port charges, taxes and fees

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#1
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each time I sail the port charges taxes and fees go up and the savings disappear. I understand they can vary greatly and maybe 450 per person is not that high- but how can I be assured these are legitimate and not including commission fees and they are collecting charges that were not levied? for example, what is panama canal charges, and seattle, LA or Miami charges vs acappoco or costa rica?
#3
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clarify above question- total charges at 3149 for two of us and ad for cruise was 1144 each(2288) or 430 per person port charges, taxes and fees
#4
I come from a land down under
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Joined Jul 2014
I have noticed that NCL seem to charge more than other lines for the same itinerary.

But to me I look at the total price.
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#5
Kawerau NZ
6,767 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
You may not get an answer but write to NCL and ask for a breakdown of them.
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Mike
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#6
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yes but total price keeps going up- I just want to make sure the fees are legimate or don't call them that. that would fall under truth in advertising
#7
Kawerau NZ
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Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by Wenatchee
clarify above question- total charges at 3149 for two of us and ad for cruise was 1144 each(2288) or 430 per person port charges, taxes and fees
You might need to name ports so others doing the same trip in the future or have in the past can check and see if they paid or will pay the same.
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Mike
Pom by Birth; Coin-Collecting Retired Kiwi by Choice; Canuck by Family Ties.

Contact at "casofilia @ xtra . co . nz" (Miss out the gaps)

Previous Cruises:-
#1 Sep 13 Alaska Sapphire Princess
#2 Mar 14 Hawai'i PoA
#3,4,5 Oct 14 Vancouver-Panama-Miami-Bahamas Pearl
#6,7 May 15 Norway & Baltic Star
#8,9 Sep 15 Quebec-Boston-Quebec Dawn
#10,11 Mar 16 Buenos Aires-San Francisco Sun
#12,13 Oct 16 Rome-Singapore Star

#14 Jun 17 Round Britain Caribbean Princess
#15 Jul 17 Dover-New York Sea Princess (Via North Norway & Iceland)
#16 Sep 17 Honolulu-Pape'ete Jewel
#17 Oct 17 Pape'ete-Sydney Jewel



April 18 Yokohama-Shanghai Jewel
April 18 Shanghai-Yokohama Jewel
May 18 Yokohama-Seattle Jewel
Sep 18 Round Australia Sea Princess
#8
toms river, nj USA
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Just like hotel rates and airfares and cruise fares I would assume port charges vary by location as well as season of the year as well as dock location and demand
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#9
EASTERN PA
2,138 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
Originally posted by Wenatchee
clarify above question- total charges at 3149 for two of us and ad for cruise was 1144 each(2288) or 430 per person port charges, taxes and fees
We paid that much for ports etc in 2015 on the Sun through the canal, my understanding was about half of it was going through the canal. Often the port fees are less on the larger ships because the total charge is the same for a ship, but more people are chipping in to pay it. Some monster RCCL ships only charge $105 fees on a 7 day 3 port trip.
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#10
Maine
13,537 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Wenatchee
each time I sail the port charges taxes and fees go up and the savings disappear. I understand they can vary greatly and maybe 450 per person is not that high- but how can I be assured these are legitimate and not including commission fees and they are collecting charges that were not levied? for example, what is panama canal charges, and seattle, LA or Miami charges vs acappoco or costa rica?
Just the fact that you are talking about "port charges" in addition to taxes and fees, means you are booking with a travel agent. The reason travel agents show discounts and savings is that they take the "commissionable" portion of the fare the cruise line charges, and calls this the "fare". They then call the non-commissionable portion of the fare "port charges". If you take the TA's "fare" + "port charges" + taxes and fees, you will find they come out very close to the cruise line's fare + taxes and fees. The cruise line basically determines how much of the fare they are willing to pay the TA a commission on, and the rest is "non-commissionable". There is no rhyme or reason to the amount of commissionable fare, it is what the line says it is, so the TA's have to deal with it, and many will use it to advertise "cut rate" deals.

As far as what taxes and fees are per port, that depends on the cruise line, the ship, and what services the ship uses in a given port, so that can vary between ships of the same line for the same port. Because of a class action suit a few years back, the cruise lines are strictly limited in what they can call port fees and taxes.

As for the Panama Canal, the tariff for the ship is based on the maximum occupancy of the ship, and if even one passenger is being transported, the ship is charged $142 per possible bed at capacity. If the ship sails under capacity, the total tariff is divided between the number of actual passengers to get the port fees and taxes, so this can vary from one cruise to the next on the same ship.
#11
France
6,171 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by Wenatchee
clarify above question- total charges at 3149 for two of us and ad for cruise was 1144 each(2288) or 430 per person port charges, taxes and fees
That's not how you figure out the charges & fees, because you may not have gotten the rate that was in the ad. The actual fare and the actual added charges should appear on your cruise invoice. There are other types of charges that NCL might add to your booking, depending on the promotional perks that you chose.
#12
1,325 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Originally posted by chengkp75
Just the fact that you are talking about "port charges" in addition to taxes and fees, means you are booking with a travel agent. The reason travel agents show discounts and savings is that they take the "commissionable" portion of the fare the cruise line charges, and calls this the "fare". They then call the non-commissionable portion of the fare "port charges". If you take the TA's "fare" + "port charges" + taxes and fees, you will find they come out very close to the cruise line's fare + taxes and fees. The cruise line basically determines how much of the fare they are willing to pay the TA a commission on, and the rest is "non-commissionable". There is no rhyme or reason to the amount of commissionable fare, it is what the line says it is, so the TA's have to deal with it, and many will use it to advertise "cut rate" deals.



As far as what taxes and fees are per port, that depends on the cruise line, the ship, and what services the ship uses in a given port, so that can vary between ships of the same line for the same port. Because of a class action suit a few years back, the cruise lines are strictly limited in what they can call port fees and taxes.



As for the Panama Canal, the tariff for the ship is based on the maximum occupancy of the ship, and if even one passenger is being transported, the ship is charged $142 per possible bed at capacity. If the ship sails under capacity, the total tariff is divided between the number of actual passengers to get the port fees and taxes, so this can vary from one cruise to the next on the same ship.

Thanks for that interesting explanation.
We were just on the Star. When we asked what our partial refund would be our TA said it would be the cruise fare only but then said that $600 of that was port charges and would also be taken out. This "port charges" was never mentioned in the original booking and Ncl would not clarify what the breakdown of that was.
In the end it was irrelevant as the partial refund was on that total cruise fare less the government taxes


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#13
France
6,171 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by chengkp75
As for the Panama Canal, the tariff for the ship is based on the maximum occupancy of the ship, and if even one passenger is being transported, the ship is charged $142 per possible bed at capacity. If the ship sails under capacity, the total tariff is divided between the number of actual passengers to get the port fees and taxes, so this can vary from one cruise to the next on the same ship.
I get what you're saying, but NCL doesn't do it that way, do they? Because that would mean waiting until right before sailing to collect everyone's port charges (or charging them some estimated amount at booking, and adjusting it up or down based on the final actual passenger count).
#14
Long Beach, NY
454 Posts
Joined Apr 2015
I can understand a refund of some of the port charges & government fees & taxes when a port is skipped (such as what happened on the Star recently).

But what happens when the itinerary is changed months before the cruise, even before the final payment is due, and ports are added and removed? Does NCL change the total fare & charges, or do they honor the total that you contracted for?
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#15
8,419 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by Wenatchee
each time I sail the port charges taxes and fees go up and the savings disappear. I understand they can vary greatly and maybe 450 per person is not that high- but how can I be assured these are legitimate and not including commission fees and they are collecting charges that were not levied? for example, what is panama canal charges, and seattle, LA or Miami charges vs acappoco or costa rica?
youcannot
whydoyouassumethatthe com panyistryingto che.atyou
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#17
Maine
13,537 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by hawkeyetlse
I get what you're saying, but NCL doesn't do it that way, do they? Because that would mean waiting until right before sailing to collect everyone's port charges (or charging them some estimated amount at booking, and adjusting it up or down based on the final actual passenger count).
I believe they do, they set the port taxes for the canal based on double occupancy at time of setting the itinerary, and adjust it from there. This is typically why the port taxes for Canal cruises change so much over the booking period.
#18
906 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Port charges are what you pay to cover the costs of the ship being in port. That is why when you miss a port, those charges get refunded. The amount of port charges can be different on different cruise lines or ships docking at the same port because the charge takes into account the size of the ship/amount of people on board and the hours the ship will be in port. So, if your ship and another cruise ship are in port the same day, but the other one is there a shorter time, they will be paying less to dock there that day. That is why there is such a big deal when people are late getting back on board. It's not so much that they have to make up the time to get to the next port. That is pretty easy. It's that the ship may be charged more for staying longer in the port. The port charge is not negotiable as it is set by the government of the port. The ship and your TA have no say in it. Port charges for canal crossings are much higher because it costs that much more to maintain/use the facilities to make the transit.
#19
France
6,171 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by chengkp75
I believe they do, they set the port taxes for the canal based on double occupancy at time of setting the itinerary, and adjust it from there. This is typically why the port taxes for Canal cruises change so much over the booking period.
I see. But if they don't know the final amount to charge each passenger until the last minute, do they make adjustments (additional charges or partial refunds) on board, based on how much each passenger was already made to pay? I know they do this on some other lines, but NCL doesn't always do things like other lines…
#20
Maine
13,537 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by hawkeyetlse
I see. But if they don't know the final amount to charge each passenger until the last minute, do they make adjustments (additional charges or partial refunds) on board, based on how much each passenger was already made to pay? I know they do this on some other lines, but NCL doesn't always do things like other lines…
Haven't done a PC cruise on NCL, but I can't see them doing anything differently, when you look at the large amount that the total tariff is, and the restrictions they have on port fees and taxes.