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Holland America raises fee for daily gratuity.

Scott and Marty enjoying another Holland America Line cruise

Cruise Radio is reporting that Holland America Line is raising the fee for daily gratuities.

“On sailings after December 1, 2018, the gratuity will increase to $14.50 per person per day for non-suite guests, and $16 per person for those staying in suites. Somewhat ironically, the (Holland America FAQ) page notes that these fees can change at any time without notice. They also remind guests that if service failes to meet their expectations, they are “free to adjust this amount.”

Back in the day, Holland America didn’t have gratuities automatically deducted from your onboard account.

I fondly remember the days when several white envelopes were lovingly placed on our cabin bed prior to our last dinner on the ship.

My wife Marty loved handing those envelopes to our cabin steward, waiters, bus boys and other staff that made our cruise memorable.

Then in 2003, my daughter Brittany and I sailed on a travel agent/media voyage of the newly christened MS Oosterdam. The 3 day cruise was filled with great fun, entertainment and informative classes, including amazing prizes!!!!

Mr. Stein Kruse

During that cruise, Brittany and I were honored to meet many of the amazing leaders of Holland America Line, including Holland America Group Chief Executive Officer Stein Kruse.

As the Oosterdam was the first ship of the Vista class of ships, many members of the leadership asked me what I thought of these larger ships.

I told them that I loved the larger ships, but I was concerned regarding the new policy (at the time) was moving from voluntary tipping to mandatory tipping.

I was assured that guests could increase or decrease the amount of the tips according to the level of service provided.

The policy of automatic gratuities has now become common place on cruises, however, I am troubled when I see a line 50 people deep at guest services on Carnival ships the last night of the cruise.

We all know that they are removing their tips from their sail and sign accounts!

If you can’t afford to tip, then stay home!!!

Anyway, I don’t see a problem with Holland America Line raising the cost of gratuities.

The hard working crew deserves a raise!!!

Click on the link below for the story from Cruise Radio:





About Scott Lara

Navy Veteran, Travel Agent, love to cruise!

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  1. I haven’t cruised for a number of years and didn’t realize that the tips are now automatically added to travellers’ bills. I’m not quite sure I agree with your comment, “If you can’t afford to tip, then stay home!” In all honesty to your readers, do you pay the full costs of every cruise yourself, or are your travels subsidized?

  2. I recently sailed on Holland America’s Volendam and agree that the hardworking crew deserve every penny. I’m surprised people would line up to remove the gratuities from their bills – every passenger I met seemed so happy with their onboard experience and service from the staff!

  3. Thanks for sharing this important notice about the change to Holland America’s tipping policy. It is good to be aware of the costs that could ultimately affect your final spend on a trip.

  4. It’s interesting that restaurants are moving in the opposite direction: Better restaurants are increasing salaries and eliminating tips.

  5. It might be a good idea to just include the tip in the cruise price. But I guess they don’t do that because then their cruise comes in at more costly than the ones that don’t do that. Tipping certainly is often a controversial item.

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