Cruising is cheap – at least that’s what cruise lines tell customers in their marketing and advertising.
But cruise lines are raising daily service fees and gratuities, inflating the price of cruising for groups and those traveling with children.
Princess Cruises, a Carnival Corp. brand, is the latest to jump on the bandwagon. On Jan. 1, 2016, the cruise line will raise the daily gratuity rate for most passengers from $11.50 to $12.95. For those staying in suites, the fee will jump from $12 to $13.95.
If you’re footing the bill for a family of five staying in a suite, this adds up to a $472.50 charge in gratuity at the end of your sailing.
“We adjusted the gratuity rate to be comparable to cruise industry standards,” said a Princess spokesperson. “The increase underlines our commitment to reward our crew for the excellent service provided to our guests.”