P&O increases gratuity

(12:15 p.m. BST) -- P&O Cruises has raised its daily gratuity charge -- known as the line's Service Reward Programme -- from £5 to £6 per day.  

The charge applies to all passengers aged 12 years and over and has been rolled out across the fleet from today.  

In a statement, P&O Cruises said: "For cruises departing March 27 2017 onwards, the daily amount for each guest aged 12 and over is £6.00. The Service Reward appears on the account as a 'service charge'.

"Should any guest wish to reward a crew member personally in addition to this or if they wish to vary the amount in any way they may do this at reception on board."  

P&O Cruises last raised its Service Reward Programme charge in May 2015 -- increasing the daily fee from £3.95 to £5.

Cruise Critic members on P&O Cruises' forum have revealed mixed views on the increase, with Wichenford Wolf saying: "Still a lower cost compared to the American ships we have previously cruised with, though hopefully this doesn't reflect poorer service."

Another member, Wowzz, said: "I will opt out of paying the increase, and pay the amount that was in force when I made my original booking. In cash terms the amount is negligible, but I do not believe it is correct to alter the amount post booking."

--By Kerry Spencer, Editor, U.K.