[Resolved] Carnival Cruise Lines / gratuities
I booked a Caribbean cruise as part of our honeymoon a couple of days ago - Tuesday 26th July. When booking I was given the option to tick or not tick to have gratuities added pre-travel. I did not tick this as I prefer to look after my own tips to those who make my cruise special. I do not like that the bulk of prepaid or suggested gratuities go to those who seem to do the least work and not t those who work the longest and hardest on a ship.
When I received my invoice to my email it listed in our price 'Optional gratuities'. A charge I had not said yes to paying. I have hunted their website, both US and UK, for a way to have these removed and have emailed them only to be told that these charges are automatically added for international customers and cannot be removed. So these 'OPTIONAL' charges are only optional if you are American.
I hunted again for a way to complain on their website but strangely enough they do not have a way, or at least not one that is obvious or referred to anywhere, not even in FAQs. Any phone numbers I can find are Freephone to America, clearly not anything I can use in the UK. I find this disgraceful that I should not be given a choice to be charged because I am an international customer!!! All I ask is that these are removed because I am told they are optional, I did not choose to pay them but I am being forced to pay for them anyway
Customer care service did everything in their power to resolve this complaint. All attempts to contact the complainant have failed. Therefore, this complaint has been annulled and must not be considered where image of the company in question and it's services are concerned.
Carnival Cruise Lines Customer Care's Response, Aug 01, 2016
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to respond to Ms. Beck’s complaint.
It is customary to extend gratuities (tips) to the shipboard staff for their services. How much to tip is a personal matter and completely up to our guests.
Our recommended guideline to what is appropriate is $12.95 USD per person, per day (for cruises departing or after September 1, 2016). The majority of the tipping amount goes to employees such as the stateroom steward, assistant steward, dining room waiter and assistant waiter. A small portion goes to a mix of other personnel who are in guest-facing customer service positions within areas such as culinary and hotel services, along with certain key positions in entertainment and guest services.
It is required that guests sailing with us who reside in certain countries, such as the United Kingdom pre pay them. However all guests are charged for the gratuities regardless of the country they reside in. Some of them are required to pre pay and for other guests they will be automatically added to their on board Sail & Sign Account on embarkation day. However, should a guest not be satisfied with the service they receive, they can contact the Guest Services desk while onboard. This will allow us to address their concerns in a timely and appropriate fashion. At the discretion of the guest, they may adjust the gratuities at any time while onboard, but they cannot be completely removed.
We thank them for choosing Carnival and appreciate their business. We can't wait to welcome them onboard!
Carnival Cruise Line | 3655 NW 87th Avenue | Miami, FL 33178
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