View Full Version : Do All Cruise Lines Refund Port Charges & Taxes If You Cancel Your Cruise?
January 23rd, 2010, 05:18 PM
I would assume the answer is "yes, they are refundable", because you wouldn't be taking the cruise. However, many people tell us that the Port Charges & Taxes are non-refundable.
I'm not a travel agent and I've been trying to find this answer for months, but I can't find the right answer.
The reason I want to know the answer is because if you buy trip cancellation travel insurance and want pre-existing medical condition, financial default & Cancel For Any Reason / Change Your Mind coverage, many plans require you to insure 100% of your prepaid, non-refundable trip cost.
Trip cancellation travel insurance plans are priced in trip cost ranges (ie - $3001 - $3500, etc). If you have to include the Port Charges & Taxes you may be pushed into a more expensive price bracket.
For example, you take a cruise where the cost is $3350 and another $175 for Port Charges & Taxes.
If you are age 61 and you insure in the $3001 - $3500 range, you will pay approx $215 - $260 for a good plan.
However, if you have to include the Port Charges & Taxes, you'll have to insure in the $3501 - $4000 range and you will pay approx $245 - $295 for a good plan.
Therefore, you will end up paying more for the policy than the increase in the trip cost.
It doesn't matter to me what the answer is. I just want to know what the right answer is.
Thanks in advance,
January 23rd, 2010, 05:36 PM
When I had to cancel my cruise, Princess kept 50% of the full cost, (fare including port fees plus taxes). Insurance paid for the other half.
I think, but am not 100% certain, that the only time they refund the port tax is if the cruise goes ahead, you are on the ship, but they miss that port. And even then not all cruiselines refund that port tax.
January 23rd, 2010, 06:57 PM
No cruise line that I have been on and experienced cancelled ports refunded any money to us because of missing ports. Every trip I have insured has been for the full purchase price. Every trip insurance claim I have ever filed required a copy of my paid invoice, so they knew the full amount I paid for the trip was the same as the amount I insured.
January 24th, 2010, 09:31 AM
Here's my input wrt Princess (and Carnival and Royal Caribbean).
Government Taxes and Fees (as distinguished from Port charges that are included in the CruiseFare) are not subject to Cancellation penalty and are refundable, based on the Princess Passage contract:
From Princess Passage contract:
Section 1 Introduction “Cruise Fare” means the amount payable by You to Carrier for Your Cruise. It covers the Cruise, scheduled meals and accommodations while on board, air programs and/or other travel components that Carrier may add to Your Cruise Fare and charge to Your stateroom account and/or credit card. The Cruise Fare does not include beer, wine, spirits, sodas or other bottled beverages, or charges for other incidental items, activities, excursions, transportation or personal services during or in connection with the Cruise; or any Government Fees or Taxes, airline or other carriers’ services or baggage fees, for which a separate charge may be imposed. Carrier may collect any fare increase or fuel supplement in effect at the time of sailing, even if the fare has been paid in full
6. CANCELLATION BY YOU, REFUND AND YOUR TRAVEL AGENT.
…….. The following cancellation policy applies with respect to Your Cruise Fare, Cruisetour Fare, air addons, Shoreside Excursions, and Pre-Cruise and Post-Cruise Package charges (identified as “Total Charges” in the Cancellation schedule ):
Similar language appears in the Carnival Cruise contract and in the Royal Caribbean Cruise contract.
January 24th, 2010, 09:34 AM
When we have been ON Carnival and a port was missed, (Grand Cayman twice & Grand Turk after hurricane), we recieved a letter in our cabin saying our account would be credited with $25 for each missed port.
Once when we were bumped and moved (two cruises turned into one) I had to keep demanding we get the port charges back and finally did. The port charge, I think, is for each passenger on the ship. If you're not on the ship, you shouldn't pay for it.
January 24th, 2010, 09:43 AM
We had to cancel a cruise once -- got everything back -- cruise price, port and tax charges.
January 24th, 2010, 09:53 AM
Maybe this will help...
According to my travel agent friend, a cruise fare is made up of three parts: a commissionable fare, a non-commissionable fare (port charges) and taxes. On Carnival, for example, the cruiser's guest confirmation shows two items: cruise rate and federal taxes/fees. She recently had clients with insurance who had to cancel 2 days before their cruise. The cruise line refunded the taxes to them and the insurance reimbursed them for the cruise rate.
February 8th, 2010, 11:14 AM
Did anyone find this to be true if you didn't have insurance?
I got stuck in "Snowmageddon" this weekend and spent the first 2 nights of my cruise on the airport floor only to find out it would be another 2 days before they could get me on a flight South. Needless to say, I had to cancel the cruise. I didn't buy travel insurance.
When I called Princess, they said I will get nothing back and would not let me transfer it to anyone else.
While it makes sense to me that I shouldn't have to pay any taxes & fees (probably 1/3 of my cost!), I am skeptical they are going to voluntarily return them.......