Port Charges and govt. taxes

Jul 21st, 2002, 04:51 PM
  #1  
JoAnne
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Port Charges and govt. taxes

We're booked for a cruise in September. After getting the quote and paying the cruise, I now see on the bill that the cruise only is $560 per person and the Port tax and Govt tax is $154 per person. Do these port and tax charges seem accurate? I see in ads it only mentions govt taxes of about $30 per person. Thanks for the help.
 
Jul 21st, 2002, 05:50 PM
  #2  
outofgas
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I'm sure Paul can better explain the port charges better than I but remember that when a ship visits a foreign port, there has to be help on the dock, if you don't dock and tender in (small boats that carry the passengers to and from ship to shore))this has to be paid for, etc.
Therefore the cost is passed on to the customer, just as in any other business.
Paul, ???
 
Jul 21st, 2002, 10:44 PM
  #3  
Paul Therault
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The following will be added to your bill over what you pay for the cruise:

Air (if you purchased it from the line) and air taxes (if you purchased air from the line), port charges and government taxes.

On some receipts you receive from the line all the port charges and taxes are grouped together. Some break it down. You can request a break-down from your TA.

Now, all cruise port charges and taxes are different for each cruise.
It is up to you to find out in advance if all charges have been added. No hidden charges.

Here is something else you should know: The port charges and taxes do have a tendency to escalate after you have paid for your cruise. If so, you may have to pay the extra. Most cruise lines will absorb the extra and not pass it on to you but others will not. Princess, a popular cruise line, will make you pay. It is written in the cruise contract.

Paul

 
Jul 22nd, 2002, 04:29 AM
  #4  
love2travel
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Generally the government fees aren't very much $25-$30, it's the port charges that are high. And if you check, they vary from cruise line to cruise line on identical itineraries and they are usually $99-$200 per person.

We have addressed this issue in front of cruise line execs at cruise conferences, but we don't get any direct response. The general feeling throughout the industry is that they are padded and the lines are making a little extra money on these fees - they are non-commissionable to the travel agent, by the way.

Obviously there are fees imposed by each port of call in order to dock there, however, they aren't as much as some cruise lines charge. Unfortunately, there isn't any way to get out of paying them either.

 
Jul 22nd, 2002, 09:02 AM
  #5  
Patty
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That sounds about right. Many states now have laws requiring advertisments to show the cruise fare including 'port charges' (a grossly overinflated figure that has no relation to any actual cost of docking) but not government taxes (which are supposed to be real taxes). However on your invoice it may be broken down differently because only the $560 is commissionable.
 
Jul 22nd, 2002, 10:27 PM
  #6  
Paul Therault
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A few years ago all cruise lines were charging whatever they wished for port charges. After many court cases where the lines had to rebate the customers, the lines now have to abide by the actual port charges.

Paul
 
Jul 23rd, 2002, 04:20 AM
  #7  
Laura
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Paul, when the ship cancels a port for whatever reason, can you get back the money you paid for the port charges for that particular port?

If it is due you, how do you get it refunded?

We have tried on two different occasions and were just ignored.
 
Jul 23rd, 2002, 03:14 PM
  #8  
love2travel
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Paul,

I'm sorry, but I disagree with you. If you check an identical itinerary, let's say western caribbean, comparing Princess to Carnival, there is a hugh disparity in the port charges being charged. Carnival's has been more than Princess's lately. There is disparity throughout the entire cruise industry.

Now it may not be labeled as "port charges", it may be labeled as "miscellaneous fees" and INCLUDE the port charges in the cost, but nevertheless they are inflated.

I sat in a general session not 6 months ago where the cruise line execs were posed this question and they avoided the answer like the plague.
 
Jul 23rd, 2002, 08:44 PM
  #9  
Paul Therault
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Interesting. Apparently the class-action suites were profitable for the cruise lines in the end. The "money" that was refunded back to the passengers was in the form of a credit for a future cruise with an expiration date. And, here's the kicker, the passengers had to pay regular FIT prices of the cruise. Therefore no savings. So now we know they will do it again.

Same when RCCL was dumping in the ocean. They paid the first fine and found out it was still profitable to dump. They dumped again and were fined again. They dumped again and this time I believe they found out that the fine was more than they saved by dumping. Therefore they discontinued dumping. They were smart enough to know that there is no maritime law that forbids dumping in the open ocean but they just couldn't beat some law that the U.S. has.

 
Jul 24th, 2002, 05:47 AM
  #10  
love2travel
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You're right Paul - also, those "credits" that clients received were almost worthless - for instance, my in-laws received some for Princess, but that had to be used off Love Boat Savers rates (which are their highest) and anytime they went to use them, the cruise was discounted a bit, so they couldn't use them in conjunction with the discounted cabin. I'm sure others found the same to be true. They ended up being worthless certificates.
 
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