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silkburke12

Unfair business practices

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I am livid.  I just received a call from Holland America for a Cruise that I completed paying for over four months ago.  I was told that we had to pay additional taxes.  There was no advance warning or notification about these additional charges.  In speaking with Holland, I was informed that this is normal business practice.  I find that hard to believe since I have been cruising with various lines for over 30 years and have never had this happen.  Their customer service manager informed me that she was as high as I could go to lodge my complaint.  I find this unacceptable and quite frankly, it is probably the last time I will sail with this organization.  I consider this as deceptive business practices.  Has anyone else experienced such an occurrence?

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How much are the additional taxes?  And welcome to Cruise Critic.

 

Roz

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Posted (edited)
From the HAL website:

Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses

 Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are subject to change and we reserve the right to collect any increases in effect at the time of sailing even if the fare has already been paid in full.

Edited by HAL4NOW

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Sometimes port taxes are reduced and a credit is put on your onboard account so it goes both ways. 

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If you are outside final payment, cancel your cruise.

 

I am sure HAL will miss you. 🙄

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Not limited to HAL.  Below is what Celebrity says in their contract, for example.  Taxes are a pass-through for the cruise line.  How much is the additional charge and where is it being assessed? 

 

Important Price Terms

Celebrity Cruises Inc. reserves the right to change, whether via an increase or decrease, any published rates, including cruise rates and airfare charges, without prior notice. We reserve the right to impose on any existing booking or new bookings (whether paid in full or not) a supplement for fuel or other matters without prior notice as provided in our Passenger Ticket Contract which appears at (PDF) Guest Ticket Contract In addition, we reserve the right to pass through any third party imposed fuel or other surcharges, also without prior notice. The guest will remain liable for any applicable taxes, fees or surcharges that may be assessed by any governmental or quasi-governmental agencies.

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Port fees and taxes (levied by the ports) change.

 

When you book, HAL gives you the price as they know it.  They can go up and they can go down.  The change should not be that significant?  How much is it?

 

We’ve had this happen before and simply pay - it’s beyond the cruise line’s control.  Any cruise line, not just HAL.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, silkburke12 said:

I am livid.  I just received a call from Holland America for a Cruise that I completed paying for over four months ago.  I was told that we had to pay additional taxes.  There was no advance warning or notification about these additional charges.  In speaking with Holland, I was informed that this is normal business practice.  I find that hard to believe since I have been cruising with various lines for over 30 years and have never had this happen.  Their customer service manager informed me that she was as high as I could go to lodge my complaint.  I find this unacceptable and quite frankly, it is probably the last time I will sail with this organization.  I consider this as deceptive business practices.  Has anyone else experienced such an occurrence?

This is standard practice with  ALL the CCL corp lines  even Seaborne     The fare  they advertise does not include port charges and taxes and are subject to change.     ....Its how they suck in bargain shoppers who are attracted by a low price..  Not reading the fine print.       You sign up with any CCL  corp line  they are rubber rates and you agree to it in their contract....  Sorry 

Other Cruise lines give a firm total all inclusive price and what you pay is set in stone... its guaranteed.

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We have never had it happen to us (have received credit though).  I don’t think this is the cruise lines fault though.  

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5 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

Other Cruise lines give a firm total all inclusive price and what you pay is set in stone... its guaranteed.

 

And they also don’t REFUND when you don’t get to the ports you paid the fees for.  (Oceania - overnight Bermuda - refused by the port due to the ship’s state).

 

So there are pros and cons to both.  HAL refunds if you don’t get to the port and reduces if the cost goes down.  

 

Each to their own 😉 

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2 minutes ago, canadianbear said:

We have never had it happen to us (have received credit though).  I don’t think this is the cruise lines fault though.  

Many , most of of the mass market lines all do this, even some of the high end.    On the other hand there are cruise lines which  give one price up front  which you can rely on  and hold to it once you reserve the cruise...    The important thing it to know who does what  or who does not.    Choose carefully

Like buying a car and the dealer a week later sends you a bill  as the price went up after you bought...

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I haven't been charged extra myself but it clearly is in many cruise lines T&C.  I was a bit surprised that those T&C do not include fuel surcharges but Celebrity's did.  I suspect it may happen some time and I might need to pay up but I have often gotten refunds and never heard a complaint about that.

 

Roy

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10 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

The fare  they advertise does not include port charges and taxes and are subject to change.     ....Its how they suck in bargain shoppers who are attracted by a low price

 

Kind of like buying groceries and clothes and toiletries, right?  I get “sucked in” every time.  🙄

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23 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

This is standard practice with  ALL the CCL corp lines  even Seaborne     The fare  they advertise does not include port charges and taxes and are subject to change.     ....Its how they suck in bargain shoppers who are attracted by a low price..  Not reading the fine print.       You sign up with any CCL  corp line  they are rubber rates and you agree to it in their contract....  Sorry 

Other Cruise lines give a firm total all inclusive price and what you pay is set in stone... its guaranteed.

 

 

Uh, no.

https://www.ncl.com/faq/cruise-fare-includes

Your cruise fare with NCL does NOT include port taxes etc.  It's stated clearly that it does not.

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My thanks to all who responded.  It stills sucks but I understand.  It is unfortunate.

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In the past year all 5 or our HAL cruises have credited out final bill on board with some "port charges and taxes".  Some pax have thought HAL was overcharging on booking so they could refund some money at the end of the cruise and make pax happy enough to give good reviews of the ship and the cruise!

 

I have noticed lately in checking pricing on the HAL website that the taxes and fees amount has been changing slightly once in a while. I remember it staying the same in the past.

 

Only once, many years ago, have we paid more after final payment for taxes, etc.

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, cowmilker said:

 

 

Uh, no.

https://www.ncl.com/faq/cruise-fare-includes

Your cruise fare with NCL does NOT include port taxes etc.  It's stated clearly that it does not.

That is  correct    but other members of the NCL family like O and Regent  it is included....  so yes   some do and some dont.   .

Edited by Hawaiidan

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1 hour ago, kazu said:

 

And they also don’t REFUND when you don’t get to the ports you paid the fees for.  (Oceania - overnight Bermuda - refused by the port due to the ship’s state).

 

So there are pros and cons to both.  HAL refunds if you don’t get to the port and reduces if the cost goes down.  

 

Each to their own 😉 

Have had missed ports refunded on HAL and it was immediate onboard.  Did you mean other cruise lines?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, canadianbear said:

We have never had it happen to us (have received credit though).  I don’t think this is the cruise lines fault though.  

We have eperienced a change in port taxes several times  but it is really no big deal  i mo  and  port  taxes  are NOT  in   the control of the cruise line.  the ports set tax amount and if they change it prior  to  your visit to the port,   the cruiser either pays up or in some cases gets a refund.  More times  than th e reverse,  we have gotten  a refund.

 

Nothing to be 'livid about,,,,, 

 

There is more than enough to cause one to be livid  these days, but hopefully, OP, you have been assured by  us   no one is  trying to put something over on you.     It is very routine and not the doing of HAL but of the port.

 

Which port and How Much  $45 pp     or thereabouts  ? (just a guess based on prior experience)

 

 

 

Edited by sail7seas

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We have had taxes and port fees lowered and some raised.

 

It happens quite often and we have had it happen on other cruise lines.

 

One time we all got on a Panama Canal -- full transit -- shortly after Panama took over control of the canal.  Everyone got a letter indicating that we would see a higher fee (I think it was around $11) added onto our shipboard account (per person) for higher fees by the Panama government.

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4 minutes ago, HokiePoq said:

Have had missed ports refunded on HAL and it was immediate onboard.  Did you mean other cruise lines?

 

Yes I was quoting HawaiiDan who likes to praise other cruise lines and “all included” (which isn’t) and the port fees included.

 

As I said on HAL, I’ve had higher and been reimbursed if they drop.  I works both ways 😉 

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On most of the "premium" cruise lines, their per-day rate is considerably higher than HAL.   Yes, they do include some extras that HAL charges for, but they charge enough that if they get a port charge increase from a particular port, they usually eat it instead of hitting the passengers.   But in the reverse situation, where a port charge is reduced or eliminated, there is no credit given to the passengers.   I guess they figure it all washes out in the end.

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38 minutes ago, TAD2005 said:

On most of the "premium" cruise lines, their per-day rate is considerably higher than HAL.   Yes, they do include some extras that HAL charges for, but they charge enough that if they get a port charge increase from a particular port, they usually eat it instead of hitting the passengers.   But in the reverse situation, where a port charge is reduced or eliminated, there is no credit given to the passengers.   I guess they figure it all washes out in the end.

All of my cruises, those cruises where the port fees have gone down, we've always gotten refunded the difference (to OBC). We've never been charged more due to increased port fees. Except once.  Our very first cruise (Panama Canal) and we received a letter from the cruise line saying that the transit fees had been increased by the canal, and they had to charge everyone an additional $100.  Boy, did that cause a stink!  Because of the backlash,  the cruise line reversed their charge and everyone was happy.  Well, maybe not the cruise line.

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