Posted October 14th, 2016, 09:18 AM
Hi everyone. Just have to add another comment about removing the auto gratuities which are added onto our on board charges. We were on the QM World cruise to Sydney this year and made friends with a group of Aussies who boarded the ship during the Valparaiso to Australia sector. They had all booked fantastically cheap deals with their travel agents (much cheaper than we had paid Cunard for that sector) which included 2 welcome bottles of VC champagne in their cabins on arrival. Their fares also stated that they didn't have to pay any of the auto gratuities as these were included in the fare! Why doesn't Cunard offer a 'gratuities paid' deal to their UK and American passengers, but offers this in fare savers to their customers on the other side of the world?
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In the Australian and New Zealand markets Cunard (and other lines) has to subsidize the gratuity pool. The percentage of passengers there who remove all
gratuities is so high the crew would otherwise strike or quit. While this means a good deal for passengers in those markets it also removes much of the profitability from these itineraries. (Cunard didn't repeat a circumnavigation around Australia.)
Great bargains and superior services and amenities don't co-exist for very long. Many passengers demand lower fares and then complain about the reduced services and amenities that they get with lower fares. Why is the concept of "value for value" so difficult to understand?