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Old January 22nd, 2013, 03:37 PM
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We still love going to GC, even after having been there many times. Just love spending the day at a beautiful beach, relaxing, and enjoying the white sand and blue water.

But the increase of $.75 port fees is kind of a joke.

As you may or may not know, the cruise price is actually made up of two fares; the cruise fare and the port fees (also called NCF's or non-commissionable fees). These so-called fees are suppose to be a total of all the fees charged by the ports for docking there. These fees are charged based on the number of passengers on the ship, not the total births or the size of the ship.

The problem is that none of the cruise lines will tell anyone exactly how these fees are configured. They say they are an average of all the fees, but we've always found it interesting that they won't release the figures. Plus, they seem to raise them at will when none of the ports have raised the fees. For example, last year on a ship the fees were $159 and this year the same ship going to the same ports is now charging $180 in fees and yet the port fees themselves have not gone up. So, in effect, everyone is already paying $21 more in port fees.

The thing you have to understand is that travel agent commissions are based on the cruise fare and not the total price that includes the NCF's. So when a cruise line increases the NCF's, they're making more money while not having to pay out any more commission.

So the bottom line is that a $.75 increase in a port fee is, quite frankly, irrelevant. The cruise lines will always use something like this as a political tool to get what they want and not what's in the best interest of the passengers.

Pete
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Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
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