~Newbie...follow up questions....1. fees, taxes,etc 2. bidding for price~ THANKS soooo much!




Thanks sooooo much for all of your responses to my first post to help me get started on purchasing our first cruise. I REALLY appreciate it.

A few follow up questions.

1. It was recommended when looking at price to make sure I am comparing "apples to apples" as some companies don't include certain fees, etc. HOW do I make sure I am? What things could be added in addition to the base price. I know of port charges, taxes, fees, new fuel charge. Am I missing anything? HOW do I find out on the differnt sites what these charges would be? Are they the same with each company, like a flat tax rate?

2. Someone mentioned a site where different companys can BID based on my certain criteria. Is this reputable? Has anyone done this? If so, how would I do this?

Thanks again!


BTW, someone asked about our specifics..... we are wanting to do Royal Carribean out of Galveston (we live in San ANtonio) in early-mid February. My husband refuses to consider Carnival and we don't want to pay for airline tickets, so we are pretty limited in our choice. I am just trying to choose with whom to purchase the tickets and am wanting to compare prices.

Donna - dsw

1. - you got it. Make sure the "final" prince includes, taxes, port charges and government fees". I also check to see if there is cancellation fee. Some agencies charge you a fee if you book with them and then cancel.

2. Click on the link above "Competitive Quotes". It is recommend by this web site and I have used them a number of times. You will get quotes from a number of agencies - - it is then necessary for you to check the agency you choose.

Good Luck and keep asking questions if needed.


Also, check on the cruise insurance. Some companies include a basic level of insurance with your purchase, but most don't. Cruise insurance is a good thing, But, geting it from the cruise line is usually a bit more expensive. Your TA can help you get the insurance package you need.


In my experience the only way to make sure you are getting the final prices when on a website is to pretend you are actually booking the cruise (as long as you don't put in your credit card number you will be fine). Here is what happened when I booked a cruise leaving in July ...

I checked three different websites, including Carnival and received two different prices ($869 and $958). I then e-mailed my agent and asked him to book the cruise for me. He came back with a higher amount ($1008) and asked me if it looked correct. That is when I did my additional research. I pretended to try and book the cruise. The Carnival site came up with the same amount Carnival had quoted him. So even the Carnival site did not add in the taxes ($50) until you tried to book. Other site number one, which was also originally $958 also increased to $1008 when I tried to book it. The site with the lowest price now had the highest price ($1023) thanks to a non-refundable booking fee (so they want a commission plus a booking fee).

When dealing with a real person (one based on carbon - not silicon) you have to ask what is included. It works better if you have an agent you can trust (I do).


For the most part the price you see on line includes the voyage fare and the port charges but not the government taxes and fees. (most cruise lines have added the fuel surcharge in to the government taxes "and fees"). Once you get to the credit card page if booking on line the full price should appear. Since Royal Caribbean doesn't allow agencies to discount their price it's going to be the same no matter where you book unless you find an agency that has blocked group space and received a discount.


I just booked a cruise with NCL and had the same questions about the cruise price as opposed to the total price.
The taxes, fees and fuel surcharge added $408 to the $1533 cruise price (for two).
A phone call to NCL help desk clarified but also confused the issue.
1. It clarified it by telling me what the added charges were.
2. It confused me because the cruise cost quoted over the phone were $200 each person higher then the rate indicated on the internet NCL site.

I have previously sailed NCL and am very happy with the ship service, but both their internet site and their help phonelines need major upgrading.