Holland America Line, Princess Cruises increase gratuity prices – USA TODAY

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Travelers may find their next cruise with several major lines costs more than expected.

Holland America Line is raising its Crew Appreciation charge early next year. The daily gratuity cost, which is automatically applied to each guest’s onboard account, will increase by 50 cents for both suites and non-suite staterooms, to $17.50 and $16 respectively, according to the line’s website.

The change will take effect Feb. 1.

The increase follows a similar change from Princess Cruises, which is raising its Crew Appreciation charge to $16 for interior, Oceanview, and Balcony staterooms, $17 for Mini-Suite and Club Class cabins and $18 for suites, according to a spokesperson for the line. All charges are per guest, per day, and represent a $1.50 increase for each group of accommodations, according to the line’s website.

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The price increases apply to Princess sailings departing Feb. 20 and onward. “This daily charge recognizes our teammates for exceptional service they provide and is shared among many members of our hotel, dining and entertainment teams throughout the fleet,” the spokesperson said.

For both lines, those charges are adjustable up to the time passengers settle their onboard accounts before disembarking.

Have other cruise lines increased their gratuities?

Yes. Norwegian Cruise Line is also making similar changes, hiking their service charges to $25 daily for each guest for its ship-within-a-ship concept, The Haven and Suites, and $20 for Club Balcony Suite category rooms and below, for bookings made Jan. 1 or later. The line currently charges $20 per person daily for The Haven and suites, $18 for Club Balcony Suites, and $16 for other staterooms, according to its website.

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The changes come as a number of lines, including Princess and Norwegian, are increasing prices on other items, such as Wi-Fi and beverage packages, amid continued high inflation and the industry’s continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consumer prices increased 7.1% from a year earlier in November, according to the Labor Department’s consumer price index, though they were down from a 7.7% increase in October.