I read on several posts on several other threads, and on several boards that there was a class action suit some time ago requiring cruise lines to price their cruises NOT including taxes and port charges. Can't vouch for the truth of this, just something I read.
My wife has a theory that as prices for some of these "bare cruises" go down and prices for so-called "extras" go up, we will eventually see "free" cruises. where the line will make ALL their revenues of the extra charge items from it's captive market! She meant it as a joke of course, but as I thought about it, I can see the trend going that way with some lines. It's been a while since we have cruised a line that hasn't been nearly all inclusive, and have been a little out of touch with onboard prices for "extras". But we were in port in Bermuda last April and another "less inclusive" ship was in port. We spoke and made friends with some guests from the other ship, and were surprised to learn that their price for a simple rum coke was $7.88 (including the 15% tip), which was WAY over what we had paid on a similar line just a little over two years ago.