboard the ship – but this isn’t recommended, as the crew (many of whom work behind-the-scenes) rely on gratuities as a large part of their salary.


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6 thoughts on “Royal Caribbean Raises Gratuity Prices”

  1. What really irks me as a traveler is the nickel and diming of fees. Put it in the base rate, and no ones the wiser.
    I just booked a Best Western hotel in San Diego. After I booked it, is when I found out there’s a charge of $23 to park my car. Really?
    Put those types of fees in the rate.

    • Sorry there should not be gratuities at all pay the staff a good wage P@O have no gratuities it can be done , gratuities are a added extra given for good service not a wage

  2. From what I have been told, and according to the official Celebrity notice of gratuities the breakdown is as follows:
    Dining & Culinary $10.81 per person
    Housekeeping $5.19 per person
    Other Hotel Services $2.00 per person.
    As I said in a previous email, the staff I spoke to have no knowledge of their gratuity breakdown and some said they’re not even sure they get a piece of the pie.
    It would not surprise me in the least if Celebrity takes a cut from the top.

  3. This is one reason I only go on P & O cruises, who removed gratuities from their bills.
    I know it’s standard practice in The States, but I don’t like being forced to pay staff salaries. They should be paid a fair salary and not have to rely on guests contributing for them.

  4. So, not only do guests pay cruise fares, we are now asked to help pay their crews salary during that cruise. Of course we can opt out, but you’d better not because the behind the scenes crew won’t like it. Sounds like extortion.

    I just got back from a Boston to Miami cruise on Celebrity who also charge $18 per day, per person that we are told goes into a pool to be split amongst crew members. However, I found out from some of the F&B staff, that their pay stubs don’t show what percentage of that pool they’ve earned. A couple staff members said they don’t even know if they’re part of the pool.

    I have been on 24 cruises with Celebrity and always opt out. I pay cash gratuities to those that actually provide a service to me and my wife.

    I was in a fast food restaurant not to long ago and when it was time to pay for my order, I was asked if I wanted to donate to their college fund. Are you kidding me?

    In San Francisco’s Fishermen’s Wharf restaurants add an additional 3% to the bill to pay for their employees medical insurance.

    Everyone wants their fingers in the pie. If a company can’t pay for their staff, they shouldn’t be in business.

  5. Is it true RCCL keeps a percentage of the total tip for the cruise ?

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