• Report: #944633

Complaint Review: PRINCESS CRUISES

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  • Submitted: Fri, September 21, 2012
  • Updated: Sun, September 23, 2012

  • Reported By: Sonny — riverside California U.S.A.
LOS ANGELS, California United States of America


*Author of original report: Does not explain these shady transactions

*Consumer Comment: Welcome to cruising...

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First time i sailed with Princess...everything was great, the food, the ambiance, the service and the cabins were top class.  The ports of call and the itinerary was impressive and we enjoyed the cruise.  What spoiled the entire experience was the level of GREED exhibited by this cruise line.  It left a bad taste and spoiled the entire vacation.  Examples....we were expected to pay 11.50 per day  per person..as gratuity for waiters, cabin attendants, cooks, etc.

Fine...no problem with that.  However, when you ordered a cocktail at the bar, you were charged along with a 15% GRATUITY thrown in....AND THERE IS A column on the charge slip for gratuity...most people dont look at the bill..they automatically add a GRATUITY and end up paying 30-40% gratuity.  The ship had a Doctor of Accupuncture...made an appointment and paid 150 dollars for a one hour session,

when the charge slip came, in addition to the 150 dollar charge, there was a column for GRATUITY....in a polite way, the accupuncuturist hinted that GRATUITY was expected....SINCE WHEN DO DOCTORS CHARGE GRATUITY?????  A dermatologist on board wanted 2000 dollars for a non invasive face lift...WERE WE EXPECTED TO PAY 300 DOLLARS IN GRATUITIES to this doctor? 

Finally, since they had my credit card on file, i got an unexplained charge of 118 dollars...no receipt, no explanation...i intend to contest this...but after being put on hold for 30 minutes on their 800 line, i finally gave up...will take it up with Visa.......Majority of the  wait staff and cleaners and cooks  on Princess are foreigners, they are paid a flat rate of 1000-1500 dollars per month...what this cruise company tries to do is have the passengers pay these wages by charging exhorbitant GRATUITIES....sorry Princess...WONT BE SAILING WITH YOU AGAIN.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/21/2012 10:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/PRINCESS-CRUISES/LOS-ANGELS-California-/PRINCESS-CRUISES-GREEDY-IS-THE-NAME-OF-EVERY-SHIP-LOS-ANGELS-California-944633. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

Does not explain these shady transactions

AUTHOR: Sonny - (U.S.A.)

Irvine did give me some insight to the standard operating procedures of the cruise lines.  However, my opinion is that they need to be more forthcoming and honest.  Why did Princess state in their brochure that a gratuity of 11.50 per day  per person will be distributed among waiters, cabin attendants, service personnel, etc..if that is the case, why do they add 15% to every bar/food bill? This constitutes double gratuity.  When you get a charge slip with the 15% gratuity already added on, why does the invoice have a gratuity column?

You indicated that some people may want to give more, in this case, the column should have stated Additional Gratuity.  This would have prevented those customers who dont analyze the bill from giving a double gratuity.  Finally, since they have doctors on board, and they are in a SPA, does this entitle them to beg for gratuities.  We all know how expensive medical care is, more so on a cruise ship...lets say that Cedars Sanai Hospital changes its name to Cedars Sanai Spa....does that mean that we are obligated to pay a 15% gratuity to doctors, nurses and lab techs?

Bottom line is I doubt if these gratuities are distributed among those employees who earn them...i spoke to a couple of the waiters on the ship..they stated that they get a flat salary, no gratuities...for about 1000-1500 dollars per month, these foreigners NEVER GET A DAY OFF. for ten months.....since the cruise starts on saturday and ends on saturday....so like i stated before, the gratuities collected go towards paying for salaries. I agree with Irvine that the excursions offered by Princess are over priced but atleast you have a choice of rejecting them and going with other outfits.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Welcome to cruising...

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Apparently this was your first cruise.  Because what you describe is Standard Operating Procedure for every major cruise line out there.

Every major cruise line I have seen adds a 15% automatic Gratuity to your bar bill, and will still have a place for an additional gratuity.  This is not just alcohol, but anything you buy from the bar staff, so it even applies to things such as the "fresh squeezed orange juice" you often find them selling at breakfast.  I am sure that this catches some people unaware and they add an additional tip, but most of the people are aware of it.  Then of course there is the case when a person wants to leave an additional tip.

The same goes for the services you are describing as they are very often considered "spa" services and not medical.  Thus an automatic gratuity is often added here as well, it appears though that they gave you the option.

I am surprised you didn't talk about the prices of the excursions.  Because in just about every case you can get a better excursion for 1/2 the price by doing it on your own.

I can't tell you what your $118 charge is, other than to say that you should have received a statement to your cabin on the last night of the cruise that lists your charges.  Where if there was an unexplained charge you could have gone to the desk to inquire what is was right then and there.  If this charge showed up at a later time, then you are correct in calling them.
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