Royal Caribbean has started to inform guests of increased gratuity rates that will begin in early September 2022. Included within the documentation guests receive before their cruise vacation and a letter sent out, the cruise line has hiked the automatic per day, per guest rate for staterooms and suites.
Royal Caribbean Increases Gratuities
For the first time since 2018, Royal Caribbean is increasing gratuities and has already started including the new higher rate quietly in the documentation sent to guests. For standard staterooms, the rate is going up by $1.50, and for those booked in suites by $1.
It now means that the new daily rate for staterooms is $16.00 per person. For suites, the new daily rate is $18.50 per person. The increase will go into effect from September 7, 2022.
Previously, the rate for staterooms was $14.50 and for suites was $17.50. It’s also important to know that the new increased rate is now shown on the official website. Guests will be able to pre-pay and lock in the previous lower gratuity rate before September 7.
Royal Caribbean says in the pre-cruise documentation, “Guests who booked prior to July 15, 2022 can pre-pay gratuities before their sailing at the previous rates, which are $14.50 for standard staterooms and $17.50 for suites.”
What Are Gratuities?
Gratuities are an additional fee automatically charged from the onboard SeaPass account calculated per day, per guest basis. The fee is for all ages across all cabins onboard. However, if guests are not satisfied with the service they have received, they can request to modify the amount at the onboard guest services desk on the day of debarkation.
With the crew working very hard and long hours to make sure guests have the best cruise experience, it’s always advised to keep the gratuities as they are. Occasionally, guests will leave cash directly for their room steward or a memorable crew member during dining.
The automatic gratuities go to crew members that have serviced guests throughout the voyage, including those in housekeeping and dining. The money even goes to those crew members behind the scenes, such as in the laundry department.
There is an automatic 18% gratuity charge when purchasing beverages, using room service and the mini bar. Some departments are also not included in gratuities, such as crew working in the Spa, Casino and Duty-Free shops.
Royal Caribbean last increased gratuities in 2018 and, before that, was in 2016. Most recently, Disney Cruise Line increased the rate to $14.50 in July 2022. Carnival Cruise Line also increased the rate from May 2022 to $14.50 for staterooms and $16.50 for suites. Norwegian Cruise Line increased its gratuity rate in March 2022.