From May 2019, P&O Cruises are no longer including the discretionary daily Service Charge on their cruise fares.
Currently the charge for passengers on-board P&O Cruises are £7 per person per day, which can amount to a hefty sum when you’re sailing on a 14-night family cruise. These charges had just recently been increased in March 2018, when the charge was just £6.
In an email sent to passengers, P&O Cruises said:
“From May 2019 (cruises A911, B912, E911/A, J903, N910, R907, X907 and all thereafter), the discretionary daily Service Charge on board will be removed so you can relax knowing it’s all taken care of. Changes like this do take a little bit of time to put in place, and so for holidays which depart before May, a discretionary daily Service Charge amount of £7 will continue to be added for guests aged 12 and over.”
P&O Cruises’ Senior Vice President, Paul Ludlow, also stated “We take huge pride in giving guests a holiday experience that’s truly memorable and special. By removing the daily discretionary Service Charge, P&O Cruises will make enjoying a cruise holiday an effortless experience, knowing that great service comes as standard.”
Across social media, passengers were happy about the change, with many relieved that they could tip the amount they choose without the hassle of removing them.
A spokesperson for P&O Cruises have since confirmed that passengers are neither ‘required nor expected’ to tip on-board, but it can be done if passengers so wish. The change will also not affect crew pay on-board the ship, who earn a ‘fair and appropriate wage’.
Gratuities across the cruising industry
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) states that tipping rules are at the discretion of passengers on holiday. Most gratuities included can be removed by the passengers themselves, but this requires waiting in line and specifying that you want them taken off. However, the inclusion of these within your fare can sometimes make life easier, meaning you could even leave your wallet at home as everything has been taken care off – it entirely depends on your preferences.
Do you think cruises should have a daily service charge added at the end of the holiday? Or would you rather decide the amount and pay them yourselves? Let us know in the comments below.