There are various schools of thought on the "Service Charges". An experience travel agent will inform the customer of these charges. If nothing else, it informs the user that these will be charged at the end of the cruise. I prepay those charges when I pay off the cruise, so I have no great surprises. I agree with you, if you factor that amount into the cruise package price it can make a difference
Review by grady98
In response to review, Johngold says ...
Last I heard Princess does not make you pre-pay gratuities but do add them on daily. Some cruise lines if you do Flexible Dining force you to pre-pay. . I don't mind paying them daily but I am against pre-paying them. If you went to a restaurant you would tip even you you go to an expensive one. I just do as you say, add it into the cost of the cruise when you are comparing cruises.
I took a very long cruise on HAL and one perk was that gratuities were included. It was a big perk but the cost of the trip reflected this.
If the service charge was not automatically put onto your bill would you have left tips ? The staff do not even make minimum wage, they count on the tips to make a living.
I liked the old days where you had the envelopes and you tipped as you saw fit, but I can see a lot of people not tipping that way so the lines put in the auto gratuity at the suggested levels.
I use a web site to do my bookings a lot of the time and it tells you what the tips per day will be. Tipping has been part of the cost of a cruise as long as I have been cruising. For bad service you can go to the desk and have tips removed.
When we tipped individually, there were many times that a particular crew member was off & so we could not hand them our tip. I like it better this way and I know up front what it will cost for gratuities.
I still use the envelopes and tip the way I want