Princess Cruise Passengers Face Unwanted Price Hikes

Starting mid-December, Princess Cruises will increase the daily rate for crew gratuities, and from February, the onboard Wi-Fi prices as well.

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Princess Cruises is introducing several price hikes, including a higher rate for the daily gratuities guests are expected to pay onboard. The price for the crew appreciation and service charge will increase by $1.50 per guest per day for all cabin and suite categories.

With the current inflation levels affecting most people worldwide, increasing gratuities is a way for Princess Cruises to lessen the impact on its crew.

Princess Cruises has also announced a significant price increase in onboard Wi-Fi. Although the service has been touted as one of the best at sea, it seems unlikely guests will be happy with the new pricing. 

Princess Cruises Gratuity Hike

Introducing price hikes will never go down well with everyone; however, with inflation skyrocketing worldwide, cruise lines are forced to bring some relief to the thousands of crew members onboard. That’s why the cruise line announced to travel advisors that the company would raise the price for daily gratuities. 

Starting December 14, the rate for gratuities for those staying in Interior, Oceanview, and Balcony will go up to $16 per person per day. Guests will pay $17 per guest per day if they stay in a Mini-Suite or Club Class. Those who book a suite will pay $18 per guest per day.

Princess Cruises Deck
Photo Credit: Vintagepix / Shutterstock

Those who have an existing booking can take advantage of the old pricing through December 13 and pay $14.50 per guest in interior, oceanview, and balcony cabins, $15.50 per guest in mini-suite and club class, and $16.50 per guest in staying in a suite. 

The difference in price for two people means that for one interior cabin, guests will pay an additional $30 on a 10-day cruise for one interior cabin. 

Princess Cruises said the following in communication to travel advisors: “This daily charge recognizes our crew for exceptional service they provide and is shared among the many members of our crew in hotel, dining and entertainment throughout the fleet. Your clients with existing bookings will have the opportunity to pre-pay the crew appreciation for their cruise at the current rate until Dec 13, 2022.” 

Princess Cruises Wi-Fi Pricing Sees Huge Increase

The MedallionNet WiFi service onboard the Princess cruise ships has been broadly recognized as one of the best at sea, with speeds exceeding those offered on most cruise lines. However, from February 20, 2023, guests will be paying much more per day to use it. 

Currently costing just $9.99 per day for the single device plan, which can be used for 24 hours of unlimited use, guests will pay $15 per day from February 20. That means a massive $50 extra for a 10-day cruise.

Princess Cruise Ships
Photo Credit: STUDIO MELANGE / Shutterstock

However, the most significant price increase is for the four-device plan. Currently costing just $14.99 per day, the new price will go up to $40 per plan. For one cabin, the price difference is a staggering $250 for a 10-day cruise. Whether guests with existing bookings can use the old pricing for any cruises sailing after February 20 is unknown.

Why Princess Cruises is introducing such a significant increase for its Wifi plan is unknown, but it could be a victim of its own success. 

Typically, cruise lines pay for the amount of data that is used onboard. With the cruise line aggressively marketing the MedallionNet WiFi service, usage will likely have exceeded the estimates the company made beforehand. It doesn’t seem likely that Princess will be switching to the much cheaper Maritime Internet introduced by Starlink recently. 

Is it all bad news for guests looking to book a cruise onboard Princess? No, most of the price increases can be negated by booking one of the premium upgrade packages. 

The cruise line introduced several changes this week, which allows guests to save more while combining several items such as beverage packages, WiFi, and pre-paid gratuities.   

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