Anyone planning a Carnival cruise, whether they are a regular cruiser, first-time Carnival guest, or have never been sailing before, should take note that the planned increases to gratuity and Wi-Fi rates are set to increase from April 1, 2023, making March 31 the last day to lock in significant savings.
Gratuity Increases to Take Effect
It’s no April Fool’s Joke that as of April 1, Carnival Cruise Line’s gratuity rates will increase.
For all embarkations on or after Saturday, April 1, the automatic gratuity rate for standard staterooms – interior cabins, ocean views, and balconies – will increase to $16 per guest, per day, up from $14.50, an increase of roughly 10% per day. The rate for suite guests will become $18 per person, per day rather than $16.50.
Particularly for families, this can be a significant charge, adding up to $448 ($462 in suites) for a family of four for a 7-night sailing. Prior to the increase, the automatic gratuities would have been $406 for the same family ($504 in suites). It should be noted, however, that guests under the age of 2 are not assessed automatic gratuities.
Compare the April 1 rates to gratuity rates of just a year ago, and the difference is even more significant. Carnival Cruise Line also raised gratuity rates in May 2022. Prior to that first increase, the cost was $13.99 per person, per day for standard staterooms, and $15.99 for suites.
This means, in just one year, the twice-raised rates have increased by approximately 14% for standard staterooms, and 12% for suites.
This is particularly troubling at a time when inflation rates remain high, while wages are not necessarily keeping pace with day-to-day living expense increases.
Still Time to Save
Guests can still lock in the lower gratuity rates for Carnival cruises if they pre-pay for automatic gratuities prior to April 1, 2023. This applies even if the cruise sets sail weeks or months after the rate increase takes effect.
Read Also: Carnival Cruise Line Gratuities (Tipping) Explained
Booked guests can contact Carnival Cruise Line or login to the cruise line’s website to make such a payment, or reach out to their travel agent to make immediate payment and save significantly for their upcoming cruise.
Guests who may be ready to book could also secure their reservations and pre-payment before the deadline – such savings are nothing to laugh at.
Comparing Gratuities Across Cruise Lines
While no service charge increase is ever welcome, the gratuity rates Carnival will begin on April 1 are comparable to other cruise lines and their own increases in the past year.
For example, Norwegian Cruise Line raised gratuities from January 1, with a new rate of $25 per person, per day for guests in The Haven and suites, and $20 per person, per day Club Balcony Suites and other stateroom types.
Holland America Line’s gratuity rates, just raised on February 1, are now $17.50 per person per day in suites, and $16 per person, per day in other stateroom categories.
Princess Cruises’ rates are $18 per person per day in suites, $17 in mini-suites or Club Class staterooms, and $16 per person, per day in other stateroom types. Princess Cruises raised gratuities to the current level in mid-December 2022.
Disney Cruise Line’s gratuity rates, which have not been raised since July 2022, are $14.50 per person (including children and infants) in all staterooms except Concierge and Suite staterooms, which are $15.50 per person, per day.