Royal Caribbean announces Gratuities Charge Increase

I saw this posted on the
 link a few days ago.

” December 14, 2010
Royal Caribbean  announced this week that they are increasing their recommended gratuities charge on all sailings effective July 01, 2011. They are now recommending $11.65 per person for a standard cabin and $13.90 per person in a suite.
Royal Caribbean say that gratuities are at the discretion of the customer,  as they are added to your on board account (Auto tip)  You can have them removed from your account and tip individually but for RCL you must do this on your first day on board.”

They indicate it has been 13 years but other cruiselines have moved to the $10.50 earlier and not jumped as now.

My question is with the world economy in its deepest drop, interest rates and jobs at a low and even cruise prices though having a slight increase being offered at low prices to fill a ship , is this the right thing to do.?

A lot of British and European passengers are questioning the whole aspect of tipping, service charges , gratuity charges, what ever you may call the flavour of the day in asking folks to reward service.

Do not get me wrong,  I’m one of those folks who follow the recommended guidelines for on board gratuity charges and normally add more at the end of the cruise to staff who have provided direct service more than I expected.
I also applaud the cruise line who offers me the ability to Auto tip on my account and adjust in whatever manner I wish, leaving me not to worry about cash and correct change for envelopes. A large nuisance.

In an earlier comment I’ve made I believe we are now hitting the tip of the slide where passengers in large numbers will now line up at the pursers office requesting a change in the Auto Tip amounts.

RCL is putting into place an increase that is above normal wage increases and  moving from $9.75 US to $11.65 US can become the base on which folks will say enough is enough.
Increase your fares to benefit your staff not the tip structure base.
In essence they are applying a % increase much like current 15% on a can of Coke or a bottle of wine.
On a 7 day cruise per cabin it might be $15 – $20 but as a % to cruise price it hovers above  the
10 % level
At this tip level a cruise line needs to be upfront and demonstrate to us how much staff actually get in tips and what is the difference of Excellent service which I expect,  to Outstanding.
Thoughts.. ?