Royal Caribbean vice-president and UK managing director Robin Shaw said the reluctance of Brits to tip their crew had become a “significant issue” as the volume of British passengers travelling with the line continues to grow.
Speaking at the Cruise Forum in Barcelona last week, Shaw said: “The British don’t tip, and that is a challenge for us. We are currently evaluating our options in the UK.”
Shaw also noted that there was a “huge cultural difference” between American cruise passengers, who are used to having service charges automatically added on to their bills, and the British passengers who are not.
At present Royal Caribbean does not automatically add a service charge onto customers’ bills like other cruise lines, and instead relies on passengers to pay their gratuities to the on-board crew at the end of the voyage.
This move comes as Royal Caribbean prepare to base one of their largest ships, the Independence of the Seas, at Southampton to serve the British market all year round, starting from April next year. Sister brand Celebrity Cruises will also be basing its Celebrity Eclipse liner at Southampton from next summer.
Article Ref: HSLP0101AA33