Australia Gratuities?

#1
Arizona
662 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
I saw some articles from a year or so ago that daily gratuities are included in the price for Australia and New Zealand cruises. Is this still the case? Does it apply for those who book from the US? Other than the articles, I see nothing on the web site.
#2
California
889 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
We are on a November cruise out of Sydney and gratuities are not included.
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#3
Liverpool - UK
645 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
If you book through an Australian TA or Website the prices include Gratuities.
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#4
Singapore
458 Posts
Joined Jun 2016
I believe it is government regulation in some countries. Displayed prices should show total prices. Gratuities are deem to be compulsory.
#5
2,944 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
If you book through the Australian RC website or a travel agent the price includes gratitudes. This changed a couple of years ago. Just think of the gratitudes as a service charge. It's so much better just to see the advertised price as the total price you will pay. For excellent service you can still get envelopes from guest services to tip additionally.


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#6
Melbourne, Australia
169 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by Esilef
If you book through the Australian RC website or a travel agent the price includes gratitudes. This changed a couple of years ago. Just think of the gratitudes as a service charge. It's so much better just to see the advertised price as the total price you will pay. For excellent service you can still get envelopes from guest services to tip additionally.


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I never knew this. Perhaps it is why the drink packages are priced a lot higher than they are on the US cruises?
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#7
105 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Originally posted by jasper15
I never knew this. Perhaps it is why the drink packages are priced a lot higher than they are on the US cruises?
No, it's because, according to the F&B manager on either the Explorer or the Voyager that Australians drink more pp pd than any other nationality, including the Russians. I noted that the Asia cruise on mariner had the same drink package for more than $20 AUD less than the Australian cruises I've booked.
#8
Central Illinois
137,144 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by jasper15
I never knew this. Perhaps it is why the drink packages are priced a lot higher than they are on the US cruises?
I believe the drink package prices on UK based cruises also include gratuities.
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#9
Auckland, New Zealand
507 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Originally posted by SG007
I believe it is government regulation in some countries. Displayed prices should show total prices. Gratuities are deem to be compulsory.
It's simpler than that. A typical Aussie or Kiwi will simply refuse to pay gratuities. You are also right that in NZ and Australia the legislation does not allow the type of advertising that RCL engages in anyway.
#10
2,944 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Australians and New Zealanders are not cultures where tipping is commonly expected. Our minimum wages are higher than some other countries. Service staff are not reliant on tips. I heard that Royal Caribbean staff were less keen to work the Australian routes as they received less income from tips. Gratitudes being part of the cruise fare makes it fairer for all. Australians and New Zealanders are not out to reduce the incomes of hardworking cruise ship employees and I am really happy that this is now included .I will give extra cash in an envelope at the end of a cruise to staff whom have helped me and deserve to have this recognised.


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#11
2,944 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
I think the Australian drink packages are higher due to the value of the Australian dollar versus the American dollar, plus gratitudes are also included in the price.

And yes, Aussies like a beer or 12.......... Royal has gotta make their money some how to pay for their new ships.


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#12
Sydney, Australia
14,767 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Drink packages on Australian ships have actually been cheaper than US ships for some time.


However, the price charged is gratuity inclusive, not exclusive. The price you see is the price charged, rather than getting extras charged when you go to pay. The same with drinks onboard. The price advertised includes gratuities, so you don't get charged that extra when you go to pay. Same price in the end, just it's one price instead of two.
#13
Helsinki, Finland
834 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Based on above - then I guess the price limit for drinks included in the package is 15USD on the ship - same way as for cruises leaving from UK (12USD + 18% gratuity)?
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#14
No VA
15,700 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by JezzaC
Based on above - then I guess the price limit for drinks included in the package is 15USD on the ship - same way as for cruises leaving from UK (12USD + 18% gratuity)?
That varies by ship. If there's a price listed on board, that's without grats, so it is better to discuss drink prices without grats.
#15
Helsinki, Finland
834 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by Biker19
That varies by ship. If there's a price listed on board, that's without grats, so it is better to discuss drink prices without grats.
Are you sure? Above is stated otherwise: "The same with drinks onboard. The price advertised includes gratuities, so you don't get charged that extra when you go to pay. Same price in the end, just it's one price instead of two."

And if it is depending based on ship - what is Royal Caribbean policy? Have cruised on Celebrity from UK and they were showing price onboard including gratuity for drinks. Now we are talking about Australia and Royal Caribbean but was assuming they might have similar policy?
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NCL Bliss, Eastern Caribbean, December 2018
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Oasis of the Seas, Transatlantic, April 2019

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MSC Fantasia, Western Med January 2011, Celebrity Solstice, Eastern Med & Greek Isles Nov 2011, Celebrity Solstice, Venice cruise June 2012, MSC Magnifica, British Isles May 2013, Celebrity Infinity, Iberian Cruise, October 2014, Anthem of the Seas, Caribbean cruise January 2016, NCL Epic, Western Med B2B 26th June 2016, NCL Epic, Canary Island cruise April 2017, Ovation of the Seas, New Zealand cruise, January 2018
#17
Springdale, AR
1,153 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by sellwingri
Kind of off topic but do we tip normally (usually around 20%) when taking cabs and eating in Australia and NZ?
no, tipping is not expected.
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Cruzzzinma
#18
No VA
15,700 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by JezzaC
Are you sure? Above is stated otherwise: "The same with drinks onboard. The price advertised includes gratuities, so you don't get charged that extra when you go to pay. Same price in the end, just it's one price instead of two."

And if it is depending based on ship - what is Royal Caribbean policy? Have cruised on Celebrity from UK and they were showing price onboard including gratuity for drinks.
Many times, there are no prices listed, hence my wording "if price is listed". I have not seen menus listing prices with grats included since that is usually some oddball amount (and when they are listed they are usually in USD which would lead to lots of conversions for the locals). Typically when the price is higher on a different ship, the drink package limit is raised to cover the same drinks.
#19
Helsinki, Finland
834 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by Biker19
Many times, there are no prices listed, hence my wording "if price is listed". I don't see them making menus listing prices with grats included since that is usually some oddball amount (and in USD which would lead to lots of conversions for the locals). Typically when the price is higher on a different ship, the drink package limit is raised to cover the same drinks.
Well on Celebrity UK cruise they listed the price including 18% gratuity (rounding was made up / down to get full dollar prices) and limit was also raised for drinks package.

I guess best answer is to ask when entering the ship what is their policy.
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Coming cruises:


NCL Bliss, Eastern Caribbean, December 2018
NCL Getaway, Western Caribbean, December 2018
Oasis of the Seas, Transatlantic, April 2019

Past cruises:
MSC Fantasia, Western Med January 2011, Celebrity Solstice, Eastern Med & Greek Isles Nov 2011, Celebrity Solstice, Venice cruise June 2012, MSC Magnifica, British Isles May 2013, Celebrity Infinity, Iberian Cruise, October 2014, Anthem of the Seas, Caribbean cruise January 2016, NCL Epic, Western Med B2B 26th June 2016, NCL Epic, Canary Island cruise April 2017, Ovation of the Seas, New Zealand cruise, January 2018
#20
No VA
15,700 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by JezzaC
Well on Celebrity UK cruise they listed the price including 18% gratuity (rounding was made up / down to get full dollar prices) and limit was also raised for drinks package.
The pricing on many things seems to be so dynamic that RCI (does some things differently than Celebrity) may not want to print stuff with prices. I wonder what happens on a TA - do they switch out the menus with grats included for those that don't when they leave port?