Saga cruise passengers 'told to pay £8 a day in tips'

"We felt we were paying crew's wages," said one tourist

Saga Rose cruise ship sailing off the coast of Isle of Wight southern England UK

Holidaymakers on a Saga cruise in Croatia claim they were told to tip crew £8 a day.

The 30 tourists on an all-inclusive cruise holiday were on board MV Emanuel for eight days.

According to the Daily Telegraph, they were allegedly told by a guide that the company recommended tipping this amount, which would be shared among the seven crew members.

They calculated this as £274 per crew member, with one traveller saying: "The general conclusion was that Saga was not paying the crew's wages, but was asking the passengers to pay them instead."

A Saga spokesperson told the Telegraph: "We pay the commercial market rate for chartering the ships on these holidays. In the light of this complaint, we will be reminding the ship owners of our policies regarding gratuities."

The Daily Mail reports that the week-long cruise, which visits Dubrovnik, Split, Mljet, Brac and Hvar, costs £1,250 per person and includes return flights, travel insurance, transfers, full board, drinks and excursions.

Tipping policies can vary widely between cruise lines.

Liz Jarvis, Editor of Cruise International magazine, says: "Many will add a service charge to your shipboard account, payable at the end of your cruise, while others leave it to your discretion."

"On US-owned ships, tipping is expected and you'll be given envelopes with suggested gratuities to be paid at the end of your cruise. Other lines have 'fixed-rate tipping' which you're free to vary according to how much you appreciate the service."

Your guide to cruise ship etiquette

Your guide to cruise ship etiquette

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