One More Cruise Line Raises Daily Gratuities

Holland America Line daily gratuities

Holland America Line daily gratuities will increase to $14.50 per person per day for inside, ocean view and balcony stateroom.  Those guests lucky enough to be in a suite will see their daily gratuities increase to $16 per person per day.  This begins on all Holland America cruises departing on or after December 1, 2018.

For all sailings departing prior to December 1, 2018 as well as the 2019 Grand World Voyage and the 2019 Grand South America Antarctica Voyage, the daily gratuity or “Hotel Service Charge” remains at $13.50 per guest per day for non-suite stateroom guests and $15.00 per guest per day for suite guests.

Also included in the disclosure is that if guests feel that the service provided to them does not meet their expectations, they can adjust their daily gratuity amount.  In the Holland America Know Before You Go FAQs there’s an asterisk with the text saying that “these charges are subject to change without notice”.


Previous gratuity increase

Back in May 2017, Holland America Line daily gratuities increased from $12.50 per person per day to $13.50 per person per day for inside, oceanview or balcony staterooms – $1.00 a day increase since the last time in 2015.

Guests who booked suites saw an 11% increase from $13.50 per person per day to $15.00 per person per day.

Where exactly does this money go?

It’s split among the ship’s crew and includes the “hidden” employees who work behind the scenes to keep the ship running – like those in the laundry and galley.

Holland America Line daily gratuities are split among crew members, and comprises an integral part of their compensation. A Bar Service Charge of 15% is automatically added to all bar and Dining Room wine and spirits purchases.

When you think about it, a $1.00-$2.00 increase in the daily gratuities every two years isn’t too terrible.  But as I said in earlier articles about gratuities, besides what’s now being formulated in cruises that cater to U.K. guests or has been in place in a couple of ultra-luxury cruise lines, if the daily gratuity was rolled into the total cost of the cruise fare, who’d be the wiser? I wonder how and if cruise lines would disclose the gratuity charge in the passenger confirmation.  Would it be taxable income to the cruise lines?  Hmm.


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