Rocking the Boat: Carnival Cruise Line Sinks to Pocketing a Portion of Increased Automatic Gratuities Meant for Employees

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Next time you’re on a Carnival cruise, you’ll see an automatic 18% gratuity charge added to your drink tab for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, all beverage packages, and all a la carte dining.  This is another reason to be sure you check out Costco Travel cruise deals to see if you can save money on your booking! 

In the past, Carnival automatically added a 15% gratuity charge onto bar tabs, but they are upping it 3%, effective immediately.  The increase applies to all-inclusive packages, as well as all individual purchases.

Here’s the problem – the 3% increase will be split 50/50 with half going into a pool to fund Carnival employee expenses, such as uniforms for the staff and employee benefit programs and the other half will go to the the Carnival employee.  It’s disappointing that Carnival will recoup a general company expense (like employee uniforms) by passing it through as a gratuity. 

Effective Immediately, You’ll Pay an Automatic 18% Gratuity on All Beverages While Onboard a Carnival Cruise Ship.

Keep in mind, other cruise companies, including Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean also charge 18% gratuities.  However, it’s not clear if other companies also keep a portion of the tips in a company slush fund instead of paying it out to hard working staff.  

Will this change impact your decision to cruise with Carnival?  Let us know in the comments below!

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