Cruise guests might think that everything is included in the price of their holiday. But while guests will usually get food, board and access to some activities in the base price, they might be shocked by some unexpected extra fees.
One passenger took to Reddit to express their frustration. ‘Zetavu’ said: “For the cruise industry, or the restaurant industry or any industry to demand that we separately pay any additional fees on top of the advertised rate is misleading and despicable.
“For cruises they advertise this attractive room rate, then add mandatory charges; port fees, separate taxes, gratuities etc. Hotels do this. It’s annoying and should stop.
“Give me one cabin price, have that cover gratuities, port fees, VAT, tax, all that. Stop trying to fool everyone and just tell us what it costs and we’ll be fine.”
Cruise passengers can usually pay for extras like a drinks package and gratuities when they book their cruise or they can add the packages later.
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Extra fee and prepaid gratuity rant
Port fees are charged by destinations to cover the cost of passengers using the local infrastructure. Some cruise lines will include the charges in the overall price of the cruise.
Gratuities go to the ship’s crew and passengers can choose to pre-pay these as a package. A customer recently caused anger when they said they preferred to tip individually.
This can be controversial as it may mean crew that work behind the scenes miss out on getting a tip.
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Another person commented: “I sell cruises for a living. If cruise lines were upfront about pricing, it would free up about 90 percent of my day.”
‘Xjaspx’ said: “If you’re not happy with the pricing structure, then vote with your wallet. There are cruise lines out there where gratuities are included, such as Virgin Voyages. They will start to get the message when they start seeing bookings drop.”
However, other passengers said that customers will always be attracted to the cheapest price even if they end up spending more overall.
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It’s important to consider which extras are necessary before booking a cruise. Passengers that aren’t intending to drink very much may not need to pay for a drinks package.
Extra charges are also common on airlines, particularly on budget carriers such as easyJet and Ryanair. Passengers are asked to pay extra for luggage or choosing a seat.
Rishi Sunak has said the Government is planning to look into extra charges and it could introduce restrictions.
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