Most shocking cruise charge.....

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1,406 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
In my experience the shocker is usually when your account has been mistakenly charged; it does happen so it is something to be aware of.

My experience: Recently on a cruise with the UBP as a perk the account was charged for a bottle of wine from the bar that had been visited the past evening. No bottle of wine was bought and it wasn't even the kind of wine that was ordered by the glass. On this cruise line if you have the drink package you do not sign a slip.

Called guest services; it took 2 days but they removed it from the account.

Safe sailing all!!
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Burlington, Vermont
972 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
This wasn't my own experience but something I overheard. On my cruise in 2013, I overheard 2 teenagers talking about one of their companions being in trouble with their parents. Seems he had been playing on the arcade games in the teen room a lot and the parents had received a call from Guest Services when the charges reached $400! I can't imagine the conversation went over too well. This was, I believe, day 2 of a two week cruise.
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Northern California
3,156 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
My most shocking cruise charge was one that turned out, to my vast embarrassment, to be valid. Checking the charges toward the end of the cruise, I found a charge on there from Vines. I hadn't gone near Vines, so I went to guest services to tell them that and ask that it be removed. Turned out it was bottled water that we bought from the employees at the gangway on one of the port stops.
321 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
The very first thing I do once the ship leaves the dock is to turn off EVERYTHING on my phone. Everything but the ability to take photos. It would be too easy to have your WiFi searching or your cell phone roaming.
And when I see people lined up at the "purser's desk" the night before disembarkation, you'll constantly hear " I can't believe we drank that much!". I have heard of people with bar tabs bigger than the cost of the cruise!
487 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
On our Princess cruise this spring, I was grateful for the opportunity to check our daily tab.
We had been debating back and forth whether DH should get the AIBP, decided not to pre-purchase it. By day 2 after looking over our spending, I sent him to purchase the package for himself. (Princess lets one have it without the other having to buy it). If we had not done that, I can only imagine our bill after an 8 day cruise with 4 sea days.
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DH's other half.
2,902 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
As others have said, outside from kids running up arcade bills it's hard to be surprised by charges. Every time you charge something you have to sign for it and it lists what you are charged - and I've never had trouble finding the price ahead of ordering.

I think what gets first timers is simply irresponsible spending. If you walk on board with no plans or budgets in mind and just do as you please - $100 pp here and there for shore excursions, $13 pp pd for gratuities, $8-$13 charges per drink, bingo, $20 per photo, etc adds up really quickly. Doesn't take much to wind up with a $1,000 bill at the end of the week that you weren't planning for. But that's easily avoidable if you have a budget in mind and check your bill as you go to stay on track.

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1,010 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
I have heard two different shocks. One was parents who's kid had some how wracked up $1000 worth on his cards. The father was raging at the service desk, saying it was the cruise ships fault for his kid having a huge bill, and that the cruise line should have cut the kid off and he wasn't going to pay. I didn't stay to find out how that ended 😀

The last one I felt sorry for, there was a young woman (early 20's) crying at reception as her bar bill was over $2000, she had thought the drinks were included and so kept putting all the drinks on her card for people around her. How she didn't notice the cost of each bill she signed I don't know. I thought it very low of her travelling companions not to clue her in on the cost of the drinks. Obviously a very nieve and inexperienced woman.

I personally have never had a bill more than $300.

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10-04-2014 Norwegian Jade
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Cape Coral FL
3,493 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
On our last cruise after we got home I saw my cc bill online and noticed that the total was different from the bill which we had when we left the ship. By about 400 - 500 dollars. I called HAL and spoke to a rep. It seems they charged us for two bathrobes and alcohol from the mini bar. We told her we did not take the bathrobes (who wants "used" robes) and had them ck as we had ordered a bottle of our favorite liquor when we boarded the ship. The rep was very nice and HAL promptly removed the charges.

BTW like a lot of you as soon as we board we turn off our cell phones and put them in the safe and there they stay until we clean out the safe on the last day.

Lastly I would like to remind people to make sure before you leave your cabin check your safe especially along the edges where small things can hide between the wall and bottom cover. Last time we found someone's driver's license hiding there. We kept hoping that the person didn't need it to travel!
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2,739 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
On our RC cruise they charged us tips for 4 people in our group(but in different cabins). After an hour at guest services trying to get it straightened out, they then charged us double rather than removing the charges.
Took a week after returning home to get everything straightened out.
The Berkshires Of MA
11,632 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
We check daily and have only ever seen extra bar charges, which were reversed.

We pay our bill in cash at the end of the cruise.
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487 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
As an FYI, I NEVER once signed a receipt or slip for drinks at any of the bars or coffees at International cafe on my Princess cruise and I did NOT have a drink or coffee package.
I ordered what I wanted, they took my card and scanned it, handed it back, gave me my drink and the charge showed up on my account. If I didn't ask at the time of purchase, I did not even know the cost of drinks.
Be very easy for a naive young lady to get confused and not realize she was being billed for her whole group's drinks.
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DH's other half.
82,474 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by leaveitallbehind
;53336850]RCI, as example, will show you a daily running total of all charges on your room TV and every purchase you make has to be signed for and has a receipt presented. I don't understand how anyone can be surprised by their bill at the end of the cruise unless they didn't bother to pay attention to what they were purchasing.

[It is the same as those people who spend with their credit cards at home and are shocked at months' end when the bill comes in. Some people are responsible spenders and some are not.

[quoteleave] it all behind IAs to what charges add up, drinks certainly pay a large part of that, but with the drink packages available, those costs can be fixed as well. Sometimes people may forget that gratuities that were not prepaid will appear each day on your account and do not require your signature or issue a receipt. But these are known charges which are limited in their amount, and they do appear each day on your account for your review.

But there are no surprise or hidden charges that appear at the end of your bill. The only charges that are there are the ones you made and signed for. Sorry, but given that, again I don't understand horror stories about being shocked or devastated with an end of cruise bill.[/quote]
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3,723 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by John Bull
If they're not from North America those folk are probably referring to the daily "tips" / service charge / call-it-what-you-will - something which newbies don't know about & which cruise lines and (Brit) T/A's are rather coy about mentioning before booking - yes, it's somewhere on the websites but pretty obscure for a cost which adds around 10% of the ticket price and which unsurprisingly comes as a shock to them...
I have seen two North American family groups who were caught unawares by the gratuities. Sad to watch a man do the math for four people for 12 days.

You are right that travel agents won't jeopardize a sale by mentioning daily service charges.

Customer: “Wow, only $599 for a seven day cruise and kids sail for half price!”
Travel agent: “Correct.”
Customer: (Fiddles with calculator on phone.) “So just $1797.”
Travel agent: “Plus $129 port charges, government taxes, and fees.”
Customer: (Fiddles with calculator again. Sighs.) “Make that $1926. Still doable.”
Travel agent: (Checks her computer.) “$2313.”
Customer: “What?”
Travel agent: “$129 port charges, government taxes, and fees each.”
Customer: "Even the kids?"
Travel agent: "Yes, kids too."
Customer: (Fiddles with calculator.” “That's $516!”
Travel agent: “Correct.”
Customer: “That's a long way from the $1797 I was expecting.”
Travel agent: “Maybe you should visit your in-laws in Bayonne again this summer.”
Customer: “Here's my credit card.”

Any surprise the travel agent didn't mention a daily service charge? Besides, $11 per person per day is only another $308.
1,822 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
We were on a cruise when a passenger got on the elevator with us. He had a copy of his bill and he was shaking his head as he kept turning page after page. His bill was about 12 pages for a 7-day cruise. Finally, he looked up and said, "someone had a good time".
4,565 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
The real shock IMHO are cruisers that aren't monitoring their accounts on a daily based

All you need to do it turn on the tv in your cabin to do this

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4,565 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
I actually monitor all my credit card and checking account activity on a daily basis. Takes 10 minutes and gives me something worthwhile to do while enjoying morning coffee

I'd rather start my day managing my fortune lol than watching the news any day.

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107,598 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We were on a cruise a number of years ago and the man in the cabin next to us was stunned when he got their bill and discovered that his wife and daughter spent a fortune in the beauty parlor and spa area.
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Philly burbs, PA.
11,354 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by MicCanberra
I imagine the jewellery or the art would rack up some big bills.
Very true, but they would not be a surprise on the bill at the end of the cruise unless the one purchasing them did not tell their significant other - if one was traveling with them - that the purchase was made.
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