Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
bebe08

Med cruise - all EU ports

Recommended Posts

We are cruising on the Reflection Sep 2019...I believe all ports are within EU which is a first for us (Barcelona, Mallorca, Sicily, Malta, and 4 ports in Greece).  I remember reading somewhere about having to pay an EU tax on onboard purchases but can't seem to find the info.  Would someone happen to have the info?  I assume purchasing in advance is the way to go where possible (ie internet, dining) to avoid the tax?  

 

TIA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bebe08 said:

We are cruising on the Reflection Sep 2019...I believe all ports are within EU which is a first for us (Barcelona, Mallorca, Sicily, Malta, and 4 ports in Greece).  I remember reading somewhere about having to pay an EU tax on onboard purchases but can't seem to find the info.  Would someone happen to have the info?  I assume purchasing in advance is the way to go where possible (ie internet, dining) to avoid the tax?  

 

TIA

 

Yes, definitely purchase in advance when sailing out of Spain on all EU.   They don't add the tax to spa treatment through as this is considered a "service"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your itinerary definitely looks like an ALL EU cruise.   You will be subject to 21% VAT for most purchases on the ship.   We were on a cruise last year just prior to an all EC Cruise.   Even the crew were buying things like internet minutes and items from the IStore prior to the cruise to avoid the payment.

 

We were told that some of the items that would be taxed at 21% would be drink packages, Internet Packages, Upgrades to drink packages.   Also all drinks and differences between drink price a max of drink package.   Also all purchases of photos, and items from the shops were taxed.    For big ticket items they do have a duty reimbursement program similar to buying on land but lots of paperwork and requirements to present the documentation at the airport.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cruise lines would be smart to include one port that is not EU, so passengers would not have to factor this significant cost into the cruise.  We did a cruise out of Barcelona that included Morocco and the Canary Islands that were considered non-EU and it was great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yikes 21%!!! Definitely purchasing in advance is the way to go where possible.  Med cruising is fairly new to us ....We did one out of Barcelona last year that included Montenegro which isn't EU so wasn't an issue.  I will post on my roll call in case there are others who aren't aware.  

 

Thanks all!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, vickykay said:

What about speciality dining purchased onboard?

I could be wrong but I believe it VAT applicable.    Someone on here indicated services like salon are not charged VAT but when I was on a no EC cruise I was charged 21% VAT on a haircut.

 

We found another interesting quirk in  departure from Spain.  While in Spanish waters cruise ships are prohibited in selling tobacco products (even duty free) regardless of whether the ship stops in or doesn't stop in EC countries..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the Sept 6th Reflection cruise in same situation or does the Gibraltar stop count?   Amsterdam, Bruges, Le Havre, Bilbao, Lisbon, Seville, Gibraltar, Cartagena and Barcelona. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

I could be wrong but I believe it VAT applicable.    Someone on here indicated services like salon are not charged VAT but when I was on a no EC cruise I was charged 21% VAT on a haircut.

 

I believe that the VAT for food and drink is only 10%. Other purchases and services at 21%.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gibraltar does allow duty free status for cruise. Did this last year on eclipse.

Tip. Buy your duty free there at port. Really good prices. Did not have it taken off me on ship either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So am I understanding this correctly — the fact that Gibraltar, our last stop,  is outside the VAT area  means that we would not be charged the VAT for any purchases at any time on the cruise ( r/t Barcelona)?  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/11/2019 at 10:56 PM, cruise kitty said:

 

Yes, definitely purchase in advance when sailing out of Spain on all EU.   They don't add the tax to spa treatment through as this is considered a "service"

I have phoned customer services asking a question about this cruise and what the tax implications are regarding purchase of anything on ship, due to EU tax rules. The answer was, there are no additional tax considerations or payments for on board purchases. The price advertised/told is the total you pay - tax free. Purchase of goods or services on land with the EU, or any other country attracts whatever tax rules apply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Trevtaplin said:

I have phoned customer services asking a question about this cruise and what the tax implications are regarding purchase of anything on ship, due to EU tax rules. The answer was, there are no additional tax considerations or payments for on board purchases. The price advertised/told is the total you pay - tax free. Purchase of goods or services on land with the EU, or any other country attracts whatever tax rules apply.

 

I wouldn't trust customer service on this one,  I'll try & find my dailies from the last all EU cruise we did out of Spain,  they definitely added the VAT to all purchases & announced it in the welcome aboard daily. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought that if you were in Spanish waters the extra tax was added. Once outside that area normal prices applied.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, cruise kitty said:

 

I wouldn't trust customer service on this one,  I'll try & find my dailies from the last all EU cruise we did out of Spain,  they definitely added the VAT to all purchases & announced it in the welcome aboard daily. 

I agree with @cruise kitty    The customer service rep may not have understood the question regarding ALL EC PORTS.   While on board a cruise with a non-EC port, even the MCC and Butler were telling me they were buying things like "Crew Internet" and BlueTooth headphones prior to the next cruise (which was an All EC cruise) to avoid the extra VAT. 

Edited by Jim_Iain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, pennys mum said:

I thought that if you were in Spanish waters the extra tax was added. Once outside that area normal prices applied.

 

I believe you are technically correct and will be charged VAT while in Spanish waters.   This would be true of both cruises with and without EC ports.   I noticed in both Barcelona and even Fort Lauderdal the price of the sail away drinks included tax/vat until in international waters.

 

The reason I said technically correct is that usually Celebrity will hold off running the transaction for purchases of things like Internet Purchases and Upgraded Drink Packages until in international waters.   If on a All EC cruise you will be hit with the VAT charges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our cruise begins in Barcelona.  We do go to Monaco the following day, and Montenegro later in the week.  We have some onboard credit from our TA that will only show up once on the ship.  We plan to book a specialty dinner once onboard. When would be the best time to book to avoid taxes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that if you buy hard goods that will be taken out of the EU you can get a refund of the VAT when you depart the EU. The process is not so easy and often if you use the forms provided by the ship the service charges are pretty high.  I bought a goPro camera on our last Med cruise that was all EU and I got about 1/2 of the VAT back at the airport, the rest went to fees.  I guess half back on some thing purchased with extra OBC is not so bad.  Oh, there were no alcohol or tobacco sales on the ship. That area was blocked off for the entire cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question about this. If our cruise includes 1 non EU country like Montenegro are we charged the VAT at all?

thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spanish VAT is 10% on all food and drink items (which includes beverage packages and cover charges for speciality restaurants). For all other services / goods it´s 21 % (including internet packages).

 

Spain charges this VAT within the 3 mile zone of every Spanish port. So even when you do have a non EU port on your itinerary you at least pay it when you get close to a Spanish port.

 

For all cruises with no non EU port departing from Spain you pay the Spanish VAT throughout the whole cruise.

 

steamboats

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, SSAtlantic said:

I have a question about this. If our cruise includes 1 non EU country like Montenegro are we charged the VAT at all?

thanks

No.   VAT will not be charged if you have at least ONE NON-EC stop

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

No.   VAT will not be charged if you have at least ONE NON-EC stop

 

VAT will be charged in all Spanish ports and within the 3 mile zone!

 

steamboats

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Iamthesea said:

Our cruise begins in Barcelona.  We do go to Monaco the following day, and Montenegro later in the week.  We have some onboard credit from our TA that will only show up once on the ship.  We plan to book a specialty dinner once onboard. When would be the best time to book to avoid taxes?

Is Montenegro in the EU?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, pennys mum said:

Is Montenegro in the EU?

 

No, not yet but they are working on it. They are using the Euro as currency. Croatia and Slovenia are EU members. Montenegro has applied to become a member.

 

steamboats

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Q&A with InsureMyTrip
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...