Carnival cruise ship funnel

(6:16 p.m. EDT) -- Carnival Cruise Line is set to increase its gratuity guidelines but also plans to sweeten the deal for suite passengers with additional benefits such as a free bag of laundry.

The line has advised of its intention to raise gratuities from $12.00 to $12.95 per person per day for standard cabins and $13.95 per person per day for suites, effective for cruises departing September 1, 2016 and onward.

Announced in a letter, dated April 29, Carnival added: “In tandem with this change, in addition to priority embarkation and debarkation in all ports and confirmed main dining room preference, suite guests will now receive priority tender service, complimentary in-suite bottled water and one complimentary bag of laundry per voyage, as well as an enhanced turndown service”, Carnival confirmed.

There is still time to avoid the rise, as passengers who have pre-paid their gratuities before May 9 “will not be affected by the increase”. 

Carnival’s ships departing from Australia, where tipping is not compulsory, are also not affected.

--By Louise Goldsbury, Australia Editor