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    Carnival Cruise Lines raises automatic gratuities


    Carnival Cruise Lines is boosting the gratuity amount it suggests passengers give crew as tips.

    The line is raising the amount by 50 cents, from $11.50 to $12 per passenger, per day, effective Oct. 9. The gratuities are automatically added to passengers' shipboard accounts — though there is the option of increasing or decreasing the amount at the purser's desk.

    "This marks the first time in nearly three years that Carnival has increased its recommended gratuities guidelines and places Carnival's recommended gratuities in line with other major cruise operators," the cruise line said in a statement.

    The tips are divided among crew including housekeepers and waiters. Gratuities make up an important part of their compensation.

    Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises (in the Caribbean) are among lines suggesting tips of $12 per day. Holland America Line and Princess Cruises, both owned by Carnival Corp., continue to suggest $11.50 as the standard gratuity.

    Carnival passengers who pre-paid their gratuities as of July 7 will not be impacted by the increase, the line said.

    By Fran Golden, Special for USA TODAY

    For more cruise news & articles go to http://www.cruisecrazies.com/index.html

    Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more

    http://www.cruisecrazies.com

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    Figured it would be coming. We still question whether the tips get to the correct folks. Our "standard" has been to take care of those that take care of us. We have yet to tell the purser's desk that we want to handle tips on our own, but I can see where that will be our norm.

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    I suppose automatic gratuities take care of the staff behind the scenes who wouldn't necessarily have direct contact with passengers. They would probably be routinely forgotten otherwise. I still think it's nice to tip extra cash directly to those individuals who "make my day," and I will continue to do so.

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