As one who gets excited at a great cruise bargain, I resent advertisements by TA's and cruise agencies quoting prices with "port charges additional." Most often they do not disclose those charges until you try to book. It is difficult to make comparisons without knowing these charges. A few years ago, there were numerous class action lawsuits against cruise lines about these omissions and a consent decree was entered into between the Attorney General of Florida and various cruise lines agreeing to include port charges in quoted fares.
Unfortunately, individual TA's were not included, so we have a few trying to get a competitive advantage by quoting fares without port charges. Fortunately, they are few. I just reviewed 23 TA sites and found that of those 23, only 5 were guilty of this practice. Shame on CruiseOutlet, cruisemagic, mycruisevalue, cruisebrokers, and cruisematch. Sixteen of the others quoted a price including port charges and two quoted the fare and clearly stated the cruise price and the amount of the port charges. I will send an email to the 5 offenders stating that I won't look at their site until they change their practice.
Good for you. I have also found TA's who quote prices without including taxes to gain the advantage. They quote ticket and port charges, but omit the taxes.
This has always been one of my biggest gripes. Not getting the full price quote when requested and then getting hit with the "extras" after you book. Doesn't seem fair to ask for a price and receive one, and then not being able to sail at that quoted price.
I agree especially where there are so many other extra charges to consider, parking, air, transfers, drinks, excursions, at least include the port charges. That would burst my bubble, thinking I'm getting a great deal then the TA saying, "now add $200/person in port charges". That could definitely make or break the deal, not good for business.
I also agree with you, it makes it very difficult to price and compare cruises. I would rather deal with an agency with everything up front, wish all would operate this way.
Just something to look at when checking prices!
I'm a dissenting voice with this topic. Sure, I want to know the total price of the cruise, but I actually like to see the port chges and taxes broken out seperately, as they should be the same in every quote you get, if you're comparing the same sailing, same ship.
If they're not you know something isn't right. Secondly, there are no commissions to TAs on the prt and tax portion, so you can see the portion of the total that your TA is earning commissions on.
I definitely don't want to have to search for the total, but I like it when the price is listed, and prt & tax additional are listed, and then the total.
Almost without exception, Cruise Lines now include Port Charges in the fare quoted... with Government Taxes and Fee's additional... and most travel agents quote them that way... with many including the Taxes (which can be substantial) as well. The t/a, however, gets his invoice from the CL showing the breakdown, so it is quite easy for the t/a to give you the cost, port and taxes separately. I think I agree with Kuki... to me, what counts is the net amount of money one has to pay to embark a ship... and what accommodation one is getting for it and the level of service offered by the t/a. Port Charges are now referred to in the Industry as Non-commissionable fare in most cases... which is closer to the truth. I'm not sure why the amount the t/a gets commission on is of any concern or interest to the passenger.
I'm not sure that if I have a chicken dinner in a certain famed Canadian hotel, it is any interest of mine how much the chicken cost, what the hotel's overhead rate is, what its markup is, etc. I can look at the menu, check the price and decide if I wish to dine there or not.
In the State of Florida now you MUST INCLUDE the port fees and taxes in any quote or advertisement, it is the law. The reason behind this is based exactly on the gripe here, one needs to be able to compare total costs and not try and figure out what part of the price they are talking about and how much will be added later. I don't give a wit how much the TA actually makes, that is his/her business. They can make 50% for all I care providing I get the best available price, one that makes me happy, and the service I think I should receive.