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Old December 23rd, 2006, 07:57 AM
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Default additional port taxes for Alaska

Heard that Alaska has decided to add the $50.00 per person taxes to protect their waters. Nice additional income for the State!! Passengers are not too pleased though. When will other ports do it too. Think how rich Florida would become if they did the same thing. Hopefully a can of worms has not been opened.
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Old December 23rd, 2006, 09:25 AM
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Cruise prices in Alaska are far higher than anywhere else for the simple reason that people will pay it. The cruise lines are gouging you for a few hundred bucks, and you worry about Alaska taking $50? If people object by not booking, the cruise lines will drop their prices to effectively absorb it - that hasn't happened, though.

Murray
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Old December 23rd, 2006, 04:03 PM
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Murray,

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Originally Posted by You
Cruise prices in Alaska are far higher than anywhere else for the simple reason that people will pay it. The cruise lines are gouging you for a few hundred bucks, and you worry about Alaska taking $50? If people object by not booking, the cruise lines will drop their prices to effectively absorb it - that hasn't happened, though.
For better or for worse, Alaska is a unique destination. There is no other destination that offers a similar blend of spectacular scenery, untamed wilderness, nature (both flora and fauna), indigenous (Eskimo and American Indian) heritage and culture, heritage and history of the Russian settlers and the prospectors during the gold rush era coupled with the cultures and traditions that they brought, all blended with the convenience of modern life. There is also no other cruise destination that offers as many choices of activities and attractions, manifest by the greatest number and the broadest selection of shore excursions of any cruise destination. So long as that reality persists, Alaska will continue to draw more and more visitors each year.

And many of Alaska's most significant attractions are not accessible by land, so a cruise ship is the most convenient way to get there.

Norm.
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Old December 25th, 2006, 12:36 AM
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So that makes it okay to gouge people, Norm?
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Old December 25th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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Yukon,

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So that makes it okay to gouge people, Norm?
Morally, no.

But I do believe that the people who use infrastructure should pay its cost. So long as the money goes to pay bonds issued to build cruise terminals and other facilities of which the ships and the passengers are the primary users, to maintain those facilities, and to pay reasonable adminisrative costs associated therewith, it's reasonable.

Norm.
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Old December 28th, 2006, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: additional port taxes for Alaska

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Originally Posted by valtime
Heard that Alaska has decided to add the $50.00 per person taxes to protect their waters. Nice additional income for the State!! Passengers are not too pleased though. When will other ports do it too. Think how rich Florida would become if they did the same thing. Hopefully a can of worms has not been opened.
I just got a notice that our Alaska cruise set for September will have the new taxes added to our final payment, so I guess booking early didn't keep the cruise line from passing on the new taxes to us.
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Old December 28th, 2006, 04:01 PM
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I just received a call from the Carnival Vacation club about our Alaska cruise we booked this spring for July 2007. They wanted the 50.00 per person today for the tax. The person that called said she is having a very bad day, people are not taking it well about this new tax.
I am already paying alot for this vacation, another $50 a person is nothing to what I am already spending, it could be worse. I am looking forward to it, it is one of those trips of a life time and I am expecting it to cost big bucks.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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Do you guys even seem to care about our enviroment? Go back & read the original article about it. It's about the Enviroment issues they face, not extra $$ for the State. So you have to pay an extra $50, big deal. If its going to the enviroment & put to good use against the destruction the cruise lines are causing, I'm all for it.

It's no secret we're making a mess of this planet, heck, a bigger part of the shelf in the Artic just broke off today. The planet is already warning us - only a handful are listening and the rest are on Ignore button.

This is the only planet we humans have - this isn't Star Trek or Star Wars where we can jump into our space cruisers & go warp to another galaxy with Class M planets. This is it folks - we mess this planet up & heat it up and destroy it - we're all dead. WE have no place else to go!
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Old December 29th, 2006, 12:50 PM
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Cassandram

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Do you guys even seem to care about our enviroment? Go back & read the original article about it. It's about the Enviroment issues they face, not extra $$ for the State. So you have to pay an extra $50, big deal. If its going to the enviroment & put to good use against the destruction the cruise lines are causing, I'm all for it.

It's no secret we're making a mess of this planet, heck, a bigger part of the shelf in the Artic just broke off today. The planet is already warning us - only a handful are listening and the rest are on Ignore button.

This is the only planet we humans have - this isn't Star Trek or Star Wars where we can jump into our space cruisers & go warp to another galaxy with Class M planets. This is it folks - we mess this planet up & heat it up and destroy it - we're all dead. WE have no place else to go!
I share your concern for the planet, but get real! In case you have not noticed, this planet is a LOT cleaner now than it was a century ago when most people heated their homes with coal, most railroad locomotives and steamships burned coal, and the only pollution controls were open smokestacks high enough to ensure that soot and the products of combustion went into the are well above the levels where people actually breathed it so that people would not breathe it in the concentrations that came out of the stacks.

Also, the truth is that cruise ships have virtually NO environmental impact in Alaska. They no longer dump sewage and trash at sea, as all ships did only two decades ago. The assertion that this tax is somehow necessary to protect the environment is so absured that it does not even come close to passing what my former boss called the "snicker" test.

It is true that some of the land tour operations are encroaching on Alaska's wilderness. Nonetheless, if this were the motivation for the tax, the proper solution would be a tax on the operators of the excursoins that's proportionate to their impact. IOW, a tour operator that takes hundreds of people per day through an area that's prime animal habitat should pay a hefty tax while an excursion operator that takes a similar number of visitors on walking tours through the historic district of Skagway should pay cosiderably less. It should not be a "per passenger" tax on the cruise lines that the cruise lines pass through to the pasengers.

Norm.
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Old January 12th, 2007, 11:21 PM
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Default Alaskan Port Taxes

Gee Norm, you seem a lot friendlier towards the idea than you were last fall. http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=561927

BTW regarding our Jones Act discussion:http://www.hbsslaw.com/holland_relea...d=ar8MTChZOio7
This suit is against Holland America which I would rate as one of the most ethical lines, or at least they used to be. I did find out that the cruise lines pay several dollars per passenger to the Yukon/White Pass railroad for use of their docks, but Skagway imposes no nor has collected any port tax.

What bothers people are the massive "commissions" paid to or collected by the cruise lines for the various land tours and shopping at recommended stores. The railroad trip is the most popular tourist attraction in Alaska and the boats collect at least 50% of the price as their share. At the latest count eight more locally owned or seasonally operated stores will have bitten the dust in Skagway. They will undoubtedly be replaced by additional Diamond and Tanzanite stores which will soon allow a high end jewelry shopping experience, wall to wall. Well, I guess if the weather is bad, the passengers can do lots of shopping. It is sad that a place that offers so much remains in such a closed environment. The landlords are doing well by the ever increasing rents. Locals and small artists can't begin to pay the rents. True the city of Skagway does collect a 4% sales tax, but it seems that the ever increasing number of high end jewelry stores, with basically the same merchandise, the overall sales are not increasing, the pie stays the same, just gets divided more ways, so even the jewelry stores are not too happy. I sure hope the weather is nicer this summer, last year was the worst in 40 plus years.
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