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Celebrity Cruises to Raise Daily Gratuity Fee



2020 is bringing some new changes for passengers taking a trip with Celebrity Cruises.

The line announced this week it will be raising its daily gratuity rate effective January 6, 2020.

According to, the increase will be 6.9 percent above the current rate.

Tips on standard staterooms changed from $14.50 to $15.50 per day, per guest. Concierge Class and AquaClass staterooms changed from $15 to $16 per day, per guest. And Suite Class accommodations changed from $18 to $19 per day, per guest, according to CruiseRadio.

The website also noted that Celebrity sent a message to its travel agents, guests and partners explaining that “gratuities are shared by our exceptional onboard dining and culinary services team, stateroom attendants, other housekeeping services personnel, as well as staff from other departments who work behind the scenes to enhance your cruise experience.”

Guests who have already booked passage and have prepaid their gratuities will not be charged the increased fee. Passengers who book now until Jan. 6 can also avoid the new rates by prepaying gratuities.

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Cruise Ship Denied by Two Caribbean Ports Amid Coronavirus Outbreak



An MSC Cruises ship was turned away from at least two ports in the Caribbean on Tuesday after a crew member fell ill amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to The New York Times, MSC Meraviglia was denied from docking in both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands after port authorities learned that a crew member from the Philippines was ill. However, the Associated Press reported that the employee was believed to be sick with the common seasonal flu.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“In an abundance of caution, in order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands, the government has denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman as previously scheduled,” Dwayne Seymour, health minister of the Cayman Islands, said in a statement.

The cruise line expressed frustration over the repeated denial, claiming that the ill crew member and all passengers on the ship had passed a health screening prior to embarking.

“The crew member had traveled to Miami from Manila, via direct connection in Istanbul,” MSC Cruises said in a statement to the Times. “He developed symptoms of common flu and tested positive to Type A influenza after he visited the ship’s 24/7 Medical Center while already on board. He has no other symptoms.”

The ship, which is carrying more than 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members, is in the midst of a 15-day roundtrip sailing from Miami that had included scheduled stops in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas, Belize and Honduras.

MSC Meraviglia isn’t the first ship to be turned away from port amid fears of the spreading coronavirus and likely won’t be the last. Tuesday’s unexpected hiccup comes just one week after MSC Cruises updated MSC Bellissima’s Grand Voyage itinerary to Asia.

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