Should cruise lines include taxes in the base price?

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Poll: Should more cruise lines include all taxes and fees in the list price?
Poll Results
Should more cruise lines include all taxes and fees in the list price?

Yes, don't nickel and dime me with hidden fees.
125
60.10%

Yes, but only if all lines agree to the same pricing structure.
44
21.15%

Only the luxury lines should do it.
2
0.96%

No, the higher price would scare me away.
2
0.96%

No, I like to see the extra charges separated out.
30
14.42%

Something else -- I'll post below.
5
2.40%

Voters: 208.  You may not vote on this poll.

#1
587 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Back in September, sister companies Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises very quietly tweaked their pricing structures. The big change? Cruise and airline taxes and fees are no longer listed separately from the base fare, a standard practice that causes the final cruise vacation bill to be several hundred dollars higher than the list price. Now, it's "what you see is what you get" -- the listed price is what you will pay for the cruise, period.

Get the full details in our news piece.


Do you think other cruise lines should follow suit? Vote in our poll and share your comments below.
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Erica Silverstein
Senior Editor, Features
Cruise Critic
#2
Wisconsin
6,138 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
I think they should also include the "suggesting tipping" charges..then people wouldn't spend endless hours trying to figure out how to avoid them. Then when they see the price, it's closer to the "all inclusive" vacation they've always misunderstood cruising to be.
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#3
South Padre Island, Texas
3,576 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by uppitycats
I think they should also include the "suggesting tipping" charges..then people wouldn't spend endless hours trying to figure out how to avoid them. Then when they see the price, it's closer to the "all inclusive" vacation they've always misunderstood cruising to be.
Sort of "Back to the Future."

Problem is the lines expect the pax to pay part of the wages AFTER they have had the cruise. Some people overspend their budget (answers 1 & 2 above would help that), some are just cheap and some are from cultures where tipping is not usual.

Basic rule: If you can't afford twice the cruise price, save up or pick a less expensive cruise.
#5
Wisconsin
6,138 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by Taxguy77
Sort of "Back to the Future."

Problem is the lines expect the pax to pay part of the wages AFTER they have had the cruise. Some people overspend their budget (answers 1 & 2 above would help that), some are just cheap and some are from cultures where tipping is not usual.

Basic rule: If you can't afford twice the cruise price, save up or pick a less expensive cruise.
I think of the cost of cruising like I think about home repairs -- whatever the quoted price from the contractor, add at least 50% more, and you'll get close to what it will really cost!

I just figure out the tips, taxes, possible excursions ahead of time...and if I can afford it, I go. If I can't I don't. But I don't try to get around any of the costs by avoiding tips, or smuggling booze on board, or any of that.
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I've cruised on Princess, Carnival, HAL,
NCL, Hurtigruten and a couple of even smaller lines in the past. HAL is (for now) my favorite!

#6
New York
4,763 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
And not just cruiselines! If any entity charges you for something, if you can't get it without paying a tax, fee, surcharge, processing fee, etc etc, whatever they want to call it, if it is not optional, than INCLUDE it in the price and be done. If the price of "whatever" is $800, plus "taxes and fees" of $200, then the "whatever" costs $1000. If the additional charges ybecause of whatever circumstances, that's one thing and, it could say "plus appriate taxes and fees", but I frequently get mailings that advertise a specific price (for a cruise) and pre printed it says, "plus $200 port taxes and fees". Well, if EVERYONE HAS to pay that $200, then the cost of the cruise is NOT the advertised price. It's that price plus $200 for EVERYONE.
#7
Cape Cod MA& Weirton WV
4,419 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
It is sometimes confusing as some include them and some don't. Most include port charges in the fare but then list taxes and fees separately.

The cruise I booked today had Port charges of 165 and taxes of 128 pp. but the 165 was bundled in the pp fare price.
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McCall

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#8
New York, NY
21,021 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
you know some of this is both sour grapes and stupidity. I do think the advertised price for airlines and cruises should include all taxes etc. But if the cruise fare included service charge and the you had to cancel you are SOL because if final payment has past your lose the right to get your money back. I personally like mandatory service charges unless you have a service problem that can't corrected can't be removed and it should be collected on the ship so the home office can't play with it. at least then if you cancel you aren't made to pay it. If it is just included in the base fare you will wind up paying more(overhead, profit taxes etc) right now when its prepaid its just a credit applied on board...but any one who cruises should know that there is an added fee for the crew. If not they are just intentionally ignorant.
#9
Silver Spring, MD
3,414 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I want to see the final price upfront. And I want to see what it includes on the main page of the website. That way if different lines include different things, it's obvious right away. It's fine with me if they automatically include tips. I always prepay them anyway. I would like to see an option to prepay for everything available on board.
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Judy

It's just one adventure after another. Some good, some not so good, but all adventures nonetheless.

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#10
northern UT
8,691 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
i would like to see it ALL (port charges & taxes) in the price and not be SURPRISED when i get that final TOTAL
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#11
Fredericksburg, va. USA
80,452 Posts
Joined May 2001
When you go to a store, the "tax" isn't included in the price of anything you purchase...why should a cruise be different? Everyone knows (or should) that there are taxes!
#12
Sandy Springs, GA
6,533 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I'd like to see fares include tax and port charges at a minimum.

But I do not want to see mainstream cruises include pop, liquor, shore excursions, specialty dining because those items aren't necessary for a cruise experience ... but port charges and taxes are!
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Janine

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#13
British Columbia
6,315 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
I like the 'What you see is what you pay'. That is my T.A's policy.

john
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#14
San Diego
8,858 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
unsure you'll ever see taxes included...possibly fees but unlikely...when have you ever been to a hotel (or any service industry location really) that didnt have some sort of tax...its just the nature of purchasing a good or service...not really nickel and diming...if you want to avoid all other costs there are luxury lines and others that do all inclusive stuff...quite a bit more expensive though
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#15
Connecticut
10,708 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Perhaps it is a good idea for taxes to be stated separately -- shouldn't you want to know what your government is charging you? In Europe there is a value added tax built into the price of everything you buy - in the US it is bad enough that the Federal and State fuel taxes on gasoline (major elements in what you pay) are not revealed -- if people were aware of all the taxes they were paying they might hold their governments more accountable.

In any event, you are told what the taxes and port charges on a cruise come to before you make your payment, so what's the problem?
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#17
Georgia
5,040 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
I voted yes for all to be included in the fare. Teh mass market lines claim you can cruise for $50-$60 pp/day, but this is not true when you add taxes, port fees, gratuities, etc.
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Mike
#18
B.C. Canada
1,483 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by cb at sea
When you go to a store, the "tax" isn't included in the price of anything you purchase...why should a cruise be different? Everyone knows (or should) that there are taxes!
cb,, when I go to a store where I live,, the taxes are always the same percentage of the price,, for travel ,, you NEVER really know what the heck the taxes will be..
#19
B.C. Canada
1,483 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by mr green
I like the 'What you see is what you pay'. That is my T.A's policy.

john
Totally agree, I think its kind of sneaky to see ads with large letters proclaiming one price

"Cruise for 499" ,, only to find out its really " cruise for 750!"

Sure,, there is the fine print,, but fine print is just that, small and hard to see, and inexperienced travellers do not automatically realize how the price changes once all the taxes and fees get added in. I helped my nephew plan a Europeon trip this past summer, and it was an eye opener for sure for him.