Over the past several months, a number of cruise lines including Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess have bumped up the price of their onboard daily gratuity charges.
Now Carnival is making a similar move.
In an update to the cruise line’s website, Carnival now says beginning April 2023 the daily gratuity charge will move from $14.50 per person, per day for standard rooms (non-suites) to $16.00 a day. For suites, the price increase will mean a current charge of $16.50 per person, per day will bump up to $18.00.
Carnival charges the daily gratuity charge for all passengers aged two years or older. While the charges aren’t technically required — they can be adjusted at Guest Services on the ship if a passenger isn’t satisfied with service — most passengers simply see the automatic charge applied to their account or pre-pay the recommended amount.
According to Carnival, “100% of your gratuities are distributed to the crew who you interact with, such as your stateroom attendants, dining and culinary services staff, as well as others who work behind the scenes to enhance your overall cruise experience.”
You can see the change in the screenshot below:
In real terms, the increase comes to a 10.3% rise for most cabins. For those in suites, the $1.50 per day increase is a 9.1% bump.
As an example of what passenger can expect to pay, a couple staying in a balcony stateroom on a 7-day cruise currently would pay $203 in total gratuity charges over the course of the cruise. At the new rate, that amount rises to $224 — a $21 total increase.
New Rates Match Others in the Industry
While likely no one likes to see a 10% increase in the daily charge, even at new rates Carnival will still offer gratuities in line with the rest of the industry.
For instance, Royal Caribbean announced an increase beginning in September 2022 to a rate that’s the same as what Carnival will charge. Princess announced an increase beginning in February that’s $16 per person, per day for most cabins and $18 for suites.
Norwegian Cruise Line increased their rates to $20 per person, per day for most cabins and $25 per person, per day for those staying in its highest-level rooms in The Haven.
As mentioned, the new rates for Carnival go into effect for departures starting April 1, 2023. If you have a trip after that date and have prepaid gratuities, cruise lines typically honor the lower rate.