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Royal Caribbean, Celebrity cruise lines raising daily gratuity costs

Royal Caribbean, Celebrity cruise lines raising daily gratuity costs
Culinary staff employees on Royal Caribbean International ships are among those who share the automatic gratuities charged by the cruise line. (Royal Caribbean International)

If you plan to sail on Royal Caribbean International or Celebrity Cruises in 2018, expect to pay a bit more for the gratuities those lines charge.

Beginning Tuesday, passengers on those lines will be billed $1 more per person per day for the prepaid tips automatically added to the cost of their trip.

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On Royal Caribbean ships, your new bill will be $14.50 a day per person if you have standard accommodations. If you're in a suite, you'll pay $17.50 per day.

On Celebrity ships, you'll pay $14.50 daily per person if you're in standard accommodations, $15 for Concierge Class and Aqua Class rooms, and $18 for suites.

According to Royal Caribbean's website, the gratuity rewards the ship's staff for their service and is "shared among dining, bar and culinary services staff, stateroom attendants and other hotel services teams who work behind the scenes to enhance the cruise experience."

Although Royal Caribbean says its gratuity is "based on customary industry standards," the rate is higher those charged by other large lines.

Carnival passengers pay $12.95 per person per day, and it does not intend to raise prices, according to a spokesman.

Princess Cruises charges $13.50 per person daily and Norwegian Cruise Line charges $13.99 per person daily.

Can passengers escape the charge?

There's a way out, according to a Royal Caribbean statement:

"In the unlikely event that a guest onboard being charged the daily automatic gratuity does not receive satisfactory service, the guest may request to modify the daily amount at their discretion by visiting Guest Services."

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Twitter: @latimestravel

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