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wannagonow123

SINGLE HSC/TIPPING THREAD (Previously "Why are gratuities not included in Fares?")

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We’re based in Brisbane & used HAL for the Inside Passage Cruise last year.

 

Gratuities were not included in the fare. We travelled with Viking in the Med the year before and they were included ( which we prefer).

 

With HAL we ended up paying their recommended amounts and paid by debit card at cruises end (along with any other items we purchased). It was seamless.

 

Of course it's seamless and quite easy. You do make a good point. With Viking, the gratuities were included. Passengers still paid them but they weren't an itemized expense. "Included" isn't the same thing as "free".

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Gratiities are not included if you buy your cruise through a TA or from HAL from within Australia.

EXCEPT if you buy when everyone else gets the HSC included via the special that was available a few months ago.

 

Also, in Australia some Travel Companies (Scenic, AAPT etc.) who include cruises in their itineraries will also include gratuities in their prices. This is because Australians always prefer all inclusive pricing.

 

Also I have never heard of any Australian Resort or Hotel ever charging a Resort Fee. It just wouldn't be accepted here. Advertised prices must be all inclusive (including tax).

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"Included" isn't the same thing as "free".

 

If you remember this one point, you will (maybe) understand all 'offers' from HAL, or any other cruise line.

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If you remember this one point, you will (maybe) understand all 'offers' from HAL, or any other cruise line.

Too bad that some cannot fathom the difference between "included" and "free".

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...

 

Also I have never heard of any Australian Resort or Hotel ever charging a Resort Fee. It just wouldn't be accepted here. Advertised prices must be all inclusive (including tax).

 

I wish all inclusive pricing in travel was the norm in North America. It would make things a lot easier.

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Thanks everyone for the advice. I called HAL, asked about 50 questions and have booked a cruise. I was actually surprised to to find out that the online price for the Explore 4 promotion was far higher than the online price displayed with no apparent option to choose Explore 4. On the positive side, the Australian agents were very helpful with answering my questions :)

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I was actually surprised to to find out that the online price for the Explore 4 promotion was far higher than the online price displayed with no apparent option to choose Explore 4. :)
That's the most important lesson about cruise line promotions. :)

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I totally agree with you. I have said for a long time that I wish the cruise lines would include the fare in the price of the cruise, or at least give the passenger the ability to prepay it as part of the fare. I think its crazy that it is added to your on board account each day.

 

I can't for the life of me understand the cruise lines thinking on this.

 

Norwegian and Princess allow you to pre-pay the gratuities.

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I totally agree with you. I have said for a long time that I wish the cruise lines would include the fare in the price of the cruise, or at least give the passenger the ability to prepay it as part of the fare. I think its crazy that it is added to your on board account each day.

 

I can't for the life of me understand the cruise lines thinking on this.

 

Why not buy some onboard credit sufficient to pay for your HSC? Accomplishes the same thing as prepaying gratuities.

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was actually surprised to to find out that the online price for the Explore 4 promotion was far higher than the online price displayed with no apparent option to choose Explore 4. :)

 

That's the most important lesson about cruise line promotions. :)

 

 

Yes - another lesson is that different companies have different approaches. A number of cruise line include grats by default if booked from Australia, if booked through an Australian TA or if booked onboard (they use the Australian t&c) - for all cruises around the world.

 

They also show online the full cost of the cruise with the promotion. However, many/not all people are aware and sceptical because the prices before the promotion are sometimes lower than the prices released with a new promotion. This could be against Australian consumer law - https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/prices-surcharges-receipts/price-displays

 

Which is better? Probably neither but it just proves that consumers need to be aware if comparing the prices from different lines.

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Does anyone here believe that if the gratuities/HSC is included in the fare that they will not have to pay them?

 

Not here - Aussies are used to paying the full price of anything including all charges - our laws are set up to tell people the full price including service charges, taxes etc to avoid people being misled about the total price.

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Not here - Aussies are used to paying the full price of anything including all charges - our laws are set up to tell people the full price including service charges, taxes etc to avoid people being misled about the total price.

 

Perhaps, but I'm still convinced that most people who want to include the HSC in the fare think there won't be an increase in the fare, ie, something for nothing.

 

I rather doubt that many people are mislead about the total price. All this commotion about the HSC is coming from people who are well aware of the charges.

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Perhaps, but I'm still convinced that most people who want to include the HSC in the fare think there won't be an increase in the fare, ie, something for nothing.

 

I rather doubt that many people are mislead about the total price. All this commotion about the HSC is coming from people who are well aware of the charges.

 

Well that comes from your perspective. Fair enough.

 

I asked a question because I was used to booking with RCI which does include the grats in the prices in Australia (as do a number of other lines) because they are aware of the legal and cultural differences. I have cruised for long enough to check but I have seen many Aussies genuinely surprised by extra charges when visiting USA or cruising not just for grats but also state taxes etc. https://www.accc.gov.au/business/pricing-surcharging/displaying-prices

 

Here is an excerpt from our consumer law:

"When you present prices to your customers, you must state the total price of the good or service as a single figure, which is the minimum total cost that is able to be calculated. This should include any tax, duty, fee, levy or other additional charges (e.g. GST or airport tax)."

Edited by lucymorgan

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Well that comes from your perspective. Fair enough.

 

I asked a question because I was used to booking with RCI which does include the grats in the prices in Australia (as do a number of other lines) because they are aware of the legal and cultural differences. I have cruised for long enough to check but I have seen many Aussies genuinely surprised by extra charges when visiting USA or cruising not just for grats but also state taxes etc. https://www.accc.gov.au/business/pricing-surcharging/displaying-prices

 

I understand that some might be surprised. But, life is full of surprises.

 

There is a lot to be admired about this Australian policy. One of the reasons we like our system of separating out taxes is that it makes it more difficult to raise taxes. We think it important that people know just how much they pay in taxes.

Edited by RocketMan275

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Does anyone here believe that if the gratuities/HSC is included in the fare that they will not have to pay them?
The problem is that there are still some people who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge how including the gratuities in the fare will actually increase the fare more than the gratuities themselves, due to the impact of taxes.

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The problem is that there are still some people who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge how including the gratuities in the fare will actually increase the fare more than the gratuities themselves, due to the impact of taxes.

 

No, the real problem are those who believe that the fares will remain the same if the gratuities are included in the fare. They are always claiming that the cruise line should pay the crew and then the passengers won't have to pay gratuities.

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No, the real problem are those who believe that the fares will remain the same if the gratuities are included in the fare. They are always claiming that the cruise line should pay the crew and then the passengers won't have to pay gratuities.

 

Agree 100%

 

+1

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No, the real problem are those who believe that the fares will remain the same if the gratuities are included in the fare. They are always claiming that the cruise line should pay the crew and then the passengers won't have to pay gratuities.

 

As an Australian I totally disagree with you. We are not looking for something cheap. We just expect to be charged what the company says the cost is. If there are HSC and/or resort fees add it to the cost. You are going to pay it anyway - why wait until later.

 

As you can see from what @lucymorgan wrote, our laws are very different from yours.

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If there are HSC and/or resort fees add it to the cost. You are going to pay it anyway - why wait until later.

That's where you are missing a major point: If the HSC was added to the cost, you would be paying much more than the straight gratuity amount. There would need to be an additional charge beyond the HSC to allow for taxation.

It would increase the cost you ultimately pay.

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As an Australian I totally disagree with you. We are not looking for something cheap. We just expect to be charged what the company says the cost is. If there are HSC and/or resort fees add it to the cost. You are going to pay it anyway - why wait until later.

 

As you can see from what @lucymorgan wrote, our laws are very different from yours.

 

 

If "you are going to pay it anyway -" what difference does it make when you pay it?

 

We are not trying to tell you that you have to follow our laws. Why do so many Australians think we should follow yours?

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That's where you are missing a major point: If the HSC was added to the cost, you would be paying much more than the straight gratuity amount. There would need to be an additional charge beyond the HSC to allow for taxation.

It would increase the cost you ultimately pay.

Thank you RuthC. I had stupidly never worked out that by tipping and paying gratuities I was avoiding paying tax. We don't tip nor have resort fees in Australia so it is not something that comes up for discussion at home.

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Another reason that taxes are listed separately in the US is that they are different in every state, county and city.

 

I can drive one mile into the next county and save 1.5% on my county sales tax. NYC residents can save 2.25% by shopping in New Jersey.

 

Two of the states bordering the one I live in has TAX FREE weekends once a year.

 

Gasoline is sold with the Federal and state taxes included in the price, but the state tax varies. It can be as high as 58.2 cents per gallon in Pennsylvania to as low as 12.25 cents per gallon in Alaska.

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As an Australian I totally disagree with you. We are not looking for something cheap. We just expect to be charged what the company says the cost is. If there are HSC and/or resort fees add it to the cost. You are going to pay it anyway - why wait until later.
And I believe most Americas would at least claim to feel the same, but again, far too many would stubbornly refuse to acknowledge how mandating gratuities be part of the stated cruise fare actually would mean that fares would go up by more than the current standard for gratuities due to taxes imposed on the business on revenue attributable to a fee when the amount of that fee is dictated rather than subject to consumer discretion.

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