Passengers on Royal Caribbean ships sailing on/after May 1 will have to pay 55 cents more per day, per person for gratuities. The new RCI daily cruise ship gratuity (added automatically to the passenger's onboard bill), will be $13.50 (which is up from $12.95) for standard cabin guests and $16.50 (up from $15.95) for guests in suites.
RCI passengers who have existing bookings can pre-pay gratuities before April 14 if they want to lock in the current rates.
Royal Caribbean International last upped company's gratuities ten months ago, going up from $12 to $12.95 (standard cabins) and $14.25 to $15.95 (suites).
According to Royal Caribbean, the last increase put the company "in line with its competitors in the industry and recognize the exceptional work that Royal Caribbean's staff and crew does to deliver unforgettable vacations every day."
As it is with most cruise lines, travelers can remove daily gratuity but it does pay for tips for all crew members in the housekeeping and dining rooms. According to the RCI website, of $13.50, nearly $8.30 goes to dining & culinary services; suite attendants receive $6.85; stateroom attendants get $3.85; and housekeeping services - $1.35.