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Enqury about port charges and additional government fees...

Easton. PA
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Enqury about port charges and additional government fees...

I have bought a special vacation package which includes a 2 night cruise to Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale (apart from stay in some hotels). The travel agency says that I would need to pay port charges/ government fees @ US $ 250 per adult and US $ 200 per child; apart from what I have already paid the travel agency. But most travel offers (on internet) for a cruise to Bahamas range from an average of US $ 200 to US $ 250, ALL INCLUSIVE. I am travelling to Bahamas for the very first time; can someone help me and clarify this anamoly/ discrepancy?

Switzerland
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1. Re: Enqury about port charges and additional government fees...

sounds like one of those (in)famous "free" or "budget trips" that start with a pop-up window on your computer screen ...

Because I have been asked for advice recently (about Special T Travel), I have done some research on the internet and stored some (IMHO) relevant links on my website:

http://www.bahamaslinks.ch/pqa.html > free trip > Special T

and asked for "second opinions" in the Geographia/GBI forum (great forum for Freeport, lots of very helpful regulars): …parsimony.net/forum67650/messages/10041.html

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there are usually three options:

1 - give up, write off the money already paid

2 - fight for "money back"

3 - go for it, double check everything, make the best out of it

and there are good reasons for each one of them depending on your language skills and your "grimness" or aggressiveness/ability to enforce oneself

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I came across 2 postings saying that they got a refund from their credit card company. One says full refund after 6 months, the other poster says that HALF of the amount was paid back.

A few people say that they could cancel everything but I'm not sure whether this is true - it could be people from Special T posting such messages.

So far, I couldn't find a message of somebody who finally MADE the trip in order to find out how much this person paid in the end... For me, this is not a good sign... Most people seem to have given up and written off the initial payment of a few 100$ ...

Most people report great difficulties to get in touch with the company by mail, fax or phone once they have given them their credit card number...

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IMHO important when trying to decide:

The Discovery cruise ferry is ok, a lot of people like the Discovery trip.

The hotel choice in the Bahamas? This is crucial! On their website Special T only mentions the Bell Channel Inn as an "expample of one of their hotels". If it IS the Bell Channel Inn: it is said to be a budget type resort, small and clean. But you might just as well end up in a dump (also in Florida...).

So you would need to know from Special T the name of the hotel, read reviews about it. If it seems acceptable: check directly with the hotel if everything is fine with the reservation in your name.

Also check all other items such as reservations with car rental companies, hotels in Florida, Discovery etc.

hope this helps Johanna

here and there
Destination Expert
for Bahamas, New Providence Island, Paradise Island
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8,474 posts
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2. Re: Enqury about port charges and additional government fees...

As Johanna implied.. you've been had.

There are no Port Fees such as they state, and for the most part, you could get a much better vacation than this for a lot less money if you go the more traditional route.

The hotels they put you in are remote, and you will spend plenty on cabfare.

There is a government departure tax of $19, and you will be responsible for an additional Hotel tax of 12% of the value when you leave your hotel. (this is not included in your package). As well as energy surcharge of abou $3pp/per nite depending on the hotel.

Check out the links Johanna posted.

Easton. PA
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3. Re: Enqury about port charges and additional government fees...

Dear Johanna/ Scubagirl,

Thank you very much for your valuable advice!

As you guessed, I have taken this package through a pop up message; I was not smart enough to suspect something wrong when the operator warned that I would lose the package if I were to disconnect the call for verifying the actual rates for each of the individual package included!

I have given Easton, PA as my address in the message posted but I am actually working in Southern Africa and would be in PA only at the time of my planned vacation in June next year, at my brother���s place.

I went through the abundant views on the subject, available on the web links that you had suggested; it was a real eye opener!

I got through to the Customer Service department after trying for two days and got their Fax number for further communication. At this juncture, I have a doubt; whether ���Special T��� is a generic term for all the operators (including All Seasons Travel that I am now dealing with) who sell their travel packages in this manner!

My case is slightly different; distance (and cost of International Calls) forbids a firm action! So I am going for the third option, make the best of it ��� after I receive the package, hopefully in a couple of weeks!! I have also noted the website www.800helpfla.com to be approached in case of any trouble with the travel agency. Although my agency is located in Atlanta, Georgia; there must be a parallel monitoring agency in that state too!

Basically I have complicated things myself and introduced an element of anxiety in an otherwise enjoyable vacation! Hope it will be a lesson for prospective travellers encountering such situations!!

Thanking you again for your valuable time,

Regards

Spu_Deep.

Australia
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4. Re: Enqury about port charges and additional government fees...

I too supposedly 'won' some travel from Special-T-Travel. I won $2100 travel shopping spree. And if I rang straight away I could win a cruise for 4. I'm am in Melbourne, Australia, so I'm sure the call cost me quite a bit, especially when arguing with the person on the other end, trying to tell him that I couldn't give him my husband credit card details without speaking to him first. They basically said, what kind of husband is he if he won't let me use his credit card. I explained that things are done differently in Australia, you can't use someone else's credit card. I did some research on the internet myself, and came up with someone who actually got their trip, but certainly was not as expected. You can check it out here: www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ripoff79977.htm

I'm glad I didn't give them any money, but my husband works in a litigation dept and he is going to try and follow up as the winning screen did not say there were any terms and conditions, that I had won $2100 towards travel, therefore I should be able to book my trip and get that money off it, not they book the trip and I have to pay more.