Royal Caribbean Announces Increase in Daily Gratuities: What You Need to Know

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Filed Under: News

In an email communication sent to all guests booked on future cruises, Royal Caribbean International announced yesterday (31st October 2023) that it would be updating its daily gratuity charges, effective November 11, 2023.

The new rates will see an increase from $16.00 to $18.00 per guest, per day for non-suite staterooms, and from $18.50 to $20.50 for suites.

What Are Gratuities?

For those new to cruising, gratuities are essential tips that are either pre-paid before the cruise or automatically added to your onboard account during your sailing.

These are not just random charges; they are a significant part of the cruise ecosystem.

How Are Gratuities Distributed?

Royal Caribbean Gratuities Increase 2023
Dining Staff, Stateroom Attendants and Other Services Staff Rely Heavily on Gratuities to Boost Their Income

The daily gratuity charge is a pooled amount. It’s divided among several departments that contribute to your onboard comfort and enjoyment.

So, when you’re enjoying that perfectly cooked steak in Chop’s Grille or returning to a spotless cabin after a day of excursions, know that your gratuity is a token of appreciation for those behind-the-scenes efforts.

The New Rates

Royal Caribbean have stated that the increase in daily gratuities is not a decision that they made lightly. They say it reflects the cruise line’s commitment to fairly compensating its staff for their dedicated service. Here’s a breakdown of the new rates:

  • Non-Suite Staterooms: $18.00 per guest, per day
  • Suites: $20.50 per guest, per day

Ready Reckoner Table

To give you a clearer picture of how this will affect your total cruise cost, we’ve prepared a table that shows the total gratuity charges per person for different cruise lengths.

Cruise Length (Days)Total Gratuity for Non-Suite (USD)Total Gratuity for Suite (USD)

Additional Charges

It’s worth noting that the 18% gratuity added to purchases for beverages, spa & salon services, room service, and mini-bar items remains unchanged.

These will be itemized on your receipt at the end of each purchase.

Pre-Pay Option

For those who wish to lock in the current rates before the increase takes effect, Royal Caribbean is offering the option to pre-pay your gratuities now, before the price increase on the 11th of November.

This can be done by contacting your Travel Advisor or reaching out to Royal Caribbean directly through their various contact channels.

You can also contact Royal Caribbean at 1 866 562 7625 in the U.S., 1800 754 500 in Australia, 0800 102 123 in New Zealand, and 0344 493 4005 in the UK. For other countries, visit Royal Caribbean’s Contact Us page.

Final Thoughts

While the increase in daily gratuities may initially seem like an added burden, it’s crucial to remember the level of service and dedication that goes into making your cruise experience memorable.

There is a worldwide cost of living crisis at the moment and inflation in many countries is at a much higher level than it has been in years.

Cruise ship staff are not immune to these inflationary increases, so it is right that they see an increase in gratuity rates to keep their incomes in line with inflation.

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Alan took his first cruise in 1991 and has been cruising ever since. When he is not writing articles for you'll find him either on a cruise ship (he's the guy in the kilt), or on the golf course!

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