Infant fare debacle - Help!

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#1
Connecticut
1,504 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
This is what is stated on the NCL website

Cruise fare for children under two is government taxes and port fees only. Certain itineraries offer specials on 3rd and 4th guests in the same stateroom. Infants under six months of age are not eligible for travel on Norwegian ships.

We are trying to arrange a family vacation on the Pearl. My daughter has a baby who will be 16 mos old at that time - definitely younger than the 2 yrs stated. Yet no matter how we do it, we can't get either the website or even my PCC to NOT charge us the "3rd" person fare. The port charges/gov't fees are there, the same as the other 2 occupants, but so is the 3rd person, albeit reduced, even tho the age was registered correctly. So they're being charged an extra $175 over port fees and taxes.I've been a loyal NCL customer (Been platinum for many years now) and my daughter is silver. And we've been working with the same PCC for years. But we can't seem to solve this one.

Any suggestions as to what I should do? I know the Latitudes desk is seriously backlogged, and without the aid of my PCC, I honestly don't know where to turn.

Help!
#2
Down East Maine
19,125 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
This is just a guess on my part, but infants were never charged a fee in the past because there were no activities geared for them. Just recently NCL re-did the kids program and seems to now offer stuff for those 6mos and up...........so they have probably started charging for them as well.


Here's a link to the new kids information listing "Guppies" as 6mos - 2 yrs.

http://www2.ncl.com/freestyle-cruise...-and-teen-crew
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#3
Pittsburgh, PA
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What is your PCC saying about it?
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#4
Minneapolis, MN
611 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
We are bringing our 21 month old on a cruise in Dec, so I know exactly what you're talking about. I even confirmed it when I called NCL about another issue.

The $175 is the port charge. When you see the two adult fares the $175 port is already included in the price. Then when it's all added up they add some more taxes. So, the baby is only paying port and tax, it just shows up goofy when you see it online.

Hope that helps!

ETA: I just saw you're going on the Pearl. That's what we're booked on too - the one over New Years, leaving on Dec 30th. When are you sailing?
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#5
GA, USA
70 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
We had the same issue this week while booking for my 19 month old (at the time of the cruise). Two separate people gave me the same answer that the $175 is for the "port charges." What are people being charged for their other children while booking now? Currently it looks like all add'l guests are just $175?
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#6
Minneapolis, MN
611 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
I'm not sure how you're getting $175 for third and fourth pax over 2 years old. For our cruise at the end of the year, if our dd was over 2 she would be $649. Yikes! She's two in March and that's one of the reasons we decided to go in Dec and not mid-March.
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#7
GA, USA
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Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by travelhound
I'm not sure how you're getting $175 for third and fourth pax over 2 years old. For our cruise at the end of the year, if our dd was over 2 she would be $649. Yikes! She's two in March and that's one of the reasons we decided to go in Dec and not mid-March.
I'm dumb. Just now figured it out. When I put in the ages of my passengers (for us 30, 35, 1), it shows up as "guests 3-8 are $175." But if I put in a pretend 4 year old, that child is $449 + taxes, etc.

That's the answer OP, and why it looks so bizarre to us. We hadn't seen what the "real" fare was for a 3rd person, so it looks like $175 is the fare, but it really isn't.
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#8
Connecticut
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Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by jbscoggins
We had the same issue this week while booking for my 19 month old (at the time of the cruise). Two separate people gave me the same answer that the $175 is for the "port charges." What are people being charged for their other children while booking now? Currently it looks like all add'l guests are just $175?
I don't know. This makes no sense whatsoever. Just for giggles, I plugged in 4 people, ranging in age from 60, 55, 4 & 1. Same date as the one I had researched earlier. Inside cabin. Here's what I got. I hope the alignment works. But it still makes as much sense as mud to me.
Cruise Fare $479.00 $479.00 $229.00 $175.00
Gov't Taxes & Fees $138.41 $138.41 $120.41 $120.41
Guest Totals: $617.41 $617.41 $349.41 $295.41
I think I understand now, but I don't care for what appears to be deceptive practice. Since they don't list the port charges separately but lump them in obscurely, they can monkey around with them as much as they want. So what looks like is "free", probably ain't. Looks like there's a whopping discount of $54 for that "free" child.

I do understand that there are costs involved for all passengers, but it sure shattered my daughter's hopes for a mostly "free" passage for her daughter that she expected after reading the website. Actually, there's barely even a discount.
#9
Nashville, TN (we moved, again)
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Maybe I am missing something, but maybe a phone call to ncl. Whomever answers can book things for you.
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#10
Connecticut
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Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by garycarla
Maybe I am missing something, but maybe a phone call to ncl. Whomever answers can book things for you.
Yeah - we tried that. Same answer. It's the port charges, which for some reason unknown to us is listed separately only when there's a "free" passage. Doesn't look like there's any way around it.

I keep hoping our little NCL customer service fairy will pop in, wave his/her magic wand tell me what email address to use and tell me everything will be as I had hoped. But it hasn't happened yet.
#12
North in summer/Texas winter, but a Texan forever!!!
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Yeah, I too read it as certain sailing have a "special" fare for 3rd and 4th passengers. Sounds to me like your looking at one of those fares.
I certainly don't think there is little saving though. You are paying $617 and the child's fare is $295, pretty big savings?
As to NCL monkeying around with the fee's, pretty difficult since taxes are what they are for everyone and port charges are set by the ports and if NCL were monkeying with them, it would be pretty obvious.
Lot's of folks would love to get a week long cruise for $295.
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#13
Madison, Wi
190 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by Birdnutty
Yeah - we tried that. Same answer. It's the port charges, which for some reason unknown to us is listed separately only when there's a "free" passage. Doesn't look like there's any way around it.
Isn't this a new law that the US enacted that requires them to list the port charges with the fares. They thought the old fare practices were deceptive because the port charges were getting so high, the advertised cost of the cruises were being accurately reflected to people. I think this shows a case of unintented consequences.
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#14
Enosburg Falls, Vermont
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The problem is that we can't see the port charges because they are included in the regular fare and they are not the same as government fees and taxes. So in birdnutty's example the fare is $479 and of that amount $175 is for the port charges. Granted it's not much of a savings over the 3rd passenger on that sailing but $54 is $54.

It costs a lot to bring a ship into port and to berth for a day and to use the port services and that cost is passed on to each passenger through the port charges (and I understand that some ports also have a per capita charge that they levy also).
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#15
Minneapolis, MN
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Originally posted by Birdnutty
I think I understand now, but I don't care for what appears to be deceptive practice. Since they don't list the port charges separately but lump them in obscurely, they can monkey around with them as much as they want. So what looks like is "free", probably ain't. Looks like there's a whopping discount of $54 for that "free" child.

I do understand that there are costs involved for all passengers, but it sure shattered my daughter's hopes for a mostly "free" passage for her daughter that she expected after reading the website. Actually, there's barely even a discount.
The savings really depend on how much your sailing is charging for 3rd and 4th passengers. In your particular case it's only $54, but if you go on a holiday or spring break week, sometimes those 3/4 pax rates are almost as high as first person. On our cruise our daughter would have been $649. So $175 is a big savings. As someone else mentioned, many people felt deceived when they saw a cruise price for xx and then they added port and taxes on top of it, making it a lot more than it seemed. I think that's why they add it in now to give a more complete cost. In the "old days" everything was always broken out.
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#16
Pittsburgh, PA
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Another finding on this topic. I randomly picked two 14 day cruises to compare with 3 passengers aged 34, 32, and 1. On a 14 day transatlantic with only 2 stops in the middle, the infant charge was $190 + taxes. On a 14 day, port intensive Eastern Med cruise, the infant charge was $350. BUT, the infant paid that same amount in a suite and in an inside cabin. On both cruises. So it does makes sense that this is the port charges labeled as passenger fare. On the Med cruise, adding a 3rd adult to the suite added $829 + taxes and the infant was still $350. So in this case the infant saves almost $500.
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#17
Connecticut
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I agree - it makes sense. The savings are not that great in only an inside cabin with a relatively port intensive itinerary. I guess it was just such a surprise for her to see that "free" really wasn't.

Not complaining, really. Still a bargain under any circumstances. Can't beat a vacation like this, sailing to distant tropical islands with service extraordinaire and all the other wonderful things that cruising entails.... Aahhhh - can't wait.

But I miss the days of the $99 3rd & 4th passenger fare.
#18
Syracuse, New York
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Originally posted by Birdnutty

But I miss the days of the $99 3rd & 4th passenger fare.
They are still around, and HAL, yearly, offers them, along with free.
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#19
Boston
214 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Both times we cruised on Celebrity with our DD (1 & 2 yo respectively), we were required to pay the full 3rd person rate. This seemed logical to us so we didnt mind paying it.

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#20
NH
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Joined Mar 2002
You are in the same boat as people that get an offer for a comped cruise from Casino at Sea. It is usually a surprise that there are fees in addition to the normal taxes that you see broken out when you book. The $175 (this amount varies some) used to be broken out, but a couple of years ago the government changed the way cruiselines can advertise fares, so now it is buried in the regular cruise fare.

I hope this helps a little, and I really hope your daughter is able to join you on the cruise.
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