Cruise lines continue to increase service fees on board


Cruise companies continue to increase service fees on board

December 30, 2022 Celebrity Cruises set a fee of $9.95 for each order delivered to the cabin at any time of the day. Mandatory “tips” are automatically added to this; eighteen%. On all vessels, the new tariffs will be introduced in mid-January.

Previously, Celebrity only charged for overnight bookings from 11pm to 6am, which was $4.95 — less than half of today's price list.

Operator's management justifies a sharp increase in rates for room service — room service — “high demand” and the desire to reduce passenger waiting times, as well as the desire to “reduce food waste.” This is understandable: the fewer orders, the less garbage and faster delivery.

However, you are charged for the entire order, not for a single meal or drink, so the cost is the same whether you order one appetizer or multiple appetizers. After adding an 18% tip, the total is $11.74 per order. Continental breakfast remains free from 06:00 to 11:00, as is room service throughout the day for Zenith Captain's Club members and all suite guests.

New rates — some of the highest fixed fees in the industry. Norwegian Cruise Line also charges $9.95 per order and Royal Caribbean— around $9.70 but with an 18% tip. By comparison, Virgin Voyages charges as little as $5 for room service, while Carnival and Princess generally offer a range of menu-priced items. MSC Cruises uses a combination of these two systems, charging a shipping fee based on cabin category.

Charging room service on cruise ships is nothing new and most non-luxury companies started doing it years ago.

Changes at Celebrity is one of the cost-cutting measures taken after the pandemic and cruise closures led to multi-billion dollar debt. Norwegian Cruise Line has raised its daily service charge by as much as 25% to $20 per person ($25 in suites) and said it will cut twice-daily housekeeping to reduce staff salaries.

Carnival, which recently raised prices at its à la carte restaurants, has made similar changes, increasing daily automatic tips to $16 per passenger ($18 in suites) and also raising prices for Wi -Fi by 25% for one device. Princess also increased her daily tips to $16 per person ($18 in suites) and Wi-Fi rates went up by 50% per device. Holland America Line also plans to increase daily tips for passengers.

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