October 9, 2018.
Holland America Line is increasing the automatic gratuity fees effective for sailings that depart on or after December 1, 2018. This was quietly announced in an update to the cruise line’s website FAQ for Hotel Service Charge. The increase is $1.00 per person/per day.
The current rate, which was set in May 2017 – a little over 18 months ago – is $13.50 per guest per day for non-suite staterooms and $15.00 per guest per day for suites.
After December 1, 2018, the rates will be $14.50 for non-suites and $16.00 for suites.
Curiously, the FAQ has an asterisk denoting that the rates can change at any time without notice.
Holland America is not unique in having more frequent gratuity increases. All of the mainstream cruise lines have been doing it for the past few years.
I’ll go on record again and say it’s time to end this shell game and roll these service charges into the basic cruise fare.