Port Charges. What were yours??

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#1
NJ
289 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Hi! A TOTAL newbie here. There's a good possibility we may be booking our first ever cruise this Aug. We have 2 girls ages 3 and 6. This board has been a WEALTH of information, and am learning little by little.

Having said that...so I get a quote today for our possible vacation in Aug. (which will be from New York City to Bermuda...on the Norwegian Dawn), and I was actually surprised about the amount of port charges. $165 per person! She actually told me that was cheap...because if we were to port at other places, you'd have to pay the port charges for each one! So, me, being all new at this stuff is thinking that the $165 is pretty steep times 4 = $660 in port charges! But now to think, if we were to go on a Bahama/puero Rico/another island cruise...we would need to pay for 3 separate port charges per person? Wouldn't those port charges be astronomical per person if you were to visit 3 islands?? See, I never knew this.

SO...out of curiosity (and if you don't mind)....I am very, very curious as to the port charges you had to pay and how many ports the ship docked at. I just can't fathom the fact that per person you can pay over $500 in port charges?

I would like to hear the differences. Thank you so much!
#2
Las Cruces, NM
2,409 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
I have seen some high port charges, never any over $500, doesn't mean they don't exist (I would think it would be a port intensive cruise), just haven't seen them that high. We are going to South America for 14 days. Port charges per person: $210. I booked on 4/21 of this year. How long is your cruise and how many ports?
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#3
NJ
289 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by julieanne
I have seen some high port charges, never any over $500, doesn't mean they don't exist (I would think it would be a port intensive cruise), just haven't seen them that high. We are going to South America for 14 days. Port charges per person: $210. I booked on 4/21 of this year. How long is your cruise and how many ports?
Just the one port at Bermuda. That's why they said the port "was only" $165 and they said if there were more ports you need to pay for each one and can get costly. The cruise is for 7 days.
Thanks for your input. Oh, and I"m assuming that your port charge per person of $210 is for one port only?
#4
Fredericksburg, va. USA
84,276 Posts
Joined May 2001
I've never considered port charges--they've always been wrapped into the cruisefare. As long as the cost of the cruise is within my means, who cares what portion is a port charge??
#5
NJ
289 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by cb at sea
I've never considered port charges--they've always been wrapped into the cruisefare. As long as the cost of the cruise is within my means, who cares what portion is a port charge??
Um, well I do. I was just curious that's all. For a NEWBIE like myself, I didn't know that port charges could be that "steep" at times. I thought it would be interesting for me to see the different port charges that pple pay for various different ports, etc. I'm just glad I'm finding out that the $160 per person port charge for us isn't that "high" compared to others. But for me, it's when you put it all together... $160x4 = $660, it kinda makes me cringe as there's alot more I rather do with that $660. LOL
#6
Texas, USA
1,044 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Anything is possible. And Bermuda is out of the super-common places that people go and have experience with, so the UK could have some high rates...

But I would carefully reconfirm with TA - I would think that $165 for all of you sounds right, not each. Perhaps also post in the Bermuda Ports of Call section.

Now I suppose that 'all extra' fees could total $165, for example: taxes, NY fees, fuel surcharges, Bermuda, etc, etc...maybe that is what it is. But that number would not increase the full amount for every new port of call.

Is this a TA, NCL direct, website, other...? They should be happy to itemize that $165 out.
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#7
Colorado
953 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Okay, I did a little playing on NCL's site. I pretended to book a cruise on NCL Dawn for 8/10-8/17 (might not be your sailing, but port charges should be the same). NCL shows Government Taxes and Fees (aka Port charges) at $127.77 per person.

NCL Dawn 8/10-8/17
Guest Totals: $1,292.77
Cruise $999.00
Travel Protection $89.00
Fuel Supplement $77.00
Government Taxes and Fees $127.77

As a reference, I also looked up our NCL Jewel sailing. The port charges are $70.59 per person. We have 5 ports on our cruise.

NCL Jewel 12/12-12/21 (5 Ports)
Guest Totals: $997.59
Cruise $739.00
Travel Protection $89.00
Fuel Supplement $99.00
Government Taxes and Fees $70.59

I do think I've read previously that Bermuda has higher port charges than other ports and this comparison seems to validate that. I would verify with the TA (assuming it's a TA and not NCL) that the $165 per person is indeed all port charges and not including other stuff (fuel surcharge, insurance, etc).

Basically, the $165 is slightly higher than what NCL quoted. The TA's reasoning about "only" and paying that much for each port is incorrect.
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#8
Mountain Home, Arkansas
4,022 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
I just booked a 5-nighter out of Mobile to Cozumel and Calica. I got a two cabin upgrade from 4A to a 4C for [email protected] and the port charges and taxes added another $171.14 for a grand total of $689.14. I'm tickled to death.

Last year We had the same cruise and it ran [email protected] and taxes and port charges were $316.86.

Then the year before that we did a 7-night Princess cruise out of Galveston. Price:[email protected] They charged $82.78 for taxes and credited me for $70 for booking online. I still haven't figured this one out.

So it looks like you are at their mercy. I think that they punch in some numbers and let it go at that.
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#9
NJ
289 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Thanks guys....you're the best.

That one quote was through *********: a TA there quoted me $834 per person (person #1 and 2) and that is NOT including port charges and taxes. That was another $165 port charges per person and another $204 in federal taxes (so $369 in port charges and taxes per person....wow!). Prices were $434 for person # 2 and 3 not including the port charges and taxes. For the grand total of $3,611. This is for Aug. 24th. When it was revealed my husband was in the union, we got more money off making the total $3,257.48. Oh, and I would also get a $75 BJ's gift certificate too.

Now NCL quoted me a total of $3,257.48 for everything as well...including the union discount. I never revealed the price quote of the other place, and they came up exactly as the other place right down to the penny. I need/want to get a breakdown from them as well just to see.

Anyway, after all of this....we are not 100% sure if we can go. I'm so heartbroken. After all this research I've been doing...and getting excited, etc. , when speaking to my husband about it yesterday, to pay it in full is what's hard for us right now since the trip date is under 75 days away. If a miracle happens and our ford explorer finally sells, then we will have the money right away. If not, this trip may not happen till next year.

Either way, I appreciate all the help/tips/suggestions that I've been getting on CC.
#10
Richardson, TX
71,172 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by Mammaof2girls
I'm finding out that the $160 per person port charge for us isn't that "high" compared to others. But for me, it's when you put it all together... $160x4 = $660, it kinda makes me cringe as there's alot more I rather do with that $660. LOL
Port charges are not broken out by the cruiseline, so they are hard to come by. They are included in the price of the cruise. Some TAs break them out. They do come to a little over $50 per port usually on average.

Do a cruise to nowhere and anchor?? That way if the ship doesnt dock the country its docking at never has to charge you port charges.

.... anyway you can go during the very end of august prices start to come down for when the kids are in school, but yep those summer rates are always steep. Try booking further in advance for better prices too. This close to August you are hitting the worst rates. I book more than a year in advance to get good prices. I have one booked almost 2 years in advance. 5 days on Ecstasy for less than $300 pp... total including everything.
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#11
NJ
289 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by firefly333
Port charges are not broken out by the cruiseline, so they are hard to come by. They are included in the price of the cruise. Some TAs break them out. They do come to a little over $50 per port usually on average.

Do a cruise to nowhere and anchor?? That way if the ship doesnt dock the country its docking at never has to charge you port charges.

.... anyway you can go during the very end of august prices start to come down for when the kids are in school, but yep those summer rates are always steep.
Thanks. Well, good news....we will be able to swing it and we have our cruise booked for Aug. Woo Hoo! We will be going Aug 24th. I'm such a super thorough person that I want everything broken down for me...from the cruise fare right down to the taxes and fuel charges. I like to know where my dollars are going. SO....the final is this (on my post yesterday, I must of had the federal taxes wrong).

~ $165 port charges per person
~ $77.00 fuel surcharge per person
~ $127.77 federal taxes per person
which all that is of course added to the cruise fare per person, which lucky us...my husband is in the union so we got a real decent discount. then for our 2 girls (person #3 and #4, the only difference is the fuel surcharge for them is $35 per person. The port charges and taxes are the same. Which gets me...if their cruise fare is cheaper than ours, why would they pay the same amt. of taxes? Hmn, thought it would be less.... ?? Anyway....

I can't wait!!!
#12
Kennesaw GA.
5,668 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
I am glad to see this got cleared up. Taxes and Fees are NOT port charges. Port charges are separate. Most TA's show prices that include port charges but taxes and fees are listed separte. It is very difficult to get the true break out but it can be done.

When advertised prices look too good to be true, many times the port charges are not included, so when you add it all up, the final price comes out to what other TA's are charging.

When I ask for a quote I always ask the TA to break it all out. Most will.
On the actual cruise line invoice (Hal's ) you will see the price of the cruise, a discount percent that was applied to the crazy rack rate only, then port charges, taxes and fees and now that fuel surcharge.
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#13
Richardson, TX
71,172 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by Mammaof2girls
The port charges and taxes are the same. Which gets me...if their cruise fare is cheaper than ours, why would they pay the same amt. of taxes? Hmn, thought it would be less.... ?? Anyway....

I can't wait!!!
Taxes are not like sales tax based on the amount of the purchase, they are the same no matter if you have a lowly inside cabin or a suite. Taxes and port charges are a fixed amount, if you are travelling offseason in Sept or high season in July and paying twice as much. Be glad the taxes are the same even though you are cruising during peak season, you dont want them to be a percentage.

No matter what your cruise price is the taxes will be the same out of the same port. Some ports like Miami were adding a tiny bit more, some got it on the onboard account and were upset, even though its a small amount. We even had one person claiming they were charged to tender because thats the day it appeared on their account. Miami is expanding their port and tacked on a little extra charge, which adds insult to injury since they charge $20 a day for parking. I add in the parking costs when I decide which port to go out of. We drove to Port Canaveral from Texas.
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#14
Richardson, TX
71,172 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by Marlissa
Okay, I did a little playing on NCL's site. I pretended to book a cruise on NCL Dawn for 8/10-8/17 (might not be your sailing, but port charges should be the same). NCL shows Government Taxes and Fees (aka Port charges) at $127.77 per person.

NCL Dawn 8/10-8/17
Guest Totals: $1,292.77
Cruise $999.00
Travel Protection $89.00
Fuel Supplement $77.00
Government Taxes and Fees $127.77

As a reference, I also looked up our NCL Jewel sailing. The port charges are $70.59 per person. We have 5 ports on our cruise.

NCL Jewel 12/12-12/21 (5 Ports)
Guest Totals: $997.59
Cruise $739.00
Travel Protection $89.00
Fuel Supplement $99.00
Government Taxes and Fees $70.59

I do think I've read previously that Bermuda has higher port charges than other ports and this comparison seems to validate that. I would verify with the TA (assuming it's a TA and not NCL) that the $165 per person is indeed all port charges and not including other stuff (fuel surcharge, insurance, etc).

Basically, the $165 is slightly higher than what NCL quoted. The TA's reasoning about "only" and paying that much for each port is incorrect.
Just to reiterate ...... government taxes and fees of $70.59 are NOT port charges. Nor do they include port charges. The port charges are included in the price the cruiselines show on their sites.

There was a class action law suit that it was deceptive to not show the port charges when they advertised, so now the cruiselines are not allowed to add the port charges on later. Your TA may show you how much they are in some rare cases, but its NOT the small amount of taxes added on.
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#15
NJ
289 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by Marlissa
Okay, I did a little playing on NCL's site. I pretended to book a cruise on NCL Dawn for 8/10-8/17 (might not be your sailing, but port charges should be the same). NCL shows Government Taxes and Fees (aka Port charges) at $127.77 per person.

NCL Dawn 8/10-8/17
Guest Totals: $1,292.77
Cruise $999.00
Travel Protection $89.00
Fuel Supplement $77.00
Government Taxes and Fees $127.77

As a reference, I also looked up our NCL Jewel sailing. The port charges are $70.59 per person. We have 5 ports on our cruise.

NCL Jewel 12/12-12/21 (5 Ports)
Guest Totals: $997.59
Cruise $739.00
Travel Protection $89.00
Fuel Supplement $99.00
Government Taxes and Fees $70.59

I do think I've read previously that Bermuda has higher port charges than other ports and this comparison seems to validate that. I would verify with the TA (assuming it's a TA and not NCL) that the $165 per person is indeed all port charges and not including other stuff (fuel surcharge, insurance, etc).

Basically, the $165 is slightly higher than what NCL quoted. The TA's reasoning about "only" and paying that much for each port is incorrect.
Hey there! Yes, I did confirm that the port charges of $165 was just port charges w/ no other stuff in there....and it is. See my post #11 for a total breakdown. Hmn, but I don't understand how your port charges are like only $70 a person and you have FIVE ports?! How does that happen? Mine seems significantly higher than yours, and I'm only porting at one spot. *scratches head*

Oh, and we're sailing out on Aug. 24th.
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#16
NJ
289 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by firefly333
Taxes are not like sales tax based on the amount of the purchase, they are the same no matter if you have a lowly inside cabin or a suite. Taxes and port charges are a fixed amount, if you are travelling offseason in Sept or high season in July and paying twice as much. Be glad the taxes are the same even though you are cruising during peak season, you dont want them to be a percentage.

No matter what your cruise price is the taxes will be the same out of the same port. Some ports like Miami were adding a tiny bit more, some got it on the onboard account and were upset, even though its a small amount. We even had one person claiming they were charged to tender because thats the day it appeared on their account. Miami is expanding their port and tacked on a little extra charge, which adds insult to injury since they charge $20 a day for parking. I add in the parking costs when I decide which port to go out of. We drove to Port Canaveral from Texas.
Thanks for clearing that up for me firefly. I didn't realize that taxes were a fixed amount now matter how much you were paying. It makes sense now.
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Bermuda, here we come!................
#17
NJ
289 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by gizmo
I am glad to see this got cleared up. Taxes and Fees are NOT port charges. Port charges are separate. Most TA's show prices that include port charges but taxes and fees are listed separte. It is very difficult to get the true break out but it can be done.

When advertised prices look too good to be true, many times the port charges are not included, so when you add it all up, the final price comes out to what other TA's are charging.

When I ask for a quote I always ask the TA to break it all out. Most will.
On the actual cruise line invoice (Hal's ) you will see the price of the cruise, a discount percent that was applied to the crazy rack rate only, then port charges, taxes and fees and now that fuel surcharge.
Yes, that is what I did to. The TA broke it all out for me, which is what I wanted. I'm just that type of person that likes to know what costs are actually making up this final amount. I need to be thorough like that. LOL

And yes you are right....I have found that alot of advertisements or whatever, that the "per person" rate does not include the port charges, taxes and whatever other surcharges. That brings it up alot more!!! Usually in fine print somewhere it says doesn't include port charges, taxes, etc. We found out that my husband, because he's in the union, we got a discount. So saving around $350 was good for us! Every bit helps.
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#18
Las Cruces, NM
2,409 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
I am glad that others chimed in and let you know that $165 isn't avergage per port! LOL! I'd have to give up cruising! We have 9 ports! I like to see it broken down as well. You have to be careful as some online TA's can get very creative with pricing! I was going to mention the class action suit, but Firefly did thankfully. It got crazy around that time as TA's would give you one price and the final was totaly different! By the way, travel agents are bound by law to disclose all port charges and taxes when quoting fares. The fuel surcharge is beginning to irritate me though. I know they have it, they don't hide it, but it bugs me when I am "pricing" a cruise and it gives me total cabin cost and you hit the book now button and oops!, look a fuel surcharge! LOL, just add it in already!
LOL! I wish you and your family a wonderful cruise and please post a review when you return!
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#19
Gulf Coast of Florida
9,044 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
You got me to thinking on this one..
I am booked for the Valor next year..
I just took a look at my receipt.. Port charges are not listed.. They are included in the cruise price.. (At least booking through CCL that is)
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#20
658 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by Mammaof2girls
Hi! A TOTAL newbie here. There's a good possibility we may be booking our first ever cruise this Aug. We have 2 girls ages 3 and 6. This board has been a WEALTH of information, and am learning little by little.

Having said that...so I get a quote today for our possible vacation in Aug. (which will be from New York City to Bermuda...on the Norwegian Dawn), and I was actually surprised about the amount of port charges. $165 per person! She actually told me that was cheap...because if we were to port at other places, you'd have to pay the port charges for each one! So, me, being all new at this stuff is thinking that the $165 is pretty steep times 4 = $660 in port charges! But now to think, if we were to go on a Bahama/puero Rico/another island cruise...we would need to pay for 3 separate port charges per person? Wouldn't those port charges be astronomical per person if you were to visit 3 islands?? See, I never knew this.

SO...out of curiosity (and if you don't mind)....I am very, very curious as to the port charges you had to pay and how many ports the ship docked at. I just can't fathom the fact that per person you can pay over $500 in port charges?

I would like to hear the differences. Thank you so much!
I have no idea what date you booked this cruise for or which category of stateroom you booked. As an example, if you had booked 8/10/, category G, the total for PORT FEES AND TAXES would be $511.08, that is $127.77 for EACH of you. Then there is the fuel supplement charge of $77/per adult and $35/per child. The total for this cruise is $4,431.08. This is before any discount. Now, if you booked with the cruise line you would probably not get a discount. I am TA and I always discount all cruise line pricing.

The port fee you were quoted is not just a 'port fee' for Bermuda. Remember they are paying a port fee while they are in NY also and there are also taxes in this fee. Port fees and taxes are not cheap. I have booked clients into "Inside Guarantee" staterooms on Carnival where the 'port fees and taxes' actually totaled more than the cost of the 'cruise fare'. But like other posters have said what you really need to look at is the total cost of the cruise.