Carnival Cruise Line Hiking Automatic Gratuity Charge By Almost $1

Image courtesy of Adam Fagen

If you’re heading out on the high seas with a Carnival cruise starting next fall, expect to see a heftier automatic gratuity charge on your bill than in journeys past.

Starting Sept. 1, the auto-gratuity charge will be increasing by almost 8%, from $12 to $12.95 per person, per day for passengers staying in most cabins, Carnival says in an update to its FAQ page. If you’re staying in a suite, you can expect an even bigger hike, paying $13.95 per person, per day.
Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 12.46.38 PM

The charges can add up — if you’re a family of four, as KHOU-11 points out, you’ll be paying $360 in automatic gratuities on a seven-night cruise, instead of $336.

Customers with existing cruise reservations for later this year can still lock in the current gratuity rates by pre-paying them before Monday, May 9. And although the charge is automatically added, it’s just a suggested amount, the cruise company notes, so you can adjust how much daily gratuity is posted to your account while you’re on the ship by visiting Guest Services.

Looking to sail with another cruise line? Carnival’s hike will put it at the same level as Princess Cruises, and above the fees at Holland America ($12.50). Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line are still pricier at a $13.50 per person, per day automatic gratuity charge.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.