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Never cruised; what hidden fees, port charges -- help!


dinneylann

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If I have never been on a cruise and the "oceanview" price reads $699, for example, on the Carnival Conquest out of Galveston, is that the price or am I looking at other expenses that are not listed? I don't drink so that is not an issue. I just don't know what to expect. Thanks very much.

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You need to check with the person or organization giving you this price to find out if there is anything to be added to the price.

 

The price, which is per person, would include:

Cabin (double occupancy)

All meals in main dining rooms and buffet

Entertainment

 

Some things not included:

tips

sodas

alcohol

excursions

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If I have never been on a cruise and the "oceanview" price reads $699, for example, on the Carnival Conquest out of Galveston, is that the price or am I looking at other expenses that are not listed? I don't drink so that is not an issue. I just don't know what to expect. Thanks very much.

 

Most of the websites allow you to put in all kinds of information before you get to the final booking page where you have to click "book", or something similar, so you can figure out what the extra fees are,

 

but in general the price you see, "$699 for an oceanview", is usually the base price for a cabin on a lower deck with a porthole or small window,

 

and does not include taxes, port fees, a somewhat (or a lot) better cabin on a higher deck, a window that actually has a view (isn't partially covered over by a lifeboat, for example).

 

Then there are other costs: alcohol, soft drinks, bottled water, some juices, spa services, casino, bingo, excursions in ports, tips that are automatically added on to your daily cost and billed at the end of your cruise, additional tips you might want to give for "extraordinary service", some specialty restaurants (there will be some basic restaurants, snack bars, a buffet, cafe, all part of your base price, but there will be extra charges for specialty restaurants you may want to use).

 

Since you haven't cruised yet, you probably should talk to a local travel agent to talk about all your options, including whether the Carnival cruise line is a good fit for you, or even if cruising in general is something you'll enjoy. Each cruise line appeals to a different sort of clientele, and a good travel agent can help you pick a good fit.

(No, I'm not a travel agent, nor am I in any way related to the travel industry.)

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Your base price is for a 6A or 5A on the lowest level per person, two people in the cabin, forward and aft. To go more center is a 6B, for not too much more. You are looking at port taxes and fees of $106 for two. Do not to forget to add $10per person/per day for gratuities.

 

To add to paul's list - the casino is not included.

Check out the Carnival board for Carnival specific answers.

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Just like any other type of vacation: airline fares, rental cars and hotels, there are taxes added to that $699. For 2 it is: Cruise Rate $1,398.00 Gov't Fees & Taxes $91.82 Total Amount $1,489.82 Travel alone and you'll pay: Cruise Rate $1,398.00 Gov't Fees & Taxes $45.91 Total Amount $1,443.91 So, you pay double, all you save is the taxes on the other person.

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but in general the price you see, "$699 for an oceanview", is usually the base price for a cabin on a lower deck with a porthole or small window,

 

and does not include taxes, port fees, a somewhat (or a lot) better cabin on a higher deck, a window that actually has a view (isn't partially covered over by a lifeboat, for example).

 

(No, I'm not a travel agent, nor am I in any way related to the travel industry.)

 

Just for the record, all the cruise fares DO include port charges. The remainder is what is called commissionable and what the TA gets paid on.

 

Port fees have been added into the cruise fares for about 8 years?? Since the court ordered them to add them in, after the class action suit when it was charged the cruise fare appeared too low without them. Port charges run on average a little over $50 per port.

 

Taxes and fees are added onto the cruise fare, but these do not include port charges.

 

Tips will be added once you are onboard that range from a low of $9.75 a day on RCL on up. I know for my CC balcony on Celebrity they charge $13 a day on tips. So how much tips will be depends on which cruiseline you are cruising.

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If I have never been on a cruise and the "oceanview" price reads $699, for example, on the Carnival Conquest out of Galveston, is that the price or am I looking at other expenses that are not listed? I don't drink so that is not an issue. I just don't know what to expect. Thanks very much.

 

You'll also want to spend something ashore.

Somewhere on CC a thread a cruiser showed all expeditures showing the final cost of 3 times the book rate! If you don't gamble and drink very little (sodas are drinks), twice the book rate would be a good place to start from.

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Your base price is for a 6A or 5A on the lowest level per person, two people in the cabin, forward and aft. To go more center is a 6B, for not too much more. You are looking at port taxes and fees of $106 for two. Do not to forget to add $10per person/per day for gratuities.

 

To add to paul's list - the casino is not included.

Check out the Carnival board for Carnival specific answers.

 

Again, port charges are NOT added onto the cruise fare. I tried to google the class action lawsuits to see when all the cruiselines were sued, and here is one that came up from 1996. I am sure they won and all cruiselines now include port charges in the cruise fare.

 

http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/torts-business-torts/7264468-1.html

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You'll also want to spend something ashore.

Somewhere on CC a thread a cruiser showed all expeditures showing the final cost of 3 times the book rate! If you don't gamble and drink very little (sodas are drinks), twice the book rate would be a good place to start from.

I must tell you I don't think this is accurate. If you start off onNCL site the "taxes and fees including port charges are NOT added until after the base fare is chosen. Its true they have to tell you about them but can be in the fine print...I think... The NCF can vary depending on what level the TA is some get added commissions which they do NOT reveal...

 

but they aren't hidden all quotes that you receive will include this amounts. A quote is the actual fare not just what is advertised...

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Again, port charges are NOT added onto the cruise fare. I tried to google the class action lawsuits to see when all the cruiselines were sued, and here is one that came up from 1996. I am sure they won and all cruiselines now include port charges in the cruise fare.

 

http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/torts-business-torts/7264468-1.html

 

 

Wow, firefly, I never thought I would get into a spitting match with you. Just checked on the Carnival site to check what it says. I got up to the cost of the cruise it said "Gov't Fees & Taxes" NO EXPLAINATION as to what those were on the site. In my mind a port fee is a government fee.

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Wow, firefly, I never thought I would get into a spitting match with you. Just checked on the Carnival site to check what it says. I got up to the cost of the cruise it said "Gov't Fees & Taxes" NO EXPLAINATION as to what those were on the site. In my mind a port fee is a government fee.

 

Nope you are wrong Port charges are not included in Gov't Fees nor in Taxes and ARE included in posted cruise prices pp.

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#1) $566.72 $125.62

$692.34 USD #2) $566.72 $125.62

$692.34 USD #3) $99.00 $110.62

$209.62 USD

this is from yesterday. Its cruise fare, taxes and fees. Its Bermuda for october 2009. The US tax is about 5.6 dollars. The rest can't possibly be commission. What this represent is Port charges. The cruise lines don't pay commission on port charges either- its a pass through BTW port charges are more than just the port tax or the amount charged for a passenger getting on or off it includes things like pilot charges etc.

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To set the record straight.....Average cruisefare for 7 nights is going to INCLUDE the "Port Charges" (or often referred to as non commisionable cruise amount) of approx. $159.00. Using this example, a $749.00 cruise fare quoted by the cruiseline means that the commissionable amount for the TA would be $590.00..... The only additional add-on to the "cruise package" would be the gov't fee's (often referred to as misc. charges) which can vary if a "Cruise Only" package w/out air, or a "Cruise Air" package where those gov't fee's will be higher. This is just the "Cruise Portion" and does not include staff gratuities (or somethines referred to as "service fee's" by cruiselines) ranging from $9.75 p/p and up depending on cruiseline.

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I am with Firefly. A number of years ago there was a cass action suit that agrued that cruise lines were misleading customers by not including port charges in the advertised rate. The result was that the laines agreed to include port charges. I think we customers who had suffeed got a coupon for $20 off a cruise and the lawyers go 30 or 40 million.

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Different TAs have different ways to express the cost of a cruise. Most of the on line agencies quote a price, and that price includes these charges. For example, my balcony on the Solstice TA was listed at $1599.PP. That is what I paid. Its is true that when the confirmation came, there were different amounts including cruise fare, taxes and port charges, but the total of all of these was in fact $1599. as per the quote.

 

Extras: Some extras are discretionary, some are not. Fuel surcharges would be an extra, but they would have to tell you that up front. If none were mentioned when you booked, they won't be added later to your bill, but could be added to those who booked later.

 

Tips are semi discretionary. You could remove the autotipping and stiff the hotel staff, in theory, but it would a very ignorant thing to do without provocation, and even then hard to justify for everyone who served you. The best idea is take the suggested amount and add it to your cruise quote. If you need to stiff the people who make your vacation better to afford it, you can't afford it.

 

Clearly transporting yourself to and fro costs money.

 

There are lots and lots of opportunities to spend money on the cruise, but they can be avoided. ( having a good time can be avoided too, but why are you cruising)

 

Water, juice, iced tea and lemonade are available ( not free, just included in the cruise price.) The general food is good, plentiful, and included, as is the entertainment. Of cousre, there are options to spend more in these areas too.

 

Shore excursions are discretionary. In some ports, my wife and I have just walked off the ship and wandered freely and enjoyed every minute. In other ports, we have taken the ships tours at additional cost, and been very happy.

 

The advantage of cruising is that, with proper research, here and other places, you can plan and cost out your trip with few surprises, and tailor your choices accordingly.

 

As wise friend once told me, when you consider how much it costs to get where you are going, isn't the idea to enjoy yourself, and a few dollars here or there can make an amazing difference to your memories.

 

Paul

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http://www.fraud-lawyer.com/html/pfraud.html

 

actually what I think happens is they no longer call them port charges. They just call them NCF and lump them in taxes and fees.

 

There is a auction site where port charges are actually shown lumped in with fees and taxes where you can easily see they run much much higher. Its a TA site, so it cannot be named here, but I can give you some quotes and you can see with port charges, the fees/taxes are much much higher.

 

On a 7 day cruise typically taxes and fees run less than $100. If you know port charges typically might be $50 a port, say $159 for the 3 ports, its impossible they are included in what is added on called taxes and fees.

 

7 days Golden Princess, port charges and taxes/fees listed as: Tax and port charges of $349.00 per person are additional.

 

Now go to Princess site and taxes are under $100 pp.

 

NCL Pearl: Tax and port charges of +$224.00 per person are additional.

 

13 day MS Maasdam: Tax and Port Charges of $461.00 per person are additional.

----------

 

Maybe a TA will weigh in here as there is a bunch of misinformation here when folks post that port charges are added on, when I know port charges run over $50 a port..... so its not true, or the total would be much much higher.

 

I know because I started to cruise in the late 80s back before port charges were added on that they are now different. I go back too far.

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To set the record straight.....Average cruisefare for 7 nights is going to INCLUDE the "Port Charges" (or often referred to as non commisionable cruise amount) of approx. $159.00. Using this example, a $749.00 cruise fare quoted by the cruiseline means that the commissionable amount for the TA would be $590.00..... The only additional add-on to the "cruise package" would be the gov't fee's (often referred to as misc. charges) which can vary if a "Cruise Only" package w/out air, or a "Cruise Air" package where those gov't fee's will be higher. This is just the "Cruise Portion" and does not include staff gratuities (or somethines referred to as "service fee's" by cruiselines) ranging from $9.75 p/p and up depending on cruiseline.

 

Oh I see a TA did weigh in on this, thanks. Im not sure some followed your techical break down, but thanks for explaining that port charges are not added on, they are included.

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Maybe a TA will weigh in here as there is a bunch of misinformation here when folks post that port charges are added on, when I know port charges run over $50 a port..... so its not true, or the total would be much much higher.
Oh, why not - I'll weigh in.

 

I went to Carnival's website for an example - found a July sailing from Miami advertised as "starting at $769." This $869 price is per person, and assumes two passengers in the stateroom. This price also does not include government fees or taxes. The rate DOES include port charges, which are separate from government fees for the purposes of calculating the fare. Government fees are paid to the government of the port in question, whereas port fees are paid to the port authority to cover docking fees and other expenses. In this case, the government taxes are an additional $76.72 per passenger.

 

You will find, often with third-party suppliers or discount vendors, an advertised rate that includes the taxes and everything else required to be paid prior to issuance of a boarding pass. You just have to pay attention to the fine print.

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Oh, why not - I'll weigh in.

 

I went to Carnival's website for an example - found a July sailing from Miami advertised as "starting at $769." This $869 price is per person, and assumes two passengers in the stateroom. This price also does not include government fees or taxes. The rate DOES include port charges, which are separate from government fees for the purposes of calculating the fare. Government fees are paid to the government of the port in question, whereas port fees are paid to the port authority to cover docking fees and other expenses. In this case, the port charges are an additional $76.72 per passenger.

 

You will find, often with third-party suppliers or discount vendors, an advertised rate that includes the taxes and everything else required to be paid prior to issuance of a boarding pass. You just have to pay attention to the fine print.

WRONG !!! That is the taxes and fees... NOT the port charges !

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