Europe’s MSC Cruises is currently testing onboard the MSC Lirica a new fee for guests to pay if they want to leave the vessel. When the ships stops in Portofino, Italy, there is no dock available to tie up at, so she anchors offshore and tenders guests ashore. MSC is now charging for this service. This is the first time such a charge has been instituted on a major line. The cost: 13 EUR, or 16~17 USD. Some might say that it is greedy to make guests pay, other say that it is just a line trying to survive in the touch economic climate.
My thoughts: I mean it seems weird to charge guests to do this, but if it keeps them onboard, then not only do they get the revenue from the tender charge, they get revenue from whatever they do while onboard. So while its bad for the customer, the lines profit, possible leading to lower fares ? Hopefully CCL, NCL and RCI don’t hear about it (maybe I shouldn’t be posting about it!). I can realistically see lines charging for tenders to go ashore on private islands, Great Stirrup Cay, Coco Cay, Princess Cay, etc. There, the lines foot the bill for all costs involved in the island so, to me, it would make sense, as opposed to Grand Cayman which makes a ton off of cruise ship visits.
But then again, if its that small of a fee, why not just build it into the total cruise fare so that you can say you don’t charge excess fees and avoid negative press, like this post!