“Prior to our most recent cruise, we always tipped generously — above and beyond what was recommended for individuals who showed extra initiative,” says Greene, an author from Pensacola, Fla.
But on her latest cruise on Oceania, she found a surprise charge on her final bill: it included a hefty, and automatic, tip for the crew.
Oceania’s tipping policy is spelled out in its frequently-asked questions section: For guests occupying staterooms, gratuities of $14.50 per guest, per day, will be added to the final bill. Plus, an 18 percent service gratuity is automatically added to all beverage purchases, spa services and dinner at its signature restaurant, La Reserve, it says. [continue]
The remarkable thing about the proposed Cruise Passenger Protection Act is that on its face, it looks entirely unremarkable. The law would require cruise lines to publicly report all alleged crimes on a ship and to disclose their passenger contracts in plain English.
But dive into the bill, and it delivers a little shock to both passengers and the cruise industry. For travelers, it’s the surprise that, thanks to a legal loophole, cruise lines and the federal government currently don’t do what the new law would require, including publicly reporting every alleged and significant crime committed aboard cruise ships. It’s also a troubling reminder that at sea, you don’t have the same rights as on land. [continue]
Don’t lose it this summer. At least not the way Jennifer and Pat Mangold did when they stayed in the Florida Keys last August.
In their hurry to avoid holiday traffic, Mangold left her $680 in cash in their room at the Hampton Inn & Suites Islamorada.
“I didn’t realize this until we were 70 miles away in Key West, on a busy Labor Day weekend,” says Mangold, a nurse practitioner from Philadelphia. “I immediately took my phone out to call the Hampton Inn. I looked at my missed calls and found that they were trying to reach me.”
Turns out, a housekeeper had found the cash. The hotel overnighted it to Key West at no charge.
“We were more than grateful,” says Mangold. [continue]
I’ve been on the fence about this case for weeks, following the back and forth between this unhappy customer and a cruise line.
The reason for my indecision? Two years ago, I took virtually the same Norwegian cruise as Joseph Cilento, and my family and I had a dramatically different experience than he did. But things change.
Cilento, his wife and twin daughters were passengers on the Norwegian Gem in May, which sailed from New York to Nassau and back in seven days. He says the voyage was billed as a family-themed voyage, with lots of special amenities for kids. [continue]
In this week’s episode of The Christopher Elliott Show, I forget the name of my guest, and my own name (oh, I’ll edit that part out) and I talk loyalty programs and cruise prices with Doug Parker. No, not that Doug Parker — that one. (Not enough espresso, my friends. Not enough espresso!)