(1:36 p.m. EDT) -- Carnival Cruise Lines is upping the per person daily gratuity by 50 cents on all cruise sailings departing October 9 and after. The new amount will be $12.00 per day, per passenger. Passengers who had prepaid their gratuities as of July 7 will not be affected.
The announcement came via a letter to travel agents, which also revealed the line's upcoming ban on balcony smoking.
According to Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen, the increase marks the first time in almost three years since the line increased its recommended gratuities and puts the policy in line with other cruise lines' tipping policies.
--By Dori Saltzman, News Editor