Carnival tips the scale for balance

Call it tipping. Call it rewarding good service. Call it paying gratuities. Whatever you call it, this is one of the most contentious issues among people who take cruises.

Carnival is the latest to cruise line make news on tipping and/or gratuities, a subject cruise lines would prefer not having to address when charging more. The daily gratuity on Carnival ships goes up 15% on December 1, from $10 to $11.50.

In making its case — price increases always need to have cases made — Carnival points out it’s the first increase in 10 years. It also points out that Carnival’s rate is now in line with other lines: Royal Caribbean is $11.65 and Norwegian $12.

Like most people who have cruised numerous times, we’ve always accepted the gratuity policy as part of the trip, whatever it is, and that it’s one more thing you don’t have to think about on the cruise. What we’ve objected to is being made to feel that the “daily gratuity” should be increased if we’re happy (or happier) with the service…and that has happened to us.

To us, if you want to “guarantee” tips, don’t imply that more would be a good idea. Cruise lines can’t have it both ways.

And you?

DAILY DEAL:
Azamara Journey
14 nights
December 4, 2011
Barbados to Rio de Janeiro
Inside $2,849
www.azamaraclubcruises.com

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