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Old January 9th, 2013, 08:43 PM
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Default Is it just me. Grand Cayman tender fare increase.

There is a big controversy that Carnival will be dropping Grand Cayman over a seventy five cent/pp increase in the tender charge.

I think this is a bit extreme and I don't think anyone is going to think twice over a .75 increase in the cost of a Western Caribbean cruise. I don't think it will be a booking killer.

That $399 inside cabin will now be $399.75

What is your feeling on this?

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Old January 9th, 2013, 08:54 PM
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I agree with you. Even if it it was a couple of dollars per person, I don't see how that would ruin anyone's cruise.

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Old January 9th, 2013, 09:15 PM
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I find it hard to believe that Carnival would back out of GC, over this, and that the port would not back down, if this threat was indeed made...

Besides that, who is going to know as they board the tender after the alledged increase, that, the price was lower a week before...A crock I say
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Old January 9th, 2013, 09:30 PM
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Everyone is right, $0.75 increase is something no one will even know or care about. On the other hand, the cruise lines have to hold the line on port increases, otherwise everyone will start charging more and more often.

A year ago the State of Alaska backed off when they increased charges and the lines moved ships. Don't know if the number of ships are back to before the increase but it must has cost Alaska money.

Good for Carnival.

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Old January 9th, 2013, 09:45 PM
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Grand Cayman is beautiful!! 75 cents is no big deal!
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Old January 9th, 2013, 10:44 PM
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Hopefully Carnival and the authorities at G. Cayman can work it out before they fall over the " Coral Cliff ! "
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Old January 10th, 2013, 03:52 AM
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I agree, the $.75 increase shouldn't matter much to the passengers. I find it hard to believe that Carnival would stop going there because of this?? Sounds a bit fishy to me.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 08:35 AM
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Once you tender to the island you have to tender back - $1.50. $1.50 x 3000 passengers = $4500 x 52 weeks a year = $234K. That is for one ship.

But let's face it, just like tips, costs need to increase. None of us wants to work for pay that will never increase.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 01:58 PM
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While I agree that $0.75 per person is cheap, has anyone looked at this form Carnival's perspective of almost a quarter of a million dollars per ship, per year (As pointed out by gree_rd's math above).

Imagine if Carnival said, "Sure, no problem, we'll pass that $0.75 on to each passenger and they won't even know." This is one charge from one port. Imagine all other ports deciding to charge an increase because they heard Grand Cayman got one, and Carnival says, "Sure, no problem."

Carnival is a business like no other and when possible, they will attempt to negotiate new charges where they can to protect their bottom line, their shareholders, and YES, even their passengers. If charges were to go to the other extreme (especially in this weak economy), fewer and fewer people would cruise, net reducing their bottom line.

Carnival is a business like all others.

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Old January 13th, 2013, 02:45 PM
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I know there is a 'back story' to this.

For example: Carnival has already given the gov't of GC a LOT of money for the feasibility studies, etc. for the new pier. As we know the contract was given then taken away from a contractor once already. Now they are again dragging their heels...Carnival questions why they allowing fares to increase when in reality the end of fares should be in sight by now.

Carnival was burned in Belize and they don't want that to happen again.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 04:31 PM
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A whole new angle I was not aware of Snoozeman! Question, the new pier, would this essentially eliminate cruise transfers alltogether? If so, this definately should be the way to go!

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Old January 13th, 2013, 05:06 PM
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Yep, Carnival wants a pier in Grand Cayman and Grand Cayman had dragged it's feet. I can understand not wanting to damage the coral reef but a simple yes or no would do.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 05:29 PM
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There's going to be a pier in GC eventually, they have already made the commitment. Not sure how many ships will be able to use it, but I suspect that it will be similar to Cozumel. CCL ships dock at the pier (Costa Maya) they gave money for and RCCL docks at the one they helped build. BTW--I understand that Punta Langosta in Coz has now been sold so there are no longer any private cruise piers there. I haven't been able to find out who bought it though. NCL had used it for years.

I would think there are too many ships for all to be able to dock in GC.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 05:51 PM
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This has become more complicated than a yes or no answer to Mile's original question. I am sure Carnival is not happy on having to make their decision, since GC is a popular Caribbean stop.

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Old January 13th, 2013, 06:54 PM
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I wish Carvnival would stop going to GC. If you are not into water sports there is not much to do. Also it is a vary expensive port.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 07:09 PM
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I actually love the GC stop, lots to do and the people there are super friendly and not at all pushy...It would be nice, however not to have to tender at this port, a pier would make it much easier...I am also waiting for the pier to be built in Belieze, that is one long tender ride.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 07:56 PM
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No plans on us going back to GC anytime soon anyway. We have been there twice and for some reason have never done an excusrion there. Likely due cost or nothing that interested us though. Both times we ended up at Margaritaville sipping an umbrella drink and enjoying the view from their upper patio.

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Old January 13th, 2013, 08:25 PM
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I agree that Grand Cayman no longer holds any appeal to us. We have been there seven or eight times. We will be there next week on the Carnival Glory and have already decided that we'll just stay on board.

The one thing about Grand Cayman that is different than other Caribbean ports is that Grand Cayman doesn't "need" cruise ship money. It is far from a "poor" country that relies on tourism. The average income is over $57,000 USD/year. The 279 banks on the island bring in a lot more income than Carnival or all of the cruise lines.

The cruise lines aren't going to "force" them into anything.

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Old January 16th, 2013, 12:20 PM
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I must be the only one who actually likes tender rides; always have. The long one is Belize is great I think!

I thought it was great when we tendered at Cozumel because they dropped us off right downtown instead of 2 or 3 miles away at the pier.

Andy
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Old January 16th, 2013, 12:54 PM
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So true about Cozumel...I was once at the far pier, had to cab to go anywhere, even into town to shop....Tender rides really aren't too bad, unless you are on a time crunch...and have to wait..
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoozeman View Post
I know there is a 'back story' to this.

Carnival was burned in Belize and they don't want that to happen again.

Exactly.....
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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.

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Old January 22nd, 2013, 05:25 PM
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I have little doubt that there is more to the story than 75 cents.

I have no doubt that the media is manipulated and almost never in favor of the cruise line. Tender companies are owned by rich people and any such increases rarely end up in the hands of the workers. They know how to play the same games Carnival does.

As for port charges, there were too many law suits by ambulance chasers and some are buried in the cruise fare. There is nobody at the port taking a head count - it is based on an estimation of average number of cruisers. The average number of cruisers is, of course, proprietary information.

I have also seen port fees for a given cruise decrease. I really doubt the tendering issue is related to TA commissions.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 07:06 PM
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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
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Old January 24th, 2013, 06:31 AM
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After speaking to a couple of people I know who work at CCL corporate offices. Although the peir issue is still up in the air. The main reason behind Carnival talking about pulling out of Grand Caymans is the Tender company. They were due to recive per their contract a 25 cent/person increase , but are demanding a dollar/person increase. Carnival is basiclly tellling them they can accept what per the contract they are due. And once the contract expires talk about farther increases or they can get nothing at all. Most likly out might see 2 or 3 ships skip GC. The tender company then sees Carnival is serrious and backs down and everything returns to normal.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big apple View Post
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?

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Old January 25th, 2013, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big apple View Post
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
They were and then lawsuits and lawyers got involved and so now they are mostly hidden. Now if you miss a port the cruise line may only give you a few dollars back out of the taxes line item and not what you really paid for the port (or non-port).

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDrescher View Post
After speaking to a couple of people I know who work at CCL corporate offices. Although the peir issue is still up in the air. The main reason behind Carnival talking about pulling out of Grand Caymans is the Tender company. They were due to recive per their contract a 25 cent/person increase , but are demanding a dollar/person increase. Carnival is basiclly tellling them they can accept what per the contract they are due. And once the contract expires talk about farther increases or they can get nothing at all. Most likly out might see 2 or 3 ships skip GC. The tender company then sees Carnival is serrious and backs down and everything returns to normal.
This sounds about right - greedy tender boat company owners.
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