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bebe08

Med cruise - all EU ports

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Posted (edited)
On 4/12/2019 at 1:11 PM, bebe08 said:

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!!

 

It's been our experience that the tax will be added to pre-cruise purchases anyway. There is often talk on these boards about trying to avoid the tax but I don't think it's possible. As an example we sailed when our sons were 20 and 21 and wanted to buy them both drinks packages. This was on a RC cruise and the system isn't/wasn't sophisticated enough to recognise that an under 21 can drink alcohol on European sailings so we couldn't pre-purchase his package. We purchased one for the 21 year old pre-cruise and one for the 20 year old onboard - and they both cost exactly the same i.e. the Spanish tax had been added to the pre-cruise purchase. I would imagine that being part of the same group as RC, the same would apply with Celebrity, although happy to stand corrected.

 

And just for into it's not an EU tax - there's no such thing, each country in the EU has its own tax systems - it's Spanish tax which you are paying on a cruise leaving Barcelona and not stopping in a non-EU port

Edited by Bobal

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1 hour ago, Bobal said:

 

It's been our experience that the tax will be added to pre-cruise purchases anyway. There is often talk on these boards about trying to avoid the tax but I don't think it's possible.

 

And just for into it's not an EU tax - there's no such thing, each country in the EU has its own tax systems - it's Spanish tax which you are paying on a cruise leaving Barcelona and not stopping in a non-EU port

 

Exactly, the Cruise Planner does add the tax to online purchases.

 

And yes and no... it´s an EU law requiring to charge the VAT on cruises (or ferries). It´s up to the EU country what rate they charge. But it´s not an EU tax. The tax is charged by the country not the EU itself.

 

steamboats

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On 4/12/2019 at 10:41 AM, vickykay said:

What about speciality dining purchased onboard?

 

VAT should be applied.  If the rules are the same as the UK (still in the EU)  all food which is consumed where it is served, whether it be cooked, uncooked, hot or cold, is subject to standard rate VAT charges.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/12/2019 at 6:31 PM, Suzanne123 said:

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.

 

Yes -although there is apparently some rule about VAT being charged whilst in Spanish waters - shouldn't impact much

 

Spain and Portugal can be very odd - On one cruise we did with Celebrity ex UK at Malaga they opened the Duty Free and were allowing people to buy Duty Free.  Similarly, on our last cruise that stopped in the Lisbon the shop at the port was selling branded cigarettes at Duty Free Prices but was selling them with a note up saying tax paid - people were emptying the shelves!

 

 

Edited by DYKWIA

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Weve also found that for big purchases - such  as dining packages  - they will apply the charges after we have left spanish waters thus helping us to avoid the tax. Of course this only helps on a cruise which leaves the EU for at least one port, otherwise the tax would be applicable anyway.

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On ‎4‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 4:00 PM, 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.

 

Sorry, they are wrong. Unless the rules have changed since 2016, which I don't think they have, when we last did an all EU Med sailing. We started in Athens and had 22% added to every on board purchase. On top of that we paid the usual 18% gratuity.  That meant 40% was added to every purchase we made. A $5 drink became almost $8.

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1 hour ago, bluwes said:

Sorry, they are wrong. Unless the rules have changed since 2016, which I don't think they have, when we last did an all EU Med sailing. We started in Athens and had 22% added to every on board purchase. On top of that we paid the usual 18% gratuity.  That meant 40% was added to every purchase we made. A $5 drink became almost $8.

And now the gratuity is 20%! 

We are on the Edge September 9th and will only be visiting EU ports, so are ordering drink package upgrade and Specialty Dining Package before we board. 

 

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Reading more it seems Italy and Greece now do the same.  Is their tax also only added when not leaving the EU.  We are visiting Montenegro so will leave EU. If we purchase all our excursions after leaving Italy will we avoid the tax

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On 4/15/2019 at 1:38 PM, mari10 said:

And now the gratuity is 20%! 

We are on the Edge September 9th and will only be visiting EU ports, so are ordering drink package upgrade and Specialty Dining Package before we board. 

 

Did you  pre purchase yet?  We are on that same cruise and was wondering if it is worth it

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On 4/15/2019 at 12:09 PM, bluwes said:

 

Sorry, they are wrong. Unless the rules have changed since 2016, which I don't think they have, when we last did an all EU Med sailing. We started in Athens and had 22% added to every on board purchase. On top of that we paid the usual 18% gratuity.  That meant 40% was added to every purchase we made. A $5 drink became almost $8.

 

We are going Venice to Barcelona via all EU ports so will be hit by this. 

Do they add the tax when you buy the drink or add it on at the end of the cruise?

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1 hour ago, Highpeaklad said:

 

We are going Venice to Barcelona via all EU ports so will be hit by this. 

Do they add the tax when you buy the drink or add it on at the end of the cruise?

When it’s happened previously it was added at each individual  purchase

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On 4/14/2019 at 4:35 PM, Jim_Iain said:

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

 

I have bought iPads on cruises which have had visits to St Petersburg and Gibraltar and saved my 20% ( UK VAT). Together with the difference in exchange rates $-£, I was able to buy a 128gb iPad, for just under my Customs allowance (£390). 

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We are not fans of Gibraltar as a repeat port... but it does have a positive effect on the VAT situation.  We won't book anything that is all EU,...the tax is very high;   the  forms and process for the refund are too complicated to bother with ...

 

8 % sales tax in the US is burdensome....but 21% is onerous.

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Asked my TA about this today and her understanding is that yes, all-EU itineraries such as our Sept 30 Reflection sailing mean that VAT will be charged for the entire cruise duration including anything bought on the cruise planner before boarding. On the cruise planner you won’t explicitly see the VAT added when you check out but it will be ‘rolled in’ to the prices of everything on the planner. I.e. packages etc will be 21% more expensive on the planner than the same package/service on a similar non-all-EU cruise. On board, they don’t reprint menus with new prices for everything so you will see the VAT added to your check. 

 

That sucks but it makes sense and seems consistent with the various observations which have been offered in this thread. 

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We have sailed from Southampton with P&O and they always try to include Gibraltar as a stop. Apart from the bonus of cheap duty-free for the passengers, it also means that the ship can sell its own "duty-free" stock as it has left the EU at some point during the cruise. We are on Silhouette this year and our cruise conveniently includes a stop in Gib.

Also, something to be aware of. We did a Venice- Venice cruise on Constellation last year. Italian Customs sealed the onboard "duty-free" shop for the duration of the cruise because the ship only did EU ports.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/4/2019 at 7:48 AM, bluwes said:

Did you  pre purchase yet?  We are on that same cruise and was wondering if it is worth it

Yes, we purchased the beverage upgrade and two specialty dinners. 

 

 

Edited by mari10

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On 6/4/2019 at 6:39 PM, japlanet said:

Asked my TA about this today and her understanding is that yes, all-EU itineraries such as our Sept 30 Reflection sailing mean that VAT will be charged for the entire cruise duration including anything bought on the cruise planner before boarding. On the cruise planner you won’t explicitly see the VAT added when you check out but it will be ‘rolled in’ to the prices of everything on the planner. I.e. packages etc will be 21% more expensive on the planner than the same package/service on a similar non-all-EU cruise. On board, they don’t reprint menus with new prices for everything so you will see the VAT added to your check. 

 

That sucks but it makes sense and seems consistent with the various observations which have been offered in this thread. 

 

This is not correct, though. I have an all EU cruise and right now on cruise planner drink packages are priced the same as their public website's prices, plus 20% gratuity fee. So there is no extra VAT charge in the cruise planner purchase. 

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