Originally Posted by big apple
If my memory serves me correctly it was not that many years ago when they separated both the port charges and the taxes and now have combined basic charge and port into one figure and taxes show as another item which will confuse the cruiser as he does not know the port charge unless they skip a port and give you obc
You are absolutely correct. Years ago cruise lines were allowed to advertise the cruise fare only. You'd see prices like $299 for a one-week cruise. Then they would add the fees, which at the time was around $100 - $125, and then the taxes. So that $299 fare was actually $424 plus tax. Laws were passed and now the cruise fare and port fees must be added together when advertised, which makes alot more sense. This is similar to what happen with the airline fees; they were advertising one rate but then added a bunch of fees and taxes that were confusing to the traveling public.
However, over time, the cruise lines started putting other undisclosed fees to the port fees as a way to increase their income without having to increase their expenditures and that is what is wrong. They should be required to disclose exactly what fees are included in their 'non-commissionable fees' (or NCF's) as they are now called.
For example, we had a client on a short cruise with two ports. One port got cancelled and they were refunded around $11 and some change per person. Had another client have the same thing happen only the other port was cancelled and they got around $9 refunded. Total for the two ports came out to be $20 per person, yet the cruise line was charging $89 for the NCF's. So what, pray tell, is the other $60 for? And therein lies the problem. We know for a fact that the NCF's are not just for the port fees, so why don't they want us to know what else is in those charges?