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Is it only a matter of time before cruise lines start to charge for tender tickets?

Is it only a matter of time before cruise lines start to charge for tender tickets?

Postby tomvet » 19 Dec 2015 01:29

We live in an era where we pay by consumption. The basic service is sold 'cheap' and all additional items are extra eg. seats on low cost airlines are sold cheaply however if you would like to select your seat, have food on board, check in a bag (all items that were part of the traditional service) you add them to the base price.

Cruiselines have followed a similar pricing strategy with cabins been sold cheaply but traditional inclusions such a room service now attracting additional charges. THe idea behind such a strategy is that the passenger has choice use it a pay for it or not and avoid the charge.

More and more we see cruiselines offering shuttles in port. On our recent MSC cruise the shuttle into Arrecife cost €11,90, into Palma cost €10,90 and into Malaga cost €6,90. Gill told us that the shuttle charge in Marseille as €22,95. My Fantasia review says it was €15 in 2012. These charges were advertised in the daily programme. What the daily programme did not advertise was the free shuttle in Tenerife. I asked a crew member why they did not advise passenger of this and yet promoted the pay for shuttles and the response was a very honest that their priority was revenue generation! :roll: I always wonder at why the charges are just not round Euro figures. I digress!

Of course in the situation of the shuttles the passenger has a choice

    - pay the shuttle
    - avoid the charge by walking
    - reducing the cost by using an alternative method e.g. taxi particularly if there are a number of persons in the group.
Is it only a matter of time before ships start to charge for tender tickets and god forbid charge at different rates i.e. a higher charge for priority boarding of early tenders? The only thing that may prevent them from doing so that passengers don't have many choices - really down to Hobson's choice - pay and go ashore or avoid the cost and stay aboard. THey don't have the choice of taking substitute service. Of course they have to choice to partake or not to partake in a cruise that has tender ports or not!

Do you think the introduction of a tender ticket charge would be a step too far?

I am not sure, however I think that most cruise lines have certainly looked at it and are just waiting to see who will jump first and what the customer reaction will be.

If they were to introduce one, what would you consider to be the maximum you would be willing to pay, anything above would leave a bad taste in your mouth?

I feel that it would have to be nominal and by that no more the €5 and if they were to put a priority supplement on it no more than €10. For a family of 5, it would mean getting ashore would cost €25 to €50. I don't think the market could take any more. Of course what ever price at introduction would be the thin edge of the wedge as prices would go up year on year. Personally, I don't think we will see a tender ticket charge introduced anytime soon, if anything we will see a 'priority' tender ticket charge.

I would envy the crew's work as they try to manage the queues of people into priority queue and regular queue!
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Is it only a matter of time before cruise lines start to charge for tender tickets?

Postby octocruiser » 19 Dec 2015 10:15

I suppose whether or not the additional charges are acceptable all boils down to how much you are prepared to pay for a cruise and which of the facilities you would choose to use.

If you look at the price of a 'no-extras ' cruise and decide that you would not use many of the included items it is probably advantageous for you to go for a cruise with a cheap basic price and pay for the add ons you choose to buy.

But if you do that, don't moan about the add-ones . Ultimately if services are provided they have to pay their way and you are at least getting to choose which ones you use and you're not paying for services that you never use.

The old adage ' You get what you pay for ' comes to mind. I am sure there are instances where it doesn't hold true, but by and large it has some meaning in the cruising world. It's just a question of whether you choose to buy it all up front in a package or buy it bit by bit as add ons. The final price for a comparable deal will probably not be much different. As I frequently say, you can only assess the true price of a cruise by adding up everything you pay out, however cheap the basic cost seems.

As far as tenders go I would say that is a step too far. There is no other means of getting ashore from a ship at anchor so as you say your only choice is to pay up or stay on board .

Possibly there is a case for allowing those who want to be first off to pay for the privilege but otherwise No.
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Is it only a matter of time before cruise lines start to charge for tender tickets?

Postby tomvet » 19 Dec 2015 11:19

octocruiser wrote:Possibly there is a case for allowing those who want to be first off to pay for the privilege but otherwise No.


I could live with that, the only thing is that if the cost of the privilege is not high enough, most folk may buy it and 3000 pax with the privilege is the same as 3000 pax with out so we are back to square one! Therefore, I could see the charge to be fairly hefty especially for a family of 5! :D

Just on the issue of shuttles, I sort of resent paying for those also. We cruise for many reasons but a major one is to see the world, therefore I feel the 'basic' price should include getting you to the 'basic' destination and after that I think you should pay for add ons like excursions. I particularly resent paying when the alternative option is limited or even nil - where there is a nil option, many ports offer free shuttle - Civitavecchia. Casablanca however, the option is a 6km walk through filth or take the shuttle at a cost.

On our MSC Opera the alternatives were viable

€10,90 pp shuttle in Palma or take a scenic walk for 5 km or the local bus or taxi from the dock entrance.
€6,90 pp shuttle in Malaga but walking was a very viable option and there were taxis too
€11,90 pp shuttle in Arrecife or taxi

Clearly a taxi would be cheaper than paying €60 for 5 shuttle tickets - only problem, very often it is almost impossible to get a taxi for 5!
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Re: Is it only a matter of time before cruise lines start to charge for tender tickets?

Postby khkate » 19 Dec 2015 13:19

Tenders - there is another option - swim!

Shuttles - Cruise ships do fulfil their option of getting you to a port - the fact that it may be miles from town, especially as the ships get larger and can't get into local ports, is not really their worry. If they are miles from the town, they hope that passengers will use their shore excursions. Many lines will not want to make it easy for passengers to DIY - the cruise ship (and line) are losing the revenue!
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Is it only a matter of time before cruise lines start to charge for tender tickets?

Postby Mungo » 19 Dec 2015 13:51

Do ships have to pay anchorage fees? How much are port fees? :?

On my recent Anthem of the Seas when I checked the OBC we were to receive as a sales promotion when we booked was there we each had $9.95 OBC for returned Port fees. No idea if Le Havre or Zeebrugge had dropped their changes and RCI had returned it, or whether they'd paid too much initially or what. Never queried it as didn't want to lose it! :lol:

Charging for tenders in my opinion is a NO NO. All fees for ports even if tenders should be included in cost. Shuttle buses costs can be confusing too. :roll:
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Re: Is it only a matter of time before cruise lines start to charge for tender tickets?

Postby Camela » 19 Dec 2015 23:32

Not sure but I think when we disembarked from our cruise in Stockholm last year Ryndam was in port and there were charges for the tender?
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