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percyg23 November 3rd, 2009 12:30 PM

Port fees and taxes?
Hello all, my wife and I took our family on a cruise to Cozomel Mexico on the Carnival Imagination, (it was our first cruise we had a blast!!!), while we were on the cruise I won a drawing for a free cruise from a travel agency, "Smart Travel", they want us to come listen to how they can save us money on trips which is fine. My question is how much are the port fees and taxes, (ball park), for going on a cruise? The lady @ Smart Travel said the only thing we would have to pay for are the port charges and taxes, they are paying for the cruise, round trip airfare to port canaveral or miami, she said we have up to 1yr to set a date for the cruise. If there is anyone out there who are pros at cruising please point me in the right direction so I can know how much these charges are. I am thinking that it would be worth paying the charges because we arent paying airfare or for the actual price of the cruise. Thanks for reading.


dina November 3rd, 2009 01:27 PM

your port charges and taxes depend on how long the cruise is and what ports your cruise stops at.

for instance, I'm on a 7-day cruise to the southern caribbean.


The port fees are included in this. Each port charges the cruise line different prices.

my ports of call are:

It's very much worth paying that small amount as compared to full fare price per person.

percyg23 November 3rd, 2009 03:43 PM

Why thank you dina!!! And I am sorry I forgot to give the info on the cruise: 4day cruise from canaveral or miami to the bahamas, royal carribean I dont know what ship yet I go to the smart travel information semminar tommorow. And I agree the fees we would have to pay are nominal compared to what we are getting out of it!! :D :D

Trip November 3rd, 2009 08:27 PM

To me, this sounds like they want something more from you....Was this contest onboard, sanctioned/sponsored by Carnival?

You may find yourself on the Imperial Majesty, the Sea Escape or Discovery, which are essentially sea buses....

I really hope for your sake, it is the real deal, and if it is, all its claims to be, with air etc, the port charges for 2, would make it a deal.

let us know:)

Manuel November 7th, 2009 06:15 AM

This does not sound like a free cruise at all. I believe that most of the time they will pressuring you to buy something.


thecruisequeen November 7th, 2009 09:26 AM

Based on what they told you a 4 day cruise to bahamas on Royal it is either the Majesty or Monarch.

Taxes for the Majesty for two are $160.52

Taxes for the Monarch for two are $116.00

Just get all the information before signing and agreeing to anything to make sure there is not a catch.

Sounds like you have to attend a presentation of some kind by the agent. Possible timeshare sale.

Good luck! Hope it works out for you. Who would not like to go on a cruise and only pay taxes?? LOL :D

Manuel November 7th, 2009 09:14 PM

Oh no, not timeshares.


csnider January 30th, 2012 10:29 AM

Did you go?
Percyg23, did you ever end up going on the "smarTravel" cruise? I just got pretty much the same call as you had received, prompted from me putting an entry in for a free car at a local mall. No doubt it's a sales pitch, but if all I have to do is truly sit through a 15 minute presentation and then pay the taxes and port fees, it would probably be worth it. Even on one of the "lesser" ships!

GGBNJ130 February 1st, 2012 12:44 PM

$122.20 ea. for my cruise in August, it's a 9 night

cruisersis April 19th, 2012 04:32 PM

was wondering if csnider or Percyg23 ever talked with SmarTravel about the "free" cruise and only having to pay the taxes. My friend just called me and said she won a free cruise through SmarTravel, and she wanted me to try and find out if it is legit or not.

They said the taxes would be between $189 - $225 per person.


Donna April 19th, 2012 07:56 PM

I find it difficult to think the presentation would only be 15 minutes and then, here, free cruise, don't think so...

Sistermill August 1st, 2012 04:36 PM

"Smart" Travel ....
I wanted to know all fees associated with the trip Smart Travel offered. So far for the 7 night cruise: $75 deposit; will confirm when get Welcome Package, but when called I was told an additional $99 per person and $159 per person + taxes and a 5% credit card charge for the total of what you pay. NCL said approx. $500 for taxes and fees for 2 people, but this will be more than that. I now understand it is a 'DISCOUNTED CRUISE" but certainly not free. :-/

Sistermill August 1st, 2012 04:39 PM

Oh.. and the presentation is not 15 minutes. They ask you to plan to be there an hour.

Donna August 1st, 2012 05:46 PM

It doesn't even sound like a discounted cruise either...

rou0828 September 17th, 2012 04:50 AM

Airline charges are an inconvenience and as a result, many people wonder about different types of vacation, like a cruise. It will not save any person from being nickel and dimed, as cruise ship fees are just as numerous, lying in wait to ambush one's pocket book. September 17th, 2012 02:24 PM


Originally Posted by Sistermill (Post 1440878)
I wanted to know all fees associated with the trip Smart Travel offered. So far for the 7 night cruise: $75 deposit; will confirm when get Welcome Package, but when called I was told an additional $99 per person and $159 per person + taxes and a 5% credit card charge for the total of what you pay. NCL said approx. $500 for taxes and fees for 2 people, but this will be more than that. I now understand it is a 'DISCOUNTED CRUISE" but certainly not free. :-/

First, as your mother always told you, "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is." And then she also said, "Nothing is free." Good advice to live by.

These people are not giving you a free cruise, they're just selling it to you using different charges while not calling it a cruise fare.

So you understand how all this works, the price for a cruise that you get from an agent, from the cruise line, or see advertised is actually made up of two fares; the cruise fare and the port fees. We are required by law to quote these two fares as one price, but most reputable agents will then also tell you it's plus tax and provide that amount as well so you know the total amount for the cruise.

In your case, the $159 is the port fees. So when they say you're getting a free cruise, it's false advertising because you're only getting the cruise fare for free, not the port fees. Then they're adding a $99 processing fee, which any reputable agent will never do, plus they're adding a 5% credit card fee, which again no reputable agent will do.

I always tell people to stay away from agents who are going to charge your credit card for the cruise. They serve as an agent for the cruise line and they have the cruise line charge your credit card. If the agent says they're going to charge your card, run the other way! These are the types of agents who give good agents a bad name because they are the ones who will take your money, not send it to the cruise line, then go out of business and you're left with nothing.

Now, with that said, it's still advisable to book through and agent because they can be invaluable especially if problems arise.

Bottom line is, you may be paying $500 for the two of you to take this cruise, but it's quite possible the cruise is worth a few hundred dollars more or it's also possible you're not getting anything extra. It really depends on the ship, sail date, and type of cabin.

I once had a client call me and said they found a special on an online site that offered free airfare with the purchase of a cruise. I went to the website and tried to book the cruise with free airfare. When I got the total amount, I noticed a $99 service charge on the bottom of the invoice. Out of curiosity, I called the cruise line and found they were have a special offering airfare for $99 from select cities. So while the online site was advertising free airfare, they were charging $99 as a service fee to get the money to pay for the airfare. False advertising at its finest!

Bottom line, have your agent check it our for you so you can get all the details and you'll know exactly what's going on and whether it's a good deal for you or not.


chammocks July 15th, 2016 02:35 PM

I am not sure.May be it will be wrong.

PaytonRoberson July 25th, 2016 11:15 AM

Hi there.. Im glad that there is a forum like this to share or to post those thing..It will help me a lot coz this is my first time to travel. Thanks a lot. Have a nice day

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