Saturday, October 13, 2007

Will I Have to Pay Port Charges on a Cruise?

If you've been researching cruises, you may have learned that "all inclusive" price quotes aren't quite as all inclusive as they sound.

You can expect the price of a cruise to include the trip, your cabin, and three square meals a day. Extras (including drinks, massages, and shore excursions) will usually cost you extra.

But you're wondering what are port charges and will you have to pay them?

Port charges are taxes the cruise lines are charged for using the ports they dock in. The fees are determined by the government of each country your ship is visiting. Port charges will be higher on longer trips that stop at more destinations. As an example, the taxes can range from $120 to $200 or more on a 7-day cruise to the Caribbean, depending on the itinerary.

That's all well and good, but you probably just want to know if you'll have to pay extra for these fees or if they're covered.

The good news is that port charges are usually included in the price of your cruise. There are exceptions, however, so it pays to read the fine print carefully, especially if you find a cruise price that seems too good to be true.

If you book with a travel agent, they can easily find out for you.

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