P&O Cruises to stop billing for gratuities in 2019

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The P&O Cruises flagship Britannia.
The P&O Cruises flagship Britannia.

P&O Cruises guests will no longer be billed for mandatory gratuities, after a transition period that ends in May.

The British-based subsidiary of Carnival Corp. currently charges a £7 a day ($9) service fee for each passenger, which will continue until May.

Few other large-ship cruise lines currently leave gratuities to the complete discretion of the customer. Most assess a charge automatically, that can be adjusted up or down by visiting the service desk on the final day of a cruise.

In the U.K. market, Marella Cruises, formerly Thomson Cruises, does not require tipping. P&O's sister brand in Australia, P&O Australia, also says that it does not automatically add gratuities onto passengers' accounts or spa or bar bills.

In a policy statement on its website, P&O said, "We take huge pride in giving you a holiday that's truly memorable and our team on board is committed to providing exceptional service. From May 2019, the discretionary daily service charge on board will be removed so you can relax knowing it's all taken care of."

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