First-Time Cruisers–Be Aware Of Extra Fees And Scams

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Now that we’ve got a cruise ship in our own backyard, you may be more inclined to cruise. And many of you may be first-time cruisers. If so…there are a few things you need understand so you’re not “taken in”.

One—Even on legitimate travel agency websites, the price you see is not always the price you pay. One travel agency says on Facebook and their website that you can cruise for $180 per person. But don’t take it at face value.

“If you can get it for less than $700, that’s a good deal,” says Steve Cape.

Steve Cape of Cape Travel says the price range for the 5-day cruise from Mobile to Cozumel, Mexico is $600-$700. That’s because there are so many fees associated with  cruising.

“The cruise rate, the port charges, and the taxes. There’s optional charges for, let’s say, insurance,” says Cape.

Not to mention a few attractions on the ship.

“That would be the gratuities, the drinks that you pay for onboard, the shore excursions, gambling, the spa areas and souvenirs.”

Two—Scammers will try to take advantage of our ‘cruise craze’.

“They’ll even set up kiosks in the mall or at some outdoor shopping area like the eastern shore center and they’ll say, hey, win a free cruise and you fill out all your information, name and address, how old you are and your telephone number,” says Detective Laura Soulier with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.

That’s in addition to scam emails and telephone calls. Bottom line, don’t give out your information to just anyone and always read the fine print.

“The large print giveth, the small print taketh away. So you just really have to pay attention to what you’re getting,” says Soulier.

Cape says when you want to book a cruise, it’s probably safer to go with a local travel agent, someone who can explain all the fees to you before you pay for it.

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