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Old October 15th, 2015, 04:22 PM
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Default Princess Raising Gratuity Rates

Princess is following the trent and raising their gratuities.

Remember when gratuities use to be voluntary? Now, it's a 'charge' that you pretty much are required to pay.

Pete




To ensure our guest service on board remains among the best in the cruise industry, Princess Cruises has increased the daily gratuity charge for all voyages departing on or after January 1, 2016.

The new daily gratuity amounts are $13.95 USD per guest for mini-suites and suites, and $12.95 USD per guest for interior, oceanview, and balcony staterooms (including children).

The gratuity rate increase is comparable to cruise industry standards and is Princess Cruises’ first increase since May 2011. The increase underlines our commitment toward our crew for the excellent service they provide our guests.

You have the opportunity to prepay your daily gratuities at the current rate through October 31, 2015. You may prepay through your Cruise Personalizer at Cruises ? Cruise Vacations ? Princess Cruises under Payments and Credits, or contact us at 1-800-774-6237. Guests booked with promotions that include paid gratuities will not be affected by this rate increase.

Thank you for your attention to this notification. We look forward to welcoming you aboard.
Sincerely,

Princess Cruises
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Old October 15th, 2015, 05:00 PM
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Wow that is certainly climbing for a mid-range product, Cunard are less than that, although I seem to recall it is Cunard that charge for the first AND last days, which means that they charge both arriving & departing guests on those days. In the UK P&O is the closest product to Princess & the charge there is £5 (circa $8) pppd, and NO additional charges for bar service either meaning the price you see is the price you pay & their drinks prices are very competative. I can only hope that CarniCorp don't push the increases down to the other brands

Ho Hum,
Alan.
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Old October 15th, 2015, 06:12 PM
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Can you still adjust the amounts ??

I wish they would find a way to just included it in the fare & be done with it

I hated the envelope thing & tracing down the crew the last night to give it to them now with open dining on most lines the auto gratuity is so much better for me

YMMV
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Old October 15th, 2015, 08:50 PM
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You'd be surprised as to how many people skipped the last night at dinner so they didn't have to face their servers and provide them their gratuity.

It was not unusual to see the dining room half full on the last night.

Pete
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Old October 16th, 2015, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storybookcruises.com View Post
You'd be surprised as to how many people skipped the last night at dinner so they didn't have to face their servers and provide them their gratuity.

It was not unusual to see the dining room half full on the last night.

Pete
Not surprised at all
many times we dined alone on the last night
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Old October 16th, 2015, 03:01 PM
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Always irritated me when people would do that. We prefer to use the cash and envelope method. This was it gave us the opportunity to thank those who made our cruise a wonderful experience. We had no problem with providing a gratuity that was more or less than recommended if the service was worse or better than expected.

And yes, you can still have the amount of the gratuities adjusted, either up or down, but unfortunately they don't make it easy and tend to give you the third degree and make you feel guilty when you want to decrease the amount.

To me, a gratuity should be a true optional payment that you can provide in any amount based on what you want to give. The way they're doing it now, it's still optional (to a degree), but they make it hard to change the amount that they're going to automatically add to your charges whether you want them or not. Some cruise lines call this a 'service fee' or some other name and then clarify it by saying an optional gratuity can also be added if desired. They make it so it's more of a requirement than an option. To me, that's not a gratuity, that's an extra charge.

Years ago, cruise lines were allowed to advertise just the cruise fare and people thought cruising was a great deal. Then they'd go to book and have the 'non-commissionable' fees (also known as NCF's or port charges) and the taxes added. The passenger was shocked to learn the true price was sometimes more than double the advertised price. Finally, Congress changed the laws and now require the advertised rates to include the cruise fare and the NCF's as one fare. While it still doesn't include the taxes, at least now the advertised rate is a little more accurate.

To some, it's not a big deal. But if you have a family of 4 staying in one room for a 7-night cruise, the gratuities alone can now be more than $360. All of a sudden, that's not chump change to a family on a budget trying to do a cheap cruise in an inside cabin, especially when it appears to be more of a requirement than an option.

Of course, as we all know, it's all about the money. If it becomes a 'fee', then it should be added to the cruise fare. Now the official 'pay' to the employees becomes more, but the taxes to the cruise line is going to be higher and employees now have to pay taxes on the higher wages. And not paying as much taxes as they should is why all these ships are flagged in foreign countries to begin with. Thus the vicious cycle.

Personally, I just think it would be more fair to the cruising public to require cruise lines to advertise an honest rate for the cruise that includes everything but taxes.

JMHO.

Pete
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Old October 17th, 2015, 11:17 AM
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Pete
On the invoices to the client do they break down the price still ?
cruise fare
Port fees & taxes

Here they used to do it that way but I think now it just shows the bottomline
It has been a couple of years since I booked with a Canadian TA
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Old October 17th, 2015, 01:33 PM
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No, the passenger's confirmation from the cruise line never shows the cruise fare and the NCF's - they just show the cruise fare now, as required by law. The agent's copy of the confirmation will break it down. Both will show the taxes and any other items that may have been added to the reservation, like transfers, pre-paid gratuities, that dreaded 'fuel surcharge', etc.

Here's where the misconception comes in; an agent is paid a commission based on the cruise fare, which does not include the NCF's (hence the name Non-Commissionable Fees). The NCF's are suppose to be the port fees, but in 13-1/2 years of asking the same question to many cruise lines, including senior officials, I have yet to get an honest answer as to how they come up with the figure they use. It amazes me that two ships from two different cruise lines sailing the exact same itinerary will have two different NCF's, when they should be exactly the same. So, what happens is that one cruise line will raise the NCF's while another won't. They'll raise the NCF's, when they should be raising the cruise fare instead because the port fees did not go up. This is their of making more profit while not having to pay commission on it. (Long story for another time.) But this is also why they use to add a 'fuel surcharge' as a separate entity. Their cost went up, so they add a fee that is also non-commissionable. Huh? If you go into a restaurant and the price of steaks went up, do they add a 'surcharge' and then tell you that you don't have to pay a gratuity based on that 'extra' charge. Only the cruise lines can get away with something like this. They do everything they can to get as much profit as possible while insuring they don't have to pay commission to those who are working hard to support a family. Yet, then they turn around and raise the gratuities for those who work on the ship without hesitation so they can keep the wages down so as not to impact their profit margin.

Didn't mean to get off the subject, but you gotta love it.

Pete
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Old October 17th, 2015, 08:27 PM
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Yes I understand how it works but it has been many years since I seen a TA invoice from the cruise line

Thanks for the updated info
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Old October 20th, 2015, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storybookcruises.com View Post
Princess is following the trent and raising their gratuities.

Remember when gratuities use to be voluntary? Now, it's a 'charge' that you pretty much are required to pay.

Pete

I still don't see that it's "required". People can still remove of change the amount if they feel it's justified.
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