In many countries around the world, tipping isn’t practiced to the extent it is in the US. Here, anything less than 15% for a restaurant server is considered an insult. We tip hotel housekeepers, valets, even the people who make our coffee. We’re used to the system of tipping to supplement a worker’s wages, but in other countries, the average tip is much lower.
American cruise lines are having some trouble reconciling the American way of tipping with attitudes and customs around gratuities in other countries. It seems that Carnival‘s Australian branch, P&O Cruises Australia, had received complaints from passengers in response to the automatic tipping policy the cruise line previously had in place, so they’ve announced that they will be removing the automatic gratuity charge added to all accounts.
Other US-based cruise lines that operate in certain countries may follow suit in reevaluating their policies to accommodate foreign customs in tipping. Royal Caribbean, which does not currently add the automatic charge, said it is working on changes to its own policy because the British who cruise on its line out of Southampton don’t tip.
[via USA Today]