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  #1  
Old July 21st, 2010, 02:44 PM
Dan Askin Dan Askin is offline
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Default News: Is a cruise line actually charging extra for passengers to tender ashore?

Have you ever heard of having to pay for a tender ashore? We hadn't -- until we received an e-mail from Cruise Critic member Heinbloed questioning MSC Cruises' policy of charging for a tender ride to go ashore to the Italian port of Portofino.

What's going on? Here's the Italy-based cruise line's logic, explained in a statement sent to Cruise Critic today (and also posted on MSC's Web site): Portofino isn't an actual port of call, but a "technical stop" on certain itineraries -- therefore, visiting Portofino is treated as an "excursion" rather than a regular port visit.

Please Read the full story here.

Then, we'd like to know:
Could this be the beginning of yet more hidden charges on ships? Or is it justifiable in this unique situation? Weigh in and have your say!
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Last edited by Dan Askin; July 21st, 2010 at 03:18 PM.
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  #2  
Old July 21st, 2010, 03:05 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is offline
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MSC bills itself and prides itself in this way. Thankfully others do not do this and hopefully won't.

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  #3  
Old July 21st, 2010, 03:11 PM
JPNNH JPNNH is offline
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MSC will never see me!
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Old July 21st, 2010, 03:15 PM
indimini indimini is online now
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After reading the story and seeing that Portofino, in this instance, was not a designated port of call, I don't see a problem with the charge.

Now, if cruise lines start charging additional tender fees for designated ports of call, that would cause me to rethink who I cruise with.
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  #5  
Old July 21st, 2010, 03:35 PM
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Default Tender charge - confused.

Is MSC providing their own ship's tenders, or using charter tenders from the port?

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Old July 21st, 2010, 03:35 PM
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I'm flabbergasted that anyone would even want to get off the ship for just two hours. Having to arrange for tenders, security, etc. for such a quick turn around? Darn right they should charge something.
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  #7  
Old July 21st, 2010, 03:48 PM
TedC TedC is offline
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MSC can do what it wants! But thanks to Cruise Critic revealing this policy, potentional passengers can do what they want - possibly a boycott.

Portofino was a very nice destination when I was there by auto many years ago - I hope it hasn't changed.

Last edited by TedC; July 21st, 2010 at 03:53 PM.
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  #8  
Old July 21st, 2010, 03:51 PM
Joserus Joserus is offline
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Default Shady

Still sounds a little shady even after you figure out what they are doing and the way that they are justifying it by calling it a "technical stop." You can call it whatever you want, but it still smells like #%@#!
If the "technical stop" is actually picking up the passengers out on the Portofino excursion (giving them a longer day in Portofino and also giving the ship a head start down the coast) then why does it take 5 hours to pick them up and why are they charging to take people ashore like a carnival ride? Shady.
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  #9  
Old July 21st, 2010, 03:58 PM
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I can't imagine bothering to tender ashore for 2 hours but if folks want to do so, they should not have to pay to be tendered from ship to shore and back....most especially if they are using ship's tenders. Possibly (?) I might be able to see the point if they were using a local tender and had to pay for its use. Only those few who felt the need to go ashore maybe could be expected to pay for the 'excursion'. I still don't like it even in that circumstance.
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  #10  
Old July 21st, 2010, 04:02 PM
gwinel gwinel is offline
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I am sure that I can find another cruise line!
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  #11  
Old July 21st, 2010, 04:18 PM
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With cuts in pay, working less hours & benefits cuts, these trying econimic times going on a cruise is hard enough on the wallet.
Just like most airlines charging for checked bags now, some airlines held the line & are clear winners (Southwest) while many other lines are losers.

It makes the decision to cruise with another line very easy. Which curise line will become the "Southwest" of the seas???
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  #12  
Old July 21st, 2010, 04:28 PM
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I wouldn't cruise MSC or Costa anyway, so they can do what they want! And who would want to tender for a 2-hour stop anyway? Ride to shore & ride back - that's about all you'd have time for ... !!

The day any cruise line that we sail with starts charging for tendering, that will be another day on board for me! Tendering is already a pain, and charging for it would just make it a royal pain. We stood in line for over an hour in Newport RI waiting for a tender. Three BIG ships in that little tiny port - every one tendering - and everyone standing in the same line. You didn't know if the tender for your ship was there or not until you got to the front of the line. If your tender wasn't there - they sent you to another line. Haven't been back to Newport since!
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Last edited by luvs2travl; July 21st, 2010 at 04:33 PM.
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  #13  
Old July 21st, 2010, 04:53 PM
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Thank you for adding another reason why I would not cruise with this line. Bet it will not be long before they start charging you a fee to ride the tender back to the ship.
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  #14  
Old July 21st, 2010, 05:28 PM
TheBigCheese TheBigCheese is offline
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Some of you posted that you wouldn't go ashore for only 2 hours. You missed the part of the message that said the poster waited almost that long to get on the tender. That alone in inexcusable,especially so when the line is charging extra.

I can see paying the fee in Genoa but they shouldn't be charging the passengers who get off in Portofino.

What's next? Lines are already charging for most soft drinks, some are charging for some of the entertainment and many of the formerly free gym activities are now extra.

Do you want everything to be ala carte? Most people do not.
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  #15  
Old July 22nd, 2010, 12:25 AM
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MSC is very popular with great bargains like in January

11 nights from Venice for 499.00 EUR (incl. all port taxes and dues) to Israel and back.

When we used the first time MSC in 2007 it was bargain.

But for the last two years you see following development:

Service charge from 6 to 7 EUR/night
Auto Tipping from 0 to 15%
Free cruises for 3rd/4th berth child limited from 17 to 12years old (varies from country to country)

Somehow the cheap rates must be compensated as the costs rised.

And now this fee.

MSC was one of the fastest and most growing lines with every year brand new capacity. New capacity must be filled. Without MSC we would not cruise so cheap on the others.

With others it would be more acceptable to have such a fee (without giving others the idea to inaugurate the fee as well..):

because they offer alternative dining venues

but MSC has only the 1st and 2nd sitting in the main restaurants as complimentary dining and the "technical stop" is exactly during the dinner times

which means you are back and missed your dinner:

you pay for alternative dining
you pay for cabin service (only breakfast service is free with MSC)
or
you dine ashore

Especially I do not see the sense of the stop which is not really an advantage...

Is there a cheap non-branded fuel station???
A special fish market which is only open at this time of the day???

If you check the itinerary for the rest of this cruise:

you will always see:

you are the last at the attractions
and
the first who need to leave to getting back to your ship

If you see the duration of the stays in the port you always need a second round to the rest of the towns you called.

Why not skipping this place to give you more time in the other ports.

We had a call for Malaga which was only 5 hours. No chance to see Granada/Alhambra where normally 75% of the cruisers are going if you are in Malaga.

It's really shocking to see the last two year's development with them.

Let's see when you have to pay for going on public toilets...

Or in case you need to be evacuated:

you pay extra and you can go first...???

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Old July 22nd, 2010, 05:28 AM
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This is a storm in a teacup, in my opinion.

Many people seem to be missing the point that Portofino isn't listed as a port of call in the official itinerary for these cruises - the stop there seems to be for management reasons. As the main story suggests, this may to allow some passengers to join the ship. (MSC have a policy of allowing passengers to join their round-trip cruises at various ports; indeed, in different national markets the same cruise may well be sold with different starting points, e.g. the 7 night W Med cruise is sold as Genoa to Genoa in many markets, but also as Barcelona to Barcelona in some markets.)

Whatever the reason, this particular call is not on the official itinerary. Like others, I'm surprised that some people want to get off the ship in any case, for such a short period of time. Perhaps MSC's real mistake is to allow passengers to go ashore at Portofino at all; if they simple said that passengers already on board were not permitted to tender ashore, and that the tendering was purely to embark joining passengers, then there'd be no confusion.
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  #17  
Old July 22nd, 2010, 06:57 AM
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How is this different from what Carnival used to do with Cozumel and Isla Mujeres?

For years, they had published that an optional excusrion was available to IM about an hour before arrival in Cozumel. (At least it think it was IM - it might have been Tulum or something similar or both).
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 07:19 AM
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If I read the report correctly -- this involved a third party tender. Thus I guess they feel that someone has to pay the workers and fuel for that tender.

For years some of the cruise lines have used Grand Cayman's tenders and haven't had to pay to use them. Hope Grand Cayman doesn't get any ideas like ths.

There are other ports where the cruise lines use the islands tenders and not their own. Hopefully this practice won't spread.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2travl View Post
I wouldn't cruise MSC or Costa anyway, so they can do what they want! And who would want to tender for a 2-hour stop anyway? Ride to shore & ride back - that's about all you'd have time for ... !!

The day any cruise line that we sail with starts charging for tendering, that will be another day on board for me! Tendering is already a pain, and charging for it would just make it a royal pain. We stood in line for over an hour in Newport RI waiting for a tender. Three BIG ships in that little tiny port - every one tendering - and everyone standing in the same line. You didn't know if the tender for your ship was there or not until you got to the front of the line. If your tender wasn't there - they sent you to another line. Haven't been back to Newport since!
That may be exactly why some lines would want to implement this. The longer you (in general) are on board, the more money you will spend there and not on shore. It's a win-win for the line.
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Last edited by TigerStar; July 22nd, 2010 at 09:48 AM.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBigCheese View Post
Some of you posted that you wouldn't go ashore for only 2 hours. You missed the part of the message that said the poster waited almost that long to get on the tender. That alone in inexcusable,especially so when the line is charging extra.

.
Seems to me there's a lot of fuss & mis-information on this thread about something which is neither new nor a change of policy.
Mixing up two different posts, for instance, Big Cheese.

Portofino isn't an advertised port-of-call on that cruise, it's not promoted, you're not paying in your cruise ticket to call there. It's an extra pick-up port for pax who find it more convenient to join there. So if you want to go ashore as an extra port, you pay for the combined tender/tour. Charging the same for tender without tour dissuades lots of independents & avoids the grief of them clogging the tender service, which can run like clockwork with organised groups in the limited time frame.
Had a similar experience on Komodo with a different cruiseline - you only got ashore (by tender) if you bought the guided walking tour. Yes, a bit of a rip-off, esp as on that cruise it was an advertised call. But I could see the logic, as well as the $$$ signs.

I'm very independently-minded, very very rarely take a ship's tour, and I'm no fan of MSC.
But I like to take an objective view, something which seems to be lacking on this thread.
So check the facts before ranting, folks.
So stop worrying about cruiselines' policy on charging for tendering, its surely clear to cruiselines that it would be unacceptable in all but exceptional circumstances

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