Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card issuers from which MillionMileSecrets.com receives compensation. Compensation does not impact the placement of cards on Million Mile Secrets other than in banner advertising. MillionMileSecrets.com does not include all credit card offers that might be available to consumers in the marketplace.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

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

LizRocking the Boat: Carnival Cruise Line Sinks to Pocketing a Portion of Increased Automatic Gratuities Meant for EmployeesMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

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!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

16comments

by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Hopefully if we have already paid for our cruise it doesn’t apply to our trip

Hi Patricia – I have a friend sailing on a Carnival cruise right now and I asked her to check her bill. I’ll let you know! Although, I have a feeling it would be hard for them to charge some folks 15% and others 18%.

This is complete $&@^$*(%(@; article!! I assure you as a 15 year Carnival employee, senior officer and current office associate that these claims are FALSE and every cent goes to the amazing crew that wholeheartedly deserve them. I challenge you to find any credible evidence of this ridiculousness.

Hi Josh – thank you for commenting. This has been widely reported on cruise websites with a picture of the direct letter sent to employees. If you’d like to send me an official letter from Carnival to Keith at millionmilesecrets dot com, I’d be happy to update or run a new post. Thanks!

http://Www.cruiselawnews.com article with copy of letter from a Carnival VP to employees.

I’m not sailing on Carnival until the staff get the full 18% that they well deserve.

Hello….Viking Cruises? New customer here…

I will not cruise again with carnival until they reverse this policy.

Load more