P&O Cruises is to automatically add £3.10 in tips a day to passenger accounts from next April.
The new tipping policy, revealed to agents this week, is aimed at making the “often confusing and sometimes awkward subject” of tipping clearer and easier for passengers, according to the UK cruise market leader.
Managing director Carol Marlow said: “Tipping has always been an integral part of the cruise experience but sometimes our passengers tell us they’ve been confused over whether or when to leave a cash tip for their waiters and cabin stewards.
“Our new tipping policy aims to remove this confusion in much the same way as most restaurants these days add a suggested gratuity to the bill. The new policy will see a recommended tipping rate added to a passenger’s onboard account on a daily basis.
“The recommended daily rate per person will be the same as has been in place for several years, namely £3.10, which is less than other cruise companies recommend as a daily rate. If our passengers wish to vary this amount they can do so whilst on board.”
She added: “We have had this policy in place for some time for those customers choosing to dine in the Freedom Dining restaurants on Oceana, Ventura and Azura.
“We have found the practice works well both for our customers, removing any awkwardness and confusion, and for our restaurant teams as they receive a fairer and more consistent level of tips. For this reason, we are extending the scheme to both dining and cabin stewards on all seven ships in the fleet from April 2012.
“Our people are always encouraged to ‘go the extra mile’ and are permitted to accept extra tips, over and above the recommended daily rate for truly exceptional service, if passengers wish to do so.”