Cruise: First-time cruisers could be caught out by this additional on board expense

However, this can also fuel a fear for some customers that removing gratuities could affect the type of service they get, though most major cruise lines say this is unlikely.

“We’ve been assured by various cruise lines that crew members aren’t told which passengers have removed their auto-gratuities until after the sailing has ended, but we understand the concern that quality of service could suffer if crew members did find out,” says Cruise Critic.

However, Mr Bruns tells a slightly different tale.

“Waiters knew any passenger who opted out of this service, whatever their reason, invariably skimped on tips. We hated those people. They almost never tipped enough.”

Even so, not every passenger can feel comfortable with the concept of automatic tips.

For passengers who prefer not to automatically tip, and instead decide on the amount, it can be difficult to determine how much money to give.